The University of Alberta’s Art and Design Graduate Student Association is proud to present Dr. Laura U. Marks as the keynote speaker for the first annual art history graduate symposium, Instability in Visual and Material Culture. After earning her M.A. in 1994 and Ph. D. in 1996 – both in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester – Dr. Marks has devoted much of her research to the study of new media arts, particularly film and computer-based works. A prolific academic, she has written over 130 publications including her latest book, Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art (MIT Press, 2010). In addition, she has delivered nearly 120 lectures and has curated over 40 screenings of media art.  Dr. Marks is currently a Full Professor and Dena Wosk University Professor in Art and Culture Studies at Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts.

In her keynote address, Dr. Marks will discuss the question of individuation in light of her theory of enfolding-unfolding aesthetics. This theory explores the ways in which images both emerge from (unfold) and return to (enfold) the universe. Her research aligns with the theme of instability as she asserts that images are in a constant state of flux, continually undergoing the processes of unfolding or enfolding. She will compare contemporary genetic artworks and 17th-century carpets from the Caucasus–both algorithmic works that respond to new information to reach results not prefigured in the algorithm’s initial state.