Hexagram at Transmediale Festival Berlin

Elusive Life a public exhibition/presentation, will showcase the results of the Elusive Life research-studio that will take place between January 26-29, 2017 at the Museum für Naturkunde (natural history museum) in Berlin. The research-studio asks participants to grapple with the alienness of other forms of life , ecology, and the earth and to explore through research-creation practices new imaginaries, interventions and understandings of "elusive life" as subjected to new forms of technological transformation within the museum's context. Works that might take the form of speculative designs, architectural models, audio-visual-graphic essays, prototypes for artistic creations and/or writings will be on exhibit within the Cafe Stage area of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW, Berlin) from Saturday-Sunday, February 4-5, 2017

Alien Middle Conference: On Saturday February 4th at 11:30AM, Chris Salter and Orit Halpern will present Alien Middle Talk at the Studio area of the HKW as part of Transmediale Festival 2017. During this event machine learning, artificial intelligence, algorithmic trading and decision making and catastrophic ecologies will be the starting points for a discussions aiming to shed light not only on new ways of perceiving the machinic nonhuman but also of responding to its autonomous functioning and intervention. In addition to the human and technological axes, however, alienness seems to envelop us: indeed, our very planet seems to rebel against our increasingly violent interventions forcing us to ask not only why but how we are going to relate to our alien others in the future. Featuring a wide array of artists and thinkers in science studies, cultural studies, digital arts, philosophy and design, the alien middle will attempt to plummet the depths of a world that, despite our control, is ever elusive.

Hexagram participants: Elusive Life Research-Studio

Orit Halpern (US/QC/CA) is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University. Her work bridges the histories of science, computing, and cybernetics with design and art practice. She is also a co-director of the Speculative Life Research Cluster (http://www.speculativelife.com), a laboratory situated at the intersection of art and the life sciences, architecture and design, and computational media. Her recent monograph, Beautiful Data (Duke Press, 2015), is a history of interactivity, data visualization, and ubiquitous computing. She has also published and created works for a variety of venues including The Journal of Visual Culture, Public Culture, Configurations, C-theory, and ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany

Chris Salter (US/QC/CA) is an artist, Concordia University Research Chair in New Media and the Senses, Co-Director of the Hexagram Network and Associate Professor of Computation Arts at Concordia University, Montreal. His performances, installations, research and publications have been presented at festivals, exhibitions, and conferences around the world. He is the author of Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance (MIT Press, 2010) and Alien Agency: Experimental Encounters with Art in the Making (MIT Press, 2015).

Thierry Bardini (FR/QC/CA) is an Agronomist (ENSA Montpellier, 1986) and sociologist (Ph.D. Paris X Nanterre, 1991), Thierry Bardini is full professor and chair of the department of communication at the university of Montréal, where he has been teaching since 1993. His research interests concern the contemporary cyberculture, from the production and uses of information and communication technologies to molecular biology. He is the author of Bootstrapping : Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution and the Genesis of Personal Computing (Stanford University Press, 2000), Junkware  (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and Journey to the End of the Species (in collaboration with Dominique Lestel, Éditions Dis Voir, Paris, 2011).

WhiteFeather Hunter (QC/CA) is a multiple-award winning Canadian artist/researcher, currently based in Montreal. She has presented her work internationally in exhibitions, artist talks, conferences and residencies. WhiteFeather has been engaged in a craft-based bio art practice for over 15 years, via material investigations of the aesthetic and technological potential of bodily matter. Her most recent work includes mammalian tissue engineering on textile scaffolds and hacking/building electronic supports.WhiteFeather is Principal Investigator and Technician for the Speculative Life Lab, and Coordinator of the Textiles and Materiality Research Cluster, both within the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology at Concordia University.

Ida Toft (DK/QC/CA) is a media artist and game developer working with sculptures and installations. Ida’s games take place in streets and city squares, play festivals, game events and art galleries. Currently her work investigates questions of play and game design for cross-species environments as a way of thinking about companionships, alliances and kinship relations across differences and conventional coalitions. Ida is currently a PhD student at Concordia University in Montreal.

Garrett Lockhart (QC/CA) is an artist and researcher living and working in Montreal. His work is positioned between the fields of visual communication, (digital) image making, and research-based projects exploring relations of object-hood and signification. While pursuing a BA in Communications & Cultural Studies and Computation Arts at Concordia University, he also works as a research assistant and manager for XMODAL Research Lab at Concordia. His work has been featured in publications such as Vice, Neon Germany, Nylon Japan, and Rhizome, and exhibited in Montreal and NYC. He is also (occasionally) a curator and graphic designer. www.garrettlockhart.com

GIF animations by WhiteFeather Hunter

For more details on Speculative Life at Transmediale Berlin read this post on the cluster's website.


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