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SMRN workshop on Cross-Cultural Roots for Media Practice

Inspire your media art practice with non-Western history, art, science, and philosophy with media theorists Laura Marks and Siying Duan of the Substantial Motion Research Network,

15 hours total over 3 sessions // Free: registration required. Limited space. Donations welcome!

Session 1: Sat June 8, 12pm-5pm
Session 2: Sat June 15, 12pm-5pm
Session 3: Sat June 22, 12pm-5pm

Prerequisite: Suited for practicing media artists, curators, and writers who want to expand their approach to technology. Participants should bring a project idea they are developing or reworking and that they wish to workshop in a group discussion format.

How do your questions, process, and aesthetics change if you re-imagine technology itself as having roots in, for example, Islamic culture? Chinese culture? Indigeous culture?

This 3-day discussion-based workshop is intended to enrich your creative process and approach to media art by drawing inspiration from the particular histories, arts, sciences, philosophies, and everyday practices of so-called non-western cultures, using a method Marks developed for identifying Islamic roots of media art.

Bring your project ideas to the group, and discuss ways to explore your work-in-progress through specific cultural lenses. Over the 3 sessions, you’ll study examples, and revise your own project ideas based on the feedback you receive from the instructors and other participants. The instructors will present examples from Islamic and Chinese cultures. Between each session, you’ll continue researching, editing, and refining your project for further feedback with the group.

Laura Marks works on media art and philosophy with an intercultural focus. Her most recent books are Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image (MIT, 2015) and Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art (MIT, 2010). She programs experimental media for venues around the world. She was a visiting professor in the department of Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University in the fall of 2018. As Grant Strate University Professor, she teaches in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, on unceded Coast Salish territory.

Siying Duan is a postdoc fellow at School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University. Her research interest focuses mainly on the study of media arts from a perspective of Chinese Aesthetics. She has earned her Ph.D. in Art Theory at Shanghai Film Academy, Shanghai University. She is also the producer of the podcast channel “Elephant says” at the platform Creative Disturbance and the editor of the bilingual journal Critical Theory. Her publications include several articles on Chinese Media Art research, comparative aesthetics, and art psychology.