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Measurement & Quantification

A two-Day Seminar at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Arts, Copenhagen 
 
With Miya Yoshida, Emmanuel Didier & Katya Sander
 
The seminar is part of the artistic research-project Mediated Matter, Developing tools and methods for contemporary art with 3D technology, currently carried out at The Royal Danish Academy for Fine Arts
 
This seminar takes it’s point of departure in Miya Yoshidas’ research into Art & Measurement, and invites sociologist Emmanuel Didier to discuss his writing on quantification and big data.  
 
Katya Sander will show specific materials and samples generated within the Mediated Matter-research in relation to the work with Motion Capture technology
 
The aim for the seminar is to understand existing artistic practices using measurement  and 3D-surface technology better, to learn about broader questions for a culture of quantification – i.e. our current times – and to generate further and more specific artistic questions into this.
 
The seminar is open to the public. Address will be announced.
 
For participation, please sign up no later than Friday th 6th of January, 12:00, with Lena Rodgers:
As preparation there is light reading! Texts will be sent upon registration.
 
Abstract:
 
The two-day seminar address art, measurement and quantification in order to link imagination, affect and current transformations in technologies and philosophies of measurement. It highlights the ambivalence of measurement and measurability in contemporary realities, and discusses political, aesthetical, and ethical questions of our times; the “Era of Quantification”.
 
Sciences and technologies have social implications for society. Living in what we could call ‘the era of quantification’, in which all that can be measured and counted is given a status as closer to “objective truth” than anything simply narrated, we are interested in understanding how this impacts and directs our lives and horizons. Especially the current version of late-neoliberal capitalism has shown us an increasing tendency to quantify every aspect of life (including the arts) and to put results – whatever kinds of results – into “numbers”. Enforcement of the validity of measurement is another form of control, and it shows us a specific relationship of power to  knowledge-production.
 
Questions of measurement are political indeed, but as such, also aesthetical: How does power insist on seeing the world, on representing it? Art-historically, conceptual and post-conceptual art have shown us many different configurations and re-configurations of measurement, it’s logics and aestetics. In light of the hype of measurement in the algorithmic world of today , it is interesting to look at the spirit of avant-garde – the equation of art and life – and ask what its critique of measurement means for us, today? But not only art, also sociology has brought forward ways of re-configuring the logics of quantification: How does the counter-use of quantification – such as statistical “truths” (“statactivism”) enable us to open up new perspectives? How can we explore different potentials of numbers and big data in the context of art? Framed by these questions, the seminar gathers and presents on-going thinking and projects about measurement from diverse viewpoints – sociology, art history, and art – and creates a platform for collective thinking in order to further explore notions of quantification. 

Schedule:

Workshop Day 1 / 9th of January 2017
 
10:00 - 10:20 Introduction: Katya Sander
10:20 - 12:00 Presentation + Discussion/ Miya Yoshida 12:00 - 13:00 Lunch Break
13:00 – 14:15 Session 1 / Presentation of current research, by Katya Sander 14:15 – 14:45 Coffee Break
14:45 - 16:00 Session 2 / Screening of film by Julien Previeux
 
 
Workshop Day 2 / 10th of January 2017
 
10:00 - 12:00 Presentation 2 + Discussion/ Emanuel Didier
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch Break
13:00 – 14:15 Session 3/ Presentation of paper, written by Romana Schmalisch 14:15 – 14:45 Coffee Break
14:45 - 16:00 Session 4 / Open Discussion and Summing up