Tanya Ravn Ag

Tanya Ravn Ag

Postdoc

I research, teach and disseminate in the domain of art, technology and (digital) culture. With an attention to digital art and urban, media aesthetic phenomena, my research particularly examines perceptual experience with art and aesthetics in perspective of contemporary technogenesis. I lean on philosophies, methodologies, tools and thinking frameworks from various disciplines – as well as academically anchored life experiences – which, in the theoretical or analytical experiment deem useful to examine how our experience with art and other aesthetic phenomena is constituted in the context of digital culture.

Theory on perception in relation to art has predominantly been studied in terms of how we 'see' art, multi-sensorially; meanings we attribute to it and reflections and interpretations we suppose that the art evokes. But the ubiquity of digital media challenges how we can account for a sense of perceptual consciousness. In my research, I consider how digital culture conditions a particular environment for art’s perception, inquiry and existence; how, in this context, we can be analytically attentive to corporeal, neurological processes of perception and mechanisms of memory engaged by the temporalities and aesthetics of the digital; how we can nuance understandings of especially media-based art’s perceptual and cultural implications when it expands to environments of innovation; and how perceptual conditions of digital culture challenge established ontologies for art.

My research especially concerns mechanisms by which art and other media aesthetic phenomena are experienced and manifest in human cognition and perceptual-sensory experience today. Rather than pursuing answers to epistemological questions, my research departs from concerns with ontologies of media aesthetic phenomena and how their experience condition us to sense in a particular manner and evoke a sense of possibility and change. This inquiry continues explorations into art as an anchor point of human consciousness and into how art’s sensibilities and political aesthetics entangle with the sensorial ecologies from which our cultures and innovations emerge.

My research takes off in the concept of ‘technogenesis’, which generally concerns our evolution with technology and the epigenetic effects of mediated experience. I develop the notion of technogenesis from a feminist materialist (or, neo materialist) position and explore art’s experience as an experiential place to question how we evolve with technics and digital culture.

Curatorially, I have worked around the notion of urban media art. Rather than intended to indicate a genre or modality, I have used this term with reference to art that exists with urban media. Urbanity in this sense is a place as much as a condition for the we. In common public spaces, virtually or in the city, we share narratives, practice life stories, form relations with each other, and continuously negotiate norms, rituals and cultural practices. We ground ourselves through shared modes of perception, through thinking and agreeing on who we are, although all different. I am interested in how art, through co-production of public space and public sphere, contributes to producing a common sense of realness – even if abstract or imaginative or full of friction – in a world that is increasingly shaping from irreality and competing ideas of truth.

Current research

My current research is titled Art of our Times and explores an intratemporal ontology for art, when intersubjectivity (or, intercorporeality) is entangled with interobjectivity, referring to data-driven processes and relations among digital objects and their milieus. I engage a temporal optics on how the art exists through temporalities that we live with and transform through. My work specifically addresses how temporality in aesthetic experience affects temporal processes of emotion and memory structures, neuronal connections, and eventually habits and intuitions underpinning cultural formation and social structures. This research builds upon my recent work on memory and technogenesis in expanded reality experience at City University of Hong Kong, which examines how a sense of reality is technologically expanded (or, reduced) with art and media aesthetic phenomena and the sociopolitical implications this entails.

Primary fields of research

  • Art and aesthetic experience
  • Philosophy of perception, memory and temporality
  • Technogenesis
  • Neuroscientific theory and cultural neuroscience
  • Digital culture and aesthetics
  • Digital art, digital dynamics in art
  • Urban media art, public art
  • Expanded Reality (virtual, augmented, mixed)
  • Feminist materialism

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