The 4th European Biannual Conference of the Society for Science, Literature, and the Arts will be held in Amsterdam, 13-16 June 2006. Deadline for submission of abstratcs and session proposals is December 5, 2005.

The conference is organised around thematic “streams”:

A Revisions of Humanism – Visions of Posthumanism
B Feminism, Science, Science Fiction
C The New Aesthetics
D Images, Imaging, Imagination
E Narratives and Narrations
F Soundscapes, Sound Technologies, and Music
G Creative Processes: Transducing Intuition
H Memory, Cognition, and Technology
I Companion Species: Ecology and Art
J Arts and Genomics
K Interrelations and Interstices

… for example:

D – Images, Imaging, Imagination

Organisers: Manuela Rossini (ASCA), + Robert Zwijnenberg (U Maastricht, U Leiden)
The increasing use of computer-generated images and new imaging technologies in many areas of social life, especially within the military, medicine and science at large, media, and the arts, has brought along changes in social and cultural practices as well as in ways of seeing and knowing. Under the heading of the “imagic turn” (Fellmann), “pictorial turn” (Mitchell) or “iconic turn” (Boehm), philosophical and aesthetic discussions have shifted from considerations of language as constitutive of reality to a central concern with images as powerful tools not only for apprehending, exploring and describing the world, but also for constructing facts, meanings, bodies, subjectivities, etc. This shift has been accompanied by a focus on visualisation techniques such as X-rays, Microscopy and, more recently, biomedical devices such as Ultrasound, CT, MRI and PET/SPECT. These new imaging technologies place the inside of human and nonhuman bodies within reach of a new diagnostic gaze and the visual experience of non-scientific persons as well. The possibility of “seeing” what used to be invisible has tickled the imagination of many contemporary artists, who make diverse use of medical images and visual implements in their artworks. Moreover, imaging technologies call for a rethinking of the concept of representation in science and technology, yet they are also of great significance for the arts. Arguably, art can contribute to solving scientific problems of visualization such as the problem of how to visualize the complex interaction between human thought and the physical processes involved. This stream welcomes papers that reflect on the interactions between art and scientific imaging, on the role of images in the constitution of thought and knowledge, the overlaps between processes of interpreting, explaining, calculating, constructing and imagining of information, as well as on the performative nature and shaping power of the imagination.

Papers and panels may concentrate on the following domains and themes:

• Relations of visual images to developments in scientific research, art, communication, and technological advances
• Interplays between data, image, text
• Reconsidering conceptions of truth, objectivity, representation, reference, agency, the body, etc.
• Brain imaging and other imaging technologies in medicine
• Imaging nanospace
• Scientific images and popular culture
• Cultural images and stereotypes of science and scientists
• Scientific and literary imagination: similarities and differences
• Aesthetic and cognitive understanding: similarities and differences
• Virtuality/digitality/indexicality and issues of (dis)embodiment and materiality
• Comparing different ways of meaning-making: tensions between visual “evidence” and embodied knowledge.

J – Arts and Genomics

Organiser: Robert Zwijnenberg, U of Maastricht + U of Leiden, + Miriam van Rijsingen, UvA, , in cooperation with the Arts and Genomics Centre
Art that engages genetics and genomics comes in many forms and involves several concerns. A growing number of artists addresses controversial developments in genetics and genomic research. Many of these artists represent social, political or ethical implications of this research in a broad variety of art forms. The issues tackled by such artists include heredity, identity, aging, sickness and health, overpopulation, warfare, the biotech market, genetic licensing, designer babies and cloning. But rather than simply casting a critical eye on these issues, the majority of these artists has a much more sustained interest in them: Working with living materials, many artists have in fact become scientists or researchers in their own right and draw critical attention to the experimental research methods that are used in molecular biology and biotechnology, specially to visual meaning production. Furthermore, there is an increasing recognition by both artists and scientists of genomics as a shared field of research and representation. This stream welcomes papers that reflect on these developments in (the interaction between) art and genomics research. While focused on the visual arts, the stream also accommodates papers that deal with literary narratives and genomics. Topics may include (but are not limited to):

• The specific ways in which art assimilates and represents the results and consequences of genomics research
• Artists and scientists exploring and developing common grounds of representation and signification
• The creation of synthetic life for artistic purposes
• Bioart more broadly
• Biopoetics: literature and evolutionary theory, etc.
• The DNA mystique, s.
The Arts and Genomics Centre, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences.

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