Transition Regimes: Cultures of Media Art II
Leonardo LASER talks at the MicroPOM Symposium Aalborg University
Panel 2 Lineup (live in Aalborg): Max Hattler (HK), HC Gilje (N), Diana Pankova (BL), Marie Højlund (DK). Chaired by Morten Søndergaard (DK)
When: 11 May, 2022, 10.00AM - 11.30AM CET
Where: Aalborg University, Create Campus, Rendsburggade 14, Aalborg, Denmark
Watch Live: The event will be livestreamed here!
Revisiting Susan Leigh Star’s notion (from The Cultures of Computing, 1996) of transitions regimes, the Leonardo TALKS Aalborg is generally questioning what is the status of those transitions and their regimes today, 25 years on?
“We are in a transition regime with respect to information technologies: will it make our lives easier or harder? More or less intimate, peaceful, productive, global? We don’t yet know, and in some larger sense, may never know, exactly what it is we have gained and lost in the wholesale adoption of information technology and integrated media. Because computers are at once intimate and impersonal, tied up with work, education, and entertainment, they may be so woven into the fabric of our lives that ‘standing back’ is completely an illusion. They are … not trojan horses but trojan doors – unfolding out into worlds embedded in each other without end…” (Star, 1996)
Following Star, ‘transition regimes’ is the description of the effects of vast infrastructural shifts occasioned by widespread new technologies. But where are we with the transitions? Have the transition regimes shifted or turned since 1996? And what is the role of Media Art in those transitions?
It would be possible to distinguish between two approaches to answering these questions, overall. 1) either Media Art is seen as an effect of transition regimes and the media art practices are thus to be seen as ‘representations’ of the societal and industrial transitions (and crisis) of modern and postmodern culture (Kittler, Stiegler) 2) or Media Art is the regime, so to speak: a sort of avant-garde of art and tech experiences driving the transitions in perceptions and experiences. In this sense, it is new media art (Manovich, Toft).
But maybe a third approach (or a fourth, fifth) can be distinguished, especially in the light of Star’s idea of transition regimes framed by the cultures of computing. Media art is woven so deeply into the fabric of our lives that it is not only the computer or media that is ubiquitous, but its ‘cultures’ – the way everything we live by is mediated, including ourselves. There may be no ‘standing back’ as Star suggests, with a quote from Heidegger. Instead, there are what she terms ‘trojan doors’, which I choose to interpret as ‘what media art does when it mediates our lives’. Media art exists as practices in-between representation and regime, as prisms of infrastructural shifts, political turns, and existential crisis in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Max Hattler is an artist, researcher, curator and educator who works with abstract animation, video installation and audiovisual performance. He holds a master's degree from the Royal College of Art and a Doctorate in Fine Art from the University of East London. Max's work has been shown at festivals and institutions such as Resonate, Ars Electronica, ZKM Center for Art and Media, MOCA Taipei and Beijing Minsheng Museum.
HC Gilje has moved between installation, experimental video, live performance and set design since he graduated from the intermedia department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Trondheim in 1999. He got a kickstart to his career with a one year residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin 2000-2001. Gilje was quite active in theater and dance, mainly through his many-year collaboration with choreographer Eva Cecilie Richardsen. Together they established Kreutzerkompani with a yearly production from 2000 to 2006. In 2006 Gilje changed direction, taking elements from his earlier practice (exploration of physical spaces in his videos, creation of spaces in his stage work and improvisation from his live work) into a longer term project he has called Conversations with Spaces. This project explores, mainly through large-scale installations, perception of change and transformation in the meeting between the ephemeral media of light, projection, sound and motion with physical structures.
Diana Pankova – is a philosopher and photographer. In her visual search she works with varied types of cameras and techniques, and experiments with time, space, shape, scale and connections in between. Her favorite artistic companions are diverse pinhole cameras. Participant in many photographic exhibitions around the world. Instructor of pinhole workshops. Diana’s academic research revolves around the existential and sensory experience of interacting with art, from the perspective of the artist, the “viewer” and other possible sides. At the moment her interests especially focus on multi-sensory (synesthetic) experiences of immersive interactive art and their relation to communication.
Marie Højlund is a sound artist and musician and from august 2019 an assistant professor in Sound Studies at Aarhus University. In 2017 I finished my PhD about noise and listening in Danish hospitals and together with Morten Riis I present the project The Overheard (www.overheard.dk). During my work I have been engaged in developing novel sound technologies for alternative listening situations and designing sound environments for various public spaces. I also release music under my artist name Kh Marie (https://www.facebook.com/KaerligHilsenMarie), am a house composer at Aarhus Teater and play in the Danish band Nephew.
The Leonardo ISAST LASER talks at Aalborg University will look closer at the cultures of media art in Denmark and beyond.
The Leonardo/ISAST LASERs are a program of international gatherings that bring artists, scientists, humanists and technologists together for informal presentations, performances and conversations with the wider public. The mission of the LASERs is to encourage contribution to the cultural environment of a region by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for community building to over 40 cities around the world. To learn more about how our LASER Hosts and to visit a LASER near you please visit our website. @lasertalks
MicroPOM is the subformat of the international conference series POM - Politics of Machines www.pomconference.org, founded by Laura Beloff and Morten Søndergaard. Open for a general public, it focuses specifically on the growth layer of the field: the upcoming and emerging practitioners (artists, humanities students, programmers, engineers etc.) and scholars (below PhD level). It specifically aims at making visible local media art worlds and environments in a shareable and social hybrid Microformat, typically max. 24 hours. Furthermore, it aims at critiquing existing politics of the field, suggesting new policies / manifestos.
Hybrid / Aalborg, 080 DK-9000