From UNCAGED to Cyber-Spatialism.

Nuhn, Ralf (2009) From UNCAGED to Cyber-Spatialism. In: Digital visual culture: theory and practice. Bentkowska-Kafel, Anna, Cashen, Trish and Gardiner, Hazel, eds. Computers and the History of Art, 3 . Intellect, Bristol, UK, pp. 67-76. ISBN 9781841502489. [Book Section]

This is the latest version of this item.


The starting point for this chapter is my project UNCAGED, which is a series of six ‘telesymbiotic’ installations, exploring interrelationships and transitions between screen-based digital environments and their physical surroundings. The chapter introduces the initial motivation behind the project, which is based on the idea to ‘uncage’ computer based realities from the confines of their digital existence and to bring the remote computer world closer to our human experience. Further, it explores how my critical engagement with the work has nourished the impression that despite the perceptual fusion between the digital and the physical world, UNCAGED actually seems to highlight the distance between the two domains. In my view, all six exhibits bear an underlying absurdity, which arises from the very fusion between their physical and digital components. For me, this absurdity ultimately hints at the fallacy of the initial motivation behind UNCAGED and, in a wider context, questions the idea to seek in virtual worlds a place for meaningful human exchange and experiences.
In the second part of this chapter, I discuss how these new insights have informed my subsequent artistic approach, which is essentially concerned with exploring further the socio-philosophical issues implied in UNCAGED. In particular, I refer to my project Cyber-Spatialism, which is a series of canvasses in which common computer connectors are inserted. The project obviously references Luigi Fontana’s slashed canvasses and his concept of Spatialism, which is usually regarded as an attempt to overcome the illusionistic representation of space in painting by introducing real (physical) space. By substituting Fontana’s slashes with computer connectors, Cyber-Spatialism implies an extension of the canvass into cyberspace, and thus attempts to address the notion, that in today’s (globalized) culture real space is increasingly being replaced by virtual space.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design
Item ID: 3569
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Dr Ralf Nuhn
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2010 08:19
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:16

Available Versions of this Item

  • From UNCAGED to Cyber-Spatialism. (deposited 06 Jan 2010 08:19) [Currently Displayed]

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.