Noise on the Line:Emerging Issues in Telecommunications Based Art

by Stephen Wilson, Art Department, San Francisco State University


The author explains that telecommunications based art breaks new ground by using the technology to create totally new contexts for art. He identifies a series of issues that must be addressed in order to make this form of art work stronger: clarity about the conceptual rationales for focusing on telecommunications, attention to the sensual format in which information appears, the need for editing and craftsmanship and consideration of the appropriateness of local versus global works in some situations. The article then introduces artitistic opportunities for working with related technologies that are converging with telecommunications: artificially intelligent agents, groupware, telepresence, and virtual worlds.

Note this article originally appeared in the Journal Leonardo Vol 24:no.2 (The 1991 special issue on Telecommunications edited by Roy Ascott and Carl Loeffler.) Leonardo is published by  MIT Press.

Contact Information>
Stephen Wilson
Conceptual Design/ Information Arts Area
Art Department/ San Francisco State University/SF, CA 94132
(415) 338-2291 Email to swilson(
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