James J. Hodge | Six Theses on an Aesthetics of Always-On Computing

This is an Archive of a Past Event

James J. Hodge,  Associate Professor in the Department of English at Northwestern University


Skin Swipe

This talk comes from Hodge's book project, "Ordinary Media: An Aesthetics of Always-On Computing." The premise of the project is that the smartphone has become for many the signature technology and engine of experience in the twenty-first century. One of the project's larger claims is that ambient givenness of smartphones in contemporary life has significantly reorganized the human sensorium and, moreover, has elevated the significance of experience at the level of the skin's surface, or what the psychoanalyst Thomas Ogden terms "boundedness."

This talk attends to the ways in which this dramatic shift in the general orientation of experience entails a sea change in the general nature of aesthetics native and responsive to the always-on world. Discussing a variety of examples from film, literature, video, games, digital art, and vernacular aesthetic forms and genres, this talk explores six "theses" of aesthetics in this still-novel yet ordinary arena.

About the Speaker

James J. Hodge is Associate Professor in the Department of English at Northwestern University. His essays on digital aesthetics have appeared in Critical Inquiry, Postmodern Culture, TriQuarterly, Film Criticism, and elsewhere. He is the author of Sensations of History: Animation and New Media Art (Minnesota, 2019).

This event is co-sponsored with the Department of English and the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA).

Digital Aesthetics