[-empyre-] Merging thoughts: Invisibility/ Hackability of the body

Renate Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Tue Mar 19 02:46:24 AEDT 2019

Thanks Lola for taking care of the moderation on –empyre- these past weeks.  I have been swamped with travel but I have been keeping up with the posts back channel.  Last week the posts on the disabilities arts population was informative.  I hope that Ezra, Anneli, and Yidan will continue this thread this week.  It is unfortunate that we did not have time to develop the discussion a bit more.  Thanks Ezra for mentioning Alice Sheppard’s piece DESCENT.  I know that just about a month ago the piece was performed at EMPAC, The Experimental and Performing Art Center, in Troy, NY.  Here is the link to the information in case our readers are not familiar. I am so very proud to say that our daughter Ashley Ferro-Murray curated the work for the center.


Thanks for sharing Sheppard’s quote as well. 
”Disability is more than the deficit of diagnosis. It is an aesthetic, a
series of intersecting cultures, and a creative force."

Reports are that the performance reached far into the surrounding community and a disabled friend of mine who lives three hours from the center made the trip to watch Sheppard on stage. The event was also live-streamed for audience members who could not attend.   

The web becomes a mode for allowing an aesthetic portal where intersecting cultures and forces can come alive.  Yidan’s interventions into website auditing, captioning and audio description is important work and I am hoping that Yidan will share more of the work they are doing.  My apologies to all that –empyre- is not up to snuff on image captioning and audio description but please know that Cornell is helping us revamp this website to include all of these allowances.  Stay tuned for that. A little slow I realize. 

Anneli, I would love to hear more about the panel. For your information, you can post videos and images of the panel events at our twitter site @empyrelistserv or our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/empyrelistserv/

Your work on the algorithmic self leads well into this week’s discussion so I am hoping you all will stay on to join in this week.  While algorithms are prescriptions for action the messiness and disruption of the hack pave ways in which the glitch, the anomaly or the hiccup can enable the creative imaginary. 

I have a couple of specific personal issues that I would like all of you to comment on specifically about the larger implications of Refiguring the Future that I will post a bit later tonight. In the meantime, really hoping that you all will feel open to share as much as possible with our community here but also imagery via Twitter and Facebook. 

Best to all of you, 
-empyre- curator/managing moderator

Renate Ferro
Visiting Associate Professor, Art and Technology
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Art
Tjaden Hall 306
rferro at cornell.edu

On 3/18/19, 10:29 AM, "empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of Lola Martinez" <empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of lola.martinez at eyebeam.org> wrote:

    ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
    Last week’s reflections on accessibility offered insights from
    creative utilizations of digital platforms to perspectives on
    world-building. Following these insights, we continue onto week 3 with
    conversation on Refiguring the Future’s exploration of the bodies
    entanglements with technology.
    Technoscientific biases categorize individuals according to markers
    such as race, gender, sexuality, and citizenship, and in turn
    undermine how we live and navigate our present and future worlds.
    These discourses attempt to remove agency from the body—either
    accidentally, as an insignificant detail, or intentionally, as a shell
    to be surpassed. Yet how can we lay claim to the position of a
    diversity of bodies as indispensable? Can alternative conceptions of
    science, from biology to ecology, be expanded to offer ways in living
    differently in relation to land, self, and other? Would these
    alternative systems or methodologies challenge the structural
    injustices embedded in technology? Ultimately, we aim to host
    dialogues that engage with the messiness and hackability of the body
    as an essential substrate of culture.
    I’m honored to be joined by Lee Blalock, whose work is on view as part
    of the exhibition at 205 Hudson Gallery, Kathy High and Camilla Mørk
    Røstvik, both who are a part of the REFRESH collective.
    Lee Blalock is a Chicago-based artist and educator who presents
    alternative and hyphenated states of being through technology-mediated
    processes. Inspired by science fiction, futurism, and technology, her
    work is an exercise in body modification by way of amplified behavior
    or "change-of-state." Blalock also works under the moniker L[3]^2,
    whose most recent live work embraces noise and fissure as a natural
    state of being for bodies living in the information age. Superimposing
    custom module-based "Instr/augment" systems (what the artist calls
    “sy5z3ns”) onto performers, L[3]^2 creates conditions for meditation
    through generative and repetitive behavior. Blalock is an Assistant
    Professor in the Art and Technology Studies Department at the School
    of the Art Institute of Chicago. She holds an MFA from the School of
    the Art Institute of Chicago and a BS from Spelman College, Atlanta.
    Kathy High is an interdisciplinary artist working in the areas of
    technology, science, speculative fiction and art. She produces videos
    and installations posing queer and feminist inquiries into areas of
    medicine/bio-science, and animal/interspecies collaborations. She
    hosts bio/ecology+art workshops and is creating an urban nature center
    in North Troy (NATURE Lab) with media organization The Sanctuary for
    Independent Media. High is Professor of Video and New Media in the
    Department of Arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. She
    teaches documentary and experimental digital video production, history
    and theory, as well as biological arts.
    Dr. Camilla Mørk Røstvik is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the
    School of Art History at the University of St Andrews. She works on
    the visual culture and institutional power structures of menstruation
    from 1970s to the present day.
    Lola Martinez | they/them
    Eyebeam/REFRESH Curatorial and Engagement Fellow
    Visit Refiguring the Future: Exhibition Feb 8 - Mar 31
    empyre forum
    empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au

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