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Pratt Upload 2016: Patterns of the Mind, Feb 6 10am-10pm


PRATT UPLOAD 2016 and PATTERNS OF THE MIND invites artists to examine our digital reality, in its multifarious forms. The relationship between screen-based media and culture, in different mediums and forms, is examined in this full day festival of talks, exhibitions and workshops. From Tyler Coburn’s interface panel to Faith Holland’s investigations into cyber-feminism, this one-day academic symposium centers around new mutations in digital art production and culture. Anna Frants and Cyland Media Arts Festival presents “Patterns of the Mind” a month long exhibition in conjunction with the festival. “Patterns of the Mind” features both international new media artists and Pratt Faculty in an exhibition which forefronts the artist’s gesture as the forerunner in any technology driven field. Additionally, a graduate exhibition, “Zeroes and Ones” curated by students Sung-Ah Jun (MFA candidate) and Bryce Grates (BFA candidate) will be held as part of the festival.

We are honored to have Canadian new media artist Lorna Mills as the festival Keynote Speaker.
The Pratt Upload symposium will be held at the Pratt Department of Digital Arts in Myrtle Hall on February 6, 2016, and will run from 10am to 10pm.


THE END – 10:00AM-11:30AM – Myrtle Hall 4E.3
Chair: William Everett Kane
Panelists: Jennifer Krasinski (Freelance Art Critic, Art Forum, Village Voice) Tommy Hartung (Visual Artist) Blake Carrington (Artist), Rachel Steinberg (Soho-20 Gallery, Brooklyn)
This panel addresses themes of death, tragedy and apocalypse as strategies for meaning in art. How does “The End” function these days and how does technology condition it? Presentations will touch on the aesthetics of terror, depictions of death and suicide, the affective turn in the art world, the role of religious subject matter, communication systems in disaster scenarios, and the implications of socio-political strands within contemporary art practices.


Infrastructural Aesthetics – 11:30AM-1:00PM – MH 4E.3
Chair: Tyler Coburn
Panelists: Shannon Matterhorn (Associate Professor of Media Studies at the New School), Nicole Starosielski (Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU), Ian Hatcher (Poet), Lance Wakeling (Filmmaker)
In the recent past, we’ve seen art projects exploring sophisticated (often covert) systems, from military black sites to the electromagnetic signals that suffuse our everyday life. While their subjects vary, these works speak to a broader concern with contemporary “infrastructure”-a term, geographers Steven Graham and Simon Marvin note, that doesn’t just describe what “runs ‘underneath’ actual structures,” but the “multiple, overlapping and perhaps contradictory infrastructural arrangements” of politics, technology and economy. “Infrastructure” here departs from its conventional definition, becoming a relational field that various agents can potentially influence. The neologism “Infrastructural Aesthetics” is a prompt to consider the artist’s position within this field and the strategies available to her. How, for example, can art engage with systems that rarely have singular forms, but concatenate physical, immaterial and signifying processes? Is the efficacy of representation thrown into question, and what forms of artistic practice might better speak to our imbrications in contemporary infrastructure? Finally, can art play a role in fostering literacy about this subject, to greater political effect?


Patterns of the Mind: Digital Tribalism in Contemporary Art – 2pm – 3:30pm– MH 4E.3
Chair: Anna Frants
Panelists: Alexandra Dementieva (Artist), Carla Gannis (Artist/Assistant Chair, Pratt DDA) Lev Manovich (Professor, The Graduate Center, CUNY), Peter Patchen (Artist/Chair Department of Digital Arts, Pratt Institute) Natasha Kurchanova (Art Historian/ Eastern European Art Critics Society)
With the explosion of globalization and cutting-edge communication tools, there has been an emergence of the phenomenon of digital tribalism when artists unite into groups not on the grounds of geography, but rather according to their interests. The predominant characteristic of art tribes throughout time has been the need to share and to communicate ideas, thoughts, observations and views.  Digital networks achieve this objective by connecting like-minded members of such new tribes across the continents.  As the principal players move around the arena, a self-assembled dynamic network structure emerges that no single player can control.
Redefining Women in Technology: Tools, Agency, and Representation – 3:30pm-5:00pm – MH 4E.3
Chair: Faith Holland
Panelists: Seung Min Lee (Artist), Mendi Obadike (Artist/Assistant Professor, Media Studies Department, Pratt Insitute) and Martha Wilson (Artist /Director, Franklin Furnace/Associate Professor, Pratt Institute) Kim Drew (curator/critic)
In what ways can women mobilize digital media toward political and artistic agendas? This panel will explore the way women, as an intersectional group, can deploy technology to create new pathways to agency and (self-)representation. Technology is not new and the panel will look at multiple generations of artists and their approach to various media. Panelist Martha Wilson was an early adopter of video technology as a way to document her performances that challenge the constraints of femininity. Seung Min-Lee’s work, on the other hand, uses live performances and installation to reflect our varied relationships to technologized food across races and classes.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Lorna Mills – 5:00PM-6:00PM – MH 4E.3
Lorna Mills is Canadian digital artist publicly exhibiting her work in solo and group shows all over the world since the early 1990s. Mills is most regarded for her photo-based gif work addressing sexuality and the body as well as her gif installations.
Lorna Mills has actively exhibited her work in both solo and group exhibitions since the early 1990’s, both in Canada and Internationally. Her practice has included obsessive Ilfochrome printing, obsessive painting, obsessive super 8 film and video, and obsessive on­line animated GIFs incorporated into restrained off-line installation work. Mills has co­curated monthly group GIF projections for the “Sheroes” performance series in Toronto, a group GIF projection eventWhen Analog Was Periodical in Berlin with Anthony Antonellis, and a four person GIF installation, Zip The Bright at Trinity Square Video in Toronto, with Sara Ludy, Nicolas Sassoon and Rick Silva. Lorna Mills’ most recent project, Ways of Something is a collaborative remake of the 1972 John Berger documentary Ways of Seeing episodes one through four, featuring 113 networked artists.
Lorna Mills is represented by Transfer Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.


Upload Animation Jam – 10AM-1PM -Myrtle Hall 4E.8
Workshop Leader: Mike Enright
Participants will be invited to collaborate in an open ended animation project based on the Surrealist Parlour game Exquisite Corpse. Create camera art on our light tables and shoot frame by frame animation via Dragonframe professional stop motion software, featuring you and your drawings in our green screen studio. Learn about the science behind the Illusion of life first hand with us in a fun and free creative environment.

Every Day Carry – 10AM-1PM – MH 4E.7
Workshop Leader: Elizabeth White
In this workshop we will discuss preparedness and survivalism and participants willempty their pockets to examine and document the essentials of their “every day carry”. Working with photographs captured on the spot and/ or images gathered online, we will create composite images of our collected supplies in Photoshop using nondestructive masking techniques.
Hunting Sound, Farming Sound, Shaping Sound- 2PM-5PM – MH 4E.4
Workshop Leader: Blake Carrington
In this hands-on workshop participants will learn how to use portable audio recorders to gather sounds from the world and then organize them into compositions using a simple software platform.  We will explore different modes of listening and ways of shaping and treating sound as a physical material.
  1. Musique Concréte background and listening session.  Pierre Schafer “Étude aux chemins de fer.”  Reduced listening vs. Causal listening.
  2.  Field Recording.  Zoom handheld audio recorders demo.  Hunting for sound vs farming sound.  Participants go out and record sounds.
  3. Shaping sound and organizing sound.  Digital signal processing (DSP).  Participants use DAW to create short composition.
Writing the Image- 2PM-5PM – MH 4E.5
Workshop Leader: Aura Rosenberg
The purpose of this workshop is to develop ideas within a text using different media.  Each student will bring a written text of any kind – fictional or documentary – with the intention of producing at least 3 distinct approaches to realizing some of the ideas it contains.  The text can be derived from original writing or archival material.


Patterns of the Mind
Opening Reception: 7pm-10pm, February 6, 2016
On View: February 6 – March 3, 2016
Rubelle and Norman Schafler Gallery – Pratt Institute – Chemistry Building, 1st Floor
Curated by Anna Frants and Cyland MediaArt Lab
“Medium is the message,” the famous phrase of Marshall McLuhan written at the height of modernism and the point of its conversion to post-modernity, has become so deeply imbedded in our psyche, that we hardly notice that its relevance is challenged by today’s artistic climate.  Today, we are surrounded and constantly bombarded with so many messages in many media – digital and analog, traditional and state-of-the-art – that the message of any particular medium becomes diluted and interrupted, having to compete for attention with other media.  In our post-post-modern epoch McLuhan’s other insight becomes important, which is that once the media does the job of man’s individuation and alteration of his environment by “evoking in us their unique ratios of sense perceptions,” what counts is the ability to choose among them to communicate the message.  Medium matters, but only up to a point, as a conduit for the message.  Patterns of the Mind is an exhibition about the primacy of the artist’s message, in which any medium is only a tool to carry it across.
Featuring: Justin Berry, Petr Belyi, Svjetlana Bukovich-Nichols, Alexandra Dementieva
Marianna Ellenberg, Carla Gannis, Elena Gubanova, Ivan Govorkov, Pavel Ivanov, Peter Patchen, Vitaly Pushnitsky, Alexander Terebenin, Alyona Tereshko, The Window, Romanian Project and Bryan Zanisnik.
Subjectivization of Sound
Performance by Alexey Grachev and Sergey Komarov
Digital Arts Gallery, Myrtle Hall 4th Floor
6:30 PM
Opening Reception: 6pm7pm, February 6, 2016
DDA Westside Graduate Studios – Pratt Institute – Myrtle Hall, 5th Floor WEST
Curated by Sung-Ah Jun (MFA candidate, Department of Digital Arts) and Bryce Grates (BFA candidate, Department of Digital Arts)
Reality is not static in the digital realm. Inspired by the writings of author Sadie Plant, Zeroes and Ones features work exploring the relationship between “reality” and societal norms. As Foucault once wrote, “no topic is as regular and simple as was once assumed… Reality does not run along the neat straight lines of the printed page.” Seeing world as a system of all-inclusive interconnectivity, Plant viewed this as a shift which overthrows patriarchal norms and conceptions of linear, hierarchical, author-driven reality. When we browse the internet, we break down multiple texts and perspectives, digital images and structures that form our cohesiveness of the digital landscape as a whole, just as artists digital artists transgress the restraints and normative uses of rapidly changing technology.
Featuring: Fan-Hsuan Chen, Jacky Connolly, Jaiwei Gao, Bryce Grates, Qin Han, Sung-ah Jun, Dongjian Ji, Mengyao Lin, Mei Li, Woojae Lim, Ana Mouyis and Randy Morales.

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