art realisations

“I have tested it”

David Samling, Copenhagen

Fragment of a box with a combination lock, cast and hammered brass, inlaid with silver and copper
Iran, Isfahan?; 597 H = 1200-1201
H: 4.4; W: 23.5; D: 18.5 cm

This combination lock is the work of the astrolabe-maker Muhammad ibn Hamid al-Asturlabi al-Isfahani in 597 H. At around the same time, the mechanical genius al-Jazari described a similar lock in his Book of Ingenious Mechanical Devices. The combination lock must thus be common property, a scientific invention whose origins can be traced back to the Mediterranean cultures of Antiquity.

The four double dials, each of which can be set in 16 positions, allows for 4,294,967,296 combinations. When the right combination is entered, it releases the inner metal plate, which is attached both to an external handle and to the locking mechanism itself. 

Discover Islamic Art

Al-Asṭurlâbî and as-Samaw’al on Scientific Progress

art realisations

Art against temperance

Jocelyn Robert’s “Art against temperance”, a text produced by running the “Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ) manifesto through the english spellcheck of Microsoft Word. Excerpt: “Five le Quéebec limbered, five legs camaraderie priestliness poleitiques, five la revelations queebecoise, five Art against temperance.”


Nervous System — Mick Taussig (1992)

Why the Nervous System?

  • I admit to falling foul of the whirlygigging of the Nervous System, first nervous, then a system; first system, then nervous—nerve center and hierarchy of control, escalating to the topmost echelon, the very nerve-center, we might say, as high as the soul is deep, of the individual self.
  • And whenever I try to resolve this nervousness through a little ritual or a little science I realize this can make the NS even more nervous. Might not the whole point of the NS be it’s always being a jump ahead, tempting us through its very nervousness towards the tranquil pastures of its fictive harmony, the glories of its system, thereby all the more securely energizing its nervousness?
  • Objects taking on human forms. 
  • “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat,” Georg Lukacs
  • Of Benjamin… “The tradition of the oppressed,” he wrote at the end of the 1930s, “teaches us that the ‘state of emergency* in which we live is not the exception but the rule.”
  • It calls for an understanding of the representation as contiguous with that being represented and not as suspended above and distant from the represented— what Adorno referred to as Hegel’s programmatic idea—that knowing is giving oneself over to a phenomenon rather than thinking about it from above. And it calls for a mode of writing no less systematically nervous than the NS itself—of which, of course, it cannot but be the latest extension, the penultimate version, the one permanently before the last.
    • Similar to the Serres Keynote — Philosophy After Nature conclusion — the contiguity of the represented and the thing:  “Being able to reflect them, any object can become the subject of other objects. Verne’s cave even shows the vision of the universe has of itself… They discover the bottom of a cornucopia, rich and saturated with material and informational plenitude that, represents both the world as it is and the joyful splendor of thinking. I do not see any difference anymore between reality and representation, since the latter is part of the former.” 
    • “…like anything in the world, like everything that lives, I am a diamond, made of hard canon that is at times pure, transparent or granular, reflecting a thousand times over the thousand and one hues of the rainbow, shining out of the multiple things of the world and of the thousands of people and living things I ever met.”

Tactility and Distraction – Chapter 8

  • O

Taussig – Cabinet Magazine Interview

How much of the magic of the state is manipulation by state operators, and how much is projection from the people onto those operators and operations—a popular participation?

It’s a circle.


Ubicomp 2014

Ubicomp 2014

NASA Wearables – The Space Suit – Keynote

Group Activity Recognition using Belief Propagation for Mobile Devices
Dawud Gordon, Markus Scholz, Michael Beigl

  • “Belief Propagation”
  • Implications of GAR for QS – quantified self is too focused on
  • WoSense (Data Empowerment — Two Sense
  • Emergent Behavior 

Identity Crisis of Ubicomp? Mapping 15 Years of the Field’s Development and Paradigm Change
Yong Liu, Jorge Goncalves, Denzil Ferreira, Simo Hosio, Vassilis Kostakos

Creative Collaboration With a Social Robot
Peter H Kahn, Jr., Takayuki Kanda, Hiroshi Ishiguro, Solace Shen, Heather E Gary, Jolina H Ruckert

  • HINTS Lab
  • Interaction with Nature — ‘connects us to our souls’
  • A positive vision of technology — not more consumer goods, not things that dull our senses
  • Droodle – A bear climbing up the other side of a tree – as a creativity test for a human and a robot
  • Voice aesthetics — semantics drives it more than the ‘quality of the voice’
  • Wizard of Oz experiment — there was a person behind it — did this effect the kinds of questions that you asked? (i.e.: trying to behave like a robot) 

The Effects of Visual Displacement 
How much visual SS (Simulated Sickness) 

  • Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ)
  • Day Effect — Simulator Sickness went down after a repeated set of days 

Paper about being able to tell if someone is engaged in the world, or the virtual world (using focal distance measurement)

phd readings

Meadows – Vilém Flusser (1979)

Meadows by Vilém Flusser from Natural Mind 

An essay on nature and culture which describes how ‘culture’ relates to the agrarian, notions of ‘dominating’ the ‘field’ (comus 

  • “it is not so much about Heidegger, the glorifier of meadows, that I think of.” (such a weird line, as in writing/reading it, you can’t help but thinks of Heidegger…) 
  • Heidegger means “the cultivator of meadows in the forest” (?)

Metamorphoses – Roman poet Ovid – 8AD: “sponte sua, sine lege fidem rectumque colebat,” — “spontaneously, without law, faith and what is right were cultivated.”

  • “maybe it would be better to say that for the Romans, meadow and field were “fields of action,” that is, battle fields. Battle against which enemy? Against the field itself.”

Mistake of treating ‘early’ man as analogous to current indigenous tribes (arrow of history, etc.) 

  •  We must, therefore, imagine the dialogues around the bonfires in the recently cultivated meadows more like research and advanced reflection meetings, and less like the contemporary “potlatch” of indians in the Aleutian Islands. 

“fidem colebat” — cultivated faith

  • “the experience of the meadow… is one of the most intense experiences of nature that we can have, and to lie down on a sun-drenched meadow is to commune with nature”
  • Even though the meadow is made by man, man is at its highest communion with the natural when he’s in the meadow, because this is a true relation with nature
  • The meadow is in some sense synthetic, but it does not alienate us: “The meadow is as it should be (in fact: intensified nature) for being the articulation of fidelity to nature. As our ancestors transformed the forest into meadow, they provoked and accentuated the natural essence in it. They continued to be faithful to it.”
  • For our ancestors: 
    • “They did not feel the contradiction between culture and nature.
    • They did not “fidem rectumque colebant,” that is, 
    • they did not synthesize faith with technology, and 
      • synthesising faith with technology in our contemporary world is what produces an ‘uptight’ / ‘un-just’ relation to technologies as we both chastise ourselves for still believe in these new gods, while constantly repopulating our lives with them
    • as they produced culture, they did not reveal the essence of nature.”
    • “culture was what is natural to men, and therefore, appropriate to the whole of nature.”
  • “The meadow, as culture (and not in spite of being culture), is essentially nature, because it was produced under the criterion of “fides;” under the criterion of an integrated religiosity”


    • Technology, culture (and not in spite of being culture), is essentially nature if it could be produced under the criterion of ‘fides’, under the criterion of an integrated religiosity.


  • Somehow this description of the natural, as that which is originally not other than us, but part of a ‘fides’ or faithful relation to the world allowing for a ‘just’ or ‘right’ relation to the world — is also what has happened to us technologically… (2nd nature, etc.) 
  • Technologies have become 2nd natures, and therefore we find ourselves twice alienated — once through the cultural-natural cleaving, and again through a kind of religious-romantic ‘disappointment’ or ‘ove-expectation’ of technological 
phd readings

A Science of Signals: Einstein, Inertia and the Postal System — Jimena Canales (2011)

A Science of Signals: Einstein, Inertia and the Postal System — Jimena Canales (2011)

Account of the ‘media thinking’ of Einstein through his contextual era, and his involvement with letter-writing (his wife Mileva, his lover and cousin Elsa, his children).

At issue is whether relativity theory and communications technologies are connected as consequential or constitutive. That is, were media technics, their limitations and capacities arise as a consequence of relativity theory, OR did communications technologies in fact constitute the theory of relativity, as they gave rise, in Einstein to the limits of electromagnetic speed, etc. Eventually the links between Relativity and communications signals were effaced.

Main point of the paper: “Einstein often claimed that his theory seemed strange only because in our “everyday life” we did not experience delays in the transmission speed of light signals: “One would have noticed this [relativity theory] long ago, if, for the practical experience of everyday life light did not appear” to be infinitely fast.4 But precisely this aspect of everyday life was changing apace with the spread of new electromagnetic communication technologies, particularly after World War I. The expansion of electromagnetic communication technolo- gies and their reach into everyday life occurred in exact parallel to the expansion and success of Einstein’s theory of relativity.”

The author contrasts Einstein’s thinking to his “contemporary” Kafka, a number of times in the paper: 

  • Einstein’s position, wrote Lodge, led to an absurd result: “as if we could prolong a man’s life by evading the tidings of his death; and might be entitled to say, without absurdity, that a man who died at seventy had lived seventy-one years and a lot of miles, if we had travelled so far that a messenger took a year to reach us.” A few years earlier, in 1917, Kafka wrote the story “The Great Wall of China,” which described a similar situation. Because of the long transmission time of messages across the great nation, “in our villages, emperors long since dead are set on the throne.”
  • In Einstein’s universe the distant and the close did not match with the faraway and contiguous. Kafka, at about the same time as Einstein, described places that, although next door to each other, were far since they could never be reached by a messenger.
  • During these same years, Kafka wrote “written kisses don’t reach their destination,” revealing that he was notic- ing some of the same aspects of communication tech- nologies that Einstein was. In the face of electromagnetic alternatives, postal communication appeared much more secondary than the telegraph and telephone.


  • “Einstein often claimed that his theory seemed strange only because in our ‘everyday life’ we did not experience delays in the transmission speed of light signals: ‘One would have noticed this [relativity theory] long ago, if, for the practical experience of everyday life light did not appear’”
  • Einstein soon started defining “signaling” in physics in the way it was used by the communications industry, and distinguishing the term from previous definitions that included periodic and predetermined signals. Previously, the term “signal” was used frequently in physics to denote both a symbol and a sign, including periodic and predetermined causes, but Einstein increasingly defined it in narrower terms: as a communications signal. — p.13
  • “Einstein, by reference to signals, and their path and their reach, overhauled concepts of time and space. By reference to them, he recalculated the shape and size of the universe; understood gravitational forces; determined the relation between cause and effect; and differentiated the past from the present and future.” p. 17
events ideas

Philosophy Without Nature — 5 Sept 2014

Continental Philosophy of Science 

Thomas Kuhn – The Structure of Scientific Revolutions – 1960’s 

  • Vienna circle – installation of logical positivism 
  • Asked to teach a history of physics survey course — gestalt switch: “What were ducks before the revolution are rabbits afterwards”
  • Metzger (only woman), Emile Meyerson, Analisa Meyer 
  • Fellowship for study of anti-positivism 
  • Top-down epistemology

Philosophica Oevres – Serres’ Book Series

  • Metzger – librarian – History of Science Unit
    • Chronological empiricism 
    • Vienna Circle – French historicist – 
    • “Exuberance and juvenile agression” – International Philosophy of Science Conference 
    • “Systematic ignorance of the … philosophy of science”
    • Uncle Levy
    • Primitive mentality
      • … call[ed] expansive thinking that which rushes noisily and simultaneously in all directions where it can cut a path, which will constantly and irregularly go ahead without taking a moment to contemplate with a glance the terrain covered, and without attempting to build a doctrinal monument! (Metzger, 1987[1936]: 47; original emphasis)
  • Balibar’s critical potential 
    • Positive knowledge 
    • “Neither stories of approximations – like single point of view – nor stories of anything goes but rather stories of ambiguity… neither totalizing nor relativistically historicist” 
    • Similarities between Hansen and OOO? Comment of Balibar on Hansen’s keynote
    • Thinking of a soft mild doux process
    • normative and descriptive
  • Metzer
    • (method 1) Chronological empiricism
      • Donna Haraway – ‘science implies … hostile to relativism’
      • Situated Knowledge (1988)
      • Haraway has switched language / oevre — co-respondence (When Species Meet) 
      • Um-distingheit (?)
      • Co-respondence — not the school of ‘communion’
      • Balibar — reductionist effect of correspondence (fusion communion) on co-respondence (virtual and actual in Bergson)
      • Bergson: “…a the very root of our knowledge of things”
      • Response, “grows with the capacity to respond – that is responsibility” (Haraway) 
        • Human beings are not uniquely obligated to responsibility – response-able
        • “Richer and more responsible worlding can go on”
    • (method 2) Creative a priori (the a priori of expansive thought)
      • Free association – song, two movies, and a quote
  • The requirement of the univocal — a self-understanding of science and a conception of natural law
    • Nancy Cartright — How Objects Lie 
    • Laws of Nature: What does it mean (not that nature gives laws?)
    • How did physical-thought get restricted to non-living things
      • Newton: Principles of Nature Philosophy has one mention of a living ‘person’ – a horse. The horse is walking along along a path, that needs to pull a carriage – the opposition of forces of action and reaction (Starobansky on action and reaction)
      • The horse in the middle of the explication of the natural law – what is implied there?
      • The status of animals in 17th century England
      • Why was Leibnitz — 
  • Complexity – “all my life I have tried to complicate things, which may be why Europe is in crisis”
    • American textbook on physics were always 
  • Softness entails what? 
    • Interactions are informational and soft — inferences, codes, images, copossibilities, filters
    • Matter and discourse are positioned in relation to one another — we start to think in terms of flows and energies
    • Positioning the hard sciences as only one sort of thinking
    • Doux — in french — a special meaning (La Peaux Doux, Troufault) — something smooth… its the contrary of histeria 

New Materialism — Iris van der Tuin (Chair)

Pamela Mackenzie (Concordia) — ‘The Fourth Kingdom: Ascension of the Plastisphere’

  • Plastic Bag – Ramin Bahrani — Werner Herzog
  • “I wish you had created me so that I could die”
  • Objects toward their most human aspects 
  • On plastic… 
    • Industrial revolution — creative output of our society constituted by industrial design and advertising
    • Early plastic makers were positioned as ‘early alchemists’
    • Plastic as the ‘bottom of the barrel’ or ‘the barrel’
    • Du Pont cellophane add with babies
    • Plastic is uncontroversally negative (but only for the past 30 years)
  • Portia Munson, “Garden”, 2000
  • Microorganism living on plastic — a plastosphere (adaptable ecology based on plastic)
  • Amanda Boidsist — forming a new moment of the sublime
  • Maurizo Montalti, “The Future of Plastics” — 
  • Plastic in Beehives — a deliberate integration of plastics into the ‘natural record’ 
  • Plastic bag suicide — plastic was killing people (‘guns don’t kill people, people don’t kill people’)
  • When something is dead, it can finally be used
  • Raymond Williams — ‘nature’
  • Geological entry of plastic into the record

Katharina D. Martin (Munster)— ‘The Digital Milieus and Their Material Entanglement’ –

  • Immaterial digital cloud <—> data warehouses 
  • The digital has never been immaterial (what the fuck has?) 
  • Detecting a continuum between the physical and the signals, codes
  • Milieu as a methodological construction
    • Newton – fluid / 
    • Middle / between / heart
    • Place / lieu
    • Active substance 
    • Simondon / Deleuze – technical objects – reality
  • Micropolitics of algorithms – independent interaction between computers
  • German ID photo template – the image specifications of passport photo – set by the “pan optical cell” 
  • Deleuze – panopticon – Foucault – space/time
    • “must not be understood of a dream building, it is a diagram of a mechanism of power…”
  • Verilio – the vision machine 
  • CV Dazzle / Dazzle — the mathematic undetectability of the face
  • Norman Wilkenson – stripped patterns deceive the enemy’s gaze – stripped patterns deceived computational gaze
    • Camouflage not as ‘hiding’ but reconstituting seeing, or frustrating perception (The purpose of art is to frustrate perception — Christophe Menke)
    • Camouflage as a from of ‘encryption’ in the world — 
  • Frustrating ways of seeing 
  • Kittler — the pixel is more text than image 
  • “transcoding or trasnduciton in which one milieu serves as the basis for another”
  • Tarde — oppositions and inventions — escape from micropolitics
  • The membrane between the analog and the digital is in the optical dimension
  • Algorithm as “complete”
  • The Black Cloud — science fiction novel

Paul Rekret — ‘Material Entanglements an the Question of Seperation” 

  • Post-fordist capitalism 
  • Social constructivism
  • How can a mind access something
  • The conditions and limits of knowledge — appeal to materiality and agency of materials as a political act (Jane Bennett) 
  • Serres — narcissism 
  • Strategic anthropomorphism — to feel what one cannot think — ‘web of interaction capacity’
  • The conditions of thought amount to anthropocentric narcism
  • Karen Barad — Bohr — the measurement of phenomena is an intra-action / agential-cut. Always between, never within. 
  • Epistemic limits of knowledge… Raymond Williams — Ideas of Nature 
  • Alfred Schmidt — nature rises with the rise of capitalism — medium of the wage creates nature as the object of conscious intervention
  • “Personal unity of head and hand”
  • Epistemic / Ontology is a separation that arises from the manual / mental labour division (Kantian division) 
  • Nancy Harstock — feminist problematic … reproduction as a manual-mental labour which divides epistemology/ontology — “control of the womb” (women as reproducers of the work force)
  • Federecci history of accumulation
  • Live-science industries: separation and abstraction
    • technical separation of biological processes — computer science / modelling — intervention in biological organisms as a ‘technology’
    • seperation and abstraction from sources — sustainable growth — institutional context of property rights and research (life science sector — neoliberalisation of life itself) … Moore court case – spleen cells – patented cells
  • Barad – the objectification of pregnant women – cyberfeminist (Sauerbut)
  • Expanding material agency can wind up supporting capitalism
  • Ethics committees – and ‘the bioethics’ industry
  • This is a communist position — against any system that separates ‘mental’ and ‘manual’ labour

Petra Klusmeyer (Utrecht / SAIC) — ‘Sound and Time’

  • Sound Studies in Bremen
  • Sonic Peripheries events
  • Deleuze Transcendental Materialism
  • Academy Records — Stephen Lacy
  • “Boisterous presencing”
  • Whitehead: “… we find ourselves in a buzzing world”
  • Anechoic chamber — Cage — “until I die there will be sounds… one need not fear about the future of music.” (Serres – Noise) 
  • “No one or no thing can live without noise” (Serres) 
  • Sound is neither inner nor outer 
  • In listening we enter the impinging resonance — sound enacts a periphery soundspace — middling within the event’s becoming 
  • “Always already between sound suspend in as vibrational relation effectuating”
  • Whitehead — Thus equally rocks, electrons, trees… are full of intentions (Marder, Massumi) 
  • Aesthetics — of practice… 
  • What can vibrations do?
  • Noise is always subject to the process that renders it non-existent (individuation)
The Other Side of Matter 
Felicity Colman – ‘Natural’s not in it: Materialist Informatics’
  • Serres and a philosophy of communication
  • “I call matter the aggregate of images … the evental action of one particular image – my body”
  • To perceive technically means to have established the channels of measurement first
  • To think about a measurement of change in things due to the catalysing forces of technology
  • Malabou – consciousness influx
  • Subject partakes of chemical political and instructed desires
  • Informatics — materialist account of information … 
  • Serres: “Exchange as the law of the theoretical universe, the intersection and overlapping of domains… Things in themselves are immersed… inter-information… renews theory.”  (the conference format)
  • 2nd law of thermodynamics — entropy is a physical law for a heat system
  • Biology feeds on a negentropy — inter-information (coding movements) and exchanges of information (exchange of energy) 
  • Ashley Woodward — where you have vitalist systems / biological models — material exchange 
  • Guatarri — rejecting a Lacanian structure of entropy — rhizomatic flows 
  • Materialist informatic: a limited economy of images on the effects of images on the human bodies 
  • The body as an informatics body — cognitive machines that feed us images the conscious cognate 
  • Co-constitutive nature of image communication — it’s unindividuated
  • “The technological filters that are at work…”
  • Materialisation — what is at stake? 
    • Immateriality is really about transcendent systems — historical materialist school (Barad)
Erin K. Stapleton – ‘The Activity of Dark Matter’
  • Battaile + materialism
  • Activity in and of matter — the volatility of dark matter — data + networked technologies
  • 1930’s consideration of planetary existence — astrophysical research / astronomy — The Rotation of the Earth (Arthur Edington) 
  • Swelling suns — separation of the cartesian 
  • Battaile’s materialism — resists systematisation — anti-monism 
  • Human thought, as it returns… “requires constant disruption”
  • Newtonian physics is a “deadening idealism”
  • Frost – New materialism … “are all predicated on the assumption that matter is inert stable…” 
  • The Matter Myth — popular science return of mysticism / philosophy is no longer of use because it hasn’t taken into account the activity within matter… Christian right American… 
  • Frost – energetic and dynamic theory of material itself
  • Terry Gilliam — The Zero Theorum
  • Bataille’s materialism — activity and volatility
  • Base-material — redeployed to think about dark matter and dark energy (affirming dynamic volatility)
Joanna Hodge – ‘Of the Event: Sexual Difference, Ontological Difference, Historical Difference’
  • Luce Iriguay — 1984 
  • Geschlecht — Derrida
  • The past — history is rendered as a reiteration of the same — Heideggarian rubric of historicity
  • The future — 
  • The human secured by “anthropomorphism called god”
  • Ontological difference must always already be a sexual difference properly understood
  • 1983 — geschlecht — polysemic status — Derrida — reading moves to the question of the impact
  • Sexuality difference deconstructed — questioning the bipolar
  • Ontological difference 
  • History becomes modal — the dawning of the age of the anthropocene — another word for an epoch
  • Molecularised reproductive models… originary technicity — a thousand tiny little sexes
  • Nancy: “birth of presence”
  • Historical difference — a mode of orientation to thinking innovation — setting up some kind of distance from philosophy classically conceived 
  • genealogy — cartography — linking of thinkers 
    • shakespeare begat marks begat hegel 
    • genitarity
    • Rudolf Gacher — The Loss of Literature 
    • inheriting versus generating
    • Theatre of Cruelty — Artaud
    • Universality in Serres
  • The transition from Derrida to Serres shows a preoccupation about how to inherit (Derrida is inheriting differently) 
  • Why matter matters — a material discoursivity 
  • Historical difference — the end of man and the end of history / the end of the book and the beginning of a writing
    • feminist read this as the opening of subject positions to women
    • but then the subject disappeared
  • History is the term — providential, religious — never surrender the term
  • Expanding the perceptual spectrum (radiometrics — seeing astronometric radiation)
    • Is this decentering the human subject — 
  • Claire Colebrook — the endif
  • We’re always achrononistic with ourselves… 
  • Geology in Deleuze and Guittari — great imagery of geology
  • This physical materiality — the electromagnetic spectrum as a technical image — not a territory (or it shouldn’t be a territory) 
  • This is dangerous… why? Snowden as the ‘new god’
  • Material informatics — Guatarri

Philosophy Without Nature — 4 Sept 2014

Mark Hansen 

Wolfgang Ernst

  • Media as measuring instruments
  • Archeology thus means the excavation of the affordances of media themselves, prior to their role as agents of cultural life 
  • Media affordances in themselves 
  • Ultrafast electromagnetic waves are discovered not invented — through the superior wisdom of media themselves (humans just tap into it)
  • Media 
  • Bachelard — phenomenotechnic — positivity of media technical 
    • intensifies that which shines through beyond appearance 
    • noomenon behind the phenomenon
    • a prehension addressed by the ex
  • Time criticality — Husserl time-consciousness
    • A scope that vastly exceeds the 
    • Microtemporal scales
    • Time critical versus time-based
    • Time critical “does not simply mean that media operations are time based… under the condition of digital signal processing, they must be processed by time-windows…”
    • Related to the physical temporal 
    • Chronopoetic 
    • How measuring media constitute time – time modes and the giving of time by technical medium 
    • Time as the measured value — is itself a medium
    • Digital materiality versus evental 
    • Mathematics must always be implemented — every operation takes time — techno-mathetmatics as phenomenotechnique — which can only generate finite processes
    • Digitization — sampling in the technical sense
    • The world does not conform to abstract standardized pulses —
    • Time critical media operate in the space between time and frequency — indeterminacy 
    • Measuring media produce time-critical phenomenon
    • No real state of affairs before time-critical phenomenon
  •  Determination of time criticality – between macro-time of media history relates to the micro-world of quantum physics
    • Homology — quantum dissolution of physical time
    • “The question concerning the disappearance of deep time – is in fact time critical… the actual implementation… 
    • Quantum mechanics… is time critical as it coincides with the actual implementation into a material physical substrate
Hyper-objects and Hyber-obfuscation
  • Timothy Morton: “This isn’t about how a human interacts with an object, but how a photon interacts with a photosensitive molecule… quantum theory works because it’s object-oriented” (his understanding of quantum physics is at issue…)
  • Crucial characteristic of hyperobjects — hyper dimentional phase-space that is oblique to the everyday world of phenomenal experience 
  • Objects to do not have relations at all — vicarious causation
  • Causality is aesthetic 
  • Hyper objects “they force something on us…” they help us by showing us what is ‘core’ to objects
  • David Baum — Einsteinian realism
  • Morton’s account makes a quantum entity ‘exist’ — that there are actual photons. “Quantum theory works because its object oriented”
  • Realist interpretation of quantum mechanics — 
  • “Morton would be right if quantum entities were indeed real”
  • Nathan Brown — Morton makes no effort to prove his interpretation of quantum mechanics  
  • E.g.: The particular aesthetic experiences/appreances of global warming (japan earthquake) — are correlated: This is circular. As the hyper object must be real, so the non-local situation prior to measurement must be ‘real’ 
  • E.g.: Quantum locality has to be a ‘real’ object 
  • “Something definitely exists before measurement” – “persistence of a crystal lattice … dialethic” (doubly true)
  • OOO dogma: There are objects these objects are real and they are infinitely withdraw from everything, even themselves
Measurement as Originary Phenomenon
  • Araky Plonitsky — Epistemology and Probability — “The irreducible role of measuring instruments makes mathematically defined quantum states strictly a mathematical tool of our expectations, and nothing else… and it deprives us of any possible knowledge about the ultimate nature of the physical processes that led to the outcome of the experiment concerning which we make these productions.”
  • Distinction – quantum phenomena and quantum states
  • Radicalisation of Bohr’s thinking — 1930’s — Bohr saw that his argument was a radical denial of the existence of the quantum domain in itself
  • Quantum phenomena are the result of the product of instruments (techno-mathematical) 
  • Quantum phenomena (component of the measurement that breaks coherence and entanglement) and quantum objects (literally unthinkable)
  • “The non-being of quantum particles repudiates the noomenon” – Garely 
  •  Kantianism without noomenon
  • “A form of technology… a technology of thought”
  • Mathematics must always must always be implemented as physical reality (this is VERY different than Badiou / Meixassoux which appri)
  • “The mathematics of quantum theory defines these probabilistic… This is all this mathematics does for us”
  • The Event of Measurement — a reaction of quantum objects on the measurement itself — absolves Bohr of any anthropocentrism
  • Just as media themselves have the best knowledge 
  • Mark Rechier / Galali — the phenomenon beyond yo
  • “Quantum Mechanics and Transcendental Philosophy”: It is not the case that the real remains veiled … these apparatuses are performing ontological work” 
  • Jan Fetochka — Husserl — appearances are first and foremost objective 
    • collapses the grasp between appearance and object 
    • primacy of measure
    • there is no access that is 
    • the world has no being – not status as an object 
    • there is no being of the world in itself that would be separate from its manifestations
  • Measurements are the only way in which the world is 
Renunciation of Causality
  • Quantum measuring experiments – inside the apparatus of experience
  • “Complementarity and Causality” – Bohr’s radical view
  • Morton versus Bohr — Morton’s withdrawal of the hyper-object, Bohr’s understanding of causality after Hume — there is no basis in reality for causality
  • “The experiment operation of measurement… posses ontological power”
  • “Ontological power”
The Ethics of Climate Simulation
  • Climate is what you expect, whether is what you get
  • Claus Pias — Klimasimulation — the simulation, the problem of climate is a media technical problem 
    • Less a question of what to do than what can be known
    • The computer simulation has re-structured 
    • Medial-specific nature of models 
  • Has Critique (Have models) Run Out Steam? — simulations operate through fictionality, and specify their limed value 
  • “Humans are strange… as if we knew which future climate conditions we will face”
  • Experimental deployment of computer simulation
    • less with laws than with rules
    • rules have a different relation to the future than laws
    • parametricisation – in which it is a question of operation dealings with the not known 
  • Climate simulations are able to simulate phenomena that are properly beyond analytics as such 
  • Truth and correctness — simulations are able to embrace plural realities 
  • The entire set of probabilities — the experimental simulation 
  • “We accept the data of climate researchers not as a mere representation… but as climate itself” — embracing the domain of probability … as the phenomenon of climate
  • “What we took to be a reliable world … is nothing more than a pattern” (Morton)
    • Radical rift between the phenomenon and the thing
    • Weather is a false immediacy 
    • Climate by contrast is a thing – a hyper object 
    • The same logic – the hyper object (climate) can’t be modelled – climate simulation is needed to supplement human perception 
  • Contrast: Pias — simulation are necessary because there is nothing in reality called ‘climate’ in itself. Thinking about climate ethically — restores the possibility of engaging with it 
  • Morton is wrong to characterise global warming as a wicked problem – his analysis of it as a hyper object is what makes it wicked
  • Measuring devices produce these objects — there certainly is no such thing as global warming 
Response — Dr. Vera Bühlmann
  • Emmanual Kant — Algebra is the art of subsuming givens under the rule (before the distinctions between aesthetics and science) 
  • Phenomena – if they are mediagenitic – technical instruments allow for 
  • Deleuzian “dark precursors” 
  • Speculative phenomenology — speculative integrals — between climate and weather
  • There is a real who’s “potentiality” is referenced 
  • Both senders and receivers — physics of mediated communication (including a phenomenological account of embodiments)
    • Ernst view – the embodiment of media – techno-mathematics
    • Hansen – manifest embodiment of things themselves – an initial statement of activeness
  • The notion of a channel
    • 7 strings 
      • The real as an active state – criticality and prehending. Real as operational.
      • Non-hermeneutical – rational fabric 
      • Ratios are to be dealt with analytic points – distinguishes operatively from functionality
      • Computations are rational in a calculating manner that does not respond to arithmetic necessities (e.g.: Lyotard’s states of knowledge). Recording with constraints of 
      • The computations don’t legitimate thought – computations place considerable weight on the body. Lived abstractions
      • Lived analogies – abstractions
      • Real magnitudes – genuinely dark 
    • Mass media are time based / measurement medium are time critical 
      • There are levels of abstraction that are separate 
      • Computation is powerful because analytical points need to be encrypted
      • Encryption of the electromagnetic spectrum 
      • Levels of the Ernst characteristic 
        • 1) Mechanical – the wave propagation 
        • 2)Dynamical and singling out – a wave in the EMF is identified as a particular temporality
        • 3) Encrypting – sequencing – algebraic and mechanical. (It is here that the notion of media’s embodiment can be seen to play a role)
      • Spectrum – as a technical image 
      • Symbolic channels inside a cable – 1000 channels – digital channels are each one such ‘cypher disk’ 
      • On level 3) — encryptive coding
        • Bastista Alberti – The code of practice for his cypher disk
        • Algebraic rules – derived from laws of mathematics – are what media actually depend 
        • Every act of coding spells out a 
        • Barad “a measured nothingness” – zero was the name of the cypher 
        • Cypher is genuinely neutral and vacuous – continuously same-originated 
        • Coding because it is algebraic operates out of time – it literally represents nothing
        • Functional technology comes in the form of apparatus
    • Simulations support speculation so well because they are rational but not reasonable 
    • In programming it is clear that one operates within a space of encryption 
      • rules – coded description – hoping to provide the greatest form of generality 
  • The ontological status of mathematics 
    • Expanding the notion of phenomenon
  • Measurement and reducing physics to reflexive operators
    • Heisenberg – Heidegger – On determination relation: “Are you kidding? Do you really think it is not theory what tells what is observable?”
  • The technical practices of measurement – where that meets phenomenology 
  • Whitehead: the virtual contains the real
Notes to self: 
  • Look up Hansen’s talk from Aarhus

Performance and the Body

Daniela de Paulis – University of Amsterdam 

  • Cogito
  • Radiowaves in live performance
  • Earth moon earth — radio astronomy — natural satellite (lunar encryption — land art transmission)
  • The Blue Marble 
  • James Hopwood Jeans — “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appear to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter…”
  • Carl Sagan — Golden Records — sounds of the earth
  • Stanislaw — LEM Solaris — the failure of communication amongst different species (Brain shaped planet)
  • Frank White — The Overview Effect (film) 
  • We perceive ourselves as conscious minds — 

Martin E. Rosenberg — GCAS

  • Gilles Deleuze — “the need for scientific functions, artistic constructions… to mutually inform each other”
  • Top down computation versus bottom-up emergence (Umberto Maturana, Hutchins, etc.) 
  • Ethics of Cognition
  • Jazz — time as a reversible function / Cage deconstructed this mechanism (irreversible time) / phase-space 
  • Dominant 7th and 9th chords… which have a multitude set of ‘resolution’
  • Individuation — crystallisation and music notation
  • Kenneth Clark / Ornet Coleman (harmolotics) 
  • How can embodied mind deal with the multitudes of bifercations
  • Noosphere – Cognitive Capitalism – Maruzia Lazaratto (capitalism collapsing the possibility of bifurcation – limiting creativity) 
  • Restrictive mediated systems of cognitive functions 
  • Paul Thomas: 
  • Sonny Rollins: “Don’t play the music man, let the music play you”
  • “I feel there’s a guiding intelligence there”
  • D&G: Becoming animal vs. forming a body without organs
  • David Borgo / Vijay Iver (embodied cognition)
  • Improvising to a score / proprioceptive — musicians must have information beneath the fingers 
  • Proprioceptive pathways — 
  • Propriosentience — contingent and flexible enough / seem to make autonomous micro-decisions 
  • Micro-time scales interfering with each other 
  • Questions
    • Cornelius Cardew’s politics of improvisation 
    • The relationship between these micro-decision / bifurcation 
    • Thinking in jazz… Monson…
    • Novelty as perhaps first a product of acculturation / group consciousness which then begins to expect a patternings 
    • This truly ’novel’ moment as the place of ‘learning’ 
    • Jesus I think I have to look into the neuroscience of learning 
Fröydi Laszlo —
Julie Kuhlken
  • Asking someone to perform — social role, occupation, performing oneself
  • Being ‘yourself’ 
On Michel Serres (Panel)
Georgios Tsagdis – ‘Revolutionary Parasitology: The (st)age of the Plague’

Chris Watkin – ‘Michael Serres’ “Great Story”: From Biosemiotics to Econarratology’

  • In the media there is no information — format and continuity 
  • What faculty makes us particularly human — the host property of the human — bipedalism / rationality 
  • The story of the universe: 4 different bifurcations
  • Branching bifurcationism
  • The great story is not simply about nature — but recounted by nature (in a non-metaphorical sense) 
  • Story and narrative is in the universe — the noise of the universe as its beginning
  • “Why deplore the loss of a local culture, when we gain one that expands over all cultures…”
  • “White noise box… despising the scarlet’s”
  • The assumption seems to be that the only way to have universalism 
  • “The old local culture, different for a German and for a Frenchman … often threw us into conflict with each other. If it is true that all living things share a common origin… we need only read a few fossils… Our old wars only ever pitted twin against twin.”
  • The old local cultures, and the new generic questions 
  • Questions
    • The new universal story
    • “Platonic sun”
    • Story not history (anti-Hegelianism) — its the same word in French (La Grand Recit — ‘narrative’) 
    • Intelligible — intelligible to whom? If we can understand something then it is understandable … There is a web of intelligibilities of human and non-human orders.
    • J.L. Nancy – the renvois de sense
David Webb
  • Canguilhem & Serres
  • What happens when a living being defines a limit?
  • Canguilhem on health …
  • Serres on the ways of being sensitive to the earth
  • The key to C is the possibility of tolerating the infraction to norms — biological luxury… falling sick and recovering
  • “A healthy body is a silent body as there is no awareness to go on”
  • The Living and its Milieu — Neutonian mechanics … propagation from one element to another 
  • Milieu becomes a universal instrument 
  • Lamark – biological milieu – “being react to the provocation of the milieu” 
  • VonUxkel – Umwelt – “an ensemble of excitations” 
  • Abundance — felt by the healthy individual — to feel more than normal 
  • Virtuosity — expressed in terms of ‘risk’
  • Leibnitz — the centre — Les Petit Sensations
  • Lucrecious — 
Alessandro Zir – ‘Interactive Kinds, Indifferent Kinds and the Surface of Meaning: Le Sans fond de la Psychopathologie
  • Ian Hacking 

Peter-Paul Verbeek


Meeting Notes — Zielinski (2 Sept 2014)

“A search for materialism without the burden of dialectics”

“Materialism without historic dialectical materialism”

Knut Abeling – Wild Archeologies – Visibility of the Urban 

  • (from) Of course, we could push further back. We can track uses of the notion of “archaeology” in so many other fields too – archaeologies of cinema, archaeologies of knowledge, of modernity, of the psyche. There is a wonderful book out just now by Knut Ebeling, Wilde Archaologien (Wild Archaeologies), which basically maps an archaeology of the concept of archaeology in cultural theory. Just to add, in Germanic style it is over 700 pages, so please do not expect me to offer a summary just yet.

Institute for Language in a Technological Age

Benjamin’s archeological thinking – The Lamp, other object essays…
  • Walter Benjamin’s Exegesis of Stuff – Cheryl Beaver Library of Congress 
  • Epoche: The University of California Journal for the Study of Religion
  • The language of things — Hito Steyerl Who does the lamp communicate with? The mountain? The fox? Walter Benjamin
  • Michael Taussig — The Stories Things Tell And Why They Tell Them

Metamethodological – thinking without the burden of ideology

Holzkamp  Sensual Cognition – critical psychology

Taubes / Bohls (?) 

Oswald Wiener 

Techno-poesis instead of techno-aesthetics? This ‘poetics’ is about the making — not about the reception / composition. That is aesthetics has too much of the reception in it, and therefore we need to create a ‘new aesthetics’, or abandon it for all its associations. 

Nietzsche and his writing ball — The instrument is co-writing my text (Kittler removed the ‘co’) 

Note the difference here between Nietzsche and the Ritter/Kircher dynamic of ‘knowing’ something completely.  Nietzsche has more in common with De La Porta and Fludd (as these were co-creating knowledge, not ‘seeking’ it in the same way). 

Thinking machines / Cognition machines / Intelligent machines

Trans-classical machines (?)

ixdm New Category

Meeting Notes — Zielinski (22 August 2014)

Institute of Media Archeology

Engineering and the Mind’s Eye Paperback – Eugene S. Ferguson

Pauli & Jung — Dialogues (motivations of science) — Synchronicity

Fludd & Kepler —(From Fludd-Essential Readings) An essential follow up to Pauli’s essay is Robert S Westman’s “Nature, Art and Psyche: Jung, Pauli and the Kepler-Fludd polemic in Occult and Scientific Mentalities in the Renaissance.

Einstein & Bohr 

Henning Schnitken — Brain & Time


Expanded Hermeneutics

…After the Media — the exact philology of almost precise things

Max Bense — 1926 – Quantum Reality – Einstein & Heidegger – Technical Experinece – “Our Existnence has become technical”

Gunter — Soul the Technical Age 

Philology — exact interpretation of text / including objects

Harun Farocki

Lorraine Daston, Jürgen Renn , Dagmar Schäfer

Max Planckt – Artefacts + Acting + Knowledge 

Andrey Smirnov

Solomon Nikritin – 1910’s projectionism cartograms of programs

Companion to the Philosophy of Technology 

Yuk Hui