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Conferences

Mapping the afterlife of digital technologies (May 20-21, 2015, Umeå University, Sweden). Conference given by Blanca Callén. From Media to Materialities. Mapping the afterlife of digital technologies.
With the title “Reversible matters: From vulnerability tests to knowledge transfer on e-waste”, Blanca Callén presented her work in From Media to Materialities. Mapping the afterlife of digital technologies, that took place on 20-21 May 2015 at the University of Umeå (Sweden). 
In pre-conference day, Blanca Callén run a seminar entitled «Ethics of/from e-waste: caring practices for electronic vulnerabilities» in the Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS) of that university.


VIC UNIVERSITY 18th SCIENCE WEEK (November 15-25, 2013). Conference by Jaron Rowan. ‘Love is technology: why don’t we hack it?’
In this conference, cultural researcher Jaron Rowan explored the role of technology in the construction of what we call love. He reviewed various technical and symbolic combinations such as memes, dating websites, mass data storage centres, TV series, popular songs and dolphins to understand how what we call ‘love’ is produced. The conference was open to the public. Bau, College of Design Barcelona; Barcelona, November 20, 2013.


SOCIAL REALITY AND DESIGN: CRITICAL VIEWS
Bau, Design College of Barcelona (February – June, 2010)
Design in Bau is positioned as a discipline of the arts and humanities. We understand the designer as a humanist and creator who tries out new ways of seeing and acting in order to transform social reality. Thus, the academic community of Bau links creativity and innovation responsibly. Based on this philosophy, a series of lectures on different critical perspectives on society, design and visual culture was developed. The talks brought together professionals and researchers from different disciplinary areas to connect design and image with social reality and provide tools for reflection from a cross-cutting and contemporary standpoint. Our goal is to raise awareness of cutting-edge research in cultural studies of design, encourage critical analysis of our visual culture, provide tools to encourage informed public debate, and promote visual literacy and personal reflection.

Description of the conferences:

>  Dr. Leticia Sabsay. Images, subjects, identities. The contemporary visual economy as a cultural practice (February 25, 2010). The technological production of images has been an unprecedented process of social transformation. In fact, at the height of the expansion of information technologies, this technological production of images became a key part of the development of post-industrial capitalism. However, its impact has not only radically changed the dynamics of the markets, it has also changed those of sociality. Since then, the image, as a communication resource characteristic of media coverage, has promoted a global visual culture that has become one of the hegemonic places in which to prepare social definitions, through which cultural imagery and horizons of meaning take shape. In this context it is logical that (audio)visual culture should have become the subject of theoretical research focusing on this new role as a socialization device, whose main lines were presented in this session.

>  Dr. Octavi Comeron. La fábrica transparente.(‘The transparent factory’) (March 25, 2010). The research carried out by Octavi Comeron focused on the analysis of the transformations resulting from the transition from an industrial society to a knowledge society and its links and effects on creative work. Taking as a starting point the image of an assembly plant which the Volkswagen company opened in 2001 in the German city of Dresden to produce the Phaeton, its luxury model (a factory completely covered by glass walls, where the workers’ production is aestheticized and dramatized for customers, visitors and tourists), Dr. Octavi Comeron put together a synthetic map of the challenges and questions facing critical and creative practice in relation to the new forms of cultural production, the mutations of occupational identities that are involved and the re-definition of the economic, political and social space that art can occupy in this new context. From this overview of the working environment, some issues have emerged concerning the research process, with critical reviews of the foundations of liberal and neoliberal economic ideology, its links with the historical construction of the figure of the artist and the exploration of new creative fields which experiment with the ‘production of the ordinary’.

>  Dr. Cristina Rodríguez Samaniego. Moda y modistas fin de siècle en Barcelona fin de siècle  (Fashion and fin de siècle couturiers in Barcelona) (April 29, 2010). The presentation of this ‘work-in-progress’ involved the work of Barcelona dressmakers of the late nineteenth century, whose creations were intended to dress the female body. A gorgeous dress by Caroline Montagne, on display in the collections of the Textile and Costume Museum of Barcelona, guided the session, in which the first signs of the arrival of foreign models in Barcelona were presented together with some clues about the nature of the work of Barcelona dressmakers in the late nineteenth century and a reflection on luxury and feminine fashion around 1900.

>  Dr. Teresa Martínez Figuerola. Presentation of the book Alexandre Cirici Pellicer, pionero en la dirección de arte. Una biografía gráfica. (Alexandre Cirici Pellicer, a pioneer in art direction. A graphic biography), (May 27, 2010).

On the occasion of the presentation of the book Alexandre Cirici Pellicer, pionero en la dirección de arte. Una biografía gráfica (Campgràfic: València, 2010), a round table was held with the participation of the author, Teresa Martínez Figuerola, Dr. Anna Calvera, Permanent lecturer of Aesthetics, History and Theory of Design at the University of Barcelona (UB), Christian Cirici, architect, and José Luis Martín Montesinos, designer and editor.
Alexandre Cirici Pellicer is a key figure in contemporary Catalan history for many reasons, but is mainly known for his work as a critic and art historian, politician and writer. This research brings to light one of the lesser-known facets of Cirici Pellicer: his work as a graphic designer and publicist. An activity to which, with theoretical and practical involvement, he devoted three decades of his life (from the post-war era until the 1980s). He participated in the creation and definition of the curriculum of the first schools of design in Catalonia and Spain, such as the School of Art FAD, Elisava and Eina, besides being the introducer, in 1973, of semiotics as an approach to the study of the work of art: visual semiotics. He must also be considered one of the prime movers of training for the succeeding generations of design professionals, with the resultant expansion and recognition of the profession of visual communicator in Catalonia, a community that is widely recognised for its modernity and for being the standard bearer of design and communication in Spain.