R. Klanten, S. Ehmann, L. Feireiss – A Touch of Code: Interactive Installations and Experiences

Die Gestalten Verlag

Die Gestalten Verlag, ISBN-13: 978-3899553314, 240 pages, 2011, English
The fields of interactive (or “computational”) design and digital art have been progressively juxtaposed since the two fields began to use the same tools, producing comparable output, eventually posing the question if a distinction between these two fields is still needed (actually, yes, it is). This luxurious, thick and glossy book is that kind of gift from god for curators when they have to deal with contemporaneity: it contains an impressive amount of artworks which would work very well (practically all of them) in any art/design exhibition. It’s very well researched, selecting western projects ranging from some big corporate commissioned works to pure artworks and with a lot of experiments in between, making it a remarkable reference. It’s divided into five chapters but the homogeneously content shares a stronger background: the “touch of code.” It implies that the digital element in the works is crucial but not preponderant, and the technologies used are invisible. Furthermore the physical dimension of the virtual makes them easily understandable by vast audiences, since most are involved with active gestures and responsive environments. The short texts associated with the beautiful photographs are very accurate in credits, but there is no intention of writing a history of this field, as the dates of the pieces are missed out, as are the artist/designer biographies. Although the works displayed here are obviously a subset of the ones dealing with digital culture, the selection made is certainly recent and enjoyable.