Politics of The Machines
Conference series

The first POM-conference was emerging from a long-term collaboration between the initiators and their continuing discussions on the dismissal of professional artistic practices and other innovative approaches by the academia (and vice versa). This is partly due to over-formalized structures and lack of opportunities and actors who recognize the importance of inclusion and dialogue across wide range of expertise, backgrounds and perspectives – far beyond academia. For its part, the POM-conference aims at bridging this divide.

The overall thematic of the POM-conference series is the question of how the machine and technology impact and contextualize artistic and cultural production and our perception of the world. Moreover, it is aiming at investigating the histories, theories and practices of machines and technologies in-between and beyond disciplines. It seeks to question the governing ideas in the sciences and the humanities through critical engagement with and empowerment of activities of creative production in the relational field of culture – technology – umwelt.

The matter of technology should always be approached critically; the focus on machines as ‘digital’ and ‘electronic’ often hides different ontologies and materialities of the machine they operate in, as well as the alternative and the experimental. How are the relationality and operationality of machines being negotiated into cultural and social ontologies?  How are we to analyse and contextualize the alternative or experimental ontologies and epistemologies of artistic practices beyond apparent dualisms and objectification? What are the politics – past, current, future – of these negotiations?
With this conference we address the politics of machines and the palpable technological approaches and structures, which gradually enter every aspect of human ‘umwelt’, as well as the critical infrastructures of artistic production in-between human and non-human agency. Where and how do experimental and artistic practices work beyond the human / non-human dualisms and  into biological, hybrid, cybernetic, vibrant, uncanny, overly material, darkly ecological and critical machines?
This conference-series sets the stakes to a high level and invites you to take a fresh approach to the politics of the machine; to exemplify, analyse or contextualize alternative and experimental ontologies and epistemologies of art beyond dualisms.

The POM – Politics of The Machines is a conference series founded by Laura Beloff (Aalto University Helsinki) and Morten Søndergaard (Aalborg University Denmark).