Category Archives: events

events ideas

Reza Negarestani — Speculations on Anonymous Materials

Symposium: Speculations on Anonymous Materials – Reza Negarestani

  • Understanding of systems has changed 
  • The new understanding of a system… You do not need to understand the system by way of factoring in … a certain form of essence. All you need is two things, the behaviour and functional organisation. Technical understanding of a function is that functions are abstractly realisable entities.
  • Functions allows for an understanding of the system that is no longer chained to the idea of constitution. System is understood as a functional integration with stabilised causal components that are inferentially linked
  • System of functions, and properties that need to be amplified in order to be detected
    • “…the totality of the system is an illusion, all there is in an integration of functions”
    • This is the program of ethics – i.e.: “know thyself” – the experimental or interventionist tendency in philosophy. The self is a substance, that needs to be ‘worked on’
  • Defining explanation by the invention of causation 
    • invariance
    • ‘explaning’ the shadow requires dealing with it’s cause
  • Manipulation becomes constitution – intervention 
  • Simondon: Orders of Magnitude (reminds here of the different scales of materiality)
  • Foucault: The aesthetics of existence
  • The new understanding of a system… You do not need to understand the system by way of factoring in … a certain form of essence. All you need is two things, the behaviour and functional organisation. Technical understanding of a function is that functions are abstractly realisable entities. 
  • Functions allows for an understanding of the system that is no longer chained to the idea of constitution. This is functional organisation. System is understood… as a functional integration. A system has stabilised causal components that are inferentially linked by way of functions. This is navigation between causally stabilised components, mechanisms of the systems, in order to escape from the constitution it was supposed to belong to.
  • Understanding of behaviours is directly linked to what function is, in a technical sense. Behaviours are linked to tendencies — abstract properties that are responsible for the behaviour of the system… And you cannot identify them unless you amplify them. So there is a certain form of ‘intervention’ involved.
  • “Manipulation becomes the very understanding of constitution” – making sense of ontology means tampering with ontology 
  • There are different ways of generating epistemology and ontology at the same time as it’s dealing with experiential knowledge that the perceiver is implicated in. The technologies of the self … are very different (letter writing, dream analysis, etc.). There’s a difference between a practice and intelligibly… There is experience that the perceiver is implicated in
    • Seneca / Foucault — ethics as a design of conduct that manipulates self 
    • In art, you don’t have intelligibility — you have material inferences, but you do have a form of refinement… 
    • Art has multi-modality — but these things are of course implicated in the design, engineering worlds…
  • To know yourself – epistemic ethic — fallibility of materials 
    • System of functions, and properties that need to be amplified in order to be detected
    • “…the totality of the system is an illusion, all there is in an integration of functions”
    • This is the program of ethics – i.e.: “know thyself” – the experimental or interventionist tendency in philosophy. The self is a substance, that needs to be ‘worked on’
events media

Jacob Gaboury — Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics

Jacob Gaboury

  • “Marginal places and marginal figures in the history of digital”
  • A material history of immaterial objects

University of Utah

Readings of the History of CGI

  • Anne Frieberg  → renaissance, perspective  → CGI
  • Lev Manovich  → the history of illusion  → computer image
  • Jacob’s project is a “a material history of immaterial objects — production of computer graphics from its rendering process (“making the digital visible”)


The Teapot

  • Mid-century german design
  • British researcher (“sitting down to tea”)
  • Domestic objects imported and analysed – wives and the role of women


New York

Xerox Park  → Interpress  → Adobe


  • mathematical / philosophical backgrounds — idealogical and theoretical mathematical modelling — algebra and geometry
  • the humour in the teapot — why does this make people chuckle?
  • teapot as masculine — moved from a domestic environment into the male laboratory (hidden labour of women — when women were computers)… the story of the “breadboard” as a bridge object of a similar sort at Bell Labs
  • flight simulator? why *flight* simulator
  • are technical histories continuous?  why are the links between these elements necessary…?
  • Folding —

Immediations – Urban Fabric, Infrastructure, Ecology (Zurich)

Football at S Maria Maggiore 3

The enormous church of S. Maria Maggiore stands on one of Rome’s seven famous hills. Originally the site was very unkempt, as can be seen in an old fresco painting in the Vatican. Later, the slopes were smoothed and articulated with a flight of steps up to the apse of the basilica. The many tourists who are brought to the church on sight-seeing tours hardly notice the unique character of the surroundings. They simply check off one of the starred numbers in their guide-books and hasten on to the next one. But they do not experience the place in the way some boys I saw there a few years ago did. I imagine they were pupils from a nearby monastery school. They had a recess at eleven o’clock and employed the time playing a very special kind of ball game on the broad terrace at the top of the stairs. It was apparently a kind of football but they also utilised the wall in the game, as in squash — a curved wall, which they played against with great virtuousity. When the ball was out, it was most decidedly out, bouncing down all the steps and rolling several hundred feet further on with an eager boy rushing after it, in and out among motor cars and Vespas down near the great obelisk.

I do not claim that these Italian youngsters learned more about architecture than the tourists did. But quite unconsciously they experienced certain basic elements of architecture: the horizontal planes and the vertical walls above the slopes. And they learned to play on these elements. As I sat in the shade watching them, I sensed the whole three-dimensional composition as never before. At a quarter past eleven the boys dashed off, shouting and laughing. The great basilica stood once more in silent grandeur.

Steen Eiler Rasmussen, Experiencing Architecture (1962)

Football at S Maria Maggiore 2
Movement within an apartment
Naples – Piazza Bellini – Via Gramsci – Officina 99
Italy 709
gesture — digestion — indigestion
pre-mediation and re-mediation (abugraib iraqi war prison — not the content but the way they were affectively engaging technologies – they look like family photos)
“the 45deg affective turn” — state change versus ‘turning’ as process, matter of degree
appearance and disappearance — materiality / immateriality
In the first place, singularities-events correspond to heterogeneous series which are organized into a system which is neither stable nor unstable, but rather ‘metastable,’ endowed with a potential energy wherein the differences between series are distributed. (Potential energy is the energy of the pure event, whereas forms of actualization correspond to the realization of the event). In the second place, singularities posses a process of auto-unification, always mobile and displaced to the extent that a paradoxical element traverses the series and makes them resonate, enveloping the corresponding singular points in a single aleatory point and all the emissions, all dice throws, in a single cast. In the third place, singularities or potentials haunt the surface. Everything happens at the surface in a crystal which develops only on the edges. Undoubtedly, an organism is not developed in the same manner. An organism does not cease to contract in an interior space and to expand in an exterior space–to assimilate and to externalize. But membranes are no less important, for they carry potentials and regenerate polarities. They place internal and external spaces into contact without regard to distance. The internal and external, depth and height, have biological value only through this topological surface of contact. Thus, even biologically, it is necessary to understand that ‘the deepest is the skin.’ The skin has as its disposal a vital and properly superficial potential energy. And just as events do not occupy the surface but rather frequent it, superficial energy is not localized at the surface, but is rather bound to its formation. Gilbert Simondon has expressed this very well: the living lives at the limit of itself, on its limit… The characteristic polarity of life is at the level of the membrane; it is here that life exists in an essential manner, as an aspect of a dynamic topology which itself maintains the metastability by which it exists… The entire content of internal space is topologically in contact with the content of external space at the limits of the living; there is, in fact, no distance in topology; the entire mass of living matter contained in the internal space is actively present to the external world at the limit of the living… To belong to interiority does not mean only to ‘be inside,’ but to be on the ‘in-side’ of the limit… At the level of the polarized membrane, internal past and external future face one another.

— [Gilles Deleuze, Logic of Sense. Trans. Mark Lester with Charles Stivale. New York: Columbia, 1990. p. 103-104.]

“Chaos does not exist; it is an abstraction because it is inseparable from a screen that makes something – something rather than nothing – emerge from it.”
“Each new prehension becomes a datum. It becomes public, but for other prehensions that objectify it; the event is inseparably the objectification of one prehension and the subjectification of another; it is at once public and private, potential and real, participating in the becoming of another event and the subject of its own becoming.”

Infrastructures of Creativity – IIT, Chicago (April 2014)


Michael Shrage 

“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.” — Franklin

“Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule.” — Bacon

“You cannot divorce discussions of self improvement from discussions of improvement — and I say this to anyone who is wearing a pair of glasses, using a computer, etc.”

“ But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages ” — Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 1776

  • An exchange that mutually improves – Gedankenexperiment: What happens when exchange becomes investment?
  • Ford – River Rouge – Mass production – What about the importance of the “human capital of driving.”
  • Page Rank – Larry Page – Google has figured out a way to monetise your human capital
  • “These technologies — these innovations — have improved you”
  • “Innovations are transformations of individual capabilities — as individual self interest evolves — the opportunities for new forms of innovation explode”
  • This is misunderstood by contemporary economics — but was understood by Smith (Self-improvement)

“The basic resource in any company is the people.”

“The reason why we are on a higher imaginative level is not because we have finer imaginations, but because we have better instruments. In science, the most important thing that has happened over the last forty years is the advance in instrumental design.” — A.N. Whitehead An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge

Where Are the Customers’ Yachts —> Where are the customer’s resources

Pamela Edwards: Questions about Bacon, Smith and their concept of felicity, introspection, self-regard, love, generosity. Smith mocking master planners, people can develop situations for themselves

  • “If you put a cucumber in brine you don’t purify the water, you get a pickle.”
  • “Innovations is the conversion of novelty into value.”
  • “Methodological Individualism”
  • Collaboration is a negotiation of the self
  • Conflation of self-interest / selfishness has prevented us from redefining
  • “I have stood on the shoulders of giants” was actually a dig at Robert Hooke, Newtons’ rival (who was short)
  • Carrie Fischer – novelist – “Instant gratification isn’t soon enough”

Paul Starr

Innovation and Democracy in Post-industrial America

  • Author of the Creation of the Media
  • National innovation systems — the patent, publishing, printing
  • ‘Penny presses’ and ‘Dime Novel’ — low in taste and low in price
  • Cheap print was ‘public policy’ in America

3rd industrial revolution

  • Not just technology in and of itself
  • Generative technology – user programmable
  • Post-office — Internet
  • It is entirely misleading to oppose innovation and public responsibility towards entrepreneurial
  • Google’s Page Rank was a NSF grant-funded technology
  • Fred Lock —
  • App Economies and Inventive Entrepreneurs
  • Inventor-entrepreneurs — combining tinkering and hacking
  • Bengler — radically distributed non-market mechanisms, cooperative enterprises (online communication reduced transaction costs, it removes the need for consensus decision making at all)
  • Opening up the circle of innovation — peer production, professional amateur  collaboration
  • Things becoming genuinely public instead of being technically public or policy-public

Gary Fine — re-appropriation (Richard Price), the limitations of creativity

  • The Entrepreneurial State – government as a funder of innovation, or government as a purchaser of innovation. The government is more influential where?


Mordechai Feingold

Isaac Newton: A Wellspring of Englightenment Creativity

  • Émilie du Châtelet / Voltaire / Newtown
  • Newtonian’s system as a splendid picture of nature
  • Watt steam engine
  • Pierre Simon de Laplace
  • Universal gravitation was the first and only general law discovered by man
  • Fourier – ‘today I am 21 years old, by this age Newton had already
  • Buffon – french biologist – how he had discovered the binomial theorem without knowing that Newton had done so…
  • The Fourierist – Charles Fourier
  • Francesco Solimena, Giambattista Vico
    • A work in which all that pertains to human understanding is reduced to a common principle
    • Gravitation of bodies — fundamentalism of Newtonianism
  • Adam Smith
    • Newtonian pedigree
    • “This means that between the one and the others there is a reciprocal action”
  • Beccaria
    • Applying the Newtonian principle to criminality and law
  • Kant
    • Universal history as a universalist model for the principles of nature and man
    • “After Newton and Rousseau, God is justified and Pope’s theorem [“whatever is, is right”] is true.”
  • Anti-Newtonian
    • The bounds of natural science may possibly extend beyond how we know Newton…
    • Jean-Paul Marat — resentment of contemporaries not recognising his genius
  • Goethe
    • A martyr of scientific truth
    • Theory colours — “I am the only person who knows the truth in the difficult science of colours — of that, I say, I am not a little proud… “

Alexander Pope – “Newton Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night: God said, “Let Newton be!” and all was light.”


Creative Networks (The Armor Conference Room)
Discussant: Kim Erwin, IIT Institute of Design

  • Laura Forlano — Shared Machine Shops
    • Center for Social Innovation (Toronto —
    • Community / family / networks / regular
    • Openness
    • Innovating the institutional form — “the future arrives sooner here”
    • Peer production of organisations
    • Pumping Station 1 — Chicago
    • Critically Generative
    • Defense Distributed — 3D printed as masculine
    • Laser cut fashion — laser cutting as feminine
    • Inclusion / Exclusion…
    • Use of online tools and media — communicating invitations
    • What cities generate these sorts of places?
  • Airi Lampinen — Networked Privacy
    • privacy as an interpersonal boundary process by which people regulate interaction with others
    • social network services
    • sharing — ’emic’ notion… there are many activities where we are consciously deciding at different ‘granularities’ of privacy — fitbits (you don’t make a decision about each footstep), or tracking on Facebook (you don’t get to make a decision if you’re using the system)
    • Interpersonal boundary regulation is a cooperative effort
    • ‘Opt-in’ systems provide a huge workload for people
    • Sharing is not just about online practices — telling someone not to take pictures of you at a party, exchanging
    • Main point: “Privacy is more than just individual”
  • Harmeet Sawhney,
    • Analytics of creativity in the University
    • Paris Salons — hand selected people, selection, social (writers commenting on musicians commenting on architectures), shallow discourse
    • London Coffee Houses — less curated, cross-class interaction
    • Format / Selection
    • Institute of Advanced Study and Thank Tanks
    • In the University — academy — review panels are narrow subject matter experts, the value put on consensus is too high
    • Low threshold for entry is not a bad thing
    • Insistence on detailed proposals makes the work pedantic and potentially less creative (interesting vis a vis
    • Formats — play between the formal and informal
    • Creativity is the sharing of half-baked ideas — why in the bar do most of the good ideas happen?
    • “Conference Chicken” — the role of food
    • Think Tanks / IAS
      • Critiques of the University are only coming from the Think Thanks, not from IAS (who tend to covet the favour of Universities)
      • IAS’s claims to rigour — there should be different
      • IAS as an ‘asylum’
      • Medvetz
    • The difference between speculative research and commercial work — pragmatic planning is required by the market

Fred Block

Doing 21st Innovation with the Paradigm of 18th Century Political Economy 

  • Poor design of powerpoint as deliberate
  • Market versus state binary
    • Market: efficient, innovative, dynamic
    • State: Wasterful, rigid, static
  • The use of the market/state binary has underwritten policy – tax cuts for corporations and the rich


  • Karl Polanyi
    • economies and institutional infrastructure
  • Enlightenment thinkers were about pushing back absolute list control — the binary of state and market was part of their language
  • The Design aware in the R&D magazine traced back to public private
  • Institutional mechanisms
    • Stanford research institute — department of defence contract — Apple SIRI
    • SBIR/STTR — 3 phase program — technological capability / business capability
    • Programs give out 7000 grants a year — firms keep themselves small to remain eligible
    • CRADAs — interdisciplinary groupings
    • When private firms want a serious technological problems solved, they hire government laboratories (the “work for others” agreements in federal laboratories)
  • The Risk-Reward issue
    • The federal R&D spend as a percentage
    • The state market binary means that the benefits of federal efforts are not paid back by the industrial/commercial rates (corporate tax0
    • Consumers pay twice for new drugs, for example, as we pay once as developers (tax money) and then corporate market margins

18th Century political economy does not work in the 21st Century

Gary Fine

  • “It is my chosen role to paint pictures, not to talk about them”
  • The justification of creativity — things placed before us to be assessed
  • “Cold reading” — a reading prior to the artist’s interpretation
  • Artists are already artist — the network, the community, the theoretical infrastructure
    • Reminds of the comment that the job rate for an artist is 100% — when they graduate, they’re artists!
  • “Medium Theory” (pun – about media but also between ‘high and low’)
  • Materiality draws out its evaluation, its justification — participants / critique
  • Failed critiques (?)
    • Making faculty crawl through a wooden tunnel
    • Faith — Christianity
  • MFA critiques — not in the person and not in the object
    • Interesting in terms of digital ‘branding’ — constellation thinking
  • Constituting creativity (requirements)
    • in a material world (the power of what is spoken)
    • into a community (the power of the speaker)
  • Formal systems of judgement for creativity / art
    • market
    • material
    • community…

Stephane Gutzeil

  • Experimental School
  • Studying innovation in a ‘humanistic’ way
  • “First venture capital fund attached to a University in Europe”
  • Bauhaus — informing design practice at Stanford, Black Mountain College,
  • “The men of vision…”
  • Thomas Mann — “conservatism of the future” — conservatism of the future, is serene … it envisions the new placed with
  • Mies Vanderoe
    • “all education must begin with the practical side of life” (fermitas)
    • possible, necessary and desired
  • Gropius versus Corbusier
  • Function is one out of three goals, “in its simplest form, architecture is function”
  • Creating ‘new order’ is the artists task
  • An artist is of continual self sacrifice for the Bauhaus
    • “Art” as imaginative perception
  • Critique of the contemporary avant guard — as the artist is bringing about
  • Critique of Design Thinking — applied, formulaic — Bauhaus did not understand design as potentially a recipe or formula

Harvey Molotch 

  • Cyril Stanley Smith — playfulness — “necessity is not the mother of invention…”
    • Aesthetically motivated investigation (e.g.: Music being the reason we invented math)
    • Love (Steve Jobs, Bruno Latour)
  • Polanyi’s Nice – Eva Zeisel – head of the largest factory in the world in Hungary – arrested for plotting the death of Stalin (Hans Zeisel)
  • To end the dualisms of form and function
  • Transient novelty
  • The Semiotic Handle — “Technology of Enchantment” (Alfred Gell)
  • “A Matter of Taste” – Stanley L. (study of naming)
    • Tastes rise and fall over time…
    • Indigenous and Exogenous forces


  • Happiness (like technology) is not a thing, not a goal, but an effect of other things. The importance of work.
  • That all improvement is self-improvement.  Self-interest. Communalism and ‘the gift.’ Think of the inherent interests of the ‘programmer’ or ‘artists —> the interest in the material, in the obsessive/fetish, etc. How to balance this
  • The difference between innovation, invention — as external or internal to creators / societies / communities
  • Somehow this discussion of Newton and his massive influence — makes it seem that there is a ‘constructed’ world of ideas — everyone reading into and reacting to the system of erudite and enlightened ideas…
  • The invention of privacy
  • How a prototype argues — how a design argues — how an invitation argues
  • Presenting other peoples’ papers — ego removal
  • Inverted Conference — only dinners, then breaks to do work
  • Silicon Valley — collaboration on napkins – the restaurants start giving out bigger napkins
  • The self evidence of what aesthetics can offer??
  • Diffusion of power (in people) by emphasising process
  • The devolution of judgement / critique through online communities
events ideas

Weather Control – Mark Dorrian (2014)

Weather Control – Dubai’s sunny mountain ski-dome as an allegory of the future

Weather of Utopia

  • Chinese weather control – Olympics – weather army
  • Thomas Moore – Utopia – Geoengineering (the radical reconstruction of nature by culture) – Hithledae, Calvino
  • Utopus articulating an acting of geoengineering – making an island, a project that is designed
  • Technical ideas – stress the degree that atmospheric thinking becomes bound to utopic thinking
  • LeCorbusier – exact air, 64.4 deg F – coast of Chile

  • Charles Fourier – Walter Benajmin – Arcades Project
  • Climatalogical mechanism
  • Fourier sees the aurora borealis – seminal emanation
  • Sea of lemonade
  • Labour disappears we loose the alienated condition we currently have
  • – Astor
  • Terrestrial Axis Straightening Company (TASC)
  • Sans Desous les Desous
  • Fantastic Voyage — meteorological engineering
  • Atmo-terrorism — Terror from the Air by Peter Sloterdijk
  • Laputa — magnetic loadstone — magnetic levitation (live through tributes from the people who live below — with threat of weather control)

Owning the Weather

  • Weaponising the weather
  • 1971 – weather control rocketed into popular consciousness
  • NMOD
  • Examine the concepts — dominant air and space force in the future
  • “The world or parts of it are able to shape local weather communities…”
  • If we don’t do it — someone will have to do it for us…

Owning the Weather

  • Rem Koolhaas Delirious New York — culture of congestion
  • Dubai — emergence of similar dreamscape
  • Sprial Jetty — Nakheel Masterplanners of the Universe (branding at a global scale – through the medium of the satellite image)
  • SkyDome — experience dubiland…
  • Buckminster Fuller — domes floating from their own heatscape — Cloud 9
  • Weather is alienation — we need to make nice with the weather before we are able to get everything right
  • Climaticological erotics
  • Environment Bubble
  • The poignancy of air’s subjugation to technology comes from what it stood for before — freedom, openness, etc.
  • Irruguray’s “Forgetting of Air” – Heidegger’s idea of making an opening – air is always there
  • “The Uses and Abuses of Air”

Consuming Climate

  • Interiorisation of the nature — the anthropocene
  • Technological remediation
  • Arctic experiences — not ski slope experiences — why? Purity and external nature (the arctic)
  • Destruction as the pleasure principle

Questions — “The Grass is Always Cleaner” / The Seller of Air


Mark Hansen – 2012 Dec 13

Mark NB Hansen 

The Possibility of media forms that don’t address humans at the perceptual level 

Whitehead’s ‘neutral theory of subjectivity’ – all processes in the world – when sensors gather data they are having subjective

  • “perception in the mode of presentational immediacy.”
  • what we need is a new concept of perception – 
  • 21st century media extends our perception – traces, analytics, sensory experience that are not available to conscious awareness
  • toward a non-conscious sensibility 
  • the technical distribution of sensibility – humans should embrace their reliance on systems of data analytics as supplements to their activity 

Person of Interest – The Machine – antiterrorist system – knowledge is impossible, so they have to get involved – surveillance tech. There no interface – the machine has all the information – they are submitting themselves to the data…

Precogs – visions don’t agree with each other – the images are subject to hermeneutic analysis

The Operational Present…

  • Jordan Crandall – the technical transformations calculative ontology of prediction. Technological media – indelibly… sensory. 
    • the experiential paradigm of 21st century media – gathering data that is not available to consciousness
  • Precognitive vocation of networked media
    • Networked capitalism – “networked surplus value” 
    • Nigel Thrift – exploiting marginal advantage “captialism is attempting the huge resevoir as fore-thought – a vital performative element of situations”
    • There needs to be a politics that takes place in the gap between consciousness and media
    • Demonted – Libitz missing half second
  • Cyborg assemblage
    • The missing half second – schmitken 
    • There is no natural agency – the missing half second cannot exist as a self-standing agency
    • “Brain time”
    • Ignoring the technosocial brain-time experiment 
    • There can be no opening up the “small space of time” – it is an originary technical artifact
    • Experiential level of the web is just a surface level for the farming of data
    • Data phase of actualisation ”  
  • The feedforward effect of 21st century consciousness
    • Actuality is conditioned by tendency
    • Consciousness comes to learn that it lags behind its own efficacy 
    • “causal efficacy non-sensuous perception”
  • The pharmacology of 21st century media
    • Thrift – creation of neurophenomological world
    • nonphenomenolisable
    • Stop analysing media as technical structure of consciousness
    • Medialogical modulation – we are not re-engineering the present to expand human agency within the space of that present
    • non-anthropological theory of media

Brain time is not a space of action – systems that analyse behavioral traces 

  • the long circuits of attention – 
  • control of attention in ways that doesn’t even interface with consciousness 
  • the ‘content’ is the lure of the internet – but this doesn’t 
  • return of amateurism – an empty gesture
  • Recorded Future  
  • Lazarato
  • Biometric book – book portions of 
  • Benjamin – shock experience in film – as physiological (appreciates the way film works) 

Olga Goriunova – 2012 Dec 12

The force of digital aesthetics: on memes, hacking and individuation –

Olga Goriunova

  • Influence of the meme on real culture
  • Blue bucket campaign – Russia
  • Memes – “Know Your Meme”
    • ‘astroturfing’ not a forced meme
  • “Asian Father” meme
  • Meme is a system of technical performances 
  • In memetic – taking the human subject out of the picture – the human is replaced by 
  • The most successful meme was memetics itself 

Simondon & Bahktin 

  • Individuation of the becoming of being – oscillation between the individual and the pre-individual
  • Transindividuation – very positive to Stiegler, but in Simondon this has the absolute transformative power through a certain a kind of solitude
  • Theatre of individuation – ontogensis as a spectacular theatre of individuation 
  • … Psychic individuation relies on genuine interiority


  • Wholeness becomes through aesthetics 
  • The process of singularisation (individuation) – is primarily and profoundly aesthetics
  • A whole human being comes from aesthetics
  • The “aesthetic reflex of life” – it is not about representation
  • The emotion singularisation that aesthetics allows creates the body and the soul 
  • “Aesthetics expresses and set in motion through the act”
    • Always on the 
  • Ethico-aesthetics
  • The aethetic confirmation of the act of the production of the world

Towards memes…

  • Stiegler’s reading of this might be negative – as a non-attentional form that disindividuates
  • Technologies have always been a part of individuation – but now it is of a different scale
  • Meme cultures as youth cultures…
  • Raw production that is happening in a public way – 
  • Process of formation of subject – the process of formation and becoming 
  • Katherine Hayles, Jodi Dean – negative reading so the social / memetic 

Rebecca Black’s Friday

  • What do people accomplish by making these mimicries… ?

Nyan Cat – Oiginal Video

  • People watching Nyan Cat for 24hrs… enacting the ‘idiot’ (Deleuzian figure of the idiot – when the idiot searches for the truth in his own private way… The Idiot)
  • “i would prefer not to…’ – Bartelby
  • Certain kinds of discourses 
A particular technoaesthetic form – processual completion that brings the architectonics of a meme into being in the first place 
These are potentially individuating – not just ‘noise’ (political, etc., helping to develop a
4-chan – Gabriella Coleman – the figure of the troll
Technoaesthetics platforms such as 4chan – create memes – which then lead  Meme Center
Dick Hebdige – subcultures – dominant and non-dominant cultures…
  • Practicing of a resistance? 
  • How is this difference from punk? This is different as it is more fluid, changing boundary and scales 
  • Or a cutoff of the subcultures
Aesthetic judgement – “there are certain things that are good and certain things that are bad”
Technical and human infrastructures – aren’t these the same? (Stiegler)
“Playing the network” – having power around 
Proletarian image of the technician – is there a place in this discourse for the technician, the engineer – the systems developers – particularly in the flipping of 4chan – memes – meme generator …. not in terms of origin, but in terms of the technician’s own techno-aesthetic interest or motivation?
Art Platforms – “brilliance” – baktin and simondon to add the aesthetic side of the becoming.  What becoming is 
Creativity is loudest when next to tyranny.  
Agamben / Schozonitzen – concentration camps – that creativity inside youtube is like creativity inside the concentration camps (!?) 

Roy Ascott – 2012 Nov 22

There is no difference in principle between sharpening perception with an external instrument, such as a microscope, and sharpening it with an internal instrument, such as one of these…drugs.  If they are an affront to the dignity of the mind, the microscope is an affront to the dignity of the eye and the telephone to the dignity of the ear. Strictly speaking, these drugs do not impart wisdom at all, any more than the microscope alone gives knowledge. They provide the raw materials of wisdom, and are useful to the extent that the individual can integrate what they reveal into the whole pattern of his behavior and the whole system of his knowledge – Alan Watts, Joyous Cosmology

Andrew Pickering – on the dream machine… 

I think of flicker as a peculiar sort of technology of the self—a technique for producing states of being that depart from the everyday—and we can explore several of them, material and social, and their associated states as we go along. Walter also offered cybernetic analyses of yogic feats and the achievement of nirvana. All of this research makes sense if one thinks of the brain as per- formative, and it connects, in ways that we can explore further, both to the spiritual dimension of cybernetics and to the sixties. – The Cybernetic Brain Sketches

Planetary Collegium

Fernando Pessoa

The Possibility of an Island


Guilherme Kujawski – 2012 Nov 22

Neocybernetic Art or Affect and Conversation in the Animal and the Machine

  • Pask meets Simondon through Cybernetics 
  • Instead of communitcation (Wiener) propose conversation (Pask) 
  • The beholder is an active, informative participant 
  • The environment which permeates the systems – the associated milieu
  • Umberto Maturana


  • Philip Beesley – Hylozoic Ground (2006) 
  • ENKi (2006- ) – Anthony Hall 
  • Art without an observer – not possible – aesthetics as requires a consciousness (?)

Andrew Pickering – 2012 Nov 20

Andrew Pickering – Re-New Festival

Aldous Huxley – The doors of perception – William Blake – John Cunstable – “This is not drawing this is inspiration” – “I have meant it to be drawing” 

Stages a split between active human agency between active human beings and static things – the split is asymmetric 

What connects things and people – is sight (sense) and cognition

This asymmetric dualism – is the natural ontological attitude of the modern west.

The ontological politics – specific ontologies to specific practices

Science is a “dance of agency” – material performances in the lab – in scientific research nature doesn’t perform in a machine like fashion.  The point of research is to be surprised – brutal emergence, becoming. 

Glaser – bound up in the dance – not in control – time lapse images – bubble track.  “He had somehow lined himself up with the material world…”

Taoist – “we are just there in one corner of being”

Art teachers us about the Tao in technologies – the symmetry or dance of agency

Bonzai trees – cannot register in terms of a Western Art framing 

Ontological Theater – staging the de-centred ontologies of a taoist kind 

Seven Days by Christ Wellsby 

Music for Solo Performer by Alvin Lucier

Hilozoist art – Art is already all there, in nature

The Electrochemical Glass – Brown (2006) 

Critical Transition – Bjorda

Staging Agency 

Musicolor – The Colloqui of Mobile – Gordon Pask

Archigram – Fun Palace – places that 



Petit Mal

The tortoise These parents have two children: One is electric (robots as a performative brain) 

Garnet Hertz’s – cockroach controlled robot

Technologies of the Self

Brian Gyson – Dream Machine

Chris Salter – JMD – lower limits of awareness

Huxley – Mescaline

John C Lilly – Deep Self 


Agency – Realism

The human and the non-human are symmetrically caught up together in a plane of agency 

Why should we bother – why should we work on how people understand

Max Hawkheimer – The world of objects to be judged, is in large measure..

Ontology and action hang together  (media and method?)

Art becomes political in this non-standard but broad sense

Bad emergence – environmental catastrophe 

Neo-taoist engineering – open-ended dances of agency – adaptive environmental management

Staging of ontological taoism – that help us deal with macro-phenomena in new ways

“Erosion control in japan is like a game of chess…”



Kapra – interested in the history of ideas – whereas Andrew is interested in the practices of ideas (my phrase) 

The Tao of Chemistry