About machines and »non-machines«

Conference 21-22 July 2023
Bauhaus University Weimar
Admission: free
Registration deadline: 7 July 2023

On 21–22 July 2023, the conference »Non-Machines: Playground of Perspectives« will take place within the Faculty of Art and Design at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. The conference aims to prompt a change of perspectives and to re-explore the relationships between machines and »non-machines«.

The conference invites us to rethink the relations between machines and non-machines, using a change of perspective: from one which sees the relationship between machines and non-machines as competing powers, to a more equitable and non-competing relationship among all entities.

On Friday, 21 July 2023, the conference will open with a keynote speech by Ursula Damm (Professor for Media Environments) entitled »Non-Machines Meet Art« on the special features of non-human actors in art. This will be followed by a session on the aesthetics of the maker culture with artistic associate Mindaugas Gapševičius, Prof. Dr Verena Kuni from the Goethe University Frankfurt and media theorist Dr Yvonne Volkart from the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland.

On the second conference day, Prof. Dr. Kristupas Sabolius from Vilnius University will give a lecture on the »Technics of Compossibility«. Other topics addressed in the countless lectures will range from the do-it-yourself (DIY) and do-it-with-others (DIWO) aesthetics to big data in art and new ideas for multi-species connections. Meanwhile, Director Christl Baur will share details the theme for the next Ars Electronica Festival in his session.

The conference programme will be complemented with workshops, performances, an exhibition and a film programme. Here, the highlights will include a workshop with the clown David Tann and performances by a number of sound artists from Taiwan. The speakers are not only from other European countries, Lithuania, Greece, Cyprus, the UK and Spain. Important impetus will also come from America, Colombia and Japan. Participation in the conference is free.

The full programme can be viewed online: http://non-machines.eu/programme/

As part of the COST project Toolkit of Care, this conference will explore how emerging technologies, particularly digital technologies, suggest new relationships between artists and their technological tools. How can and should machines and non-machines relate to each other? How can the use of new methods and tools help us experience the environment? How can, or should, we care for and with machines and non-machines? Does thinking about our relationship with tools suggest ways of thinking more generally across boundaries of difference?

The framework of this conference is developed by the professorship of Media Environments (Prof. Ursula Damm), with support from the professorship of Social Science Urban Research (Prof. Dr. Frank Eckardt). The conference is organized by the Institutio Media in collaboration with Bauhaus University Weimar. It is part of the COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology)-funded project: Toolkit of Care (TOC), CA21102.