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Subject:

CFP: Digital Abstraction (Bremen, 7-8 May 15)

From:

Andreas Broeckmann <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Andreas Broeckmann <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 27 May 2014 15:17:54 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (136 lines)

From: Isabel Wünsche <[log in to unmask]>
Date: May 26, 2014
Subject: CFP: Digital Abstraction (Bremen, 7-8 May 15)

Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany, May 7 - 08, 2015
Deadline: Aug 31, 2014

Birgit Mersmann, Isabel Wünsche
Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany

Digital Abstraction at the Interface between Electronic Media Arts and 
Data Visualization

Abstraction emerged as a fundamental artistic practice and visual 
experience of European modernism at the beginning of the twentieth 
century and reached its pinnacle in the post-World War II period, 
becoming one of the most dominant artistic idioms of the twentieth 
century in painting, sculpture, and architecture. Modernist abstraction 
has not only changed our understanding of the production, meaning, and 
reception of art with respect to aesthetics and art history, it has 
decisively contributed to the scientific and social discourse in fields 
such as philosophy, religious studies, psychology, visual and media 
studies, and even politics.

The more recent use of digital media by visual artists in parallel with 
the application of new methods of data visualization in the life 
sciences, medical research, statistics, and nanotechnology have moved 
the modern analogue concept, language and method of visual abstraction 
into the digital realm. Transformed into a computer-based code, 
abstraction has experienced manifold reinvigorations as a universal 
language of information visualization, specific to the global 
information and network society of the twenty-first century. In recent 
decades, the application of scientific visualization practices by 
contemporary artists has sparked investigations into the complex role of 
digital visual representation in relation to forms and functions of 
abstraction. The growth in digitally native information visualization 
has led to a greater use of techniques of abstraction to dynamically 
visualize large data sets in order to better navigate the complexities 
of life and knowledge processing. Many aspects of artistic visualization 
now overlap with the study of science and technology more than ever 
before, sharing in common their use of computational abstraction. Such 
visualizations are meanwhile recognized not only as products of 
knowledge-producing technology, but also as expressions of art and 
design, and as cultural artifacts. This transdisciplinary valuation 
makes it possible and even necessary to look more closely at the 
practice and meaning of digital abstraction at this interface between 
digital art and data visualization.

By drawing on a historical, media-related distinction between analogue 
forms of modern abstraction and digitally native contemporary forms of 
abstraction, the conference searches to trace the new digital 
connectivity between digitally mediated art, information visualization, 
and network science. Its main goal is to conceptualize the new 
double-bind relationship between abstraction and re-concretion in 
virtual reality by taking into account modeling and mapping as practices 
of complexity reduction. Since contemporary software abstraction works 
in both directions, from complexity to abstraction, and from abstraction 
to complexity, research will also focus on digital abstraction as a 
method of universal transcoding.

The conference theme of digital abstraction, viewed as an 
information-processing condition and conceptual paradigm of digital 
visual culture and science will be addressed in three sessions:

1)    The first session will explore the qualities and particularities 
of digital abstraction in comparison to analogue abstraction in modern 
art, society and science. A combined science- and art-historical 
perspective is chosen in order to compare modern abstraction – informed 
as it was by the scientific paradigm of atomization and universalization 
– to digital abstraction, incorporating the new network paradigm of 
complexity reduction. One of the main challenges of this sort of 
historical analysis is to find out where new links between modern and 
contemporary, analogue and digital abstraction are established. 
Particular attention will be paid to visual processes of abstraction in 
the history of computational art.

2)    The second session is devoted to researching digital abstraction 
in computational art and design. An increasing number of computer 
artists and designers are relying on algorithmic approaches to create 
static, dynamic, and interactive abstractions of data sets. Data 
visualization techniques are often appropriated for these processes of 
abstraction. This raises the question of how artists and designers apply 
data visualization to aesthetic concerns in the creative process. What 
are the components involved in creative digital abstraction? How are 
artists building or expanding new visual language systems? How is the 
complexity of life simplified by the (abstract) visualization of 
patterns, connections, and structures?

3)    The third session addresses the issue of complexity reduction 
through digital abstraction from the computer informational perspective 
of data visualization. Relating to chaos, emergence, and complexity 
theory, it will explore how we navigate and visually map the diverse 
complexity of life, ranging from natural and artificial systems of life 
to social networks and knowledge production. The primary focus of the 
inquiry is the digital analysis of the graphic language of abstraction 
in visualization. Are their parallels to the language of modern 
abstraction, including its laws and gestalt concepts of geometric, 
organic, ornamental, or gestural abstraction? Are new patterns of 
dynamic, interactive, and (re)generative abstraction developing? Do 
these fuse with the analytical or even synthetic principles of modern 
abstraction?

This formal investigation of abstract information visualization will be 
framed by the overall question of what kinds of new relations between 
visual data representation and digital abstraction are being construed 
and what this signifies with regard to digital art theory and 
visualization studies for the reevaluation of existing theories of 
abstraction and representation.

We invite paper proposals to these sessions from a variety of fields, 
including art history, visual and media studies, life sciences, 
informatics, and computer science.  Please submit an abstract (300 
words) plus a brief CV (300 words) along with your contact information 
in one single Word or PDF file by August 31, 2014 to 
[log in to unmask]

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: Digital Abstraction (Bremen, 7-8 May 15). In: H-ArtHist, May 26, 
2014. <http://arthist.net/archive/7821>.

____________________________________________________________________

H-ARTHIST
Humanities-Net Discussion List for Art History
E-Mail-Liste für Kunstgeschichte im H-Net

Editorial Board Contact Address / Fragen an die Redaktion:
[log in to unmask]

Submit contributions to / Beiträge bitte an:
http://arthist.net/mailing-list/mode=contribute

Homepage: http://arthist.net

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