Day 3, Stream 1


Su Ballard


Pinar Yalcin: Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

Katrina Sluis: The Photographers’ Gallery & London South Bank University, UK

Alessandro Ludovico & Bronac Ferran: Academy of Art, Carrara, Italy / Anglia Ruskin University, UK

Azadeh Emadi: AUT University, New Zealand



Pinar Yalcin & Ian Gwilt Digital art going mobile: the case of the iPad as ‘digital canvas’

This paper explores the concept of ‘mobile digital art’ and the increasing use of tablet technologies to create works of art. The first generation iPhone and iPad were released consecutively back in 2007 and 2010, introducing the term ‘mobile’ to the concept of digital art. During the intervening period we have seen an exponential growth in the use of these devices, which have undergone a process of rapid evolution through the continuing release of new generations featuring improved hardware capabilities and software upgrades, often including the inclusion of bespoke drawing applications that are designed specifically to run on these operating systems and devices. This research will focus in particular on the use of the iPad tablet computer and its associated software as a tool for making creative works.

Digital art is often used as a general term to describe a range of artistic works that use digital technology as a core element in the creative and/or presentation process, and this paper sets out to investigate where the act and process of creating art via mediums such as the iPad and iPhone fit within the practice of digital art. Key issues around the impact of mobility, locational specificity and networkability will be discussed in respect to the conceptual and creative influence they have on the work. Research undertaken around the personal insights of artists drawing via the iPad will be discussed to help reveal the relationship between the technical and artistic possibilities of the medium, such as the creation of a ‘hand-drawn’ aesthetics, implications for touch screen technologies, sharing and reworking of content, distribution and exhibition issues etc. We will also examine the notion of the iPad as a tool for performing digital art as well as focusing on the medium itself.


Katrina Sluis  Resistance to digital and digital resistance: curating the networked photograph

When our relationship to time, history and the ‘archive’ is being reconfigured by computation, it is clear that established approaches to public display of images require reconsideration. The digital turn provides photography curators operating in public galleries with an extraordinary challenge, to reconsider how they engage with audiences and how they articulate their practice within and outside network culture. Today, one can no longer speak of photography in terms of discrete, framed, singular images (if one ever could). The question becomes: Where is the image? Every minute, millions of fingers swipe the screens of iPhones and iPads in the hope that each caress will bring forth an image more retinally seductive than the last. The photograph on-screen is experienced in movement, as a flow of temporary constellations brought to the screen through algorithmic operations obscured by the interface. The paradox, therefore, is that whilst photography has been completely incorporated into general computing, the internet has intensified photography’s visibility and popularity. The curatorial challenge is to engage the audience with this form of visuality without reducing its processural complexity.

Taking my experience curating the digital program at The Photographers’ Gallery, London as its starting point, this paper will explore digital resistance and resistance to digital in relation to cultural value, authorship, audience and the archive.


Alessandro Ludovico & Bronac Ferran  Portraits of the XXI century: representations and misrepresentations of face and artistic responses

The appearance of our individual faces in other people’s screens is now quotidian. This occurs through everyday tagging, Google searches, indexing and random selection of ‘known people’  through profile pictures in social media, etc. Personal profiles lie within bureaucratic archives, are held in passport and ID records, and are captured, often trivially, in the documentation of everyday movements by surveillance cameras. The concept of the digital portrait is also held in question. Almost daily new techniques are noted, with rapid exposure on online networks producing a serious investigation into concepts of the coherent or cohesive self and into production of the image or self-image. A mass digitalisation of portraits is coupled with increasingly ubiquitous retouching software tools, many specialised in retouching faces and portraits; these are digitally shaping a visual field which relates closely to a specific area of our brains: an area of the temporal lobe dedicated to the recognition of faces. With the dynamic combination of multiplication of our digitised faces with extreme simplicity of manipulation, artworks and media interventions are being created to intrinsically anomalous effect.


Azadeh Emadi  Pixelated View: Investigating the pixel in light of substantial motion

This paper looks at a deeper source in Islamic thought to consider creative resistance within the body of digital video in relation to the outside world. The moving image, like a living entity, has its own body that sees and hears (Sobchack, 1991). Yet its difference from conventional human perception is greatly overlooked. For any profound change, a new way of seeing is essential. Camera’s resistance can potentially enhance new ways of seeing from a non-human point of view (Deleuze, 1986).  The paper will investigate pixels, part of the body of digital video, in their relationships to the frame and the world. Pixels’ connection and resistance provide a new form of change with different time and motion. This is similar to certain historical Islamic worldviews that emphasise change and flow (Marks, 2010); a pixel-centric video potentially transforms viewers by freeing them from a fixed point of view.

The paper draws on Persian/Islamic philosopher Mulla Sadra’s (1571–1641) theory of ‘al-harakat al-jawhariyya’ (‘Substantial motion’). For Sadra, the world is constantly changing in its substance. Substance is not fixed, as other philosophies suggest; rather, it is an act of existence, a process (Jambet 2006). Resisting fixity, this process emphasises time and motion. To suggest new possibilities for the moving image, Sadra’s theory will be compared to Deleuze’s (1996) approach toward time and motion in relation to the point of view of a non-human subject.