Professor Esther Leslie - Cloud Aesthetics

Lecture abstract:

Clouds have long been a subject of imagery. Clouds appear in the digital age in more ways than one: in commercial animations, cartoons, and commercial applications. The cloud in the digital age is like a 3D printer: a source of any imaginable form. Now we live alongside - and even inside - a huge cloud metaphor that is The Cloud. Are we witnessing the creation of a synthetic heaven into which all production has been relocated and the digital clouds make all the moves?

About the speaker:

Esther Leslie is Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck College, London. She has research interests in Marxist theories of aesthetics and culture, with a particular focus on the work of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno. Her books are Walter Benjamin: Overpowering Conformism (Pluto 2000), and Hollywood Flatlands, Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant Garde (Verso 2002), Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry (Reaktion, 2005) and Walter Benjamin (Reaktion 2007), Derelicts: Thought Worms from the Wreckage (Unkant, 2014) and most recently, Liquid Crystals: The Science and Art of a Fluid Form (Reaktion 2016).