on Media and Movement
November 3, 2006, University of California, Berkeley
Howard Room, The Faculty Club (directions)
**Some papers now available to download. Click on hyperlinked titles in the program below**
9-9:15 Trinh T. Minh-ha opening remarks
9:15-9:20 Matthew Scherer intro of speakers
Jean-Paul Cauvin “Two Versions of the Virtual: From Bergsonism to Chromatic Synthesis”
Interactive Performance Spaces
10:45-10:50 Gavin WIttje intro of speakers
10:50-12:15 Interactive Performance Spaces
1:15-1:20 Anthony J. Cascardi intro of speakers
2:45 Whitney Davis intro of speakers
Trinh T. Minh-ha "Forces and Forms (Between the Deleuzian Middle and the Chinese Pictorial Arts)"
4:15-4:30 Jean-Paul Cauvin closing remarks
Join panelists for a no-host cocktail hour at The Faculty Club Bar
:about the conference:
Michel Serres has suggested that information will be the fourth cosmology of intelligence, the inheritor of our species’ collective and coherent violence. The epistemological and indeed ubiquitous prestige of information theory suggests a new cosmology on the horizon, a material logic of the multiple heralded by a new materialism. This new grappling with the auto-communication of matter has been usefully exploited by cybernetics, computer science, bio-physics etc, a material semiotic which Deleuze and Guattari describe as the nascent figure heads of systems theory, ie. an intelligence native to autonomous matter and a participant in an ecology of life and the logos. What has been broadly described above is a revitalization of ontology, the science of being.
For Deleuze, the confrontation with chaos deploys the mediums of intelligence, the affect, the percept, function, and the concept. Three autonomous names for the multiple—art, science, philosophy. The ground of their contact and mutual exposure is the simulacrum of ideas, but no idea can appear in a Deleuzian ontology without a material operator by which it is actualized as a variation on the plane of material consistency. A Deleuzian theory of media would ask, “what kind of variation at the level of events is afforded by our material culture?” We must then determine what kind of event is a medium. In keeping with Deleuze’s ontology of immanence we do not align media practice with representation or simulation, only with more or less adequate models of repetition at the level of signals, in short, a propagation of syntax or structural invariants that co-ordinate a space where an event can occur. We must immediately reverse this schema which is necessary for representation but disingenuous to events, which are not predicated on this cultivation of space but erupt continuously as a disarticulating force, the multiple or variable index of forces and relations. A medium is a place of inscription, a possibility of life. The event is not merely a possibility but the actualization of a virtual, which is real but un-mediated. A Deleuzian theory of media must then meet two theoretical and political imperatives: it must enable itself as a structure of registration through which the event can begin to resonate along divergent series (aesthetic, practical, conceptual, technical etc.); it must also propose a kind of historiography of the event which is genealogical, a line of continuous variation that describes the methods of articulating the disorienting violence of the event as it resonates in the heterogenous series.
We may in fact be talking about a new species of violence. A brief summary of the global mutations of this violence is in order to establish our trajectory as thinkers of an urgent and historicized materialism. Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus offers a playful libidinal historiography of this violence of the event. In the savage or archaic machine the Sacred is the system that co-ordinates this disruption proper to an event. In the despotic regime the sovereign authority of the King/Emperor becomes the body of the event, its sanctioning reserve. The civilized man (for whom the societies of control and the spectre of informatics as the canonical science loom immaculate) inaugurates capital as the first stage of mediating the event. Saturation of capital as described in the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia marks the termination of a world historical project, namely, the war of the organism against the flux of difference. Information science is a surplus of variation that exceeds the codes of capital. As such it participates in the historical libidinal materialism central to the political expression of Deleuze’s ontology.
We would like to provide a forum sensitive to this encounter and to adopt methods, theoretical and practical, that can register the event of information.
:about the speakers:
Anthony J. Cascardi - Interim Dean of Arts and Humanities & Margaret and Sidney Ancker Chair in Comparative Literature, Spanish, and Rhetoric, U.C. Berkeley.
Jean-Paul Cauvin - Ph.D. candidate at Emory University and Recipient of the Citation of Excellence from the Rhetoric Department, U.C. Berkeley.
Whitney Davis - Professor of History of Art, U.C. Berkeley.
Richard Doyle - Professor of Rhetoric and Science, Medicine, Technology & Cultures in the Department of English and School of Information Science and Technology at Pennsylvania State University. He has published two books: On Beyond Living: Rhetorical Transformations of the Life Sciences (1997) and Wetwares: Experiments in PostVital Living (2003) - in a putative trilogy about emerging transhuman knowledges.
Gregg Lambert - Chair of the English Department at Syracuse University. He has authored numerous books and articles on critical theory, continental philosophy, film, and on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze; most recently Who's Afraid of Deleuze and Guattari? (2006) and The Non-Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze (2004). He is advisory editor of the new journal, Deleuze Studies, and the "Deleuze Connections" series from the University of Edinburgh Press, as well as co-editor (with Ian Buchanan) of Deleuze and Space (2005).
Alphonso Lingis - Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University. Publications include: Excesses: Eros and Culture (1984), Libido: The French Existential Theories (1985), Phenomenological Explanations (1986), Deathbound Subjectivity (1989), The Community of Those Who Have Nothing in Common (1994), Abuses (1994), Foreign Bodies (1994), Sensation: Intelligibility in Sensibility (1995), The Imperative (1998), Dangerous Emotions (1999), Trust (2003), Body Modifications: Evolutions and Atavisms in Culture (2005), and The First Person Singular (2006).
Dorothea Olkowski - Professor of Philosophy and former Director of Women's Studies at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Her publications include: Gilles Deleuze and the Ruin of Representation (1999), Resistance, Flight, Creation, Feminist Enactments of French Philosophy (editor, 2000), Feminist Interpretations of Merleau-Ponty (co-edited with Gail Weiss, 2006), and The Universal (In the Realm of the Sensible) (2007).
Chris Salter - Assistant Professor in the Department of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University and researcher in the Interactive Performance and Sound axis of the Hexagram Institute for Research/Creation in Media Arts and Technologies. His research and artisistic practice investigates the role of real time sound, image, and technologies of interaction within the context of responsive environments and new forms of theatrical performance.
Matthew Scherer - Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Rhetoric Department, U.C. Berkeley. He is currently teaching courses in political theory and preparing his dissertation, "The Politics of Persuasion: Habitat, Creativity, Conversion," for publication.
Sha Xin Wei - Canada Research Chair, Media Arts and Sciences, and Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Computer Science at Concordia University. Currently preparing a book on phenomenology and poetics of performative spaces, and a genealogy of responsive and topological media (see here).
Trinh, T. Minh-ha - Professor of Rhetoric and Gender and Women's Studies, U.C. Berkeley. Renowned independent filmmaker and postcolonial theorist. She is currently at work on a large-scale audio-visual installation for the Musee du Quai Branly, Paris.
Gavin Wittje - Ph.D. student at the Graduate Theological Union, an affiliate school of U.C.Berkeley. He received an M.A. in English Literature from Washington University, St. Louis and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder. His two main research interests are Deleuze and dance.