[iDC] introductions

Benj Gerdes benj at clnswp.org
Tue Jun 17 20:18:37 UTC 2014

Dear List,

To echo others, apologies for being slightly late on this introduction. I have enjoyed reading those from many of you, and look forward to meeting in person and learning more about much of the research that has been touched upon. I attended some of the sessions in 2009, and am pleased to be presenting at #DL14.

I am an artist  working at the intersection of art, documentary, and activist practices, and am Assistant Professor of Media Arts at Long Island University - Post. I teach a combination of moving image production courses and theory, in which I am often interested in the relationship between social movements and media production, with a specific focus on questions of activism, organizing, and motivational factors for political participation (as well as apathy). Much of my own work, as well as that emerging from my courses, explores (via ad hoc groups and social experiments) collaborative production and nontraditional divisions of labor. As someone whose work is often invested in a critique of current forms of professionalization and entrepreneurialism as prioritizing individual gain and self-interest over broader collective aims, I also must admit I sometimes find the format of introductions such as these difficult (albeit necessary). 

At the conference, I will give a presentation that explores a personal displeasure at my own demographic for accepting certain terms and conditions for laboring and the contemporary creation of value, while at the same time allowing this discussion to implicate my own hypocrisy and fatigue in relationship to the development of actually existing or viable alternatives.

You are welcome to read my bio below or visit my (not up-to-date) website, URL also below.

Looking forward,

Benj Gerdes Bio
Benj Gerdes is an artist , writer, and organizer working in film, video, and other public formats, individually as well as collaboratively. He is interested in intersections of political discourse, knowledge production, and popular imagination. His individual and collaborative work focuses on the affective and social consequences of economic and state regimes through historical research, dialogue, and participatory or aleatory formalizations. His work has been exhibited and screened at venues including the Tate Modern, REDCAT Gallery, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Rotterdam International Film Festival, and the National Gallery of Art. Writings have been published in October, The Journal of Aesthetics + Protest, Incite! and Rethinking Marxism. He has lectured and taught widely in the United States, including at Cooper Union, Bard College, and Parsons the New School for Art and Design. He is Assistant Professor of Media Arts at Long Island University – Post.

Benj Gerdes
Assistant Professor, Media Arts
School of Visual and Performing Arts
Long Island University - Post
Humanities 003A
Brookville, NY 11548
(516) 299-2751
benjamin.gerdes at liu.edu

On Jun 16, 2014, at 5:14 PM, Orit Halpern wrote:

> Hello Everyone,
> I am looking forward to the conference. I was a fond participant in the 2009 event.  
> I am an assistant professor at the New School in Historical Studies and in the Design Studies MA program at Parsons. My work is on histories of big data, cybernetics, and interactivity.  Currently, I work a lot on ubiquitous computing, responsive environments, and smart cities, particularly in East Asia. I also work on histories of intelligence, all forms--CIA, neuro-science, financial agents, neural nets--many of which are linked.
> At the conference, I will be presenting a history of agent based intelligence/modelling, and the transformations of crowds into clouds. Its part of a new book project I am doing titled Strange Agency:A History of Post-War Intelligence.
> If you want to know more, you can check my website: www.orithalpern.net
> I look forward to the conference and meeting everyone!
> Take care,
> -Orit
> -- 
> Dr. Orit Halpern
> Assistant Professor
> History
> The New School for Social Research/Eugene Lang College
> 80 Fifth Avenue
> Room 507
> New York, NY. 10011
> w: www.orithalpern.net
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