AESTHESIS & PERCEPTRONIUM: EXPERIENCE AS A STATE OF MATTER
THURSDAY (27TH OF NOV) AT 16h00-17h00, RHB 343 (GOLDSMITHS)
We will look at aesthetics, media, technology, and the analog-digital divide from a materialist and “information theoretic” perspective, with the goal of illuminating the role of experience in the “anthropocene”, the age of ecological crisis and of the looming “post-human”. How might aesthesis be understood if subtracted from human judgment? What does experience consist of out there “in the wild,” beyond the human? What are its minimal criteria? The recent and under-examined materialist revival of “panpsychism” in the context of neuroscience and quantum physics (integrated information theory of consciousness) makes several claims about these minimal criteria of experience. We will compare these to the standard streams of discourse on aesthetics and subjectivity, articulating our investigation around examples drawn from the arts and media.
Alexander Wilson’s research investigates aesthetics beyond the human, in the mechanisms of emergence in nature, the science of complexity, computation, systems theory, contemporary cosmology, evolutionary dynamics and philosophies of process. His recently submitted dissertation (UQAM), Art in the Chaosmos, engages the philosophies of Whitehead, Deleuze, Guattari, Simondon, and Stiegler. He has published on various connected topics, including speculative pragmatics and speculative aesthetics. His interdisciplinary art practice deals with related concepts in performances and installations. As co-founder of Parabolik Guerilla Theatre, he also directed several multimedia works for the stage. He has formerly held positions at Concordia University in Montreal.