Ka Ka Kwok dissertation goldsmiths.pdf


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Abstract
With the prevailing trend of interactive installation, the role of the gallery visitor
becomes an interactor instead of a pure spectator. In this paper, it is going to look at
this new form of art by redefining interactivity, embodiment, and human senses, in
terms of the making and experience of installation space from cross-cultural
perspectives.
Beginning with the argument of Cartesian aesthetics of disembodiment in
Western dualistic tradition and new media art, then Taoist philosophy of harmonious
polarism on embodiment is drawn in to compare and contrast with the controversial
debates. This research is not merely to argue that the concepts of human body, senses,
space are culturally constructed; but it also hopes to address a critical review of
today’s interactive installation art. The superficiality of today’s new media art is
shown by reviewing some multi-sensory work. In comparison, Taoist and Buddhist
influenced artists, Cai Guo Qiang and Antony Gormley’s interactive work will be
discussed. The body and experience of audience in the work will be carefully
examined with a comparative analysis of Chinese and Western philosophies.
The research does not intend to infer any generic judgment on any cultural
characteristics, but rather by looking at the traditional philosophy in cross-cultural
disciplines, it hopes to bring in new insight to the contemporary art critique as well as
unresolved controversy.

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