Kac is an artist and writer who investigates the philosophical and
political dimensions of communication processes. Equally concerned
with the aesthetic and the social aspects of verbal and nonverbal
interaction, in his work Kac examines linguistic systems, dialogic
exchanges, and interspecies communication. Kac's pieces, which often
link virtual and physical spaces, propose alternative ways of understanding
the role of communication phenomena in shaping consensual realities.
Internationally known in the '80s as a pioneer of Holopoetry and
Telepresence Art, in the '90s Kac created the new categories of
Biotelematics (art in which a biological process is intrinsically
connected to digital networks) and Transgenic Art (new art form
based on the use of genetic engineering techniques to create unique
Kac merges multiple media and biological processes to create hybrids
from the conventional operations of existing communications systems.
Kac first employed telerobotics motivated by a desire to convert
electronic space from a medium of representation to a medium for
remote agency. He creates pieces in which actions carried out by
Internet participants have direct physical manifestation in a remote
gallery space. Often relying on the indefinite suspension of closure
and the intervention of the participant, his work encourages dialogical
interaction and confronts complex issues concerning identity, agency,
responsibility, and the very possibility of communication.
In his work Kac deals with issues that range from the mythopoetics
of online experience "Uirapuru" to the cultural impact of biotechnology
"Genesis"; from the changing condition of memory in the digital
age "Time Capsule" to distributed collective agency "Teleporting
an Unknown State"; from the problematic notion of the "exotic" "Rara
Avis" to the creation of life and evolution "GFP Bunny."
His work has been exhibited widely in the United States, Europe,
and South America, in venues such as Exit Art, New York; Ars Electronica,
Linz, Austria; InterCommunication Center (ICC), Tokyo; Saint Petersburg
Biennial, Russia; Huntington Art Gallery, Austin; and Nexus Contemporary
Art Center, Atlanta. Kac's works belong to the permanent collections
of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Joan Flasch Artists' Book
Collection, Chicago; and the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro,
Kac has received numerous grants and awards for his work. In 1995
he received the prestigious Shearwater Foundation Holography Award
for his body of work in the medium. In 1998 he received the Leonardo
Award for Excellence, in recognition of his body of work in electronic
art as well as his editorial work with the journal. In 1999, in
the context of the InterCommunication Center Biennale, Tokyo, an
international jury gave Kac an award for his telepresence work "Uirapuru,"
considered one of the best works in the show. In 2000 he received
grants and awards from Langlois Foundation, Montreal; Institute
for Studies in the Arts, Arizona; and Illinois Arts Council, Chicago.
Kac is a member of the editorial board of the journal Leonardo,
published by MIT Press. His anthology New Media Poetry: Poetic
Innovation and New Technologies was published in 1996 as a special
issue of the journal Visible Language, of which he was a guest editor.
The anthology will be published as a book in 2000 by the British
publisher Intellect. Writings by Kac on electronic art as well as
articles about his work have appeared in several books and periodicals
in many countries, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium,
Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Holland,
Hungary, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Singapore,
Slovenia, United Kingdom, and United States. Kac's collected writings
on art will be published in 2001 by the University of Michigan Press.
Two books document Kac's work with critical texts by North American,
European, South American, and Japanese scholars: Teleporting An
Unknown State (1998) and Eduardo Kac: Telepresence, Biotelematics,
Transgenic Art (2000).
Eduardo Kac is a Ph.D. research fellow at the Centre for Advanced
Inquiry in Interactive Arts (CAiiA) at the University of Wales,
Newport, United Kingdom. He is an Assistant Professor of Art and
Technology at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Kac can be contacted at: email@example.com. His work can be seen at:
http://www.ekac.org. Eduardo Kac is represented by Julia Friedman
& Associates, Chicago.