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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathPerformance
Heart Beats Dust; Cone Pyramid (Jean Dupuy), 1968Breath (Gabriel, Ulrike), 1992Rehearsal of Memory (Harwood, Graham), 1995

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competition staged within the framework of the E.A.T. exhibition «Some More Beginnings.» The prize led to a parallel exhibition of their work at two renowned New York art institutions – the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art—in the show «The Machine—As Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age.» Their processbased sculpture «Heart Beats Dust»[65] enabled the cardiac rhythm to be made visible over prerecorded tape footage as well as a stethoscope connected to the sculpture itself.

The «instrumentalization» and visualization of the body has been increasingly perfected in the course of the past forty years. Although artists were not always able to keep pace with technological progress, they succeeded—with the aid of sensors, interfaces and, in the final consequence, implants – in deploying apparently non-manipulable body processes as real-time imaging techniques in performative and participatorial closed-circuit installations. By the 1990s at the latest, advances in the field of bio-engineering sparked an increased interest in the linkage of humans and computers as hybrid beings, as opposed to revealing subconscious or unconscious mental


processes. Initial attempts to produce artistic bio-feedback are discernible in works such as «Breath» (1992), an early interactive installation by Ulrike Gabriel. The difference was that artists now confronted their inner life in the form of a large-scale visualized abstract fabric. The experience of hybrid space as a complex and immersive data realm was no longer confined to laboratory conditions in an academic framework.[66] The viewing of an installation became a performative act of encounter with an audiovisual constellation synchronized by the body.

Yet, this linkage with the machine is never free from anxiety or the structures of domination. In the 1990s, the Ars Electronica festival repeatedly addressed the subject of the body as a «battlefield» of technological, social and ideological wars.[67] The same theme was underscored in «Rehearsal of Memory» by Graham Harwood/Mongrel. Similarly, as feminist practice became more theorized, the blind spot of all technological debates became increasingly clear: The subject—artists and participants alike—is a construct shaped by social and historical aspects. No matter how radical a happening or, subsequently, a performance

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