AN-ICON. AN-ICONOLOGY: HISTORY, THEORY, AND PRACTICES OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMAGES. Prof. Dr. Andrea Pinotti (University of Milan) on his 2018 ERC Advanced Grant

Recent developments in image-making techniques have resulted in a drastic blurring of the threshold between the world of the image and the real world. Immersive and interactive virtual environments (VEs) have enabled the production of pictures that elicit an unprecedented reality effect, creating in the perceiver a strong feeling of ‘being there’, namely of being incorporated into a quasi-real world. In doing so, they conceal their material mediateness (by simulating immediateness), their separateness (by aiming at unframedness), and their referentiality (by emphasizing presentness), paradoxically challenging their status as images, i.e. as icons: they are veritable ‘an-icons’.

Little Magazines: Producing and Re-producing Avant-Garde Communities – Sophie Seita on her new book

Author Sophie Seita discusses her new book Provisional Avant-Gardes: Little Magazine Communities from Dada to Digital, Stanford University Press, 2019 For a long time now I’ve been fascinated by ‘little magazines’; that is, magazines that generally have a small budget, a small print-run, a short-ish life span, and a small audience due to their publication […]

Richard Coyne: ‘Everything is Code’.

As any student of semiotics knows, speaking in code is what we do — when we communicate. It’s normal. To speak directly is the exception rather than the rule. In the kind of work I’m involved in getting others to do what you think you want them to do is primarily an exercise in subtle influence, persuasion and suggestion, perhaps delivered as a “nudge” rather than an order. It’s the same in advertising. Only crude advertisers direct you to buy Weetabix — obviously, overtly, as a command.

When are copies more authentic than originals? Factum Arte’s Adam Lowe in conversation with Simon Schaffer.

Factum Arte’s prodigious industry since the mid-nineties means we will have to rethink what we mean by original, copy, and authenticity. Technologies developed under its aegis  mean it is now possible to capture and record data about an artwork to an accuracy of 100 microns (100 million measured spatial points per square meter) – and for the first time, this year, these works can now be rematerialized to an accuracy of 20 microns. This is, as Simon Schaffer says, marks a ‘complete revolution in the last two decades’