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ISEA2015: The 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art
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Monday, August 17 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
[Round Table 4] The Aesthetics of Erasure

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In an era in which state surveillance is capable of capturing, storing, and analyzing all personal communications, and in which even the much-heralded ephemerality of photographic sharing applications such as Snapchat is revealed to be just another instance of deferred, secreted permanence, erasure seems all but impossible. Yet this is precisely what makes erasure a vitally necessary artistic, technological, and social practice. Erasure provides a point of departure from network culture, from the constraints of big data, the archive, and the cloud; through erasure, forgetting and disappearance become radical, profoundly productive and disruptive acts.

This panel seeks to theorize the aesthetics of erasure across various media, platforms, and contexts in the digital era. Bringing together artistic and critical contributors from the forthcoming Spring 2015 issue of Media-N, the journal of the New Media Caucus of the College Art Association, on the special topic of “The Aesthetics of Erasure,” and chaired by the issue’s Guest Co-Editor Paul Benzon, we aim to consider the stakes of erasure for digital art and culture through consideration of a range of questions: What does it mean to consider erasure as an artist’s mark, and how does it reshape the relations between making and unmaking? How do acts of erasure allow artists to harness and resist the possibilities and problems of the archive, of (self-) surveillance, of public and private, and of datafication? What do practices of digital erasure, and the absences they produce, tell us about the materiality of digital activity?

avatar for Paul Benzon

Paul Benzon

I teach contemporary literature, media studies, and critical writing at Temple University. In my research, I explore how the material and formal extremities of textual artifacts reveal the cultural history of modern and contemporary media technology. My work has appeared in PMLA... Read More →
avatar for Amaranth Borsuk

Amaranth Borsuk

University of Washington Bothell
Amaranth Borsuk's most recent book is As We Know (Subito, 2014), a collaboration with Andy Fitch. She is the author of Handiwork (Slope Editions, 2012), and, with Brad Bouse, Between Page and Screen (Siglio Press, 2012). Abra, a collaboration with Kate Durbin forthcoming from 1913... Read More →
avatar for Nick Montfort

Nick Montfort

Nick Montfort's computer-generated books of poetry include #!, the collaboration 2×6, Autopia, and The Truelist, the first in the new Using Electricity series from Counterpath. Among his more than fifty digital projects are the collaborations The Deletionist, Sea and Spar Between... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Sweeney

Sarah Sweeney

Associate Professor of Art, Skidmore College
Sarah Sweeney received her BA in Studio Art from Williams College and an MFA in Digital Media from Columbia University School of the Arts and is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Skidmore College. Her digital and interactive work interrogates the relationship between photographic... Read More →

Monday August 17, 2015 2:00pm - 3:30pm PDT
Room 4310 Simon Fraser University (Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4, Canada)

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