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Chaosmotechnics? Art, Media, Techniques, after Deleuze and Guattari

Friday, 3 February 2023, 9am – 8pm

Chaosmotechnics? Art, Media, Techniques, after Deleuze and Guattari

A day-long symposium organised by the School of Computer Science and Statistics in collaboration with the Department of French.

Up-to-date Schedule and Book of Abstracts

The symposium extends an invitation to arts and humanities scholars, engineers and artists to ponder the relevance of philosophical interventions of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari for rethinking the problem of the mutual resonances between art, media and technology today—under the condition of precarisation of labour, planetarisation of technology and algorithmic governance, on the one hand, and the climate crisis, the increasing carbon footprint of streaming media and data centre usage and other forms of environmental degradation inescapably linked to the horizon of the Anthropocene, on the other.

Deleuze and Guattari offer a plethora of departure points for thinking current philosophy of technology. Guattari's triadic understanding of ecology—mental, social and environmental—is an effort to create an interface between the interiority of the human brain and the exteriority of the cosmos suffused with chaos. Deleuze and Guattari's machinic phylum (phylum machinique), also defined as technological lineage, is a cybernetic modelling which concerns machines in the expanded sense (for example, social machines, aesthetic machines, etc.). Unlike self-enclosed mechanisms allowing only "perfectly coded relations with exterior flows," machines, explains Guattari, "generate each other, select each other, bring out new ways of potentiality. Guattari's ecosophical project in turn diagrams transmissions between "territories, flows, machines and universes," as Deleuze wonderfully summarises. Rather than lamenting the death of philosophy in the face of cybernetics like Heidegger, Deleuze is interested in philosophy as a system, "the system must not only be in perpetual heterogeneity, it must also be a heterogenesis". The contingency of the unground is that which grounds philosophy as a system. This system-as-heterogenesis extends the power of enunciation and subjectivity not so much to already constituted, finite objects and their linear progress to modern technologies as transversal processes and techniques of individuation. Revolution happens at the molecular level of the production of subjectivity, enabling contingent encounters and caring for people-yet-to-come (peuple à venir).

Organised around three thematic axes, the symposium invites speakers across different disciplines—Arts, Humanities, Computer Science, Engineering—to critically interrogate the status of art, media and technical activity today after Deleuze and Guattari. We are interested in provoking questions rather than providing ready-made thoughts (prêt-à-penser).

  • For example, what is the relation between technology and techniques? How do contemporary art and philosophy relate to the problem of techniques? Can the resurgence of interest in techniques be seen as a way to decouple technical activity from the ideology of boundless progress, extractivism and accumulation of capital underpinning modern technology?
  • What does the notion of "media" mean today? Is the notion of "digital media" obsolete? What is the future of media studies, considering the field is already undergoing at once an expansion and a molecularisation? We've had media archaeologies, media geologies, insect media, biomedia—can one talk of media cosmologies? We've moved from looking at media as a visual semiotics to Harun Farocki's operative images—but can these operative images now be considered indexes of an open cosmos?
  • Is machine intelligence creative or is it a Heideggerian enframing (Gestell) apparatus that mechanizes the whole cosmos turning every being into mere standing reserve (Bestand)?
  • And, last but not least, can the c(ha)osmos be considered an (un)ground for contemporary media, art and techniques? Can we then speak of a chaosmotechnics? Or, a multiplicity of cosmotechnics, to riff off Yuk Hui?
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 Absolute Deterritorialization: Deleuze-Guattari-Axelos contra Stiegler
11:50-12:00 Q&As
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
14.15-14.25 Q&As
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
16.10-16.20 Q&As
16.20-16.30 Coffee Break
16.30-16.35 Start of the online panel (Eventbrite registration available here)
16.35-17.20 Professor Thomas Nail, University of Denver (online): Materialist Cosmology and the Earthbound Ethics of Expenditure
17.20-18.05 Professor Laura U. Marks, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver (Substantial Motion Research Network) (online): Soul-Assemblage Media
18.05-18.20 Q&As
18.20-20.00 Book launch in the Ideas Space, Trinity Long Room Hub.
20.00-22.00 - Performative event at Sweny's James Joyce Heritage Visitor Centre, 1 Lincoln Place, Dublin 2.

Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Accessibility: Yes
Room: Neill Lecture Theatre
Research Theme: Digital Humanities
Event Category: Arts and Culture, Conferences, Public
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Researchers, Faculty & Staff, Public
Contact Name: Dr Radek Przedpełski

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