the coded body: dr jill scott

continental drift - dr jill scott
Image: Continental Drift, Dr Jill Scott

From surveillance-performance-events to video art onto new computer art and interactive cinema: the work of new media artist Dr Jill Scott points to a new concept of the mediated body.

In her lecture The Coded Body, new media artist Dr Jill Scott will explore the technical manipulation and coding of the human body by media. Tracing her own research on the potential social and ethical relationships of bodies and their representation within mediated and cultural environments, this lecture will be introduced by Dr Anne Marsh.

'Think of the body without organs, as the body outside any determinate state, poised for any action in its repertory; this is the body from the point of view of its potential, or virtuality'. Gillies Deleuze

Gilles Deleuze urged us to expand the interpretation and representation of the body and space beyond the meanings attached purely to body forms. The Coded Body explores the technical manipulation and coding of the represented form of the human body by media. It traces Jill Scott's own research about the potential of innovative relationships surrounding bodies: their social and ethical ideals; their characterisations and their mediated and cultural environments.

The purpose of this lecture is to braid an evolutionary thread that follows these relations through three stages of her media-art practice and her life. These stages reflect the surrounding milieu of three different countries:

  • In San Francisco, USA from 1975-1982, political and dualistic performance works/body actions were de-coded by using the mediums of analog video and sound.
  • From 1982-1992 in Australia, artists questioned the seductive role of representation by digital media as well as the pluralistic levels of post-modern coded information.
  • Media-art events in Germany (1992-2002) focused on the body-ethics and ideals of virtual characters as well as audience-computer incorporation in nomadic and visceral hybrid environments.
beyond hierarchy - dr jill scott
Image: Beyond Hierarchy, Dr Jill Scott

In this lecture, Dr Scott associates these technical and conceptual stages with three categories: analog figures, digital beings and mediated nomads. On a physical level, these categories of the mediated body have helped to fuse virtual (digital), organic (material) and mechanised (artificial) ideals and create new forms. On the conceptual level, these categories have shifted our perception of time, space, object, process, the represented character and the performative roles of the viewers. Using many examples from her own work to illustrate the potentials and virtualities of The Coded Body; to engage, to crossover time and to float through ideologically shifting territories.

about jill scott

Jill Scott was born in 1952, in Melbourne, Australia. She has exhibited many video artworks, conceptual performances and interactive environments in USA, Australia, Europe and Japan.

In 1973, she completed a Degree in Film, Art and Design from Prahran Institute of Technology, Melbourne. From 1975-1982 she  lived in San Francisco, where she finished a Masters Degree in Communications from San Francisco State University, and became the Director of Site, Cite, Sight, an alternative Gallery for Sculptural Installation. 

In 1982 she returned to Australia to lecture in Media at the University of New South Wales, College of Fine Arts, Sydney and start the Australian Video Festival. Since then she has worked with computers leading to 3d Animation and Interactive Art.

In 1992 she was invited to be a Guest Professor for Computer Animation, in the Hochschule fur Kunst, Saarbrucken, Germany, and in 1993 won an Award of distinction at Ars Electronica for Interactive Art. From 1994-97 she was an Artist in Residence and project co-ordinator for the Medienmuseum at the Zentrum fur Kunst und Medien Technology in Karlsruhe (ZKM) as well as a Research Fellow at The Center for Advanced Inquiry into the Interactive Arts, University of Wales, Great Britain, where she was awarded a Doctorate in Media Philosophy.

From 1998-2003 she was Professor for Installation Design in the Media Faculty at The Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany and currently she is a research professor at The University of Applied Science (FHA) and the Academy of Art and Design (HGKZ) in Switzerland.

Dates   Wednesday 8 October 2003, 7pm
Admission   Free
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