18.04.16 Lewis Johnson

The operational image: digital images and haptical imaginaries

 In this talk Lewis Johnson will be considering how to conceptualise involvement in digital images that haptic screen technologies have made widespread; what the speedy uptake of such technologies suggests about changing relations to the photographic image; and how some artistic work witnesses other than ‘operational’ relations to photographic images.

Histories of digital networked communicatio
n and computer interfaces, if not ofnaturalistic images, have found themselves tangling with the implication of the development of technologies in contexts of military research. I shall be picking up some early formulations of this issue from Manuel De Landa’s 1991 account, in the last chapter of War in the Age of Intelligent Machines, but detaching them from their liberationist orientation. Revisiting his take on human-machine interfaces and military-related technologies may help to indicate how a notion of the operational can serve to diagnose current forms of social and political life, if also tensions over ways of fighting its enemies.

What is missing, however, in such accounts of networked and digital culture and images in particular is an understanding of the provocation to the desire to touch of the photographic image as such. Using
Derrida’s responses to Bernard Steigler concerning this provocation of ‘the tactile effect or affect,’ I shall suggest that we may take this as a way of negotiating the realistic effects of naturalistic images in general as well as of the specific provocation of the photographic.

The opening provided by the unreachableness of the mortal other in the image invites us to rethink the indexicality of the photographic image (as I suggested in the introduction to a recent book). Via this, I shall suggest some ways of thinking of its roles in social media, the kinds of haptic imaginaries they serve, and contrasting these with those suggested by some digital media work, by Barbara Bloom and Dorothy Cross (seehttp://www.diaart.org/artist_web_projects), Natalie Bookchin and perhaps Cory Arcangel.


Lewis Johnson is Associate Professor in Western and Contemporary Art in the Department of Photography and Video, Bahçeşehir University, İstanbul, Turkey. His work in the history and theory of art, media and visual culture ranges across a variety of modern, postmodern and contemporary genres, European, American and Turkish. Recent publications include essays on uses of reproductive imagery in art from Manet to Ines Doujak (Globalization and Contemporary Art, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) and on gender and sexuality in recent art in Istanbul (Third Text vol. 27, no. 4) and the edited volume Mobility and Fantasy in Visual Culture (Routledge, 2013).

April 13, 2016
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7.03.16 Nicholas John Jones

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In 2015 Jones established PRAKSIS, a new international arts arena in Oslo. Launching in March 2016, PRAKSIS’s pilot stage focuses on a programme of thematic residencies each led by established international arts professionals. These interdisciplinary residencies will bring international and local creatives together through open call, to work and converse in a supportive environment.

In this talk for Open Forum, Nicholas will; contextualise PRAKSIS in relation to other residencies and the possibilities they offer; discuss how PRAKSIS will work and what it will do; introduce upcoming lead residents – David Blandy & Larry Achiampong, Seamus Harahan, Martin Creed, Smadar Dreyfus, and Lindsay Seers – and the residency themes they have chosen. He will also talk about the kinds of public events and opportunities that PRAKSIS will offer.

Nicholas John Jones (b. 1982, UK) is an artist and occasional curator and art writer. A graduate of the University of the Arts London and the Slade School of Fine Art. He has curated exhibitions and coordinated discussions and gallery events in Wrexham, Manchester and London, working with artists including Judy Chicago, Ryan Trecartin, and Bernard Frize. Jones contributes to FiskFrisk and Artforum, and is a co-founder of JKL Books, a bespoke publishing organisation producing handmade limited edition books.

February 28, 2016
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22.02.16  Ingri Fiksdal


Ingri will talk about her research project Choreography as collective and affective event, and give examples from her work within the program. This will include presentations of the productions HOODS (2014), Cosmic Body (2015), Shadows of Tomorrow (2016) and STATE (2016), plus initiatives such as The Norwegian Research School in Choreography and Stipendiatforum.

The focus of Ingri’s work is to explore choreography as a collective and affective event through the development of specific choreographic structures and strategies. Her artistic aim is to create events that produce potential for new experiences, thoughts and ideas to occur. This aim is founded in a belief in art as a motor for change, through taking the role as “utterly useless” in a society where most other things have a given and known purpose. When confronted with something that doesn’t perform as expected or resists classification we have to look for new approaches, and in these moments of liminality there is potential for the unpredictable and unforeseen to occur.

 Ingri’s research draws on four contested concepts in art and philosophy; the affective, the event, the collective and the role of the audience. These concepts will be elaborated in the presentation.

Ingri Midgard Fiksdal is a choreographer and performer. She is currently a research fellow at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (the Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Program). Her recent productions Cosmic Body (2015), HOODS (2014), BAND (2013), Night Tripper (2012) and The Orchard Ballads (2011) have been touring to venues such as Szene Salzburg, Mousonturm in Frankfurt, brut-künsterhaus in Vienna, Kampnagel in Hamburg, Inkonst in Malmø, MDT in Stockholm, TBA festival in Portland, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, as well as to several venues around Norway. HOODS won the Norwegian Dance Critics Award from the Norwegian Critics’ Association in 2014.



Photo: L. Chanyungco

February 15, 2016
Written by Åpent forum

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