A two-day symposium which examines the changing technologies of intimacy in relation to art's affective sphere. With keynote Nancy Baym (MIT/Microsoft) and Alphonso Lingis (Penn State)
Changes in technology, travel, work and living conditions are transforming the experience of intimacy. Telepresence, instant global communication and travel contribute to a general loss of distance, which in turn alters any sense of nearness. On the internet, encounters and intimate relations, whether sexual or not, are formed through social media, dating sites, Tinder and Grindr and so on.
The symposium will consider the repercussions of the techno-social reconfiguring of the personal sphere and will address a range of questions that this provokes. Does the internet enable encounters with the other, or rather prevent them through algorithms based on compatibility? Under such conditions, what happens to intimacy across cultures that may in the past have depended on contingent encounters? What happens to intimacy when selves are totally constructed or represented by avatars? How do notions of intimacy based on subjectivity fare under conditions of the post-human? If the Apple Watch can transmit your heartbeat to the object of your affections, and sex toys can be attached to a computer, tablet or phone, how will wearable technology and the internet of things transform sex? What remains of the boundary between the private and the public? And how does art serve, disrupt or reflect these developments? Not only is the intimate private sphere today projected and performed in public, it is also something that the individual subject is called upon to manage, navigate and curate using public means. Cognitive capital puts every facet of the lifeworld to work and in so doing, interpellates the individual subject as a publically rhetoricised private monad. Meanwhile the spaces of art are increasing called upon to support modes of discursive exchange that a curtailed civic public sphere now arguably fails to provide for. Art is tasked with sustaining a forum for public discourse and debate. Yet at the same time, it still remains deeply indebted to notions of intimate (and arguably private) individual affective encounter.
Professor Nancy Baym (Harvard/MIT)
Professor Alphonso Lingis (Penn State)
Ed Atkins (artist, London)
Jesse Darling (artist, London)
Professor Michael Newman (Goldsmiths)
Dr John Chilver (Goldsmiths)
Chair: Professor Andrea Phillips (Goldsmiths)
We invite proposals of papers, screenings, performances etc. of 20 minutes. If you have a proposal for a longer collaborative presentation please contact us.
Proposals to Andrea Phillips by 15 May 2015: email@example.com
Dates & times
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