Published: 20 March 2017 at 14:56
CoDE to co-organise two-day workshop with the Cambridge Digital Humanities Network and Cambridge Big Data
Since its broadcast 45 years ago, the BBC documentary series Ways of Seeing has had a wide impact on both popular and academic views on the history of art and the production of images. It presented a radical socio-economic understanding of western art history which was closer to the image itself than previous Marxist critics - helping spread the thinking of Walter Benjamin in the English-speaking world.
The analysis offered by presenter John Berger and his collaborators in the documentary is founded on technologies (oil paints, photography) and the ways in which they both reflect and create visual-ideological paradigms, or Ways of Seeing. Half a century later, this workshop seeks to explore how these concepts can be understood in the light of state-of-the-art technical developments in machine vision and algorithmic learning.
Can Berger's assertion that "every image embodies a way of seeing" be brought into fruitful dialogue with the concerns of researchers exploring contemporary technologies of vision, in a world where the theorisation of vision as a series of information-processing tasks profoundly affects the creation, reception and circulation of all kinds of images?
Does this require a perspective going beyond robots that "see” in order to work in a factory, through self-driving cars, recognition and response to embodied human experience, to understanding the cultural meaning of images that have been selected algorithmically, and the question of how the reciprocal nature of vision is affected by the intercession of new kinds of filters between viewer and viewed?
We are seeking proposals for paper presentations, technical demonstrations, static, dynamic or performative artworks (including films) or poster presentations by the deadline of 5pm, 17 April 2017. The programme will follow four themes corresponding to the four episodes of Berger’s Ways of Seeing series:
Selected presenters will be informed by the end of April. General registration for delegates (at waged and unwaged/student rates) will open in early April. We regret that the conference organisers are only able to assist with accommodation bookings for presenters selected through the call for proposals and not for general delegates. We advise delegates to book accommodation early. More information on local accommodation options is available on the Visit Cambridge website.
Limited funding is available for presenters selected through the call for participation; please indicate on the EoI form if you would like to be considered for a bursary to cover the cost of registration, and travel or accommodation.
Graduate students from Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Cambridge are also invited to apply to join the team organising the conference, including documenting sessions on social media and producing a post-conference report. If you are interested, please contact Dr Shreepali Patel (ARU students) or Dr Anne Alexander (Cambridge students).