Public lecture and master class – Laura Marks (Simon Fraser University – Vancouver)

Public lecture – A Noisy Brush with the Infinite: Noise in Enfolding-Unfolding Aesthetics

Date: Monday, October 15 2012
Time: 20:00 till 21:30
Venue: Art house LUX in Nijmegen

The Centre for New Aesthetics and the Graduate School for the Humanities at Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, are proud to announce a lecture and a masterclass by Laura Marks.

Laura Marks will give a public lecture about unfolding-enfolding aesthetics, which departs from the observation that Islamic art is parallel to the visual media of the digital age. After all, they are equally based on abstraction, geometric forms or code-generated patterns. Moreover, engaging with Islamic art – like engaging with digital art or conceptual art – gives rise to new perceptions, affections and thoughts, which in the case of a religious person permit a contemplation of divinity. This process is potentially infinite and without end, for God is always beyond grasp. For a nonreligious person, contemplating on the invisible – whether spiritual, historical, social or political – is actually not so different. However, the infinite cannot be perceived as such. It needs to be ‘mediated’ by processes of unfolding and enfolding. Arguing that information or code unfolds from the infinite and that images subsequently unfold from information, Marks explains how images and (digital) information come into the world and roll back into the infinite in a ceaseless flow of unfolding and enfolding. According to her, images are information that is unfolded into perceptible forms of expression. They are traces, effects or documents of the infinite, whereas the infinite itself is inaccessible to perception. It merely appears as noise and our perception selectively unfolds some aspect of it. Showing several short films, Marks will talk about noise in relation to enfolding-unfolding aesthetics.

Tickets are 5,00 EUR and to be obtained through LUX (either online via or at the box office on the day of the event). Contact: Martijn Stevens (

Master class – Methods for affective analysis

Date: Tuesday, October 16 2012
Time: 10:00 till 12:00
Venue: Radboud University Nijmegen
Registration: Martijn Stevens

in co-operation with the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis and the Research School for Media Studies

In addition to giving a public lecture about unfolding-enfolding aesthetics, Laura Marks will demonstrate her method for affective analysis, which begins with perception and sensory experience, during a seminar for graduate students. It will be an active session with everyone practicing, so the participants are requested to bring a sensory object that they are currently studying (artwork, film clip, sound work, physical object, et cetera). Participants can earn 1 EC credit. The seminar will also require preparation in terms of reading, which will be distributed after registration. Please notice that the number of participants is limited. Contact: Martijn Stevens (

Laura Marks is Dena Wosk University Professor of Art and Culture Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Having curated over forty programmes of film, video and experimental media art for venues around the world, the focus of her current work is on contemporary cinema in the Arab world and the Islamic genealogy of new media art. She is the author of Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art (2010), Touch: Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media (2002), and The Skin of Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses (2000).