Category Archives: Department of Media

Defence of dissertation in the field of Visual Communication Design, MA Arja Karhumaa

Cover image of EPÄGENESIS: Tekstin muotoilu uusmateriaalisena kirjoitta/umisena. Tutkielma Y by Arja Karhumaa.

Cover of Arja Karhumaa's Dissertation second book Epägenesis: Katalogi X.

The audience is kindly asked to join at no later than 12:00. The defence will be recorded.

Zoom Quick Guide

Event language: Finnish 

Event page: In English In Finnish 

The dissertation is publicly displayed online 10 days before the defence here.

TITLE OF DISSERTATION

EPä/iGENESIS: Tekstin muotoilu uusmateriaalisena kirjoitta/umisena. Tutkielma Y

ABSTRACT

This is an artistic research into the materiality of typographic text. In everyday settings, the conventions of ordinary text documents render their writing almost transparent for their reader. However, at the same time, those conventions are so visual in nature that texts often become recognised even before reading, just by looking. As a designer and researcher, I expose these conventions in Epägenesis, an experimental writing project which is set in motion by appropriating found text from ordinary text documents.

In Epägenesis (eng. “Ungenesis”), the persuasive power of form is illuminated by my entangled gestures of writing, designing and reading, calling into question the established categories of ”form” and “content”. What is subsequently exposed is the situated knowledge and skilled practice of a text designer.

The dissertation consists of two books (X and Y), where X marks the practice-based part, and Y is this study which sheds light on the project. Together, X and Y define a space where practice and theory make new diffractive patterns, producing new knowledge where those two are inseparable.

The book Epägenesis: Katalogi X is a compilation of my experimental texts in four series: Alfa, Beeta, Delta and Gem. In writing these texts, I borrow methods and constraints from conceptual and procedural writing.

In this study, I reread my experimental writing in Epägenesis through theories and concepts which have been used in examining the visual and material aspects of typography. Linguistic and literary studies, art history, and visual and media studies have previously shown interest mainly towards textual artifacts that are recognisably material, i.e. unconventional. Multimodal research also recognises how texts are produced through various practices. In my research, I read typography through new materialist concepts, which suggest that text is always material-discursive regardless of whether its form is conventional or unconventional, transparent or prominent to its reader. New materialist thinking provides a frame where typographic writing is entangled with language and matter, with impact from both human and nonhuman. In my research, I am particularly interested in how this impact gets entangled with the notion of the public.

The history of typography is the history of printing, which carries with it many preconceived ideas about origin, author-ship, and value. The entanglements of writing, printing and typography deserve to be examined carefully in this exact moment when typographic practices and conventions migrate onto digital environments, where they emerge and transform in networks devoid of subjective authorship or discernable origin. This might be a turning point which will reveal that us humans never did our writing on our own. Not only do we write, but through material-discoursive agents something is always also epigenetically written into the world.

Showing evidence of the extensive impact of typography on the lives of publics is not easy, however my thesis begins to propose a certain “sociology of texts”. This is a space where categories of language and image, form and content, convention and invention, collapse. Instead, new differential, entangled relationships are recognised in how typographic choices impact our shared world and its patterns of variation and change. With multiple shifts in perspective, scale, and method, this thesis points to how the smallest punctuation marks are entangled with the vast phenomena of knowledge and power.

 

Image of Arja Karhumaa's work 'Nocturne'.

‘Nocturne’ by Arja Karhumaa.

THE DOCTORAND

Image of the doctorand Arja Karhumaa.

MA Arja Karhumaa.

Arja Karhumaa is a graphic designer who works at the intersection of writing, education, and research. Karhumaa has a history of design practice both in agencies and as an independent entrepreneur. Since 2010, she has focused not only on developing education in visual communication, but also on publication design, and writing that spans the territories of poetry, design, and scholarship. Karhumaa has been awarded with prizes and honorable mentions as well as prestigious jury positions both in Finland and in international competitions. She has worked at Aalto University since 2011 as a Lecturer and Assistant Professor.

Contact: Arja Karhumaa

 

 

Photography Off the Scale – Talk by Jussi Parikka – Thursday 20.5 from 15:00 – 16:00

PHOTOGRAPHY OFF THE SCALE

Talk by Jussi Parikka

Thursday, May 20th on Zoom from 15:00 – 16:00

Image © Abelardo Gil-Fournier. Rotating GIF image with text 'Photo Talks' and 'Jussi Parikka'.

Image © Abelardo Gil-Fournier.

Doctoral Seminar – Open to everyone!

When: Thursday, May 20th, 2021
Time: 15:00 – 16:00
Zoom link: https://aalto.zoom.us/j/66102166387

INFO
“For the inaugural Aalto Photo Talks, we have invited media theorist Jussi Parikka as our guest speaker. Parikka has written extensively on new media and digital culture. His writings unravel the historicity of emerging media, tracing our past, articulating our present and imagining our future relationship with technology. In his recent publication Photography Off the Scale, Parikka turns his attention to operational images and image en masse. From the mass image in vernacular culture to transformations of photography in contexts of big data and artificial intelligence, the essays in the book explore the massification of photography. During the talk, Parikka will present his work and his recently-published co-edited photo theory anthology Photography Off the Scale. The presentation will be followed by a casual Q&A discussion.

The talk is open to public and we welcome Aalto students from the Department of Media and other disciplines to join us. Please also feel free to invite students from outside of Aalto.”

You can download the introductory article using the link, under the tab ‘resource’ here.

SPEAKER BIO
Jussi Parikka is Professor of Technological Culture & Aesthetics at University of Southampton and visiting Professor at FAMU at the Academy of Performing Arts, Prague. He is also Docent/Dosentti in Digital Culture Theory at University of Turku. He is the project director for “Operational Images and Visual Culture” (2019-2023, funded by the Czech Science Foundation). Jussi’s books include Koneoppi (2004), Digital Contagions (2007), Insect Media (2010), A Geology of Media (2015), as well as What is Media Archaeology? (2012) alongside several edited collections, including one on Erkki Kurenniemi (Writing and Unwriting Media Art HIstory, 2015, with Joasia Krysa). Recently, he published the co-edited Photography off the Scale (2021, with Tomas Dvorak) and The Lab Book (co-authored with Darren Wershler and Lori Emerson) is forthcoming later in 2021. Jussi also serves on Ihme Helsinki advisory board.

For more info and Jussi Parikka’s blog: http://jussiparikka.net

ABOUT AALTO PHOTO TALKS
Aalto Photo Talks is a series of conversations with thinkers, theorists and practitioners of photography with the aim to expand the notion of photography and explore interdisciplinary connections. The talk is organized by doctoral candidates from Aalto Photography. Although it may take different forms, most talks are organized as casual conversations with the invited guest for a free-flowing exchange of ideas and questions.

For any questions, please contact: Sheung Yiu // Aalto Photo Talks