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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathCommunication
Telematic Dreaming (Sermon, Paul), 1992Between the Words (Hegedüs, Agnes), 1995Hole in Space (Galloway, Kit; Rabinowitz, Sherrie), 1980

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as in Paul Sermon's «Telematic Dreaming» (1992) or Agnes Hegedüs' «Between the Words» (1995). In these installations the viewer is no longer solely a recipient, but simultaneously an agent too. However, this «exemplary viewer» also tended to be solitary, since interactive installations could be used by no more than two people at once. Moreover, once inside the virtual realm the lone visitor seldom encountered other explorers–these environments were not designed for interpersonal communications. The collective and/or distributed authorship structures practiced on the Internet since the mid-1990s, in combination with that medium's form and lack of fixed physical location, have so far prevented any new «collectivity in media space» from establishing connective links with either the real world or the art context (and, ultimately, art history). The rise of the Internet in the 1990s restored topicality to the interactivity concepts of 1960s intermedia art.

Telematics and telepresence

The notions of telematics and telepresence began to gain importance for interactive media art in the late


1980s. Telepresence allows the viewer parallel experiences in three different spaces at once: 1. in the «real» space in which the viewer's body is physically located; 2. per tele-perception in the «virtual, simulated visual space reproducing a fictional or real, remote visual sphere; and 3. per tele-action at the physical location of the «data work or even of a robot controllable over one's movements or equipped with a sensory apparatus over which one can find one's bearings.»[17] To a certain extent, this concept–and primarily that of acting or influencing from a distance–is also reflected in interactive media art.[18] Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, who since 1977 have been working under the name Mobile Image, are indubitably pioneers in the field. Their groundbreaking «Hole in Space» project (1980) demonstrated almost all the attributes of telepresence, with one exception: The viewers/users were not represented in virtual reality. However, they do perceive the remote space (tele-perception) and also interact with it (tele-action) or, as the case may be, with the people at the other end of the «hole in space.» The installation served in a three-day-long experiment in November 1980 that used

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