Kris Paulsen

Kris Paulsen is Assistant Professor of History of Art and Film Studies at the Ohio State University.

  • Here/There

    Here/There

    Telepresence, Touch, and Art at the Interface

    Kris Paulsen

    An examination of telepresence technologies through the lens of contemporary artistic experiments, from early video art through current “drone vision” works.

    "Telepresence” allows us to feel present—through vision, hearing, and even touch—at a remote location by means of real-time communication technology. Networked devices such as video cameras and telerobots extend our corporeal agency into distant spaces. In Here/There, Kris Paulsen examines telepresence technologies through the lens of contemporary artistic experiments, from early video art through current “drone vision” works. Paulsen traces an arc of increasing interactivity, as video screens became spaces for communication and physical, tactile intervention. She explores the work of artists who took up these technological tools and questioned the aesthetic, social, and ethical stakes of media that allow us to manipulate and affect far-off environments and other people—to touch, metaphorically and literally, those who cannot touch us back.

    Paulsen examines 1970s video artworks by Vito Acconci and Joan Jonas, live satellite performance projects by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, and CCTV installations by Chris Burden. These early works, she argues, can help us make sense of the expansion of our senses by technologies that privilege real time over real space and model strategies for engagement and interaction with mediated others. They establish a political, aesthetic, and technological history for later works using cable TV infrastructures and the World Wide Web, including telerobotic works by Ken Goldberg and Wafaa Bilal and artworks about military drones by Trevor Paglen, Omar Fast, Hito Steyerl, and others. These works become a meeting place for here and there.

    • Hardcover $40.00

Contributor

  • Zach Blas

    Zach Blas

    Unknown Ideals

    Edit Molnár and Marcel Schwierin

    On artist Zach Blas's wide-ranging practice that scrutinizes the relationship between digital technologies and the cultures and politics that animate them.

    Zach Blas: Unknown Ideals offers an inquiry into Zach Blas's singular practice, exemplary among his generation of digital artists, through a series of newly commissioned essays by Alexander R. Galloway, Pamela M. Lee, Mahan Moalemi, Kris Paulsen, and Marc Siegel; an interview with Zach Blas with Ovül Durmuşoğlu; and writings by the artist himself. These insightful contributions expand on the technological, queer, filmic, and cultural inquiries that comprise the rich world of Blas's practice.

    Across his works, Blas closely engages the materiality of digital technologies while also drawing out the philosophies and imaginaries lurking in artificial intelligence, the internet, predictive policing, airport security, biometric recognition, and biological warfare. Blas embraces the media of computation, video, sculpture, and music in his installations that sharply confront biometric surveillance, the cult of optimization, and the reification of data bodies. 

    Blas uses research-based practices to scrutinize the relationship between digital technologies and the cultures and politics that animate them. Critical of today's corporate internet giants and their ideological fascination with Ayn Rand, Blas extensively considers the beliefs, desires, fantasies, histories, and symbols latent in technical systems, but he also dwells on the horizons and edges, or what he calls the “outside,” of dominant power structures. Reclaiming Ayn Rand's phrase the “unknown ideal,” Blas points to both liberatory potentialities and political challenges of the present: he imagines a proliferation of “unknown ideals” in order to dispute Rand's vision of the future. Refusing technological determinism, Blas's work makes space for escape through its celebration of queer ideality.

    • Paperback $37.95