Glitch in computational space and time

Published on December 12th, 2023


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Cultural analysis is a vibrant research practice across the humanities and social sciences. Its principles include interdisciplinarity, social and political urgency, a heuristic use of theoretical concepts, the detailed analysis of cultural practices and objects, and a sharp awareness of the situatedness of the scholar in time and space. But – so the editors of Cultural Analysis 2033 (fc 2024) Murat Aydemir, Aylin Kuryel and Noa Roei, ask –, in a rapidly changing world, can cultural analysis still rise to current and imminent challenges? Is the practice still suited to the spiraling of social, political, economic, and environmental crises that marks our time?

Cultural Analysis NOW!
NICA – Leiden University

Course Description
Cultural analysis is a vibrant research practice across the humanities and social sciences. Its principles include interdisciplinarity, social and political urgency, a heuristic use of theoretical concepts, the detailed analysis of cultural practices and objects, and a sharp awareness of the situatedness of the scholar in time and space. But – so the editors of Cultural Analysis 2033 (fc 2024) Murat Aydemir, Aylin Kuryel and Noa Roei, ask –, in a rapidly changing world, can cultural analysis still rise to current and imminent challenges? Is the practice still suited to the spiraling of social, political, economic, and environmental crises that marks our time?
In this course, we invite cutting-edge scholars from NICA’s various partner universities in various stages of their career to share their thoughts and present their latest work(-in-progress) in the form of a series of lectures, workshops and roundtable discussions. The course aims to offer a unique opportunity to meet and greet affiliated scholars in an environment of intellectual exchange and open discussion. The final assignment of the course comprises a presentation and a research paper.

Program overview
8 November Concepts Gone Bad | Murat Aydemir (UvA) and Pepita Hesselberth (LU)
15 November Facing Populism | Joanna Zienkiewicz (RUG) and Joost de Bloois (UvA)
22 Nov ember Policy as Discourse | Isabel Awad (EUR) + team
29 November Analyzing Big Tech Discourse | Rianne Riemens (RUN), Nuno Atalaia (RUN) and Niels Niessen (UvT)
6 December Environmental Humanities meets Cultural Analysis| Katja Kwastek (VU) and Kristine Steenbergh (VU)
13 December Between Software/Studies | David Gauthier (UU), Annet Dekker (UvA)

13 December | Between Software/Studies
Speakers: David Gauthier (UU), Annet Dekker (UvA)
While there have been various “digital turns” in numerous disciplines over the past decade, we believe that the field of Software Studies is most potent in allowing us to question the overly-problematic instrumental framing of software as a mere “tool” (a human-bounded perspective that is oven lev unquestioned). At the same time, however, Sovware Studies allows us to query cultural productions involving software, whether this production be a piece of code or an artwork combining software components. Both technical and cultural, software can be approached from numerous creative angles unbounded by strict disciplinary boundaries. Our aim is to expose you to some of these angles in order to prompt a productive discussion on what Cultural Analysis is now and/or might be tomorrow. We will move from the subject of programming languages and software execution to discuss how to approach doing cultural analysis in a transdisciplinary way, by introducing several examples, among others, the concepts of glitch, time, and space in online environments.

David Gauthier is a scholar and media artist (hyps://davidgauthier.info) with an academic background in mathematics, Media Arts and Sciences, and Cultural Analysis. His work fosters original means of studying objects and phenomena by making transdisciplinary connections between different modes of inquiry stemming from these distinct cultural and scientific traditions. His current research addresses computation by questioning what it is, and how, when, and where it operates. He is particularly interested in computational acts, the way computing machines and software are made to perform and execute, which call for a different conceptual understanding of “act” than our customary human-bounded understanding of action. He works at Utrecht University where he is Assistant Professor of Computational Media and Arts in the Media and Culture Studies department.

Annet Dekker (hyp://aaaan.net) is a curator and researcher. Currently, she is Assistant Professor Cultural Analysis, and coordinator Archival and Information Studies at the University of Amsterdam and Visiting Professor and co-director of the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image at London South Bank University. She has published numerous essays and edited several volumes, among others, Documentation as Art (co-edited with Gabriella Giannachi, Routledge 2022) and Curahng Digital Art. From Presenhng and Collecting Digital Art to Networked CoCurahng (Valiz 2021). Her monograph, Collecting and Conserving Net Art. Moving Beyond Conventional Methods (Routledge 2018) is a seminal work in the field of digital art conservation

Readings:
• Dekker, Annet. “The Politics of Glitch.” Philosophy of Photography (in press), 2023.
• Dekker, Annet. “Curating Digital Art in Space and Time.” ISEA2024 (under review), 2023.
• Gauthier, David. “Machine Language and the Illegibility of the Zwischen”. Legibility in the Age of Signs and Machines, edited by Pepita Hesselberth, Janna Houwen, Esther Peeren, and Ruby de Vos, Brill | Rodopi, 2018, pp. 147-165.
Background readings:
• Dieter, Michael, and David Gauthier. “On the Politics of ChronoDesign: Capture, Time and the Interface.” Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 36, no. 2, 2019, pp. 61–87.
hyps://doi.org/10.1177/0263276418819053.


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