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Kac, Eduardo  

Susan Snodgrass

(b Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1962).

Chicago-based multimedia artist, poet, and theorist. Kac’s pioneering works lie at the intersection of telecommunications and biotechnology, forging new, hybrid forms that merge biological processes and new media. Early works include body-based performances, holopoetry (Kac’s invented form of visual poems using holography; see Hologram), robotics, and innovative online projects at the Web’s infancy.

Kac’s interest in telecommunications, computers, and robotics led to experimental projects that integrated these various systems under the rubric of what the artist has termed “telepresence art” (2005; see Kac 2005, 127; see also Computer art). In 1989, he created the wireless robot Ornitorrinco (platypus in Portuguese), in collaboration with Ed Bennett, used in a nearly decade-long series of works that explored communication between humans and robots. A-positive (1997), in which a human and a robot engage in a physical exchange via an intravenous needle, probes the ethical implications of the human–machine interface. Working across disciplines, the artist defined (and redefined) the arena of electronic space to include “dialogical” means of interactivity and interspecies communication, as in ...