DIGITAL CULTURE AND TECHNOGENESIS
Master’s course block, second part of Cultural Theory (with Mikkel Bolt), Institute for Arts and Cultural Studies, Copenhagen University, Fall 2021
The concept of technogenesis addresses how we as humans evolve culturally, socially, sensorially, neurologically and epigenetically with technics and mediated experience. From a technogenetic perspective on contemporary culture we can examine how ways in which we see and analyze our surrounding world, approach aesthetic experiences and their meanings, experience connectivity and exchange experiences and attitudes and construct meaning, changes, in relation to how we change as humans in a digital-technological life world. This involves a destabilization of ideas about consciousness and direct experience of phenomena, challenges the concept of subjectivity, new attention to digital materiality and the modes of existence and ontologies of cultural phenomena, and attention to biologically-anchored relations between perception and reality experience – perspectives that have radical consequences to how we approach cultural theory and analytical method. By activating theories from among other domains neuro culture, anthropology, feminist materialism and philosophy of technology we visit and rethink central topics of cultural theory through the prism of technogenesis: posthumanism, affectivity, visuality, media aesthetics and reality construction – as a condition for examining and creating the public sphere, public space and public culture.
URBAN MEDIA ART ACADEMY
The Urban Media Art Academy (which I initiated in 2017 together with Susa Pop) is a networked, global educational initiative that investigates and intermediates urban media art as an interdisciplinary domain of practice, theory and knowledge sharing. The Academy facilitates an educational model around art that supports its conceptualization, autonomy for critical reflection and response, and influence on society today. It fertilizes learning processes in between disciplines seeking to equip participants to critically engage with urban media art as a domain of artistic and creative co-production of society. With the goal of interfacing existing – and developing new – knowledge systems that emerge around critical conditions of urban, networked spaces around the world, my work with the academy currently involves the development of a pedagogical and interdisciplinary, educational model, and a methodology for knowledge transfer between cities.
City of Quantified Visions
Action-research program of the Urban Media Art Academy, organized in collaboration with Nanyang Technical University, Singapore (February-March, 2019)
City of Shifting Energies
Action-research program of the Urban Media Art Academy, in the framework of Media Architecture Biennial (MAB 2018), Beijing, China (November, 2018)
City of Intersecting Rituals
Action-research program of the Urban Media Art Academy, in the framework of the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA 2018), Durban, South Africa (23, 24 and 30 June, 2018)
City of Contradictory Utopias
Curatorial action-research program of the Urban Media Art Academy, São Paulo, Brazil (21-24 February, 2018)
City of Emotional Transitions
Action-research program of the Urban Media Art Academy in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand (17-20 November, 2017)
Urban Media Art Academy – Bangkok
Educational program of the Urban Media Art Academy in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand (23-26 April, 2017)
CRITICAL CURATING: URBAN DIGITAL ART
Master’s course, Institute for Arts and Cultural Studies, Copenhagen University
The urban has recently gained renewed attention as a conceptual, practical and phenomenological condition for digital art. Emerging in the cross section of fine art, new media, technology, architecture and urban culture, urban digital art is currently expanding the artistic field, while its role and purpose in the urban domain is a subject of vast experimentation. In this course we will conceptually and in practice question and challenge dominant exhibition schemes in the domain of urban digital art, in order to challenge our understandings of what role and meaning digital art has, and could have, in the urban context. This is, in a response to the increasing density, acceleration and politicization of visual aesthetics in the media city.
Our subject matter is initiatives with video art in public space, urban art screens, context-specific screenings, architectural projection mapping, media architecture, nuit-blanche festivals, new media connectivity projects, permanent urban digital galleries, and mobile and software art. We will look at the developments and changing discourses in this domain from a curatorial perspective, from the early initiatives with expanded cinema in the late 1960s to experimentation with broadcasting turning private situations public in the 1970s, to practices with video art in public space up through the 1990s and the urban screen movement in the 2000s, to contemporary LED media facades and installations of software art that turn entire buildings into digital galleries and media architecture.
The course is partly theoretical, partly practical. It is a module focused on the theoretical, methodological and conceptual aspects of curatorial practice with urban digital art, which students will translate into practical reality in collaboratively planning an exhibition. This will open in June 2015, with a public symposium. The conceptual and practical preparation of the exhibition will involve theoretical exercises, concrete urban analyses, formulations of curatorial statements, introduction to fundraising, PR and communications aspects, analysis of the artistic material commissioned for the exhibition, and conceptualization and production of exhibition elements.
Students will gain knowledge of the main discourses and ideas that have shaped the domain of curatorial practice with urban digital art. They will gain competences in urban and artistic analysis in relation to the domain of digital art, and in translating critical understanding of issues and tendencies in urban digital art into curatorial potential. They will get skills in conceptualizing an exhibition, in collaborating with the artistic vision, in outlining and realizing an exhibition narrative (adjust ideas to real-world restrictions), and in formulating a curatorial statement. Students will further gain experience with developing a methodology and toolbox for independently conceptualizing and producing a creative project or arts initiative, which can be applied to other projects and domains of artistic or creative cultural production.
CRITICAL ARTIST – DIGITAL CITIZEN
Workshop / SESI SP Digital Art Gallery
Organized with Rune Madsen
November 5-6, 2013
Digital art production has long been thriving around a tendency of affirmation of technology. With inexpensive, publicly available tools and media, contemporary artists have been able to create spectacular works and push the limits of aesthetic engagement with data, code and software. The workshop for the second SP_Urban Digital Festival 2013, DIGITAL CITIZEN – CRITICAL ARTIST seeks to confront this avowal and awake a critical response in artists themselves. It emphasizes the cultural dimension of software art and its application in urban space and interrogates the expectations that artists have toward technology, what it can do for their artistic practice. Through presentations, discussion and experiments, the workshop raises the overall question: How can digital artworks confront our urban experience and push the boundaries of our understanding of what it means to be citizens in a digital age?