Visual Culture Session at PCA

I went to a session on visual culture.  The presenters were all planning on using computers (for the visual aspect) though one had expected to have internet and was not able to do his presentation.  Had he known/realized, he could have used Jing for screen shots, though it would not have been as amazing as what he was hoping to show.  It would, however, have been more amazing than nothing.

First talk

The first presenter talked about real estate and using virtual presentations to sell future projects.  I particularly liked his turns of phrase such as “meaning status,” “pristine surfaces are celebrated,” the room has all the “aesthetics of a high art museum,” “synthetic perfection,”  and “textual virtuousity.”

The point of his work was that the experience is a “valorized illusion” selling “material allure through material voyeurism.”  Window shopping meets academic.

Second talk

The second presenter had an opportunity to create an incredibly meaningful presentation, but her nervousness and/or lack of preparedness brought an unpolished “here’s what it can look like” without a solid introduction or theoretical background.  I’m not particularly into theory, so just a better explanation of who the digital artists are and what they think they are doing would have been good.  The most interesting idea she expressed was “converging points of crises” but she did not give any information which might have made this fascinating without being too voyeuristic.  She had a quote about the internet going away, which I can’t imagine.  And an interesting thing about mixed tapes which she spent about as long on as I have typing this sentence.  I would have liked to have more on that.  The whole idea is the “privileging of appropriation, remixing, and public involvement in art.”

I love remixing.  In interior design it’s recycling or multi-purpose use.  In fashion it is retro chic.  But she didn’t really talk about it either.

Third talk

The third presenter did a discussion of Nine Inch Nails and the use of screens.  “Screen is object that defines much of visual culture” she said, because we are looking at it on the net.  “spaces through which to encounter mediated worlds”

Constitutive component of entrenched environments

Conventional reading of screen as mirror or window frame, not what we see here in their work.

Confrontation of screen and body

Screen as a discourse environment

Fourth talk

Digital Damsel Women Warriors was not what I was expecting.  It was research measuring the likability of a person via pictures.  They had raters rate three pictures (of the same woman).  Found women didn’t like her when she was holding a naked man by a leash.  Men had a whole range of responses to that image.  

I thought this had the potential to be very interesting.  There was some thoughtful theory with it.

It was a very political presentation in ways that it did not need to be.

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