Roy Ascott

Roy Ascott

Infobox Artist
bgcolour = #6495ED
name = Roy Ascott

imagesize = 150px
caption = Roy Ascott
birthname = Roy Ascott
birthdate =
location = Bath, Somerset, England
deathdate =
deathplace =
nationality = English
field = art, technoetics, syncretism
training = King's College, University of Durham (now Newcastle University)
movement = Telematic art
works = La Plissure du Texte, Electra, Paris; Planetary Network, XLII Venice Biennale; Telematic Embrace: visionary theories of art, technology and consciousness University of California Press).
patrons =
influenced by = Victor Pasmore, Jackson Pollock, Marcel Duchamp, William Ross Ashby, I Ching, Henri Bergson
influenced = Brian Eno, musician, Paul Sermon, artist (former students)
awards = Honorary Professor, Thames Valley University, London. Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Roy Ascott is a British artist and theorist, who works with cybernetics and telematics. He is President of the Planetary Collegium.


Roy Ascott born in Bath, England. He was educated at the City of Bath Boys' School. His National Service was spent as an officer in the British Royal Air Force working with radar defence systems. From 1955-59 he studied Fine Art at King's College, University of Durham (now Newcastle University) under Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton, and Art History under Lawrence Gowing and Quentin Bell. On graduation he was appointed Studio Demonstrator (1959-61). He then moved to London, where he established the radical "Groundcourse" at Ealing Art College, then later to Suffolk at Ipswich Civic College. Notable alumni of the Groundcourse include Brian Eno, Pete Townshend, Stephen Willats. [ [ Frieze Magazine | Archive | Degree Zero ] ] and Michael English [ [ History HTML ] ] He taught in London (Ealing, the Slade School of Art, and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design) throughout the 1960's. Then briefly was President of Ontario College of Art, Toronto, before moving to Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and then to California as Vice-President and Dean of San Francisco Art Institute, during the 1970s. He was Professor for Communications Theory at the University of Applied Arts Vienna during the 1980s, and Professor of Technoetic Arts at the University of Wales, Newport in the 1990s.

He has advised new media arts organisations in Brazil, Japan, Korea, Europe and North America, as well as UNESCO and the CEC, and since 2000 has been a Visiting Professor in Design/Media Art [ [ UCLA Design | Media Arts ] ] at the UCLA School of the Arts. He is the founding editor of Technoetic Arts, journal of speculative research. [] , and an Honorary Editor of Leonardo Journal.Ascott was an International Commissioner for the XLII Venice Biennale of 1986 (Planetary Network and Laboratorio Ubiqua [ [ Planetary Network - Venice Biennale 1986 ] ] ).

He is the founding president of the Planetary Collegium an advanced research center which he set up in 2003 at the University of Plymouth, UK, where he is Professor of Technoetic Arts. The Collegium currently has nodes (linked centers) in Zurich [ [ Z-Node - The Zurich Node of Plymouth University, in The Institute of Cultural Studies, Art and Design School, Zurich, Switzerland ] ] , and Milan [ [ Phd M-Node ] ] .


Since the 1960s, Roy Ascott has been one of Europe's most active and outspoken practitioners of interactive computer art, electronic art, cybernetic and telematic art. [Charlie Gere, "Art, Time and Technology: Histories of the Disappearing Body" (2005) Berg, p. 123]

In his first one-man show (1964) at the Molton Gallery, London .

Ascott has shown at the Venice Biennale, Electra Paris, Ars Electronica, V2 Institute for the Unstable Media [] , Milan Triennale, Biennale do Mercosul, Brazil, European Media Festival, and gr2000az at Graz, Austria. His first telematic project was "La Plissure du Texte" (1983), [] Festival in Linz, discussed by (inter alia) Matthew Wilson Smith in "The Total Work of Art: from Bayreuth to Cyberspace", New York: Routledge, 2007

Interactive computer art

Since the 1960s, Ascott has been a pioneer of interactive computer art, telematic art. [ [] ] and systems art. Ten years before the personal computer came into existence, Ascott built a theoretical framework for approaching interactive artworks, which brought together certain characteristics of Dada, Surrealism, Fluxus, Happenings, and Pop Art with the science of cybernetics championed by Norbert Wiener. He was also influenced by the writings of Anthony Stafford Beer, William Ross Ashby, William Grey Walter, and F.H.George. A critical survey of Ascott's work is provided by Edward A. Shanken in his introductory essay "From Cybernetics to Telematics: The Art, Pedagogy, and Theory of Roy Ascott" in Ascott, R. 2003. "Telematic Embrace: Visonary Theories of Art, Technology and Consciousness". (ed. Edward A. Shanken). Berkeley: University of California Press. []

Current research

Ascott's work involves the exploration of what he terms "cyberception" [] , "telenoia" [] , syncretism, "technoetics" and "moistmedia" [] in art. In Ascott’s view: “"We are simultaneously present in many realities: physical presence in ecospace, apparitional presence in spiritual space, telepresence in cyberspace, and vibrational presence in nanospace. Second Life is the rehearsal room for a future in which we endlessly create and distribute our many selves. What we build today in cyberspace, we’ll build tomorrow in nano space. The new art media is immaterial and moist, numinous and grounded, while the technoetic mind both inhabits the body and is distributed across time and space. Art and reality are becoming syncretic as these contradictions are reconciled, and differences melded. Syncretic reality emerges from the cultural coherence of intensive interconnectivity, from quantum coherence at the base of our world-building, and from the spiritual coherence of our multi-layered consciousness"”.

He has published his theories in six books and over 170 articles and papers in the past three decades. Since 1997 much of his research into syncretism and technoetics has taken place in Brazil, in the Mato Grosso (Kuikuro), Salvador, Bahia (Candomble), Brasilia (Santo Daime), Fortaleza and São Paulo (Umbanda and União do Vegetal), and the Vale do Amanhecer (Spiritism).


* Ascott, R. (ed). 2005. "Engineering Nature". 2005.Bristiol UK:Intellect.
* Ascott, R.2003. "Telematic Embrace: visionary theories of art, technology and consciousness". (Edward A. Shanken, ed.) Berkeley: University of California Press.
*Ascott, R. 2002. "Technoetic Arts" (Editor and Korean translation: YI, Won-Kon), (Media & Art Series no. 6, Institute of Media Art, Yonsei University). Yonsei: Yonsei University Press
* Ascott, R. 1998. "Art & Telematics: toward the Construction of New Aesthetics". (Japanese trans. E. Fujihara). A. Takada & Y. Yamashita eds. Tokyo: NTT Publishing Co.,Ltd.
* Ascott, R. 1999. "Reframing Consciousness". Exeter: Intellect.
* Ascott, R. 2000. "Art Technology Consciousness". Exeter: Intellect. 2000


Ascott is the founding editor of "Technoetic Arts: a journal of speculative research", and an Honorary Editor of "Leonardo, Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology"


Ascott has published over 170 articles and academic papers in many countries, translated into many languages.Selected texts:Textes en francaisDe l'apparence à l'apparition : communication et conscience dans la cybersphère: techno-éthique planétaire : art, technologie et conscience: Esthétique et politique de la cyberculture: Statut esthétique de l’art technologique: Digital Art: en españolEl web chamántico. Arte y conciencia emergente. : Cuando el jaguar se tumba junto a la oveja: especulaciones sobre la cultura posbiológica: Pensar la contemporaneidad: tec-noética en la era digital: Implicaciones filosóficas de la arquitectura de la cibercepción: Ascott, pionero en la cibernética, la telemática y la interactividad en el arte: auf DeutschGesamtdatenwerk: konnektivität, Transformation und Transzendenz: Der vernetzte Staat: Europas technoetische Dimension: medienkunstnetz - Biografie in italianoArte tecnoetica: coscienza, telematica, nanotecnologie.
Conversazione con Ascott, M. Bolognini scommessa dell'arte interattiva di Cristina Cilli: Artext - Ascott Technoetica!: I mass media muoiono? Arrivano i media umidi Per Eckart Wintzen. Ottimo architetto dell’intelligenza texts in English"Technoetic Pathways toward the Spiritual in Art: A Transdisciplinary Perspective on Connectedness, Coherence and Consciousness" [] Syncretic Strategies [] was presented at the SESC Conference: F.A.q. > questions on Art, Consciousness and Technology (30Nov-3Dec 2006) in São Paulo, Brazil.Syncretic Reality: art, process, and potentiality [] The Syncretic Imperative:

About Ascott

* Randall Packer & Ken Jordan (eds). 2001. "Multimedia: from Wagner to Virtual Reality". New York: Norton.
* Frank Popper. 2007. "From Technological to Virtual Art". Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
* Frank Popper. 1967. "Naissance de l'art cinétique". Paris: Gauthier-Villars.
* Amelia Jones (ed). 2005." The Blackwell Companion to Contemporary Art since 1945". London: Blackwell.
* Fred Forest. 2007. "Art et Internet", Editions Cercle D'Art / Imaginaire Mode d'Emploi.
* Margaret Boden. 2006. "Mind As Machine". Oxford:Oxford University Press.
* Charlie Gere. 2005. "Art, Time and Technology: Histories of the Disappearing Body". London: Berg.
* Martin Kemp (ed). 2000. "The Oxford History of Western Art". Oxford:Oxford University Press.
* Noah Wardrip-Fruin & Nick Montfort (eds).2003. "The New Media Reader". Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
* Stephen Wilson. 2003. "Information Arts". Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
* Michael Corris (ed).2004. "Conceptual Art: Theory, Myth, and Practice". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
* Margot Lovejoy. 2004. "Digital Currents: art in the electronic age". New York: Routledge.
* Michael Bracewell. 2007. "Re-make/Re-model". London: Faber and Faber.
* Oliver Grau. 2003. "Virtual Art: from illusion to immersion". Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
* Edmond Couchot. 1988. "

* Kenneth Coutts-Smth.1970. "The Dream of Icarus: Art and Society in the Twentieth Century". London: Hutchinson.
* Morris Wolfe. 2001."OCA 1967-1972: Five Turbulent Years". Toronto: Grub Street Books.
* Andrew Dewdney and Peter Ride. 2006. "The New Media Handbook". Oxford: Routledge.
* Kristine Styles and Peter Selz.1996. "Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: a sourcebook of artists' writings". Berkeley: University of California Press.
* Bruce Clarke and Linda Dalrimple Henderson (eds). 2002. "From Energy to Information: representation in science, technology, art, and literature". Stanford: Stanford University Press.


External links

* [ Masters of Media]
* "Pioneers" []
* "Factbites" []
* "From Wagner to Virtual Reality" []

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