digital | visual | cultural 2 — ‘digital visual publics’

St. John’s College, Oxford, January 7 & 8, 2019

For our second event—and our first of 2019—digital | visual | cultural will explore how the idea of the ‘public’ is being remade by digital visualising technologies. Benedict Anderson and Michael Warner both famously argued, in somewhat different ways, that the mass media were in part responsible for addressing and convening publics from the early nineteenth century onwards. What imagined publics are now being convened by digitally-produced images?

To focus our discussion, the event will address this question looking to the past, present and future of cities. The first day will focus on publics as they are pictured and imagined in a range of of digital visualisations in and of urban spaces. The second day will explore how digital visualising technologies are being deployed by museums to engage publics with visions of the urban past.

digital | visual | cultural is a series of events exploring the question:

Is a specific way of seeing the world through digital visualising technologies emerging? If so, what are its conditions and consequences? 

Digital images are everywhere now: photorealist computer generated images in magazine ads and on billboards; computer games on laptops, desktops and phones; smart city data dashboards; Snapchat; tv and film special effects; data visualisations on newspaper websites; LIDAR scans showing what driverless cars 'see'; Google Maps and Streetview; Instagram and Twitter feeds… all offer a seamless, networked, luminescent, zoomable visuality, prompting Lev Manovich for one to ponder if there is now just one metamedium and perhaps even a new global aesthetics.

Digital | Visual | Cultural will explore these questions over the next two years; read more about how those questions will be framed in the 'about' section of this site. 

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Digital | Visual | Cultural is curated by Gillian Rose, Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford, with Sterling Mackinnon. The series is supported by the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford and St John's College, Oxford.  


(graphics/banners/logos and design by Sterling Mackinnon)