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

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