Chaosmotechnics? Art, Media, Techniques, after Deleuze and Guattari
Friday, 3 February 2023, 9am – 8pm
Neill Lecture Theatre
Trinity Long Room Hub
Friday 3 February 2022
9.00-9.20 Welcome Address and Introduction
9:20-10.05 Professor Toshiya Ueno, Wako University, Tokyo (Critical Postmedia Network): Guattari, Joyce, and Glissant Meet in Archipelago(es)
10.05-10.20 Coffee Break
10.20-11.05 Professor Alex Taek-Gwang Lee, Kyung Hee University, Seoul (Critical Postmedia Network): Planetary Cybernetics and Postmedia
11.05-11:50 Professor Joff P.N. Bradley, Teikyo University, Tokyo (Critical Postmedia Network): On Joyful Machines at the End of the World: Tinguely-Deleuze-Guattari-Axelos-Stiegler
12-12:45 Lunch (delegates and audience members might visit The Buttery in Front Square or cafés and restaurants in the immediate vicinity)
12.45-13.30 Professor Francis Halsall, National College of Art and Design, Dublin: Contemporary Art, Systems and the Aesthetics of Dispersion
13.30-14.15 Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, Technological University, Dublin: Technē, Logos and the (Neg)anthropocene
14.25-14.40 Coffee Break
14.40-15.25 Professor Khurshid Ahmad, School of Computer Science and Statistics, TCD: Notes on (Post)n Modernism: Terminology and Make-believe in Academic Research and Writing
15.25-16.10 Professor Harun Šiljak, School of Engineering, TCD: Engineering (in) the Societies of Control: Temporality of the Mechanical Swarm
16.20-16.30 Coffee Break
16.30 Start of the online panel (Eventbrite registration available here)
16.35-17.30 Professor Thomas Nail, University of Denver (online): Materialist Cosmology and the Earthbound Ethics of Expenditure
17.30-18.25 Professor Laura U. Marks, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver (Substantial Motion Research Network) (online): Soul-Assemblage Media
18.30-20.00 Book launch in the Ideas Space, Trinity Long Room Hub.
Two books will be presented: Deleuze, Guattari and the Schizoanalysis of Postmedia, ed. Joff P. N. Bradley , Alex Taek-Gwang Lee , Manoj N.Y. (Bloomsbury, 2023), and Schizoanalysis and Asia: Deleuze, Guattari and Postmedia (Rowman and Littlefield 2023), ed. Joff P.N. Bradley.
20.00-22.00 – Performative event at Sweny’s James Joyce Heritage Visitor Centre, 1 Lincoln Place, Dublin 2.
Organiser: Dr Radek Przedpelski (Department of Computer Science) in collaboration with the Department of French, Trinity College Dublin.
Enquiries: Dr Przedpelski (PRZEDPRM@tcd.ie); Dr Sarah Alyn Stacey, FTCD (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
o Khurshid Ahmad
School of Computer Science and Statistics, TCD
Notes on (Post)n Modernism: Terminology and Make-believe in Academic Research and Writing
The term ontology in computer science gained currency in the last quarter of the 20th century – the advent of the Internet, the influence of cognitive psychology, and the rule of logic, resulted in the introduction of ontology to computing. The usage is computer science follows the dictionary definition of the word ontology – the knowledge of what there is. The term was then grounded into computer science practice and was used discuss how to specify programs that mimicked human beings when they undertake intelligent tasks – in understanding natural language, interpret images, controlling machinery, in diagnosing malfunctions, and even producing artwork. I will try to understand how we create/identify an ontology in the first once, and coin terms with restricted meaning in specialised activities, and then create a weave of words and images, which become ‘theory’: theory that either explains extant phenomenon and justified the current scientific orthodoxy, or challenged the orthodoxy and produced a new science which explained the extant phenomenon, created a new science which became an orthodoxy, until another disruption. The icons of the orthodoxy, mere place holders but shown reverence by the believers of the reigning orthodoxy, are the terms woven into scientific texts and illustrated with new images. I will draw examples from a range of subjects – from sewer engineering to nuclear physics, nanotechnology to philosophy of science, and from linguistics to behavioural finance. The cloth made out of terms and images is held in such reverence that even when it is transparent no criticism of it is allowed. Critics are regarded as renegades, luddites, deniers, irrational. This situation is without parallel in the academia – literary critics are welcomed, if reluctantly, amongst the litterateurs and their texts read with equal reverence, much the same is true in other branches of humanities to a greater or lesser extent. But in sciences we have usually have a take-it-or-leave attitude to our writings and practices and that is only changed after disruptive intrusions: Scientist form a collective (dan kollektive is what Ludwig Fleck calls it) and have strict hierarchies and demand compliance. These kollektives have largely undisclosed (deep) social roots, are embedded in translucent economic and financial networks, and have a surreptitious ideological stance. Sciences lack a subject like science criticism to make the kollektive more egalitarian and open to the criticism of the other. You might see some shades of Deleuze, self-immolation and immanence, say, in what I have to say but that is accidental, as such shades can only be provided by higher mortals who have a much enviable and longer lasting literary flourish.
Khurshid Ahmad researches and teaches in the School of Computer Science and currently works in understanding and analysing faces, voices, and gestures in moving images, in extracting sentiment from texts for signalling disruptive changes in contemporaneous financial markets and in the emergence of political entities. He is also a member of the Trinity Institute of Neurosciences, where his work is on language evolution, image/speech interaction; and has worked on behavioural finance with colleagues in the Trinity School of Business. He has studied the organisation of images in an art gallery in collaboration with the National Gallery of Ireland. He has led an EU sponsored project on the ethical use of social media during natural disasters which led to work on the impact of General Data Protection Regulation on the use of social computing during natural disasters. He was previously Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Surrey (1999-2005); he currently holds the chair of Computer Science at Trinity. He studied theoretical nuclear physics for a Master’s degree from the University of Karachi, Pakistan, and has a PhD in the same subject from the University of Surrey. He teaches fuzzy logic and control, research methods, and introduction to sustainable engineering at TCD.
o Joff P. N Bradley
Teikyo University, Tokyo
On Joyful Machines at the End of the World: Tinguely-Deleuze-Guattari- Axelos-Stiegler
My talk on joyful machines at the end of the world will address the work of Swiss kinetic sculpture artist Jean Tinguely, and the philosophers Deleuze, Guattari, Kostas Axelos and Bernard Stiegler. Combining all of these artists and thinkers is the idea of the diagram and the question of the unthought or the unexpected. My interest concerns the open system, open thinking, the line of flight, and the possibility of joyful affirmation. Central to this discussion is the difference between the curve and the spiral. My perspective pits itself against the theological, transcendent interpretation of cataclysm and apocalypse as my intention is to connect up the question of philosophy, system thinking, art, media and technics through the “useless” affirmation of philosophy as open thinking of such.
Joff P. N. Bradley is is Professor of English and Philosophy at Teikyo University, Tokyo, Japan. Joff has co-written A Pedagogy of Cinema and co-edited books on Deleuze and Buddhism; utopia; French thought; transversality, Japanese education; Bernard Stiegler; and animation. He published his first monograph Schizoanalysis and Asia in 2022 with Rowman and Littlefield, and with Alex Taek-Gwang Lee and Manoj NY released Deleuze, Guattari and the Schizoanalysis of Postmedia (Bloomsbury) in 2023. His next project Global Ecologies of Language Learning (Peter Lang) also has a strong focus on the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari (Peter Lang, 2023).
o Noel Fitzpatrick
Technological University, Dublin
Technē, Logos and the (Neg)anthropocene
Technē, Logos and the (Neg)anthropocene is inspired by the work of the French Philosopher Bernard Stiegler and the Digital Studies Network where questions of the impacts of technology and society have been central for the last 15 years. His last collective publication Bifurcate: There Is No Alternative published in English in December 2021, and Aesthetics, Digital Studies and Bernard Stiegler, Bloomsbury 2021, explore the relation between possible therapeutics and the aesthetic. In this short paper I will explore the relationships between technology, technics, technē and their consequences on the environment, here understood as forms of ecologies, individual ecology, collective ecology and planetary ecology. This thematic continues to be central in the research of the ECT Lab+ and the second conference will continue by posing the question of care. In order to understand what is meant by the two terms ‘Neganthropocene’ and ‘Technē’ it is necessary to take a detour through the later publications of Bernard Stiegler and the International Collective. In the book Bifurcate: There Is No Alternative, the collective set out a series of propositions in order to combat the immediate consequences of climate change. If, with Deleuze, we accept that philosophy is about the building of concepts and their genealogy, then we need to set out here what the concepts are and how they have evolved. There are two concepts which are of import here, firstly, the concept of the Anthropos in the Anthropocene and secondly, the concept of entropy in the Anthropocene. It is in the later publications of Bernard Stiegler that the term Neganthropocene is developed (Fitzpatrick, 2020). In contrast to Levi Strauss’ Anthropology, Stiegler proposes a Neganthropocene as a counter proposition to the Anthropocene or a counter action for climate change.
Professor Noel Fitzpatrick (doc ès lettres, Paris VII) is Professor of Philosophy and the Dean of Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (gradcam.ie) at TU Dublin. He is also the Academic Lead of the European Culture and Technology Laboratory (ectlab.eu) of the European University of Technology. He teaches Philosophy of Technology and Aesthetics to postgraduate and doctoral students at TU Dublin, he supervises Post-Doctoral and PhD students at GradCAM in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Noel gives seminars on phenomenology, hermeneutics, philosophy of technology at the Graduate School. He is a leading member of the European Artistic Research Network, EARN and is a member of Ars Industrialis and a founding member of the Digital Studies Network at the l’institut de recherche et innovation (IRI) at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Prof. Fitzpatrick has been awarded research funding from the Irish Research Council and is a Marie-Curie Research Fellow currently co-ordinator of the Research and Innovation Staff Exchange Real Smart Cities project (realsms.eu) and Networking Ecologically Smart Territories (Nestproject.eu). His most recent book publication is collective publication with the French Philosopher Bernard Stiegler entitled Bifurcate: There is no alternative, open humanities press, 2021.
o Francis Halsall
National College of Art and Design, Dublin
Contemporary Art, Systems and the Aesthetics of Dispersion
This talk introduces the main ideas and examples of art considered in my forthcoming book: Contemporary Art, Systems and the Aesthetics of Dispersion (Routledge, 2023). The main argument concerns two intimately related things which, I argue, are considered systemic and dispersed. They are art and the humans that make it. The central argument, introduced with examples of contemporary art, is that how art is understood is underwritten by a corollary understanding of what it means to be human. That is, a model of art depends on a model of subjectivity and this dependency pivots around the hinge of technology. The title is borrowed from artist Seth Price’s essay from 2002, ‘Dispersion’. But where Price was primarily considering media, and in particular the distribution of images across those media, I consider social systems more generally. The central claim is, at heart, Deleuzian; namely, that the contemporary conditions of both art and humans can be best understood, not as fixed and stable objects with immutable identities, but rather instances of dispersion across systems of distribution, communication and control.
Francis Halsall is Lecturer in the History and Theory of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National College of Art and Design, Ireland and Director of Master Programs, Art in the Contemporary World. He works on ideas of systems.
o Laura U. Marks
Simon Fraser University, Vancouver
This talk introduces my concept of the soul-assemblage, a gathering of beings organic and inorganic, material and immaterial, that enter into coalitions healthy and unhealthy. Soul-assemblages exist at hyper-local, planetary, and cosmic scales. I explain the soul-assemblage’s roots in the thought of Leibniz, Deleuze, Glissant, and Ṣadrā and show how the concept is useful in aesthetics, personal improvement, and activism. Media too are soul-assemblages, gathering together infrastructures, movies, and audiences, and I will describe the particularly intensive and salubrious soul-assembled gathered around a small-file movie of no more than 1 megabyte per minute, of the sort we screen at the Small File Media Festival.
Laura U. Marks, FRSC, works on media art and philosophy with an intercultural focus and an emphasis on appropriate technologies. She is the author of four books as well as the forthcoming The Fold: From Your Body to the Cosmos. Co-founder of the Substantial Motion Research Network. She led the research group Tackling the Carbon Footprint Streaming Media and founded of the Small File Media Festival. Marks programs experimental media art for venues around the world. She teaches in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.
o Thomas Nail
University of Denver
Materialist Cosmology and the Earthbound Ethics of Expenditure
This presentation reframes our understanding of the Anthropocene in wider terms of cosmic evolution and energy expenditure.
Thomas Nail is a Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Denver and author of numerous books, including The Figure of the Migrant, Theory of the Border, Marx in Motion, Theory of the Image, Theory of the Object, Theory of the Earth, Lucretius I, II, III, Returning to Revolution, and Being and Motion. His research focuses on the philosophy of movement.
o Harun Šiljak
School of Engineering, TCD
Engineering (in) the Societies of Control: Temporality of the Mechanical Swarm
Cyborg insects and the 2020s university are our case studies: both are swarms engineered with invasive technology, and both go through a process of detemporalisation and retemporalisation, concurrent with their de- and reterritorialisation. The engineered swarm is not an appropriated war machine; it is a primer in societies of control. Casualisation of labour and asynchronicity of learning experience in the modern university, enabled by technology is mirrored in the imaginaries and reality of insects within cybernetic loops. In presenting the cyborg insects case study, we introduce the use cases and imaginaries of the two decades of research in the area and give them a look through the lens of science fiction and horror that preceded the actual science. Similarly, in presenting the casualised and detemporalised university, we observe the imaginaries of freedom that existed before the technology for casualisation and detemporalisation was available, appropriating the materiality of labour and making sure the students and precarious academics do not exist in an everyday university continuum, but in discrete, spectacular points.
Harun Šiljak is an assistant professor in systems, optimisation, and control at the School of Engineering, and a postgraduate student at the School of Education, Trinity College Dublin. His research connects complex networks, unconventional communications and cyber-physical systems with technocriticism. He is currently one of the principal investigators of Artsformation, Horizon 2020 project on the relationship of arts and digital transformation.
o Alex Taek-Gwang Lee
Kyung Hee University, Seoul
Planetary Cybernetics and Postmedia
In my presentation, I discuss ways in which the political vision for the withering of the State can be given new life in relation to technology. This project’s primary concentration is not on the technology in and of itself but rather on the technology’s prevailing actualization as contemporary governance. The individual cannot experience the State but only imagine its presence through technological representation. This technological analogy between the individual imagination and Urstaat is nothing else than the machinic function of media. Printing technology was the first media to have allowed an individual to picture the State in their mind, and mass media would follow the early technological affordance. The imperative of the social contract is a covenant based on the imagined community. In this vein, political philosophy came along with technological totalization. After Hobbes founded the scientific proposition of the State, the modern theory of the State has always imagined the ideal function of the State as an automaton – an automatic machine. This early proposition of technology combined with “body politics” could be called “Enlightenment cybernetics” and still haunts the contemporary political theory of the State. The idea of automation paved the way for management technology to impose voluntary servitude to those inclusive in the social contract. I propose an alternative political project against this belief in the vital link between mechanical management and political philosophy. In contrast to the more prevalent notion of Enlightenment cybernetics, I’d refer to this alternative view of politics as planetary cybernetics, further postmedia.
Alex Taek-Gwang Lee is Professor of Cultural Studies in the School of Communication at Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea.
o Toshiya Ueno
Wako University, Tokyo
Guattari, Joyce, and Glissant Meet in Archipelago(es)
Why have philosophy or utopia literatures addressed (desert) island(s), peninsulas, and archipelago(es) so far? Has Guattari known the similarity of landscape, flora and fauna, and natural or build environment of both Sandycove, Dublin, and Pula (Croatia), as singular, or at least significant, places and locations for James Joyce? (Because Guattari spent some time in Zagreb, Croatia, in the post war period, while Joyce was one of favourite writers for Guattari.) Why is so crucial the concept of archipelago and islands for Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy? In that context, how does the close friendship between Guattari and Edouard Glissant mean? This essay examines how archipelago is not only about geography or empirical topics, but also is concerned with topos of language and rhetoric or the very concept in philosophical discourse. Moreover, does it make sense to raise a project for creating the interactive installation as a kind of electronic media art based on the psycho-geography of Joyce’s Dublin? If so, then can Guattarian schizoanalytic or speculative cartography be also installed in postmedia tactics and expressive initiatives? Guattari’s posthumously published work titled Refrains (ritournello) is a kind of autobiography. It deals with his singular experiences, memory of familiar locations, citations or appropriations in discursive assemblages as the tactical resources. How can we define and call his attempt auto-ethnobiography or ethno-autobiography? Ulysses is not I-novel, but a certain type of cartography. Bloom (a protagonist) is working in a firm of public relations. Bloom is an agent of germ of info-semiocapitalism. The notion of Guattarian postmedia can provide us with the ‘theory of Bloom’ as a critical perspective and tactics of ‘solidaritude’ (solitude and solidarity) and ‘opacity’.
Toshiya Ueno is Professor of Philosophy and Critical Theory in the Faculty of Human Science at Wako University, Tokyo, Japan.