Events
Art, Tech & Culture

Indexical Ambivalence

Art, Tech & Culture
29 Jan, 2018

Indexical Ambivalence

Interfaces are boundaries and dividing lines. They are surfaces that maintain the distinction between discrete portions of matter and space, but they also create the site for their encounter and interaction. The interface is a place where opposites touch: here and there, now and then, I and you, actual and virtual, true and false. Screens make for particularly troubling interfaces, for they enact a great leveling, and these opposites can become uncannily confused or indistinguishable. All things, all times, all places are reduced to the pulsing electronic mosaic of the raster grid. Everything flattens on to a single surface, all made of the same electronic matter regardless of the existential or ontological status of what it represents. It might seem that the age of screens and digital about would have killed the index, the semiotic register that once seemed to ground our ideas about materiality and truth, but instead it has revitalized and resurrected it. The index is not dead in the digital age; it is more vital than ever, but it is exposed as the ambivalent and dubious sign it has always been and is the operative tool for understanding mediated information, digital doubt, and experiences through interfaces. On the screen, the index is a forensic tool not a guarantor of any truth.

About Kris Paulsen

Kris Paulsen is Associate Professor in the Department of History of Art and the Film Studies Program at The Ohio State University. She is a specialist in Contemporary Art with a focus on time-based and computational media. Her work traces the history of technology in the arts and the rhetoric of “new media” from photography to digital art, with a particular emphasis on telepresence and interface studies. In 2017, The MIT Press published Dr. Paulsen’s first book, Here/There: Telepresence, Touch, and Art at the Interface, as part of the Leonardo Book Series. Her current research project, “Against Algorithms (or The Arts of Resistance in the Age of Quantification)” addresses the logics of quantification and algorithmic structures in contemporary art, culture, and activism. Her work has appeared in Representations, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, Mousse, BOMB, Design and Culture, Media-N, Art Practical, Amodern, and numerous exhibition catalogs and collections of essays. From 2012 to 2016 she was co-director of The Center for Ongoing Research & Projects (www.the-corp.org), an experimental art space in Columbus, OH.

More information can be found at: www.kpaulsen.com and https://history-of-art.osu.edu/people/paulsen.20

About the Art, Technology and Culture Colloquium

Berkeley’s Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium is an internationally recognized forum for presenting new ideas that challenge conventional wisdom about art, technology, and culture. This series, free of charge and open to the public, presents artists, writers, curators, and scholars who consider contemporary issues at the intersection of aesthetic expression, emerging technologies, and cultural history, from a critical perspective.

ALL SEATS ARE AVAILABLE ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED BASIS

This year, we are excited to present Indexical Ambivalence with Kris Paulsen as part of the following series:

Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

2017

09/25 World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech
Frank Foer, Journalist, New York
In partnership with the Graduate School of Journalism

10/23 Socially Engaged Internet-Art: Aesthetics of Information Ethics
Paolo Cirio, Artist, New York
In partnership with the Department of Art Practice

11/6 We must conjure our Gods before we obey them
Michael Rock, Designer, 2X4, New York
In partnership with the Department of Architecture & Urban Planning

2018

01/29 Indexical Ambivalence
Kris Paulsen, Associate Professor, The Ohio State University, Ohio
In partnership with the History and Theory of New Media Lecture Series

02/05 Connectivity as Human Right
Nicholas Negroponte, Architect, MIT, Massachussetts
In partnership with the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation

03/19 Yugoexport Is the Name of this Oral Corporation
Irena Haiduk, Artist, Belgrade, Serbia
In partnership with the Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Lecture Series

04/09 new art, flag art, good art, portal art
Ian Cheng, Artist, Los Angeles
In partnership with the Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Lecture Series

04/16 Regents Lecture 2018
Angela Davis, activist & scholar, UC Santa Cruz

About the History and Theory of New Media Lecture Series

The History and Theory of New Media Lecture Series brings to campus leading humanities scholars working on issues of media transition and technological emergence. The series promotes new, interdisciplinary approaches to questions about the uses, meanings, causes, and effects of rapid or dramatic shifts in techno-infrastructure, information management, and forms of mediated expression. Presented by the Berkeley Center for New Media, these events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit: http://htnm-berkeley.com/

We are pleased to present the following lectures as part of this year's 2017-2018 season:

2017

10/12 | 4:00–6:00 PM | ​470 Stephens Hall
Keeping Track
with Natasha Schull
In partnership with CSTMS

10/17 | 1:00–5:00 PM | 310 Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall
Between the Digital and the Political: New Ecologies of Mind
with Erich Hoerl, Yuk Hui, Luciana Parisi
Panel Discussion
with David Bates & Warren Sack
With support from the Townsend Center and the Dean of Arts and Humanities

11/16 | 5:00–6:30 PM | BCNM Commons, 340 Moffitt Undergraduate Library
Porn Sequence
with Hoang Nguyen

2018

01/29 | 6:30–8:00 PM | Osher Auditorium, BAMPFA
Indexical Ambivalence
with Kris Paulsen
In partnership with the Arts, Technology, and Culture Colloquium

03/01 | 5:00–6:30 PM | BCNM Commons, 340 Moffitt Undergraduate Library
The Software Arts
with Warren Sack
In partnership with CSTMS

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