COOP ~ Reality Settings: Art, Biology & Computation from Month to Month

Seminar 2: 26 - 29 January 2020

In the second week of our Reality Settings coop we will focus on artistic, art historical and philosophical approaches to specifying reality settings. Jenna Sutela will unpack her different ways of relating to and working with reality altering materials, such as words, machines, and bacteria. She will be calling us from Helsinki and presenting a set of initial directions that will lead into a broader conversation between all of us.

The Danish art historian and curator Lars Bang Larsen will join us for three sessions in Epen and lead a conversation on the reality altering effects of psychedelics in artistic contexts across different continents in the 20th and 21st centuries. He will also share his conceptual take on the concept of reality settings and help us frame and guide our development of it as a group.

To end our days together we have two calls with the London-based Italian philosopher Federico Campagna. During the first call, he will go through his conceptual work around reality systems, as framed in his book Technic and Magic and outline the different influences this concept has on his own thinking and writing. During the second call, we will have a more open conversation around the ideas relating to reality settings that are emerging within our group and how they might relate to, diverge from, or expand upon Federico's practice. We will also be screening material selected together with Lars Bang Larsen on Tuesday evening. The ultimate goal of the days we have together is to hone in on a common conceptual direction of work for the group.

Lars has provided three texts to be read in preparation for his sessions. They are Pia Lindman: Selfhood of Cells (2019), Lars Bang Larsen: Anti-Disciplinary Feedback and the Will to Effect (2011/2018) and, optionally, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: “Memories of a Molecule”, from A Thousand Plateaux (1976).

Federico has asked us to read the introduction to his book Technic and Magic.

 

26th January, Sunday

Evening

Catch-up and thoughts since we last met

Group conversation.

 

27th January, Monday

Morning

10-13

Call: Jenna Sutela

Presentation / Extended Conversation

Jenna.

Bjarke and Aslak

Afternoon

14-18.30

We start or end with a walk in the area.

Lars Bang Larsen presentation on Art and Psychedelia

Presentation

Dialogue

Lars Bang Larsen, Aslak, Bjarke

Evening

19-22

Film screenings selected by Diakron and Lars Bang Larsen

Screening

Lars Bang Larsen, Aslak, Bjarke

 

28th January, Tuesday

Morning

10-13

Call: Federico Campagna

Lecture + Dialogue

+

Conceptual Discussion with Lars Bang Larsen

Lecture + dialogue

 

Conversation

Federico Campagn, Lars Bang Larsen, All

Afternoon 

13-18.30

We start with a walk in the area.

Preparation of questions and areas of importance for conversation with Federico in the evening.

Dialogue

All

Evening

19.30-22

Call: Federico Campagna

Extended conversation.

Conversation

Group + Ferederico

 

29th January, Wednesday

Morning 

10-13

Each student / or in groups write / draw reflections / organize notes from the past days.

We finish with a conversation about common directions of travel for the coop.

 

Decompression and Planning

All

Seminar 1: 1-4 December 2019

In the first week of our Reality Settings coop we will open up a broad dialogue on the subject of reality settings, take a deep dive into the field of synthetic biology and introduce our practices and interests to each other. 

Diakron will present our ongoing project Primer, and the numerous initiatives and collaborations that have grown out of it which straddle the intersection between science, technology development, the production of the future and art. Artist and co-tutor Jenna Sutela will call in with a presentation of her work with non-human organisms, sound, sculpture and algorithms. Each student will be tasked with introducing their practice, as well as particular areas of interest, experience or practical traction relating to Reality Settings. We will start a process of collective research and note-taking as well as set up research platform(s) for working together throughout the year.

Science writer and author Britt Wray will give a remote talk on the current state of synthetic biology and its recent history. She will introduce us to the science underlying these new developments and the diverse set of interests, practices and businesses that together define the field and its future impacts. Britt is a trained biologist, an expert on the field and is the author of Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics and Risks of De-Extinction and a co-host of the BBC podcast Tomorrow's World. She is currently researching for a new book on the psychological impacts of climate change.

To start an exploration of the aesthetic potentials of altered states, reconfigured biology and human perception we will watch Andrei Tarkovskys seminal Stalker, based on the sci-fi novel Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky.

There will be no required readings for this first week. We will introduce a syllabus with seminal texts that can guide our readings throughout the year - one that will grow gradually for each month, and should be seen as an access to resources for independent research as well as collective readings.

Sunday, 1 Dec.

Evening

Meeting each other for the first time.

Presentation of the course plans.

Questions and conversation about the course.

Group conversation.

Presentation.

Monday, 2 Dec.

Morning

10-13

Jenna Sutela remote call

Presentation of Jenna’s practice and main interests.

Quick intro to Diakron / primer and the practices and main interests of Bjarke and Aslak.

Presentation / Conversation

Afternoon  

14-18.30



Student introductions. Their practices and interests / ideas for the COOP

We end with a walk in the area

Presentations

Dialogue

Evening

19-22

Film Screening: Stalker by Andriy Tarkovsky

Screening

Tuesday, 3 Dec.

Morning

10-13 

Student introductions. Their practices and interests / ideas for the COOP

Presentations

Dialogue

Afternoon   

13-18.30



We start with a walk in the area.

Student introductions. Their practices and interests / ideas for the COOP

Presentations

Dialogue

Evening

19.30-22

Call: Britt Wray.

Conversation

Wednesday, 4 Dec.

Morning  

10-13

Each student / or in groups write / draw reflections / organize notes from the past days.

We finish with a conversation about what came up.

 

Decompression and Planning

 

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