PLEASE NOTE: Due to the inability to organise the archive by specific dates (rather than by month name) some discussion posts will be found in the following month's archive due to the discussions not wrapping until the 2nd or 3rd of the month following the month they began.
November 2008: Nanoart - Making the Invisible Visible
Moderated by: Vicki Sowry
Guests: Ælab, Kristin Alford, Stefano Raimondi, Tami Spector and Paul Thomas
This month’s discussion explores artists’ engagement with nanotechnologies. As well as an exploration of various projects, the list will investigate some of the pressing issues arising from the proliferation of nanoscale technologies - for example, implications of the inability to control affect at the nano level and the peculiar challenges facing artists working with these technologies - not least the 'invisibility' of their practice both literally and figuratively.
Guests: Nicky Forster, Roger Malina, Zbigniew Oksiuta, Irene Schlacht and Arthur Woods
This month’s discussion explores artists’ engagement with the contemporary space sciences. Of particular interest is the way that space demands a shift in consciousness from an earth-centred frame of reference, as well as the emerging view of space as the single most important resource for supporting humanity now and into the future.
Guests: Amy Balkin, Alan Boldon, Georg Dietzler, Andrea Polli and Janine Randerson
This month's discussion focuses on the role of artists in bringing to popular consciousness arguably the biggest issue facing this and future
generations: how do we halt the negative impact of humans on their complex and (increasingly) fragile ecosystems? Throughout the month
we'll also be pointing to work we think is particularly compelling in its approach to contemporary and imagined interactions between humans
and their environments..
Guests: Allard van Hoorn, Simeon Nelson, Esther Polak, Urbanistan (Asta Olga & Annamaria Bogadottir) and Jeremy Wood
In the closing years of last century, the assumed objectivity of cartographic representation came under serious challenge, driven by increasingly accessible mapping tools and grounded upon revisionist approaches to history, geography and culture. Artists - as is often the case - have become the ‘research and development’ arm of these new approaches to mapping, charged with capturing and representing the exponentially increasing banks of spatial, cultural and social data held about and throughout our world.
Guests: Daniel Bisig, Gordana Dodig-Crnovic, Philippe Pasquier, Reva Stone & Tatsuo Unemi
As well as surveying contemporary projects, this month's discussion concerns itself with some of the underpinning issues raised by the research and practice of these fields; one such issue would have to be the apparent irony in bringing these two meta-disciplines together - with one, artificial intelligence (AI), on a head-long endeavour to replicate human intelligence, and the other, cognitive science, still strides
away from understanding how we think and when and why.
Guests: Lizbeth Goodman, Ju Gosling, Brad Nunn & Stelarc
The use of augmenting technologies for different types of bodies results in very different things. Issues related to functional impairment and the use of prostheses to extend ability are not the same as those raised by the use of prostheses to achieve a type of 'super-functionality' on the one hand, or to question what bodies are and could be on the other. Throughout May, the discussion will look at different types of augmentation practices and tease out the impacts of each on how we think about, inhabit and use our bodies.
Guests: Kirsty Boyle, Paul Brown, Shuhei Miyashita, Leonel Moura, Douglas Repetto & Mari Velonaki
The April discussion concerned robotics and artists' engagement with the field. As well as surveying contemporary projects, the conversation focused on the ramifications of artists working alongside scientists on robotics, now and into the future.
Guests: Oron Catts, Monika Bakke, Jens Hauser, Kathy High & George Gessert
For the first part of March, the discussion focused on the materiality of bioart and, in particular, the effect of using living materials in the production of art works. As pioneering bioartist, Oron Catts, has noted, "there is a growing discrepancy between our cultural perceptions of life and what we know about life scientifically and what we can do with life technologically". Where does such a discrepancy lead? And what are the ontological, political and ethical ramifications of this divergence between what we perceive, what we know and what we are able to do with living matter? Mid-month, the discussion expanded to include the challenges and issues relating to the exhibition and distribution of bioart works.