Art as technology – Symposium

Art as technology

Symposium 15.12.2016
Organized by: Art and Technology network, University of the Arts Helsinki
Location: WHS Union Theatre, Unioninkatu 45/Siltavuorenranta 18, Helsinki

Art and technology have been closely related to each other throughout the history of Western culture. Their relation, however, is highly variable and constitutes a multifaceted set of questions for the Humanities. Within past few years, lively debates have emerged around “digital humanities”. New challenges in the areas of big data processing, open source practices and hybrid cognition have opened up a gap between “critical humanities” and “big humanities”. How do the new computational conditions influence the arts? Is there a gap between “critical arts” and “big arts”? Should we speak of “digital arts” analogously to “digital humanities” or should we envision “arts of the digital” in parallel with “humanities of the digital”? The question whether and how new technologies change the arts has been discussed widely over decades, but how to consider the arts as technologies in wake of a series of theoretical turns, shifts and new eras? Is there something new to the arts as technologies today?

9:00 Coffee and a compilation of Pilvari Pirtola’s videos
Pilvari Pirtola is an artist and a doctoral student at the Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki.
10:00 Mika Elo: Opening words
10:15 Susanna Lindberg: “Liberation – of art and technology + discussion”
”This lecture is a philosophical reflexion of the way in which art in the contemporary technological turn of art deals with the ancient rivalry between art and technology. Firstly, I will draw a schematic picture of the conceptual problems inherited from classical philosophy of art and technology, and that this art necessarily confronts. Secondly I will see how certain contemporary works of art attempt to solve some of these problems (e.g. Rebecca Horn, Anaïs Tondeur, Eduardo Kac, Tomás Saraceno). Through these reflextions I will finally ask if and how a dialogue between art and technology contributes to the liberation of one through the other.”
Susanna Lindberg is a philosopher. After a PhD at the University of Strasbourg, she has worked as lecturer and professor at the Universities of Helsinki and Tampere; at the moment she is an associate resercher at the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense. Her publications include Le monde défait. L’être au monde aujourd’hui (Hermann, 2016), Heidegger contre Hegel: Les irréconciliables and Entre Heidegger et Hegel : L’éclosion et vie de l’être (L’Harmattan, 2010). She has also edited, with Sergei Prozorov and Mika Ojakangas, Europe Beyond Universalism and Particularism (Palgrave, 2014) and with Gisèle Berkman Limite – illimité, questions au présent. (Nouvelles Éditions Cécile Defaut, 2012). She has also published many articles on German idealism, phenomenology and contemporary French philosophy, as well as translations of French philosophy into Finnish (for instance Derrida, Nancy and Blanchot).
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Electronic Chamber Music – Otso Lähdeoja, Alejandro Montes de Oca, Aino Eerola, Nathan Thomson – Music + discussion
13:45 Morten Søndergaard: Sound + Art + Technology +
“It is hard to ‘fit’ sound art into any known discipline or research area. Sound art is a transdisciplinary and experimental practice drawing on as various sources as modern physics, technology, electronic media, psychology and more. It may not even be ‘art’, as it does not ‘fit’ any traditional categories or genres. Thus, ‘sound art’ is not a perfect ‘fit’ for any discipline, at all. Yet it exists as perhaps one of the most distinct expressions of innovative explorations of space and time, and for that very reason it calls for a study of sound art within the framing of art and technology. In my talk I will generally discuss this framing by presenting and analysing a ‘modern genealogy’ of sound + art + technology +.”
Morten Søndergaard is Curator and Associate Professor of interactive media art at Aalborg University Denmark. International co-coordinator of the Erasmus Master in Media Arts Cultures; Head of research on the Unheard Avant-garde Research Project since 2010 and co-founder of ISACS – International Sound Art Curating Conference Series. Curator and deputy director at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde (1999-2008). Served as General chair and Senior Curator at re-new digital arts festival in Copenhagen 2010-13 and as contributing editor at Leonardo Electronic Almanac 2011- 2014. He has published, edited and curated extensively in the field of media art and sound art.
14:45 Coffee
15:15 Jari Kauppinen: Performance + discussion
“My research aims to examine and experiment with different strategies of combining voice, space and media technology in performative contexts. I focus on the onset of the act of speaking, the brief moment of unfolding potentiality, the minute gradations of expression that operate there, in and between voices, texts, and technologies.”
Jari Kauppinen is Professor in Sound Design at Theatre Academy, Uniarts Helsinki. He is also a doctoral candidate at the Performing Arts Research Center.
16:00 Fernando José Pereira: “Besides all that (a deliberate dip in technology to build the possibilities to resist it)”
“The relationship between art and technology is now unquestionable and consensual. And yet, nothing tells us that we should not keep the degrees of scepticism at high levels. On one hand the widespread dazzle in what the latest technology relates; on the other hand, the fascination that obsolete technology produces both in artists and market. Both are presented as visible signs of a reality that is ours: the technological and digital society in which we live. The central issue still remains the determining of the origin of decisions: the utopia of artistic gesture or the aporia of the technological primacy. From the attempt to resolve this duality may arise the possibility of a critical and operational vision for contemporary artistic practices.”
Fernando José Pereira is an artist, co-director of the site and a member of the electronic music project Haarvöl. He teaches at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto, where he is also the coordinator of the PhD program and researcher at the I2ADS (Institute for Research in Art, Design and Society).
17:00 Panel with the speakers of the day and Tuomo Rainio, Dominik Schlienger, Päivi Takala 18:00 Closing