23.05.2018 10:43

Goda Klumbyte to give a guest lecture at the University of Cologne with artist Loren Britton

On May 29, 2018, Goda Klumbyte will give a guest lecture together with artist Loren Britton on arts and computation at the Intermedia programme at the University of Cologne.

Entitled "Trans*re*lational Objects: In Search Of A Common Strategy for Arts and Computation", this lecture will be held at the Institut für Kunst und Kunsttheorie as part of the Intermedia master programme. It will take place on May 29, 2018, at 18:00. More information can be found here: http://mbr.uni-koeln.de/aesth/2018/05/klumbyte-britton/

About the lecture

Computation, and by extension "the digital", is built on abstraction and formal universal language. In a sense, the computer is an "abstract machine" (cf. Deleuze) that manipulates and produces signs by means of a formal language. This requires a moment of "translation" of objects into and out of a language that is understandable to computers. In the arts, abstraction as a strategy in the West, stems from a long history beginning at the invention of photography by French artist and scientist Louis Daguerre in the mid 1830's when painting was dethroned as the primary way of preserving images. Moving to more current history, New Queer Abstraction is emerging as a movement that revolves around strategies to "pluralize and specify" (cf. Sedgwick) translated experience into material beyond the politics of representation and visibility. However, abstraction as a method has also raised questions of where does it leave matter. From early technoutopias of "leaving the meat behind" to later cyberfeminist critiques of the digital as a disembodied space (who gets the privilege to not have a body?), to more contemporary instances of algorithmic biases disproportionately affecting differently embodied others (LGBT+, women, people of color), the question of matter goes from abstract to concrete and political.

In this lecture we ask: What are the connections between concepts that operate in different disciplines - such as "abstraction" in computing and in the arts? How does abstraction (computational or artistic) relate to matter/reality? What kind of implications does this have for (arts) education and what kind of political potential can it open up?

By working with theories of new materialism, trans*feminism, and critical (feminist) computing, and artist practices of: Loren Britton, The Queering Space Collective, M.O.T.H.A. (Museum of Trans*gender Hirstory and Art), and the Digital Trans* Archive, we propose to re-think practice - be it computational or artistic - as a manipulation and production of trans*re*lational objects. Through strategies of constructing intersectionality through forms of coalition, we explore how abstraction across disciplines can undo patterns and inform possibilities for sustainable politics.

Goda Klumbyte is a researcher and PhD candidate at the University of Kassel (DE) and an alumna of Utrecht University (NL), Media and Performance studies.

Loren Britton is an artist and curator based in-between Berlin, DE and New York, USA. Britton works on histories of trans*gender bodies and experiences and they wonder how can we hold one another accountable and tenderly across time. http://lorenbritton.com