Call For Papers
Life By Design: Everyday Digital Culture
An interdisciplinary graduate symposium
Ph.D. Program in Visual Studies
University of California, Irvine
April 10 -12, 2003
Life By Design: Everyday Digital Culture proposes an interdisciplinary
exploration of the
everyday impacts of digital culture. Starting with the premise that digital
culture is no longer
new, but is rather a given, the symposium seeks to open a space for a
'second wave' of analysis,
criticism and practice. In emphasizing the word 'culture', the symposium
assumes a central role
for the interaction between people and technology, rather than placing a
spotlight solely on
technology itself. While we strongly encourage the cultivation of a
critical, and even skeptical,
stance towards the technology we engage with on a daily basis, we find it is
important to include
not just theorists but also practitioners. Therefore the symposium will
include, in addition to
papers, screenings, demos, an exhibition and a catalogue so that the
discussion can take place
across a broad range of interdisciplinary platforms.
In light of the societal changes prompted by long lasting technological
interventions, what can
investigations into design, critical theory and cultural studies tell us
about our digitally mediated
cultural experiences and realities? Searching for a close reading of the
impacts of the digital,
technological, mediated and interactive technologies on ordinary daily life,
the symposium hopes
to foster a generative mix of theorists, practitioners, graduate students,
faculty and community
involvement. Screenings, demos, artworks and installations will be invited
under a related call
for proposals, with details forthcoming on the website. Currently, the
committee is accepting
proposals for papers on the following five topics:
Is there something about the incursions of digital technology into 'everyday
life' which may have
been overlooked, but which make for interesting conclusions about culture in
general, as well as
at this particular digital moment? How does the often barely noticed
penetration of the digital
into almost every aspect of our world alter everyday life? Privacy,
surveillance, mobile devices,
wireless communications, tangible and 'invisible computing', education,
smart homes, media-
convergence, intelligent agents, invasiveness and related topics would all
appropriate for 'ubiquity'.
Do the cross-media translations fostered by digital media create a
particular opening for issues
related to interdisciplinarity and/or intertextuality, or is something else
taking place? Are we
building a bridge between the 'two cultures', as addressed by C.P. Snow, of
the humanities and
sciences? Is such a bridge desirable? Papers addressing the 'digitization'
of media forms, such as
text, video, sound, dance, databases, as well as digitally facilitated
interdisciplinarity in general,
automatic translation devices, customization, user profiling and
cross-platform applications such
as porting to different platforms would all be considered appropriate topics
How do issues understood in other time-based practices become altered within
context? How do issues of identity politics function in new digital
contexts? How do issues of
embodiment, interface and participation apply within the apparent
immateriality of the digital?
What do theorists and practitioners have to say to one another? Papers
events occurring over time, embodiment, dynamic systems, interactivity,
improvisation, ephemerality, agents, identity politics and behavior,
including behavioral AI and
similar topics would all be appropriate for 'performance'.
How has the imaginary evolved to include popular culture references to
and what impact has this had on the development of the technology itself?
How does science
fiction impact the creation of new technologies? Have we become posthuman?
cyborgs, genetic engineering, nanotechnology and a host of other everyday
wonders 'just around
the corner'? Papers addressing Artificial Life, futurism, AI, virtual
reality, the entertainment
industry, games, computer generated imagery (CGI), animatronics and the
posthuman would all
be relevant for 'imagination'.
What does second generation digital practice and criticism have to tell us
about digital culture?
What critiques of extant theories about digital media should be raised?
Could we already be
beyond 'second wave' considerations, into even deeper digital history? How
should this history
be told, and by whom? Papers addressing cyberfeminism, identity politics,
the histories of
science and engineering, science and technology studies, visual studies and
the history of
computer representation would all be appropriate for 'history'.
A wide variety of submissions are encouraged from graduate students in the
architecture and design, including those in game, interface and
transportation design, media,
communication and engineering. Papers from established scholars, theorists,
engineers and writers of fiction and science fiction are also encouraged.
and graduate students are invited to present works in the screenings, demos
sessions under a related call for media; see the website for further info.
Presentations will be fifteen to twenty minutes long and in English. Please
send two copies of
your 500 word abstract and brief vitae by Friday, January 3rd, 2003 to:
Life By Design: Everyday Digital Culture
c/o Department of Art History
85 Humanities Instructional Building
Irvine, CA 92697-2785
Email: [log in to unmask]
To ensure readability, cut and paste proposal into the body of your email.
Do NOT send
attachments. Snail-mail submissions preferred.
Notifications of acceptance will be sent out February 1st. The final
versions of the papers are due
on February 15th.
Modest travel stipends may be possible for those outside of California.
Please enquire by e-mail.
For further information, contact the above email address, or visit symposium
Keynote speakers are design engineer and technoartist, Natalie Jeremijenko,
game designer and cultural theorist, Celia Pearce.
With supervising faculty Anne Friedberg (chair), Simon Penny and Akira
A final roundtable discussion, the Battle of the Moderators, will conclude
A concurrent exhibition at the Beall Center for Art and Technology will
issue an additional call
for proposals. See website for more information.
A CD-ROM catalogue of papers and exhibitors will accompany the symposium.
Co-sponsored by the UCI Ph.D. program in Visual Studies, the UC Digital
Cultures Project, the
UCI Film & Video Center, and the UCI Beall Center for Art and Technology.