Interactive art by contemporary artists

interactive art and artists: Carsten Höller
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Carsten Höller

The stumuli offered by the amusement park are again a focus of Höller's well-known slide installations.

Although he has been developing the format for several years, the artist's most ambitious slide project to date was installed in the Tate Modern in 2006.

Consisting of several intertwined chutes and a giant, 55.5 metre slide with a stomach-churning drop, the installation was, predictably, hugely popular.

As Höller himself has stated, "When people are on their way down a slide, they often shout for pure joy .... I'm interested in the aspect of letting go. Once you let go, you travel without motivation to some specific place. It's a very special state of mind. Maybe "happiness" (or "pleasure") isn't the right word, but it has to do with relief or even freedom."

Yet the slides also raise other concerns for the artist. "A slide is a sculptural work with a pragmatic aspect. It can be used as a means of transportation - one that is effective, environmentally sound, and elicits happiness".

Höller's serious contention that such works could serve a useful purpose in our day to day lives can be seen as a direct challenge to the utilitarianism which surpresses alternative modes of thought.


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