School of Arts

Fine Art Research Guest Lecture: Emily Rosamond, Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths – Profiling and Predictive Culture

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Fine Art Research Guest Lecture: Emily Rosamond, Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths: Profiling and Predictive Culture

Who this event is for

  • Everyone


408, John Henry Brookes Building, Headington Campus


According to Bernard Harcourt, we live in an “actuarial age,” in which calculating and managing risk comes to be foregrounded as a cultural and computational logic. Prediction – accelerated by algorithm – plays an ever more prominent role in politics, policing, business, finance and culture. Yet rather than foretelling the future, predictive apparatuses often seem to actively inflect it. Describing and assessing risks can make them newly actionable in the present, thereby changing the course of events, and even adding more volatility to situations.

In this world of predictive apparatuses, profiling emerges a dominant logic through which personhood is inscribed with potentiality. Who is a viable credit risk? From whom would you rent a flat on Airbnb? Who counts as a threat to police? Online user identification algorithms (run by corporations, governments and police) attempt to determine who we are, and predetermine our potentials; in doing so, they enact increasingly predictive, pre-emptive and speculative forms of control on subjects.

In an age in which sophisticated data analytics routinely predict individuals’ future behaviour, what new forms of pressure are placed on their actions – and how might artists respond to these changing conditions? This talk examines the implications of emerging predictive practices – and some artworks that articulate a new politics of character in response.

Bio: Emily Rosamond is a Canadian artist, writer and educator. She is Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she is Joint Programme Leader on the BA Fine Art and History of Art. She completed her PhD in 2016 as a Commonwealth Scholar in Art at Goldsmiths. Emily has exhibited, performed and lectured widely - recently at the Goethe Institute, London; Haus für Kunst Uri, Altdorf, Switzerland; P!, New York; Karst, Plymouth; Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam; ICA, London; and Tenderpixel, London. Recent publications have appeared in the Journal of Aesthetics and Culture (2017), Paragrana (2016), Finance and Society (2016) and the Liverpool University Press (2017). Her current research focuses on character and reputation as speculative logics of assetized, online personhood in contemporary art.

Other notable speakers in the Fine Art Research guest lecture series to watch out for include James Massiah - poet, producer, DJ and provocateur, Luke Turner - who is one third artist trio with LaBeouf and Ronkko and Paul Kilsby - Senior Lecturer in Fine Art Theory at Oxford Brookes, specialising in Fine Art Photography.   

Please register to attend the event here. FAR guest lecturer series organised by Dr Alexandra Trott.