Cybernetic narrative Modes of circularity, feedback and perception in new media artworks
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore how second-order cybernetics (von Foerster, 2002) functions in new media artworks, specifically through information, system and user. While formulating the relationship between new media artworks and the discourses surrounding cybernetics the paper analyzes Popp's (2006) Bit. Fall, Wojtowicz's (2007) Elsewhere News and Zeren Goktan's (2013) The Counter, as exemplars of alternative methods of narration. This study further argues that these new media artworks employ a cybernetic narrative via modes of "circularity," "feedback," and "perception." Design/methodology/approach - This paper offers a theoretical approach to new media art and cybernetics in order to analyze three select works. Since the works mentioned have diverse takes on the presented concepts each is discussed and analyzed in their frame of production in relation to cybernetics and new media standpoints. Findings - It is significant that these three artists attempt to invert the quotidian into the concept of new media while cybernetics facilitates their interactive art installations. The fully functioning circularity in these works breaks down the linear narrative structure while regenerating a non-linear narrative together with the flow of information, utilization of the systems and the user interaction. In these works narrative functions as a tool for interaction, which is cybernetically generated by the user (human) and the systems (machine). Originality/value - New media artworks at least suggest a possibility of observing contemporary art and its history in the making if not generating it altogether through cybernetic modes of "circularity," "feedback" and "perception." The experience of these artworks for each user differs depending on their choice to either reject or become immersed in the work. The possible sensoria, however, may still be betrayed by the mind's willingness to cooperate or at times by the ability to perceive.