[-empyre-] July on empyre: Screens (week 3)

Simon Biggs simon at littlepig.org.uk
Mon Jul 16 08:02:36 EST 2012

Welcome to week three of the empyre discussion on the topic of screens. We would like to thank this past week's invited discussants Simone Arcangi and Charlie Gere, as well as all the empyre members who have contributed to the discussion.

After the, at times, intense debate of the first week, considering what defines a screen as a screen and the scope of our topic, the second week has focused more on the inter-agency of the apparatus of (or around) the screen and its viewers/users. That the screen has shifted from being primarily an object of visual contemplation to something we employ in our interactions with other things has been noted. However, the  screen has its histories and theoretical baggage and it remains a challenge for us to consider it anew - and perhaps it would be erroneous to dispatch that historical baggage.

This weeks invited discussants have been key in the theorisation and historicisation of the screen. They are recognised for their panoramic overview of the subject and having contributed at critical moments to debates around both old and new media. They are:

Sean Cubitt, University of Southampton, UK.
Sean is currently Professor at Winchester School of Art but starts at Goldsmiths, University of London, in August, previously working  at Melbourne and Waikato (New Zealand) Universities. He edits the Leonardo Book Series for MIT Press. Forthcoming publications include anthologies on ecocinema, media art history, the history of British video art and transitions from analog to digital imaging. He is working on a new book on environmentalism, globalisation and political aesthetics. His recent work includes a history of screens, tracing the form of LCD and plasma displays, as well as cinema and data projection, from printing technologies of the 19th century onwards. With luck, a book tracing this history, alongside histories of colour and other visual technologies, will be published in 2013. Its central theme is that Western media have moved from a semantic and hierarchical model of vision to a democratic but arithmetic one which shares its formal properties with the demands of bio-politics and the commodity form of the 21st century

Scott McQuire, University of Melbourne, Australia.
Scott McQuire has a strong interest in the social and cultural transformations surrounding the deployment of new media technologies. In 2004 he co-founded the Spatial Aesthetics program for interdisciplinary research linking media, art, social theory and urbanism. Scott is author or co-editor of 7 books including The Media City: Media, Architecture and Urban Space (2008) and the Urban Screens Reader (2009). His work in the emerging field of urban communication has pioneered new ways of understanding the social impact of large video screens situated in public space. He teaches in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne.

Simon Biggs
simon at littlepig.org.uk http://www.littlepig.org.uk/ @SimonBiggsUK skype: simonbiggsuk

s.biggs at ed.ac.uk Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/  http://www.elmcip.net/  http://www.movingtargets.co.uk/
MSc by Research in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices

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