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Wed
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May
2018
ConferenceReview

The Latent Image: Transimage 2018

The LATENT IMAGE is the fifth iteration in the Transdisciplinary Imaging Conferences Series

The fifth International Conference on Transdisciplinary Imaging at the Intersections of Art, Science and Culture was hosted by the Edinburgh Futures Institute, in collaboration with, Edinburgh College of Art and the Centre for Design Informatics. The conference took place over two days in April 2018 after a wonderful launch event entitled Pine’s Eye at Talbot Rice Gallery with curator James Clegg weaving the conference theme, The Latent Image, to the work of David Claerbout and Rachel Maclean on display at the Gallery. Staged in different galleries for several hours of a warm spring night, Clegg read episodes of the Pinocchio story interlaced with a series of vignettes by writers, theorists, poets and performance artists, setting the scene for what was to come in the next days. The keynote by Edward Colless initiated the conference with a linguistic display of a hidden blackness beneath or behind the light of the created universe, creating a provocation for the existence of any image. The following papers appeared to echo and form new alliances with concepts of latency from a multitude of creative disciplines. The evening keynote of Karen Barad took us on a journey through quantum physics that led to an imaged apparition of pre-life becoming, made visible prior to cell differentiation.

The next morning Jan Willem Tulp delivered a keynote on data visualisation that addressed the practical as well as conceptual paradox of a latent desire to witness the unseeable. Darkness flowed and ebbed throughout the second day, with Chris Henschke describing an experiment at CERN’s Hadron Collider that manifested a void-like dark space in the middle of a particle collision. In a different approach John Smith and Max Houghton, discussed the latent meaning in forensic images of torture. This presentation of anxiety and horror representing dark periods in our comprehension of an inhumanity in being human.

As though blackness dwelled in its collective unconsciousness, the conference’s outcome was a reflection of contemporary science and culture analogous to the ‘Claude Glass’, the black mirror, reveals a veiled image of the world that, like Barad’s apparition, has yet to come into existence. The conference papers are online for all to download and read, delineate what emerges from the dark and how we can go beyond darkness, therefore possibly instigating the theme for the forthcoming conference.

Videos will be available to view soon.