Are We “Post” Digital Yet?

4-5pm, Closing Panel – Waterside 3

Chair: Charlotte Crofts (UWE)

Title: ‘The “Postdigital” Condition: A Socratic Debate’
Joanna Callaghan (Bedfordshire) – joanna.callaghan(at)beds.ac.uk and Gavin Stewart (Bedfordshire) – gavin.stewart(at)beds.ac.uk

Joanna Callaghan is a Lecturer in Video Production at the University of Bedfordshire and sits on the executive of MeCCSA as Practice Network Chair.

A Mind's Eye

Her most recent practice led research project, A Mind’s Eye (2009), explores the ideas of Plato. Shot on 35mm and edited digitally, Callaghan claims that shooting on celluloid allows her to work within the abstract and the imagined. This in contrast to the notion of possibility and choice that shooting digitally apparently allows. Indeed Callaghan asserts that a resistance to aspects of the digital is necessary for her creative practice.

Gavin Stewart is a Lecturer in New Media at the University of Bedfordshire. His early research concerned Mikhail Bakhtin and digital textuality. In this he claimed that engagement with certain digital texts can have a positive cultural effect by drawing the reader’s attention to their participation in the event of meaning-making. His most recent research on the political economy of digital production suggests that the broad embrace of the digital will result in a significant, multi-faceted change for contemporary culture.

These two sets of ideas about the digital condition stand in marked contrast to one another. As a point of departure they might serve as an opportunity to reassess the role of the resistance of material within practice, the responsibilities of the author and the audience, the idea of the textual condition and the ever-present relationship between our practice and the wider world.

Taking the form of a Socratic dialogue, Callaghan and Stewart will debate their ideas alongside a screening of an extract from A Mind’s Eye.


Debate and Close
Discussion opens to the floor, with contributions from panel chairs, followed by drinks in and informal MeCCSA Practice Networking in the Watershed bar.


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