[act-ma] 3/9: free forum at MFA - Histories of Now: Art, Digital Media + Contemporary Social Movements

pf soto pfsoto at mynas.com
Fri Mar 2 11:02:55 PST 2012


  Histories of Now: Art, Digital Media + Contemporary Social Movements
  Symposium Schedule

    March 9, 2012, 1–7 pm Alfond Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

*Attendees must obtain free tickets from a kiosk/ticket desk at an MFA 
entrance to gain admittance.*

*1 pmWelcome, overview, logistics 1:15–2:30 pmi. The Contested Present*
It is widely acknowledged that we are in a moment of global social 
transformation. This is a moment in which experiences of the world and 
modes of representing that world are changing. From actual physical 
libraries in places of protest and mobile citizen journalism to 
architecturally-scaled imaging projections and remote-controlled 
quadcopter drones, participants and allies of social movements are 
finding new ways to gather, relay and interpret information about the 
transformations underway. Often, these strategies are produced under 
urgent and temporary conditions with no centralized message or medium. 
There are multiple and contested experiences and representations. What 
currents of meaning are flowing through global audio-visual circuits? 
What cultural visions are embodied through emergent social protest 
movements? How do contemporary art and digital media makers work 
variously to negate, sharpen, or resolve contradictions?

*2:45–4 pmii. Condense/Disperse*

In February 2011, protesters dispersed word across their networks in 
Cairo and beyond—by friend, family, neighborhood and through 
globally-connected electronic media—to take the uprising to the 
president’s door. On the 11th, people made their way in twos and threes 
to the Heliopolis Palace, condensing by the thousands at the palace—an 
instance of a pattern of condensation and dispersal through which recent 
protest movements have expressed themselves in space and in network 
effects. What are people condensing around, in digital and non-digital 
spaces? How are these condensations being evoked? What are the forms of 
dispersal, strategic or reactive? How are individual artists and 
mediamakers negotiating these movements? What new condensations and 
dispersals do artists and mediamakers initiate? How does the work of 
artists and digital media makers reflect, produce or problematize the 
claims of contemporary social movements in Cairo, Boston, and in between?

*4:15–5:30 pmiii. Future Tellings*

Social movements both attract and produce storytellers: ordinary people, 
bloggers, tweeters, Occupy librarians, independent filmmakers and 
witness-participants, all breaking into storytelling in their own 
distinctive ways. What kinds of storytelling practices are emerging from 
movements to critique the present and project equitable futures? What 
are their new forms and routes of exchange? How do they embody new 
theories of justice and provoke visions of thriving, connected 
communities and societies? To what extent do they help justice, 
community, and global awareness to take root? How do stories travel from 
place to place, and what new forms does connected global culture take as 
a result?

*5:30 pmClosing comments *
*5:45–7 pm**Reception at “Histories of Now:* Six Artists from Cairo” 
(SMFA’s Grossman Gallery) In conjunction with the “Histories of Now: Six 
Artists from Cairo” exhibition at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, 
Boston (SMFA), co-organized by metaLAB(at)Harvard.

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