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Critical Reflections

Critical reflections normally seek to establish a relationship between a set of practices and critical discourse. At this stage, Cellbytes is being conducted as a practical project testing out certain ideas and concepts related to the notion of telematic and web based performance with an eye towards carrying out future projects at a greater distance (next year between the Institute for Studies in the Arts, Arizona State University and ResCen, Middlesex University, London). Methods and strategies for such areas as composition, media mapping and group process are being developed.

These pages contain some critical reflections in small parcels that may be relevant to ongoing critical debates as either starting points or as useful practical research that may be more productively engaged with critically in other contexts. We are keen to contribute to these debates as much as possible by opening up our processes via these web pages and by making documentation available to researchers at the Institute for Studies in the Arts (ISA), Arizona State University and ResCen, Middlesex University, London.

Information about the production, process and direction of CellBytes, please contact Ghislaine Boddington (shinkansen/ ResCen) and John D. Mitchell (ISA, ASU). Please send feedback related to these documentation web pages to Scott deLahunta. If you are interested in possibly visiting the ISA or ResCen to access other documentation send email to Patricia Clark (in the USA) at ISA and/ or Richard Povall (in the UK) at ResCen.

A few brief comments on Cellbytes content driven by topical and political concerns:

In opposition to certain forms of established hegemonic culture (e.g. the dominant economic and political institutions), it is common for arts projects utilising emerging technologies to seek to establish a clear moral and ethical ground from which to approach them. Frequently, this emerges within a project such as CellBytes as a theme or topic that might serve as a starting point or frame from which to begin to make work - where and how these themes manifest in the work is another matter.

As proposed in the original aims, the organisers of the project choose to include, as an aspect of the two weeks, an investigation of the effects of "digitalisation on humankind". However, within a project with so many overriding practical concerns - an in-depth examination of this theme has not been possible, and there has been relatively little in-depth dramaturgy conducted at this stage. Prior research into the human genome project has had the result that certain materials (see Cellbytes/ ACTG) have evolved directly from discussions around this topic. Related issues such as touch, intimacy and presence were also explored quite explicitly in the work.