Aesthetic Objectivity: Department of Visual Cultures Public Programme Spring 2014
In this talk, Honor will discuss how media artists have created projects which presciently framed and contextualised the issues and technologies which have collided to enable today's drone-wars.
Honor Harger is a curator, erstwhile artist and an occasional writer, interested in the cultural impact of scientific ideas and how digital technology is shaping society. Originally from New Zealand, Honor is now based in Brighton and is Artistic Director of Lighthouse (http://www.lighthouse.org.uk), a digital culture agency that makes exhibitions, films, conferences and education programmes, that show how important artists and filmmakers are in a changing media landscape.
She also runs the blog Particle Decelerator (http://decelerator.blogspot.com), which mainly focuses on the collision between the quantum and the cosmological. She used to do a bit more art than she does now, produced under the name r a d i o q u a l i a. One of their main projects was Radio Astronomy, a radio station broadcasting sonified radiation from space on air and online. Honor has spoken at LIFT in Geneva, the TED Salon in London, the European Space Agency, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, California Institute of the Arts and the American Film Institute. She is @honorharger on Twitter.
The computational turn, or what might be called the algorithmic paradigm of calculation and modelling, has produced a new ethics that emerges out of bandwidth and code. This database-ethics has changed both the spaces in which action occurs and ways it is acted upon.
Increasingly, for instance, our primary access into the spaces of contemporary conflict is through remote sensing technologies and mobile phone uploads. Moreover, for over four decades now, earth observation satellites have captured and transmitted data-streams allowing us to chart the long-term changes occurring within dynamic planetary systems, demonstrating the ruinous effects of deforestation, environmental pollutants, resource extraction, and climate change. And CCTV video surveillance has also turned witnessing by mechanical means into a prevalent and normalised feature of every-day life. The Visual Cultures Public Programme for Spring 2014 aims to shed light on the kinds of spatial, aesthetic, and political transformations being produced by these changes.
The near real-time mediation of all contemporary events needs to be understood and examined not simply as a ‘progressive’ consequence of a technical evolution made possible by enhanced microprocessors, but as inaugurating a radical new form of aesthetic objectivity. As practitioners and theorists engaged in the analysis of contemporary events and the spaces in which they unfold, the evidentiary formats and data that we will need to turn to produce our work must be understood as constitutive of a new ethical regime that has changed the spaces of our analysis and shaped the modes of our intervention and action. How, asks this series, might we modify the aesthetic registers by which such objectivities are produced and activate new means critique and mobilise new modes of resistance?
Dates & times
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