Living in the Pluriverse: Animation Philosophy, VR, and Experiments in Cosmotechnics.
Deborah Levitt, The New School and Hyphen-Labs, with a response from Joel McKim, Birkbeck, University of London.
Deborah Levitt, The New School
Understanding lives as media forms and media as life forms opens a way to address the most pressing of our contemporary challenges, in particular how to enable pluralism and promote ecological regeneration in the milieu of planetary computing. Deborah counterposes “the world” as it served as a fundamental reference point for a tendency in film theory, often grounding claims of representational fidelity and ethical vocation, to the many worlds rendered in the pluriverse of animation. If for the former life functioned as an ontological problematic—what is life? what is death?—the latter compels us to think life in relation to world. Or, more precisely, lives in relation to worlds. In this view, life and world are co-emergent in each case, informed by the technical, material, and ethical procedures that constitute their milieux. The multiple ontologies of animated worlds enable us to imagine and experience vitality and liveliness as different types of qualities differently distributed across a world’s elements: figures, grounds, scales, rhythms, etc. Drawing on these animatic features, Deborah describes how emerging media allow us to use world making to model various cosmotechnical life-worlds, and pose the question of how we might put these to work to imagine ecologically and socially diverse and sustainable futures.
Deborah Levitt, is an Assistant Professor of Culture & Media Studies at The New School. Deborah is the author of The Animatic Apparatus: Animation, Vitality, and The Futures of the Image (Zero Books, 2018).
Hyphen-Labs will discuss their international award-winning immersive experience and interaction design work. Hyphen-Labs is an international collective working at the intersection of technology, art, science, and the future. Through their global vision and multi-disciplinary backgrounds they are driven to create engaging ways to explore planetary-centred design. In the process they challenge conventions and stimulate conversations, placing collective needs and experiences at the centre of evolving narratives. Their award-winning work NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism (NSAF) has been shown at Sundance Film Fest, SXSW, Tribeca Film Fest (Jury Honorable Mention), Gray Area Art & Technology Festival, Primer Speculative Futures Conference, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Stony Island Arts Bank & Rebuild Foundation, New Inc: Versions Festival, Refinery 29's 29 Rooms.
Introduced by Helen Pritchard, chaired by Rachel Falconer.
Part of Volumetric Ecologies: Hosted by ICE, Computational Arts at Goldsmiths, and in partnership with the Vasari Research Centre for Art and Technology at Birkbeck, University of London. Organised by Helen Pritchard, Rachel Falconer and Joel McKim.
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