Space Colonization in the Age of the Anthropocene
Together with Henie Onstad Art Center, Media Aesthetics at the Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo, is creating the symposium “Space Colonization in the Age of the Anthropocene”.
Time and place: May 3, 2019 10:00 AM–6:00 PM, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
The symposium is open to all interested, but requires registration.
About the Symposium
This symposium is organized in connection to the exhibition The Moon. From Inner Worlds to Outer Space shown at Henie Onstad Art Center (15.02-19.05.2019). In celebration of the 50th year anniversary for the first manned moon landing in 1969, the exhibition brings together art, cinema, music, architecture, cultural history, design and natural history.
Space colonization, the topic for the symposium, is one of the six key themes in the exhibition, along with Selenography, Moon light, Myths of the Moon, Moon landing and Deep time. In 1959, two years after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik into orbit around Earth, UN established The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, with the specific aim to prevent placement of nuclear weapons on the moon and in space. In 1967, the committee established a space treatise which lays down the framework for legislation on space, stating that outer space is open to peaceful exploration for all nations, but that “outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means”. The moon was thus defined as common property, as part of the global commons on par with the sea bed and the atmosphere.
In the last decades, however, we have witnessed the advent of a new space age, driven by nation states as well as private, commercial agents. In this new space age, the moon is not predominantly a goal in itself, but a launching pad for missions further out in the universe. A host of different agents currently explore the possibilities for permanent moon bases and mining in outer space, in ways that radically challenge the principle of the moon as part of “the global commons”. In a larger, cosmic perspective, the moon is increasingly conceived as a suburb to Earth, and outer space becomes an arena for geopolitical tensions and militaristic agendas where super powers like USA, China and Russia are central actors. The symposium directs attention to this ongoing colonialization of space, as this is explored by artists and scholars with a particular investment in the interrelation between media technologies, imaging and imagining of space for its conquest.
An underlying theme in the symposium – and the exhibition – is the notion of the Anthropocene. The notion was popularized throughout the 2000s by atmosphere chemist Paul J. Crutzen and is increasingly employed to indicate that Earth has entered a new geological age, wherein humans impact Earth on a planetary level – for example by moving more mass than other factors such as wind conditions, erosion, and plate tectonics. In his book Facing Gaia (2017), Bruno Latour describes this as a radically new situation, where the romantic opposition between the eternity of nature and the transience of humanity no longer makes sense. Cosmos itself is changing: glaciers are melting, the sea level is rising and species extinct at a higher speed than the political and cultural processes prescribed to prevent this development. Today, writes Latour, it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. From this perspective, outer space bears a promise for new settlements as well as new economical investments.
- Welcome: Tone Hansen and Susanne Østby Sæther
- Jill Stuart ( London School of Economics and Political Science): Who Owns the Moon
- Peter Adey (Royal Holloway, University of London): Evacuate Earth
- Lunch break and exhibition visit
- Lorenz Engell (IKKM, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar): The „Anthropic Principle“: Planet Earth Between Cosmos, Humans, and Media.
- Cath Le Couteur: PROJECT ADRIFT - The Hidden World of Space Junk.
- Stefano Catucci: Learning from the Moon
- Stefano Catucci: Responses to previous talks
- Final discussion/farewell
- Followed by a reception.
About the Exhibition
The exhibition The Moon. From Inner Worlds to Outer Space, first created at Louisiana Museum for Modern Art, circles around the fascination for the moon, its role and function for man. Bringing together a variety of works and objects spanning from the early 17thcentury to today, the exhibition shows how the moon is reflected in art and cultural history – from Galileo Galilei’s early moon maps to Norman Foster´s plan for 3D printed moon bases/settlements. In the exhibition, art, film, architecture, cultural and natural history, and design are brought together to a multi-faceted portrait of our closest neighbor in space. The moon is explored as foundational symbol and aim for romantic and artistic longings, scientific explorations and existential questions, as well as for political expansion. With the exhibition, Henie Onstad marks the 50th anniversary for the first manned moon landing (July 20, 1969), and points to a strong and renewed interest for the moon in art and as base for a new strategic and economic space race. Throughout the exhibition, the intimate interrelation between art and science in the mapping and imag(in)ing of the moon is foregrounded.
Irresistible Forms of Interaction – Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Approaches to Media Culture
This symposium brings together prolific voices from the fields of psychosocial and psychoanalytic studies, offering in-depth analyses of digital media culture. Presentations range from inquiries into fragmented attention to deep play and video-games, from fantasies of masculinity in the ‘Incel’ movement to the psychical dimensions of public argument and the libidinal economy of corporate online platforms.
Time and place: Nov. 23, 2018 12:00 PM–6:00 PM, Litteraturhuset
Our common denominator are forms of interaction. The psychoanalyst and sociologist Alfred Lorenzer (1922–2002) defined such forms as the fundamental building blocks of everyday life. These forms of interaction are literally irresistible, unfurling automatically in routine situations and offering an embodied and relational grounding to our being in the world. Forms of interaction both ‘keep us going’ and hold us in place. Their socialising forces reside in routines and habits.
The commercial Internet has brought forth a plethora of such forms of interaction: likes, swipes, streaks, tweets, shares, posts, pokes, comments, scrolls, votes – all of them are now part of our social texture. Looking into these forms, this symposium sheds light on their overall formative powers. How is attention shaped online and with what effects? How are arguments fleshed out and how are they made to touch us? What fantasies about gender relations are circulating online? How are video-games played and with what socialising effects? What affective dispositions are produced by the commercial orientations of major Internet platforms? It is questions such as these that the symposium will take up and offer answers to from a psychoanalytically informed perspective.
- Welcome & Lunch
- Steffen Krueger: Words of Welcome
- Vera King (Head of the Sigmund Freud Institute, Frankfurt): Irresistible Interactions and Fragmented Attention
- Jacob Johanssen (Senior Lecturer, University of Westminster): Desiring Fascist Bodies? Incels and Fantasies of Masculinity
- Lynn Froggett (Professor of Psychosocial Welfare, University of Central Lancashire): Deep Play and Video-Games
- James Martin (Professor of Political Theory, Goldsmiths, University of London): The Flesh of Argument
- Steffen Krüger (Postdoc, University of Oslo): Platformed Selves – Caricatures of the Corporate Internet
- Followed by a final discussion.
The symposium is organised by: Dr. Steffen Krüger, Guro Torget (MA) and Claudia L. V. Merkl (BA) Dept. of Media and Communication, University of Oslo.
With generous support from:
- The Research Council of Norway (RCN),
- The Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo (IMK, UiO), Media-Aesthetics, as well as
- PolKom – Centre for the Study of Political Communication.
Media and Time Seminar - In Cooperation with In Sync
Media and Time. Historical and Media-Aesthetic Perspectives. Seminar with presentations and discussion between the Media Aesthetics and In Sync research groups.
Time and place: Sep. 28, 2018 1:00 PM–5:00 PM, CAS
Geoffrey Bowker: Life at the femtosecond
I explore what new kinds of entities (social and natural) come into play when we look at events happening at the speed of computer clocks. I then ask how we can theorize the multiple temporalities of computing.
Sara Yazdani: Photography, Archives and Social Ontology
In the late 1990s and early 2000s a social-ontological conceptualization of photography re-emerges in contemporary art—a time when questions of agency and temporality unfold as the technology of photography enters its digital ‘mode of existence’. This paper proposes that during its art historical time span of the 1990s and early 2000s, photography acts as real-time apparatus of which “microtemporal” operations connect different objects, bodies, and forces, creating new collective alliances within the world. In my account of this particular history and activities of some specific artistic strategies, photography operates as a technology that produces future event, rather than as archives of a present or past.
Liv Hausken: The Social Temporality of Photography, or why we should read Paul Ricoeur’s philosophy of time
Considering photographs as socially and culturally embedded, I will argue that the temporality of photography must be thought of in accordance with a socially constituted time which cannot be reduced either to the time of the individual nor to the conceptions of time in the sciences, but depends on both these two broad categories of time and the way they may be seen to co-constitute each other. This paper will argue that Paul Ricoeur’s complex conception of time may help us overcome some of the constraints that lie in simpler models of time and contribute to a better understanding of the sociality of temporality.
Espen Ytreberg: Simultaneity before and after broadcasting
In media studies literature, the perhaps most intense and sustained theoretical interest in simultaneity has been connected with theorizing broadcasting and its liveness effects. Starting from a critical discussion of this literature, the talk outlines some ways one might meaningfully say that an experience of simultaneity is enabled by digital media, and by media ensembles of the early 20th century.
Timotheus Vermeulen: Temporality in the “women’s film”
In this short talk, or series of observations, I wish to return to a debate in film and television studies that once attracted the discipline’s best and the brightest scholars but today seems close to abandoned: temporality in the ‘women’s’ film, especially melodrama. Presumably, the current lack of interest can be explained by a prevailing belief that the issue has been settled. It has become something of a cliché, after all, that time in the women’s genre is the opposite of time in cinema associated with men, such as classical Hollywood i.e. anti-linear, anti-progressive, anti-teleological. Tania Modleski even goes as far as calling this hysterical time. In what follows I seek to problematize this understanding by nuancing the distinction between cyclicality and its supposed antithesis – linearity – in a film that has traditionally been taken as the epitome of cyclicality: Max Ophuls’ Letter from an Unknown Woman. My point is not that time in the woman’s film isn’t repressive, or indeed, hysterical; but I would argue it is hysterical precisely in a distinct linear matter.
PhD seminar with Sean Cubitt
In this seminar PhD scholars from the University of Oslo and Goldsmiths (London) will discuss their work in progress with professor Sean Cubitt.
Tid og sted: 31. aug. 2017 10:00–16:30, Glassburet, rom 418, Forskningsparken
As ubiquitous photography/video approaches the state of an all-seeing scientific instrument, the human actions they record, too numerous to be attended to singly, must be handled statistically. A different kind of attention attends to these diagrams of likely and unlikely activity.
What we do in public used to be public knowledge. Now it is a proprietary dataset that we ourselves have little access to. When we share on social media, we are also donating our images, no longer to a res publica or a commons, but to a privatised public space, databases of behaviours hoarded and mined by social media networks.
- Can any individual image claim uniqueness under these conditions without succumbing to nostalgia for its lost aura?
- Can work at the technical level liberate images from universal data management?
- Is it possible to imagine a logistical aesthetics which can liberate the aggregate data of the new mass image?
About Sean Cubitt
Sean Cubitt is Professor of Film and television and joint Head of Department at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne. He is the author of The Cinema Effect (2005, MIT Press), and The Practice of Light: A Genealogy of Visual Technology from Prints to Pixels (2014, MIT Press).
Cubitt is the editor of the Leonardo book series, MIT Press, and is on the boards of a number of journals, including Screen, Visual Communication and Futures. Cubitt's research focuses on the history of visual technologies, media art history, and relationships between environmental and post-colonial criticism of film and media, three strands that converge around the political aesthetics.
Tom Gunning and Paul Keiser on Framing, Re-Framing, and Un-Framing
Tom Gunning (University of Chicago) and filmmaker Paul Kaiser from OpenEndedGroup will discuss moving images that shift from the frame of classical cinema to the immersive framelessness and interactivity of virtual reality. The program includes the Norwegian premiere of the 3D film UIysses in the Subway (2016).
Time and place: Apr. 28, 2017 2:30 PM–5:30 PM, Cinemateket
Professor Gunning and Paul Kaiser /The OpenEndedGroup have sought to study and intervene in the current redefinition of the moving image as it shifts from the frame of classical cinema to the immersive framelessness and interactivity of virtual reality. They recently completed an Andrew Mellon Collaborative Fellowship for Arts Practice and Scholarship program at the Grey Center for Arts and Inquiry, designed to foster intensive and experimental collaborations between artists and scholars.
The program will feature a lecture by Tom Gunning before the Norwegian premiere of the 3D film Ulysses in the Subway, (2016) a 3D film that was created in collaboration with renowned experimental filmmakers Ken and Flo Jacobs. The screening will be followed by a conversation between Gunning and Kaiser. Please find more information about the lecture, film and speakers biographies below.
- Tom Gunning
- Ulysses in the Subway
- Tom Gunning and Paul Kaiser in Conversation
The OpenEndedGroup, Ulysses in the Subway
(2016.) USA, 59 min, 3D
A picturing of sound in 3D
We hear a recording of Ken’s subway ride up to 42nd Street, his wanderings in the Times Square station, his ride downtown on the “A train,” and his return to street-level on Chambers Street. Finally, his climb to the 5th floor loft where Flo (Penelope) awaits him. Sound-as-image turns fleeting presences (voices, footsteps, a steel-drum performance) into epic visual events. A still image may linger, allowing our gaze to wander through the complex particularities of a moment of ordinary noise. This richness of imagery reflects the fact that for every 1/24th of a second, there are 2000 audio samples recorded. Each frame, then, is built from these 2000 sources; constructed, that is, in 3D from more than 21 different ways of algorithmically analyzing and visualizing sound. So while the sound is always pictured accurately, the way it’s pictured can change dramatically.
Past intrudes on present as Edison’s 1905 film of this very path through the NY subway appears, also rendered in 3D. Long-gone passengers on the Grand Central platform connect to sounds of passengers today. Near the end, Betty Boop also puts in an appearance.
The event is organized by Atelier Nord and the Mediaaesthetic work group at the department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo.
Technologies of Space: Verticality, Volume, Infrastructure
The one-day symposium «Technologies of Space: Verticality, Volume, Infrastructure» interrogates recent calls across spatial disciplines to expand space and its mapping from horizontal, plane surface to vertical dimensionality and volume. Lectures by Mark Dorrian, Stuart Elden and Lisa Parks.
Time and place: Mar. 3, 2017 10:00 AM–5:00 PM, Helga Engs Hus, Audiotorium 3
Our conception of space is presently undergoing significant changes. While issues concerning the constant redrawing of territories and security measurements caused by increased mobility, organized terror and prolonged colonization continue to gain precedence, we also face an ever intensified and unhinged financial capitalism propelling increased differences along spatial divisions such as gated communities, gentrification of neighborhoods, privatization of public and air space and neoliberal property speculation. This is again linked to the more than human rights concerns of resource deficiency, global warming and climate change and the geological epoch of the Anthropocene. While these changes are simultaneously propelled and remediated by an exponential proliferation of digital and networked technologies, scholarly work often fail to inquire the technological assemblages that produce them.
In geography especially, territory, sovereignty and human experience have long been flattened by a paradoxical reliance on flat maps – and, more recently, aerial and satellite images – projected or imaged from the disembodied bird’s or God’s eye view from high above (Stephen Graham, 2016). This symposium therefore directs particular attention to recent calls across spatial disciplines to expand space and its mapping from horizontal, plane surface to vertical dimensionality and volume. The one-day symposium «Technologies of Space: Verticality, Volume, Infrastructure» interrogates this entwinement by foregrounding its material infrastructures, be it of code or cables, and their experiential, territorial and geopolitical repercussions. In what ways do space and media technologies intersect today to produce new real and imaginative geographies and (thus) new configurations of power? And how could specific issues related to the contemporary productions of space best be approached? How could the different research perspectives and approaches inherent within the major spatial sciences of architecture, geography and infrastructure combine efforts to address such complex issues?
- Coffee and registration
- Chair: Susanne Ø. Sæther
- Stuart Elden (University of Warwick): "Terrains Volume"
- Chair: Eivind Røssaak
- Lisa Parks (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): "Orbital Platforms and Vertical Mediation"
- Chair: Timotheus Vermeulen
- Mark Dorrian (University of Edinburgh): "Archaeologies of the Future: On Crypts, Capsules and Catastrophe"b
Media aesthetics, IMK, UiO
These are Situationist Times: A Symposium on Topology, Culture and Politics
With Eric de Bruyn, Matthew Fuller, Axel Heil, Jacqueline de Jong, and Tiziana Terranova. Registration is required.
Time and place: Jan. 28, 2017 11:00 AM–5:00 PM, Kunsthall Oslo, Rostockgata 2-4
The Situationist Times (1962–1967) was one of the more exciting and explorative magazines to come out of the political and cultural turmoil of the 1960s. Edited by the Dutch artist Jacqueline de Jong (with the pataphysician Noël Arnaud as her co-editor on the first two issues), The Situationist Times was a strange and heretical creation: the international, multilingual journal of a movement from which de Jong had already been expelled.
This symposium inaugurates a research, exhibition, digitization and publication project devoted to The Situationist Times (ST), focusing in particular on the magazine’s engagement with the mathematical field of topology. De Jong's partner, the Danish artist Asger Jorn, had introduced topological notions in the journal Internationale Situationniste (the main organ of the Situationist International) in 1960, but a situationist topology was never fully developed there. For The Situationist Times de Jong ordered and collated hundreds of found images: labyrinths, rings, weavings, chains. Topological models were, at least in part, the impetus for this endeavor and de Jong also invited the surrealist mathematician Max Bucaille to contribute a series of playful and introductory texts on the subject. These experiments come across as particularly pertinent today when, according to some commentators, we are witnessing a "topological turn" in society.
A peculiar notion of constancy through change and deformation is key here. If topology traditionally is concerned with those properties of space that are preserved under continuous deformation (such as stretching and bending, but not tearing or gluing), The Situationist Times may be said to have adopted a quasi-topological ethos with regard to the transformative dissemination of cultural forms: “All reproduction, deformation, modification, derivation and transformation of the Situationist Times is permitted”.
The symposium takes a dual point of departure: the particularities of the “cultural topologies” of the ST, and the hypothesis, recently put forward by Tiziana Terranova and others, that today culture itself is becoming topological.*
What does it mean for a culture to become topological? Can we trace genealogies of contemporary network culture back to the situationists? Or take the ST as a point of departure for outlining a political topology of contemporary art? How do the topologies of the ST relate to the ubiquitous data structures of our contemporary digital reality?
The symposium requires no background in mathematical topology, but an interest in the mixing of practices and fields of knowledge could be useful.
Speakers will include art historian Eric de Bruyn (Leiden University), media scholar Matthew Fuller (Goldsmiths University), artist Axel Heil (Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe), sociologist and cultural theorist Tiziana Terranova (University of Naples ‘L'Orientale’), as well artist Jacqueline de Jong, editor of the Situationist Times.
- Ellef Prestsæter: Introduction (Topology for Dummies)
- Eric de Bruyn: On Rat Mazes, Dynamic Labyrinths and Network Diagrams
- Tiziana Terranova: The Becoming Topological of Culture
- Matthew Fuller: Vulgar Data Structures, diagrams, programs, and infinity at your finger tips
- Axel Heil: Acting Things Out: Jacqueline de Jong. From Détournement to Sabotage – From Mutant to Topologies
- Jacqueline de Jong in conversation with Ellef Prestsæter
About the symposium
These are Situationist Times: A Symposium on Topology, Culture and Politics is a collaboration between Media Aesthetics (IMK, University of Oslo), Aesthetic Seminar (University of Oslo), Kunsthall Oslo, and Torpedo Press.
The symposium forms part two of Networks, Topologies, Aesthetics , a seminar convened by Andreas Ervik (IMK), Karin Nygård (Dept. of Archivistics, Library and Information Science, HiOA), Ellef Prestsæter (IFIKK) and Sara R. Yazdani (IMK).
These are Situationist Times is an exhibition, digitization and publication project by Elin Maria Olaussen & Karen Christine Tandberg (Torpedo Press) and Ellef Prestsæter, generously supported by the Norwegian Arts Council.
PhD seminar: Networks, Topologies, Aesthetics
In this seminar we will discuss theoretical, artistic and political approaches to networks and topologies together with key international scholars in the field.
Time and place: Jan. 27, 2017 9:15 AM–Jan. 28, 2017, room 452 in Georg Morgenstiernes hus
Friday January 27
University of Oslo, Blindern, room 452 in Georg Morgenstiernes hus 9.15-16.30
Day one of the seminar will be devoted to network theories and practices. In the morning we will discuss a selection of texts proposed by our invited guests: sociologist and cultural theorist Tiziana Terranova (University of Naples ‘L'Orientale’), as well as the art historians Eric de Bruyn (Leiden University) and Ina Blom (University of Oslo). In the afternoon, PhD candidates are invited to give presentations within the overall framework of the seminar.
Credits: 3 ETCS (2 points for attendance and readings, 1 point for presentation or comment)
Requirements: In addition to the reading the course materials, PhD candidates are expected participate actively in the seminar either by i) giving a 20 minute presentation on a topic relating to the seminar context, or ii) giving prepared comments (based on the reading materials provided) to one of the invited speakers or to one of the PhD candidates.
Readings for the Friday seminar
Texts selected by Tiziana Terranova:
- Terranova, Tiziana. 2004. “Network Dynamics.” In Network Culture. Politics for the Information Age, 39-72. London: Pluto Press.
- ________2009. “Another Life.” Theory, Culture & Society 26 (6): 234-262
- ________2015. “Securing the Social: Foucault and Social Networks.” In Foucault and the History of Our Present, edited by Sophie Fuggle et.al., 111-127. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Texts selected by Eric de Bruyn:
- Galloway, Alexander and Eugene Thacker. 2004. “Protocol, Control, and Networks.” Grey Room 17 (Fall): 6-29.
- de Bryun, Eric. 2006. “Topological Pathways of Post-Minimalism.” Grey Room 25 (Fall): 32-63 https://ericdebruyn.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/de-bruyn_topological-pathways.pdf
- ________2016. “Empire’s Hologram.” In Cinema in the Expanded Field, edited by François Bovier & Mey Adeena, 14-53. Zurich: JRP/Ringier. https://ericdebruyn.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/debruyn_empires-hologram.pdf
Saturday January 28
Kunsthall Oslo, Bjørvika, 11.00-17.00
Day two of the seminar will take the form of a public symposium: These are Situationist Times: A Symposium on Topology, Culture and Politics. The symposium inaugurates a research, exhibition, digitization and publication project devoted to The Situationist Times (1962-1967), a cultural magazine which experimented with topological approaches to contemporary and historical image cultures. The symposium will explore what topologies of culture might be, historically and today. In addition to Terranova and de Bruyn, speakers will include media scholar Mattew Fuller (Goldsmith University), artist Axel Heil (Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe), se well as artist Jacqueline de Jong, the editor of the Situationist Times.
Note: Day two of the seminar is open to the general public, but advance registration is required at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The PhD seminar is a collaboration between the Media Aesthetics Research Group (IMK) and the PhD programs at IMK and IFIKK), convened by PhD candidates Andreas Ervik (IMK), Karin Nygård (Dept. of Archivistics, Library and Information Science, HiOA), Ellef Prestsæter (IFIKK) and Sara R. Yazdani (IMK).
These are Situationist Times: A Seminar on Topology, Culture and Politics is a collaboration between Aesthetic Seminar, Kunsthall Oslo, Media Aesthetics, and Torpedo kunstbokhandel.
Early Film History: Media Aesthetics invites guest lecture by Trond Lundemo
Media Aesthetics invites to a guest lecture by Trond Lundemo on the theme Early Film History.
Time and place: Nov. 25, 2016 2:15 PM–4:00 PM, Audiotorium 3, Eilert Sunds hus
Trond Lundemo is an Associate Professor at the Department of Cinema Studies at Stockholm University since 1996. In the same year, he received his PhD for his dissertation entitled “Bildets oppløsning; Filmens bevegelse i historisk og teoretisk perspektiv” (which translates as: “Resolution of Images; Film Movement from a historical and theoretical perspective”). He has been a visiting professor and visiting scholar at the Seijo University of Tokyo on five oc-casions between 2002 and 2011. In 2012, he was also a visiting professor at Kobe College in Japan. From 2005 to 2008, he worked on the topic of “Image Intersections”, funded by the Swedish Research Council. In 2011, he started another research project of his, “The Archive in Mo-tion”, funded by the Research Council of Norway. Since 2006, he is co-directing the Stockholm University Graduate School of Aesthetic Scienc-es. In 2010, he began his work as co-editor of the book series "Film Theory in Media History” at Amsterdam University Press, together with Swiss and German media scholars Vinzenz He-diger and Oliver Fahle. Professor Lundemo is a Steering Committee member of the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies (NECS). Furthermore, he participates in the research project ”Time, Memory and Representation” at Södertörns University College, Sweden, since 2011.
Fields of Research
History and theory of film; theory of the archive; technology studies; media and temporality; aesthetics; questions of intermediality.
IKKM Research Project
The main tenet of this project is that technological shifts inform the concept and the writing of history and how one understands the past. Following Siegfried Kracauer’s contention in his last, unfinished book, History; The Last Things before the Last (1969), that the modern concept of history was informed by the emergence of photographic media, I will analyse how historical formations have been subject to change through shifts in media technologies. If photography informs the modern concept of history, how have later technological shifts, as cinema and digital media, shaped historical articulations and consciousness? Departing from montage as a key concept for articulations of the past, the project aims to differenciate between various concepts of montage, as well as between montage practices. There are many different forms of montage in cinema as well as in other media, and it is the aim of this project to analyse how these modes of juxtaposition and connectivity produce different forms of articulations of the past. This entails rereading film montage theories as historiographical theories with a focus on their technological underpinnings. I also aim to expand these concepts of montage to other technical media and art forms to derive historiographical properties implicit or explicit within these practices. If one keeps with the thesis that technological shifts inform our sense of history, one must ask what are the effects of the end of photo-chemical inscription and the advent of digital transcription of visual events. If the modern concept of history was, in part at least, informed by photographic technology, what sense of the past is communicated by the digital technologies? One possible place to start this inquiry is in the automated pattern recognition techniques developed in recent software. With the current ubiquity of digital images, where almost every work process, transaction and consumption takes place through the image, the access to the past always proceeds through an analysis of images. With an all-pervasive process of digitization of analogue images – photo-chemical or videographic – the past as it is stored and constituted in images is readily accessible for software operations. This leads one to speculate if the shift from the modern historiography informed by the photographic technology is giving way to an 'archaeographic' approach to the past. The latter approach is not aimed at the production of linear historical narratives, but instead at articulations about the past produced by the technological dispositives themselves.
Media Aesthetics Symposium: Imag (in) ing Technologies
Full-day symposium on image technology and image formation. With Siegfried Zielinski (European Graduate School), Patricia Pisters (University of Amsterdam) and Matthias Bruhn (Humboldt University).
Time and place: Dec 3 2015 10: 15–16: 00, Helga Engs hus, Auditorium 3
- Susanne Østbye Sæther introduces the symposium
- Introduction by Patricia Pisters
- Patricia Pisters: "Follow the Metal: Mines, Media and Minds"
- Introduction by Matthias Bruhn
- Matthias Bruhn: "Fiction - Images as Objects of Operation"
- Introduction by Siegfried Zielinski
- Siegfried Zielinski: "On Deep Time of Techno-Imagination. Past & Future Connected as Potential Spaces".
Sean Cubitt on Political Aesthetics
Media Aesthetics and Seminar of Aesthetics has invited Sean Cubitt to present some of his recent work at a seminar November 19, 2015.
Time and place: Nov. 19, 2015 2:00 PM–4:00 PM, Eilert Sundts hus, auditorium 3
This paper stems from observing a diminution of address to questions of politics in much of the work in media and perhaps most of all in cinema studies. In three books I have asked myself what cinema does, how visual media work, and what are they made of. The last of these, on environmental impacts of digital media, comes to the conclusion that economics, politics and society are conceptually and in practice inadequate to the task of repairing or reversing the contemporary catastrophes, from the intimate anecdotes of identity politics to global and non-human climate change. Instead I find that mediation, and more narrowly communication, is both the means and the goal of political life. Thus the task I set myself is to reconsider the political work of media aesthetics. This in turn requires, as a preliminary and perhaps as the major task, asking what we might mean by 'political' in the 21st century, and what we might understand by 'aesthetic'. In the early sketches I hope to present to the seminar, I suggest that the core terms for an enquiry into aesthetics might be Truth, Beauty and The Good. As to the political, the Aristotelean question still remains significant: what are the relations distinguishing ethics, friendship and politics? At what scales, from 'the personal is the political' to 'think global, act local', is politics undertaken?
Contemporary politics is anaesthetic, in the sense that it disavows the imagination that allows us to inhabit this world differently, or to inhabit different worlds imaginatively. Conversely, the media are themselves political in the sense that the governance of norms and standards frames, constrains and informs the imaginative potential of media cultures. Is it prudent or indeed politic, in a time when the conduct of politics is universally mediated, to reverse Walter Benjamin's maxim, and argue that it is time to aestheticise politics?
About Sean Cubitt
Sean Cubitt is Professor of Film and television and joint Head of Department at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne. He is the author of The Cinema Effect (2005, MIT Press), and The Practice of Light: A Genealogy of Visual Technology from Prints to Pixels (2014, MIT Press). Cubitt is the editor of the Leonardo book series, MIT Press, and is on the boards of a number of journals, including Screen, Visual Communication and Futures. Cubitt's research focuses on the history of visual technologies, media art history, and relationships between environmental and post-colonial criticism of film and media, three strands that converge around the political aesthetics.
Touching the Screen
How do current practices of physically touching screens transform our relationship to media technologies and their images? Bringing together an interdisciplinary group of renowned scholars and artists, the one-day conference Touching the Screen aims to trace the genealogies and implications of today’s touchscreens and their formatting of images and the senses.
Time and place: Apr. 28, 2015 10:00 AM–4:30 PM, University of Oslo, Bindern Campus, Helga Engs hus, auditorium 3
As touchscreens and haptic interfaces are becoming ubiquitous in everyday life, our sensory engagement with media technologies changes. Most obviously, the sense of touch is coordinated with vision in new ways. This in turn has consequences for our embodied relation to media, in particular to their screens and images.
As witnessed in recent film and video art, artists have begun to explore some of the novel exchanges between the sensing body and images that touchscreens afford: tactility and gestures, textures and surfaces, and the curious tension between the screen-image as responsive plane versus its qualities of depth are some of the key themes that emerge.
In art, film and media theory, visual and linguistic paradigms are currently being supplemented by theorization of embodied media experience centered on sense perceptions other than the purely visual, with touch featuring prominently. For example, whereas touchscreens are underpinned by a tradition of psychophysiological research on touch that reaches back to the mid-nineteenth century, this tradition is only recently being thoroughly explored.
Within philosophy, the question of the status of touch in the hierarchy of the senses and as epistemological tool can be traced back to Aristotle’s De Anima, but gains new urgency today as touch gets formatted and patented by haptic interfaces.
For images, touching the screen with specified gestures accentuates how the (digital) image is perhaps better conceived of as data or code: tapping an icon becomes an act of information processing. In short, practices of touching the screen raise fundamental questions for a number of established conceptions of how we relate to media.
Touching the Screen will explore media archaeological, media theoretical and artistic ramifications of current practices of screen touching, and the potentially new bodily and epistemological configurations brought on by these.
Please note: the conference is open to all interested, but participation requires registration. The conference fee of NOK 130 covers lunch and beverages. Registration closes on April 21, or when the event is fully booked.
- Michael Bell-Smith (New York)
- Mika Elo (Helsinki)
- Victoria Fu (Los Angeles/San Diego)
- David Parisi (Charleston)
- Wanda Strauven (Amsterdam)
- Susanne M. Winterling (Berlin/Oslo)
IFIKK, University of Oslo and IMK, University of Oslo
The Pleasure and Politics of Looking: Film, Gender and Aesthetics
An international four-day event with a conference, film screenings and artist talks. The event is interdisciplinary with an ambition to connect the fields of film, art, and academia.
Time and place: Mar. 12, 2015 7:00 PM–Mar. 15, 2015 10:00 PM, UKS og Cinemateket, Oslo
The Pleasure and Politics of Looking comprises a conference with an extended film program that aims to re-think how desire, intimacy, gender and politics are manifested in contemporary film arts. How does the medium of film create subjects who look, desire and identify in certain ways? How and when is our gaze on film gendered? And what roles do aesthetics, media and technology play in such a process?
Identification and structures for desire were prominent themes in seventies’ and eighties’ Anglo-American feminist film theory, as witnessed by Laura Mulvey’s by now legendary essay on the male gaze, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” (1975), Mary Ann Doane’s The Desire to Desire: The Woman’s Film of the 1940s (1987) and Teresa de Lauretis’ Technologies of Gender (1987). Similar themes were explored by artists and filmmakers too, such as Lynn Hershman Leeson, Chantal Akerman, Babette Mangolte, Harun Farocki, and Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen. The ambition of The Pleasure and Politics of Looking is however not to predominantly return to the discourses and debates of the seventies and eighties. Rather, it seems more relevant to re-think the profound legacy of these films and theories in order to shed light on contemporary discussions of identity and gender politics, as well as examine how film, the avant-garde, technologies, and the visual arts more generally form and challenge ideas of queer and straight sexuality, gender and identity.
Today several filmmakers, artists and academics have updated the themes of gender, desire and film in their practice and conceptualizations. Norwegian discussions about film and gender have been dominated by arguments about representations and percentages of women on and off screen, and less interested in exploring the structures of identification and desire that are facilitated by the form, materiality and aesthetics of film. These are concepts The Pleasure and Politics of Looking wants to explore.
The conference and film screenings at UKS are free and open to everyone.
- Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai de Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975, dir. Chantal Akerman) with an introduction by Patricia White.
- Patricia White (Professor, Swarthmore College): The Horizon of Women’s Cinema
- Screening: A Blank Slate + conversation with Sara Eliassen and Patricia White
- Susanne Winterling, (Professor, The Academy of Fine Arts, Oslo) in conversation with Peter J. Amdam (curator and critic): "Biodiversity as a Guide: on Political and Aesthetic Questions of Abandoning the Nature/Culture Divide"
Gary Needham (Senior lecturer, Nottingham Trent University): Cruising: Another Way of Looking
Knut Åsdam: That's some looking!
- Teknolust (2002, dir. Lynn Hershman Leeson)
UKS Artist talks and Screenings
- Dirty Young Loose, Lene Berg (2013), Artist talk with Lene Berg and Gary Needham
- Olympic Variations, Michel Auder (1984), Artist talk with Michel Auder and Gary Needham
- Abyss, Knut Åsdam (2010)
- Lovely Andrea, Hito Steyerl (2007)
- Scorpio Rising, Kenneth Anger (1963)
- Secret screening (melodrama/ plastic figures/ disaster)
Cinemateket Screenings with film introductions
- All That Heaven Allows (1955, dir. Douglas Sirk) with an introduction by Gary Needham
- Peeping Tom (1960, dir. Michael Powell) with an introduction by Patricia White
- Dirty Young Loose, Lene Berg (2013) 32 min
- Abyss, Knut Åsdam (2010) 43 min
- Olympic Variations, Michel Auder (1984) 25 min
- Lovely Andrea, Hito Steyerl (2007) 30 min
- Scorpio Rising, Kenneth Anger (1963) 28 min
- Secret screening (melodrama/ plastic figures/ disaster) 43 min
Cinemateket Screening with film introduction
- Anatomy of Hell (2004, dir. Catherine Breillat)
The event is supported by Fritt Ord, Imag(in)ing Technologies at the Department of Media and Communications, University of Oslo, Centre for Gender Research, University of Oslo, and NFI Filmkulturelle tiltak.
Film seminar 2013: Film, body and senses
This year's film seminar is called the Realm of the Senses, and it will be about perception, sex and empathy.
Time and place: Oct. 5, 2013–Oct. 6, 2013, Filmens Hus, Dronningens gate 16, Tancred
Hear speakers in the world discuss the sensory aspects of film media in autumn's film seminar. And go on an emotional roller-coaster ride through films ranging from melodrama to hard core erotic art film.
There will be screenings and lectures. Light lunch both days. Price 400,- (350 ,- for the film club and cinematekmedlemmer).
From the program:
- Linda Williams: "Melodrama: Tales of Sound and Fury Signifying' ... Something"
- Linda Williams: "Hard Core Eroticism: In the Realm of the Senses"
- Tarja Laine: "Cinematic Emotions and the Uncanny Sublime"
- Movies: Cult classic Aventurera (Alberto Gout, Mexico, 1950), Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, USA, 2012), Senses Rich (Nagisha Oshima, Japan, 1976)
The seminar is open to everyone.
Norsk filmklubbforbund and IMK at the University of Oslo
Film seminar on Luchino Visconti
In collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute, the Cinematheque and the Department of Media and Communication, a seminar is arranged dedicated to the well-known Italian director Luchino Visconti. The seminar is a combination of lectures and screenings of key films.
Time: Apr 12 2013 18: 00–13. apr. 2013 16:00
Friday, April 12th
- Caterina D’Amico: An introduction to Luchino Visconti
- Display: Bellissima (1952)
Saturday, April 13th
- Jon Rognlien: "Visconti og den aristokratiske dekadente venstresiden"
- Viewing: The Innocent (1976)
- Helge Rønning: "Visconti og litteraturen"
- Viewing: The Leopard (1963)
Screenicity: Point, Touch, Go
This lecture is a part of the IMK speakers series SCREENICITY: Images, Screens, and the Augmented City.
Time and place: June 14, 2012 1:15 PM, Arne Næss auditorium, Georg Morgenstiernes hus, University of Oslo
"Point, Touch, Go: augmented reality, mobile screens, and the visual regime of navigation"
Nanna Verhoeff (Utrecht University) is the main speaker in this lecture.
Nanna Verhoeff investigates the logic of layers at work in contemporary urban space where mobile technologies and performative screen practices contribute to, what she calls, a visual regime of navigation. By exploring augmented reality applications currently being developed for smartphones, she will elaborate on the specificity of ensuing haptic engagement with, and performative cartography of urban space.
Comment: Gunnar Liestøl, IMK, UiO
The recent decade has seen a rapid evolution in the field of digital media. Handheld electronic devices and urban screens are now being integrated into every aspect of urban life. GPS and augmented reality (AR) technologies have transformed the new generation of mobile devices from a communication and information platform into a navigational tool, fostering a new alignment of reality and image perception.
As a result, the image has been radically dislocated. The theory of the image needs to take these dislocations into account and exert a paradigm shift from ontology to typology and topology. We should not only ask what the image is, but rather how and where the image is. The speakers series aims to discuss the new ubiquity, mobility, and operability of the digital image in terms of aesthetic transformation. That is, in terms of how we experience images and urban space through the new digital and screen based modes of aisthesis.
The research area Media Aesthetics brings together four international scholars with a background in art and architecture, film studies, and software studies, to investigate SCREENICITY in terms of digital augmentation, navigation, and public screen culture. Given the multi-facetted nature of the Augmented City, the lectures will cover a broad range of issues and approaches: from the Software City focussing on the role of software art and culture in the city, and public screens being the sites of both consumption and resistance culture in a suburban setting in Shanghai (Chris Berry) to the Sentient City as a near-future scenario of a city capable of monitoring and organizing the life of its citizens (Mark Shepard), and emerging Augmented Reality technologies for smartphones fostering a performative cartography of urban space (Nanna Verhoeff).
Concept: Ingrid Hoelzl, Department of Media and Communication, UiO
Organizer: Media Aesthetics
SCREENICITY - Mark Shepard: Pathetic Fallacies and Category Mistakes: Making sense and non-sense of the sentient city.
(E) The research area Media Aesthetics brings together four international scholars with a background in art and architecture, film studies, and software studies, to investigate SCREENICITY.
All lectures are at Arne Næss auditorium, Georg Morgenstiernes hus, University of Oslo.
Tid og sted: 7. juni 2012 13:15, Arne Næss auditorium, Georg Morgenstiernes hus, University of Oslo
Pathetic Fallacies and Category Mistakes: making sense and non-sense of the sentient city
Mark Shepard (Buffalo State University)
As computing leaves the desktop and spills out onto the sidewalks, streets and public spaces of the city, we increasingly find information processing capacity embedded within and distributed throughout the material fabric of everyday urban space. Artifacts and systems we interact with daily collect, store and process information about us, or are activated by our movements and transactions. Ubiquitous computing evangelists herald a coming age of urban infrastructure capable of sensing and responding to the events and activities transpiring around them. Imbued with the capacity to remember, correlate and anticipate, this near-future "sentient" city is envisioned as being capable of reflexively monitoring its environment and our behavior within it, becoming an active agent in the organization of everyday life in urban public space. This talk will unpack some of the tacit assumptions, latent biases and hidden agendas at play behind new and emerging urban infrastructures.
Mark Shepard is an artist, architect and researcher whose post-disciplinary practice addresses new social spaces and signifying structures of contemporary network cultures. His current research investigates the implications of mobile and pervasive media, communication and information technologies for architecture and urbanism. Recent work includes the 'Sentient City Survival Kit', a collection of artifacts for survival in the near-future sentient city; and the 'Tactical Sound Garden [TSG]', an open source software platform for cultivating virtual sound gardens in urban public space, both of which have been presented at museums, festivals and arts events internationally. In 2009, he curated Toward the Sentient City, an exhibition of commissioned projects that critically explored the evolving relationship between ubiquitous computing and the city. He is the editor of Sentient City: ubiquitous computing, architecture and the future of urban space, published by the Architectural League of New York and MIT Press in 2011. Mark is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Media Study at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, where he co-directs the Center for Architecture and Situated Technologies (CAST).
Comment by Ragnhild Tronstad, AHO
Concept: Ingrid Hoelzl.
Organizer: Media Aesthetics
SCREENICITY - Chris Berry: Dancing under the Screenlight: Researching Public Screens and Consumption in Shanghai
(E) The talk is part of the IMK speakers series in Media Aesthetics SCREENICITY: Images, Screens, and the Augmented City.
All lectures are at Arne Næss auditorium, Georg Morgenstiernes hus, University of Oslo.
Tid og sted: 31. mai 2012 13:15, Arne Næss auditorium, Georg Morgenstiernes hus, University of Oslo
Dancing under the Screenlight: Researching Public Screens and Consumption in Shanghai
Chris Berry (Goldsmiths, London)
This talk will present the results of the research project “Tracking the Moving Image, Mapping the Screen”. The team led by Chris Berry addressed how digitalization has changed the role of the moving image screen and the role of public space as a place of community in studying the changing location and use patterns of moving image screens in selected neighborhoods of London, Shanghai, and Cairo.
Concept: Ingrid Hoelzl.
Organizer: Media Aesthetics
SCREENICITY - Christian Ulrich Andersen: The Art of Software Cities
The talk is part of the IMK speakers series in Media Aesthetics SCREENICITY: Images, Screens, and the Augmented City.
All lectures are at Arne Næss auditorium, Georg Morgenstiernes hus, University of Oslo.
Time and place: May 10, 2012 1:15 PM, Arne Næss auditorium, Georg Morgenstiernes hus, University of Oslo
The Art of Software Cities
Christian Ulrich Andersen (Aarhus University)
Urban screens, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, surveillance systems, wireless networks and other phenomena are intrinsic parts of contemporary urbanity. With this development, not only media but also software is introduced into the city. Thinking in terms of software, and the relation between media and computation, allows us to speculate about the mechanisms behind the spectacle. The presentation will discuss how the development of the software city can be seen in the light of a tradition of making software, and further discuss the role of software art and culture in the software city.
- Comment by Andrew Morrison (Intermedia/AHO)
- Welcoming words by Head of department, Espen Ytreberg (IMK)
- Introduction by post.doc. Ingrid Hoelzl (IMK)
Organizer: Media Aesthetics
Antonioni's Intimate Realism
Department of Media and Communication, Cinemateket and the Italien Center of Culture present the film maker Michelangelo Antonioni. The speakers are Gavriel Moses, Jon Rognlien, Helge Rønning and Hanne Ørstavik.
Time and place: Apr. 13, 2012 6:00 PM–Apr. 14, 2012, Filmens Hus, Oslo
The programme: Antonioni's Intimate Realism
Friday 13. April at 18.00 pm
- Welcome / Introduction
- Speaker: Gavriel Moses: “Antonioni, or, the objects of the world ”
- Screening: “L’avventura” (1960)
Saturday 14. April at 11.00 am
- Speaker: Jon Rognlien: “Nattens arkitektur”
- Screening: “La Notte” (1961)
- Speaker at 14.00 pm - Helge Rønning: “Antonions intime realisme: om Antonioni og italiensk kultur mellom realisme og modernisme”
- Screening: “L’eclisse” (1962)
- Speaker at 17.00 pm - Hanne Ørstavik: “Rød ørken, om form, frykt og begjær”
- Screening: "Il deserto Rosso" (1964)