Thesis Info

Thesis Title
So-young Park
2nd Author
3rd Author
Master of Applied Science
Number of Pages
Simon Fraser University
Thesis Supervisor
Ron Wakkary
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Andrew Feenberg
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Interactive Arts
Languages Familiar to Author
English & Korean
URL where full thesis can be found
Open work, Umberto Eco, Audience participation, Interactive art, Digital media
Abstract: 200-500 words
This paper concerns Umberto Eco‘s notion of “open work” when it is applied to Interactive Art. I examine “open work” in its original social and cultural contexts, and its potential as an artistic methodology in Interactive Art. Eco’s “open work” is defined in relation to the process of making art rather than to finished artwork. Eco presupposes two components in the creation of “open work” art: a multiplicity of meanings, and audience participation in the making the work. In practice, the artist creates art in a way that generates multiple meanings, and the audience helps to construct the different meanings. This requires a contingent, improvisational process, allowing the audience to participate and the artwork to change. With digital technology, artists in Interactive Art can have the art change physically, in direct response to an audience action (stimulus). Thus “open work” seems to be a promising method in Interactive Art practice; although this requires some modifications to Eco’s original concepts. I start with three key questions: What is “open work” ?, Why is “open work” important for Interactive Art?, and How can we apply “open work” to Interactive Art? This leads to an exploration of how one should modulate the degree of “openness” in “open work” art. How “open” does an artist want a particular interactive artwork to be? This is a key criterion in defining contingent characteristics of Interactive Art devices, as well as defining the relationships between artwork and audience or performer and device. The paper proposes two layers of openness in the context of Interactive Art: contemplative (Ecos’s concept) and structural (a specific quality of Interactive Art). I show how