Thursday 21 November 2019
Free Drink Reception:5.30pm
Burdall’s Yard, 7a Anglo Terrace, Bath, BA1 5NH
We Make Stuff: Digital Ecologies is the next in the Centre for Media Research’s public engagement series. In this edition, we present a diverse set of research that enlists a range of creative interdisciplinary approaches. The event aims to rethink our relationship with digital media technologies across environmental, social and urban contexts. The creative research presented looks across diverse fields including artificial intelligence, digital surveillance, moving image, life sciences and dystopian fiction. The event consists of a workshop and set of research presentations:
An interactive workshop run by Coral Manton, Lecturer in Creative Computing at Bath Spa University and Co-Founder of Women Reclaiming AI. The hands-on workshop will ask participants to explore our present and future relationships with AI, giving you the opportunity to learn about the art of designing a new form of AI agent, along with a discussion about the practice of humanising AI technologies and ethics.
Presentations from researchers:
Beny Wagner will present his film Outside (2017) and discusses how the themes of metabolism, waste, language and media materiality that arose through the making of the film have informed his AHRC-funded PhD research, which investigates the historical emergence of the concept ‘metabolism’ as a prism through which to study the reciprocity between moving image and the life sciences.
Joana Bárbara Fonseca will present research from her PhD project titled: ‘Digital Eyes – Towards an Aesthetics of Surveillance in Digital Technodystopia’, where she considers how new approaches to dystopian fiction, ‘artveillance’ and digital aesthetics can be used to critique digital surveillance technologies and act as new forms of counter surveillance.
Coral Manton will present work from her ‘Women Reclaiming AI’ project, an expanding activist art-work that rewrites and reimagines the cultural myths of AI and robotics by developing a feminist AI voice assistant. The work aims to critique the commercial pursuit of humanising AI technologies and challenges the bias, stereotyping and pervasive influence embedded within. She will also discuss her recent work ‘The Infinite Guide’ (2018), a speculative art work and research project, powered by a conversational AI system.
About the speakers:
Coral Manton is a Lecturer in Creative Computing at Bath Spa University. Her PhD research brings together her background in museums and immersive digital art practice. Her current research, funded by the South West Creative Technology Network, investigates whether an immersive museum collection database can be an effective way for visitors and curators to explore collection objects and historical data. Her research also explores new ways in which visitors can interact with the collection database and whether visualising the collection in an immersive way can be useful for curators’ understanding of the collection and extracting multi-layered narratives for exhibition. The visualisation pulls together constellations of objects, promoting new understanding through links and changing contexts. She is developing prototypes with Birmingham Museums as part of the master planning process for a proposed redevelopment of the museum. www.womenreclaimingai.com
Joana Bárbara Fonseca is currently an FCT fellow in the PhD Program in Materialities of Literature at the University of Coimbra. Her main research focuses on digital technodystopia and surveillance, as concepts, practice and aesthetics – from Orwell to contemporary speculative fiction. She holds a BA in Portuguese and Lusophone Studies, from the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Coimbra, and an MA degree in Classical Studies on the Ancient World branch, by the same institution, with a thesis about the representation of the feminine on the first latin novels, titled ‘Sexo Fraco e Leveza de Ânimo.
Beny Wagner is an artist, filmmaker and writer. Working in moving image, text, installation and lectures, he constructs non-linear narratives which investigate the ever shifting boundaries of the human body. His research themes have included: language, ecology, histories of science, media archaeology, agricultural production, the politics of waste. He is currently working on a long-term collaborative project together with Sasha Litvintseva. He has presented his work in festivals, exhibitions and conferences internationally. Wagner is currently a PhD candidate at the Archaeologies of Media and Technology Research Group at Winchester School of Art, Southampton University in association with Centre for Media Research, Bath Spa University. He is also a senior lecturer at Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam and has been a guest lecturer at several other academies around the world. Wagner graduated from Bard College in 2008 and was a researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academy in 2015-16: https://www.benywagner.com/
The event is free for PhD students. To book your place, please email Matt Freeman (firstname.lastname@example.org).