DAC 09 / after media: embodiment and context

DAC09: Themes and presenters

Embodiment and performativity

The broader rubric for this theme touches on interaction design as well as the practices of media artists who develop dynamic and/or embodied processes for interactive artworks. The theme points to concerns about computation carrying with it values that possibly work against the affective and embodied dimensions of digital media. It also speaks to how people in the different worlds of digital media - e.g. art, computation, design - can talk across their differences. We are particularly interested in exploring possibilities for forms of embodiment that challenge traditional representational aesthetics of the figure. We are also interested in shared agency within the performativity of interaction, such that user and system co-construct interactions.

Theme Leaders:
Nell Tenhaaf, Associate Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts / Associate Professor, Department of Visual Arts York University tenhaaf@yorku.ca
Melanie Baljko, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, York University, mb@cs.yorku.ca

Papers and presenters in “Embodiment and performativity”

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After mobile media

After Mobile Media invites artists, software developers, inventors and theorists to share their ideas on future mobile media. Which new forms of presence and communicational flows are mobile media creating? How do we proceed from here? Is qualitative change possible and if so, what is required to enable it ? Bold projects that explore aesthetics, ecologies, technologies, geo-politics and practices of mobile media and all forms of wireless technologies on all scales are welcome. In addition to exciting experiments and artworks on alternative mobile and networked media, we seek examples of local case studies, theoretical work on mobility and innovative evaluation strategies.

Theme Leaders:
Kim Sawchuk, Associate Professor Department of Communication Studies, Concordia University.
co-founder and editor of wi: journal of mobile media.
Current director of Mobile Media Lab, Montreal.
Marc Böhlen. Associate Professor, Media Study, SUNY Buffalo. Director: MediaRobotics Lab marcbohlen@acm.org.

Papers and presenters in “After mobile media”

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Software/ platform studies

Software is the engine that drives cyberculture, new media, and digital art - a layer of control and communication that permeates contemporary culture. Platforms are the hardware and software relationships that enable and constrain software expressions. To investigate the logics of visualization, simulation, and representation in contemporary digital arts and culture is to engage in Software Studies and Platform Studies. The DAC09 Software and Platform Studies Theme invites submissions that explore digital art and culture through source codes, platform architectures, or similar engagements. Papers and panels exploring the emerging paradigms of critical code studies and the interpretation of algorithms are particularly encouraged.

Theme Leaders:
Jeremy Douglass, PhD. Researcher in Software Studies at UCSD.
Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Assistant Professor, Computer Science Department, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Papers and presenters in “Software/ platform studies”

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Environment/ sustainability/ climate change

Today, humanity faces an urgent climate crisis. What impacts have the ubiquity of computers and computational representations of the environment had on public and scientific understandings in light of this crisis? As the Earth becomes mapped, tagged and digitized, what new relationships are emerging between climate, science and society? This theme invites the works of artists, researchers and scholars involved in decoding the complex relationships between people, nature and technology and in shaping social change in the age of climate crisis. Areas of interest include but are not limited to: ubiquitous, locative and mobile technology, sustainability, social entrepreneurship, scientific intervention and creative innovations.

Theme Leader:
Andrea Polli
Director, Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media (IFDM)
UNM Center for the Arts

Papers and presenters in “Environment/ sustainability/ climate change”

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Interdisciplinary pedagogy

Cross-disciplinary tactics are deeply embedded in contemporary culture, yet interdisciplinary pedagogy remains a problematic issue. While key disciplines are brought together in digital arts education, a gap exists between theory and cross-disciplinary practice, between formal education scenarios at academic institutions and the application of rapidly developing media technologies. Critical investigation focused on interdisciplinary pedagogy is a fundamental undertaking for the clarification of the existing situation and strategy development for the future. The panel is designed for academics and digital artists who wish to explore discourses, methodologies and philosophies associated with interdisciplinary approaches as they are applied to pedagogy. There are questions to be explored such as: What are some of the classes being taught in digital culture programs and what would we like to see? How do we understand the spectrum of different kinds of new media (or digital) art today? The panel provides a platform for interdisciplinary pedagogy including investigations through reference to collaborative work between artists and scientists and critical writing on arts/science projects and research. The primary aim of the educational panel is to address the disparity of various tendencies, showcase interdisciplinary and hybrid solutions and provoke a sustainable dialogue on contemporary educational issues between the practitioners in this field.

Theme Leaders:
Cynthia Beth Rubin: cbr@cbrubin.net
Nina Czegledy: czegledy@interlog.com

Papers and presenters in “Interdisciplinary pedagogy”

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Cognition and creativity

Digital arts and culture can engage the rich world of human imagination and social construction. This theme explores digital art, cultural production, and theory focused on creating new ideas, worlds, and visions. Cognition no longer refers to only "what is inside the head" - it is now seen as contextual, distributed across individuals and artifacts, and embodied. Relevant topics include: artificial intelligence (AI) and the arts, philosophy of mind, game AI, metaphor and analogy, narrative, poetics, neuroscience and the arts, creative systems, supports for human creativity, language and mind, emotion/affect, and related areas exploring relationships between cognitive science, digital culture, and the human condition.

Theme Leader::
Fox Harrell, Assistant Professor, Digital Media
School of Literature, Communication and Culture, Georgia Institute of Technology
Director of the Imagination, Computation and Expression (ICE) Lab/Studio
Member of Graphics, Visualization, and Usability (GVU) Center

Papers and presenters in “Cognition and creativity”

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Sex and sexuality

This theme brings together artists and researchers interested in exploring the interconnections of sexuality, sexual acts and digital media: the ways in which digital media shapes and channels sexual desires and identifications, as well as the kinds of sexual dynamics that become attached to encounters with and though media technologies. Possible directions range from (but are not limited to) the aesthetics of sex art to online cultures of sexuality, porn distribution, sexual politics, and sensuous intimacies with new technologies.

Theme Leaders:
Susanna Paasonen, research fellow
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
Jordan Crandall: actor@jordancrandall.com

Papers and presenters in “Sex and sexuality”

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A Space-Time of Ubiquity and Embeddedness

This theme addresses the question of how material and affective bodies interface with the informational environments of contemporary mixed realities involving ubiquitous, pervasive, or tangible computing as well as implementations of real-time communicational systems. How do we, as artist-engineers, software developers, interaction designers, and critical theorists articulate, analyze, and evaluate the spatial and temporal 'interlacings,' 'augmentations,' and 'hybridizations' at stake in the mixed realities of specific digital art projects? When ubiquity tends towards 'calmly' intelligent embeddedness in the various folds and events of the lifeworld, does its effect remain irrevocably prior to or beyond embodied human awareness and affect? Or does calm embeddedness rather solicit more intense forms of temporalization, affective and sensate involvement, perceptual recognition, and conceptual explicitation?

Theme leaders
Ulrik Ekman, Assistant Professor, Department for Cultural Studies and the Arts University of Copenhagen. ekman@hum.ku.dk
Mark Hansen, Professor in the Program in Literature and in Information Science+Information Studies at Duke University. mh139@duke.edu

Papers and presenters in “A Space-Time of Ubiquity and Embeddedness”

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The Present and Future of Humanist Inquiry in the Digital Field

What contributions may literary, poetic, and aesthetic idioms of humanist inquiry -- traditionally associated with problems of lyrical expression, narrativity, linguistic subjectivity, and authorial and readerly agencies -- continue to offer to the analysis of medial practices and systems in the era of mobile, distributed, and social media? The crux of this question, we propose, lies in the specifically historical purchase of humanist method: its ability to (re)situate new symbolic practices in complex and nuanced relation to prior traditions and atavisms of expressive language and action -- in contrast to the reductively progressivist, de-historicizing impulses of much of contemporary digitalism.

This theme welcomes exemplary close readings (literary-theoretical, formalist, narratological, ludological, etc.) of electronic literature and poetry, single- and multiple-player computer games, social media, and hard and soft medial apparatuses of the digital field. Especially encouraged are such close readings which also make general claims regarding the significance of humanist investigations of digital arts and cultures.

Theme Leaders:
Terry Harpold, Assoc. Professor of English, Film & Media Studies, University of Florida (USA) tharpold@ufl.edu
Lisbeth Klastrup, Assoc. Professor, Innovative Communication Research Group, IT University of Copenhagen (Denmark) klastrup@itu.dk
Susana Tosca, Assoc. Professor, Digital Design & Communication, IT University of Copenhagen (Denmark) tosca@itu.dk

Papers and presenters in “The Present and Future of Humanist Inquiry in the Digital Field”

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DAC09: Digital Arts and Culture 2009 // University of California Irvine
DEC 12(ev.) - 15, 2009 // Staff & CommitteesSponsorsAbout DAC

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