[ISEA2020] Panel: Lina Dib, Nina Czegledy, Navid Navab, Suzanne Kite & Jonathan Sterne — Sensory Cosmologies Group

Panel Statement

A lead group of artists and scholars initiate the Sensory Cosmologies group to discuss various strategies they have synthesized over the years towards engaging the senses to tackle both specific and “wicked” problems none-reductively. This panel will engage topics as pervasive as decolonization of space and time, research-creation at the intersection of art and science, comprehension of complexity, principles of undivided wholeness, and ethico-aesthetic paradigms for integration of non-western perspectives in cultural production of the new. Our guest sensory cosmonauts will discuss whether the difference between living and nonliving is a matter of degree with no beginning and no end: Sentience and liveliness as a degree-of-flux, propelled by complexity, expanding and contracting pre-spatial margins of indeterminacy which de-linearize rationality on different orders, magnitudes, and scales. From quantum indeterminacy, to fractal bifurcation, to post-human creativity within playful cosmologies, Sensory Cosmologies event will attempt to breathe chaos into order.

  • Navid Navab (IR/CA) is a media alchemist, interdisciplinary composer, and tabletop cosmologist. Interested in the poetics of schizophonia, gesture, and embodiment, his work investigates the transmutation of matter and the enrichment of its performative qualities. Navid uses gestures, rhythms and events from everyday life as a basis for real­time compositions, resulting in augmented acoustical­ poetry and painterly light that enchant improvisational and pedestrian movements. Navab has led large scale interdisciplinary research projects at IRCAM Paris, CRIMMT McGill Montreal, Computer Aided Medical Procedures Group TUM Munich, Milieux and Hexagram networks at Concordia Montreal, and CIID Copenhagen. Navid currently co-directs the Topological Media Lab, where he leverages phenomenological studies to inform the creation of computationally-enchanted environments. TML projects serve as investigations in the construction of fresh modes of cultural knowledge and the critical studies of media arts and techno-science, bringing together practices of speculative inquiry, scientific investigation and artistic research-creation practices. Navab’s works, which which take on the form of responsive architecture, site specific interventions, interactive scenographies, kinetic sculptures, and multimodal performances, have been presented at diverse venues such as: Ars Electronica, Contemporary Arts Museum of Zagreb, Nemo Biennale Paris, Japan Society NY, Kapelica Gallery Slovenia, Canadian Center for Architecture, HKW Berlin, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Digital Arts Biennial Montreal, Musiikin Aika Finland, SONICA Scotland, Eufonic Spain, and milanOltre Festival Italy. STATEMENT: I maintain the view that computation is foremost a material process, non-linear, largely indeterminate, vibrant with life, and irreducible to deterministic models. Coming from this stance, my artistic process aims to preserve the richness of uncanny material-computational processes while leveraging them compositionally. The act of composing computational media could entail the orchestration of event dynamics to quasi-deterministically enact degrees of instability and to enchant the stuff-of-the-medium. This process starts of with an ethico-aesthetical search for the excitable mysteries of matter (material-energy-affective processes), and leads to a careful orchestration of sensuous moments of knowing with others, humans or none. navidnavab.com
  • Jonathan Sterne teaches in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He is author of MP3: The Meaning of a Format (Duke 2012), The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction (Duke, 2003); and numerous articles on media, technologies and the politics of culture. He is also editor of The Sound Studies Reader (Routledge, 2012) and co-editor of The Participatory Condition in the Digital Age (Minnesota, 2016). His next book is Diminished Faculties: A Political Phenomenology of Impairment (Duke, 2021), and with co-author Mara Mills, he is writing Tuning Time: Histories of Sound and Speed. He is also beginning a project on artificial intelligence and culture. Visit his website at http://sterneworks.org. He also makes sound and music.
  • Lina Dib was born in Montreal, Canada, and currently lives and works in Houston, TX, USA. Dib is a multidisciplinary artist and anthropologist. Her installations and compositions range from the experimental to the ethnographic and investigate socio-technical and ecological change. Dib is an affiliate artist at the Topological Media Lab at Concordia University in Montreal and teaches at Rice University in the Program in Writing and Communication and the Center for Environmental Studies. Her work has been supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Canada’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council, the Union of Concerned Scientists, AMIDA’s European training program, and the City of Houston among others. Recent exhibitions include Yerba Buena Gardens San Francisco, Day For Night, Galveston Arts Center, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Discovery Green, Governor’s Island NY, the Whitney Biennial 2017, and Johnson Space Center NASA.
  • Suzanne Kite aka Kite is an Oglála Lakȟóta performance artist, visual artist, and composer raised in Southern California, with a BFA from CalArts in music composition, an MFA from Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School, and is a PhD candidate at Concordia University. Kite’s scholarship and practice highlights contemporary Lakota epistemologies through research-creation, computational media, and performance. Recently, Kite has been developing a body interface for movement performances, carbon fibre sculptures, immersive video and sound installations, as well as co-running the experimental electronic imprint, Unheard Records. For the inaugural 2019 Toronto Art Biennial, Kite, with Althea Thauberger, produced an installation, Call to Arms, which features audio and video recordings of their rehearsals with Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) York, which also consisted of a live performance with the conch shell sextet, who played the four musical scores composed by Kite. Kite has also published extensively in several journals and magazines, including in The Journal of Design and Science (MIT Press), where the award winning article, “Making Kin with Machines,” co-authored with Jason Lewis, Noelani Arista, and Archer Pechawis, was featured. Currently, she is a 2019 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar. kitekitekitekite.com
  • Nina Czegledy (Hungary/Canada) is an independent media artist, curator, and researcher with international and national academic affiliations is based in Toronto, Canada. She collaborates on interdisciplinary projects internationally.