Category Archives: phd


ronnel – 2012 Aug 18

Parasites – collaborations – rejection 




Language as a virus – parasitic – Kittler

Crack Wars 

  • What is more singular than your experience of drugs
  • Hashish / Benjamin 
  • Beauvary – the first addicted body 
  • Benjamin wanted to quote everyone – his textual body
  • Drugs here used as a research writing crossing over instrument to get close to psychosis
  • What do we hold against the drug addict – that he or she is connecting
Freud – Wolfman wanted to shit on Frued’s head – this is a great compliment


  • The rejection of the material / dirtiness 
  • The parasitic is a material reference to the m


A northern Isola Bella 


Robert Bramkamp

Flight – Standby mode

Gelbe SorteYellow variety

  • Move narrative events until they are changed visual fields – then allowing them to become operational 
  • The milk mountain

The Conquest of the Center

  • Review
  • Baktin
  • The most advanced machine that renders pictures of truth 
  • Computer tomography of the brain – quest for space – dark matter
  • We face the fact that we have to walk the way to normality – German Defense Minister

Military Normality 

  • Co

Luna Programme

Group therapy / Churches / Acting classes

  • Test sites for performances of collectivity 
  • Giving people a break from their individuality 
  • Collectivity as a source of narrative force

malibou – 2012 Aug 18

Foucault and Neuroscience

  • Critical neuroscience 
  • What is Critique – What is Enlightment – Foucault
    • 1784 – Published a response to the question “What is Enlightment” – by Kant
    • What is this event that is called the aufclarung
  • LeDou
    • You are your synapses
    • The space for reason is to be found in the space between two nerve cells
  • Foucault vs. Metzinger (author of Being No One) 
    • Cognitivist: There is no you – you are nobody, autonomy is never yours. Nobody ever was or has a self – it is not a thing but a process.
      • The experience of the immediacy of consciousness emerges as a fiction
      • “My brain” doesn’t mean anything – there is no way a subject can become aware of his or her own neurons
      • The brain is transparent from the standpoint of the subject
    • Continental: Relations
      • Relation of control
      • Relation of action
      • Relation of oneself  – what is this relation of oneself
      • What about ontology – 
  • Zizek
    • It is in the nature of consciousness that it misperceives the gap that seperates it from raw nature
    • lacan: all cognition is misrecognition

Phylosophy – Neurobiology – Biopolitics

  • Synapsis
    • Synth – together
    • Apsis – bind
    • The spaces between brain cells 
    • The brain is the space between – the intervals between cells


  • Neural plasticity
  • Neural transparency
  • It is in the absence of subjectivity 
  • Each of us is no one in her own way

What is enlightenment 

  • The outline of modernity – Kant according to Foucault “Who is modern man?  He is not the man who goes off to discover himself.  He’s the man who tries to invent himself”
  • Technologies of the self
    • self fashioning 
    • subjectivity never precedes its own invention
    • gestural creation 
  • What given the contemporary order of being can I be?

Judith Butler – What is Critique

  • What criteria delimit the sorts of resa
  • To be critical is to be self-transformative

Foucault and Metzinger are in agreement – 

Suprisingly at this very hight point of natrualism, the return of the romantic

The transcendental – precisely not the biological or the empirical – plasticity as rational, univerisal.  Perhaps the transcendental itself is maleable. 

The new cirticims is not going to – rather a historical investigation into the events that allow ourselves to recognise ourselves as subjects.

“The Experimental transcendental” – Foucault 

The Emotional Brain – there cannot be any reason without emotion.  If we weren’t able to have emotions/drive – we wouldn’t 

Cells that fire together wire together 

How can we think of a neuro-plasticity of the humanities?

Long term potentialisation – these vary with the influence of the environment. 


  • The eye is the illusion the brain needs
  • Experimental transcendental – Experimental metaphysics 
  • The I and the Brain, the Brain and the I
  • Neurobiologists tend towards the claim of properties – if plasticity rebuilds properties it will be “non receivable”
    • Neural unconscious? 
  • Freedom according to Kant – a new beginning – outside of biology.  Freedom is super-sensory. Why? Our plasticity would not allow us to break with the biological 

I very interested in this idea of experimental transcendental (of the self) and how we might use materials to investigate the self… because experimentality turns thought into a practice, itself a kind of freedom of process / thought – Although I realise this isn’t precisely what you are addressing here tonight. I wonder about another set of seemingly contradictory terms which arise when we shift from the subject to the object, which are ‘experimental metaphysics’ – does this idea resonate with the kind of realist project you’re pursuing?


Dufourmantelle – 2012 Aug 17 (evening)


Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language. – Marx

  • Manipulation games are win-win – narcicistic games are most welcomed
  • Nostalgia was the first neurosis diagnosed
  • Risking your life – what does this have to do with the process of conversion
  • There is no world there is only islands
  • The art of touching hte soul while not touching the flesh – what is untouchable in the other
  • No one knows what a body can do – Spinoza

 The passage a l’act – the realisation of an actuality through a fantasy

  • We would like to think that are actions are our own

Conversion as Kairos 

  • The presence of pure pleasure 
  • Desires cease to be desires – becomes undone
  • New kinds of freedom – the possibility of alteration and otherness to inhabit us for just a moment
  • Kairos – in modern greek kairos is weather

Transgressive – conversion – learning – the ‘turning’

Chamber of Horrors – something has to be revealed – not a sacrifice 

Heidegger: the stone that has no world… the dasein which is worlding 

Is changing part of an ethical task?

Why do we want to learn?  Why is knowing good? 

Trauma could be good – it is trauma that creates history / society and we are in denial of this


Rickels – 2012 Aug 17

Laurence A. Rickels


  • Finding a dissociative pathway to deal with the loss of the penis
  • What is it that drives us to technologise the body? 
  • Media-technologies are only technologies 
  • What creates a technology is it fetishisation 
    • Freuds analogises psychoses as technical media 
  • Post-war psychoanalysis allows psychosis to be habitable 


  • The advent of rocket – time travel
    • Germany trying to dominate a media (air) as the brits did with the sea…
  • Psychotechnical research: E.g.: What would the best psychological profile of the pilot?
    • Result: The best ‘merging’ of the plane and man happens with the 
    • The Efficient Soldier – claud isla – new reliance on a psyche that was balance on \
    • Zulu time?
    • The merger of the pilot with the machine in flight – Metz (1920s)
    • The 

Woman in the Moon

  • Science Faction – marks the beginning of science fiction’s transition into a ‘presupposed reality of the future’ instead of pure fantasy (A rocket was meant to be launched at the opening…) 
  • Destination Moon (film)
    • One of the earlier and most important films of the era was 1950’s widely publicized Destination Moon. It follows a nuclear-powered rocketship carrying four men to the moon, against a background of competition against the Soviets.
    • Counting down instead of counting up 
  • Dark City (1998)

How to integrate psychosis into the post-war society – the trajectory from Fritz Lang to American Science Friction to Disneyland aesthetics to Dark City.

Test for being human:

  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep: The Android Test
  • Bladerunner (Descartes)
  • Human life is in the predicament of undecidability with regards to the reality of existence
Simulacra –  third order of simulacra rests on ultimate simulation
  • The capitalist economy and 
  • Edward Bernays
    • Experts hired to talk about the “importance” of having a music room in the home 
    • propaganda – projecting a simulated version of reality in order to create an absence to fill through commercialisation / consumerism

Welt am Draht

  • Character “Christopher Nobody” commits suicide inside the simulation
  • Developing relations to ‘order within simulation’ 
  • The simulated world is also Art Deco
  • The transfer helmet is a racing helmet / 


  • The interfaces of the alternate reality – helmets, headmounted devices, brain injections – how are transitions made into and out of ‘realities’ take place



Dufourmantelle, Ronnel, Alferi – 2012 aug 15

Alferi: Monsters (McKay) / Monstrosities – hybrids / natural forms (Granville) – Entree des Androgines (male/females) 

  • hybridity = the betterment of 
  • size / scale
    • from the spec to the spectacular 
    • kafka’s father as ‘all bunched up’ 
    • exceeding calculation 
  • Neitszche’s inverted cripple
    • very proud of his little ears –  
  • Serres 
    • parasite (french) – noise
  • infanticide 
    • children and hospitality 
  • Freud:  When a woman dreams about worms she is pregnant
  • Nightmare invokes the monstrous shelter 
  • Mere Folle – the jester – poeticity – allows the speaking of truth
    • Speaking humour to the heart of power – monstrous baffoons – superheroes with a great weakness
    • The power – sovereign – monster – God is a monster
    • Dora / Freud – guinea pig of a new experiment – we have to take the risk of the monstrosity hidden in the language
  • Zombies are what we are becoming very soon – 
  • Breast / monster / menstration
    • Melanie Klein
    • The breast as persecution – the first relation to alterity / the other
  • Using the gothic (Marx and the werewolf, etc.) to describe structural monstrosity.  The return of infantile projects in times of war…
    • The monsterisation of the enemy
    • Hegelian war – wars of history – contemporary wars don’t carry to term the pregnancy of history
  • Hegel and monsters of difference – as the art production process
  • Capitalism / canabalism – those involved in the market who lost money during the crash invited the vampire into your own home 
  • Frankenstein’s reading list
    • Goethe – reading about suicide – a manual for disposing of himself out of love for his creator
    • The monstrous removed from a 
    • Mis a mort – Golem
    • Monstrous is that what you can’t get rid of
  • Distortion
    • racism / politics / power
  • Let the Right One In / Handling the Undead – Pet Sematary
  • The relationship between monstrousness and what is really there – “the real.”  
    Do we use the monster to understand that which we can’t ‘handle’ (that we’re on our own, etc.)  

A Monster Soup commonly called Thames Water Coloured etching by William Heath London 1828

A Monster Soup commonly called Thames Water – William Heath, 1828
  • The technical monster – are all monsters (as extra-human, outside nature) technical?  Frankenstein, vampires, zombies – technical in origin
    • Faust – the technomonster 
    • Fritz Lang’s Metropolis
    • Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times
    • E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops”
    • Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World
    • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke

Henrich von Kleist

  • AmphytrionAlkmene
  • Ach!  
    • WTF
    • whatever… 
    • “ou pas” – or not… 
    • really///? (californian, portland) 
  • Diacritical mark – exclamations 
  • Habe nun, ach!   I have ‘ach’ (Faust)
  • The beginning of texts starting with made up words – unintelligibility – in order to transition into the text
  • ‘sprache’, ‘sache’
  • Kant-crise

From Alex Wolf

The Call of Cthulhu – H.P. Lovecraft, 1926.  “Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival… a survival of a hugely remote period when… consciousness was manifested, perhaps, in shapes and forms long since withdrawn before the tide of advancing humanity… forms of which poetry and legend alone have caught a flying memory and called them gods, monsters, mythical beings of all sorts and kinds…” – Algernon Blackwood

The Horror In Clay.  The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.


Dufourmantelle – 2012 aug 15


  • as philosophy it is interesting to use this word as it is – as it is not overused
  • Deleuze – Neitsche – concepts have a time of their own, they are used, they become blunted / dulled 
  • realism and nominalism
    • nominalist “truth being a decision of language”
    • realism “there is a real outside what you would call reality”
  • conversion and hysteria (neurosis of conversion) 
  • conversion (for Plato) cannot come from within, you always need a witness to attest to a new event
  • mirror stage


  • time – speech act – every speech act is a promise 
  • ‘i will do this’ – undermined current that can always destroy the effect of the promise – doubt 
  • doubt in witnessing 
  • history is trauma – humanising this trauma 
  • its very difficult for a body to lie – why is this the case? 
    • the body is less and less invited to discourses politically, because ideology/thought/discourse

martyr and witness 

  • writing of a secret/message on a slave’s forehead 
  • Aristotle – torture truth and witnessing

the subject in transformation – who you are and what do you seek (desire) – as a theme in Western philosophy.

plato’s cave – images must be revealed, but you also have to go back to the polis and convert / witness to them. insist on the political dimension of plato’s case – i.e.: it is not just a parable about self-discovery.

socrates trial – was put to death for ‘corrupting the young’

realism and nominalism

  • Plato’s self critique – if there are universalities where do they come from?
  • st. augustine – philosophy and time outside of God
  • in physics/mathematics – e.g.: looking for the higgs boson.  is this ‘real’ or because we seek it, it will be found. 

st. jerome

  • what can we learn from animality 
  • are we first human as humans
  • the animal as the witness – the otherness of the animal
  • Derrida – pictures the eyes of his cat – imagines what the cat is looking at – otherness, the lion’s presence 



  • host: hospice and hostile – an impossible 
  • animality to phantoms – are we hospitable only to our own species 
  • the body doesn’t lie – maybe the animal body doesn’t lie either
  • jonah and the whale: jonah was asked to convert a people, denied god’s request, was brought back to the land by the whale, but fails at the conversion.  god doesn’t punish the people.  


  • Plato’s mistake – why would what we look at (shadows) not be reality? 
  • “platonician” in french
  • conversion and teaching – the ‘ah ha’ moment.  the radicality of learning 
  • conversion as related to trauma, something that can’t be said
  • psychiatry joke:  patient leaves the doctor’s office, ‘you know you’re not a grain of corn, right?” – patient comes back, ‘i met a chicken,’ doctor: ‘but you know you’re not a grain of corn, right?’ patient: ‘yes but does she?’
  • technicity as distancing from the body – the organ that cannot lie. e.g.: in war
  • psychic shift – conversion – baby shifting from breathing water to breathing air
  • learning as transformation
  • surveillance and technology – technicity as representing another animicity?
  • Roshomon 

De Francesco – 2012 Aug 14 (evening)

Alessandro De Francesco


De Francesco in continent. (Belle Cushing)

Forrest Gander


Augmented Writing

Garamond was one of the first fonts to emulate handwriting

Reading Environments – computer processing of audio of voice

If I had to chose between meaning – sound, I would choose both (if I had to chose to open one door or the other, I would take a hammer 

Describing technology – media machine – personal intimate (psychoanalytical) 

extradiegetic – film sound and music

Inwardness and politics – no hierarchies 

Cache Michel Haneker – politico-psychological

Polish director – Kovalski – 50 minutes of images from surveillance camera – personal diary of an american painter

Are there ways to think a state except through media? 



Manovich – 2012 jun 20

New kind of epistemology derived from a new kind of occurrence – 

Shannon and the theory of information – the flat audio signal (meaningless) / audio white noise (meaningless) 

Barthes – The Photographic Message

Positivism versus Hermeneutics – Baktin’s Circle

Culturenomics – Quantitative analysis of culture using millions of digitized books

Pattern Recognition

Quantitative analysis of culture using millions of digitized books

ImageJ – ImagePlot – Documentation

Aspects of Language as Technology

  • Differences of degree
  • Language is good with temporable 

Many Eyes 

Feature Space

The development of a feature space out of more-than-3d space – 

Are we trying to understand things about the cultural data set or Are we developing a set of algorithms to replace ourselves 

Jerry Fodor

Statistical Analysis

R Project For Statistical Analysis

Factor Analysis 

Software Epistemology 

Philosophical Object 

Lyotard – The Field: Knowledge in Computerised Societies

Principal component analysis

Mark Hansen


Text Analytics


Natural Language Toolkit


General Architecture for Text Engineering


Music Information Retrieval

Geometries of proximity – algebraic distance in feature spaces where songs are placed (e.g.: Pandora has 600 features) 

Echonest – Pandora – LastFM 




Content Based Image Retrieval

Video Fingerprinting

The understanding of algorithms – how the steps of complex algorithms can be exposed 

The development of computational cognition systems pre-dating the understanding of perceptual mechanisms`

  • either there is a ‘real’ towards which image processing mechanisms head
  • or people are “responding to the industrial demand”

Blue Brain Project – Not a model between a simulation


Manovich – 2012 jun 19

Digital Humanities

Almila Akdag Salah 

“Far reading” (looking at many pieces of data)  vs “Close Reading”

Digital Division of the NEH – Digital Humanities 

Now that we have massive databases of materials used by scholars in the humanities and social sciences — ranging from digitized books, newspapers, and music to transactional data like web searches, sensor data or cell phone records — what new, computationally-based research methods might we apply? As the world becomes increasingly digital, new techniques will be needed to search, analyze, and understand these everyday materials.

Parallel expansion of professional cultural universe 

Literary and non-literary diction

Data Revolution

Google Trends

Google Insights


Gap Minder 

Art Stor

BlogPulse – NMincite

Info Chimps

Visual Complexity

History Flow

Social Media

Global Style – Global Digital Culture 

International style of the 21st Century 

Data Visualisation

Lee Byron

Vernacular Visualisation

Photomapping / Photographic Culture 

Media Analytics

Mapping the World’s Photos

A Measurement-driven Analysis of Information Propagation in the Flickr Social Network

Locals versus Tourists

Cinemetrics – projects

Software Studies

Cultural Analytics Powerpoints

Evening Lecture

Culture Vis


New Aesthetics (?)

Minimalist art – Kazimir Malevich as something which compresses better 

Statistically Improbable Phrases

The development of find-ability and semantic web structures 


Statistics / Data Mining

Descriptive statistics



Steve Ramsay on “The Hermeneutics of Screwing Around”

A Measurement-driven Analysis ofInformation Propagation in the Flickr Social Network

Mondrian Software

Chronicling America

Louis Menand: “Once our attention is redirected to the individual, we need another way of making generalizations. We are no longer interested in the conformity of an individual to an ideal type; we are now interested in the relation of an individual to the other individuals with which it interacts. To generalize about groups of interacting individuals, we need to drop the language of types and essences, which is prescriptive (telling us what finches should be), and adopt the language of statistics and probability, which is predictive (telling us what the average finch, under specified conditions, is likely to do). Relations will be more important than categories; functions, which are variable, will be more important than purposes; transitions will be more important than boundaries; sequences will be more important than hierarchies.”