/// I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT REALITY ///
Panel Discussion with Rafael Schacter
Friday 6th March 2020 | 6PM - 8PM | Room 106 | Roberts Building | UCL Engineering
UCL MAL invites you to join us for an evening panel discussion presenting an anthropological approach to understanding computer vision, simulation, and digital curation techniques as crucial forces that delineate aesthetic value and truth in the post-digital era. Featuring three different curatorial projects from the 2019-2020 Wrong Biennale—Off Site Project, Digital Arts Residency, and Specter World—moderated by UCL Anthropology of Art professor Rafael Schacter, this conversation will inform on major currents in digital creative spaces and their relationship to wider visual cultural movements.
//THE PORTAL WILL OPEN// MAL @ THE SLADE RESEARCH CENTRE
Thursday 5th March 2020 | 6PM | Slade Research Centre
UCL MAL presents a residency at the Slade Research Centre, exploring ideas around futurisms, thresholds, liminality and displacement. Our ambition is to transform the Slade Research Centre into a portal for exchange between cultural, cosmological and disciplinary points of view. This will take place through experimental workshops and presentations that focus on sound, VR, live collaboration and spaces of social intimacy. In addition we will host an open session of our ongoing reading group ‘Anthropocene Futures’, and a public event built on MAL’s successful series of seminars (which have provided a platform for artists and academics to consider themes such as curating the digital, sonic ethnography, immersive alterity and sensory storytelling).
/// TRANSLATING FUTURES /// TECHNOLOGIES OF CAPTURE AND PERSPECTIVE EXCHANGE
Thursday 24th September 2019 | 4:30PM - 5:30PM | TATE Exchange | Hyphen-Labs | Blavatnik Building | TATE Modern
The Multimedia Anthropology Lab present at the TATE Exchange for a seminar/workshop examining technologies of capture and perspective exchange. What kind of futures are encoded in / made possible through technologies of immersion?
MAYA HOPE CHALDECOTT | SOPHIE MEI BIRKIN | HERMIONE SPRIGGS | DEBORAH TCHOUDJINOFF | RAFFAELLA FRYER-MOREIRA
EXPERIMENTAL ENGAGEMENTS WITH THE ANTHROPOCENE: DEVELOPING PRACTICAL TOOLS FOR CONCEPTUAL SHIFTS
Thursday 5th September 2019 | 11AM - 12:30PM | L06 | ASA19 Conference
In this session, we will explore ways in which multimedia methods can be applied to the Anthropocene, experimenting with innovative approaches to conduct and present research on contemporary social and ecological challenges. We invite participants whose work does, or wishes to, incorporate non-textual research methods (such as audio, video, VR/360 video, interactive digital platforms, installations, etc.) into research practice, with the aim of engaging new publics, and facilitating dialogue across disciplines.
/// SPECULATIVE IMMERSION /// MULTIMEDIA ANTHROPOLOGY IN THE ANTHROPOCENE
Friday 7th June 2019 | 6PM - 9PM | UCL Main Quad Popup 101 | UCL Festival of Culture| Drinks Reception
This immersive exhibition presents contemporary research on ecological crisis and human futures, in an experimental collaboration by UCL’s Multimedia Anthropology Lab. Over the course of the evening, immersive technologies, visual projections and textured soundscapes will present multiple narratives of the Anthropocene - the geological epoch in which we live. We will consider the diverse relationships between humans and their environments, and the multiple ways these relationships are understood as they transform. Bringing together interdisciplinary works conducted by anthropologists, artists, and sound designers, this event draws on immersive spatial audio, projection mapping, and VR to take us through the shifting ecologies of our times, while inviting us to speculate on alternative futures.
POLITICS OF DATA: (DIGITAL) RESTITUTION AND THE CAPACITY OF TRUTH
Friday 22nd February 2019, 6-8pm, Daryll Forde Seminar Room, UCL Anthropology
In times of the digitization fever inside the museum one better ask: Who owns the data? Who generates it? Who rules over the database? Who builds its architecture? Like a Datenkrake, the museum has exclusive access to its collection and collects and collects. The museum as a gatekeeper towards cultural data and information seems to be the preferred choice . If an AI is only as good as its database, probably the museum is only as good as its database, too. And “good” refers to ethics, biases and open access. In her artist talk Nora Al-Badri will discuss her decolonial and emancipatory take on the imperial museum, institutional Angst as well as the timely debate on restitution of artefacts and the role of digitization in all of that.
MULTMEDIA ANTHROPOLOGY NOW
Exhibition Launch Event and Panel Discussion
Friday 22nd February 2019, 6-8pm, Daryll Forde Seminar Room, UCL Anthropology
Join us for the opening of Multimedia Anthropology Now, an online digital exhibition from the UCL Multimedia Anthropology Lab. Featuring diverse works by anthropologists and artists located around the world, Multimedia Anthropology Now presents a vast array of research locations and subjects - from a festival in Pakistan to high finance in the city of London, from the view of a Mongolian lasso (uurqa) to the view of a unborn child - in engaging and multimedia formats.
All are welcome to attend this panel discussion featuring a number of the contributing artists/researchers, followed by a viewing of a number of the works installed at UCL Anthropology.
Seminar with Dana Walrath
Friday 1st February 2019, 6-8pm, Daryll Forde Seminar Room, UCL Anthropology
Comics, an outsider, public, medium of fragments and simultaneity aligns beautifully with anthropological theory and mission. But only recently have they found a place of respect within the academy. This workshop will combine analysis of existing graphic anthropological texts with hands-on exercises in creating ethnographic comics and using comics as a tool for all phases of anthropological inquiry: from field work, to writer’s block, to graphic ethnography.” - Dana Walrath
Dana Walrath, a writer, artist, and anthropologist, likes to cross borders and disciplines with her work. Her graphic memoir, Aliceheimer’s (Penn State Press 2016) about life with her mother, Alice, before and during dementia, has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Philadelphia Inquirer and on NPR. She has spoken extensively about the role of comics in healing throughout North America and Eurasia including two TEDx talks.
Evening Seminar with Thomas Yeomans
Friday 14th December 2018, 5-7pm, Darryl Forde Seminar Room, UCL Anthropology
A ritual can be a religious, spiritual, domestic and/or magic act. It can be performed in public or private, by one person, or by many. It can be grounded in a particular tradition or devised by the practitioner. Unmediated by the screen and acted out live in the flesh, the radical queer performances that comprise Future Ritual challenge the capitalization and privatization of both virtual and actual spaces. Future Ritual resists the politics of assimilation, celebrating instead subversion, indecency, aberrance and difference. Future Ritual is a platform to reclaim practices of magical thinking, ritual, fluid identities and leaderless activism, from the online sphere, to take them off-line and to explore, analyse, and imagine future possibilities. This project asks the questions, how can arcane technologies shape our future? What do future rituals look like? Who are they for? And what should they try and do?
HYPER-REALITY & ANTHROPOLOGY
Ethnographic Film Screening & Conversation with Katya Lachowicz
Friday 7th December 2018, 5-7pm, Darryl Forde Seminar Room, UCL Anthropology
Filmmaker and Anthropologist Katya Lachowicz will present her 2013 film ‘The Others,’ in addition to a new work in development filmed in London’s subterranean infrastructure. The screening will be followed by a conversation between Lachowicz and UCL MAL curator Wade Wallerstein.
The Others (2013) is a three-channel experimental documentary that explores the underlying emotions of modern Polish identity politics, caught up in the polarised narratives of nationalism and religion. Dipping in and out of bombastic political commemorations and the elusive remains of multiculturalism, it both observes the construct of a national Polish identity while simultaneously constructing itself.
Artist Talk with Sarah Derat and Rachel McRae
Friday 30th November 2018, 5-7pm, Darryl Forde Seminar Room, UCL Anthropology
Digital&Dead (2017), produced by artists Sarah Derat and Rachel McRae, is an immersive Augmented Reality (AR) sculpture only visible through the screen of a smart-device held up like a window onto the other side. The viewer can interact and examine a monument haunting the exhibition space: the sculpture appearing on-screen through a Target-as-Portal, as if it were within the room. The viewer can walk around the monument as it morphs between different shapes, mimicking the minimal geometry of gravestones, tombs, monuments and monolithic server/data farms. They simultaneously experiences a multi-layer sound composition using field recordings from London cemeteries, a text-piece culled from social media memorials and conversations with chatbots.
NEW MATERIALITY AND THE DIGITAL ARTIFACT
Artist Talk with Juan Covelli
Friday 23rd November 2018, 6-8pm, Archaeology Lecture Theatre, UCL Anthropology
In his recent work, Covelli has been experimenting with artifacts from the Dogon tribe of West Africa that he discovered in the Guttormsgaard Archive in Norway. Through his research about Dogon cosmology as well as various digitization efforts, Covelli has created digital objects that intervene in and re-figure the original artifacts, thus creating entirely new entities. Covelli’s concerns are connected to the archive’s potential of being a tool for activism and art making against digital colonialism. He is fascinated by the digital archive as a way of democratizing the object and liberating it from physical and geographical constraints. Today we experience a paradigm shift from perspective to the realm of volume. The rise of scanning and 3D technologies has made this change ever more relevant. For Covelli, the significance lies in the reproduction and production of objects where repetition becomes difference. If we are able to reproduce endless exact copies, what happens with the original?
Evening Seminar with Cemil Hamazouglu
Friday 16th November 2018, 5-7pm, Darryl Forde Seminar Room, UCL Anthropology
This lecture will introduce the concept of sonic ethnography as a viable methodology for understanding a field site. this talk In the talk, Hamzaoglu will cover the issues surrounding the politics of sound and engagements with diverse hearing cultures, culminating in an exploration into contemporary sound art through an anthropological lens.
Cemil Hemzaoglu is a digital anthropologist and musician exploring the materiality of sound, performance, identity and the transformative effect of digital technologies on creative landscapes in sound production. Recently, Hamzaoglu embarked on research in cooperation with buskers and independent sound artists in London.
CURATING THE DIGITAL | WATCH ONLINE
Evening Seminar with Wade Wallerstein
Friday 9th November 2018, 6-8pm, Darryl Forde Seminar Room, UCL Anthropology
Every day, an average of 1.8 billion images is uploaded to the Internet. In our digital age, one defined by an Internet inundated by visual content, curation is a vital and necessary creative task to match the quantity and velocity of modern visual outputs. Not only must individuals curate themselves to participate in this digital culture of sharing, but fine art curators must adapt digital techniques to contend with new art forms within their native material contexts. As algorithmic processes of selection increasingly define our experiences in virtual environments, human-led curation emerges as an important counterpoint to machine vision.
1-Day Workshop with Blanca Regina
Saturday 20th October 2018, 11am-5pm, Archaeology Lecture Theatre, UCL Anthropology
This intensive all-day workshop will introduce projection mapping and video applications beyond the screen in installations and immersive spaces. We will look at diverse techniques for the production of audiovisual installations in architectural spaces and on objects, and consider its application in diverse forms of creative practice.
Evening Seminar with Blanca Regina
Friday 19th October 2018, 5-7pm, Darryl Forde Seminar Room, UCL Anthropology
Join us this Friday 19th October for a seminar with Dr Blanca Regina, who will present a lecture and a short performance looking at the concept, history and development of immersive technologies and projection art. She will introduce elements from the different aesthetics connected to the content creation and the reception of these works, and consider the role of these audiovisual technologies in creative anthropological practice.
Blanca is an artist, curator and tutor based in London. Her work is heterogeneous and looks at expanded cinema, free improvisation, audiovisual design and performance art. She has been leading audiovisual performance art and projection mapping workshops and has curated events internationally. She is interested in the themes of language, identity and archive; she is exploring the interplay of image and sound, digital and analogue media.
Evening Seminar with Grace Boyle
Thursday 1st March 2018, 6-8pm, Darryl Forde Seminar Room, UCL Anthropology
Grace will talk about her work and the concept of multi-sensory storytelling, followed by a discussion about the role of new immersive technologies in documenting and presenting work in diverse ethnographic contexts.
Her multi-sensory VR film Munduruku: The Fight to Defend the Heart of the Amazon is made in collaboration with Greenpeace and Alchemy VR, draws on other senses such as smell together with immersive VR: "the experience translates real multisensory data into a coherent story for audiences, testing the boundaries of storytelling by taking them on narrative journeys that speak to all of their senses."
Evening Seminar with Alex Pearson
Thursday 22nd February 6-8pm, Darryl Forde Seminar Room, UCL Anthropology
Alex Pearson, director of VR experience Future Aleppo, created in collaboration with Syrian refugees, will be presenting the VR film, and discussing the role of technology in collaborative ethnographic projects.