[ISEA2011] Panel: Joseph De­Lappe (moderator) – If You See Something Say Something: Art, War, Surveillance and the Sustainability of Urgency in the Post 9/11 Era

Panel Statement

Chair Per­son: Joseph De­Lappe
Dis­cus­sant:  Rita Raley                                                                                                                                Pre­sen­ters: Bernadette Buck­ley, Wafaa Bilal & Hasan Elahi

This panel will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for the ex­am­i­na­tion of po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated, media based prac­tices as we move into the sec­ond decade after the 9/11 at­tacks and the re­sult­ing War on Ter­ror. The in­di­vid­u­als in­volved in this panel have been in­stru­men­tal in defin­ing the use and dis­sem­i­na­tion of tac­ti­cal media prac­tices that have res­onated widely in the cul­tural sphere by con­fronting is­sues of war, mem­ory, ter­ror­ism and sur­veil­lance. The panel pro­vides a cru­cial and timely con­text for these cre­ative prac­ti­tion­ers and noted schol­ars to dis­cuss the ef­fi­cacy of such on­go­ing ef­forts of en­gage­ment in works that seek to in­ter­vene in our con­tem­po­rary po­lit­i­cal con­text. This will be an op­por­tu­nity for crit­i­cal dis­course by these pan­elists and the panel at­ten­dees to con­sider the evo­lu­tion and adap­ta­tion of these ideas in light of the chal­lenges to sus­tain­ing a level of ur­gency in such po­lit­i­cally ac­tivist cre­ative prac­tice – as con­flict, ter­ror and fear have come to typ­ify the sta­tus quo.

  • Joseph De­Lappe is a Pro­fes­sor of the De­part­ment of Art at the Uni­ver­sity of Nevada, USA, where he di­rects the Dig­i­tal Media pro­gram. Work­ing with elec­tronic and new media since 1983, his work in on­line gam­ing per­for­mance and electro­mechan­i­cal in­stal­la­tion have been shown through­out the United States and abroad – in­clud­ing ex­hi­bi­tions and per­for­mances in Aus­tralia, the United King­dom, China, Ger­many, Spain, Bel­gium, the Nether­lands and Canada. In 2006 he began the pro­ject dead-in-iraq, to type con­sec­u­tively, all names of Amer­ica’s mil­i­tary ca­su­al­ties from the war in Iraq into the Amer­ica’s Army first per­son shooter on­line re­cruit­ing game. He also di­rects the iraqimemorial.org pro­ject, an on­go­ing web based ex­hi­bi­tion and open call for pro­posed memo­ri­als to the many thou­sand of civil­ian ca­su­al­ties from the war in Iraq.  He has lec­tured through­out the world re­gard­ing his work, in­clud­ing most re­cently at the Mu­seum of Mod­ern Art in New York City. He has been in­ter­viewed on CNN, NPR, CBC, the Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion and on The Rachel Mad­dow Show on Air Amer­ica Radio. His works have been fea­tured in the New York Times, The Aus­tralian Morn­ing Her­ald, Artweek, Art in Amer­i­can and in the 2010 book from Rout­ledge en­ti­tled Joy­stick Sol­diers: The Pol­i­tics of Play in Mil­i­tary Video Game.
  • Rita Raley is As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor of Eng­lish, with cour­tesy ap­point­ments in Film and Media Stud­ies, Com­par­a­tive Lit­er­a­ture, and Global Stud­ies, at Uni­ver­sity Cal­i­for­nia, Santa Bar­bara, USA. Her pri­mary re­search in­ter­ests lie at the in­ter­sec­tion of dig­i­tal media and hu­man­ist in­quiry, with a par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis on cul­tural cri­tique, artis­tic prac­tices, and lan­guage (code­work, ma­chine trans­la­tion, elec­tronic lit­er­a­ture, and elec­tronic Eng­lish). Her book, Tac­ti­cal Media, a study of new media art in re­la­tion to ne­olib­eral glob­al­iza­tion, has been pub­lished by the Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota Press in its Elec­tronic Me­di­a­tions se­ries.  Her most re­cent pub­li­ca­tions in­clude the co-edited Elec­tronic Lit­er­a­ture Col­lec­tion, Vol­ume 2, as well as ar­ti­cles on po­etic and nar­ra­to­log­i­cal uses of mo­bile and loca­tive media and text-based media arts in­stal­la­tions. In ad­di­tion to on­go­ing re­search on dig­i­tal po­et­ics and in­ter­ven­tion­ist media arts prac­tices, she con­tin­ues work on Global Eng­lish and the Acad­emy, ex­cerpts of which have been pub­lished in The Yale Jour­nal of Crit­i­cism and Di­as­pora. In the Eng­lish de­part­ment at UCSB, she cur­rently di­rects the Tran­scrip­tions Cen­ter (orig­i­nal web­site) and co-di­rects the Lit­er­a­ture and Cul­ture of In­for­ma­tion Spe­cial­iza­tion. She has had fel­low­ship ap­point­ments at the Na­tional Hu­man­i­ties Cen­ter and UCLA, as part of the Mel­lon-funded pro­ject on the Dig­i­tal Hu­man­i­ties, and has taught at Rice and the Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota.