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Short papers / Data, performances and urban environments
- Abstract: Effective activism is predicated on its ability to summon strong emotions and desires, yet its affective palette appears depleted. Next to a fear for destruction of the planet, other emotional and affective programs seem to fade rapidly. Is it possible to develop an eros for a future dominated by hyperobjects like climate change, characterised by unravelling of traditional political structure, and populated by new technological monsters in the form of AIs and lifelike robotics? What kind of desires can provide cohesion to activist collectives? Digital art presents unique opportunities for practicing negotiations and desires within collectives to come. Within this paper we are proposing the notion of Xenoactivism as a conceptual ally to activists and digital artists alike. To this end the notion of xenoactivism seeks to productively hijack new materialist discourse around machines. Art practices are discussed as germinal agents for these unborn, nascent, and as of yet unproduced desires. These are desires for novel formalisms and abstractions that span anthropic, vegetal, faunal, and machinic phyla.
- Biography: Michael Heidt likes to situate his practice at the intersection of poietic code creation and critical-reflective theory production. He has conducted practice-based research endeavours informed by fields such as philosophy, media art, and electronic writing. Project foci range from software-based inquiry into microbiological populations to speculative inquiry into the potentials of distributed ledger technologies to foster post-scarcity economies. An ongoing focus of Michael’s research is complexity, which he has applied as intellectual lens motivating research engagements with biological systems, interaction systems, and distributed systems. Michael was a visiting scholar at Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology, is an alumnus of German Academic Scholarship Foundation, of DFG’s research training group crossWorlds, and of Andrea von Braun Foundation. Currently, he is conducting the project CoGS at Anhalt University while being an affiliated researcher at University of Kassel’s Gender/Diversity in Informatics Systems group.
Victoria Moulder is an artist, researcher, and imaginative advocate for a better world. She is a pioneer in the field of social art practice and has co-produced events with not-for-profit organizations since 1988 in Europe, Canada, the United States and Asia. Moulder’s research explores narrative design in the context of everyday activism (i.e., the habit of working socially conscious choices into our everyday lives). She draws on human-computer interaction design theory, as well as fine art practice to investigate how (or if) mobile and social computing can support the exploration of real-world places, histories and collaborative problem solving platforms. Moulder holds a PhD, School of Interactive Art + Technology, Simon Fraser University, as well as a BFA, Emily Carr University in British Columbia, Canada.
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