Theory — 22 Mar 2017
Three-days conference-festival curated by guest curators Melanie Buehler, Warren Neidich and André Lepecki, who have each inaugurated a discursive and performative program.
Culture and brain form complex systems of influence, control and resistance. The present brain seems to have been invaded by technology: machines increasingly perform the previously human tasks of language, memory, and imagination, with our learning processes taken up by automated and algorithmic procedures. What are the philosophical, social and political implications of this cognitive automation for our brains and bodies? What is happening to our subjectivity, identity and free will?
MARCH 22, 2017
Melanie Buehler: “Ugly Feelings: Thinking and Feeling in Contemporary Internet Culture”
Our minds, as Spinoza argued, operate first in the vague and blurry field of imagination. Here, feelings and thoughts converge before reason makes sense of them. This conference session focuses on how networked culture can be perceived as an extended field of imagination – a sticky universe of emotions and ideas – and confronts the way in which digital platforms structure and organize this space. Recent political developments, such as Brexit and the American presidential election, suggest that online culture has effectively created an environment of filter bubbles – affirmative echo chambers of like-minded people. Beyond these bubbles, it’s the surprising and emotionally potent that spread the most – the more outrageous the message, the more likely it is heard. Accordingly, trolling and tweeting have become more effective strategies than official, less emotional and personalized modes of address. How do we think with and through the technologies that wire our brains together? How is truth afforded by technology and how does it intersect with the logic of a digital economy whose very currency – attention – is located in our brains? And: Where do the ugly feelings come from that have been harnessed so successfully in recent Internet-driven political debates?
With: Melanie Buehler, Hannah Barton, Jennifer Chan (screening), Daniel Keller, Elizabeth Orr, Özgür Kar (screening), Timotheus Vermeulen, Paul Feigelfeld
10 am Walk-in & Start performance Organism by Alexandra Pirici and Rietveld Academy Basicyear
10:30 Welcome by Jorinde Seijdel
10:45 Introduction by Melanie Bühler
11:00 Paul Feigelfeld, Deep Shit: Paradigms, Paranoia and Politics of Machine Intelligence
12:00 Video by Jennifer Chan, Equality, 2015, 14.46 min.
12:15 Hannah Barton, Memes, Manifestations and Magical Thinking
1:00 Lunch break
1:45 Daniel Keller, The Basilisk
2:30 Timotheus Vermeulen, A Tale of One City
3:30 Video by Özgür Kar, Declassified in Part, 2016, 9.00 min., with Q & A
4 pm Elizabeth Orr, The Conveyor
For an overview of the full program, please click here.
Studium Generale Rietveld Academie, an exploratory theory program aimed at all departments, open to the public.
Chief curator: Jorinde Seijdel
Associate curator: Jort van der Laan