Alan N. Shapiro, Visiting Professor in Transdisciplinary Design, Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen, Germany

Blog and project archive about transdisciplinary design, media theory and creative coding

Art and Design in the Age of New Media and New Technologies, by Alan N. Shapiro

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On January 16th, 2013, I gave a lecture at the Bath Spa University, Bath School of Art and Design, in Bath, UK.

Department of Design and Critical Studies

Introduction by Dr. Jo Turney, Bath Spa University.

ABSTRACT by Alan N. Shapiro

What are the main trends in the history of New Media Art? How have artworks evolved through the application of digital technologies, computer graphics, virtual reality environments, robotics and biotechnology? What is the future of conceptual, performance and installation art? What is happening now to the profession of designer? How can the future communication/product design professional prepare him/herself to engage in creative processes related to the production and distribution of contents and formats in electronic media which are the successors to print media such as books, newspapers, magazines, archives, and educational materials? How can media theories like those of Marshall McLuhan, Jean Baudrillard and Vilem Flusser help us to rethink and reinvent the profession of designer for the digital age? How can a creative person thrive in a commercial society?

COMMENT by Nolan Bazinet

I just wanted to tell you that I’ve just finished listening to the audio of your lecture and I think it is very important and a significant manifestation of your thought.

What I mean to say is that this talk, I think, is where you make the most coherent and systematic comments about technology, Alife and science in general.

I’m thinking of a particular moment where one of the students asked you a question about consciousness and this dialogue you have with him is so important. Like you said, he is almost right about consciousness being reflexive, but is its reflexivity (as you imply) what deems it consciousness? Your examples of African tribes and other groups of people who may not share the critera of ‘Western consciousness’ are very effective here.

Also, your point of what do we consider life/living? I like how you say that for you, books and certain words are ‘alive’. This is the beginning of something very important (sorry for the overuse of that word) here.

There are various other points where I thought the lecture was very good but the exact moments escape me now.

I think you should be very proud of yourself. This was really, really good.

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