Name: Bill Psarras (Arts and Computational Technology)

Title: Botanizing on the non-places: new media geographies of everyday life
Through my talk I will aim to approach several speculative ideas of my PhD practice regarding a series of artistic outputs/experiments that I am already practicing and researching concerning the conjunction of walking process, new media arts and urban non-places of everyday life. We spend most of our daily lives being in transition within the urban context by traversing a variety of neutral non-places, which — according to Marc Augé (1995) — are places that “cannot be defined as relational, historical or concerned with identity”. Richard Coyne (2005) argues that “non-places implicate a limited range of human action, being and engagement”. Could it be feasible for the neutral and transitory environments of non-places to be integrated with memory and emotion through diverse media arts practices? In what ways can the modern artist construct digital or online artistic situations within those spatial frameworks in order to reveal personal and collective geographies of everyday life?

Name: Varpu Rantala (Media and Communications)

Title: Cinematic samples – on postproduction and film research
The research practices in film studies may include processing of the cinematic images in various ways, for example, altering the film’s unfolding in time, or utilizing computer-aided image retrieval for analysis. These practices may also be understood as productive acts, following e.g. Nicolas Bourriaud’s (2001) conceptualization of postproduction as a tendency for reproduction of preexisting artworks in contemporary art. They may also be understood as continuous with production of scientific knowledge through visual practices, such as cataloguing. I propose that when the image materials are processed as part of the research practice, also the performance of these materials themselves may be recognized. As part of my research, I experiment by sampling (collecting, cataloguing and remixing) audiovisual moving images, at which point the images sometimes take agency by producing unexpected effects. In my presentation, I examine the idea that sensitivity to this kind of productivity and materiality of the research process may guide the researcher towards thinking with images, and thus towards emphasizing their agency, rather than analyzing them solely as objects of study.

Name: Gabriel Menotti (Media and Communications)

Title: Curating, self-differing, provoking anomalies
This talk aims at contrasting the traditional field of “screen and film studies” with a research approach inspired by practices of projection, more attentive to the heterogeneous character of media technology. Specifically, it will present curating as a methodology that both highlights the materialities underpinning academic work and allows for an actual engagement with the contradictions inherent to research objects. In order to do so, I will be exploring the making of two exhibition projects connected to my PhD research: Denied Distances (Belo Horizonte and Vitória, 2009) and Tape Deck Solos (presented during the 29th São Paulo Biennial, 2010).

Name: Tobie Kerridge (Design)

Title: Speculative design and public engagement
I discuss the ways in which a speculative approach to design has become mixed up with public engagement with science and technology. In particular, the strategy of designers to exhibit speculative objects and scenarios to bring about a public debate around technology and society, has become mixed up with the enthusiasm of policy makers and research councils for public engagement with science and technology to ‘move upstream’. I argue that while this coming together of speculative design and upstream engagement does not deliver democratic forms of public participation as envisioned, such practices encourage a reformulation of the value of non-expertise in research settings.