Featuring contributions by Esther Leslie, Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck, University of London, and Dr. Joni Zhu, curator, and lecturer at School of Creative Arts at University of Hertfordshire.
The Glittery Lure of the Digital: Esther Leslie on Bassam Al-Sabah
Glitter and gleam, reflection, particles, skins for sale, polygons: what makes up the lure of the digital world? What new beings are made and unmade in the pixel process. This talk explores the reflecting worlds and distorting mirrors of Bassam Al Sabah’s I AM ERROR – and asks whether, as Adorno mournfully and combatively suggested, ‘there is no right life in the false’?
Joni Zhu on Bassam Al-Sabah: I Am Error
Drawing on themes explored in Bassam Al-Sabah’s I AM ERROR, Zhu will speak on the intersection of contemporary art, technological conditions, with questions concerning socio-techno-economic development, popular culture, migration and gendering.
6pm: Esther Leslie
7pm: Break (Bar open)
7.30pm: Joni Zhu
All timings are approximate.
Buy tickets here.
Esther Leslie is Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck, University of London. Her interests lie in the poetics of science and imbrications of politics and technologies, with a particular focus on the work of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno, as well as the poetics of science, European literary and visual modernism and avant gardes, animation, colour and madness. Current work focuses on turbid media and the aesthetics of turbulence. Her books include various studies and translations of Walter Benjamin, as well as “Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant Garde” (Verso, 2002); “Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry” (Reaktion, 2005); “Derelicts: Thought Worms from the Wreckage” (Unkant, 2014), “Liquid Crystals: The Science and Art of a Fluid Form” (Reaktion, 2016) and “Deeper in the Pyramid” (with Melanie Jackson) (Banner Repeater, 2018) and, with Jackson, “The Inextinguishable”. (Limerick, 2021).
Dr. Joni Zhu is a curator who works at the intersection of contemporary art, critical theory, cultural analysis and emerging technologies, with questions concerning socio-techno-economic development, machinic conditioning, migration, neocoloniality, gendering, minoritarian politics, organisational collaboration and the curatorial. Her current work examines global geopolitics in terms of transnational feedback loops and digital economy. She holds a lecturing position at the School of Creative Arts at University of Hertfordshire, with projects including programming and writing.