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Home of the Brain (Fleischmann, Monika; Wolfgang Strauss), 1992

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which also represents a paradox. Telepresence is indeed a mediated perspective that appears to surmount great distances; however, in the virtual environments via polysensorial interfaces perception is even enhanced through the so-called ‹lower› senses (‹active› touching, ‹passive› feeling or smelling) and thus the abstraction- and concept-generating function of distance comes under pressure. The classical position of an observer directly in front of a material artwork is replaced here by a participatory relationship, which may appear to overcome great distances yet through feedback loops in the work appears to be directly present in the digital image space.

At an exhibition organized by German Telekom in the autumn of 1991, an early version of «The Home of the Brain» was transmitted from the ART+COM institute in Berlin via ISDN to Geneva in Switzerland. Users in Geneva, equipped with data gloves, were able to navigate the data set from Berlin without being visible. This was an experiment with telepresence, which


stands for the reception of works consisting of digital data and interaction with them from afar. Thus as early as 1991 «The Home of the Brain» provided a glimpse of the epistemic innovation that telepresence represented, where in its reception the work loses its locatability. The observer does not physically go to the work, the painting, panorama, film and so on, but neither does the work come exclusively to a particular observer.

Telepresence art,[37] which developed in the early 1990s before the WorldWideWeb and can be seen as the successor to telematic art, was particularly indebted to the work of two artists—Eduardo Kac from Brazil and Ken Goldberg, who teaches at the University of California at Berkeley. The pioneering work of Kac and Goldberg, which triggered a great deal of theoretical reflection on the implications of telepresence for the concepts of art and cognition,[38] has less to do with transferring observers to immersive environments or enhancing the imagined connection with an artificial environment by means of

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