Art Science Technology: theories and concepts for emergent technological universes

Giulia Bini

This seminar offers theoretical tools to navigate the contemporary techno-scientific scenario and a conceptual framework to investigate the current rapid changes shaped by new technologies. The goal is to explore diverse understandings of and theories on current practices of art, science, and technology, and to grasp the depth of nascent “digital thought” as a philosophy that aims to find a novel language for emergent technological universes.

The conceptual premise of the seminar concerns the ubiquitous complex—variously known as the digital, post-media, virtual, or hybrid condition—that defines our time. This is the transition to computational space, and the shaping of our sensorium by digital technologies: devices and software, communication and information infrastructures, and the media environments and platforms that result.

Drawing on the thought of philosophers and media thinkers, with special attention to an emerging generation that is trying to define a new theoretical agenda and language for radical technological thought, the seminar embraces a transdisciplinary mode of investigation that will allow an understanding of the techno-scientific scenario in all its complexity, including its aesthetic, social, cultural, economic, and geopolitical implications.

We will examine how the spectrum of today's digitality and technicality, in its connection to scientific developments, allows us to rethink categories such as time, space, nature, artificiality, representation, mimesis, objecthood, authorship, and circulation while exploding binary and dualist oppositions. We will consider the legacy of 20th-century approaches, including cybernetics as a science that foreshadowed our present era, and the current need to think in holistic, ecological, and systematic terms, as anticipated in media ecology and post-humanism.

Seminal essays from the tradition of art criticism will find new positions under this spectrum, including writings by artists anticipating these discourses. The intention is to decipher the transformative potential of emerging technologies as well as their opacities and dysfunctions, connecting these to the tropes of contemporary visual aesthetics as informed by advanced technologies—including computer-generated imagery, machine vision, AI, virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, artificial textures and new materials—while engaging with reflections on their generative and ontological power.

Link to the former seminar text is here: