In order to articulate new cybernetic paradigms of art and politics, a surprisingly wide range of digital artwork appropriates early modern constructions of artistic form, space, light, volume, passion, memory, and utopia. The artists in this Program invite you to reflect on the electronic apparitions of Rousseau, Velasquez, early music and its historical and contemporary visual interfaces, the textural folds of relics and bits of paper, not to mention the excessive traces of Baroque space, rhetoric, performance, and corporeality. Is it inconsequential to the understanding of today’s paradoxical attraction and resistance to electronic art that its early modern sources were developed in an age of crisis, much like our own, of rapid global transformation, mistrust of the passions, pervasive epidemic and death, ambivalent attraction to the cultural other, revisionary philosophical investigation, and widespread cultural wars? “The Baroque is linked to a crisis of property,” adds Deleuze, “a crisis that appears at once with the growth of new machines in the social field and the discovery of new living beings in the organism.” The cross-historical CD-Roms in this Baroque Interface emphasize (some more subtly than others) the degree to which the cyborg and its growth of digital machines are subject to, "interfaced with," complex historical and institutional modalities of race, sexuality, and political difference that emerge from the cultural residue of the "new science," the "old art,” and the "Gutenberg revolution."

Jean-Louis BOISSIER, Flora Petrinsularis, 1993-94 (France)
Rae DAVIS, Relic/relique, 1999 (Canada)
Douglas HOLLELEY, Bits of Paper, 1998 (USA/Australia)
Kate RICHARDS, Red Iris Interactive, 1997 (Australia)
David WARNER, Hortus Musicus, 2001 (USA).