(In)Visibility of Art

Potentials and Risks of Digitalization on a global, public and political Scale

Saturday, November 21, 3-8 PM (CET)

About the Online Symposium

The influence of digitalization on the visibility of art and artists cannot be analyzed simply and conclusively.
Various factors, such as history, politics, technical approaches, but also aesthetic questions, play a role in clarifying where which art is shown and perceived by whom.

Researchers of the CRC 1187 “Media of Cooperation” and the Graduate School “Locating Media” of the University of Siegen, both funded by the DFG, in cooperation with the chair of Aesthetic Education of the Institute for Art and Art Theory of the University of Cologne, have invited artists, academics, and cultural practitioners to discuss the (in-)visibility of art in the context of globalization and digitalization – the potentials, the risks and the implications for us as a society.

The Symposium “(In)Visibility of Art” will take place fully online on Saturday, November 21, 2020 from 3-8pm (CET).

Registration

Please register via email to participate in the symposium. We invite artists, researchers, practitioners, activists and everyone else interested in the discourse. The event is free of charge. Further information on wonder, the conference tool we will be using, can be found here.

Program

Photo by Clu Soh on https://unsplash.com/photos/oga9Xg0KVnU
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Pre-Event
3:00 – 3:15 p.m. Welcome
3:15 – 4:15 p.m. Keynote and Discussion
4:15 – 4:30 p.m Break
4:30 – 6:00 p.m. Panel 1
6:00 – 6:15 p.m. Break
6:15 – 7:45 p.m. Panel 2
7:45 – 8:00 p.m. Closing remarks
8:00 – 9:00 p.m. Informal Get Together

 

All times are CET. For your timezone, please see: https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/

Keynote: Art, Justice, and Digital Technology

Digital technology has radically expanded the potential for artistic expression, through new forms of media, fresh modes of conveyance, or novel types of participation — so much so that the technology seemed to promise a greater role for art and artists to affect politics and human events at local, national, and global scales. To what extent, however, has that promise been met? On the one hand, technology amplifies art, serving to reinforce or exaggerate existing structures of power. On the other hand, art challenges habits and attitudes, causing shifts in human values that might reconfigure technology. This talk will discuss the intricate interaction between art and technology and speculate about what it might take for humanity to arrive at a better version of itself.

Kentaro-Toyama-Portrait-201411-705x960-1-blackwhite

Kentaro Toyama is W. K. Kellogg Professor of Community Information at the University of Michigan School of Information, a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT, and author of Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology. In previous lives, Kentaro taught at Ashesi University in Ghana and co-founded Microsoft Research India, where he did research on the application of information and communication technology to international development.

Moderation

Konstantin Aal

Panel 1 – Globalization & Digitalization: What does it entail for Arts and Artists?

The Internet, as an expression of western connected, digitalised media and communication and, therefore of western thinking, has spread to almost the entire globe. As a fundamental media infrastructure, it influences cultural articulations and, not least, art. Artists react to the changed media-cultural conditions in different ways, which various authors describe with terms such as “digital condition” (Stalder, 2018), “post-digitality” (Cramer 2015, 2016) or also “Internet state of mind” (Chan 2011). The new, self-evident way of dealing with interlinked digital media, its aesthetics, the corresponding symbolic forms, and the changed conditions of production, distribution, and reception can be observed for example in the art of so-called “post-internet Art” (Olson 2011).

But the claim to equalization that goes hand in hand with the globalization idea of digitalization and the Internet must be called into question. On the one hand, from a media-critical perspective: Does access to digitally networked technology really lead to a democratization of the art scene or are we now dealing with further forms of digital divides, on a technical, economic, cultural, formal and content level? How does the Internet affect questions of visibility and invisibility of art, artists, as well as the formation of a public and accessibility of art? Ultimately, does a gap between the so-called “Global South” and the “Global North” remain in the areas mentioned? – On the other hand, from a postcolonial perspective, what universalisms are transported in the context of the Internet? Which culture-specific, regional peculiarities and particularisms are thereby lost sight of, excluded and made invisible? But, where does it also make artistic works visible and traceable, and thus also the artists who previously worked under the protection of anonymity? Are artists in non-democratic, opressive countries of the world now faced with the choice of either gaining international visibility or working in a more critical and therefore clandestine way? If so, then the Internet not only changes the media-technological conditions of art production and distribution, but also influences them in a sensitive way in terms of content.

The panel attempts to disclose and discuss these and other questions that the Internet holds for art – and also to work out first possible answers.

References:

Chan, C. (2011). Art in Berlin. In: Stil in Berlin. https://www.stilinberlin.de/2011/02/interview-carson-chan.html
Cramer, Florian (2015). „What Is Post-Digital”? Aarhus: APRJA. www.aprja.net/what-is-post-digital/
Cramer, Florian (2016). Nach dem Koitus oder nach dem Tod? Zur Begriffsverwirrung von „postdigital“, „Post-Internet“ und „Post-Media“. In: Thalmair, Franz (Ed.) (2016). Postdigital 1. Allgegenwart und Unsichtbarkeit eines Phänomens. Kunstforum International, 242/2016. 54-67.
Olson, Marisa (2012): Postinternet. In: Foam Magazine 29/2012, 59–63.
Stalder, Felix (2018): The Digital Condition. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Panellists

Azadeh Ganjeh

Oulimata Gueye

Markus Huber

Samar D. Kirresh

Moderation

Nanna Heidenreich

Credit: Anja Weber 2020 (www.anjaweber.com)

Panel 2 – Playing with Publicness: Creating Political Art in Volatile Circumstances

Digitalisation, or to be more precise, the internet provides artists, with the possibility of showcasing their art and their own personality and to leave their less visible, more hidden and “access controlled” art spaces. Especially artists from the global south can benefit from this transformation. But a broad access could also entail danger for artists, authors, or contributors with regard to local or global politics.

Often, the severity of the situation is not sufficiently considered, especially in countries with authoritarian systems that require a very sensible handling of internet use. But also living in a democratic system is no guarantee for careful handling with information given off and to the internet. There are cases of people affected which are not fully aware of this issue as well as the fact which communication tool is safe or not. However, there are also cases of people fully aware, and integrating those friction points into their art, e.g. from Palestine or South Africa.

We have to be aware that we might endanger people from authoritarian or repressive states by simply communicating or working with them, be it scientific, artistic or for civil reasons. Is there a way of handling these issues in a more formalised way? Are written guidelines a potential solution when common sense fails as there is no “common” in the global political landscape? Or do they fail the same way, as there is no “one solution” for all political severities in the world?

With this panel, we want to initiate an exchange between artists, researchers, civil society and political activists. Discussing these issues from different perspectives has the potential to help us shape the way, we communicate, work, create and research in the future in a more sensitive way and consider the potentials and risks of digitalisation in the art scene.

Panellists

Taqi Akhlaqi

Noura Kamal

Shaimaa Lazem

Shilo Shiv Suleman

Moderation

Sarah Rüller

Organization

Hannah Neumann

Sarah Rüller

Konstantin Aal

Andrea Hartmann

Manuel Zahn

Registration

Please register via email and state your full name, organization or institution and the country you are currently based in. Please note: By registering via Email, you agree to the privacy policy and code of conduct. The event is free of charge.


registration@in-visibility-of.art

Contact

For further questions, please reach out.


University of Siegen, Germany
info@in-visibility-of.art