AHCS Conference: The Indiscernible

"The Indiscernible" is a one-day interdisciplinary conference organized by the Art History and Communication Studies Graduate Student Association. This conference seeks to enhance collegial and scholarly exchange by bringing together a range of graduate students, professors and academics from Canada and abroad. Media@McGill is proud to co-sponsor this event.

This year's symposium will seek to interrogate the value and status of what is indiscernible to direct experience. From the rise of nanotechnologies on the one hand to the overwhelming size and complexity of global systems and networks on the other, artistic, theoretical and daily practices are confronted with realities that lie beyond immediate perception. Placed at the centre of artistic practice -- or even used as an interpretative prism for the tracing of lineages through the history of art -- the indiscernible offers a valuable way of entry into discussions of the invisible, the blinding, or that which lies beyond the realm of the sensible at large. Similarly, from the perspective of theoretical practice, opacity, murkiness, ambiguity, and grey areas may be thought of as obstacles to knowledge, yet we can also understand the indiscernible as a necessary aspect of knowledge production. Thus, we may ask whether revelation requires mystery, or whether a will to action requires a poetic yearning in the face of unfathomable constraints.

The 2011 keynote lecture will be presented by Dr. Brian Massumi, "Sight Unseen: Perception's Self-Abstracting."

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