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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gale Memorial Lecture Series Thursday Night: Phillip Thurtle

Phillip Thurtle, the final speaker in the Gale Memorial Lecture Series.

WHEN:    Thursday, April 15th at 5pm
WHERE:  ARTS Lab Garage,  131 Pine St. NE
FREE and open to the public.

PHILLIP THURTLE :: Vital imagery: animation and life
The world presented through digital technology is an increasingly animated world.  Film, the WWW, and television now contain significant amounts of animated content. Despite the prevalence of animated content, few scholars have begun to explore the cultural, epistemic, and phenomenological dimensions of animated experience. This talk will focus on one specific component of animation, the differential manipulation of layered surfaces, in order to deepen an understanding of why animation is so useful for depicting change over time. An exploration of the animations of William Kentridge and Stephanie Maxwell, will help us understand why some animations seem to posses an extraordinarily amount of vitality, the feeling of the potential for change even if nothing really changes. We will then see how the emerging science of evolutionary and developmental biology uses this sense of vitality to depict the development of living organisms.

Phillip Thurtle is the acting director of the Comparative History of Ideas program and an associate professor in the History Department at the University of Washington. He is the author of /The Emergence of Genetic Rationality: Space, Time, and Information in American Biology 1870-1920/ (University of Washington Press, 2008), the co-author with Robert Mitchell (English, Duke University) and Helen Burgess (English, University of Maryland) of the interactive DVD-ROM /BioFutures: Owning Information an Body Parts/ (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), and the co-editor with Robert Mitchell of the volumes /Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information/ (Routledge, 2003) and /Semiotic Flesh: Information and the Human Body/ (University of Washington Press, 2002). His research focuses on the material culture of information processing, the affective-phenomenlogical domains of media, the role of information processing technologies in biomedical research, and theories of novelty in the life sciences. His most recent work is on the cellular spaces of transformation in evolutionary and developmental biology research and the cultural spaces of transformation in superhero comics.

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