22 MAY 2017
Location: John Cabot University (Via della Lungara 233, Rome)
09:45 – 10:00 Introduction
Donatella Della Ratta
10am – 1:15pm BEHIND AND BEYOND SELFIES (short coffee break at 11am)
Fabio Cristiano & Emilio Distretti
Jillet Sara Sam
3pm – 5:45pm POLITICS AND AESTHETICS OF MASK DESIGN (short break at 4pm)
Daniel de Zeeuw
5:45 pm – 5:55pm BOOK LAUNCH: Culture of the Selfie by Ana Peraica
23 MAY 2017
Location: Roma Tre University (Via Ostiense, 234, Rome)
10am – 12:45pm ONLINE SUBJECTIVITY THEORY (short coffee break at 11am)
2pm – 3.15pm ARTISTIC PRACTICES OF THE ONLINE SELF
3.30pm-6.00pm ART & MULTIMEDIA PROJECTS (short break at 4:30pm)
Francisco Gonzalez Rosas
Marguerite Elisabeth Kalhor
Daniel Newman & Keith Hartwig
Paula Van Beek (video)
7pm EXHIBITION AND LIVE TALKS
Location: ESC Atelier Occupato (Via dei Volsci 159, Rome)
BEHIND AND BEYOND SELFIES
It is easy to diagnose the selfie as a symptom of a growing narcissism of our daily digital obsessions. But how do we get beyond the predictable split between the politically correct assessment of empowerment (of young girls) against the nihilist reading of self-promotion and despair? Does criticism of today’s photography of the everyday life always have to end up giving medical prescriptions and recipes of wellbeing? What could a materialist reading of large databases and facial recognition techniques (including protection) that goes beyond media archaeology (the historical approach) and the ever-changing pop gestures involve and say? Can we still talk about the liberation of the self in the age of digital self-generation of the images?
POLITICS AND AESTHETICS OF MASK DESIGN
Masks and selfies should not be seen as opposites as they both represent different modes (and moods) of being of the self. Masks create spaces of performance; they are playful and seductive (or scary) forms of self-representation that ultimately do not protect us against the computational repression of the security apparatus. What are the lessons learned from the Anonymous movement? We should come to a new social contract between the individuals, groups and the cybernetic machine. In the meanwhile, how can we make sure to protect us, and what premises are hidden in the numerous crypto-design projects that circulate?
ONLINE SUBJECTIVITY THEORY
How much free room do we have to design new identities? What aesthetic and philosophic paths and patterns does meme distribution hint at? What is the role of theory and criticism, if any, in the ever changing yet endless production of the latest user affordances, from dating sites, Tinder swipes and Snapchat lenses, to Pokemon-Go? Can we still attempt to design new modes of subjectivity, or has our role withdrawn to a mere Cassandra-like gloom and doom prediction of digital catastrophes, while start-ups (read: future monopolies) have all taken over the cool business of designing and shaping the online self?
ARTISTIC PRACTICES OF THE ONLINE SELF
Artists play an important role in the anticipation, and critique, of new modes of the self. What role does the artistic imagination play beyond the creative industries paradigm? How can artistic and creative avant-garde practices help disrupt the trite quantitative approach and the dogma of the algorithm in defining modes and moods of the online self? What separates a (properly) artistic imagination and the aesthetic imagination of the online curators of selfie-constructed personas and are contemporary critical paradigms merely reproducing an understanding of online practices that are aligned with the requirements of corporation?