The Syncretic Sense was the first UK retrospective exhibition of the pioneering cybernetic artist Roy Ascott, curated in collaboration with Paula Orrell from Plymouth Art Centre.

The exhibition explored the influences and rhetoric of Roy Ascott’s work, mapping the impact, history and development of technology and looking to the future of Web2 and Second life. was an online semantic interpretation of The Syncretic Sense – Roy Ascott Exhibition. aggregated 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 created a dynamic evolving folksonomy* of Ascott’s work. *(also known as collaborative tagging, social classification, social indexing, and social tagging). was also accessible from the gallery space through an interactive table. Visitors could navigate the online content using the syncretica planchette. As the folksonomy developed 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.

 Roy Ascott with Paula Orrell, Plymouth Art Centre with the i-DAT Collective

Role: Curator / Artist


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