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MECCSA  November 2017

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Subject:

University of Brighton 13 December 12noon, Prof Michael Goodman, ‘The Empathy Machine’

From:

Julie Doyle <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Julie Doyle <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 10:13:01 +0000

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Invitation to a Research Seminar hosted by the Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics (University of Brighton)
 
‘The Empathy Machine: Virtual reality, iAnimal and the techno-biopolitics of witnessing’

Professor Michael Goodman, University of Reading
Visiting Fellow, Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics

Wednesday 13 December 12-1.30pm, University of Brighton, Moulsecoomb, Watts Building, Room 509

New techno-social devices are allowing individuals and collectives an unprecedented witnessing of the Anthropocene. Virtual reality is one such techno-social witnessing regime. Dubbed ‘empathy machines’ by Wired magazine, virtual reality headsets are being used as politicised technological devices to bring awareness to such issues as the global migrant crisis and climate change. iAnimal, an animal welfare/vegan activist group, is engaged in using these empathy machines to intervene in the everyday understandings of where industrially produced meat comes from and convince viewers to shift to vegan diets. Viewed through an intervention event by iAnimal, this paper explores and analyses the techno-biopolitics of virtual reality in the service of animal welfare, changing eating behaviours and the digitisation of foodscapes. Through an immersive visualisation and auditory experience of suffering, iAnimal creates a kind of thanato-biopolitics in action that is as felt as it is visual. Though this novel network of digital visual and auditory data, the virtual reality experience, visions and sounds of cruelty, suffering and death—with a few vegan celebrities thrown in for good measure—and the relational affects, emotions and feelings of human/animal assemblages, iAnimal points to the possibilities of a ‘virtual food politics’ designed to re-shape foodscapes for the better through the act of emplaced witnessing of the Anthropocene. 

All Welcome                                                                                                                                                              Book now (free) https://empathy_machine.eventbrite.co.uk                                                                                        Queries please contact Julie Doyle [log in to unmask] 


Biography: Michael Goodman is Professor of Geography at the University of Reading and Associate Deputy Editor of Climatic Change. With over 70 publications, Professor Goodman is a highly regarded international expert in the field of food, environment and media. His interdisciplinary work navigates and pushes the disciplinary boundaries of media and communication studies and human/cultural geography. Professor Goodman has been a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics during 2017.

Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics (University of Brighton)
https://www.brighton.ac.uk/research-and-enterprise/cores/centre-for-spatial-environmental-and-cultural-politics.aspx

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