LAZNIA 1 2017 - SMART ART Public lecture by Prof. Robert Mitchell (Duke University, US)
Thursday, 19 January 2017 at 6 p.m.
LAZNIA Centre for Contemporary Art, ul. Jaskółcza 1, Gdańsk
Public lecture by Prof. Robert Mitchell (Duke University, US)
What can art be in the age of “smartness”? The increasing ubiquity and importance of “smart” phones, credit cards, bombs, electrical grids and even cities clarifies that we now live in a world that aspires to be – or even feels itself required to become – smart. Yet smartness is not equivalent to intelligence or rationality, but instead refers to very specific ways of combining computer-aided optimization, the “wisdom of crowds,” and new political forms, with the goal of creating ecological and political resilience. Smartness is thus a metadisciplinary endeavor, one that aims to combine the sciences and humanities for the sake of creating new forms and arts of life. Smartness thus presents art practice with a challenge in two senses. On the one hand, the discourse of smartness is remarkably adept at co-opting the critical dimensions of art; on the other hand, art practices can recombine the dimensions of smartness and thus reconfigure the meaning and mission of smartness itself.
Robert Mitchell (b.1969, Atlanta) is the Marcello Lotti Professor of English and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Science and Cultural Theory at Duke University (US). He earned a PhD from the University of Washington in 2001. He is co-author of Tissue Economies (Duke University Press, 2006), Sympathy and the State in the Romantic Era
(Routledge, 2007), Bioart and the Vitality of Media (University of Washington Press, 2010) and Experimental Life: Vitalism in Romantic Science and Literature (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). Robert Mitchell has guest lectured in the US and internationally, including Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA), The New School (New York, NY), University of Toronto (Toronto), Université de Montréal (Montreal), Oxford University (Oxford), London School of Economics (London), The Nottingham Trent University (Nottingham) and others. His current research focuses on the relationships among biopolitics, the logic of populations, and the arts.
Louis-Philippe Demers, The Blind Robot, 2012. An interactive robotic performance. Made in collaboration with Dennis Low (mechatronics) and Vineet Kuruvila (programming). Support: Start Up Grant and MOE Tier1 Grant (Nanyang Technological University) and The Robots & Avatars project (body>data>space, KIBLA, AltArt, 2011–2012).
Thomas Feuerstein, Pancreas, 2012. Glass, metal, plastic, technical equipment, brain cells, bacteria. Mixed-media processual sculpture, fragment: installation view. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman Innsbruck / Vienna.
Municipal Institution of Culture