The title I Am Seeing Things summons a state in which we are uncertain about what is before our eyes and the trauma of this circumstance. The I Am Seeing Things symposium takes another look at what we mean by the term ‘things’. How do everyday, analogue objects change when connected to the World Wide Web? Referring to an Internet of Things, the symposium anticipates the technical and cultural shifts as society moves to a state in which every object is connected, or ‘wired’.
In the sense that data differs from knowledge, and things aren’t what they seem, the arts have differed from technical communities in their approach to objects. In order to process objects as data, technical dialects require closed meanings. Arts discourse, on the other hand, keep meanings and readings open to interpretation. The symposium brings together digital designers and personalities from the arts to explore what it is to be seeing things.
The symposium and exhibition is the culmination of a three year research project entitled TOTeM (Tales of Things and Electronic Memory) and the work of its research team that has developed technologies to support the association of personal memories with material artefacts. The themes present in the symposium will reflect the investigators interests in the how this technology has disrupted consumer practices, heritage and the geography of things.
I am Seeing Things will be held at the Talbot Rice Gallery. With the context of the University of Edinburgh, Talbot Rice Gallery aims to foster relationships between artists and academics, pioneering new branches of research, knowledge and understanding. Since 1975 the gallery has presented a changing programme of exhibitions, including both Scottish and international artists.