Politics of the Machines: Art and After


How does the machine impact and contextualize artistic production and perception? Recent research on the impact of machines and technology on art places the machine in the centre of ‘ecologies’ (Fuller), ‘archaeologies’ (Parikka) and ‘aesthetics of interaction’ (Kwastek) pointing towards a ‘techno-ontology’ (Broeckmann). However, the growing interest in describing the phenomenon of the ‘computer’ as the electronic machine has risked to keep both the computer and technology more broadly trapped within a logic in which technology appears as our transcendence from which we ‘cannot escape’ (Heidegger, Zizek). Whereas the matter of technology should always be approached critically, the focus on machines as ‘digital’ and ‘electronic’ hides the alternative, experimental and different ontologies and materialities of the machine and the correspondingly  different epistemologies they may operate in. Throughout his writings, Bruno Latour, for instance, develops a thinking based on the notion of the ‘politics of things’, which may also give our relation to machines a less immaterial and semiological bias. How are the relationality and operationality of machines being negotiated into cultural and social ontologies? Where do experimental and artistic practices  work beyond the human / non-human dualisms and  into biological, hybrid, cybernetic, vibrant, uncanny, overly material, darkly ecological, critical, (etc.) machines?

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

María Antonia González Valerio (MEX)

Ljiljana Fruk (CRO)

Peter-Paul Verbeek (NL)

Andreas Broeckmann (D)

The conference is hosted by Aalborg University Copenhagen and IT-U Copenhagen in collaboration with EVA London, Computer Arts Society, British Computer Society, and DIAS Gallery Copenhagen.