The Case of Biophilia: A Collective Composition of Goals and Distributed Action


  • Mark Cypher


Rather than follow the machinations of a singular artist in the production and exhibition of an interactive artwork, this paper uses an actor-network approach to collectively hold to account a whole host of actors that literally make a difference in the production of an interactive artwork, Biophilia (2004-2007). My main argument is that in order for any action to take place both humans and non-humans must on some level collectively work together, or, in actor-network terms translate one another. However, such new relations are predicated and indeed just as dependent on and what these new actors are willing to give up as it is to do with what they can offer. Needless to say that when the negotiations are momentarily over, actors give up individual goals and compel others to collectively form new definitions, new intentions and new goals with each interaction. In other words, the ”˜work’ represents neither the beginning nor the end of a particular event, but is described more as a continually shifting and cumulative series of distributed actions.