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Title: Rethinking Affordance
Authors: Scarlett, Ashley
Zeilinger, Martin
Keywords: Affordance
Art and Industry
Politics of Innovation
Alternative Histories
Issue Date: 18-Oct-2017
Abstract: Responding to the continued, accelerating rise of algorithmic culture, this presentation re-conceptualizes the concept of ‘affordance’ for the digital age, with a focus on theorizing artistic, practice-based interventions. We are specifically interested in the critical historical and contemporary role that media artists have played in shaping the uses, potentials, and limits of emerging digital technologies. Critical perspectives on this subject have not been developed with regard to the concept of affordance, which has not been adequately ‘digitized.’ Our guiding questions in doing so include the following: How does the work of media artists correspond to established understandings of ‘affordance’ as those phenomenological properties of an object that imply, enable, and constrain potential uses and perceived functions? What role have artists played in emphasizing – or challenging – the constraints and potentials implied in the notion of affordance? How have technological, economical, or legal regimes limited perceptions of affordance within the throes of technological innovation? What critical or politically-motivated regimes of affordance can artistic experimentation yield in response?
Description: Dr. Ashley Scarlett is an Assistant Professor in the School of Critical and Creative Studies at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Her research encompasses historical and theoretical analyses of digital aesthetics, with recent publications appearing in Parallax, Digital Culture & Society and the Routledge Companion to Photography Theory. Dr. Martin Zeilinger is a new media researcher, curator, and practitioner based in London. He is Senior Lecturer in Media at Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge), co-curator of the Toronto-based Vector New Media Arts Festival, co-convener of the CRASSH-funded Digital Art Research Group at Cambridge University, and lead organiser of the 2017 MoneyLab symposium in London. His research focuses on links between digital art and financial technologies, and extends to practice-based work in creative coding and physical computing.
Appears in Collections:1. Re:Trace Conference - Keynotes, Papers & Posters

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