Research Critique: Soundings(1968) & the idea of Cybernetics

Norbert Wiener defined “Cybernetics” as a mechanism dealing with communication and control among people, nature and machines. To be more specific, this control is the feedback that depends on the actual performance rather than the expected and still one.

Soundings, whose catalysts, defining as triggering changes in the spectator’s behaviors by Roy Scott, are the silvered panel at the outer layer of plexiglass and the electronic device. The former can reflect viewers’ own image and the latter can trigger the change of images, depending on the sound and the voice that viewers make.

Soundings in Artsy.

I’m so pitiful that I have difficulties with finding out the video of this artwork, because I consider that only the dynamics of the artwork can present the value of modern arts, such as “dialogue,” among artists, audience and the artwork. As Roy Scott said in “Behaviourist Art and the Cybernetic Vision,”

“the modern artist is primarily motivated to initiate a dialogue to enrich the artistic experience with feedback from the spectator’s response.”

Robert Rauschenberg in Wikipedia.

When I search for MoMA document, where was its first public show, records that “Rauschenberg insisted that viewers become his collaborators, and without them the work doesn’t exist.” His idea corresponds to Roy Scott’s feedback, “a function of an output(observer response) is to act as an input variable, and leads to more variety in the output(observer experience).” Interpreting the essay written by Roy Scott and the artwork “Soundings,” I consider that the core idea of Cybernetics and Modern Art is feedback, representing interactivity, uncertainty, instant communication, which is the real departure from the traditional art, which draws a line between artists and audience, and which is static and unchangeable.

My Understanding of Multimedia

How collective intelligence will change corporate leadership:

In my view, I regard multimedia as a pure medium that combines sound, images carrying nothing meaningful. However, after I read the content in the overture part, it surprised me that the meaning of multimedia is not just a tool, but also a carrier that loads the creativity and intelligence of human beings, and a breakthrough that changes the inherent thinking routes and decentralizes the authority to all participants who just are involved in. And what’s more, like the concept of Pierre Levy for “ Collective Intelligence”, it shapes the aesthetics and social implication at that time.


Considering that how long is the history of multimedia, I thought the appearance of multimedia is in 1993, when World Wide Web was seen in public. But it just represents the form of multimedia, I always forget the core concepts of multimedia, integration and interactivity, thriving for creativity and intelligence. I never think of the notion that people dating from 15000 B.C. had an idea that created an environment that integrated all forms of media. Or it just might be over-interpreted, because people at that time just appealed to a surrounding, which can helped people immerse themselves in the world that were totally different from the real world. At this point, I consider that people at any time are all seeking for this experience , the same goal but different route.

Art who comprehends her with whom can one consult concerning this great goddess:

Although my major in undergraduate study is classical music performance, I never thought of opera as a form of multimedia. In essence, people studying classical music usually would not admit that any form of artworks could be regarded as “art”, which is eternal, beautiful, and sometimes divine, which is not easily be produced according to that era. After reading essays from different aspects, I contemplate if I take the cultural society and the production at this generation into consideration, it can make sense that art that collaborates with technology may also be viewed as the real art now.


Actually, I never thought that the history of new media has the tight connection to the art. In my intuitive opinion, I thought that the beginning of new media is the incoming of Internet, and never considered that in 1950s, the concept of hyperlink, prefigured by Vannevar Bush, has its prolong and supreme impact on the development of new media, accompanied by hypertext and hypermedia. Continuously, new media also creates the new paths or forms of art presented or interpreted, because artworks made by new media is decentralized and open, people who immerse themselves in can be the author of the work and the work can be reflective to their mind. Before the invention of technology, these perspectives cannot be imaginable.


My history of multimedia

The history of multimedia begins with the prehistoric caves in Southern France

Prehistoric Cave Paintings of Horses, popular Archaeology,