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Bridging the Digital Divide and So Much More

posted by Linda Downs — Feb 05, 2013

Ray Kurzweil predicts in How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed (New York: Viking, 2012) that, by 2030, intelligent computer devices will be scaled down to the size of blood cells. Kurzweil is a leading inventor (the CCD flatbed scanner, omnifont optical character recognition, a print-top-screen reading machine for the blind, and the first text-to-speech synthesizer, which led to the development of Siri) and director of engineering at Google. He believes that computer technology will soon replicate and exceed the functions of the human neocortex to a point where the barriers between the brain and computer will be totally permeable.

Until that time art historians, artists, and curators continue to rely on their neocortices to carry out creative work and research but with the help of extraordinary tech tools. CAA’s conference next week provides introductions to new technologies in the visual arts.

  • THATCamp (The Technology and Humanities Camp) is being held two days prior to the Annual Conference to bring art historians, curators, and artists who publish together to focus on new technologies and means of accessing them for group and individual projects
  • For those who could not attend THATCamp, a summary will be held during the conference at a panel session on Thursday, February 13 at 9:00 AM
  • There are sessions throughout the conference that address the history, future, and current use of digital resources (“OS.XXI: Art’s Digital Future” on Wednesday, February 13) and online teaching (“Issues Surrounding the Online Foundations Experience” on Thursday, February 14). See
  • The Art Bulletin’s one-hundredth anniversary project is taking the form of a digital review. Thelma Thomas, chair of the Art Bulletin editorial board and associate professor of art history at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, has developed a multimedia review of the journal in partnership with the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture. The preview of the project will be presented at the Annual Members’ Business Meeting on Friday, February 14
  • ARTspace will be screening new digital work in the Media Lounge throughout the conference, in addition to hosting artists’ interviews and sessions

Keynote Address: Rob Storr, dean of the Yale School of Art, will address the state of the visual arts in the keynote address.

Fair Use: Come to the Committee on Intellectual Property session on Saturday, February 16 to hear about the progress of CAA’s fair-use project with Peter Jaszi, Pat Aufderheide, Jeffrey Cunard, and Chris Sundt.

Attention Artists: The American Institute for Conservation (AIC) will provide free conservation advice and assistance to artists whose work was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Please visit the table across from registration on Thursday and Friday.

These are just a few of the highlights of CAA’s conference this year. There are over 120 sessions on a very broad range of topics in the visual arts. I look forward to seeing you there!

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