“In this technoetic culture, the art we produce is not simply a mirror of the world, nor is it an alibi for past events or present intensities. Engaging constructively with the technological environment, it sets creativity in motion, within the frame of indeterminacy, building new ideas, new forms, and new experience from the bottom up, with the artist relinquishing total control while fully immersed in the evolutive process. The viewer is complicit in this, interactively adding to the propositional force that the artwork carries. It is seduction in semantic space: Barthe’s juissance all over again.10 And it is a noetic enticement, an invitation to share in the consciousness of a new millennium, the triumphant seduction of technology by art, not the seduction of the artist by technology.”

Roy Ascott, Turning on Technology, (1997) is an online semantic interpretation of The Syncretic Sense Roy Ascott Exhibition taking place at Plymouth Art Centre from the 4 April to the 24 May 2009. aggregates archived content related to Ascott’s work allowing viewers to collaboratively create and manage tags that annotate and categorise this content. Feeding of web 2.0 sites such as Flickr and YouTube creates a dynamic evolving folksonomy* of Ascott’s work.
*(also known as collaborative tagging, social classification, social indexing, and social tagging).

Syncretica is also accessible from the gallery space through an interactive table. Visitors can navigate the online content using the synctretica planchette.


As the folksonomy develops in its Internet-mediated environment, the semantic interpretation will grow and create links between content, people and tags. Part of the appeal of using a folksonomy is its inherent subversiveness that generates collective meanings and conceptual relationships. By following the trails and shadows of these links it is possible to move from one manifestation of an idea to another, ultimately providing the means for discovery, recombination, and creation of new ideas through a syncretic reconciliation or fusion of differing semantic systems of beliefs.

Opening night photos: