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Art in the Age of Digital Drift (6 week course)

February 12, 2016 @ 6:45 pm - 8:45 pm


Fridays, 12 February – 18 March 2016, 18.45-20.45 (6 week course)

This course, led by curator and writer Helen Kaplinsky, explores the changing landscape for producing and experiencing art in the age of increasing reliance on the digital. The origins of the internet, early examples of networked structures and artistic experimentation with cybernetics, and new media art will provide an introduction for an overall focus on current tendencies in producing, circulating and experiencing art. In conjunction with the course, the Taylor Digital Studio at Tate Britain is hosting an artist-in-research who is testing social platforms for their dialogic and participatory potential.

How have contemporary artists responded to the new online ecology? What does it mean for online and offline identities as well as the changing value systems of governance? How is the space of the museum being transformed in the age of digital infrastructure? The course provides an exciting opportunity to explore these highly topical questions in conversation with the tutor, the resident artist and peers.

Helen Kaplinsky is an independent curator and writer based in London. She has undertaken fellowships with the Contemporary Art Society and the Arts Council Collection, both of which considered the relationship between property and collections, including work by, New Media and post-internet artists. In recent years she has contributed to programmes at Whitechapel Gallery, South London Gallery, Tate (Britain and Liverpool), The Government Art Collection, ICA (London), The Photographers Gallery (London) and Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (Liverpool). She has programmed with and for project spaces in London key to supporting networked and post-internet practices including Banner Repeater, Arcadia Missa and Lima Zulu.

Course outline:

Week 1: Introduction to Network Ideology
In this first session, we look at the origins of digital networks culture: the birth of binary code, cybernetics and the internet. We also introduce the collaboration with the Digital Learning Artist-in-Residence and discuss the practical dimension that is proposed to run throughout the six weeks of the course.

Week 2: Digital Citizen
How has the digital era transformed the role of the consumer and the labourer? In this session, we look at the history through which the ‘hippie’ became the ‘tech-preneur’, and consider issues around digital identity, feeding in our individual experiences and knowledge into the narrative.

Week 3: Digital Landscapes and Infrastructures
What does the material infrastructure of our everyday reliance on the digital look like? How have artists responded to the rise in surveillance, mapping from above and below? We explore these questions by using various tools and techniques, including mapping and special software.

Week 4: Digital Assets
Through group discussion, we consider how digital assets circulate and gain value, looking at the role that ‘big data’ is playing in these processes. How has the digital asset affected the conception of property? How are artists making use of these shifts? The session is held in the newly installed gallery space at Tate Modern.

Week 5: Digital Institutions
This session takes the form of a discussion forum with a Tate Curator on the changing landscape of curating, archiving and collecting in the digital age. We share case studies and examples from other contexts in which these questions are of relevance.

Week 6: Digital Futures
In this final session, we assess how we can use the digital to build the future that we desire and also decide on the future of the project that we have been working on for the past six weeks.

Click here to book a space for this course.


February 12, 2016
6:45 pm - 8:45 pm
Event Category:


Tate Britain, Taylor Digital Studio
London, SW1P 4RG United Kingdom

Queen Mary - University of London
Arts & Humanities Research Council
European Union
London Fusion

Creativeworks London is one of four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to develop strategic partnerships with creative businesses and cultural organisations, to strengthen and diversify their collaborative research activities and increase the number of arts and humanities researchers actively engaged in research-based knowledge exchange.