[ISEA2011] Panel: Janis Jef­feries (moderator) – SENSORIUM: Interdisciplinary Practices of Embodiment and Technology

Panel Statement

Chair Per­son: Janis Jef­feries
Pre­sen­ters: Ghis­laine Bod­ding­ton, Maria Chatzichristodoulou (aka Maria X) & Anna Du­mitriu

For this panel we pro­pose to dis­cuss a range of in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary prac­tices of em­bod­i­ment and tech­nol­ogy.

 “Today [the body] and its vis­ceral sur­round­ings are stud­ded with ear­phones, zoom­ing in psy­chophar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, ex­tended with pros­the­ses, daz­zled by odor­less tastes and taste­less odors, trans­ported by new media, and buzzing with ideas”.
_C. A. Jones, ed., Sen­so­rium: Em­bod­ied Ex­pe­ri­ence, Tech­nol­ogy, and Con­tem­po­rary Art (Cam­bridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006).

Fol­low­ing Jones’s dis­cus­sion we will ex­plore the ways in which prac­ti­tion­ers and writ­ers ad­dress the phys­i­cal and af­fec­tive as­pects of our in­creas­ing en­gage­ment with tech­nol­ogy, whether through per­for­mance or through en­gage­ment with ro­bots and avatars. What types of sen­so­r­ial ex­pe­ri­ences and in­ti­ma­cies can be ex­plored in which vir­tual and phys­i­cal spaces are in­creas­ingly blurred? Can play, be a part in re­vi­tal­iz­ing our sen­so­r­ial sys­tem? Can these prac­tices offer a time and a space for re­flec­tion on em­bod­ied tech­no­log­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ences? The panel aims to ex­plore per­for­mance prac­tices and con­tem­po­rary cul­tural dis­courses that study in­ti­mate en­coun­ters, ad­dress­ing is­sues around bod­ies of data and flesh, play in en­counter with ro­bots, avatars and phys­i­cal/vir­tual pres­ences- de­sire as em­bod­ied con­di­tion and dis­em­bod­ied fan­tasy, the human and posthu­man self.

  • Janis Jef­feries is an artist, writer and cu­ra­tor, Pro­fes­sor of Vi­sual Arts at the De­part­ment of Com­put­ing, Gold­smiths, Uni­ver­sity of Lon­don, UK, Di­rec­tor of the Con­stance Howard Re­source and Re­search Cen­tre in Tex­tiles and Artis­tic Di­rec­tor of Gold­smiths Dig­i­tal Stu­dios. In the last five years she has been work­ing on tech­no­log­i­cally based arts, in­clud­ing Woven Sound (with Dr. Tim Black­well) and has been a prin­ci­pal in­ves­ti­ga­tor on pro­jects in­volv­ing new hap­tics tech­nolo­gies (with the goal of bring­ing the sense of touch to the in­ter­face be­tween peo­ple and ma­chines) and gen­er­a­tive soft­ware sys­tems for cre­at­ing and in­ter­pret­ing cul­tural arte­facts, mu­se­ums and the ex­ter­nal en­vi­ron­ment. She is an as­so­ci­ate re­searcher with Hexa­gram (In­sti­tute of Media, Arts and Tech­nolo­gies, Mon­treal, Canada) on two pro­jects, elec­tronic tex­tiles and new forms of media com­mu­ni­ca­tion in cloth. She cur­rently holds a Crafts Coun­cil Spark Plug cu­rat­ing award for a pro­ject that seeks to ex­am­ine the cre­ative and dy­namic re­la­tion­ship be­tween math­e­mat­ics, math­e­mat­i­cal forms and craft through an ex­plo­ration of a par­tic­u­lar maths and tex­tile archive, called Com­mon Threads. Key pub­li­ca­tions in­clude, “Laboured Cloth: Trans­la­tions of Hy­brid­ity in Con­tem­po­rary Art”, in The Ob­ject of Labor: Art, Cloth, and Cul­tural Pro­duc­tion, edited by Joan Liv­ingston and John Ploof , and pub­lished by The Art School of the Art In­sti­tute of Chicago/MIT Press in 2007, and “Con­tem­po­rary Tex­tiles: the Art Fab­ric” in Con­tem­po­rary Tex­tiles: The Fab­ric of Fine Art, Black Dog pub­lish­ing, 2008. Her essay, “Lov­ing At­ten­tion: An out­burst of Craft in Con­tem­po­rary Art” will be part of the forth­com­ing an­thol­ogy Extra/or­di­nary: Craft Cul­ture and Con­tem­po­rary Art (forth­com­ing, Duke Uni­ver­sity Press and edited by Dr. Maria Elena Buszek). Re­cent pub­li­ca­tions in 2010 in­clude ‘The Artist as Re­searcher in a Com­puter Me­di­ated Cul­ture’, in Art Prac­tices in a Dig­i­tal Cul­ture, eds. Gar­diner and Gere, Ashs­gate Pub­lish­ing. She is co-ed­i­tor of the vol­ume In­ter­faces of Per­for­mance (Ash­gate, 2009).