GLITCH AND PHOTOGRAPHY III: METAMORPHOSIS AND NEW ECOLOGIES (SYMPOSIUM)

14 Jun, 2023
09:00 - 16:00
HDK-Valand, Gothenburg University. Stora Hörsalen, room 338. Kristinelundsgatan 6-8
Engelska | Presentation | Seminar | Talk

Welcome to the third symposium of our multi-year research collaboration in digital photographic cultures between the Hasselblad Foundation and HDK-Valand. The project, Glitch in Photography, explores visual systems around us and the potentiality to disrupt normative logics.

 

Under the umbrella title Photography and the Glitch we explore glitch as form, metaphor, and methodology within photography with a specific focus on digital, networked cultures. Our aim is to define multiple potentials of the glitch as disruption to systems of technology, knowledge, classification, and control.

 

On 14-16 June we invite you to a symposium and two workshops.

More information about the workshops HERE.

 

No sign-up needed for the symposium.

 

WHERE: HDK-Valand, Gothenburg University. Stora Hörsalen, room 338. Kristinelundsgatan 6-8

 

WHEN: Wednesday June 14, 09.00-16.00

 

 

SYMPOSIUM

 

09:00 Coffee

 

09:30-10:00 Louise Wolthers and Nina Mangalanayagam
Introduction: Metamorphosis as glitch

 

10:00 Magne Friberg
The Butterfly Lifepuzzle

 

10:30 Nicky Coutts
Insectile blips: Listening in to power lines

 

11:00-11:15 Break

 

11:15 Monica Alcazar-Duarte
Abundance is not excess

 

12:00-13:00 Lunch (lunch is not included but the organizers are happy to recommend places in the vicinity).

 

13:00 Susanne Østby Sæther
New visions, new ecologies

 

13:45 Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert and Alexia Achilleos
The Archive of Unnamed Workers: filling in the gaps of photographic archives and AI’s colonial legacy

 

14:45 Coffee

 

15:15 Franziska Kunze
„Is this real life?“ – the Glitch Art movement and its historical predecessors between anaesthesia and sticky emulsion

 

16:00 End of seminar

 

 

About the talks and speakers

 

THE BUTTERFLY LIFE PUZZLE

Dr. Magne Friberg, Senior Lecturer, Lund University Department of Biology

Research group on Speciation, Adaptation and Coevolution

 

Butterflies are important nodes in the web of life, as pollinators, herbivores and pests. Importantly, they are wonderfully diverse, and suitable research subjects for understanding many different aspects of life as an insect. In my talk, I will try to think like a butterfly, and focus on the many important decisions that a butterfly is making during its life. In particular, I will discuss how glitches in this decision-making may play an important role for evolutionary novelty and continued diversification.

 

Magne Friberg is a Lecturer in Biology at Lund University, studying the diversification of life in general, and in particular the interaction between plants and insects. He is a co-Principal Investigator of the Lund University research group on Speciation, Adaptation and Co-evolution (SPACE).

 

 

INSECTILE BLIPS: LISTENING IN TO POWER LINES

Dr Nicky Coutts, Research Lead, The Glasgow School of Art

 

For this artists talk, I plan to trace some metaphorical, structural and visual lines that begin within a photographic practice centering on insects, and lead to a practice of drawing involving beyond human animals. These lines fall in and out of familiarity as they stray closer to the unknown texts of other lives. ‘Insectile’ qualities translated within photographic artworks and installations prove partial and multi sensory prone to slippages and visual elusiveness. More recent drawings involving interactions with primates and sea mammals, that have adapted to use ‘language’ across species, explore further challenges to visual capacities. Glitches are explored in both bodies of work as moments within a practice of making where language tears causing holes and fissures within which there is an opportunity to articulate anew, or otherly. The focus of this talk will be to think through these moments of drop out, to discuss the potential for interspecies language and its limits within an artist’s practice.

 

 

Nicky Coutts’ work focuses on the pressures that humans place on species diversity and the environment, and the role of cross-species interactions in finding a way to better interact and live. Through a writing and multi-disciplinary visual practice, she explores how ‘language’ is often used to sustain the status quo and the potential for this to be shifted through working closely with ‘oddkin’ (Haraway). Queer and feminist methods are deployed in Coutts’s work to disrupt the normative values that have led to some bodies, lives or communities being valued over others. Her research addresses the power structures that have facilitated the ‘othering’ of all ‘others’ experimenting with practices of inclusion in writing and making. Key to Coutts’ work is an interest in mimetic principals and their transformative potential between art and politics. Through her visual work and writing, she addresses how through spending time with and developing strategies of adaptive exchange with other species, it could become possible to ethically share in each other’s qualities and approaches to living and dying.

 

 

ABUNDANCE IS NOT EXCESS

Mónica Alcázar-Duarte

 

Melipona Beecheii, a stingless bee from the Mayan peninsula has been an important part of Mexican indigenous culture for several thousand years. This tiny creature serves as an example of a natural glitch that provokes an alternative view of the notion of abundance. The talk will focus on the ways in which contemporary technological lust for data is threatening global ecological abundance through its relentless demand for “more”. Can we find ways to measure notions of advancement other than through resource accumulation?

 

Mónica Alcázar-Duarte is a Mexican-British multi-disciplinary visual artist whose work acknowledges her indigenous heritage while exploring current ideals of progress. She embraces themes related to science and technology and their influence over society and the natural world. In her projects she mixes images and new technologies, such as Augmented Reality, to create multi-layered work, producing meaning through seemingly disconnected narratives. Alcázar-Duarte’s work references western society’s obsession with speed, expansion, and resource accumulation as an index of advancement at a time in which ecological disaster looms, and considers other ways of seeing, knowing, and being in the world.

 

 

NEW VISIONS, NEW ECOLOGIES

Susanne Østby Sæther, Curator Photography and new media, PH.D.

 

Taking the second edition of New Visions. The Henie Onstad Triennial for Photography and New Media as a point of departure, I will in this talk discuss a set of works and artistic strategies that resonate with the notion of new ecologies. New Visions 2023 presents works that explore the boundaries of photography and automated image-making to examine the extraction of natural and human-made resources and expanding infrastructures – and, by extension, the ecological, social, and political consequences of these ventures.

More specifically, I will emphasize how artists presently harness photography to scrutinize ecological impacts of resource extraction, as well as the environmental and ecological dimension of media themselves. For example, some artists in New Visions employ outdoor LED-screens and CGI imagery reconstructed from satellite images to examine electricity infrastructures and light pollution. Others experiment with the very materiality of photography to convey precarious environmental states by staining their prints with acid or adding pigments from toxic sea algae. In conclusion I trace how the acutely pertinent “new ecologies” envisioned through these practices also have longer genealogies that harks back to the work of photographer and educator László Moholy-Nagy, whose 1932 manifesto “A New Instrument of Vision” greatly impacted twentieth-century experimental photography – and lends the triennial its title.

 

Susanne Østby Sæther, PhD, is Curator of Photography and New Media at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Norway. Her curatorial and research interest is the intersection of art, media, and technology, with a particular focus on 21st century camera-based art and photography in its computational and algorithmic manifestation. Sæther has been a Research Fellow at Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM), Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, and a Postdoctor at Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas at the University of Oslo. She is currently a partner in the research projects PHOTOFAKE – Visual Disinformation, the Digital Economy and the Epistemology of the Camera Image and Deep-Sea Sensing, both financed by the Norwegian Research Council, and a core member and convener of the Media Seas of the High North Collaboratory, financed by the Oslo School of Environmental Humanities. Among her recent publications are Screen Space Reconfigured, edited with Synne T. Bull (Amsterdam University Press, 2020), Why Photography?, co-edited with Behzad Farazollahi, Christian Tunge and Bjarne Bare (Skira Editore, 2020), and New Visions, ed. (Mousse Publishing, 2023).

 

 

THE ARCHIVE OF UNNAMED WORKERS: FILLING IN THE GAPS IN PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVES AND AI’S COLONIAL LEGACY

Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert & Alexia Achilleos, Cyprus University of Technology/ CYENS Centre of Excellence

 

This presentation explores how art practice that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) attempts to fill in representational gaps and function as a form of archival activism. The first section of the presentation provides the context of our investigation by looking into photographic archives in museums with an emphasis on archaeological-related photographic archives during the colonial period in Cyprus (1878-1960). When taken together, these archives present a fragmented and incomplete history of Cypriot archaeology, especially when appearing online. The second section investigates how AI-generated images are using existing datasets to produce new visual representations; databases which by nature reproduce power imbalances inherited from colonial-era photography. The third section presents and discusses an artwork titled “The Archive of Unnamed Workers” (2022) as an example of how artistic practices may use AI to reveal the inherent power imbalances found in historic archives, fill in visual gaps, and point towards an urgency to decolonize Cypriot archaeology.

 

Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert is an artist/researcher. She is interested in the ontology and workings of everyday photography and archives, as well as the intersections of new technologies and photography. Theopisti is a member of the advising committee of the peer-reviewed journal “photographies”, the vice-chair of the “International Association of Photography and Theory”, a curator of the IAPT Photobook show (2016, 2018, 2021) and has received several international fellowships and awards. She has exhibited her work in a number of art exhibitions in Cyprus and abroad and she is passionate about photobooks. She is currently Associate Professor at the School of Fine and Applied Arts at the Cyprus University of Technology, and the group leader of Museum Lab at CYENS Centre of Excellence.

 

Alexia Achilleos is an artist, with a background in fine art, archaeology and cultural studies. She is currently a PhD Fellow at CYENS – Centre of Excellence, undertaking artistic research on colonialism and AI, as well as a Research Associate at the Media Art & Design Research Lab (MADLab) at Cyprus University of Technology. Alexia is interested in the social, cultural, and political issues that impact narrative and power dynamics. By investigating data and utilising machine learning processes, often in a historical context, she aims to re-examine such issues found within history and society, but also within AI technology itself, particularly challenging the idea of technology as universal and objective.

 

 

“IS THIS REAL LIFE?” – the Glitch Art movement and its historical predecessors between anaesthesia and sticky emulsion

Dr. Franziska Kunze

Chief Curator of Photography and Time-based Media, Pinakothek der Moderne | Sammlung Moderne Kunst

 

Cracked smartphone displays, distorted images, colourful pixel structures. Only when there is a malfunction is our attention directed to the nature of the technical media that surround us every day, without them, however, being shifted to the forefront. As one of the youngest and most unpredictable art forms, Glitch Art specifically draws attention to the aesthetics of the flawed. However, its roots can be traced back to the early days of the history of photography, take its course form there as an artistic counter-movement to recognised forms of expression via avant-garde film, video and sound art to digital image media and net art, where glitches are intentionally provoked or deliberately programmed. The lecture provides insights into the upcoming exhibition “Glitch. The Art of Interference” at Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich by focusing on the connections of the Glitch Art movement and its historical predecessors – showing the manifold possibilities and motivations for making the invisible visible.

 

Dr Franziska Kunze is chief curator of photography and time-based media at the Bavarian State Painting Collections | Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. Before, she was vicariously responsible for the Contemporary Art Department at the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur in Münster and was from 2017 to 2019 a fellow in the programme “Museum Curators for Photography” of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation. Franziska takes on teaching assignments at irregular intervals, writes texts and is involved in various professional juries on photography.

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A collaboration between the Hasselblad Foundation, HDK-Valand and IAPSIS, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee´s International Programme for Visual and Applied Arts.