Aesthetic Objectivity

Spring 2014

Visual Cultures Public Programme Spring 2014

The computational turn, or what might be called the algorithmic paradigm of calculation and modelling, has produced a new ethics that emerges out of bandwidth and code. This database-ethics has changed both the spaces in which action occurs and ways it is acted upon.

Increasingly, our primary access into the spaces of contemporary conflict is through remote sensing technologies and mobile phone uploads. For over four decades now, earth observation satellites have captured and transmitted data-streams allowing us to chart the long-term changes occurring within dynamic planetary systems, demonstrating the ruinous effects of deforestation, environmental pollutants, resource extraction, and climate change. CCTV video surveillance has also turned witnessing by mechanical means into a prevalent and normalised feature of every-day life. The Visual Cultures Public Programme for Spring 2014 aims to shed light on the kinds of spatial, aesthetic, and political transformations being produced by these changes.

The near real-time mediation of all contemporary events needs to be understood and examined not simply as a ‘progressive’ consequence of a technical evolution made possible by enhanced microprocessors, but as inaugurating a radical new form of aesthetic objectivity. How, asks this series, might we modify the aesthetic registers by which such objectivities are produced and activate new means critique and mobilise new modes of resistance?

Programmed by Susan Schuppli