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Programme of Events 2020-21


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CRPLA Seminar on Art and the Digital: Eleen Deprez and Shelby Moser

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Eleen Deprez (Oxford), ‘Augmented Reality in the Art Gallery: the Experience of the Genuine'

Augmented Reality (AR) is making inroads in museums and galleries. After installing an AR app on your smartphone, you can explore an exhibition and its displayed items: high resolution images reveal detail beyond what you can see with the naked eye, videos show how a work was made or how an object was used, audio fragments play music or sounds evocative of the period or scene. It seems clear that AR has a significant impact on our experience, but there is as yet no coherent philosophical understanding of the specific nature of that experience. A starting point is provided by the debate over the so-called ‘acquaintance principle’, which holds that one needs first-hand experience in order to acquire aesthetic knowledge. Others have argued that viewing a real object gives us a special kind of pleasure (Korsmeyer, 2019, 2016 and 2012). This seems to suggest that the kinds of experience afforded through AR will always be deficient since the technology removes us from “the real thing”. However, AR seems to allow for an enriched aesthetic experience, providing additional knowledge and revealing hidden detail in the work. We are thus left with a puzzle, one that I will aim to explore further.

Shelby Moser (Azusa Pacific), 'The Specificity of Locative Art':

Locative-specific art emerges from digital art, as well as informational, and networked societies; while all locative works are digital, not all digital works are locative. The term locative refers to technologies and procedures that focus on location so, as one might imagine, site-specificity plays a significant role in our appreciation of such works. Also, and importantly, locative works prescribe agency, but an agency that is fundamentally mediated. This aspect may not only bear on art’s aesthetic autonomy, but also have strong aesthetic, moral, social, or political implications.

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