In his GIDEST seminar, Alexander Galloway asks "What does it mean to talk about digital media?" Digital aesthetics, he argues, can refer to the medium of the digital, that is, all the tools and technologies that populate contemporary life. At the same time, digital aesthetics can refer to context, that is, a digital context or a net condition—the latter being the title of an influential 1999 net art exhibition at the ZKM in Karlsruhe. Artists have their own particular ideas about digital aesthetics as do computer scientists, and sometimes these ideas overlap and sometimes they don’t.
Can digitality be beautiful? It depends on many complicated things, not least of them the definitions of digitality and beauty. Alex's GIDEST presentation will explore digital aesthetics through an examination of the materiality of contemporary media in the hopes of answering the question: what kind of medium is the computer?
Alexander R. Galloway is a writer and computer programer working on issues in philosophy, technology, and theories of mediation. A professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU, he is the author of several books on digital media and critical theory, including The Interface Effect (Polity, 2012), Laruelle: Against the Digital (2014), and, with Eugene Thacker and MacKenzie Wark, Excommunication: Three Inquiries in Media and Mediation (2013), which forms part of his Allegories of Control trilogy, along with Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization (2004) and Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture (2006).
This event is co-sponsored with the Integrative PhD Fellowship Program.