Cross-Cultural Roots for Media Practice

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Saturday, November 16, 2019
Saturday, November 23, 2019

Inspire your media art practice with non-Western history, art, science, and philosophy with media theorists Siying Duan and Farshid Kazemi of the Substantial Motion Research Network,

Sign up:

8 hours total, over 2 sessions // Free: registration required. Limited space. Donations welcome!

Session 1: Sat Nov 16, 1:30pm - 5:30pm

Session 2: Sat Nov 23, 1:30pm - 5:30pm

Prerequisite: Suited for practicing media artists, curators, and writers who want to expand their approach to technology. Participants should bring a project idea they are developing or reworking and that they wish to workshop in a group discussion format.

How do your questions, process, and aesthetics change if you re-imaginetechnology itself as having roots in, for example, Islamic culture? Chinese culture? Indigeous culture?

This discussion-based workshop is intended to enrich your creative process and approach to media art by drawing inspiration from the particular histories, arts, sciences, philosophies, and everyday practices of so-called non-western cultures, using a method Laura Marks of the Substanial Motion Network developed for identifying Islamic roots of media art.

Bring your project ideas to the group, and discuss ways to explore your work-in-progress through specific cultural lenses. You'll study examples, and revise your own project ideas based on the feedback you receive from the instructors and other participants. The instructors will present examples from Chinese and Iranian cultures. Between each session, you'll continue researching, editing, and refining your project for further feedback with the group.

About the 

Farshid Kazemi is a postdoc fellow at the School for Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University. His research interests combine an interdisciplinary and theoretical approach to Film and Media Studies/Film Theory, Iranian Studies, and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, with a thesis on Iranian Cinema and Psychoanalysis. He has published several articles and book chapters on Iranian cinema, psychoanalytic film theory/feminist film theory, and Iranian and Islamic studies more broadly.


Siying Duan teaches art and literature theory at the School for Liberal Arts, Shanghai University. Her research interest focuses mainly on the study of media arts from a perspective of Chinese Aesthetics. She has worked as a postdoctoral fellow at School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University and earned her Ph.D. in Art Theory at Shanghai Film Academy, Shanghai University. She is also the producer of the podcast channel “Elephant says” at the platform Creative Disturbance and the editor of the bilingual journal Critical Theory. Her publications include several articles on Chinese Media Art research, comparative aesthetics, and art psychology.

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