Non-representational theory arose in the academic discipline of human geography in the mid-1990s, offering accounts of social experience that emphasize embodied, quotidian practices over formalized representation. While positioned against representation, subsequent non-representational approaches in the study of media and art have not just negated the image, but reintroduced it to the manifold technologies of sense and the senses. As many theorists have recently argued, contemporary art practice is increasingly occupied with that which surrounds, rather than constitutes, a given image. Terms like “flow,” “circulation,” and “aggregation” tend to be more salient for contemporary critics and producers than the “symbol,” “subject,” or “identity” of representation.
The exhibition [image here] brings together artifacts of systems that supervene on visual objects. The exhibition stages commissioned installation and performance alongside archival material, video essays, experimental documentation, and mobile architecture in collaboration with Eli Keszler, James Hoff, Oliver Laric, Trisha Donnelly, Hito Steyerl, Sandrine Schaefer, T. Brandon Evans, Harvard Art Museums, MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, Center for Advanced Visual Studies Special Collection, Harvard Film Archive and Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.
Drawn from historical, digital, and aesthetic domains, the elements of the exhibition arrest (and withhold) images and objects in their many situations. How does a temporary exhibition in the Carpenter Center lobby, for example, relate to storage in an institutional archive? What does the execution of code in a manipulable digital interface share with luminous projection at a film screening? Can image search results speak to the flow of photographic slides on a carousel projector? When auditory reverberation reworks and intensifies existing relations between sound and space, how does it shift our perception of the exhibition architecture itself?
This exhibition is co-curated by PhD candidates Olivia Crough, Zachary Furste, Jungmin Lee, and Lindsey Lodhie, in conjunction with the Film and Visual Studies biennial conference. More information about the conference here.
Support for [image here] is provided by Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, Lasky-Barajas Dean's Innovation Fund for Digital Arts and Humanities, and Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities.
Special thanks to Professor Laura Frahm and the students of VES 241: New Media Theory, Fall 2015.