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ISEA2015: The 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art
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Monday, August 17 • 9:30am - 11:00am
[Panel 9] Objects and Agency: Art, Digital Media, Anthropology

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This session draws together the insights produced by SHIVERING, a three year, multi-disciplinary SSHRC funded investigation into the social role of objects, particularly art ob-jects, examined through the facetted lenses of art research, digital and multimedia art practice and contemporary anthropological theory. Building on the work of the British anthropologist, Alfred Gell, who pioneered ideas about art and the apparent animacy and social agency of objects, we have explored ways to expose the social affect of art and museum objects outside of aesthetics, commoditization and colonialist connoisseurship. Bruno Latour suggests devising a variety of specific tricks or artificial situations which ‘make them [objects] talk, that is, to offer descriptions of themselves, to produce scripts of what they are making others – humans and non-humans – do’ (2005:79). We argue that paying attention to the life and agency of art objects creates an oppor-tunity for a theoretically useful critique of modernisms and post-modernisms.

avatar for Mimi Gellman

Mimi Gellman

Associate Professor, Emily Carr University of Art and Design

Monday August 17, 2015 9:30am - 11:00am
Room 4310 Simon Fraser University (Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4, Canada)

Attendees (70)