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The Interface: questions of agency in ICT and new media art

Date: 4 & 5 June 2004

A Symposium, Lancaster University

Location: Lancaster House Hotel


The specific materialities and unprecedented dynamics of digital technologies have coincided with renewed interest in the question of how capacities for action are distributed across persons and things. Within computer science and system design, the trope of 'interactivity' has migrated from its provenance in face-to-face human sociality to the 'human-computer' interface, and the configuration of new forms of technologically-mediated social action. At the same time, recent experiments in new media art (including software art, net art, robotics and biological art) attempt to redistribute agency in novel ways. Together these developments at the interface of the biological and the computational, organic and inorganic, human and machinic pose fresh problems for the human sciences, and for the social-cultural analysis of old and new technologies.

This symposium will bring together critical scholars and technical practitioners in the social sciences, computing sciences, humanities and arts, to explore the question of what familiar figures and strange possibilities can be traced in projects underway at the human-computer interface.

Confirmed Speakers:

Anne Balsamo, author of Technologies of the Gendered Body: Reading Cyborg Women, Duke University Press, 1996 and Designing Culture: A Work of the Technological Imagination, In-progress, Duke University Press.

Karen Barad, author of Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol.28, no.3 (Spring 2003), and a recently completed a book entitled Meeting the Universe Halfway. Designer of 3-D computer animations for the particle physics section of the CD-ROM interactive version of Stephen Hawking's best seller, A Brief History of Time (1995).

Thomson & Craighead, artists based in London working with video, sound and electronic networked space to create gallery and site-specific artworks and installations., &


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Sociology


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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