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Fred Forest's UtopiaMedia Art and Activism$
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Michael F. Leruth

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036498

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036498.001.0001

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Interface as Utopia

Interface as Utopia

(p.181) Conclusion: Interface as Utopia
Fred Forest's Utopia

Michael F. Leruth

The MIT Press

The Conclusion looks more closely at the utopian thread that runs through Forest’s artistic practice beginning with an overview of his lifelong preoccupation with immaterial forms of territoriality and his personal preference for more “realistic” forms of utopia. After outlining the symptoms of a postmodern crisis in western utopian thinking in its dominant perspectival form emphasizing visual projection, collective projects, and social-technological progress, it goes on to examine the ways in which Forest’s art represents a fundamental reconfiguration of the notion of utopia that differs from the enfeebled western paradigm in several important respects. Foremost among these differences is that Forest puts utopia in reverse by making utopia (i.e., the everyday pseudo-utopia of the modern mediascape, which he subjects to defamiliarizing realism) the mundane starting point rather than the ideal culmination of his utopian artistic practice. The Conclusion closes with a retrospective look at Forest’s body of work through the lens of the four main types of utopian interfaces he creates: the specular interface, the subversive interface, the metacommunicational interface, and the liminal interface.

Keywords:   Utopia, Interface, Media Space, Territory, Realism, Defamilariazation, Postmodernism, Visuality, Perspective, Baudrillard

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