Jaisa Reichardt on Cybernetic Serendipity

Cybernetic Serendipity (Video Link)

Jaisa Reichardt in her book Cybernetic Serendipity: The Computer & The Arts, talks about her show Cybernetic Serendipity and mentions the new possibilities that are brought about by new media. “New Possibilities extend the range of expression of those creative people whom we identify as painters, film makers, composers, and poets. It is very rare, however, that new media and new systems should bring in their wake new people to become involved in creative activity, be it composing music, drawing, constructing or writing. This has happened with the advent of computers” (Reichardt, 1968, p5). She speaks enthusiastically about the new possibilities of the computer, which brought to mind one of our class discussions on Dmitri Siegel’s essay Designing Our Own Graves. Its interesting to see Reichardt mention what Siegel calls the “democratization of design ” so early on in the development of computer arts. In comparison however Siegel’s essay was not so enthusiastic rather Siegel paints quite a grim picture of the possibilities of the democratization of design tools. With technology redefining universality, what will happen to the role of the designer? What will happen to the value of designers? Will the world be filled with bad design? This is what I understand Siegel to be suggesting in his essay. Which is what came to mind while watching Jaisa Reichardt’s introduction to her show (linked above), where she speaks so enthusiastically about the changing role of the artist (maker), she introduces her exhibition by saying that in this exhibition the artists who created these works of art, are themselves not the composers or painters, but the cybernetic device is. Although Siegel is speaking about the industry of graphics design in particular, and Reichardt is discussing new possibilities by using computers, I found it interesting to compare the two.