Look At Me!, Daniel Lin, 2021. Courtesy the artist.

Counter-Strategies: Digital Methodologies and Practice-Based Research

Thursday, March 25, 10am PDT
Presented on Zoom. Please register in advance.

How can we develop counter-strategies for image production and circulation in a post-digital age? This roundtable with Heba Y. Amin, Sabine Bitter, Anthony Downey, Claudette Lauzon, and Gillian Russell will discuss how research and artistic practices advance methodologies for thinking from within and through the digital image.

Drawing on their own research and artistic practices, the speakers will explore how practitioners can re-align and potentially redefine how we understand the production, dissemination, and reception of digital imagery. This implies that we revise methodological approaches to the question of digital epistemologies and enquire more fully into what it means to produce knowledge through creative practices in an age of apparent digital dystopia.

Presented by SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts and the Audain Visual Artist in Residence. Co-presented as part of Heba Y. Amin’s solo exhibition When I see the future, I close my eyes curated by Anthony Downey at the Mosaic Rooms, London.

SFU third-year visual art students are Debbie Chan, Sena Cleave, Sofia Grace, Shinaaz K. Johal, Ritz Li, Daniel Lin, Quinn Lumsden, Sahar Rahmanian, Ravneet Kaur Sidhu, Paige Smith, Xiaotong Sun (Shiny), Lil Waldegger, and Yunze Xie (David)

Heba Y. Amin is a Berlin-based multimedia artist, researcher, and lecturer. She works with political themes and archival history, using media including film, photography, archival material, lecture performance, and installation. Amin is currently the 2021 Spring Audain Visual Artist in Residence at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. She is the co-founder of the Black Athena Collective, curator of visual art for the MIZNA journal, and currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Digital War.

Sabine Bitter is a Vancouver-based artist and Professor at the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. She collaborates with Vienna-based artist Helmut Weber on projects addressing the politics of representation and space. Engaging with architecture as a frame for spatial meaning, their research-oriented practice resulted in projects like Educational Modernism and Housing the Social. In 2004, Sabine Bitter, Jeff Derksen, and Helmut Weber formed the urban research collective Urban Subjects whose collaboration led to several exhibitions, including If Time Is Still Alive with Camera Austria, Graz, 2021.

Anthony Downey is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa (Birmingham City University). He is the Cultural Lead and Co-Investigator on a four-year AHRC-funded research project that focuses on cultural practices, education, and digital methodologies in Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan (2020 – 2024). He sits on the editorial boards of Third Text and the Journal of Digital War, respectively, and is the series editor for Research/Practice (Sternberg Press, 2019 – ongoing). He is currently writing up his forthcoming volume Unbearable States: Digital Media and Cultural Activism in a Post-Digital Age (2021).

Claudette Lauzon is a contemporary art historian specializing in installation, sculpture, and new media art practices. She is the author of The Unmaking of Home in Contemporary Art (University of Toronto Press, 2017), which looks at the ways in which artists use the space of home (both literally and figuratively) to reframe human responses to trauma. She is co-editor of Through Post-Atomic Eyes (McGill-Queen’s University Press, forthcoming) and Sustainable Tools for Precarious Times: Performance Actions in the Americas (Palgrave, forthcoming). Her current book project, Eyes in the Sky, examines cultures of surveillance and militarization through the lens of critical posthumanism. Before joining the School for the Contemporary Arts, Lauzon was assistant professor of modern and contemporary art history at OCAD University in Toronto, where she also served as Associate Dean in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and School for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Gillian Russell is a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow with SFU's Digital Democracies Institute. She is a designer, curator, and researcher whose practice explores the role of speculative intervention in developing methodologies and tools to actively engage publics in unveiling present realities and future possibilities. Her work has been featured at the Porto Design Biennale, Helsinki Design Museum, Design Museum London, London Design Festival, Milan Furniture Fair and the Victoria & Albert Museum (London). In 2017, Russell obtained her PhD in Design at the Royal College of Art, London. Her dissertation examined the relationship between critical design and its contexts of dissemination.