Joyce Rudinsky is a visual artist working with digital and interactive media. She is currently working in the art collective Psychasthenia Studio that uses game platforms technology to investigate the contemporary psychological condition. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
I have been an artist and theorist of new media for more than 20 years. In 1990, I began using software to extend the capabilities of my experimental photography, the traditional medium in which I was trained. I soon started making work that was created, generated, and shown on a computer. I combined these experiments in process and medium with my conceptual interests in critically examining contemporary experience. Fully integrated, the form and content of my work are my artistic expression.
In 2005, I presented a paper at the annual conference of the College Art Association in which I described four characteristics of our technology-based visual culture that influence today’s cognitive and perceptual experience. They are the convergence of art, entertainment and information; the expectation of sensory overload; new narrative formations; and the desire for “real time” experiences. (I would now add the influence of critical making as defined in digital humanities.) This articulates the work I did prior and the work I continue to do today.
My interactive work began in 1993 with Reproductive Technologies, an individual-computer experience and progressed from a series of large-scale spatial experiences, to group interaction. Recently, I have returned creating individual-computer experiences by manipulating online game engines.
My recent work explores various ways in which new media changes how we understand and make sense of our everyday lives and how we navigate through an information-based society. Using video, sound, photography, performance and interactivity I have explored how technology challenges the way we think about ourselves, our bodies, other people, and society.
A focus of my work is to explore and represent some of the defining material qualities of new media through my conceptual installations: specifically, the transient and ephemeral qualities of working in this medium. My work is an entity that engages with human presence. The viewer/user of my work is pulled into the production process; his/her participation is a necessary component of its formation and re-formation over time.
Through my artistic practice I contribute to expanding the context and influence of visual art.
“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”
In the preceding quote, Elmore Leonard, expresses his desire to break free of traditional conventions of writing. I use a similar measure to evaluate the success of my own art making process: if it feels like Art, I remake it. As an academic artist, my practice is not dependent on the art market. I have enjoyed and exploited the opportunity of experimentation and subversion that my tenure has provided. My intention is to question the role of the artist and art in contemporary society through my work.
rudinsky at unc dot edu