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New Talk Series: Towards a Physiological Novel / Wednesday 23 March / 7pm

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Towards a Physiological Novel



‘Towards a Physiological Novel’ is a series of 8 bi-weekly talks and screenings initiated by Sidsel Meineche Hansen on the subject of communication and angest, and the production of noise and nervousness in an electronic era.

The Nervous System is a collection of cells, tissues, and organs through which the body receives information from its surroundings and then directs the body in how to respond to that information. The reception and transmission of information and affect is a form of constant communication that models the biochemistry and neurology of the subject.

The talks, held at the bookshop in Cambridge Heath Road, will operate as a mode of research to examine how information circulates – how it, in physiological terms, is embodied, and consumed in our current society.

The series will bring together a diverse range of theoreticians, artists and fiction writers whose works’ provide a flexible foundation for dealing with these ideas. To inform and compliment the talks, there will be a selection of literature available, including books and journals relating to critical theory and art, which together establish a bibliography. These events are free.



Dissonance at the Threshold; or Interfering in Systems Thinking.
Speaker: Matt Clemments.
Wednesday 23 March
Open 7pm, talk starts at 7.15pm

– In recent months and years – in fact at various junctures throughout the history of modernity – the notion of resonance has offered at least one alternative to the split between, on the one hand, a crude materialist account of the causal interaction of bodies, and, on the other, a naive valorisation of the spiritual heritage of the human.

My presentation will seek to expropriate and unravel the implications of resonance by way of an analysis of certain trends within cybernetics and systems theory. I will begin by attempting to describe how these theories offer to at once undermine and overcome more traditional models of inter-subjectivity. Elaborating this sublimation by way of the concept of operational-closure, I will move towards a suggestion of the role played by the threshold in the creation, constitution, and transformation of systems. Three examples will serve my purposes here: the last message of Gilles Deleuze as interpreted by Isabelle Stengers; the systems based methodology of Alcoholics Anonymous, according to Gregory Bateson; and finally the evolution of cellular slime-moulds. The third of these examples will bring me back to a reinvigorated conception of resonance, clarified in terms of dissonance, noise, interference, and the artefact.

‘Towards a Physiological Novel’
Bi-weekly talks on Wednesdays at 7pm.
X Marks the Bökship
210 / 3 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9NQ


Written by bökship

March 15, 2011 at 8:27 am

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