Postgraduate Diploma Course in Aesthetics, Criticism and Theory (ACT) | Postgraduate Certificate Course in Aesthetics, Criticism and Theory (ACT)

Aesthetics, Criticism and Theory (ACT)

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A Spiralling Revolution – Technology, Culture and Crisis

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Technology has taken over every aspect of our lives. Such has been the prevailing sentiment of recent headlines on everything from culture to finance to law and politics. Expectedly, they reflect a curious mix of excitement at the possibilities technology may offer to better the world, coupled with deep-seated anxiety around the seemingly unfettered growth of its power and influence over our lives. On closer examination, however, it becomes evident that in most contexts, the term technology functions as a floating signifier – indicating specificity while also being capacious enough to encompass multiple possible meanings. And if the term technology itself is fluid, then what does it mean for us to believe that it holds the ability to transform not merely our individual lives but the societies we live in, the systems under which we work and ultimately take over our most fundamentally human ability – our capacity for creative expression.

Perhaps the question to ask ourselves now is not how we may define this all-encompassing term, but rather how we have come to bestow it with its power, and what it would mean to demystify it. After all, technology itself is a product of collective human ingenuity, made possible by generations of scientists, artists, designers, scholars, workers as well as users. And while the unprecedented rise of the technology industry over the last three decades in particular has led to revolutionary advances in every field from medicine to communication to art, we now seem to have arrived at a precipice of sorts. As the influence of artificial intelligence becomes more ubiquitous in our day-to-day lives, decentralised blockchains get touted as the way forward for our financial systems, and a select few mega-corporations financing and controlling these technologies gain ever greater power, the rights of a vast majority of workers – particularly those in creative industries – are increasingly eroded in the name of technological progress. 

Over a ten-session lecture series, this online edition of the ACT programme at Jnanapravaha Mumbai brings together scholars, scientists, artists, curators and writers at the cutting edge of research, innovation and critical engagement with technology. Together with a global cohort of participants, the series aims to illuminate some of the complexities surrounding a clearer understanding of this dynamic field and its impact, while providing a platform for an open conversation on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.


Lecture Schedule

13 Feb '24 (Tuesday)

Humans and Other Machines: Towards A Theory of Technology, Tools and Teleology  

- Arjun Appadurai


20 Feb '24 (Tuesday)

Studies in Superlative Discorrelation

- Alexander R. Galloway


27 Feb '24 (Tuesday)

The Eye of the Master: A Social History of Artificial Intelligence  

- Matteo Pasquinelli


05 Mar '24 (Tuesday)

Learning Experiments in Computer Vision and Visual Literacy  

- Geoff Cox


12 Mar '24 (Tuesday)

The Perception Machine: Our Photographic Future between the Eye and AI

- Joanna Zylinska


19 Mar '24 (Tuesday)

Doing Critical Technical Art Practice  

- Winnie Soon


26 Mar '24 (Tuesday)

care<codes>: Care work, AI, Motherhood  

- Computational Mama


02 Apr '24 (Tuesday)

Operations All the Way to the Bottom, or, Is there Life on Earth? 

- Jussi Parikka


10 Apr '24 (Wednesday)

What is the body in AI times? 

- Maya Indira Ganesh


16 Apr '24 (Tuesday)

AI and Art: Legal and Ethical Issues on Copyright (Ownership, Authorship, Infringement and Fair Use)

- Pragni Kapadia

Classes, unless otherwise stated, are from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm IST on Tuesday evenings.

All students who attend 75% of the live online lectures will be given a PG OnlineCertificate. 

Please read the Terms and Conditions carefully before registering.


13 Feb - 16 Apr, 2024


Rs. 10,000
(PG Certificate)

Registrations Closed