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Gastvortrag von Goda Klumbyte und Loren Britton: Trans*re*lational Objects: In Search Of A Common Strategy for Arts and Computation

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Computation, and by extension “the digital”, is built on abstraction and formal universal language. In a sense, the computer is an “abstract machine” (cf. Deleuze) that manipulates and produces signs by means of a formal language. This requires a moment of “translation” of objects into and out of a language that is understandable to computers. In the arts, abstraction as a strategy in the West, stems from a long history beginning at the invention of photography by French artist and scientist Louis Daguerre in the mid 1830’s when painting was dethroned as the primary way of preserving images.Moving to more current history, New Queer Abstraction is emerging as a movement that revolves around strategies to “pluralize and specify” (cf. Sedgwick) translated experience into material beyond the politics of representation and visibility. However, abstraction as a method has also raised questions of where does it leave matter. From early technoutopias of “leaving the meat behind” to later cyberfeminist critiques of the digital as a disembodied space (who gets the privilege to not have a body?), to more contemporary instances of algorithmic biases disproportionately affecting differently embodied others (LGBT+, women, people of color), the question of matter goes from abstract to concrete and political. In this lecture we ask: What are the connections between concepts that operate in different disciplines – such as “abstraction” in computing and in the arts? How does abstraction (computational or artistic) relate to matter/reality? What kind of implications does this have for (arts) education and what kind of political potential can it open up? By working with theories of new materialism, trans*feminism, and critical (feminist) computing, and artist practices of: Loren Britton, The Queering Space Collective, M.O.T.H.A. (Museum of Trans*gender Hirstory and Art), and the Digital Trans* Archive, we propose to re-think practice – be it computational or artistic – as a manipulation and production of trans*re*lational objects. Through strategies of constructing intersectionality through forms of coalition, we explore how abstraction across disciplines can undo patterns and inform possibilities for sustainable politics.

Goda Klumbyte is a researcher and PhD candidate at the University of Kassel (DE) and an alumna of Utrecht University (NL),  Media and Performance studies. Her research engages critical computing, feminist science and technology studies, feminist theory and posthumanism. Of particular interest to her are the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning and algorithms, and how developments in these fields re-configure knowledge production, notions of body, subjectivity and social relations. Her work was published in “Everyday Feminist Research Praxis” (eds. Leurs and Olivieri, 2015), “Fat Sex: New Directions in Theory and Activism” (eds. Walters and Hester, 2015) and “Posthuman Glossary” (eds. Braidotti and Hlavajova, 2018).

Loren Britton is an artist and curator based in-between Berlin, DE and New York, USA. Britton’s work explores the transformation of form via linguistic devices. Britton works on histories of trans*gender bodies and experiences and they wonder how can we hold one another accountable and tenderly across time. Britton has exhibited their work in solo and group exhibitions in numerous arts institutions, galleries and artist run projects in Germany, Italy and in the United States. Britton is one of the head curators of the Queering Space Collective that curates exhibitions and projects around questions of where queerness meets form. Britton holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting & Bachelor of Arts in Art History from State University of New York at Purchase College, USA and an MFA in Painting & Printmaking from the Yale School of Art at Yale University, USA.


29. Mai 2018


THEATER (Raum 2.212)
Gronewaldstr. 2
Köln, 50931 Deutschland
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