Affect, Art, and Politics: Embodied and Ecological Practices with Digital Media


28 Feb 2016
11:00am – 11:30am

ArtScience Museum

*Free Admission


Nathaniel Stern will discuss how interactive art works are frameworks for moving-thinking- feeling, and show, through specific works by Scott Snibbe and Camille Utterback, how such experiences have us practice and relate anew in our ongoing activities. Interactive installations, he argues, create situations that enhance, disrupt, and alter experience and action in ways that call attention to our varied relationships with and as both structure and matter. Such movements are inherently political in what they open, what they stage, and how they amplify potential. More traditional media art encounters can also go beyond a human-centred affect. How do the “bodies” of computers, digital cameras, or drones participate in moving-thinking-feeling? What do they say? What do they want? How can we give it to them? Here Stern will introduce his newer research on Ecological Aesthetics, and discuss new work by Malcolm Levy, as well as Betwixt Festival’s exhibiting artworks.

Book Talk

Interactive Art and Embodiment:
the implicit body as performance

26 Feb 2016
7:00pm – 8:00pm

LASALLE Lecture Theatre
Block F Level 2 F201

*Free Admission


In this 30-minute lecture, Professor Nathaniel Stern will introduce and discuss the impetus to write his first book, Interactive Art and Embodiment: the implicit body as performance. He will show and think-with images and video of contemporary, participatory installations, and ask how we might experience and practice new modes of encounter through our engagements with such work. There will be time for audience questions, and copies of Stern’s book will be available for purchase.

Nathaniel Stern

Nathaniel Stern is an artist and writer, Fulbright grantee and professor, interventionist and public citizen. According to Chicago’s Bad at Sports, he has “the most varied and strange bio” and Live Out Loud magazine calls him a “prolific scholar” and artist, whose work is “quite possibly some of the most relevant around.” Dubbed a Milwaukee “avant-garde” (Journal Sentinel), Stern has been called “an interesting and prolific fixture” ( behind many “multimedia experiments” (, “accessible and abstract simultaneously” (Art and Electronic Media), someone “with starry, starry eyes” ( who makes both “bizarre and beautiful” art (Gizmodo). Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow says Stern makes “beautiful, glitched out art-images,” and Caleb Scharf at Scientific American says his work is “tremendous fun” but also “fascinating” in how it is “investigating the possibilities of human interaction and art.”

Alien Probes,
Archaeological Ambiguities,
And Un-forgetting Machines


1 Mar 2016
12:30pm – 1:30pm


*Free Admission


Pulau Saigon is a former island in the Singapore River, which vanished around the 1980s. Debbie Ding was intrigued by the apparent lack of information about Pulau Saigon, although it had been the former site of a railway station, an abattoir, and several warehouses. In 1988, a rescue dig was conducted at this post-eighteenth century archaeological site, and a number of ambiguous items had been recorded – speculated to have been litter from passerbys. Could we work together with philosophical machines to investigate gaps in human understanding and “resurrect” these archaeological ambiguities?


Debbie Ding

Debbie Ding (b. 1984) is a visual artist, designer and creative technologist living between Singapore and London. She facilitates the Singapore Psychogeographical Society, which is devoted to promoting a better understanding of the world through ludic adventures, independent research, digital documentation, and data/archival activism.
She is interested in producing prototypes of philosophical machines and objects that attempt to translate theory or phenomena into other experiential forms.

She recently completed an MA in Design Interactions at Royal College of Art, London, and was a recipient of the National Arts Council Scholarship.