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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?

Moderators
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, electronic book review, and Narrative. I am currently at work on two projects: in Archival Fictions: Materiality, Form, and Media History in Contemporary Literature, I... 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 Press, recently received an NEA-sponsored Expanded Artists’ Books grant from the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago and will be... Read More →
avatar for Nick Montfort

Nick Montfort

MIT & SfPC
Nick Montfort develops computational art and poetry, often collaboratively. His poetry books are #! and Riddle & Bind; he co-wrote 2×6 and 2002: A Palindrome Story. His more than fifty digital projects include the collaborations The Deletionist and Sea and Spar Between. The MIT Press has published five of his collaborative and individual books: The New Media Reader, Twisty Little Passages, Racing the Beam, 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10... 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 memory objects and physical memories, and is informed by both the study of memory science and the history of documentary technologies. Her work has appeared... Read More →

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

Attendees (62)