Infinite in Vancouver

How can histories, knowledges and practices that fall outside what is commonly understood as 'new media' --19th century loom technology, ancient religious cosmologies, 9th century mathematics--inform the field? This question is the central premise of The Infinite Genealogy: Intercultural Approaches to New Media Art, a conference set to take place in May 2006 at Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver. The gathering will draw scholars from disciplines such as art history, media studies, music, anthropology, computer programming, and biology, along with artists working across these areas in an attempt to refresh new media in light of an array of cultural and artistic paradigms. 'New technologies have genealogies that extend deep into history and across cultures,' says conference organizer Dr. Laura Marks, Professor in Art and Culture Studies at Simon Fraser. As an example, she cites the work of the conference's keynote speaker, ethnomathematican Ron Eglash, whose work (pictured) shows that certain early African arts are based in fractal algorithms. Lines of inquiry are still open. Papers and artist presentations will be accepted up until the deadline of December 1, 2005. -- Fred Cisterna