Here the Poster and announcement of the symposium I am organizing, starting tomorrow!

matter_memory_poster_tiny

Matter, Memory, and the More-than-Human

Relational Aesthetics and Politics in the Age of the Anthropocene

Symposium: 16:00-19:00, Room 5.K12 (Nov. 27, 2014)

Workshop: 10:00-12:00, Room 5.K03 (Nov. 28, 2014)

In times of renewed debates on the status of the object and the real in the arts the question of a new radical empiricism is at stake. How is experience not human but always more-than-human or ecological? We ask: how such an ecological approach is political and what are its aesthetics?

Current enthusiasm about new forms of realism, like speculative realism, strikes the art field with immense force. What we perceive is a certain return of the “object,” similar to architecture’s return to the sketch-board, after three decades of conceptually driven discourse and its discomforting pitfalls. Finally, some might argue, we overcome the predominance of discourse and encounter “things” beyond language. What seems crucial, is the status of the real in these new aesthetic and philosophical debates.

With this symposium we want to extend the rather dialectic procedure with which this debate continues and investigate how the relations between matter, memory and the more-than-human enable a multi-shaded formation of the real, inclusive of the materialist sensibilities of Marxist, post-structuralist and radical empiricist philosophies of the last century. Making such an inquiry an aesthetic concern motivate us to reconsider the status of the empirical in relation to the experiential. Rather than following phenomenological traditions the symposium puts particular attention to early pragmatist philosophies like William James, Alfred North Whitehead and Ralph Waldo Emerson, providing a different, radical empiricist, version of the real.

Finally the question would be, how such a take on realism in the age of the anthropocene affords us to re-assess what a more-than-human politics might look like and what forms of organization are in need for its realization.

Speakers:

Heather Davis (Penn State University)

“Ancient Archives of the Future: Strange Temporalities of Plastic”

Ridvan Askin (University of Basel)

‘Every pumpkin in the field, goes through every point of pumpkin history’: Emerson and the Memory of Matter’

Stamatia Portanova (independent scholar)

“The Genius and the Algorithm. Reflections on the Postdigital Aesthetics as Capitalist Neurosis”

Joel McKim (Birkbeck University of London)

Object, Matter, Energy: Towards a Philosophy of Infrastructure

Organization: Christoph Brunner (ZHdK)

Link

Where: Zurich University of the Arts, Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 96, 8005 Zurich

Themes:

Accelerationist Aesthetics

Digital Aesthetics and Affect

Ecologies of Practices

Aesthetic Politics

New Materialism

Process Philosophy

Anarchitecture

Speculative Realism

Relational Aesthetics

Activist Philosophy

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category: Uncategorized
tags:

urban_fabric

We will be holding our first research-creation workshop in Zurich from April 26-29 2014. A public part on April 28 from 18:00-20:00h will include presentations of our preliminary thoughts and insights together with a public discussion and apéro at Corner College.

Come and play with us!

Invitation

Participants:

Jamie Allen, Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design

Amélie Brisson-Darveau, IFCAR, ZHdK

Christoph Brunner, IFCAR, ZHdK

Nicole deBrabandere, IFCAR, ZHdK

Sher Doruff, Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam School of the Arts

Gerko Egert, Freie Universität Berlin

Jonas Fritsch, CAVI, PIT, Aarhus University

Victoria Gray, Chelsea College of Art

Thomas Markussen, Danish Centre for Design Research, Kolding School of Design

Stamatia Portanova, independent scholar

Bodil-Marie Stavning-Thomsen, Department of Aesthetics and Communication, Aarhus University

Annette Svaneklink Jakobsen, Aarhus School of Architecture

Evelyn Wan, Utrecht University

Verena Ziegler, IAD, ZHdK

category: Uncategorized
tags:

soundhelmets

I came across this fascinating project Hearing Modernity at Harvard. Speakers include Brian Massumi and Jonathan Sterne both of whom have been very influential for my own work. Link to the site, including a blog and many audio-visul features.

Here the announcement text:

Sound, fleeting and immaterial, has long proved resistant to academic inquiry. Faced with the impenetrable difficulty of pinning down sounds themselves, scholars have largely focused on written texts (instead of spoken words), while musicians have largely focused on notes (instead of sounds). In recent years, however, a number of very promising approaches from a variety of fields, which often bridge the arts and the sciences, have sprung up and have begun to capture this phenomenon in its wider context.

The 2013/14 John E. Sawyer seminar “Hearing Modernity” explores the world of sound studies. As the humanities turn away from the predominance of the visual domain and start exploring other sensory modalities, as the arts turn away from their traditional preoccupation with the work concept and toward a heightened appreciation of ecologies and soundscapes, and as the self-imposed limitations of C. P. Snow’s “Two Cultures” become ever more apparent, sound studies emerges as a new field that responds to multiple challenges at once.

Massumi’s talk MOTIVE COMMOTION AFFECT, INCIPIENT ACTION, AND THE INFRA- OF EXPERIENCE to be delivered on April 13, 2014 is for sure going to be a highlight.

Abstract:
It is a common feature of process-oriented philosophies to underline the formative role of nonconscious perceptions in emergent experience. This talk will propose a set of concepts for understanding this subthreshold incipience of experience, drawing from the work of such authors as A.N. Whitehead, Henri Bergson, C.S. Peirce, Raymond Ruyer and Suzanne Langer, as well as recent empirical research on perceptual “priming.” Special attention will be given to the interrelatedness of the senses at this level, with the emphasis on the often neglected sense of proprioception. Notions of “schema” and “body image,” which tend to overlay onto the emergent level of experience cognitive and perceptual models derived from conscious perception, will be avoided in favor of a vocabulary privileging the categories directly concerned with incipient activity (activation, animation, potentiation), orientation (tendency), and affect (directly lived quality of activity). The concepts proposed will revolve in particular around models for emergent experience modeled loosely on musical notions, as in the case of Bergson, Ruyer, Langer.

I am co-organizing with Dimitrina Sevova a symposium entitled The Diagrammatic Practice of the Micropolitical – the Spatio-temporal Expression of Play between Power, Knowledge and the Aesthetics of Existence at Zurich University of the Arts.

Here are all the infos:

International Public Symposium at Pfingstweidstrasse 6, 8005 Zurich, ZHdK, 14/15/16 November 2013, around the notion of play, its processual (diagrammatic) and political and aesthetic potential in times of cognitive capitalism and its mechanisms of control over life and the urban environment.

Left: "The Playground, a Vacant Lot," Hale House, Boston, Mass., c1903, Social Museum Collection, Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museum.  Middle: Seattle Potlatch Parade showing float, 1912. Right: Nuria Vila + Marcelo Expósito, Tactical Frivolity + Rhythms of Resistance, video still, 2007.

Left: "The Playground, a Vacant Lot," Hale House, Boston, Mass., c1903, Social Museum Collection, Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museum. Middle: Seattle Potlatch Parade showing float, 1912. Right: Nuria Vila + Marcelo Expósito, Tactical Frivolity + Rhythms of Resistance, video still, 2007.

SPEAKERS: Paolo Caffoni, Giusy Checola, Binna Choi, discoteca flaming star (Cristina Gómez Barrio & Wolfgang Mayer), David Dibosa, Anja Kanngieser, Maurizio Lazzarato, Isabell Lorey, m-a-u-s-e-r (Mona Mahall & Aslı Serbest), Carmen Mörsch, Daniel Morgenthaler, Roberto Nigro, Susanna Perin (S.M.U.R.), Gerald Raunig, Adrian Rifkin, Kerstin Schroedinger, Marco Scotini, Diego Segatto, Joshua Simon, Kuba Szreder, Axel Wieder, Espace Temporaire (Magdalena Ybarguen).

RESPONDENTS: Jens Badura, Christoph Brunner, Karmen Franinović, Roberto Nigro, Romy Rüegger, Dimitrina Sevova.

PERFORMANCES: Chiara Fumai, T. Melih Görgün, Michael Hiltbrunner, Franziska Koch, David Maroto.

SCREENINGS: Marcelo Expósito, Silvia Maglioni and Graeme Thomson, RELAX (chiarenza & hauser & co).

MICROPOLITICAL WORKSHOP: Wiktoria Furrer & Sebastian Dieterich in cooperation with Elke Bippus.


Throughout three intense days the symposium will be an experimental space for expressing and sharing ideas – a place for intervening, investigating and provoking collective discussions on how to re-activate play’s potentiality in urban space, considered as a playground of deskilled, affective and precarious labor.

The symposium aims at relocating the notion of play from the outdoor to the outside as an ecology and extended space for experimentation and micropolitics beyond spatial confinement. We ask how such an outside emerges through practices unfolding and altering dominant diagrams of power in urban environments. Here, playing-together involves the capacity of forces of resistance to create situations as intensive fields of affection through the micropolitics of diagrammatic practices. Both, playing bodies and the process of learning as a common, a self-productive and living knowledge, perpetuate new forms of social subjectivity and its immanent growth between power, knowledge and an aesthetics of existence.

Bringing together artists, curators, activists and thinkers from the fields of performance, art, aesthetic theory, philosophy, architecture and design, the symposium comprises talks, artistic interventions, performances and screenings.

Curated by Dimitrina Sevova and Christoph Brunner in cooperation with the Bachelor Media & Art, specialization Fine Arts of the Zurich University of the Arts, Elke Bippus, Franziska Koch.

A cooperation with Z+ ‹ http://www.zhdk.ch/zplus ›.

In conjunction with the a-disciplinary project consisting of a platform of irregular non-serial events, screenings, public readings, performances, talks, urban interventions and other ephemera, on the theme of Opportunities for Outdoor Play? Playgrounds – New Spaces of Liberty (The Question of Form) outdoorplay.tumblr.com ›, curated by Dimitrina Sevova at Kunsthof Zürich between March and October 2013 in cooperation with Elke Bippus, Franziska Koch and the Bachelor Media & Art, specialization Fine Arts of the Zurich University of the Arts.

For further information please see ‹ outdoorplay.tumblr.com › or ‹ www.kunsthof.ch .

No registration required. Admission free. Seats limited. Please be on time for each thematic bloc, performance or screening.

[The curatorial text by Dimitrina Sevova and Christoph Brunner, and all other materials, can be found on the project blog, outdoorplay.tumblr.com. And in printable layout as PDF: programabstracts and bioscuratorial text.]

I will be giving a paper (for the rare occasion in German) at the Dramturgien des Anfangens (Dramaturgies of Beginning) at Freie Universität in Berlin. The dates are 7-9 of November and the Abstract is below.

Link to the program.

Eine öffentliche Tagung am Institut für Theaterwissenschaft

Abstract:

Dramatisierung als Technik: Affektive Zeitlichkeit in Collective Writing Machines

Gilles Deleuze verwendet den Begriff der Dramatisierung konsequent in Verbindung mit der Frage nach der Aktualisierung von Ideen durch raum-zeitlichen Dynamiken. Wie ergeben sich raum-zeitliche Erfahrungsgefüge anhand von (virtuellen) Kräften und ihren Beziehungen? Der Frage der Aktualisierung nachgehend, entwirft Deleuze (auch in Zusammenarbeit mit Guattari) ein Denken der Aktualisierung, sprich der Emergenz und möglichen Dauer von raum-zeitlichen Manifestationen. Entgegen einer phänomenologischen Annahme von Erfahrung als körperlich geformter Wahrnehmung von Welt, befasst sich der Prozess der Dramatisierung hier mit den nicht-körperlichen, aber realen, Verhältnissen und Singularitäten, deren Dynamiken, Ideen, und Konzepte und wie diese körperliche Erfahrungen hervorbringen. Es handelt sich hierbei eben nicht um einen Prozess der Materialisierung ideell geformter Einheiten oder Prozesse sondern um einen Differenzierungsakt zwischen virtuellen Verhältnissen und empfundenen Qualitäten sowie Singularitäten und geformten Entitäten. Der dynamische Prozess der Dramatisierung unterstreicht, dass es sich im Wechselspiel zwischen Virtualität und Aktualität nicht um lineare Abläufe handelt, sondern um die Hervorbringung von extensiven raum-zeitlichen Gefügen durch die Bewegung von Verhältnissen und Singularitäten entlang eines intensiven Felds. Die Problematik der Dramatisierung verweist auf eine Form der Zeitlichkeit und Räumlichkeit innerhalb der körperlichen Erfahrung, die eine vor-individuelle intensive Tiefe und deren Differenzierungserie voraussetzt.

Wie lässt sich der dynamische Prozess der Dramatisierung im künstlerischen Kontext von Kreativprozessen verstehen? Ich werde hierzu die von Diego Gil entwickelte Performance Collective Writing Machines untersuchen. Die Performance befasst sich mit Prozessen der Wahrnehmung während dem Schreibakt. Die TeilnehmerInnen werden gebeten in verschiedenen Intervallen und mit jeweils unterschiedlichem Aufmerksamkeitsfokus (auf den eigenen Körper, die Umwelt, oder einer Imagination) gemeinsam in einem Raum beim Sitzen und später beim Gehen zu schreiben. Mittels dieser Performance wird deutlich, dass sich Aufmerksamkeit anhand von aktualisierten ebenso wie virtuellen Tendenzen konstituiert, im körperlichen Denken ebenso wie im intensiven Feld der Potenzialität. Dramatisierung in diesem Fall beschreibt die heterogene und heterochrone Bewegung zwischen Aktualität und Virtualität als „a-modalen“ relationalen Prozess zu verstehen (Massumi). Wie können wir diesen Dramatisierungsprozess als kontinuierlichen Übergang begreifen, als ein Verknüpfen von dynamischen Beziehungen? Speziell im Hinblick auf die affektive Wirkung von Zeitlichkeit und ihrem „Timing“ wird Dramatisierung hier zu einer ästhetischen Technik.

I am participating in a really exciting workshop on Simondon and digital culture. Below the poster and my presentation abstract.

poster_simondon_luneburg

Abstract:
Affective Timing and Non-sensuous Perception in Differential Media

The relation between ethics and aesthetics defines a crucial problematic through which Félix Guattari develops his philosophy and analytic practice. Simondon exposes similar lines in his work with equally strong indications of its political relevance. He conceives of the aesthetic as immanent force in experience pertaining to its preindividual field as unexhausted resource for potential becoming. His overall theory of individuation could be also considered as continuous process of differentiation through such a field of potential.

Simondon defines the aesthetic as temporal relation between the preindividual as partially expressed present experience and its pull towards a future becoming, i.e. differentiation. The aesthetic is the interval through which experience passes as felt intensity in the immediacy of its occurrence. It is Alfred North Whitehead who links this temporal process of experience to perception, not as mere sense perception of given empirical data but through his notion of non-sensuous perception. Non-sensuous perception emphasizes the immediate past shaping the passing of the present and the present, as tendency of the future, shaping the potential function of the past. Through non-sensuous perception an interstice for aesthetic practices opens up allowing for an ‘immanent’ and ‘transcendent’ process of co-becoming between the temporal passing of the event and its metastable bodily expression.

For similar reasons Guattari, thinking at the dawn of the digital media era, envisioned post-media practices as “laboratories of thought and experimentation for future forms of subjectivation.” He underlines that what comes to be termed post-media describes a general transformation away from media as mere technological entities. Guattari interlinks aesthetic and ethical concerns pointing out that a “post-media society “will be invented, created within the perspective of a new aesthetic-political paradigm.“ For both, Guattari and Simondon technology defines an active and vital realm of potential not as a means but as enabling ecology. In their works both emphasize technology’s processual dimension, where aesthetics generates links between perception and its relation to time, ethics pertains to acts developing relations with other acts. How can we conceive of such acts not as a volitional and anthropomorphic activism but as a relaying of temporal entanglements between the immediacy of occasions of experience and their material constraints? Further investigating Simondon’s and Guattari’s take on ethics and aesthetics in a post media era I will look at digital media technologies susceptible to (temporal) differentiation. Such “differential media” (Andrew Murphie) highlight the potential of digital processes of timing as discontinuous yet relational processes of timing. Looking at Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s video installation The Visitor’s I will work through the affective and emotive temporalities of digital media art and its relation to non-sensuous perception. How can we conceive of such artworks as instigating collective individuation foregrounding the temporal affective tonality at the heart of their expression in experience?

Choreographer Diego Gil and Christoph Brunner are collaborating on Gil’s project “Collective Writing Machines” for the Ausufern Festival at the Uferstudios Berlin on 31 August, 2013. Two perofrmances with limited spots (20 each) will take place at 3 and 5 p.m.

Image: Pablo Fontdevial

Singing and signing words continuously in a paper as they emerge from mouth to paper (and back), suspensions may happen only to make us feel the micro momentum of the next impulse to start again

Collective Writing Machines is a choreographic practice built in the intersection of writing, thinking and perceiving focusing on the emergent quality produced by these activities.

The main concern of this project is the intersection of language and sensation (sensation as the perception of perceiving) seen as a movement of emergence that launches embodied experiences toward potentiality rather than stratification.

In each occasion, a “temporary collective” takes form through multiple differential circuits of sensations enticed through the bodies and what is shared is a complex web of transmitted perceptions rising from the fold of intelligibility.

For Ausfurn festival, small  groups of participants will put into practice writing and walking techniques enticing a sensitive relationship with the environment. We will write and walk briefly while strolling through places around the Uferstudios building.

Text: Diego Gil

Concept and performance: Diego Gil and Christopher Brunner

Advise and assistance: Pablo Fontdevila

Duration: 35 minutes approx.

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I am very exited to participate in this conference. Here is my abstract:

Affective Politics of Timing: Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors

In his video-installation The Visitors artist Ragnar Kjartansson constructs an immersive nine-screen video-piece of a collaborative sound performance. Eight musicians dispersed throughout Rockeby Farm Mansion in upstate New York, play instruments and repeatedly chant the lines of a short poem by Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir.

The piece deals with duration, repetition and immediation through its insistence on time as collective and affective force holding the work together. While recent responses to affect in contemporary theory have led to a critique of its emphasis on immediacy, I will attempt to reconsider immediacy as opening a problematic field rather than becoming another object of critique. The power of suspense and duration in The Visitors provides a vital ground for addressing its aesthetics as an affective attunement of heterogeneous elements cued into specific timings. Using Brian Massumi’s differentiation of three kinds of memory (active memory, conscious memory and a memory of the future) I will investigate how The Visitors enables a collective sense of emergent ecologies of timing, an affective politics of timing. Immediacy according to this fine-grained conception of affect is not an instant independent of its milieu, on the contrary, its very power of existence consists of disjunctive times constantly attuning and being attuned. Change, and the potential thereof, emerges through the eventual encounter, its re-activation and unnoticed but active tendencies. The political question then is: how to inflect, activate and enable situations capable of more potential to actively become part of our immediate concerns and how to develop a sense of care for their effects?

transmutations

The recently launched first number to the brand new online journal Transmutations is out. This issue is working through the ongoing events of the Printemps Érable the Quebéc student strike against tuition hikes which has become a large-scale movement of different kinds - a spring in all its forces: “Frühlingserwachen.”

The issue focuses on performance in relation to social movements and movement as relational force. It comprises a lot of beautiful footage from the protests in Montreal but also films expressing different lines of intensity in relation to how such movements actually move. Texts are also part of the quite promising machine which has finally come to live. Congratulations!

Here is the overview of the issue.

It also includes a piece I wrote: On Relaying and Re-Beginning


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Jonas Fritsch and I are going to hit the road to Buffalo for the Media Cities 4 conference, May 3-5, 2013.

Here is our abstract:

Beyond the Network: Urban Media Ecologies and Experiential Fields

The growing proliferation of urban interactive technologies into our everyday lives demands a move from an initial fascination for the technologies in themselves to their actual experiential impact and how they ‘…affect the ways in which we use and understand walls, windows, doors, sidewalks, streets, intersections, parks, markets, and playgrounds.’ (Greenfield and Shepard, 2007). Increasingly, this cannot be done by focusing on singular devices, subjects or places. One way of approaching this heterogeneous plurality of elements has been prominent in the diverse analysis of networks. The problem, however, is the continued conception of entities or nodes as foundational building blocks of such networks and how they are connected or experienced.

In a recent resurgence of William James’ radical empiricism Adrian Mackenzie proposes an approach toward wireless technologies not as merely facilitating networked experiences of a particular kind but as constitutive of relational practices blurring boundaries between confined entities such as architecture, human bodies or technological devices. According to Mackenzie, wirelessness ‘… designates an experience trending toward entanglements with things, objects,  gadgets, infrastructures, and services, and imbued with indistinct sensations and practices of network-associated change” (2010, 5). These entanglements are in particular evident when dealing with e.g. media architecture or mobile technologies in urban or public space.

While building on the conceptual outline of wirelessness foregrounding experience, we propose the concept of experiential fields emphasizing the emergent and affective quality of experience. Experiential fields address experience as an ecological and relational process, focusing on the conditions of emergence of urban interactive environments. We are concerned with ways of facilitating experiential situations pointing at urban media-ecological processes and investigating how to work with them creatively beyond confined spaces, bodies or technologies.

Through an analysis of two urban interactive installations, Frequency and Volume (2003) and Ekkomaten (2012), we bring to the fore a range of challenges and questions concerned with accounting for the workings of media ecologies and experiential fields. Both works deal with sound activating and activated through its urban context. Frequency and Volume by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is an interactive art installation amplifying radio frequencies through bodily engagement with the exhibition space, foregrounding awareness for electromagnetic fields. Ekkomaten is a gigantic listening machine that lets people explore echoes from the past tied to a particular site in the city through their interaction with it. Either work constitutes a media ecology activating an experiential field which modulates the potential for action in the city through an affectively engaging mobilization of  emergent forces.

Investigating relations between media and the urban along the constitutive lines of experiential fields allows us to reconsider what we usually separate into discrete entities such as the body, the urban or the political. Shifting the focus on media in urban contexts from an infrastructural or informational discourse toward urban media ecologies as processes of immediation opens new potentials for considering mediatic encounters and the situations they facilitate in experiential terms beyond the network.

And the conference schedule.