Christine Laffer

Interview: Joel Slayton

(This interview took place on February 21, 1995)

1. Introduction

Joel Slayton, Professor of Computers in Fine Art at San Jose State University, and Director of the CADRE Institute, talks about his approach to making and teaching computer art, remaining fully cognizant of the pros and cons of technology. He thinks of the computer as a conceptual machine based on language, and utilizing information theory, to enable a variety of interfaces with anything from appliances, nano-technology and robots, to collaborative projects and performance pieces such as DoWhatDo. In one such project he factored in an element of chaos, with disarmingly unpredictable results. Recent work has engaged him with issues of surveillance and control. Several of his pieces have involved the Internet, of which he offers a critique.