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Composition Across/Between Edges, Surfaces and Materialities

Dec 8, 2016 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

This symposium explores compositions that happen, emerge, or are partly enacted at edges, between surfaces and across materialities, scales and modalities. These kinds of compositions–narrative, artistic, scholarly, political, infrastructural, etc.–demand a reorientation of established knowledge models, critical stances, vocabularies and infrastructures. They shift our attention to their architecture – conceptual and material – and the very process of composition as argumentative, narrative, and strategic media ideations. The symposium aims to develop further understandings of these compositions and partake in the imagining of new practices based on prolonged conversations, a range of concrete examples and thematic interventions.


Questions addressed include: What compositions might be possible (and not possible) in contemporary – complex and multimodal – information ecologies? What tools and narrative/material strategies would be necessary to enact them? How can we go beyond “edged” thinking and practice (and contemporary compositional regimes)? How can we learn from earlier and contemporary work on materially complex compositions? What is the compositional significance of the edges? How do they affect material relations of power? How can they be used to enact social and cultural shifts? Participants bring expertise from a range of fields and practices including literary studies, design, scientific visualization, digital humanities, media studies, art history, classics, media arts, and information studies.


Among invited and confirmed participants are: Kate Durbin (writer and artist), Carter Emmart (American Museum of Natural History), Chris Johanson (UCLA), Ricardo Domínguez (UCSD), Johanna Drucker (UCLA), Kate Elswit (The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama), Erkki Huhtamo (UCLA), Rita Raley (UCSB), Viola Lasmana (USC), Peter Lunenfeld (UCLA) and Anne Balsamo (UT Dallas).

More information here:


Registration here:


Please register and join us for an exciting symposium (will take place in the large conference room in YRL and in the Visualization Portal in the Math Sciences Building)!

Organized by Élika Ortega (Northeastern), Miriam Posner (UCLA), and Patrik Svensson (UCLA and Umeå).


Dec 8, 2016
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
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