The Turn to Liveness: Media Art and the Live Transmission


“Improvise for Peace with Joan Labarbara” (1991) from 2×4 produced by Rob Danielson and Rob Yeo

In recent years, the media arts have witnessed a turn — or perhaps more correctly a return — to liveness. The past decade has been marked by a steady and persistent uptick in projects that engage the live — live coding, live installation, live cinema and the subject of my dissertation research, the live transmission. The Turn to Liveness: Media Art and the Live Transmission seeks to account for this turn by locating current experimentation with the live transmission along a genealogy of practice that dates back to the first artistic use of the televisual transmission, Lucio Fontana’s  Luminous Images in Movement (1952). In my research, I seek to at once reclaim the live transmission as a media art historical category, while simultaneously investigating what a genealogy of its practice might reveal about our present relationship to media culture.