Technologies of Life in the Contemporary
Thursday, 14 December 2017, 11:00-19:00
CSDS, 29, Rajpur Road
Friday, 15 December 2017, 11:00-20:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017, 11:00-21:00
Siddhartha Hall, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan
Have we finally entered the End of the End of History? (E-flux, 2014) Recent media technological transformations have thrown into confusion many existing political and social theories; art, media philosophy, politics, biology; in fact all ideas of life presented in the last century. Are these the jumbled signs of ‘our’ contemporaneity? The idea of the contemporary has been around for a few decades, seen variously as a period, a critical gesture, and a disciplinary frame for literature and art. We believe the time is right to revisit the idea of the contemporary from a different lens, outside the closeted frameworks of a Euro-American debate where contemporaneity appears as a unstable successor to modernity and postmodernity.
In the past decade we have seen the worldwide spread of media and information networks. Since value is now gained from experience, new corporations and political parties deploy strategies of agglomeration using digital media technologies. Growing computational grids inaugurate storage and surveillance technologies that are affecting fields like the environment, finance and law. Machine time disturbs historical continuity and sequence. Genetic engineering and life storage technologies disrupt the idea of the biological life span; media memory and recording technologies have already transformed the lives of mobile phone users in the world.
Since 2000 digital infrastructures have produced a new generation of art and media practitioners. Like everywhere, such transformations have set in motion a sense of indetermination and flux, providing opportunities, shadow zones and critical discourses. We will be debating art practice, cultural theory, media aesthetics, social theory, forensics, urbanism, and the landscape of the political. Time horizons and its philosophies are a major concern of the conference, as we seek to displace the idea of the contemporary as (just) a ‘present’ without limits.
Monica Narula, Jeebesh Bagchi, Ravi Sundaram, Shuddhabrata Sengupta and Ravi S Vasudevan.
For further information about the conference, please visit: www.sarai.net