Geomancer, 4K video, Lawrence Lek, 2017. Commissioned for Jerwood/FVU Awards 2017: Neither One Thing or Another, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and the Film and Video Umbrella

Digital, Post-Digital and Not Merely Digital: On Technological Practices in and out of the Arts

Jussi Parikka, Professor in Technological Culture & Aesthetics, Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton), UK, and Docent in Digital Culture Theory, University of Turku, Finland

An abstract of the keynote lecture Jussi Parikka gave at Kiasma, on 6 April 2017 at the Digital Escapees Seminar, an open discussion forum on science, art and research organised by Uniarts Helsinki, the University of Helsinki and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma

A range of contemporary art and critical design practices engage with digital technologies in ways that can give excellent ideas for the digital humanities to explore too. The enthusiasm that ‘the digital has become a subject of humanities research’ should be complemented with the realisation that technical media that were non-digital have been around for a longer time, affecting innovative work in visual and technical arts. Besides an excavation into the media archaeology of for example computer graphics, we can look at the current terms used for the art methodologies that extend into data culture, artificial intelligence and machine vision. The term ‘post-digital’ is one such widely discussed suggestion. The concept does not mean an interest in what comes after the digital, but a realisation that the digital has already been here as material infrastructure, aesthetic repertoire and conceptual focus for at least some decades. From the digital of 8-bit sounds and graphics of the 1980s to the current forms of materially embedded Internet of Things and data applications, this means a shift for various critical arts and humanities work too.

Featured image: Geomancer, 4K video, Lawrence Lek, 2017. Commissioned for Jerwood/FVU Awards 2017: Neither One Thing or Another, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and the Film and Video Umbrella

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