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When Images Meet New Media

A Clark / INHA Workshop
Hosted by the Fondation Hartung Bergman, Antibes, France
June 15-19, 2013

The purpose of this series of meetings is to consider how art history and artistic practice are affected, effected, and changed by new media. While much work has been done in recent years in considering the forms the humanities might take in the digital age, this event redirects the conversation away from new media’s applications as tools. Instead, and starting from Frederick Kittler’s contention that technological innovation alters human subjectivity in decisive ways, we hope that these conversations can assess new media as devices that encourage philosophical reflection around the discipline of art history, notions of objectivity, and theories of perception. If perception is a two-way street that permits us to consider more critically the nature of the interaction between subjects and objects, and if new media are new forms of objectifying the world, how do images situate us? Why are we entranced by the seemingly novel ways that new media permit us to understand our circumstances? Do they replace or simply add to the means that were already in place? We hope that these conversations will be expansive and borderless, touching on issues and themes including: technological determinism, technological optimism, the digital trace, the question of inscription, materiality, enchantment, memory, the body, the screen, the future of old media, and the past's future.

Participants included:
Darby English, the Clark; Michael Ann Holly, the Clark; François Hers, Fondation Hartung Bergman, Fondation de France, Visual Artist;  David Joselit, Yale University; Pierre Leguillon, Artist; Philippe-Alain Michaud, Centre Georges-Pompidou; Keith Moxey, Barnard College and Columbia University; Michael S. Roth, Wesleyan University; Philippe Sénéchal, INHA; Riccardo Venturi, INHA; and Mariët Westermann, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

In order of discussion

Monday, July 15

The Histories and Terminologies of New Media

Session 1 Readings:

  • Oliver Grau, “Introduction” in MediaArtHistories, Oliver Grau, ed. (Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press, 2007), pp. 1 – 14.
  • W.J.T. Mitchell, "There Are No Visual Media" in MediaArtHistories, Oliver Grau, ed. (Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press, 2007), pp. 395 – 408.
  • W.J.T. Mitchell  and Mark B.N. Hansen, “Introduction” in Critical Terms for Media Studies, W.J.T. Mitchell and Mark B.N. Hansen, eds. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), pp. vii – xxii.
  • Wendy Hui Kyong Chun and Thomas Keenan, “Introduction” in New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun and Thomas Keenan, eds. (New York: Routledge, 2006), pp. 1 - 10

Session 2 Screenings:

  • “The Promise of the Screen” / “Manual of Photography” (90 minutes) by Pierre Leguillon
  • “Standard Gauge” (35 minutes) by Morgan Fisher

Tuesday, July 16

The Interface and the Apparatus: Points of View, Ways of Seeing, and Vanishing Points of Interpretation

Session 1 Readings:

  • Alexander R. Galloway, The Interface Effect (Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2012), pp. 1-53, 78-100.
  • Lev Manovich, “Introduction” in The Language of New Media, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001), pp. 3 – 17.
  • Giorgio Agamben, “What Is an Apparatus?” in What Is an Apparatus? And Other Essays (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009), pp. 1 – 24.

Disciplinary Applications: The Digital Humanities

Session 2 Readings:

  • Alan Liu, “The State of the Digital Humanities: A Report and a Critique,” Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 11.1 (2012), pp. 1-34.
  • Alan Liu and William G. Thomas, “Humanities in the Digital Age” in Inside Higher Ed online, October 1, 2012. <> Access date: June 28, 2013

Thursday, July 18

New Media Figured: Practice and Philosophy

Session 1 Readings:

  • Friedrich Kittler, “Introduction” in Gramophone, Film, Typewriter, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999 [1986]), pp. 1 – 19.
  • David Joselit, After Art (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013), pp. 1-23, 43-59, 84-95.

Session 2 Readings:

  • D.N. Rodowick, “Presenting the Figural” in Reading the Figural, or Philosophy after the New Media (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001), pp. 1 – 44.
  • Michael S. Roth, “Photographic Ambivalence” in Memory, Trauma, and History: Essays on Living with the Past (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), pp. 175 – 88.

Friday, July 19

Concluding discussion