New Book—Beautiful Data: A History of Vision and Reason

Lab member Orit Halpern has a new book out on  big data, interactivity, and cybernetics:

http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Data-History-Experimental-Futures/dp/0822357445beautifuldata

Beautiful Data is both a history of big data and interactivity, and a sophisticated meditation on ideas about vision and cognition in the second half of the twentieth century. Contending that our forms of attention, observation, and truth are contingent and contested, Orit Halpern historicizes the ways that we are trained, and train ourselves, to observe and analyze the world. Tracing the postwar impact of cybernetics and the communication sciences on the social and human sciences, design, arts, and urban planning, she finds a radical shift in attitudes toward recording and displaying information. These changed attitudes produced what she calls communicative objectivity: new forms of observation, rationality, and economy based on the management and analysis of data. Halpern complicates assumptions about the value of data and visualization, arguing that changes in how we manage and train perception, and define reason and intelligence, are also transformations in governmentality. She also challenges the paradoxical belief that we are experiencing a crisis of attention caused by digital media, a crisis that can be resolved only through intensified media consumption.

NEW BOOK-Nauman Reiterated by Lab member Janet Kraynak

nauman

Bruce Nauman has been a force in the art world since the early 1960s with his challenging audio and video installations, photographic art, neon art, and sculptures. However, until now there has been surprisingly little sustained critical analysis of his extraordinary oeuvre.

Nauman Reiterated offers the first scholarly assessment of the artist’s production with an in-depth thematic investigation of key works created between the mid-1960s and mid-1970s. Janet Kraynak argues that the coherence of Nauman’s art can be found not in conventional categorizations of style, medium, or technique, but through understanding the artistic and cultural conditions that led to an interdisciplinary aesthetic of performance, which emerged in relation to technologies of reproduction, inscription, and recording. Kraynak provides a portrait of an artist who regularly defies expectations and genres, showing how Nauman’s work responds to historical problems that have only increased in importance since he first addressed them, especially the technologization of society initiated by electronic media.

Nauman’s reaction to the technological takeover of modern society, Kraynak suggests, is reiteration. Building from these observations, Kraynak explores how performance is intimately associated with the acceleration toward a fully technological society, which sees new modes of electronic recording and reproduction, the growth of information technologies, and the consolidation of technocracy.

Through extensive archival research Kraynak has written a revealing examination of Nauman’s thought-provoking and protean work.

Conference: Design Studies RESCHEDULED

Negotiating the Terrain of Design Studies: Research, Reflection, Practice

http://adht.parsons.edu/designstudies/2012/10/07/program-inaugural-design-studies-symposium/

Cobblestone street in grey and tan serpentine pattern

MARCH 1-2, 2013
Wollman Hall, 65 West 11th Street, 5th floor
Free and Open to the Public

To mark the inauguration of Parsons’ MA Design Studies program, this symposium looks at the intellectual currents that charge the growing field of design studies as a branch of the humanities and the social sciences, and a critical force in industry. An international
roster of scholars, practitioners, and entrepreneurs will consider how design both shapes specific experiences and embodies fundamental assumptions about our relationship to, and with, the world and each other. Together, they will explore the unique potential of
design studies to operate between among the realms of research, analysis, and advocacy.

New Collaboration with Wolfsonian-FIU Museum

The Visual Culture Lab at New School/Parsons is excited to announce the start of a collaboration in design research with the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum in Miami, Florida, one of the preeminent design collections in the United States.

We will start with a workshop:

“Reading Artifacts: A Collaborative Workshop,” Wolfsonian Museum-FIU and Visual Culture Lab (New School) Workshop, Miami, February 1, 2013.

DESIGN/HISTORY/REVOLUTION APRIL 27 and 28 PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN

 

VIDEOS AVAILABLE HERE:

http://designhistoryrevolution.wordpress.com/videos/

Whether by providing agitprop for revolutionary movements, an aesthetics of empire, or a language for numerous avant-gardes, design has changed the world. But how? Why? And under what conditions? We propose a consideration of design as an historical agent, a contested category, and a mode of historical analysis. This interdisciplinary conference aims to explore these questions and open up new possibilities for understanding the relationships among design, history and revolution. Casting a wide net, we define our terms broadly. Papers will examine the roles of design in generating, shaping, remembering or challenging moments of social, political, economic, aesthetic, intellectual, technological, religious, and other upheaval. We consider a range of historical periods (ancient, pre-modern, early modern, modern, post- and post-post-modern) and geographical locations (“West,” “East,” “North,” South,” and contact zones between these constructed categories). We examine not only designed objects (e.g., industrial design, decorative arts, graphic design, fashion) but also spaces (e.g., architecture, interiors, landscapes, urban settings) and systems (e.g., communications, services, governments). And we approach design from a diversity of disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approaches.

Keynoted by Barry Bergdoll, Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art, and Professor of Architectural History in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, this conference brings together scholars from the humanities, sciences, and social sciences with designers. We hope not only to present multiple methodological approaches but also to foster conversations across traditional spatial, cultural, and disciplinary boundaries.

http://designhistoryrevolution.wordpress.com/

All events are in Kellen Auditorium, 66 5th Avenue

Design/Revolution/History

Visual Culture Lab is excited to be helping orchestrate an experimental workshop/conference for rethinking the relationship between design, history, and politics. We intend to include individuals from a wide number of fields, traversing the humanities, design practitioners, curators, and art and design historians and theorists to  rethink the concept, practice, and discourse of design.

Call for Papers

Deadline: December 7, 2011

Conference: April 27 & 28, 2012, The New School, NYC

Whether by providing agitprop for revolutionary movements, an aesthetics of empire, or a language for numerous avant-gardes, design has changed the world. But how? Why? And under what conditions?  We propose a consideration of design as an historical agent, a contested category, and a mode of historical analysis.

This interdisciplinary conference aims to explore these questions and open up new possibilities for understanding the relationships among design, history and revolution.

Casting a wide net, we define our terms broadly. We seek 20-minute papers that examine the roles of design in generating, shaping, remembering or challenging moments of social, political, economic, aesthetic, intellectual, technological, religious, and other upheaval. We consider a range of historical periods (ancient, pre-modern, early modern, modern, post- and post-post-modern) and geographical locations (“West,” “East,” “North,” South,” and contact zones between these constructed categories).  We examine not only designed objects (e.g., industrial design, decorative arts, graphic design, fashion) but also spaces (e.g., architecture, interiors, landscapes, urban settings) and systems (e.g., communications, services, governments).  And we welcome a diversity of disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approaches.

This conference brings together scholars from the humanities, sciences, and social sciences with designers, artists, and other creators. We hope not only to present multiple methodological approaches but also to foster conversations across traditional spatial, cultural, and disciplinary boundaries.

We list some possible subject areas below, and encourage you to propose others:
Design and political / cultural / economic revolution, Design and the everyday, Design and technological revolution, Design and government, Design and social movements, Design and surveillance, Design and historicity,     Designed landscapes, Design and empire,   Design and the sacred, Design and the avant-garde,
Design and memory, Design and the print revolution ,     Design and philosophy/philosophies, Design and consumerism, Design and the city, Design and science, Design and the environment, Design and cybernetics, Design and the domestic sphere, Design and education, Design and literature of design

Please submit a 250-word abstract (maximum) and 1-page CV to: designhistoryrevolution@gmail.com

Web: http://designhistoryrevolution.wordpress.com/