Research Symposium: Glitch and Photography II: Bugs, Camouflage, and Insect Media
This is the second symposium of the multi-year research project Photography and the Glitch – a collaboration between the Hasselblad Foundation, HDK-Valand and IASPIS, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee´s International Programme for Visual and Applied Arts. The project explores digital photographic cultures and visual systems around us with a focus on the potentiality of glitch to disrupt normative logics.
This symposium revolves around photographic glitch as a bug both literally and metaphorically: From artistic investigations of moths, insects, and animality to analysis and mediations of bugs as technical and algorithmic error.
The symposium theme is inspired by the concept ‘insect media’ (which notably Jussi Parikka discussed in his 2010 book Insect Media. An Archeology of Animals and Technology). It approaches photography and related communication technologies, through the lens of insect behavior, anatomy, and mythologies, including notions of swarms, webs, metamorphosis and multiplicity. An entomological and wider zoological perspective on digital, hybrid and virtual photographic cultures offers new perspectives on how visuality and meaning unfold and can be imagined.
In what ways does the glitch as bug open for posthuman and nonhuman (see for instance Joanna Zylinska’s 2017 publication Nonhuman Photography) agencies and interferences – from both the machinic and the natural realms? The artists and researchers participating in this symposium address subjects such as gaming (Marco De Mutiis), climate (Joana Moll) and weather-forecasts (Nanna Debois Buhl and Joanna Zylinska) and develop innovative methodologies for working with chance (Olle Essvik), weaving (Buhl) and symbiosis (Marie-Eve Levasseur). By engaging with new technologies such as AI and various digital environments the participants pose new questions for the future of photography.
Presentations by: Joanna Zylinska, Marco De Mutiis, Nanna Debois Buhl, Joana Moll, Olle Essvik and Marie-Eve Levasseur.
13-13:15 Nina Mangalanayagam and Louise Wolthers: Introduction
13:15-14:00 Marco De Mutiis: Photographing the game glitch: between ghost photography and free labour
14:10-14:40 Nanna Debois Buhl: Pattern Machines: on Coding, Weaving and Glitching (Artist talk)
14:40-15:10 Olle Essvik AInsect / Eaten Books (Performative lecture)
15:10-15:40 Coffee and set up for digital presentations
15:40-16:10 Joana Moll: Inanimate Species (Artist talk)
16:10-16:40 Marie-Eve Levasseur: becoming a glitch-body, on extended reality (XR) art practice and feminist science fiction (Artist talk)
17:00 -17:30 Joanna Zylinska: The future is glitchy, but can we photograph it?
17:30-18:00 Concluding roundtable
The symposium will also be live-streamed as a webinar.
Link to the webinar (zoom)
About the participants:
Artist Marie-Eve Levasseur currently lives and works in Montreal. Her work deals with intimacy, non-human ecosystems, extensions of the body and the perception of language and images through screens. Her multidisciplinary approach uses various media such as video, installation, sculpture, 3D animation and augmented or virtual reality (AR/VR). She explores the proximity of technological and organic surfaces in a post-human context, while drawing inspiration from feminist science fiction. Her projects use speculative fabulation; imagining situations with fictional devices, extensions for humans and non-humans that open up an interspecies dialogue, to reflect on how we adapt to the system we live in as well as our possible futures.
Joanna Zylinska is Professor of Media Philosophy + Critical Digital Practice at King’s College London. She is the author of a number of books – including AI Art: Machine Visions and Warped Dreams (Open Humanities Press, 2020), The End of Man: A Feminist Counterapocalypse (University of Minnesota Press, 2018) and Nonhuman Photography (MIT Press, 2017). Joanna is also involved in collaborative publishing projects, often on an open-access basis. Her own art practice involves experimenting with different kinds of image-based media. She is currently researching perception and cognition as boundary zones between human and machine intelligence, while trying to map out scenarios for alternative futures. Her new book, The Perception Machine: Our Photographic Future Between the Eye and AI is forthcoming from the MIT Press.
Joana Moll is a Barcelona/Berlin based artist and researcher. Her work critically explores the way techno-capitalist narratives affect the alphabetization of machines, humans and ecosystems. Her main research topics include Internet materiality, surveillance, social profiling and interfaces. She has presented her work in renowned institutions, museums, universities and festivals around the world such as Venice Biennale, MAXXI, MMOMA, Laboral, CCCB, among many others. Her work has been featured extensively on international media.
She is the co-founder of the Critical Interface Politics Research Group at HANGAR [Barcelona] and co-founder of The Institute for the Advancement of Popular Automatisms. She is currently a visiting lecturer at Universität Potsdam and Escola Elisava in Barcelona; an artistic researcher in residence at HGK FHNW in Basel, a research fellow at BBVA Foundation and a fellow at The Weizenbaum Institute in Berlin.
Olle Essvik is an artist, publisher and senior lecturer working and living in Gothenburg. Essvik works with themes relating to the digital as well as to technology in a human context, touching on notions of everyday life, repetition, and time. The outcome of his art practice could be a book, a publication, or a photo, in which traditional materials and techniques like bookbinding converge with programming and code. Essvik has exhibited in national and international museums and have lectured and conducted workshops and performances at various institutions. He runs an experimental publishing house rojal, https://www.rojal.se, where he recently published the edited book The Computer as Seen at the End of the Human Age. Here new works by a selection of artists, specifically invited to use algorithms/AI to contribute to a continuous, self-reproducing, anachronistic, machine aided recording of history, are compiled.
Nanna Debois Buhl
Nanna Debois Buhl is a visual artist whose practice draws connections across time periods and between micro and macro perspectives. Through studies spanning plants and particles, clouds and computer memory she connects scientific, aesthetic, and speculative perspectives to nurture attentiveness to materials and to tell counter-histories. Her work materializes as photographs, weavings, installations, films, algorithm-based works, artist’s books, and site-specific works in public space. She has a conceptual and experimental approach to her chosen media, and by combining historical and new technologies she connects what is addressed in her works to how they are made. Her practice can thus be considered to be speculative time travel through matter and meaning.
Buhl is a Mads Øvlisen PhD fellow in artistic practice at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and Copenhagen University, Denmark and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA (2019-). She participated in The Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program, New York (2008- 09) and received her MFA from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (2006). Her work has been shown at various international institutions and museums, and is represented widely in collections.
Marco de Mutiis
Marco De Mutiis works as Digital Curator at Fotomuseum Winterthur, where he leads and co-curates the experimental exhibition format and research lab SITUATIONS, exploring the changing role of photography in contemporary digital and networked cultures. He also deals with issues related to digital infrastructures, online museums, and photography in its computational and algorithmic forms.
He is currently part of a SNF funded research project titled “Post-Photography” with the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and a PhD researcher at the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image at London South Bank University. His research focuses on computer games and photography, simulations of the photographic act of capture, machinic gaze, photorealism, photo modes, photographic playbour and screenshotting practices. He is the co-initiator and core member of the rogue collective behind You Must Not Call It Photography If This Expression Hurts You.
In collaboration with IASPIS, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee