PRINT September 2001

Eduardo Kac

Traditionally, telecommunications has involved the transmission, reception, and exchange of sound, images, and text. But in the last fifteen years it has acquired an altogether new dimension: telepresence, or the ability to produce action at a distance. Connecting robots to telecom networks enables those networks to act as vehicles for remote agency; artworks that use this technology explore the drama of distance, that is, they investigate the implications of being present in one space while simultaneously exerting perceptible physical influence in another.
Telepresence art preceded the development of the Web, but now it is coevolving with it, as exemplified by the work of artists such as Ken Goldberg ( ) and ( Eric Paulos ). The Internet offers telepresence both a broader context and a wider audience.

Eduardo Kac has been exploring telepresence in his art since 1986. His work, documented at , can be seen at the New York Center for Media Arts, New York (through Sept. 30), and the Yokohama Triennale, Japan (Sept. 2–Nov. 11).