‘Artist as Engineer’ seeks to investigate a recent radical shift in the artist’s social role influenced by the advent of new technologies and new collective practices. Walter Benjamin (in ‘The Author as Producer’ of 1934) describes the shift in the role of the cultural producer ‘from a supplier of the productive apparatus, into an engineer who sees his [/her] task in adapting that apparatus thus reconciling the means of intellectual production with technical quality’. The symposium asks what conclusions might be drawn from a parallel between the contemporary practice of ‘techno-art collectives’ and Benjamin’s statement that it is simply not enough to have political commitment without at the same time thinking through its relationship to the means of production and the technical apparatus?
The symposium organised and introduced by Geoff Cox & Joasia Krysa, chaired by Armin Medosch.
More information can be found at http://interrupt.org.uk/symposia/engineer/
Following the conference, the book Engineering Culture has been published (Autonomedia, New York, 2005).