(Media) Art and Urban Change
My research and projects examine urban media aesthetic phenomena and (media) art’s engagement with societal and urban change, in a global perspective. Since ancient times, art and the arts have been anchor points of human consciousness and considered fundamental to building up societies. Today, as we race our cities towards increasingly smart, technocratic and rationalized futures, we need to continuously explore how art’s sensibilities, inquiries, and political aesthetics can affect the ecologies from which our innovations and cultures emerge and bring us towards more sustainable, and more critically and ethically conscious, realities. My curatorial and academic work and teaching evolve around this inquiry of examining processes of change in contemporary societies and urban environments at architectural, hybrid, and worldly scales. This is with point of departure in human perceptual-sensory experience and our sensible modes of evolving with immersive environments of technological, spiritual, and natural qualities.
Dr. Tanya Toft Ag is a curator, researcher, writer and lecturer examining trajectories of media art(s) and urban change. She holds a Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School, and a Master of Arts in Modern Culture with specialization in Urbanity and Aesthetics from Copenhagen University. In 2017 she gained her doctoral degree from Copenhagen University with a critical perspective on urban media art as temporal, contemporary matter in perspective of conditions of intensity, intelligence and immersion in urban media aesthetics. She has taken up visiting scholarships at Columbia University, The New School and Konstfack – University of Arts, Crafts and Design (CuratorLab). In 2018-2020 she is a research fellow at the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong. She has presented her work at international conferences worldwide and held keynotes at Elektronika Festival 2018 in Belo Horizonte, Live the City 2016 in Bangkok, and City Link Conference 2015 in Copenhagen.
Her curatorial practice evolves with media art and media architecture in urban environments, as curator of the Screen City Biennial 2017 (Stavanger) and head of the biennial’s artistic research program, and associated with the Streaming Museum (NYC) since 2011 and Verve Cultural/SP Urban Digital Festival (São Paulo) since 2012. Independent exhibitions include Voyage to the Virtual (Scandinavia House, NYC, 2015) and Here All Alone (Copenhagen, 2015). She is chair and member of various conference and gallery boards (Media Art Histories – RE:SOUND 2019, Media Architecture Biennale 2018, Human-Computer Interaction Conference (HCI) 2017 and 2018, Open Sky Gallery 2015-2016). She is editor of Digital Dynamics in Nordic Contemporary Art (Intellect, 2018/2019) and co-editor of What Urban Media Art Can Do – Why, When, Where, and How? (av edition, 2016). In 2017 she co-initiated the globally networked Urban Media Art Academy.
Contact: tanyatoft (at) gmail . com