CISP Online

Blog of the Centre for Invention & Social Process, Goldsmiths

Alien Agency or How Art and STS Make Strange (But Necessary) Bedfellows


Room 137 Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths
Monday 18 June 2018, 4.30-6.30 PM
Organised by the Centre for Invention and Social Process (CISP)
Public Talk, Free Attendance

Speaker: Chris Salter, Concordia University / Hexagram / Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology

Abstract: How does one make art with techno-scientific procedures and stuff? Alien Agency is a book that I wrote in 2015 that explores what happens in creative practice when the materials of art and research behave and perform in ways beyond the creators’ intentions. In a weird mix between theory, biography, history and ethnography, the book aimed both to make links between art, design, STS, performance and media studies as well to understand how researcher-creators organize the conditions for new experimental, performative assemblages that mix art, technoscience and sociological construction–assemblages that sidestep dichotomies between subjects and objects, human and nonhuman, mind and body, knowing and experiencing. This talk will explore both these ongoing promises and the inherent tensions of forging links between techno-scientific art practice and the sociology and anthropology of science.

Biography: Chris Salter is an artist, University Research Chair in New Media, Technology and the Senses at Concordia University and Co-Director of the Hexagram network for Research-Creation in Media Arts and Technology in Montreal. His work has been seen all over the world at such venues as the Venice Architecture Biennale, Chronus Art Center Shanghai, Wiener Festwochen, Berliner Festspiele, Muffathalle, ZKM, Vitra Design Museum, HAU-Berlin, BIAN 2014, LABoral, Lille 3000, CTM Berlin, National Art Museum of China, Ars Electronica, Villette Numerique, Todays Art, Transmediale, EXIT Festival (Maison des Arts, Creteil-Paris) among many others. He is the author of Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance (MIT Press, 2010) and Alien Agency: Experimental Encounters with Art in the Making (MIT Press, 2015). He is currently working on “Making Sense in the Quantified World,” a book on how sensing technology is changing our bodies and concept of self for the MIT Press.

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