This Friday and Saturday, the University of California, Irvine, will host a conference with a rather academic sounding title, "Digital Culture: Epistemologies/Subjectivities." Appropriately, the speakers are highbrow experts in the field, including Katherine Hayles and Lev Manovich. What they'll discuss is sure to be interesting--how people construct their online identities and dialogues in an impromptu and perhaps inaccurate manner. The panelists will ponder if it is possible to mediate our new systems of truth and subjectivity.
The San Francisco Media Arts Council, which is affiliated with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, is a group of Bay area technology and arts professionals who seek to explore and promote the crossover between tech and creativity. SMAC organizes events, publications, and discussions to do so. The next event: a panel discussion at SFMOMA on the influence of new media on architecture, which takes place January 31 (space is limited-hence the early heads-up). Speakers include Joe Rosa, the new curator of SFMOMA's Department of Architecture & Design, and Yale University School of Architecture lecturer, Phil Bernstein, who is also vice president of Autodesk, Inc., where he is setting the company's future direction for technology tools and digital data generation. A reception that includes live demonstrations starts at 6,with the panel beginning at 7.
Yes, it's time for the 15th Filmwinter event in Stuttgart, Germany. What that means is you can check out nominated internet submissions currently online and cast your vote for the best internet project. The lucky winner bags the City of Stuttgart Prize for New Media (amounting to 2,000 shiny new Euros). Don't hesitate, 'cause voting ends on January 20 at 2 p.m. If you'll happen to be in Stuttgart that day, why not stop by the the Stuttgart Filmhaus at 8 p.m. for the award ceremony?
One fresh trend that's forming in net art is the website dedicated to reinterpreting a film. An example: "The Jetty," by Hidekazu Minami, a New York-based visual artist and interactive designer. Based on "La Jette," by Chris Marker, Minami's site articulates the chronological events experienced by the characters in Marker's film. Some of the events are related at the same time, so multiple characters' points of view are seen at once, offering site visitors a poetic synopsis of the film. "The Jetty" has most recently been exhibited at the Museum of Image and Sound in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Sometimes it's nice to go back to basics in terms of new media art...the not-so-new can be refreshing. Take a look at "ARTificial ART," by Swiss software developer Kurt Baumann. The site offers simple examples that convey how less-than-complicated algorithms paired with random numbers can result in patterns reminiscent of the best Modern art (think Abstract Expressionism for the digital age). A bit of trivia: earlier versions of ARTificial ART were distributed as shareware over bulletin boards even before the Internet as we know it was born.
Is it possibile to write a history of sorts on contemporary artists working with science and technology? Stephen Wilson, an academic, takes on the formidabile task in his massive new tome, Information Arts (MIT Press). Of course, some areas might seem lacking, such as Wilson's coverage of net art, but the author casts a wide net and makes a case for the importance of creative applications of math, physics, biology, and engineering. Most interesting is a playful quiz that Wilson presents, in which he asks the reader to guess what odd experiments are either art pieces or bizarre lab trials.