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Symposium: New Materialisms and Digital Culture

New Materialisms and Digital Culture
An International Symposium on Contemporary Arts, Media and Cultural Theory.

Far from being immaterial, digital culture consists of heterogeneous bodies, relations, intensities, movements, and modes of emergence manifested in the various contexts of arts and sciences.

"New materialism" is suggested as a speculative concept with which to engage these explorations across diverse cultural-theoretical fields of inquiry: art and media studies, social and political theorizing, feminist analysis, and science and technology studies.

This event maps the ways in which questions of process, positive difference or the new, relation, and the pervasively aesthetic character of our emergences with the world have lately been taken up in cultural theory. Specifically it concerns studies with digital culture that rethink matter, the body and the social, and the move beyond the dominance of symbolic mediation or the despotism of the signifier.

In order not to reproduce the logic of identity, the event does not attribute 'new materialist' developments exclusively to any single or collaborative authorial name (such as Deleuze-Guattari, despite their crucial influence). New materialisms are rather addressed in a transversal mode. This entails investigating the heterogeneous theoretical inspirations - from process philosophies to re-appropriations of the sciences - they can draw on. It also entails appreciating the singular problems and connections of specific projects.

The talks of the event will address media arts of digital culture, sonic environments, cinematic contexts, wireless communication and a variety of further phenomena in order to develop a new vocabulary for understanding digital culture as a material culture.

Speakers include: Dr Adrian Mackenzie, Dr Stamatia Portanova, Dr Iris van der Tuin, Dr Rick Dolphijn, Dr Satinder Gill, Dr Anna Powell, Dr David M. Berry and others.

The academic programme is followed by a physical computing/dance performance involving CoDE affiliated staff (Richard Hoadley and Tom Hall) together with the choreographer Jane Turner, Cheryl Frances-Hoad and their dancers.

We are also organizing the second day of the event, 22 June, as a small workshop for PhD students with Dr Van der Tuin and Dr Dolphijn, along with Milla Tiainen and Jussi Parikka. If you are interested, drop us an informal message at: milla.tiainen@anglia.ac.uk or jussi.parikka@anglia.ac.uk

In addition, we are planning a hands on workshop for the Tuesday on experimental performance and physical computing.

The event is sponsored by CoDE: the Cultures of the Digital Economy-institute and the department of English, Communication, Film and Media at Anglia Ruskin University.

Convened by Milla Tiainen and Jussi Parikka

Register your place here please:


Fee: £20.


June 21

10.00 Welcome and what is new materialism, Milla Tiainen and Jussi Parikka

10.15 Anna Powell (Manchester Met): Electronic Automatism: Video Affects and The Time Image

11.10 Break

11.30 Iris van der Tuin (Utrecht): “A Different Starting Point, a Different Metaphysics”: Reading Bergson and Barad Diffractively

Rick Dolphijn (Utrecht): The Intense Exterior of Another Geometry

12.30 Lunch

13.45 Stamatia Portanova (Birkbeck): The materiality of the abstract (or how movement-objects ‘thrill’ the world)

Eleni Ikoniadou: Transversal digitality and the relational dynamics of a new materialism

Satinder Gill (Anglia Ruskin/CoDE and Cambridge University): “Rhythms and sense-making in responsive dense-space'

15.20 break

15.40 David Berry: Software Avidities: Latour and the Materialities of Code.

16.10 Adrian Mackenzie (Lancaster) Believing in and desiring data: R as ' next big thing

17.00 closing, break

18.00 Open launch and drinks event for CoDE and the Digital Performance laboratory (CoDE, Music and Performing Arts, Anglia Ruskin) and a science-arts interdisciplinary performance Triggered. Recital-hall, Helmore Building, East Road, Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge.

'Triggered' showcases the results of a practice-as-research project into methods of interdisciplinary collaboration between a group of contemporary dancers, musicians and music technologists. The nature of this collaboration has allowed performance to emerge from artists and disciplines interacting and responding to each other. The bespoke technologies used in the project enable sophisticated dialogue between movement and sound, between music composition and choreography. The nature of interaction and narratives created are key areas of investigation and these areas will explored in a workshop on the second day of the conference. Performing, choreographing, composing and building the production are Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Tom Hall, Richard Hoadley, Jane Turner & dance company.

day 2


Helmore 251

New materialism: art, science, media –workshop with selected PhD students with

Dr Iris van der Tuin and Rick Dolphijn, along with Milla Tiainen and Jussi Parikka

12.30-14.00 lunch

14.00 an experimental performance/HCI workshop and interaction possibility with Jane Turner, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Dr Satinder Gill, Dr Richard Hoadley and Dr Tom Hall.

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