41 – ART JOURNEYING IN TIMES OF GLOBALIZATION: THE VOICE OF DISEMBODIMENT (PDF)
Spiros Polimeris and Christine Calfoglou
In this article we explore the experience of journeying in postmodern, digital art. On the basis of the assumption that such an experience involves some kind of physical presence, and, more specifically, the physical presence of the work of art and that of its viewer, and that it therefore possesses space and time coordinates and thus activates and is activated by reminiscence, we explore the degree to which digital art fulfills the specific requirements. The offspring of a globalized, post-modernist era, though not of this era alone, a cross between unity (globalization) and fragmentation (post-modernism), digital art, we argue, determined by the medium it employs, fails to comply with the demands of physical presence and, by annihilating time and space boundaries and allowing its numerous, simultaneous viewers/interactants to engulf it in Benjamin’s (1936/1968) terms, by losing its ‘aura’, signals a radical change in the journey requirements referred to above. In the absence of a body, the distance between the work of art and the viewer is gone and the immersion that follows (see Polimeris, 2011) results in loss of the spatiotemporal dimension and reminiscence. The digital or digitalized work of art somehow needs to ‘pay’ for its universal accessibility by becoming impossible to pin down and, thus, ever-elusive. In other words, like the globalised era it is mostly a child of, it paradoxically combines immediacy and timelessness, lethe. We propose a redefinition of this new time and space art journey experience in terms of the Greimasean semiotic square.