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Eric Snodgrass: Units of expression

Aesthetic Seminar

26.08.2019 | Yasmin Marie Jensen

Dato tor 21 nov
Tid 14:15 17:00
Sted Kasernen, Aarhus University, Langelandsgade 139, Aarhus C, Building 1584, Room 124

"If you want to change culture, you have to understand what the units of culture are." So says ex-Cambridge Analytica employee and whistleblower Christopher Wylie. What is it that makes a trained data scientist, settle on this idea of "units of culture"? This talk will address a notion of units, with a specific focus on how certain computationally-bounded units are able to take hold and become particularly expressive within greater computationally-informed cultures. Whether one is speaking of the discrete binary digit (bit) as a foundational unit of information in computing, the use of voxels in MRI practices, the move to uniform shipping containers within logistics, or designations such as the PM2.5 measurement threshold within pollution and climate studies, certain units can be seen to gather particular hold, expressivity and power within the cultures within which they develop and operate within. For this talk, a concept of "units of expression" will be developed and read across a few paradigmatic examples of units of expression in computationally-informed cultures, with the aim of addressing questions such as what environments and modes of culture do these units of expression participate and flourish within? What forms of expression can they help facilitate – or foreclose? And, returning to Wylie's call, in what specific ways might one work to productively improve, resist or change the units of expression currently available?

The seminar is public, and we welcome everybody. 

Programme: Aesthetic Seminar Autumn 2019

Seminar, Afd. for Digital Design og Informationsvidenskab, Kunsthistorie, Æstetik & Kultur og Museologi, Contemporary Aesthetics and Technology