Critical Conversations

In Critical Conversations, two to three people meet on stage to discuss the practices involved in critiqueing, exposing, and questioning the socio-cultural as well as the political effects of technology. Centered on the practices of a participating artist, the sessions will explore what it means to be critical and what it might mean to outline alternatives through artistic, designerly, as well as technological practice. How is criticality central to the work that they do, how are alternatives articulated, and why is this relevant to contemporary as well as future research into IT? The format is relaxed and open and will begin with the artist presenting selected work from the portfolio.

Wednesday 19th of August, 15:30-17

Title: A conversation with Frieder Nake about conversations with computers.

Abstract: Frieder Nake (DE) will discuss with Martin Brynskov and Søren Pold (DK), looking back on a long career in computing (not computers!). Frieder's work was born out of mathematics, and a keen interest in the similarities and differences between machine- and man-made representations. A pioneer in digital art in the 1960s, Nake established core concepts within computer semiotics, including the algorithmic sign. Now-famous for pioneering computer art, he will discuss the hopes, desires, revolutionary expectations, and intentions of computational technology, and together they will take a critical look at current discourses in light of the old.

Frieder Nake is a mathematician, computer scientist, and pioneer of computer art. He is professor in Computer Graphics and Interactive Systems at the University of Bremen as well as in Digital Media at the University of the Arts, Bremen. He has had a long involvement with digital art since his first exhibition in 1965, since then being active in artistic as well as in research practice. Since the 1970s, Nake’s work has also included political, economic and theoretical criticism of computer science.

Thursday 20th of August, 14-15

Title: A conversation with Erica Scourti about computational belief systems.

Abstract: This discussion between Erica Scourti (UK), Renée Ridgway and Lone Koefoed Hansen will take its starting point in how Scourti's work uses a diverse range of information technologies and documentary practices in order to investigate contemporary socio-cultural practices. Through Erica’s oevre, the participants will discuss auto-ethnographic practices, the power of algorithms and the algorithmic gaze, as well as how and what we invest with meaning in contemporary society — for instance Google, capitalism, the art market, and the idea of technological optimisation.

Erica Scourti is an artist and writer interested in language, value systems and networked culture, whose work has been shown widely in galleries, museums and festivals in Europe as well as overseas. She holds a Master of Research degree (with Distinction) in Moving Image Art at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design, run in conjunction with LUX. ericascourti.com/index.htm