Apr 20th 2018

The contemporary moment of the human sensorium is one of exploding mediation along new spatio-temporal dimensions. Mobile interfaces, virtual and augmented reality, and neuroprosthetics bend the plastic topoi of our phenomenological horizons, allowing bodies to touch across multiscalar relations of time and space. Yet, such technologies are not simply tools for human perception, but also agents that monitor, encode, and structure their environments. If the human sensorium has been expanded in its vigorous mediation, then simultaneously, the same media are also reconfigured in their automated and distributed processing of our thoughts, sensations, and feelings. Do we sense media or do media sense us?

This conference tracks and maps the conceptual territory of sensation as it reorganizes and is organized by the media environments of neural networks, design, visual and sound art, machine learning, web formats, games, surgery, and cinema. How do perception, affect, emotion, and cognition cooperate with and confound our attempts to sense these media as they course through our communities? How can attending to sensation adjust our focus on the contemporary moment of media studies itself? What sensory experiences lie inchoate along such winding paths of inquiry?


Friday, April 20, 2018

Opening Remarks — 5:00pm

Allyson Nadia Field (University of Chicago)

Screening: I Thought I was Seeing Convicts (Harun Farocki, 2000, 25 min.)

Keynote Address: Mark B. N. Hansen (Duke University)

Reception — 7:00pm

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Check-in / Breakfast — 9:00am

Panel 1 — 9:30am – 11am
“Sensing Machines”
Moderator: Mikki Kressbach
Théo Lepage-Richer (Brown University), “Sensing without Senses: On Neural Networks and the Architecture of Sense-Making”
Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal (University of California, Davis), “Predicting Images: Machinic Constants, Temporal Variables”
Carolyn Bailey (Harvard University), “Artificial Sensations: Ian Cheng’s Emissary Trilogy”

Panel 2 11:15 am – 12:45pm
“Sensing Environments”
Moderator: Katerina Korola
Amy Cheatle (Cornell University), “Sensing Machines: recalibrating the sensible in robotically-oriented operating rooms”
Robin Lynch and Burç Köstem (McGill University), “Liveliness as Productivity: Biophilic Design and Atmospheric Control”
Iris Blake (University of California, Riverside), “Listening (to) Landscapes and Voicing Otherwise”

Lunch 12:45 – 2pm

Panel 3 2pm – 3:30pm
“Sensing the Image”
Moderator: Pao-chen Tang
Zsofi Valyi-Nagy (University of Chicago), “A Hard Copy of Virtual Reality: (art)n’s PHSCologram”
Tyler Schroeder (University of Chicago), “Homunculus on Holiday: Tourist Residues in the Google Photo Sphere”
Aaron Dowdy (The New School) and John Winn (Duke University), “Twentieth Century Lines: An Image for Sensual Form in Screwball Cinema”

Panel 4 3:45 – 5:15pm
“Sensing the Social”
Moderator: Nicole Morse
Arianna Gass (University of Chicago), “Fumblecore, Machine Embodiment, and the Ethics of Touching”
Cara Dickason (Northwestern University), “Sensual Selfies: Digital Exposure and Touch in Teen Girl TV”
Erin Nunoda (University of Toronto), “Queer Loneliness, or Spectatorship Without the Couple”

Concluding Faculty Roundtable 5:30pm
Mark Hansen
Marc Downie
Jennifer Wild

Closing Reception 6:30

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