Arne De Boever | The Leonardo Art Science and Technology Lecture Series 2017 | Leonardo/ISAST

Arne De Boever | The Leonardo Art Science and Technology Lecture Series 2017

Dates or Deadline: 
26 December 2017
“Automatic Art, Automated Trading”




In cultural representations of artificial intelligence and automated trading, the work of Jackson Pollock has emerged as an unlikely inspiration for the technological innovations that have drastically transformed the economy and, by extension, the world. My lecture will investigate further the connection between one of the most abstract and complex domains of finance, automated or “black box” trading, and the abstract expressionism (ab-ex) of what is sometimes characterized as Pollock’s “automatic art”. This will entail branching out into another abstract and complex field, namely artificial intelligence, whose cultural representations have in at least one case--Alex Garland’s film Ex Machina--involved Pollock as well. How is ab-ex mobilized in cultural representations of artificial intelligence and automated trading? How do the differences between those mobilizations render the various abstractions that those phenomena represent more concrete? If Pollock is a rather surprising ally for art’s engagement with artificial intelligence and automated trading, how have other contemporary artists as well as curators engaged with the technological innovations that have shaped today’s financial era and the debilitating market collapses that it has suffered (for example in 2008 and 2010)? In sum, how does art help us think about the technological infrastructure of today’s digitized economy in a time when art has all too often been reduced to a mere commodity or marker of wealth?


Speaker biography:

Arne De Boever teaches American Studies in the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts, where he also directs the MA Aesthetics and Politics program. He is the author of States of Exception in the Contemporary Novel (2012) Narrative Care (2013), and Plastic Sovereignties (2016), and a co-editor of Gilbert Simondon (2012) and The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism (2013). He edits Parrhesia and the Critical Theory/Philosophy section of the Los Angeles Review of Books and is a member of the boundary 2 collective. His new book, Finance Fictions, is forthcoming with Fordham University Press.



Co-organized by CAC and Leonardo / ISAST, in collaboration with CAFA Center for Art and Technology (CAFAcat) and CAFA School of Experimental Art, each installment of the series will feature renowned guest speakers from around the world on topics within the ever-expanding scope of Art/Science. CAC and its partner institutions will provide the venues for the events.


About CAC

Chronus Art Center (CAC) is China’s first nonprofit art organization dedicated to the presentation, research / creation and scholarship of media art. CAC with its exhibitions, residency-oriented fellowships, lectures and workshop programs and through its archiving and publishing initiatives, creates a multifaceted and vibrant platform for the discourse, production and dissemination of media art in a global context. CAC is positioned to advance artistic innovation and cultural awareness by critically engaging with media technologies that are transforming and reshaping contemporary experiences.


About Leonardo

Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST) serves the global network of thinkers and practitioners working in the realms where art, science and the humanities connect. Since its beginnings nearly 50 years ago, Leonardo has fostered and supported the work of artists, scientists and scholars dedicated to breaking down the barriers that often separate fields of endeavor. Today, Leonardo/ISAST continues its leadership in cross-disciplinary creativity through the publication of content on evolving platforms (in collaboration with the MIT Press); the presentation of events, residencies and art/science projects; and other programs designed to address the interests of the art/science/humanities community.

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