feedback #9

Videoloop, 1:30 min 720p

with Karin Lingnau as part of paidia laboratory:feedback

William Gibson localizes the origin of Cyberspace
within the feedback loop between video game players
and the games they play. While the term feedback
originated in radio engineering to describe feeding
back of the output signal of an amplifier to the input,
the meaning of the term radically shifted when classical
control theory took off: Within this engineering
discipline, negative feedback became the single most
important method for dealing with systems of control
and communication, which generally were called
servomechanisms. After that shift, engineers started
treating not only the electro-mechanical elements
of their systems as servomechanisms, but also the
human links in their control chains. This idea of „the
human being as a servo“ was even more radicalized
by Norbert Wiener who invented a new scientific
discipline around feedback: Cybernetics. Cyberspace,
in consequence, really denotes a cybernetic space,
a feedback space in the loop between the living and
inanimate elements of a control chain.

Paidia Feedback Laboratory examines computer
games as closed feedback systems, as servomechanisms
or control chains that may or may not involve
human elements. In an ongoing series of artistic experiments
the feedback behaviour of games is studied
and put in new contexts through modifications of
hardware and software, creating an open structure of
artifacts, schematics and patterns. The focus lies not
on the usability of games, but rather on an archeology
of interaction – determining the limits and boundaries
of games in order to understand the media specific
characteristics of computer games and the spaces
they create.