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Média Médiums

A series of lectures on technology and the spirit world / Une série de conférences sur la technologie et le monde spirite

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A Constructed World - Speaking to eels

A Constructed World began Explaining contemporary art to live eels in 2003, inviting art experts from across the world to explain their research to eels temporarily inhabiting museums and art centres. The live eels (Anguilla anguilla) have now, due to their dastardly decline, been exchanged for a speaking, robotic eel. Did we at some point, decide the image has duly replaced the-thing-itself? Has the image replaced logic in the same way logic exceeded and displaced rhetoric before it, if so what use are intellectuals? What is to be examined when everyone knows how to read the image in a lively often disingenuous way? In this performance of absence, where is speech coming from. What difference does it make who is speaking? Who really spoke? Bruno Latour says something like there may be a space that we could deal with as empirical but we would first need to understand what part is human. 'We put ourselves in a position to realize that it is ourselves and not reality that is responsible for what we know'. When talking to others, objects and other species are always near. Ready-to-hand. Richard Rorty opines that that getting authority over oneself means hearing 'your own statements as part of shared practice.' This part of the seminar will take place over two days the first will be a lecture about how speech aggregates and ACW’s work and experience talking to eels, the second will be a group workshop to consider, what that group proposes, the voice of the eel might be and how an actual voice might be produced. A Constructed World work with actions and methodologies that bring attention to diverse modes of artistic practice. They are well known fortheir lengthy performances which include up to twenty performers presenting speech, conversation, philosophic al texts, music and singing, incorporating high levels of specialisation and not-knowing as a shared space. In their ongoing project, Explaining contemporary art to live eels, they invite art specialists to speak to live eels that are later released back into the water. These projects accumulate a research concerned with transmission and reception, satisfaction-without-delay.

1hr 48mins

1 Dec 2016

Rank #1

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Nicolas Giret - What songbirds teach us

Almost half of the bird species on Earth are songbirds. The diversity of songbird species implies a huge diversity of songs. The tit warbles, the sparrow chirps, the blackbird whistles. Common to gardens as well as rainforests, songbirds fill up the soundscape and have intrigued humans over the ages. Only since the mid-twentieth century, and its technical advances, have songbirds and their singing behavior been investigated. The songs of songbirds are socially learned by imitation. An individual, usually a juvenile, memorizes the song of a model, generally of an adult, before practicing its own song. Learning by songbirds is thus similar to speech and language acquisition in humans. It is a rarity within the animal kingdom, explaining why songbirds are now widely studied. The domains in which research is conducted on songbirds includes not merely thier behavioral aspects (such as function and use of songs, recognition amongst individuals) but also neurobiological aspects (what neuronal mechanisms are involved in song learning, its perception or its production?). During my presentation, we will discover various research projects and specific examples, with the aim of better understanding what and how information is exchanged not only between individuals while they are singing but also between neurons which ground the singing behavior. Nicolas Giret is a researcher at the CNRS, based at the Neuroscience Paris Saclay Institute in Orsay. He first studied the cognitive abilities of parrots in the Laboratoire d’Ethologie et Cognition Comparées at the Paris Ouest University, mainly focusing on their vocal communication systems (2005-2009). He then moved to Zürich, to study systemic neuroscience at the Institute of Neuroinformatics, investigating the neuronal correlates of imitative vocal behavior (2010-2013). Studying songbirds, he demonstrated the existence of a population of neurons displaying mirror-like neuronal activity in a cortical-like brain area, i.e. similar patterns of activity when a bird sings or passively hears its own song (2014). Recently, together with his new collaborators at the Neuroscience Paris Saclay Institute, he has shown that the neuronal responses in auditory areas of songbirds are modulated by the presence and the sex of the surrounding individuals (2015-2016). Nicolas Giret is currently working on the mechanisms involved in the emergence of cerebral mirror neurons in songbirds.

2hr 19mins

17 Nov 2016

Rank #2

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Marie Lechner - Bots

Bots are our old network friends, present in IRC chats, on-line games, and on the web. "The first indigenous species of cyberspace", according to Wired journalist Andrew Leonard. They proliferate, are more and more complex, and cause as many problems as they try to resolve. Whether they operate in the background or demand our attention, they have colonized an incredible variety of environments. They represent the armed wing of our data society, increasingly more efficient, to such a point that certain voices sound the alarm of the rise of a vast inhuman machine on auto-pilot. We will retrace the history and try to outline a taxinomy of these "narrow artificial intelligences". From Eliza, the grandmother of all chatterbots to the silent bot army of Wikipedia, from bot wars in IRC networks to Twitterbots employed by the Mexican government to silence opposition, from seductive bimbots of online dating sites to high-frequency trading bots, from criminal botnets to artistic bot projects. Marie Lechner is a french journalist, she writes extensively about digital art and culture. She has worked for the newspaper Libération and as free lancer for Arte Creative,Magazine des cultures digitales (MCD), Le Monde. She is also a researcher in media archeology at PAMAL (Preservation and Art - Media Archaelogy Lab), at the Ecole supérieure des arts in Avignon. She has been organising conferences on web folklore at the Gaîté Lyrique and created a "Supertalk" called "Le Wi-Fi - de l'Antiquité à nos jours". She co-curated the following shows - Speed Show number 5 (Open internet) in Paris (2011), the Cacophony Society section in the Evil Clowns exhibition at the center for media art Hartware MedienKunstVerein in Dortmund (2014), and collaborated in Welcome to the future, at the Centre for digital cultures and technology (IMAL) in Brussels (2015). She is currently working as the french curator for the european project Streaming Egos, on digital identities, launched by the Goethe Institut.

2hr 34mins

3 Nov 2015

Rank #3

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Nicolas Maigret - The Experimenter Effect

For his talk, Nicolas Maigret will present his current research which attemps to shed light on various invisible or discreet aspects of digital machines. Using a mediumistic or pseudo-scientific point of view, he will address a set of experiences, from the laying bare the inner workings of these machines to the invocation of a technical afterlife, which seems to emanate from all machinery that has reached a certain level of technical complexity. During this dérive he will present – An attentiveness to binary code, revealing the structure of different encodings, languages and contents – Different ways of listening to the Internet's background noise, revealing the materiality and dynamics unique to the Internet – Recording the activity of the “global brain” using the model of seismic activity – Listening to topographic relief maps made by NASA – A set-up for intercepting exchanges on peer-to-peer networks. He will also talk about more recent projects convoking the specters of the military heritage inherent to the most ordinary technical systems. Nicolas Maigret exposes the internal workings of media, through an exploration of their dysfunctions, limitations or failure thresholds which he develops sensory and immersive audio visual experiences. As a curator, he initiated the disnovation.net research, a critique of the innovation propaganda. After completing studies in intermedia art, Maigret joined the LocusSonus lab in Aix France, where he explored networks as a creative tool. He teaches at Parsons Paris and cofounded the Art of Failure collective in 2006.

1hr 38mins

19 Dec 2014

Rank #4

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Emmanuel Guez - Machines d'immortalité_s

In Friedrich Kittler’s book, Grammophon, Film, Typewriter (1986), he demonstrates how, during the 19th century, the imaginary of analogical (new) media (from literature to advertisements extolling the powers of machines) coalesced around the idea of communication with the afterlife and the netherworld. At the same time, the century also saw the birth of a number of sciences and practices, such as psychoanalysis, telepathy or parapsychology, which sought to attain the outer limits of human communication. Did the transformations of inscriptive technologies directly affect the way in which Western thought conceptualized the afterlife and immortality? Today, how are digital machines and their respective imaginaries reconfiguring these notions, and what transformations have they brought on the idea of the work of art and the the artist's signature?Emmanuel Guez is an artist and philosopher. He directs the research laboratory PAMAL (Preservation – Archaeology – Media Art Lab) at l'Ecole Supérieure d'Art d'Avignon.

1hr 16mins

10 Dec 2014

Rank #5

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Pierre Cassou-Noguès - Gödel, Wiener, la cybernétique et les fantômes

1hr 29mins

28 Nov 2014

Rank #6

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Groupe de Recherche en Homéopathie Binaurale Empirique - Mathilde Chenin, Thomas Bethmont, Méryll Ampe, and Gabriel Gelineo

The Groupe de Recherche en Homéopathie Binaurale Empirique was created from a desire to open up a new area of research in binaural beats, a sonic phenomena produced within the brain. When two slightly different tonalities are experienced separately by each ear, the mind synthesizes the two tracks. For Média Médiums, we have invited different artists to experiment with our machines and prepared colored sounds (white noises, pink noise, etc.). During the exhibition a set up for group listening allows for both a comfortable and intense experience of these phenomena. The inaugural experience, April 11th, will be based on the color blue. Mathilde Chenin - Born in 1980, lives in Aubervilliers, France. Mathilde Chenin's work emphasizes versions over finished forms, and privileges collaboration as a important aspect of her research. The collective space of being and working together is explored through an idea of expanded writing practices navigating between bodies, techniques and language. Her work is an elaboration of different kinds of systems, geneologies, scores and other Collective Large Objects which draw from a number of domains - binary logic, Object-oriented programming, tensegrity, and the theory of Rough Sets. Thomas Bethmont - Born in 1986, lives and works in Paris. Thomas Bethmont is an artist, operator, and production manager, as well as a signature, a label and a folder name. In his work, he explores digital culture and different types of music which are linked to it. Méryll Ampe - Originally trained as a scuptor, since 2010 Méryll Ampe has worked as a sound artist creating a body of experimental musical works. With field recordings as the catalyst, she chooses sounds both for their acoustic and aesthetic qualities, using techniques drawn from her previous sculptural work – carving, modeling, chiseling with digital sound processing tools. In an attempt to capture the initial contours of recorded sounds, her approach is one of extreme proximity, sculpting them in real time. Her compositions are conceived of in terms of space, matter and time in order to imagine new sound landscapes, combining cinematographic intentions and new interactive possibilities, inviting the listener to delve into a personal sound space anchored in a poetic continuum. Gabriel Gelineo - Born in 1989, Gabriel Gelineo is a self-taught musician of experimental music. His work explores ways of linking sound and image and more recently is oriented towards the exploration of the urban sonic landscape in view of distilling its musical essence. In parallel, he also creates short films using found footage from the Internet.

2hr 6mins

30 May 2014

Rank #7

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Dieter Daniels - Welcome to the Wireless World - Simultaneity and Ubiquity in Art and Media from the 19th to the 21st Century

With the rise of radio technology in the 19th and 20th century, the global simultaneity of wireless becomes the paradigm of a new temporality. The time signal represents the first global “transmission” to everyone – long before the development of the radio. Here begins the ubiquity of “wireless” media pervading the public as well as the private sphere. The Eiffel Tour plays a central role in this development - it is from here that the first time signal as well as the first European-wide radio program was broadcast. At the same time, artists and writers (Delaunay, Apollinaire, Marinetti, Cendrars) celebrated the commencement of the wireless era in their images and poems relating to the Eiffel Tour. Today, we adopt the coordinates of space and time through mobile communications, GPS navigation and radio-controlled clock directly from global wireless networks. Ubiquity and simultaneity have thus become everyday experiences. With mobile communication technology the wireless has become almost a part of our bodies to a point that the inevitability of its ubiquity has become a quotidian plague – “vacation in the dead zone” is expressed as a tangible desire. This is a topic contemporary artists have engaged with in an innovative, critical, sensual or diverting manner. Dieter Daniels, born 1957 in Bonn (D); 1984 co-founder of the Videonale Bonn; numerous projects, exhibitions and symposia in the field of media art; 1991–1993 head of the Mediatheque at the ZKM, Karlsruhe; since 1993 professor for Art History and Media Theory at the Academy of Visual Arts (HGB) in Leipzig; 2001 – 2005 concept and co-editor of "Media Art Net" (www.mediaartnet.org); 2005 - 2009 director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Media. Art. Research in Linz. Many publications on art of the twentieth-century, on Marcel Duchamp, Fluxus, Mediart; book publications include - Kunst als Sendung (2002) Vom Ready-Made zum Cyberspace (2003); Netpioneers 1.0. Contextualizing early net-based Art (2009) Audiovisuology, An Interdisciplinary Survey of Audiovisual Culture, Vol. 1 Compendium (2010) Vol. 2 Essays (2011) Sounds like Silence - John Cage – 4’ 33’’ – Silence today (2012)

1hr 8mins

23 May 2014

Rank #8

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Jean-Louis Boissier - L'ubiquité de la crassula

A short ubiquitous lecture that will recount how the Crassula ubiquiste collection came into existence, will explain in what respect these plants are not individuals, will recall the idea of inter-plant communication, will evoke transmission in terms of quantum entanglement, and will end with the suggestion of a relationship free from communication. Jean-Louis Boissier is emeritus professor of art and aesthetics and director of research at the University of Paris 8. He also teaches at the EnsadLab - École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs. Since the 1980s, he has been curator of new media exhibitions as well an artist working with interactive video programs and installations. His main articles on the question of interactivity in artistic practices were published in the book, La Relation comme forme, Mamco-Genève/Presses du réel, 2009.


23 May 2014

Rank #9

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Jeffrey Sconce - The Technical Delusion

Over the course of the twentieth-century, the "schizophrenic" gradually displaced the medium as the primary target of media hauntings. This talk presents a brief overview of schizophrenia as a "disease of information" and considers the historical braiding of psychosis, electronics, and media. How did "the media" become the primary antagonist in paranoid delusions and what does the ongoing proliferation of information technologies portend for the collective "sanity" of the world? Jeffrey Sconce is Associate Professor of Screen Cultures at Northwestern University. He is the author of "Haunted Media - Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to Television" (Duke 2000) and the editor of "Sleaze Artists - Cinema at the Margins of Taste, Style, and Financing (Duke 2007)." His forthcoming book project examines the historical relationship between electronic media and delusional psychosis.

1hr 3mins

16 May 2014

Rank #10