Forthcoming presentation @ “The InHuman Gaze” Conference in Paris

We will be presenting a new paper at The InHuman Gaze Conference in Paris on 6th-9th of June 2018.

Paris Conference
Writing the abstract

The paper will be a reflection on our recent performance at the Research Pavilion in the context of 57th Venice Biennale (2017).  At the event The Aesthetics Group performed a research poem in response to New York based artist Michael Bell Smith’s Birds Over the White House (2006) . This artwork was especially repurposed for the occasion. The artwork is a digital algorithm of nodes representing birds flying over a schematic plan of the White House.

This paper marks the third iteration of an ongoing reflection on the aesthetics of the Inhuman Gaze. Previous incarnations of this research considered the distortion and manipulation of language use that predominantly defines the inhuman in opposition to the human. This was achieved through the adoption and assumption of the ‘birds eye view’through a poetic, thus humanizing, appropriation.

This iteration reflects on the aesthetics of the inhuman gaze in terms of collective othering and the mediated state implicit in the shift from the digital to the post-digital where there is the assumption of the digital in quotidian reality. The advent of the post-digital requires a new reflection on the inhuman gaze. Historically Derrida argued that l’animot is distinct from the human and what is derogatively referred to as the ‘beast’. Whereas for Lyotard, we have to learn to be human as is it not our natural state and the inhuman encompasses the child, the animal and technology. For Stiegler, however, we must be ‘non-inhuman’ as he associates the inhuman with the maleficent aspect of technical development.

Through a critique of the insect-like gaze of the digitized birds flying over the White House this paper argues that the banality of the post-digital renders a new form of collective othering that calls for a reconstruction of the aesthetics implicit in the non-human gaze.

The Aesthetics Group would like to thank artist Michael Bell Smith and Foxy Production, New York.
“I See Birds Flying over the White House” at the Venice Biennale October 2017