respects is legitimate, it was like "oh, I want to have nothing to do with those."
W.V. But you see, in this particular piece my interest was to bring the process of calibration out into the open, out of its ordinary context. Here calibration means that the instrument is in a continuous process of alignment to some predetermined coordinates. This process has been preceded in the real world by a purely human need. Take the most established way of establishing North, South, East and West. It has been a cultural property for very long and our science has performed countless ritualistic dances within these coordinates. But this ritual of calibration is all around us. We live in the midst of a technological environment that performs calibration regardless of our awareness of it. In some strange way, these play out for me as small dramatic forms. It is quite similar to what I experienced in video. The micro-drama of creating a cognitive frame of image out of time sequences and varied energy fascinated me endlessly. This was almost a clandestine pleasure. No one would talk about this in the video conferences. Art and media theories seem to prefer to be aligned to the social sciences rather than to the exact sciences. And this goes on in my work with technology. The constructions of images or whole sensorial environments are the most intriguing structures that I know about.
S.V. We know that every tool has to calibrate. Every camera and tape recorder has to be calibrated. What we do not see is that it is an emulation of the human system. We calibrate constantly. We wake up in the morning, asking, "Who am I? What is this place I am waking up in? What time is it now and how long did I sleep? What do I have to do today? We are constantly reinforcing ourselves saying, "I am I! I am in Paris now!"
W.V. But I think this is the question: what constitutes a trivial system, or trivial behavior? And what constitutes intelligence? How do these new behaving systems work? What is their language? This comes back to the same questions we had about early electronic image. Does it have a language? Does this newly acquired interactive space have a new language? A new syntax? Art as a social phenomenon is facing certain challenges from this. The question of what is intelligent did not play much of a role because art seemed to have its own intelligence. It even created its own styles and art movements. But suddenly, there is something that talks, performs gestures, captures images, recognizes speech, or performs rituals that we can relate to. It is becoming more and more human like. This kind of work brings me to dimensions where I have to ask these questions. It is not even a theater. The word for "theater" in Czech grammatically means the instrument you look at. It is of a neutral gender, passive like a table.
S.V. The word means the container or vessel for seeing things in.
D.F. It's a good mirror of the old debate about artificial intelligence as well. Because you begin to debate what in fact is intelligent.
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