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Title: Re-Tracing Aesthetic Strategies in Times of Electronic Waste
Authors: Volkart, Yvonne
Keywords: electronic waste
media art
aesthetic and transversal strategies
Issue Date: 18-Oct-2017
Abstract: This paper starts with the assumption that we live in “Times of Waste”. Waste is haunting us, in waste we had to dwell, with waste we had to live, not against it. There is never nothing at the start, just as something is always leftover, a restless remainder of geological accumulations, of slags looking like the matter of which raw materials are extracted. Waste is not an inert matter, waiting to be discarded or upcycled by humans. Waste is alien matter, queer matter that “mobilizes relations” (Myra Hird). This is the situation in which media arts, the aesthetic, and the ecological enter the scene. By facing the displaced, and working through the abject, eco-aesthetic practices may provide vital ground for thinking. Especially in new media arts, diverse practices and progressive strategies making visible the dark side of the digital have been developed, e.g. tracing and tracking trash including waste of the extraction of raw materials, circuit bending, hardware hacking, accumulating or co-composing electronic-waste, computer gaming, resurfacing “deleted” data, as well as working with dismantlers in their workshops. Drawing upon theories of ecosophy, media-ecology, and new materialism as well as results of the own collective research project “Times of Waste” (2015-17), this paper will analyze and critically discuss contemporary new media and research projects dealing with the subject of electronic waste. It will ask where and how their aesthetic media strategies open up transversal potential – in times of waste haunting us with paralysis or whitewashing.
Description: Biography: Bio Yvonne Volkart Dr. Yvonne Volkart is lecturer in art theory and cultural media studies at the Academy of Art and Design, FHNW Basel, and at the Master of Arts in Art Education, Zurich University of the Arts. She is researcher of the project “Times of Waste” (2015-17) at the Academy of Art and Design Basel. The interdisciplinary team consists of Flavia Caviezel (lead), Mirjam Bürgin, Anselm Caminada, Adrian Demleitner, Marion Mertens, Yvonne Volkart. They have been collaborating since “RhyCycling. Aesthetics of Sustainability in the Basel Border Area” (2010-2012). From fall 2017-2020, Volkart will lead “Ecodata – Ecomedia – Ecoaesthetics. The Role and Significance of Technologies and Technoscientific Methods in the Arts for the Perception and Awareness of the Ecological“ in Basel. All three research projects are funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNF. From 2003-06, she was project leader of the research project “Cyborg Bodies”, “Mediaartnet” (ZHdK/ZKM Karlsruhe). From 2009-11 she was curator at Shedhalle Zurich. Living in Zurich, she regularly writes for Springerin. Her texts and projects include “Art and Ecology in the Technosphere” (forthcoming in: M. Maeder (ed.): Kunst Wissenschaft Natur, Bielefeld 2017), “Ecologies of Existence. Art and Media beyond the Anthropocene” (conference with Christoph Brunner), “Subverting Disambiguities” (with A. Hoffmann), Nürnberg 2012, “Ecomedia. Ecological Strategies in Today’s Art” (with Sabine Himmelsbach), Ostfildern 2007, “Fluide Subjekte” (“Fluid Subjects. Adaptation and Defiance in Media Art“”), Bielefeld 2006 Links:
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