Looking forward to delivering a keynote lecture and taking part in the Image Symposium 2017 in CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in June.
24th Image Symposium – Glitch Futures. Data Speculation, Technocosmology and Dispossession in Times of Accelerated Capitalism, 20 − 22 JUNE 2017
The temperature of viscous Miami swamps rose as high-risk frequency trading propelled through sub-Atlantic fibre cable highways. The pulse of their desires synchronised with the construction rate of newly incepted tropical islands built on radioactive trade-debris by the bay of Dubai. And as orbiting space junk was transformed into military checkpoints for the recent colonies en route to the seven earth-like planets, the Extractivist Dream Society gathered to rethink flashy new forms of post-ethical marketing for the enhanced humans who were on their way.
This edition of the symposium reflects on the current visual production of accelerated capitalism, or how images, data and algorithms are articulating forms of governance due to their speculative nature: how they boost financial and urbanist speculation, operate as affective currencies, unleash paranoid wavelengths of cyberwarfare, and impact the pressing rise of climatic fictions via denialism and extra-planetary colonialism. For that purpose, this symposium is envisioned as a Futurological Data Bureau that sets out to analyse how the politics of image circulation are implicit in today’s material culture, fuelling rampant dispossession, extractivism and neo-colonialism. It explores how virtual reality produces devastating realities of technocratic austerity and widespread states of anxiety while draining and co-opting the production of future imaginaries. Consequently, the prospective aim of the Bureau will be to identify the glitch of these imaginaries, to collectively intervene the code malfunction and its interstices in order to relaunch the imagination of our futures.
The IMAGE SYMPOSIUM is a programme devoted to the collective reflection, theory and practice around image production and visual cultures, comprising an international seminar, workshops and an open call to the public for research projects.
With contributions by Klara Anna Capova, Julie Doyle, Lisa Messeri, Metahaven, César Rendueles, Gean Moreno, and Sidsel Meineche Hansen, followed by respondents José Manuel Bueso, Marta Peirano, Diego del Pozo.
Workshops by Regina de Miguel, Metahaven, Gean Moreno.
The symposium will be held on 20, 21 J and 22 june from 4:00 to 8:00 pm and workshops on 20, 21 and 22 June from 11:00 am to 14:00 pm.
Enrolment free until 19 June
20 JUN 16:00 – 20:00
Climate warfare and extraplanetary imaginings
Ever more, planetary transcendence is used as a horizon of conquest, projecting human future beyond tangible spatiality. The New Space Age arrives at this moment of widespread-felt planetary crisis, when the demand for resource management incites a shift to the engineered futures of extraplanetary quest. Ever since the cold war era, several nations have invested in the militarisation of space as a horizon for investment, projecting in it its growth-led economies, nuclear surveillance plans, and extractivist policies. At the same time, Earth’s climate models have been successively disputed, with a constant challenge linked to data erasure and manipulation to control mainstream opinion. Inquiring into how the implications of data analysis are involved in mythmaking and cosmology today, we will explore how are our representation systems affecting material politics in earth today. How have planetary and space representations been altered through the politics of imagining technologies over the last few years? Furthermore, how is this shift towards space extractivism implied in the systemic and ecologic relation we have with the Earth?
Klara Anna Capova is Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Anthropology at the Durham University (UK) and Visiting Research Fellow at Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies in Lund University (Sweden). She is a sociocultural anthropologist working in Science and Technology Studies. Her main research interests are in the social study of astrobiology and scientific search for extraterrestrial life in general. Klara Anna is looking into transformations of human relations to outer space, developments in contemporary worldviews and studies how science changes society.
Julie Doyle is Professor of Media and Communication, and Co-Chair of the Centre for Research in Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics, University of Brighton. Her research explores how visual media and culture shape climate change communication and engagement. Prof. Doyle has collaborated with visual artists and practitioners, and provided consultancy for environmental NGOs, government, and the sustainability communications sector.
Lisa Messeri is an anthropologist of science who researches the human dimensions of scientific endeavours, focusing on planetary science and virtual reality. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia and the author of “Placing Outer Space: An Earthly Ethnography of Other Worlds.” She studied aerospace engineering as an undergraduate at MIT before earning a Ph.D. in anthropology.
José Manuel Bueso is a freelance theorist and docent. He is also director of La Unidad de Imaginación Forense, the shared reading group in the first season of Escuelita, called Speculative Infrastructures
21 JUN 16:00 – 20:00
Cyberfetishhim and black transparency
The technocratic regime in which we live today is undeniable: computation on a global scale —internet and mobile devices, information networks and data clouds, apps and intelligent cities, automation of several realms of life and artificial intelligence, wiki-democracy and augmented society— has given rise to a technological mega-infrastructure which is at once an architecture of governance and of political transformation. We are caught between determinism and technological fetishism. In this context, images operate as currencies of value, as vectors of financial, political and affective flows with the capacity to shape or (undo) subjects, communities, cities, territories and the relationships they establish between each other. The case of surveillance is paradigmatic: never before in history have we been so closely controlled, and we have proactively participated in this form of control. Algorithms and patterns of recognition have replaced any ethical decalogue, and we have embraced paranoia and distrust as a structure, in favour of slogans of protection, safety and democracy. Opposing this panorama of systematic surveillance and the mobilisation of large swathes of contemporary life towards the digital world, we will explore issues of cyberfetishism as well as the tactical notion of Black Transparency, understood as a radical form of democracy of information.
Metahaven is a strategic design studio operating on the cutting edge between communication, aesthetics, and politics. Founded by Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden, Metahaven creates ingenious, strange assemblages between different art forms ranging from installations to clothing. Their work, both commissioned and self-produced, addresses branding and identity in such a way to speak of contemporary forms of power, in an age where power is especially designed to exclude as many people as possible from its operating system, its code.
César Rendueles is a doctor in philosophy and a lecturer in sociology at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He has published Sociofobia. El cambio político en la era de la utopía digital (2013), Capitalismo canalla (2015) and En bruto. Una reivindicación del materialismo histórico (2016), and has also edited classic texts by Karl Marx, Walter Benjamin, Antonio Gramsci and Karl Polanyi.
Marta Peirano is deputy editor of eldiario.es; founder of Cryptoparty Berlin and co-director of COPYFIGHT. She has published books on automatons, annotation systems and technological futurism and an introduction to cryptography for journalists and media sources called El Pequeño Libro Rojo del activista en Red. This is the first book in the world with a prologue by Edward Snowden. She also writes a column on technology, digital art and surveillance for the journal Muy Interesante.
22 JUN 16:00 – 20:00
CCC (Corporal, capital, city) Whitening
Whether as previsualistions or models, the production of 3D virtual animation has become a key tool for manifold sectors, ranging from the military complex to architecture and city planning studios to the porn industry. Far from being innocuous, these technologies of visual production are not only altering the operative fields in which they are inserted, but are also affecting and modifying the subjects, objects and territories they represent, generally for the sake of commodification. Through various case studies, this symposium will explore the performativity of these animations or, in other words, the reality effects created by this visual production and their consequences. For instance, the architectural animation of the city of Miami is building the imaginary of the city itself, channelling forms of capital and normalising the vertical military gaze through the drone aesthetic. It is a perspective that describes space in terms of friend or enemy, erasing from the visual surface those (dispossessed and racialised) subjects that get in the way of the projection of luxury apartment blocks. Likewise, we will also explore how the high-tech gaming and pornography industries are creating animations of hyper-sexualised female bodies that tacitly reproduce regimes of productive and reproductive work. These are phantasmagorical images proper to the current neoliberal times which, besides emphasising the dispossession of bodies they (do not) represent, are normalising a state of disaffection: the generalised desensitisation through the purported rationality of the technologies that produce them and their systematised consumption.
Gean Moreno is Curator of Programs at ICA Miami, where he founded and organizes the Art + Research Center. He is on the Advisory Board of the 2017 Whitney Biennial and serves as co-director of [NAME] Publications. Between 2014-2016, Moreno was Artistic Director at Cannonball, where he developed pedagogical platforms and public commissions. He has contributed texts to various catalogues and publications, including e-flux journal, Kaleidoscope, and Art in America, and has lectured at numerous universities.
Sidsel Meineche Hansen is an artist based in London. Her work takes the form of woodcut prints, sculptures, CGI and VR animations which typically foreground the body’s industrial complex in the pharmaceutical, porn and tech-industries. Her research-led practice also manifests as group work, seminars and publications. In 2009 she co-founded the research collective Model Court, and in 2015 she co-edited Politics of Study (London and Odense: Open Editions and Funen Art Academy). Meineche Hansen was a visiting scholar at California Institute of the Arts in 2016; currently she is associate professor at the Funen Art Academy, Denmark and visiting lecturer at Royal Academy of Fine Art, London.
Diego del Pozo is an artist, cultural producer and lecturer at the School of Fine Arts at USAL. His practice is driven by politics of emotions, affective economies and how affective devices are socially and culturally produced. He is a member of the art collectives Subtramas, C.A.S.I.T.A. and Declinación Magnética. He is also a member of the research groups Las Lindes, Península and Visualidades Críticas. Del Pozo has shown his work in many solo and group exhibitions and video programmes at various galleries and contemporary art centres.