geert on Tue, 20 Feb 2007 09:30:15 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-nl] Richard Grusin opens New Media Lecture Series at UvA (Modified by Geert Lovink)

U v A  N E W  M E D I A  R E S E A R C H  L E C T U R E S

"Affect, Mediality and Abu Ghraib"

Richard Grusin

Thursday, 22 February
Turfdragsterpad 9, Room 0.04

What did the photographs from Abu Ghraib do?  What they depicted
seems clear: U.S. soldiers, implicitly encouraged by the U.S.
military, torturing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners in a manner
beyond the pale of acceptable civilized behavior. The Abu Ghraib
photographs are usually understood as powerful representations of the
injustice, if not the obscenity, of the US prosecution of the war in
Iraq and US power generally.  I agree. But what I want to talk about
is the “mediality” of the photographs--not what they mean but what
they do, particularly how they produce an affective, bodily response
not reducible to their cognitive or ideological import.  This
response is heightened, I argue, because the obscene acts they
depict, so alien from everyday experience, were captured, uploaded,
and shared in the most everyday manner in familiar global, digital
media practices like emailing, social networking, blogging, text-
messaging, mobile-phoning, or browsing the web.  In this talk I take
up the Abu Ghraib photos in relation to two concepts I have been
developing, mobile affect and mediality.

Richard Grusin is Professor and Chair of the Department of English,
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Richard Grusin
received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in
1983. He is the author of three books. The first, Transcendentalist
Hermeneutics: Institutional Authority and the Higher Criticism of the
Bible (Duke, 1991), concerns the influence of European (primarily
German) theories of biblical interpretation on the interpretive
theories of New England Transcendentalists like Emerson, Thoreau, and
Theodore Parker. With Jay David Bolter he is the author of
Remediation: Understanding New Media (MIT, 1999), which helped to
define the field of new media studies. Grusin's latest book, Culture,
Technology, and the Creation of America's National Parks (Cambridge,
2004), focuses on the problematics of visual representation involved
in the founding of America's national parks. Currently he is working
on a new book, "Premediation:  Mobile Affect and Mediality after 9/11."

The New Media Research Lecture by Richard Grusin is the first in the


We are pleased to announce:

"Playing the Game: From Aestheticism to Protest"

Joseph DeLappe

Friday, 16 March
<room to be announced>

Media artist Joseph DeLappe will present documentation of works that
experimentally engage digital gaming processes through calculated
analog gestures.   From the “Artist’s Mouse”, 1997, which uses pencil
to graphically trace the path of his mouse while gaming, to a recent
text memorial/protest that involves typing the names of dead U.S
soldiers in Iraq into the “America’s Army” online recruiting first
person shooter, DeLappe will present a variety of works that serve to
expand the consideration of the computer game as site for creative
intervention. These works and others feature an intentional embrace
of tedious analog processes incorporated into the seductive fluidity
of popular online digital games. The integration of calculated analog
gestures are crucial towards creating new content in proscribed and
largely inflexible interactive gaming environments.   This paper will
describe one artist’s approach to creatively engaging computer gaming
to realize works that explore the development of hacktivist
strategies and retro-aestheticism in the digital age.

Joseph DeLappe ( is an Associate Professor of
Art at the University of Nevada, Reno and the head of the Digital
Media area and Chair of the Department of Art.  Working with
electronic and new media since 1983, his works, ranging from
manipulated, experimental digital photographic portraiture to
interactive, digitally controlled installations, electromechanical
sculptures and performances have been shown nationally, and
internationally.  Recent works involve experiments featuring
miniature kinetic dioramas transmitted online using streaming video
technology and further creative investigations of computer gaming/art
interventions. Selected exhibitions and presentations include: the
Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytonna Beach, Florida; CEPA
Gallery, Buffalo, New York; The School of the Art Institute of
Chicago; San Francisco Camerawork,  Works/San Jose, Refusalon/
Culturelounge, San Francisco; Fotofeis, Scotland; Artist’s Space,
Sydney, Australia; the Nevada Museum of Art and ISEA 2002
(International Symposium on Electronic Art), Nagoya, Japan.  DeLappe
is a founding member of the Northern Nevada based artist’s group d3ms
collaborative.  Past recipient of a Southeastern Regional National
Endowment of the Arts Visual Artist’s Fellowship and two Nevada State
Council on the Arts Individual Artist’s Fellowships, the most recent
in 1999.  He is a native of San Francisco and has resided in Reno,
with his wife and twin daughters since 1993.

Coming later in the Spring:

Siva Vaidhyanathan, New York University,

Siva Vaidhyanathan, a cultural historian and media scholar, is the
author of Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual
Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press,
2001) and The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash between Freedom
and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System (Basic
Books, 2004). Vaidhyanathan has written for many periodicals,
including American Scholar, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The
New York Times Magazine, MSNBC.COM,,, and
The Nation. After five years as a professional journalist,
Vaidhyanathan earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University
of Texas at Austin. He has taught at Wesleyan University, the
University of Wisconsin at Madison, Columbia University, and is
currently Associate Professor of Culture and Communication at New
York University and a fellow at the New York Institute for the
Humanities. He lives in Greenwich Village, USA.

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