Professor Keith Stenning of the Human Communication Research Centre
Alistair Gentry, Artist in Residence at the ESRC Genomics Forum
Common room, Alison House (Music Building, Nicolson Square)
Last session VARIE (Visual Arts Research Institute, Edinburgh) set up a series of informal discussions, held in the Talbot Rice Gallery, under the general title Seeing is Believing. The aim was to ask the local academic community how various disciplines worked with visual data. Twenty very diverse presentations were made, ranging from astronomy to zoological taxidermy, followed by discussions that were invariably interesting, if not always revelatory. The most significant outcome, however, was establishing a constituency of over 100 academics and practising artists who were drawn to the question of visuality as knowledge.
Building on this exciting start, VARIE now intends to give the question an ethical twist in a series of four sessions entitled Image and Trust? The simple issue here is why we place our trust in images, and the status of this trust in the era of the easily-manipulated image.
Rather than offer four or five short presentations per session, the intention this time is to pair two speakers whose thoughts on the subject are in some way related, both of whom will speak for 30 minutes maximum, followed as before by an informal discussion.