[spectre] CFP: MediaArtHistories at CIHA 2020 world congress, Pao Paulo

Oliver Grau Oliver.Grau at donau-uni.ac.at
Fri Aug 2 09:22:15 CEST 2019

CIHA world congress 2020, Sao Paulo with MediaArtHistories Session

Migration, Climate, Surveillance – What does Media Arts Complexity
want?    (Sess. 5)

Giselle BEIGUELMAN, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo
Oliver GRAU, Danube University, Austria
Nara Cristina SANTOS, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria

MediaArtHistories is an interdisciplinary field of research that
explores the current developments as well as the history and genealogy
of new media art, digital art, and electronic art. (GRAU 2007, DOMINGUES
2009). On the one hand, media art histories address the contemporary
interplay of art, technology, and science. (WILSON 2010, HENDERSON 1983)
It aims to reveal the historical relationships and aspects of the
‘afterlife’ (Aby Warburg) in new media art by means of a
historical comparative approach.

This strand of research encompasses questions of the history of media
and perception, of so- called archetypes, as well as those of
iconography and the history of ideas. Moreover, one of the main agendas
of media art histories is to point out the role of digital technologies
for contemporary, post-industrial societies and to counteract the
marginalization of according art practices and art objects as pointed
out in the Liverpool Declaration: "Digital technology has fundamentally
changed the way art is made. Over the last fifty years, media art has
become a significant part of our networked information society. Although
there are well-attended international festivals, collaborative research
projects, exhibitions and database documentation resources, media art
research is still marginal in universities, museums and archives. It
remains largely under-resourced in our core cultural institutions (5a)
Hence, scholars stress that the technological advances in current media
cultures are best understood on the backdrop of an extensive media and
art history. Contributions to this field are widespread and include
researchers who have disciplinary focuses such as the history of science
(Lorraine Daston), art history and image science (Oliver Grau,
Barbara Stafford, Jonathan Crary), media studies and media archaeology
(Friedrich Kittler, Erkki Huhtamo, Siegfried Zielinski), sound studies
(Douglas Kahn), film studies (Sean Cubitt, Jorge La Ferla), media art
aesthetics (Christiane Paul, Giselle Beiguelman, Lev Manovich), archives
(Grau, Beiguelman).

The term new media art itself is of great importance to the field. The
focus of new media art lies in the cultural, political, and social
implications as well as the aesthetic possibilities – more or less its
‘media-specificity’ – of digital media. Furthermore, the field of
new media art is increasingly influenced by new technologies that
surmount a traditional understanding of (art) media. The list of genres
that are commonly
subsumed under the label of new media art illustrates its broad scope
and includes, among others, virtual art, Software Art, Internet Art,
Glitch Art, Telematic Art, Bio Art / Genetic Art, Interactive Art,
computer animation and graphics, Urban Media Art, Mobile Art, Hacktivism
and Tactical Media. These latter two ‘genres’ in particular have a
strong focus on the interplay of art and (political) activism. Recently,
with the development with Artificial Intelligence, there is also an
emerging trend exploring its aesthetics. The diversity of fields makes
clear that digital art with its histories is a complex system, which is
not only complicated but has rapidly-accelerating complexity. With the
Algorithmic, Computational and even Post-digital turn over recent
decades, the digital image is becoming contextual, ephemeral, immersive,
interactive and processual, made as it is out of many technologies.

This session addresses the role Media Art plays in today’s
sociopolitical issues such as migration, climate, virtual finance, and
surveillance society. We welcome going beyond state-of-the-art analytic
methods in the humanities, combining for example qualitative close gaze
(of critical visual analysis) and the quantitative distant-reading (from
computer-assisted data analysis/empirical research). A main session
outcome is added value for the humanities with “a socio-political
iconography of the present”, and discussion of a new “way of
seeing”, of “thinking with pictures”, and asking “what do
complex images want?” in the Digital Age. Therefore, this session
welcomes as well proposals for adequate research infrastructures
following the Liverpool Declaration, which was signed by scholars and
artists based at institutions all over the globe to develop systematic
strategies to fulfill the task that digital culture and its research
demands in the 21st Century

This session focuses on an evaluation of the status of the
meta-discipline MediaArtHistories today. Immersed in both contemporary
and historiographical aspects of the digital world, we explore the most
immediate socio-cultural questions of our time: from migration and media
(r)evolutions, to climate, virtualization of finance and surveillance.
And we do so through a fractal lens of inter- and trans-disciplinarity,
bridging art history, media studies, neuroscience, psychology,
sociology, and beyond.

We welcome papers across disciplines, territories and times preferably
in the following themes:

- MediaArtHistories historiographies and futures of an ever-emerging
- Media Art & Politics (migration, surveillance, climate, etc.);
- Comparative studies on “medium” across different times;
- Institutional histories of Media Art;
- Archiving, collecting, preserving and representing Media Art;
- Digitization of historic collections: Their managing and control.
Repatriation of cultural objects in a digital form?;
- Methodologies and research tools for MediaArtHistories with a focus
on Digital Humanities;
- International and local histories and practices of media art. How are
media arts used
in different parts of the world (high tech/low tech..);
- (Post-)Colonial experiences and non-Western histories of media art,
science and technology;
- Paradigm shift Digital vs. Post-Digital Theory;
- Media Art aesthetics of memory (dataviz, defunct media, glitch


Univ.-Prof. Dr. habil. Dr. h.c. Oliver Grau, MAE
Chair Professor for Image Science and Head of the Department
Chair Erasmus Joint Master of Excellence in MediaArtsCultures
Dr.-Karl-Dorrek-Strasse 30
3500 Krems, AUSTRIA www.donau-uni.ac.at/dbw 
ADA – Archive of Digital Art www.digitalartarchive.at 
Graphische Sammlung Goettweig-Online www.gssg.at 

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