Interview with Stephanie Fillion, Radio-Canada, at the Vancouver Art Gallery, August 16, 2015. Paraphrased to the best of my memory and ability to embellish.
Tell us your name and what is it that you do.
Hi, my name is Kevin Day. I’m a media artist primarily based in Vancouver and Taiwan. I received my MFA in Visual Art from the University of British Columbia. My practice deals with the philosophy of technology and the contemporary situation of digital entanglement and what it means to be a digital citizen.
Why are you participating in ISEA 2015?
ISEA is a world-renowned event dealing with technology and art, encompassing a wide array of scholarship and practices. I definitely see my practice aligned with some aspects of it and I’m very happy to be involved.
What do you think electronic art refers to?
This is quite a contentious subject. Some scholars and artists would argue that anything conceived with the assistance of new media technology would constitute electronic art, while others would argue that it is any artworks that deal with new media, the philosophy of technology, and our everyday situation of being immersed in the digital. For me, it is the latter.*
Do you think all art should move towards new media?
No, I would say definitely not. The digital touches upon all aspects of humanity but it is still only one aspect of the human condition. There are many other avenues, socio-political and economic, that while are entangled with the digital, do not belong strictly within.
How has the symposium been able to engage the public?
Contemporary art has a tendency to be inaccessible for the laymen. Electronic art, however, tends to be more accessible, by virtue of it using a familiar medium that the general public is used to. It has the capacity to engage the audience because it has an appeal; there is something attractive about new media that can draw the audience in. And once the audience is engaged, the work can begin to ask questions about that appeal, and the audience might realize, oh, this is not just an app, not just a video, it offers a deeper engagement. In that regard, I think the symposium has been quite successful.
*In the interview, Philippe Pasquier touched on a similiar distinction, between what he calls a more academic iteration of electronic art and the more accessible and popular version, which I am happy that he did, though I am unsure if he was critical of the latter.