What Are the Different Types of Interactive Artists?

Karize Uy

There are many different types of interactive artists, but there is one common factor that binds them: their artworks are audience-conscious. One such interactive artist is a performance artist who becomes the art itself. Many performance artists would dress up or put objects onto themselves and take to the streets to obtain the participation of ordinary passersby. One can think of the mimes as a performance artist, who would interact with different people by imitating them, annoying them, or making them laugh. Some art exhibits would even hire performance artists to become moving art installations.

Interactive artists may use a variety of paints to create their works of art.
Interactive artists may use a variety of paints to create their works of art.

Interactive artists also come in the form of installation artists. These artists usually put together some sort of constructions, installations, or sculptures that can elicit some response from the audience. Unlike paintings that cannot be touched by the viewer, many installation artists encourage people to touch their artwork, and even to rearrange the installation’s shape if the material permits. Sometimes, city or state governments even commission installation artists to create an installation that they can erect on a park, or as a landmark on the street.

Graffiti artists often encourage others to add to their work.
Graffiti artists often encourage others to add to their work.

Street artists are also a popular type of interactive artists, and they also come in different sub-types: graffiti, pavement, and even garbage artists. Graffiti artists typically use spray paint bottles to draw their artwork on wide spaces of walls for all the public to see, and ultimately, tempt other people to add their own artwork on the wall. Pavement artists, on the other hand, use chalk and the street as their medium, using optical illusions to create realistic, but illogical, art. Many pavement artists have drawn lifelike images of waterfalls, cliffs, and deep abysses on asphalt roads, testing whether people would be scared enough to walk on it.

One type of interactive artist who relies on technology is the web artist. Many applications need some response from their users, such as clicking the mouse, typing in a word, or hitting the “enter” button. Some more tech-savvy web artists somehow become installation artists by setting up touch screens for their audience to tap and run their fingers through. Additional sensors can even be attached, changing the displayed artwork when it senses a passerby or a certain sound.

On certain occasions, even writers can become interactive artists. There are several published books, especially under the children’s category, wherein writers write different plots and endings, and below certain pages, readers will be asked what page they want to turn to. In this way, the writer lets the reader decide how his story will go, and another reader will have an entirely different story out of the same book.

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