Chair Persons: Jamie Allen & Tom Schofield
Presenters: Martijn Stevens, Alejandro Schianchi, Ceci Moss, Shintaro Miyazaki & Thomas Zummer
Along with invited panelists, the selected participants will be welcomed to discuss their ideas, artworks, media and other forms of practice-infused research in response to the following ideas:
“The early human artists who tapped into this expressive reservoir for their cave paintings, body tattoos, and ritual ceremonies, far from introducing artistry into the world were simply adding one more voice to an ongoing material chorus.” _Manuel DeLanda
Our digital, networked age hides from us in plain sight the concrete, historical and affective correspondences between matter, information and perception. The practice and culture of art-and-technology make it easy to forget the material underpinnings and implications of artistic activity and production. Information systems, media and the electronic arts in particular require the support of a bewildering nexus of power and infrastructure. This fact “alerts us to the attenuated indexical trace of an objective real that haunts the apparently self-referential world of pure simulacra.” The ubiquitous temporal and spatial freedoms promised to us by cyber-theorists and reified in example by artists, are a no-show, or as Kittler emphatically put it, “There is No Software”. Questions & topic areas:
- What frameworks for conceptualizing “the digital” best emphasize its tangible appeal and consequence, as well as its ecological and systemic repercussions?
- How do we best challenge the abstract rhetorics of cyber-theory and virtuality of later-day 20th-Century new media and interactive art discourse?
- What is the material of “raw data,” and what are its canonical or iconic forms?
- How can we work as artists with information/ signals as material and understand the interpretive and representative extrapolations necessarily being made?
- How does data differ from other materials which have a more obvious physical material forms?
- What powers have we delegated signals and data as things-in-themselves?
- Distinctions between the “natural” and “man-made” as we regard technologies as complex ecologies of matter.
- Distinctions between what is within and without our understanding, control or composition (industrial or economic complexes, ecologies).
- Historical, cultural and contemporary artistic practice relations between “technology”, “new media”, “electronic art” and “mainstream contemporary art”.
- Discourses on aesthetics as to the purpose and function of art as prescient, decorative, memetic, interrogative, challenging and defiant.
- Educational, epistemological differences in the humanities, creative arts practices, and engineering and the sciences.
- Jamie Allen makes things with his head and hands. These things most often involve peoples’ relationships to creativity, technology and resources. He tries to give people new, subversive and fun ways to interact with these aspects of life and experience. Jamie is an artist works at the intersection of art and technology, is an artist, designer and a technologist, as well as a teacher, researcher and experimenter. Jamie’s interests are in the ways people relate to electronic media and digital information in their diverse forms, beginning with their transduction into and from energy, as a material resource. In a technological culture, art-and-technology practice may suggest new insight into how we shape our tools, and how our tools shape us. Recent work includes a public multimedia tour From Here On Out (fromhereonout.org, commissioned by the Wunderbar Festival), CURRENT a permanent interactive lighting installation, and the large-scale media facade work Refractive Index (refractiveindex.cc) supported by Arts Council England and being completed for the London 2012 cultural programme. jamieallen.com
- Tom Schofield is an artist who works with technology and lives in Newcastle, UK. He has lived and worked in Japan, France and Nepal. He is currently writing his Ph.D in Culture Lab – part of Newcastle University. ncl.ac.uk/culturelab