Paul Thomas, University of New South Wales.
Mike Phillips, i-DAT.
He could see the tall, peeling yellow building at the periphery of his range of vision. But something about it struck him as strange. A shimmer, an unsteadiness, as if the building faded forward into stability and then retreated into insubstantial uncertainty. An oscillation, each phase lasting a few seconds and then blurring off into its opposite, a fairly regular variability as if an organic pulsation underlay the structure. As if, he thought, it’s alive.
(Phillip K. Dick 1969)
The Atemporal Image: This manifestation of the Aleph is the Transdisciplinary Imaging Conferences Series, an international conference that generated the content for this issue of Ubiquity. The Fourth International Conference on Transdisciplinary Imaging at the Intersections of Art, Science and Culture – THE ATEMPORAL IMAGE – was hosted by i-DAT at Plymouth University on the 1-3 July 2016 (http://transimage.i-dat.org/). The Fourth International Conference on Transdisciplinary Imaging adopted the theme of the Atemporal Image and the series of papers included in Ubiquity explore how a new temporality informs and plays out across contemporary visual culture. Our contemporary quotidian lives are becoming increasingly indebted to virtual platforms for social exchange and cultural mediation. The ubiquity of social media has necessitated the birth of virtual graveyards; frozen digital reliquaries marking the cessation of our online busywork. Museums and culture conservationists are hurriedly digitizing material fragments of the Anthropocene in an anxious contest against time and entropy. In this world the family photo-album is no longer an object but a well pool of dematerialized data.
Future Past: The Atemporal Image is the fourth iteration in the Transdisciplinary Imaging Conferences Series, with previous iterations in Istanbul (2014), Melbourne (2012) and Sydney (2010). The next manifestation will be Edinburgh (2018).