Digital Arts and New Media: MFA: Collaboration, Innovation, Social Impact

You are here

DANM Director Candidate Presentation :: Edward Shanken

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 9:30pm to 10:30pm
DARC 108 (Dark Lab), UCSC

Uriel Orlow, History is the Future and the Future is History, 2012


Candidates for the new Associate Professor and DANM Director position will give public presentations on their work as part of their on-campus interviews. The events are open to the public. There are three candidates presenting over three weeks:

February 25 Edward Shanken
February 29 Marianne Weems
March 10 Roderick Coover


Edward Shanken
Alternative Nows and Thens to Be: Art as Metacritical Dress Rehearsal for the Future

Like Jack Burnham, who thought of art as a "psychic dress rehearsal for the future," Shanken is especially interested in how artists create working models that allow us to sample alternative futures in the present. Burnham also thought of artists as "deviation amplifiers" and he admires how artists "pervert technological correctness" (Raphael Lozano-Hemmer) by hacking the utilitarian purposes of technologies and the commercial/military contexts of their production and consumption. By "dancing with systems" (Donella Meadows) in a metacritical way, artists offer profound insights into emerging technological modalities and related social practices. Shanken is fascinated by the role of new media as a common ground for collaboration across disciplines, and by the potential of transdisciplinary research to generate breakthrough innovation that constitutes potentially profound shifts in perception, identity and behavior, and the construction of meaning and value. He believes that art, at its best, offers deep insight—a type of knowledge that Gregory Bateson likened to wisdom—that can help build a more compassionate and balanced future.

Edward Shanken writes and teaches about the entwinement of art, science, and technology with a focus on interdisciplinary practices involving new media. Recent work addresses systems theory, art-science collaboration, surveillance culture, sound art and the environment, and bridging the gap between new media and contemporary art. His books include Systems (Whitechapel/MIT, 2015), Inventar el Futuro (2013), Art and Electronic Media (Phaidon, 2009), and Telematic Embrace: Visionary Theories of Art, Technology and Consciousness (California, 2003).