University of the Arts London, UK
Dr. Barbara Rauch is a research fellow at Chelsea College of Art & Design. She is acting director in SCIRIA (Sensory Computer Interface Research & Innovation for the Arts) research unit at the University of the Arts London. Her research focuses on new technologies and how they alter our current understanding of human consciousness. The research provided the basis for her PhD thesis entitled ‘Natural and Digital Virtual Realities – a practice-based exploration of dreaming and online virtual environments’. The research work that followed focused on 3D-surface capturing of animated facial expressions in animals and humans, attempting to map virtual emotions (AHRC Grant in the Creative and Performing Arts scheme, January 2007).
Articles of Barbara Rauch
Marshall McLuhan & Vilém Flusser: The New Model Artists
Marshall McLuhan (1911 - 1980) and Vilém Flusser (1920 - 1991) were primarily media communication theorists and new media philosophers. Both thinkers were deeply concerned with electronic and digital technologies and the impact of technology on human society. Likewise, both thinkers were critical and probably cynical about these developments, however, they believed in the notion that one has to fully understand technology to be able to use and discuss positive models of these new technologies for a better future. Independently, McLuhan and Flusser became interested in the role of the artist in this new digital society, and Flusser in particular elaborated on the means of artistic production. Both theorists delved into collaborative projects with artists; and they produced films and other artistic output over their lifetimes. In our essay we highlight this particular interest and focus on the artist and modes of artistic perception.
McLuhan’s understanding of the artist as society’s safety antenna was, indeed, personified by both men.