Art, Science and the Technological Unconscious

I have been invited to give a lecture at "Kibla 2012, Soft Control: Art, Science and the Technological Unconscious", an exhibition and a symposium curated by Dmitry Bulatov that will take place in next November in Maribor, Slovenia, European Capital of Culture 2012. As the website states, "the exhibition showcases ideas of a modern post-biological society which are modified and spread over the borders of our reality and identity. Emphasis is given to art works being created with the help of robotics, biomedicine, and nanotechnology within the strict domain of visual arts. The artists strive to discover the source of the modern technological myth which is based on values such as efficacy, control, technological development, and economic influence."

 

From the website:

"Participants include Marina Abramovi? (Serbia/USA) with Suzanne Dikker and Matthias Oostrik (The Netherlands), Bill Vorn (Canada), Stelarc (Australia), James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau (United Kingdom), Polona Tratnik (Slovenia), Floris Kaayk (NL), Leo Peschta (Austria), Seiko Mikami (Japan), David Bowen (USA), Tuur Van Baalen (United Kingdom / Belgium), Stefan Doepner & Lars Vaupel (Slovenia / Germany), The Tissue Culture & Art Project: Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr (Australia), Maja Smrekar (Slovenia), Kuda begut sobaki (Russia), Andy Gracie (United Kingdom / Spain), Brandon Ballengee (USA) & Louis-Philippe Demers (Singapore), Ursula Damm (Germany), Guy Ben-Ary and Kirsten Hudson (Australia), Boredomresearch: Vicky Isley and Paul Smith (United Kingdom), Arthur Elsenaar and Remko Scha (NL).

The SOFT CONTROL Art, science and the technological unconscious exhibition reveals to us today’s ‘technological unconscious’, the submediality of the present, which encompasses mythological imagination, apocalyptic visions and utopian dreams. How are the language and the idea of a modern post-biological society capable of altering and reconfiguring the boundaries of our reality and our very identities? By focusing attention on the works of art created using the latest 21st century media – robotics, information technology, biomedicine and nanotechnology – curator Dmitry Bulatov of the Kaliningrad NCCA, together with artists featured in this exhibition, attempts to reveal the sources of the modern technological myth: efficiency, control, technological development and economic expansion.

The purpose of this artistic strategy is the formation of a new human right: the right to reinvent and rewrite the very foundations of the technological myth. Soft control articulates as its goal the formation of a living future, a future that bestows us with freedom, rather than a lifeless mechanized future built without our participation.

The showpiece event of the educational programme will be an international conference involving theoreticians and artists from Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and Singapore, to be held 16–17 November 2012. Conference participants invited include recognised experts in the field of contemporary art and new technologies such as Roy Ascott (Plymouth University, UK) – one of Europe’s pioneers of cybernetic and telematic art; Erkki Huhtamo (University of California Los Angeles, US) – well-known for research in media archaeology; Pier Luigi Capucci (NABA International Academy of Arts and Design, Milan, IT) – a leading expert in art, science and technology. The conference will place special emphasis on the presentation of new strategies in contemporary technological art and training and education in the field, as well as practical presentations. Famous artists and practitioners including Marina Abramovi? (Serbia/USA), Stelarc (Australia), Polona Tratnik (Slovenia), Seiko Mikami (Japan), Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr (Australia), Louise-Philippe Demers (Singapore) will enjoy the opportunity to express themselves in the papers, lectures and discussions.

Andrei Smirnov, director of the Theremin Center (Moscow State Conservatory), specialist, practitioner and theorist in the sphere of DIY theremin sensors – experimental sound in general – will run workshop with inclusion of theoretical elements from the history of the sound avant-garde. Educational program includes screenings of the major world media-art festivals in the frame of educational program: PRIX Ars Electronica (Austria), VIDA: Art & Artificial Life International Competition (Spain), MediaArtLab Centre for Art and Culture (Russia), Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) (USA), IMPAKT (The Netherlands), The Prometheus Center (Russia), and others."

More at the website