CAROLYN KANE (RYERSON)
Anti-Communication as Fashionable Communications
In a world esteeming technological efficiency and control, glitches and errors are avoided at great cost. When such unintelligible artifacts do appear, they are quickly removed, banished from visual imagery and the domains of official, mediated experience. Granted precision and accuracy in audiovisual media are norms and ideals dating back millennia, there is nonetheless a growing need to understand the popularity of glitch styles; noisy artifacts that seem to say nothing and communicate even less.
Understanding glitch fashions, this paper argues, requires revisionist investigation of visual art and sound histories, conducted through the lens of glitch, noise, and error. Focusing on precursors in the twentieth century avant-garde, I identify proto-glitch strategies in the plastic arts, sound composition, and mechanical and electronic art. The presentation maps a visual and critical history of glitch aesthetics, showing its gradual implementation in the development of twenty-first century style.
Bio: Carolyn L. Kane is the author of Chromatic Algorithms: Synthetic Color, Computer Art, and Aesthetics after Code (University of Chicago Press, 2014), an award-winning book analyzing the role of electronic color in the development of media aesthetics 1960. After completing her Ph.D. at New York University and a Postdoc in aesthetics at Brown University (2015), she joined the Faculty of Communication and Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. Her forthcoming book, High-Tech Trash: Critical Aesthetics in the Innovation Age, analyzes artistic uses of glitch and failure in media art.
MARIE-HÉLÈNE LEBLANC (UQO)
Fabrication d’images – fabrication de récits
Les images de conflits qui s’accumulent sur nos écrans cathodiques font office d’archive, une archive matérielle qui servira pour certains artistes de matériel afin de construire de nouvelles narrativités. Alors que pour d’autres artistes, ce sont les systèmes de production d’images et de l’information (réelle ou fictive) qui influenceront la question de fabrication d’images et de récits propre à la fois aux médias en temps de guerre et au champ de l’art contemporain. De ces pratiques quatre œuvres sont éloquentes et seront analysées : Raw footage(2006)deAernout Mik, How do we know what we know ? (2011) de Emanuel Licha, My Neck Is Thinner Than a Hair: Engines (1996–2004)de Walid Raad et CNN Concatenated (2002) de Omer Fast.
Bio : Depuis 2015, Marie-Hélène Leblanc occupe le poste de direction de la Galerie UQO à l’Université du Québec en Outaouais. Sa pratique commissariale indépendante l’a amené à produire une douzaine de projets présentés dans diverses structures d’exposition, tant au Québec, au Canada qu’en Europe. Elle a occupé les postes de directrice générale du centre d’artistes Espace Virtuel à Chicoutimi (désormais BANG) et de directrice artistique du centre de production DAÏMÕN à Gatineau. Elle est candidate au Doctorat en Études et pratiques des arts à l’Université du Québec à Montréal.
JESSICA THOMPSON (UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO)
Mapping Social Space: Redefining ‘Space’ in the Open City
In the influential text Beyond Locative Media (2006), Marc Tuters and Kazys Varnelis contextualized a growing body of artworks that used location-based technologies to engage audiences in both physical and virtual space. Written between the demise of Net Art and the dawn of the Internet of Things, the text also sought to address criticisms that locative media was structurally insular, conceptually superficial and politically naive.
In the last decade, advancements in mobile technologies have radically transformed everyday experience., and many of technologies developed by artists experimenting with geotagged content, mobile storytelling, and networked interaction are embedded within both our devices and our everyday behaviour. While the ‘media’ of locative media is no longer novel, their impact on our sense of place, home and territory is more pronounced than ever.
This talk will examine how artists are using open data to generate new insights into how we understand ‘place’ and how, by illuminating the hidden dimensions of cities, we can understand more nuanced relationships between the spatial, the personal, and the political.
Bio: Jessica Thompson is a media artist whose practice investigates urban environments through interactive artworks situated at the intersection of sound, performance and mobile technologies. Her current research investigates the ways that sound reveals spatial and social conditions within cities and how these conditions may be articulated through networked performance, gestural interaction and data visualization.
Her work has shown in exhibitions and festivals such as the International Symposium of Electronic Art (San Jose, Dubai, Vancouver), the Conflux Festival(New York), Thinking Metropolis (Copenhagen), (in)visible Cities (Winnipeg), Beyond/In Western New York(Buffalo), New Interfaces in Musical Expression(Oslo), Audible Edifices (Hong Kong), Artists’ Walks (New York) and Locus Sonus (Aix-en-Provence), as well as publications such as Canadian Art, c Magazine, Acoustic Territories (Continuum Books), the Leonardo Music Journal, and numerous art, design and technology blogs. She is an Assistant Professor of Hybrid Practice at the University of Waterloo.
JESSICA LAW (UBC)
Purposeful Immersion: Drawing on the Diagrammatic Act
In his series of drawings titled Narrative Structures (1994-2000), Mark Lombardi delicately maps the hidden multinational connections of powerful individuals, worldwide corporations and government institutions. When asked why he did not generate the intricate diagrams through a computer program, the artist stressed the tactility of materials and his own physical presence on the surface of the paper. In relation to the problem-set of process raised by Lombardi and with reference to Allan Sekula’s insistence on the social practice of purposeful immersion in an era of “grotesque connectedness,” this presentation situates the diagram not only on the surface of the paper, but also within the modes of the series production. My examination of Lombardi’s work seeks to illuminate how the emergence of the diagram serves as a means of cultural mediation between artistic practice and the structures that shape everyday life under the horizon of late capital.
Bio: Jessica Law is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory at the University of British Columbia. Her current research on the diagram within modern and contemporary art examines the historical shift between the Mechanical Age and the Information Age within the twentieth century. Her most recent publication is a co-authored entry on art critic Clement Greenberg for Oxford Annotated Bibliographies (2016). Jessica also has an essay titled “Laying it Bare: Notes on Marcel Duchamp’s Problems and Demonstrations” under review for the forthcoming anthology Beyond Given Knowledge: Investigation, Quest and Exploration in Modernism and the Avant-Gardes published by De Gruyter Press. Prior to her studies at UBC, Jessica was the Associate Curator at the Kennedy Museum of Art at Ohio University.
RYAN STEC (CARLETON)
Mapping for action: counter mapping considerations of cyclical temporality for city space.
Counter mapping is made up of a wide range of tactics and approaches, and can be loosely defined as those mapping activities which challenge dominant cartographic representations of the world. Counter mapping is practiced by experts, activists, researchers, indigenous peoples, architects, artists and concerned citizens; much of its history revolves around challenging what is (or what is not) included on a specific cartographic map, and it is driven by the understanding that the map is a force that shapes or re-shapes the land it represents. Central to the production and experience of contemporary maps are Geographic Information Systems (GIS) which offer a complex array of datasets pinned to location-based information. Although at times counter mapping strategies attempt to challenge cartography at its foundation, most counter mapping now works within the frame of a GIS, and a GIS is structured on a cartographic representation of the world, thus limiting what can be accounted for and contested within the framework of the system. Of particular concern for my research is mapping the temporal and informal aspects of spaces in the city, from the rhythm of circulation and the cycle of the day to the weather of the seasons and the force of human habit, to understand how publicness is a dimension of city space which can be created and dissolved at a variety of scales (rather than being a given material space). For this purpose, I am developing a counter mapping strategy that addresses the privileged emphasis on location in GIS, attempting to re-balance representation of both temporal and material dimensions of city space. The Action Information System will explore the interactive and fluid capabilities of a gaming engine to representation the dynamic and cyclical temporal qualities of our shared city spaces. This presentation will explore the counter mapping critique inherent in the Action Information System and discuss the preliminary approach for its design.
Bio: Ryan Stec is an artist, educator, producer and designer working in both research and production. Interested in the cross sections of technology, creativity and the built environment, his most recent work is focused on interventions that redefine how we experience the city around us. He has been heavily involved in the artist-run culture of Ottawa since 1998 and has been the Artistic Director of Artengine, a center for art, design and research here in the capital, since 2005. He is currently a PhD Candidate in Architecture at Carleton University, where his research is focused on the political potential of temporary art and design interventions into public space.
JAKUB ZDEBIK (UOTTAWA)
Map-Image and Surveillance: Farocki, Deleuze and Posthuman Vision
The Map-Image is a critical device that can be extrapolated from the writings of Gilles Deleuze who relies on cartographic images in order to structure concepts, particularly in art and aesthetics. In this presentation, I want to explore three cartographic “allegories”—by Massumi, Anders and McLuhan—that illustrate a digital aesthetic. Galloway writes about the difficulty of creating a cartographic image of the totality of data and information, suggesting instead that one should rely on allegories of mapping. Following Galloway’s lead, I explore the instances the three aforementioned thinkers provided cartographic images that convey concepts about digital aesthetics—embeddedness, network control, obsolescence of agency—that could be applied to Deleuze’s own thinking about the society of control which in turn is illustrated by Harun Farocki’s Eye/Machine Trilogy.
Bio: Jakub Zdebik is an assistant professor of art history and theory at the visual arts department at the University of Ottawa. His field of research is Deleuze and aesthetics. He is the author of Deleuze and the Diagram: Aesthetic Threads in Visual Organization. And he is the organizer of the workshop Art as Information: Image as Algorithm, Data and Diagram.