EventJanuary 26, 2019

CalArts’ MA Aesthetics & Politics Program Explores Art and Technology at AIAC Conference

Algorithms, Infrastructures, Art, Curation (AIAC) Conference takes place in West Hollywood on Jan. 26. | Image: Dany Naierman, port_capa (2017). Credit: Dany Naierman

On Saturday Jan. 26, the CalArts MA Aesthetics and Politics program hosts the day-long AIAC conference at the West Hollywood Public Library.

The conference serves as the conclusion to the AIAC research project, whose name stands for Algorithms, Infrastructures, Art, Curation, and is described by MA program Director Arne De Boever as “a superb example [of the] faculty-student driven experimental projects that an institution like CalArts makes possible.” De Boever, along with MA program alumnus Dany Naierman, whose critical and creative work focuses on infrastructures and the Port of Los Angeles, are the spearheads of AIAC.

The Saturday sessions, which are open to the public, feature presentations and conversations with local, U.S. and international scholars as well as artists, activists, curators and CalArts faculty.

The speaker lineup includes:

  • Michael Bryant, the associate dean of the School of Critical studies, presents Search Algorithms and Evolutionary Biology. Bryant has a background in data science and his research focuses on areas such as ecology, the history of life and anatomy.
  • Andrew Culp, who teaches Media Theory in the School of Critical Studies, gives a presentation titled, The Database and the Archive: Bodies and Power. Culp’s work often deals with questions of digital power and his forthcoming second book, Persona Obscura, pays particular attention to the power of invisibility.
  • Sara Mameni moderates a talk between Nicolas Maigret and María Roszkowska on the topic of Disobedient Innovation. Maigret and Roszkowska are part of DISNOVATION.ORG, a Paris-based collective that intersects contemporary art, research and hacking, and who recently edited The Pirate Book, an anthology on media piracy. Mameni is faculty in the School of Critical Studies and specializes in contemporary art in the Arab/Muslim world with a focus on queer of color theory.

The final lecture of the night, Media and/as the Environment, will be given by N. Katherine Hayles, this semester’s Theorist in Residence of the MA Aesthetics and Politics Program. Hayles teaches and writes on the relations of literature, science, and technology in the 20th and 21st centuries and is a Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Program in Literature at Duke University, as well as a Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Prior to the conference, Hayles presented the lecture Human as Alien: From Frankenstein to Ex Machina to Annihilation at REDCAT on Wednesday night (Jan. 23). More information on Hayles and her work can be found on CalArts 24700 blog.

MA students and faculty also have the opportunity to interact with conference participants through two programmed events before the conference. On Friday, Jan. 25, there will be a tour of the Port of Los Angeles, followed by a celebratory dinner.

The port will be visited both from the water via a boat tour and on foot through guided walks led by Naierman and Brian Holmes, a Chicago-based cultural critic and activist. Friday night’s meal will be prepared by current MA Aesthetics and Politics student Nicholas Nauman, a professional chef who has been internationally recognized for his creativity and commitment to ethics.

Nauman comments that “food really has a way of letting us insist on embodiment and persist with our bodies; a meal is a situation in which we organize around elemental inputs and outputs.”

Although Friday’s events are for MA students, faculty and conference speakers only, the Saturday conference is free and open to the public.

Download the conference brochure.

— by Sarah Yanni 

Event Details

Algorithms, Infrastructures, Art, Curation

Saturday, Jan. 26 at 10 am
West Hollywood Library
City Council Chambers
625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood

Free and open to the public.
Parking validated for the adjacent West Hollywood park structure.

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