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Digital Arts Symposium: The Postdigital, Contributive Economy in Contemporary Art

Date: Monday 19th of December, 2017.

Time: 09h00 – 15h45.

Venue: Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), Dublin 8. (Google Maps Link)

Tickets: Free, available from EventBrite.



The perception of a postdigital condition suggests that contemporary politics, economics and art are constructed within the framing mechanisms of the digital. A postdigital culture does not encounter the digital anew but rather conceives subjectivity as organised within a system of indistinction that exists between the material and the digital. This one-day symposium will focus on the relationships between new forms of political economy and artistic practice as they appear within contemporary art. The symposium will bring together contemporary Irish artist John Gerrard and researchers from: the School of Creative Arts, TCD, Prof. Matthew Causey and Dr. Néill O’Dwyer; GradCAM/DIT, Dr. Noel Fitzpatrick and Dr. Conor McGarrigle; and NUI Maynooth, Dr. Aphra Kerr. The discussions are organised against the backdrop of John Gerrard’s recent transdisciplinary work in digital live simulation exemplified by projects such as Flag (Thames) 2016 and Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada) 2014. It is suggested that the aesthetic potential of emerging computational techniques, from live simulation to neural networks, have only begun to be explored. The possibilities and disciplinary implications of these developments will be interrogated in a wide ranging discussion addressing the relationships between digital technology and the arts, with a sharp focus on contemporary sociopolitical issues brought to bear by the event of the digital.


Western society has been profoundly altered, over the last 20 to 30 years by the emergence of software, digital audio-visualisation techniques, automation, and electronics. These digital techniques are now largely pervasive, and increasingly permeate the tools that assist making and thinking, as well as the environments where they are engaged, to the point where they now constitute a large portion of subjectivity and electronically networked life – the aftermath of the advent of the digital. All fields of knowledge, without exception, and all aspects of social organisation, are reinvented by developments in the technical systems that constitute culture. With the emergence of the digital, this reinvention has been traumatic every bit as much as it has been beneficial; for example, while science has been revolutionised by new computational techniques and massive repertoires of connected data, it has also floundered over intellectual copyright, the privatisation of knowledge as well as unmediated access to various differing opinions. Similarly, the new politics of public access to open data sources is affecting the social, cultural and economic spheres wherein there is a reorganisation of existing social structures around new paradigms of contribution by collaborative participants and creative commoners.


The aim of the discussions in IMMA is to elicit an open, interdisciplinary and trans-institutional conversation – across academia and the arts – that attempts to elicit the positive and negative aspects of the postdigital condition, not simply interpreted as an aesthetic concern, but rather as a nuanced and complex ethical and political position.


The event is free but pre-booking is essential, through the EventBrite page, here.


Live screening of the N. Katherine Hayles’ Seminar, from the Pompidou Centre

The Digital Studies Seminar in association with GradCAM @ DIT (Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, at Dublin Institute of Technology) and the ATRL (Arts Technology Research Lab, Department of Drama, Trinity College) present:
a live screening of Prof. N. Katherine Hayles’ seminar entitled:
“Thought or Cognition?  What’s the Difference and Why Is It Important?”
Date: Friday 14 octobre 2016
Time: Doors: 17h00 (Screening: 17h30 to 19h00)
Venue: Arts Technology Research Lab (ATRL), Unit 13 Trinity Enterprise Campus (@ Grand Canal Dock), Pearse Street, Dublin 2.
Whereas “thinking” has historically been loaded with a long tradition of anthropocentric assumptions, leading to fruitless debates about whether machines can think, “cognition” encompasses a much broader territory that includes both human systems and technical assemblages.
This talk will offer a definition of cognition that opens the way to re-thinking the relations of humans to other biological organisms and, equally important, to understanding the ways in which cognitive technologies and humans interact in the contemporary era. The implications of this framework will be explored over a diverse range of issues, from environmental concerns to ethical approaches to complex technologies.
N. Katherine Hayles, the James B. Duke Professor of Literature at Duke University, teaches and writes on the relations of literature, science and technology in the 20th and 21st centuries. She has published ten books and over 100 peer-reviewed articles, and her research has been recognized by a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, a Rockefeller Residential Fellowship at Bellagio, a National Humanities Center Fellowship, and a University of California Presidential Award, among other awards.  She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Her books have won numerous awards, including the Rene Wellek Prize for the Best Book in Literary Theory in 1998-99 for How We Became Posthuman:  Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics, and the Suzanne Langer Award for Outstanding Scholarship for Writing Machines. She teaches courses on experimental fiction, literary and cultural theory, finance capital and culture, science fiction, and contemporary American fiction.  She has won two teaching awards, and has held visiting appointments at Princeton, University of Chicago as the Critical Inquiry Visiting Professor, and Institute for Advanced Studies at Durham University UK, among others.
The seminar is hosted by l’IRI for a conference organised on the initiative of Labex Arts-H2H de Paris 8, the Cergy School of Art and the University of Grenoble-Alpes (Litt & Arts Team).


Dates confirmed for DS Seminar Term 1, 2016/17

This academic term the Digital Studies Seminar will meet on three Thursday mornings between now and the end of term. In addition, the hosting responsibilities will be shared between DIT (Dublin Institute of Technology) and the Trinity Long Room Hub, at Trinity College.

The times and dates are as follows:

  1. Thursday 27 October, at 9.00am in the Trinity Long Room Hub, at Trinity College.
  2. Thursday 24 November, at 10.00am in GradCAM’s Greenway Hub at DIT’s Grangegorman Campus.
  3. Thursday 8 December, at 10.00am in GradCAM at Greenway Hub at DIT’s Grangegorman Campus.


Dates announced for Semester 2, 2015/16

The Digital Studies Seminar will convene on the following dates for the second semester of 2015/16 academic year:

  • Wed. 10 February 2016
  • Wed. 24 February 2016
  • Wed. 9 March 2016
  • Wed. 23 March 2016
  • Wed. 6 April 2016
  • Wed. 20 April 2016
  • Wed. 4 May 2016
  • Wed. 18 May 2016
  • Wed. 1 June 2016
  • Wed. 15 June 2016
  • Wed. 29 June 2016

It is anticipated that the first four sessions of the seminar series (10 Feb. – 23 Mar.) will continue to centre around a close reading of Bernard Stiegler’s recently translated aesthetic volume, entitled Symbolic Misery Vol. 2, The kastrophe of the Sensible (Polity, 2015).

Following the reconvening after the Easter holidays, the seminars will focus again on individual paper presentations. The speakers invited to present will be selected from Digital Studies’ international network. A list of the people involved in the international network can be found here.

Dates announced for Semester 1, 2015/16

The Digital Studies Seminar will convene on the following dates for the first semester of 2015/16 academic year:

  • 14 October
  • 28 October
  • 11 November
  • 25 November
  • 9 December

The first seminar (14 Oct.) will concern a paper presentation by Connell Vaughan, entitled “Vandalism in Cyberspace: From Street Art to ISIS”. Connell’s biog and the abstract of the paper can be downloaded here.

The following four meetings (28 Oct. – 9 Dec.) will centre around a close reading of Bernard Stiegler’s recently translated aesthetic volume, entitled Symbolic Misery Vol. 2, The kastrophe of the Sensible (Polity, 2015).

Two guest speakers announced for spring/summer 2015

The Digital Studies Seminar Series, in association with GradCAM @ DIT is delighted to announce two special guest speakers for the spring/summer semester of 2015.

Firstly, on the 29th of April we are delighted to host Dr. Gerald Moore (Durham University), who will give his paper entitled, “The Pharmacology of Addiction.”

Secondly, on the 20th of May we have the great honour of hosting the esteemed founder of the Digital Studies Network, Bernard Stiegler (via teleconference), who will give a paper on his current research concerning ‘Negentropy and Aesthetics.’

Both seminars will take place in Rathdown House on the new DIT campus at Grangegorman.