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Visual Culture


THE SYNTHETIC AESTHETICS OF NEW MEDIA ARTPresented by The New Media Caucus in Association with the College Art Association February 20-23, 2008; Dallas, TX

Panel Chair: Carolyn Kane, PhD Candidate Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University

Contrary to traditional aesthetic theories that argue for the primacy of either the subjective and phenomenological, or formal and objective interpretations of artwork, the aesthetics of electronic media, like the logic of technical media itself, is thoroughly removed from anthropomorphic sensibility. One could say that electronic media aesthetics are marked by technical trauma.

However, much contemporary new media art criticism exemplifies a hermeneutic approach that seeks to rationalize and transform work into intelligible *art objects* for canonization and social theories. Is this approach problematic for the logic of technical media? Can certain attributes such as color, form, affect, or sound, effectively reconcile computer based artwork with the subjective and humanistic drives in art making?

The panel invites papers that address the aesthetics of New Media art in distinction to previous aesthetic models or media platforms. For instance, papers suggesting the ways in which color, sound, line, form, symbolism, affect, anti-aesthetics or ideology may be distinct to new media aesthetics are all welcomed. Essentially the panel inquires: what do theoreticians and practitioners address in New Media art, and why? Which artists and / or commercial work do you think best exemplifies these issues? Special attention will be given to those abstracts that are concerned with the use of color in New Media work.

Presenters can propose brief lectures; media or artist presentations of their own, or other artist's work; discussions; or other acceptable suggestions.

Timeline: Due by October 1, 2007: *Abstracts (max 500 words) * Paper / Presentation Titles *Confirmation that presenters will be able to travel to Dallas on February 20-23, 2008 * Current CV and a brief bio. *Specification of presentation format

Send proposals and / or any question to Carolyn Kane clk267 [AT] For CAA conference information visit:

The State of The Real in istanbul

The State of The Real in istanbul, by my friend Damian Sutton

Originally uploaded by andymiah

It's not every day that you spot a book by a close friend of yours in a bookshop, within a different country. So here I am in this amazing shop in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul and out pops Damian's excellent book. It was also the first time that I have seen the copy. As one progresses in this world, it becomes clear that it is less likely to receive free copies of books written/edited by close friends. There are obvious reasons for this. Congratulations Damian!!!

London 2012 Olympics Logo

The 2012 logo was launched yesterday. While most of the coverage I have seen seems to be reporting negative opinions, I can't help but wonder what kind of logo would have inspired other kinds of comments. Having watched the promotional video and read a bit more about the logo, I can see that this will be an interesting logo to study. In comparison, previous Games logos are easily forgotten. My intuition is that this logo will become embraced by the UK, as time goes by, providing it can get over the initial hurdles. In this case, there seems the usual polarisation of the populist versus the attempted avant garde. This includes typical complaints that £400,000 was spent on something a school kid could have designed. Have we no understanding of art and design!?Nevertheless, in the spirit of discussion, I've created a group in Flickr for Logo spotting. Join and send us something.

Mobilities Journal

I've just been taking a look at the new Routledge Journal titled 'Mobilities'. Currently working on a chapter for The Medicalization of Cyberspace that draws extensively on this notion, I'm struck by how wide the concept might apply. Much of the journal so far focuses on automobiles, which reminds me of some of the work I've read in the philosophy of technology literature. Nevertheless, I'm sure this journal will become influential as this term becomes all the more intriguing by the prevasive movement of data. My interest is particularly from the perspective of urban mobility. The work I've done at the various Olympic Games has been interested to examine how both screens and hand held technology become an integral part of the development of community. This draws on the work by William J. Mitchell whose 'City of Bits' has informed a lot of my ideas in this area, along with Paul Virilio's various works..

SEMINAR with STANZA (15 Jan, 2007, 4-5pm)

SEMINAR with STANZA MONDAY 15 JANUARY, 4-5pm, Digital Studios Space, Ben Pimlott building, ground floor left. Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, SE14 6NW


Stanza is AHRC Creative and Performing Arts Fellow, GDS (2006-2009). He is a London-based artist, who specialises in net art, multimedia, and electronic sounds. The research he is undertaking as part of his AHRC Fellowship with GDS is around The Emergent City, an exploration of data within cities and how this can be represented visualized and interpreted. Data from security tracking, traffic data, and sensor data for environmental monitoring can all be interpreted as a medium to make process led artworks. The underlying theme or main research question is concerned with the organic emergence of the =93city=94. Cities clearly have a character, but do they have a 'soul'? If so, then what can be determined about the validity of the city experience in relation to its 'character', or 'soul', or spirit'?

Stanza's award winning online projects have been invited for exhibition in digital festivals around the world, and Stanza also travels extensively to present his net art, lecturing and giving performances of his audiovisual interactions. His works explore artistic and technical opportunities to enable new aesthetic perspectives, experiences and perceptions within the context of architecture, data spaces and online environments.

He was a NESTA Dreamtime Fellow (2003-2005) and has received many Awards including the following, all peer reviewed and awarded by internaltional juries.

Other on-line artworks can be viewed at: other online artworks.

Maria Chatzichristodoulou [aka maria x] PhD Art and Computational Technologies  Goldsmiths Digital Studios

Project Biocultures

I can't remember whether it was an interest in Marquard Smith or Nikolas Rose that led me to the Project Biocultures website. In any case, the collaborative network is worth checking out:

Aimee Mullins, some meaningful connections (for me)

1. I'm currently reviewing 'The Prosthetic Impulse'edited by Marquard Smith and Joanne Morra for the journal Body and Society, within which 2 chapters discuss Aimee Mullins.

2. I saw Cremaster 3 a couple of years ago at the CCA in Glasgow, within which Aimee Mullins features in various roles.

3. I visited the Cremaster exhibition at the Guggenheim New York in 2002 and another in the Chelsea area of NYC this May.

4. 2 newspapers this week have included features about Aimee, one was the Times on Sunday, another is today, also the Times, which includes a feature on Nick Knight, who shot the iconic photograph of Aimee with her 'cheetah legs'.

5. A friend of mine from secondary school went to work with Nick Knight a few years ago. His name is Ben Dunbar-Brunton. I was down in London a couple of weeks ago for a workshop hosted at the Science Museum which aimed to plan an exhibition on the future of sport. At this meeting was Ross Philips who works within one of Knight's online spaces.

6. Cheetah Man is the name of the image depicted on the cover of my book 'Genetically Modified Athletes'. Both of these images - in their different ways and in the context of Smith and Mora's book raise questions about the meaning of prosthesis in contemporary life and its relationship to technofetishism and disability studies.

7. Aimee Mullins is also a medal winning Paralympian.

8. I have just published an article that discusses notions of 'ability' against 'disability studies' in the context of tests for performance genes.

9. I spoke about Aimee Mullins' 'cheetah legs' at a lecture I gave to the Royal College of Art 'Design Interactions' programme a couple of weeks ago.

Royal College of Art (October, 2006)

Last week, I went down to the RCA to give a talk I titled 'Posthuman Designs'. The programme on Design Interactions led by Anthony Dunne is just fascinating, engaging students with ways of imagining the future as a mechanism through which to promote public engagement about technology. Some of the work taking place there is superb and with everyone squeezed into a seminar room earnestly taking notes and thinking about how to transform concepts into artefacts, it's a really inspiring place. I hope to be down there again soon.

'Language, Communication, Culture' conference (28-30 November, 2006)

4th International 'Language, Communication, Culture' ConferenceLisbon, Lusofona University, November 28-30, 2006

An organisation of the staff, students and associates of the 'Culture and Society' Postgraduate Programme (University of Lisbon), of the staff of the Department of Communication, Arts and Information Technology (Lusofona University), and of Best Travel Agency.

Keynote Speakers:

Vikki Bell (Goldsmith's College, University of London) Nicholas Mirzoeff (New York University)

The conference will be structured around three topics:

1 - Media, media-making and the politics of news production

2 - Visual culture and hegemonic cultural policies and practices

3 - Cultural studies and the production of knowledge and social change

This year's LCC Conference will be hosted by Lusofona University, a private academic institution in Lisbon. Having previously been held in =C3=89vora and Beja, the LCC conference alternates annually amongst several institutions that comprise Portugal's academic panorama. Apart from Lisbon's centrality favouring participation in this event, both transport and accommodation-wise, Lus=C3=B3fona University was chosen as = a venue due to this institution's focus on communication, visual arts and new technologies. This academic slant coincides with the Conference's principal vectors, namely media, visual culture and cultural studies.

For full information on the themes and sessions, Cfp, registration fees and deadlines, go to

"The LCC Conference mandate is to bring together scholars from all disciplines and fields of the humanities and social sciences with contributions on language, communication, social and cultural themes that analyse the contemporary world, its vectors of crisis, its tensions and conflicts, its lines of development, and its resources of hope."

Cultura Visuale in Italia

Cultura Visuale in Italia. Prospettive per la comparatistica letterariaInternational Conference

Organisation: Ministero dell'Istruzione, del'Universit? e della Ricerca scientifica PRIN  2005 | Universit? di Palermo | Facolt? di Scienze  della Formazione | Dipartimento di Arti e  Comunicazioni | Centre Culturel Fran?ais |  Istituto Svizzero di Roma |  Associazione  Siciliana Amici della Musica | Alitalia |  Feedback | :duepunti edizioni | Broadway Libreria  dello Spettacolo | Master in Comunicazione e  Cultura Visuale | Laboratorio di Cultura Visuale  | Con il Patrocinio del Senato della Repubblica

Conference Organizer: Prof. Dr. Michele Cometa,  Dipartimento di Arti e Comunicazioni, Universit? degli Studi di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze,  edificio 15, 90128 Palermo, Italy (e-mail:

Palermo, Jolly Hotel Via Foro Italico 22, 90133 Palermo (PA) ITALY

Research concerning the interrelation between  literature and visual culture is by now a  well-established international tradition showing  remarkable progress also in Italy. National  philology especially (German, English, French,  etc), theory of literature and comparative  literature have amply acknowledged and developed  international stimuli both on a theoretical level  and on an applicative one. In the last decades of  the twentieth century, in particular, we have  witnessed a renewal of the debate on the  "reciprocal illumination between the arts"  obviously encouraged by the still growing role  that images have "for" literature, "in"  literature (the problem of explicitly intermedial  production) and in the "system of literature" as  a whole (distribution etc.). The meeting intends to define the methodological  bases for a comparative study of literature and  visual culture that is fundamental both at the  level of literary theory - which has always shown  meticulous interest with regard to the  relationship between verbal and visual, that  today seems to be at the core of the cultural  debate - , and at the level of the contribution  that this connection may be able to provide to  the redefinition of the role that literature can  and must acquire within the field of Cultural  Studies and Communication Studies. The aim of this project is focused upon the  analysis of literary phenomena moving from the  alterations that the gaze (individual and  social), the optical devices/media (from the  camera obscura to the cinema) and the new images  produce upon literature both on a thematic level  (media and gaze as literary themes) and on that  of writing, in the strict sense of the word  (literary optics, ?kphrasis, etc.). In such a view the comparative study of  "literacy" and "visual literacy" can contribute  to reinforce the role of literary studies in the  constitution of interpretative paradigms of our  society, therefore avoiding the isolation of  literature from the most productive and the  widest context of the study of cultures. The research project in particular intends to  focus its attention - in accordance with the  competences already acquired by each scholar that  is part of this work unit - upon three  fundamental phases of the encounter between  literature and visual culture: 1) a  pre-photographic phase which will look at the  presence in literature of the gaze changes  produced by visual technologies such as camera  obscura, microscope, telescope etc., up to the  invention of photography (which is to say, a  period that extends from Pre-romanticism to  Naturalism); 2) a post-photography phase which  will concentrate upon the encounter between photography and literature both on a biographic  level (writers-photographers) and on the most  crucial level of the modifications imposed by  photography as a means of communication to  literary; 3) a pre- and post-cinema phase in  which, beyond the problem relative to the  adaptation, the purpose will be to highlight how  cinema, as an instrument of communication, and  film writing have shaped and modified literary  writing.


Thursday September 28, 3.30 p.m.


Chairman Camilla Miglio

Hans Belting (IFK, University of Vienna) Per un'iconologia dello sguardo

W. J. T. Mitchell (University of Chicago) Realism and the Digital Image Discussion

Friday September 29, 9.00 a.m. Chairman Maria Luisa Roli

Ulrich Stadler (University of Zurich) Besser sehen, anders sehen. ?ber den wissenschaftlichen und poetischen Umgang mit visueller Erfahrung

10.00 a.m. Coffee break

Michele Cometa (University of Palermo) Letteratura e cultura visuale nell'era prefotografica

Giovanni Sampaolo (University of Rome) Skia-graphia: silhouettes, ombre cinesi e letteratura intorno al 1800

Rita Calabrese (University of Palermo) Con gli occhi di un'ebrea: Dorothea Mendelssohn Veit Schlegel

Friday September 29, 4.00 p.m. Chairman Federico Bertoni

Philippe Hamon (University of Paris 3 - Sorbonne Nouvelle) La litt?rature, la ligne, le point et le plan

5.00 p.m. Coffee break

Silvia Albertazzi (University of Bologna) Letteratura e cultura visuale nell'era della fotografia

Ferdinando Amigoni (University of Bologna) Gli strani grovigli del vedere: Celati, Ghirri, Herzog

Donata Meneghelli (University of Bologna) "Il cervello comincia dall'occhio". Raccontare le immagini, raccontare con le immagini

Saturday September 30, 9.00 a.m. Chairman Lucia Mor

Andreas Beyer (University of Basel) Il volto. Descritto. Dipinto. Letto

10.00 a.m. Coffee break

Massimo Fusillo (Universit? dell'Aquila) Letteratura e cultura visuale nell'era del cinema

Clotilde Bertoni (Universit? di Palermo) Giornalismo nel cinema e cinema giornalistico

Vincenzo Maggitti (Universit? dell'Aquila) Il "pictorial turn" nel racconto letterario del film

Saturday September 30, 4.00 p.m. Chairman Mauro Ponzi

Cultura visuale in Italia. Prospettive a confronto Round table: Antonio Bellingreri, Maurizio Cardaci, Ivano Cavallini, Gabriella De Marco, Francesco Faeta, Filippo Fimiani, Francesco Galluzzi, Fabio Lo Verde, Giuseppe Pucci, Antonio Somaini

5.30 p.m. Coffee break

Giulio Iacoli introduces the director Antonio Capuano

Roberta Coglitore introduces the photographer Giovanni Chiaramonte

Conclusions Michele Cometa

Languages: French, English, Italian, German

Further informationsr: