KADIST and e-flux present: Ways of Reading Symposium | Session One: James Bridle, Trevor Paglen, Kate Crawford, Gala Porras-Kim

KADIST and e-flux present: Ways of Reading Symposium | Session One: James Bridle, Trevor Paglen, Kate Crawford, Gala Porras-Kim

Session One
General Introduction by Adam Kleinman
Participants: James Bridle, Trevor Paglen, Kate Crawford, Steve Rowell, Gala Porras-Kim

Curated by Adam Kleinman (KADIST’s Regional Curator for North America).

KADIST and e-flux present Ways of Reading, an exploratory day of talks, interventions, and performances featuring a multidisciplinary set of artists and thinkers. The symposium examines how forms of information describe, prescribe, organize, and even misrepresent reality. This framework aims to emphasize how data and statistical analysis can function as powerful, yet often incomplete tools that can be wielded to produce exclusionary models for social distribution and recognition. While numerical mistakes are plain to see once revealed, false positives, cognitive biases, and other forms of erroneous thinking are not unique to computational logics alone. The presentations explore data as a theme in general, across various disciplines including public health, urban planning, archeology, and geology. Playfully investigative rather than thesis driven, the symposium proposes that understanding is made richer, if not possibly more truthful, by including a diversity of research practices and forms of critique that take alternative views and approaches into consideration. If we were to present a guiding thought for the day, it would be to remember that: a sparrow, to an ornithologist, is not the same thing as to a poet.

The symposium marks the launch of Ways of Reading, an eponymous three-year program comprising seminars, exhibitions, and commissions taking place across North America, curated by Adam Kleinman and initiated by KADIST. The program reveals how artists and the arts have the potential to reinterpret, or even "flip the script" of how data is presented so as to question not only how it was collected, but to also reveal hidden biases, hierarchies, and blind spots buried within “objective” analysis. The program is part of a series of international projects that seeks to deepen KADIST’s investment in international collaboration by working with a curator to establish key issues of social relevance in the region to guide production and research, located in various regions for a three-year term.

The Ways of Reading symposium is co-produced by KADIST and e-flux, and with the support of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York.

Language & Linguistics, Technology
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