Previously at the ICA - Events

Transpersonal: Elizabeth Jochum Photo credit: Bjarne Stëhr, Fremtiden, 2014

Transpersonal: Elizabeth Jochum

8 Mar 2017

Computation as Medium: The Human Artist in the Age of Autonomous Machines  

This talk, by Elizabeth Jochum, considers the implications of computation as an artistic medium and the possible consequences for ‘transpersonal’ engagement in art practice. Computational art practice is based on emergent outcomes, where the art works are no longer determined only by the artist. The abstraction inherent to computation can be compared with more analogue approaches that aim to introduce unpredictability and free the art work from the artist’s personal subjectivity, for example Fluxus, action painting, and the I Ching. Procedural and ritual approaches to art practice share an interest in transcending individual, personal expression in order to access expanded states of consciousness. Not only does computation as medium foster a trial and error approach to artmaking, it also raises critical questions about the role of artistic intent and how artists work with immaterial processes. Computation therefore lends itself to imperative rather than declarative art-making, an approach that might be conducive to generating new and unexpected feelings and experiences.  

Elizabeth Jochum (BA Wellesley College; MA, PhD University of Colorado) is an Assistant Professor of Art and Technology at Aalborg University where she teaches Art and Technology and serves on the Erasmus Mundus Media Arts Cultures graduate faculty. Her research focuses on the intersection of robotics, art and performance. She is the co-founder of the Robot Culture and Aesthetics (ROCA) and a member of Aalborg U Robotics, and serves on the editorial board of Global Performance Studies. Her publications appear in Robots and Art, Controls and Art, Robotics and Autonomous Systems and the International Journal of Social Robotics. She has worked as an actor, director, dramaturge and puppeteer. Dr Jochum has directed experimental Kabuki dance dramas and designed choreography for robotic marionettes. Her forthcoming book Robots on Stage proposes an aesthetics for autonomous and semi-autonomous machines.

Transpersonal: art and life directives is a lecture series on the theory and application of art and design, curated and convened by Dr. Stephen Wilson. It is staged in collaboration with the ICA and the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon College of Arts postgraduate community at the University of the Arts London.

The term transpersonal explores interpersonal relationships and communities, specifically forms of relation that break down the boundaries of the self. Over the course of ten lectures, this series explores a number of directives that aim to produce techniques, crafts, states of mind and forms of awareness related to psychosocial care. Drawing on critical developments in design, psychology, feminism, dance, anthropology, art theory, robotics and media studies, the series reassesses the value of cultural expressions and experiences to reconsider these experiences as "transpersonal responsibility".

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