Thundergulch, the new media initiative of the

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in association with:


Vera List Center for Art and Politics

World Policy Institute

Computer Instruction Center


at The New School




The Future of War: Aesthetics, Politics, Technologies  


May 2-3, 2003


The New School

Swayduck Auditorium

65 Fifth Avenue, Ground Floor (at 13th Street) NYC


What do the Department of Defense and the computer

gaming industry have in common? What kinds of strategic

alliances is the Pentagon making with Hollywood? How is

the American Institute of Architects connecting with the

military's designs for a "new security environment?" Are

artists collaborating with, exposing, or resisting the

military by deploying technologies of simulation, data

surveillance, tracking, and computer vision in their work?


A group of internationally renowned panelists explore

these and other questions in The Future of War: Aesthetics,

Politics, Technologies, a two-day conference that examines

the increasingly complex exchanges between the military,

the entertainment industry, the computer industry, the

media and artists. What impact do these exchanges have on

war, technology and related visual cultures in the American

public sphere?


The conference looks at war not simply as a utilitarian

means to an end but as a cultural process involving part-

icular ways of seeing, narrating, and imagining. The

conference will focus on the architectural spaces of war,

the cinematic language of Hollywood combat films, online

gaming and military simulations, and the computer and

installation work of artists.





Friday May 2, 2003 2:30-9:30 pm

Presentation of New Media Works 2:30-5:30 pm

Reception 5:30-7:00 pm

The Aesthetics + Politics of Technologized Warfare 7:00-9:30 pm


Saturday May 3, 2003 10:00 am-7:00 pm

Architecture, Violence, and Social (In)security 10:00 am-12:00 pm

War and the Cinematic Imaginary  1:00-3:00 pm

The Virtual Battlefield: Computer Gaming, Modeling, Simulations

3:30-5:30 pm

Roundtable Discussion 6:00-7:00 pm





Friday May 2, 2003

2:30-5:30 pm

Presentation of New Media Works

Audience members join conference participants and local

artists for a preview of works with informal discussion.


Participants include:

Matt Adams, artist

Alex Galloway, artist/scholar

Joy Garnett, artist/curator

Natalie Jeremijenko, techno artist/engineer

John Klima, artist

Carl Skelton, digital artist/teacher

Eddo Stern, artist/game developer

Lebbeus Woods, architect


7:00-9:30 pm

The Aesthetics and Politics of Technologized Warfare

Radar, 3-D computer graphics, tracking devices, covert

data-gathering,nrobots, and computer vision have become

ubiquitous technologies of warfare and play an integral

role in maintaining "homeland security." These technologies

have long been a rich source of interest to artists engaged

in the subjects of surveillance, control, and military

imaging. Curators, artists, and human rights activists

examine ways in which art exposes the depersonalization of

violence, and resists the erosion of privacy and civil




Joy Garnett, artist/curator;

Natalie Jeremijenko, techno artist/engineer, Yale University + NYU;

Tom Keenan, director, Human Rights Project, Bard College;

Thomas Y. Levin, curator/media theorist, Princeton University



Helen Nissenbaum, professor, Department of Culture + Communication, New York University



Saturday May 3, 2003

10:00 am-12:00 pm

Architecture, Violence, and Social (In)security

New media artists and architects discuss the impact of

violence, political terrorism and social (in)security on

architecture and public space. Reflecting on physical and

virtual spaces of war, panelists question assumptions about

architecture's physical and psychological permanence. They

will consider ways in which digital technologies limit and

enable public perception of the built environment and

spatial innovation.



Benjamin Bratton, cultural theorist/media architect, Southern California Institute of Architecture;

Keller Easterling, associate professor, Yale School of Architecture;

Eyal Weizman, architect, Rafi Segal/Eyal Weizman Architects, Tel-Aviv, Israel



Kadambari Baxi, architect/media designer, Martin/ Baxi Architects



1:00-3:00 pm

War and the Cinematic Imaginary

Collaborations between Hollywood, network televsion and the

Pentagon have become commonplace. The shaping of popular

culture through film and television intertwines with political

strategies for legitimizing new modes of surveillance and

criminalization. Panelists examine the causal relationships

between the business of war and show biz.



Matt Adams, artist, Blast Theory performance collective, Great Britain;

Allen Feldman, recurring visiting professor, Anthropology of Everyday Life Program, Center for Humanities Studies, Ljubljana;

Michael Shapiro, political scientist, University of Hawaii



McKenzie Wark, author/media theorist



3:30-5:30 pm

The Virtual Battlefield: Computer Gaming, Modeling, Simulations

What role does the military-industrial complex play in the

increased virtualization and digitalization of war and weaponry?

Does this new emphasis on the virtual nature of war decrease its

connection to reality, territory and the body? An interdisciplinary

panel explores the new technologies of imitation and simulation,

and the coordinated efforts of computer programmers, artists, and

the gaming industry to advance the state of immersive military

training and online recruitment.



James Der Derian, professor, International Relations, Watson Institute;

Peter J. Dombrowski, associate professor, Strategic Department of the U.S. Naval War College; 

Eddo Stern, artist/game developer, University of Southern California Graduate School of Cinema and Television.



J.C. Herz, principal, Joystick Nation



6:00-7:00 pm

Roundtable Discussion

Join conference participants in an informal discussion about

the questions, issues, and themes raised during panel sessions.



Allen Feldman, recurring visiting professor, Anthropology of Everyday Life Program, Center for Humanities Studies, Ljubljana


*Conference participants are subject to change*



Subway Directions

F to 14th Street & 6th Avenue

1/2/3/9 to 14th Street & 7th Avenue

4/5/6/L/N/Q/R/W to 14th Street-Union Square

A/C/E to 14th Street & 8th Avenue

Journal Square and Hoboken PATH trains to 14th Street & 6th Ave



Admission is free. Registration is encouraged.

Seating is first come, first served.

Register online at  

For more information or to register by phone call 212-219-9401 x400.


Conference Advisory Committee:

Wayne Ashley, curator, Thundergulch, the new media initiative of LMCC

James Der Derian, Watson Institute research professor of international

relations and professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Sondra Farganis, director, Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School

Allen Feldman, recurring visiting professor, Anthropology of Everyday Life Program, Center for Humanities Studies, Ljubljana

Joy Garnett, artist/curator

Moukhtar Kocache, director, Visual and Media Arts, LMCC

Thomas Y. Levin, culture and media theorist, professor at Princeton University

Michael Randazzo, director, Computer Instruction Center, The New School

Stephen Schlesinger, director, World Policy Institute, The New School



This conference is made possible with funding from American Express

Company, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, and in part, with

public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New

York City Department of Cultural Affairs.




Wayne Ashley

Curator of New Media


The New Media Initiative of the Lower

Manhattan Cultural Council

One Wall Street Court

New York, NY 10005

Tel. 212-219-9401 ext. 106