“Ghosts in the Machine,” 2012. Exhibition view: New Museum. Photo: Benoit Pailley
In 1969, Robert Smithson wrote to György Kepes, “Technology promises a new kind of art, yet its very program excludes the artist from his own art. The optimism of technical progress results in political despair…. If technology is to have any chance at all, it must become more self-critical. If one wants teamwork he should join the army. A panel called ‘What’s Wrong with Technological Art’ might help.” Responding to Smithson’s call over forty years later, noted scholars, critics, and artists will discuss problems (and possibilities) of art and technology in response to “Ghosts in the Machine.”
Peggy Ahwesh is an artist who works in the fields of experimental film and video. Using a range of approaches, her work elaborates on the aesthetics of 1960s and ’70s American avant-garde film with an investigation of cultural identity and the role of the subject. She is Professor of Film and Electronic Arts at Bard College.
Heather Corcoran is Executive Director of Rhizome, a leading organization dedicated to promoting and contextualizing art engaged with technology. Previously, she served as Deputy Director of Film and Video Umbrella in London and as Curator at FACT, the UK’s leading center for new media. Corcoran holds a BFA from Ryerson University in Toronto and an MBA from Imperial College, London.
Judith Rodenbeck is an art historian currently researching the intersections between second-order cybernetics and advanced artistic practices since 1945. Author of Radical Prototypes: Allan Kaprow and the Invention of Happenings (MIT Press, 2011), she teaches modern and contemporary art at Sarah Lawrence College.
Gloria Sutton is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History and New Media in the Art and Design Department at Northeastern University. Her research focuses on the role of film, video, and digital media within visual art’s production, exhibition, and critical reception. These concerns are the subject of her first book, The Experience Machine: Stan VanDerBeek’s “Movie-Drome” and Expanded Cinema Practices (under contract with MIT Press).