[artinfo] VIRUS! Symposium

Sugar Janos sj@c3.hu
Mon, 17 Dec 2001 15:11:41 +0100

17 - 19 January 2002

AIDS, Ebola and computer crashes; aliens, parasites and sleepers; bio- and=
 cyber-terrorism - the image of the virus is ubiquitous. Since the beginning=
 of the 1980s, when AIDS-fear inscribed itself onto the collective=
 imagination, the virus has become one of the master metaphors of=
 contemporary culture. The clandestine infiltration of a host organism, the=
 subversive recoding of foreign operative systems, and the masqerades of=
 mutation - virus maneuvres provide us with patterns on which to overlay a=
 host of contact scenarios, even allowing for a reconceptualisation of the=
 categories of 'self' and 'other'. Thus we find the imagery of the virus=
 being implemented to authorise phobic measures of containment and exclusion=
 - but simultaneously giving scope to resistance and modes of subversive=
 self-fashioning. It should come as no surprise that current debates over=
 terrorist violence also turn out to be entangled in these firmly entrenched=
 patterns of thought.=20

Viruses may be addressed as concrete objects or invoked as metaphors: they=
 circulate throughout contemporary discourse. The "Virus!" symposium=
 therefore invites immunologists, historians of medicine and technology,=
 computer scientists, artists and cultural critics to address these issues.=
 The speakers will investigate how images of contagion, contact and=
 contamination affect the production of scientific and technological 'hard=
 facts', and reflect upon the role these images play in the formation of a=
 new global order.