December Chronicle by Ilgın Deniz Akseloğlu, Erato Tzavara & Mandus Ridefelt (feat. Reality Settings: Art, Biology & Computation study group).

| tag: Nieuwvliet

(comments by mandus 191218 in reddish)

(comments by erato - channeling a pop-rock TV presenter in this instance - 100119 in blueish)

*pay attention to hyperlinks!

How can we live and design against the devastating realities of mass extinction and climate change? What are we learning about the nonhuman worlds that will change how humans develop their own? How can artistic practices and arts institutions respond to the ways in which life is altered across different cultures, disciplines, and value systems?

Is there a way to distinguish human and nonhuman worlds? Dichotomies of the sort Human-Nature, Human-non-human set restrictive dualities. Question is, in the near future, facing climate apocalypse (if that term is valid), will humans have access to more or less technology?

Yes, different culture, disciplines and value systems. And most importantly class as well. The world is becoming more polarised. How does a farmer in African drought season respond compared to an artist in a residency about water in Banff Institute in Canada? Here’s where Assem’s question about diversifying comes into place. What are the narratives around the genome or AI in developing countries, if they even exist?

Maybe, AV, mobile technologies and social media are the current  common point of reference for the construction of global narratives. Still subject to class and income differences.


Ø  We all agree that we all live on a metaphoric level; meaning, we are becoming stories; and not just making or telling stories.

Reality Settings Group : 2019-2020. Different storytellers melting in this pot together. Plant whispers-medieval lenses-middle-eastern cosmologies-videogame testing-the third way encompassing art-science-technology-gamification of history-alternative cinema assemblages-gentrified false worlds-theatre in motion-microscopy-rats and biology-DNA fantasies-microbiomes in space ALL DILUTED IN CLEAR WATER filtered in DENMARK. 

We are applying multi-disciplinary homeopathy recipes to deal with our intrinsic multi-truths and construct a common REALITY.

Ø   What was uncanny in Britt’s narrative is that we might not be able to imagine it. We were able to imagine atomic bomb and all, but this is different. We need to run our imagination to develop a coping mechanism. 

(Synthetic biology make up a paradigm case when the cultural imaginary based on “originary technicity” breaks down. OT = humans make technologies and are changed by these technologies respectively. When the material base (the gene) of this imaginary is inflicted in the change, this marks the ontological implosion of this relation.)

HUMAN AS GOD>>>>another speculative market. Another Cold War. KILL GOD AND MONEY I SAY. Our dream team has a logo. Wilf sourced it online. It looks great. 

Ø  Using imagination: We cannot imagine the outcomes of these fast emerging technologies, so in order to understand and find solutions we need to work on our imagination also. 

Nick, what do you have to say about human imagination and transcendence? Quote:

What we are actually listening to is human limitation and the audacity to transcend it. Artificial Intelligence, for all its unlimited potential, simply doesn’t have this capacity. How could it? And this is the essence of transcendence. If we have limitless potential then what is there to transcend? And therefore what is the purpose of the imagination at all. Music has the ability to touch the celestial sphere with the tips of its fingers and the awe and wonder we feel is in the desperate temerity of the reach, not just the outcome. Where is the transcendent splendour in unlimited potential? So to answer your question, Peter, AI would have the capacity to write a good song, but not a great one. It lacks the nerve.

Love, Nick

Ø  How can we imagine a future for humans outside of the destructive ‘post-human narrative’, without ignoring what’s personal/intimate/natural, and without being cynical about future?

Ø  How we can use technologies in an emancipative way? (What is emancipation anyway?)

Ø  How to respond to change in the period of exponential Technologies?

Ø  How can immersion be more continuous? Cosmological fabric is sticky. (Linearity of identities and narratives) 

Ø  What is hopeful in living in other dimensions of existence?

Ø  Nature defines itself with its own equipment, how we should develop our equipment; using our biology?

Kinestetic, emotional intelligence. Rewilding. Reconnecting to nature. Develop more lenses, more eyes to experience and interpret reality. Overcoming body restrictions through meditation-sufi practices-psychedelics (internal re-design of the brain’s porous mechanisms)

Ø  What are the scales/interfaces/resolutions/apertures available/possible to “the artist” when engaging with emerging reality settings powered by the stacked complexity of a contemporary techno-capitalist paradigm, specifically synthetic biology? Which scales are not available? Can we learn from microscopy (and extensions thereof)?

Ø  What are the obstacles for the intentional activation and directed appropriation of emergent reality settings beyond their corporate embedments? ex. Why is bio-hacking still a marginal practice? 

I remember watching a super interesting presentation at Re:Publica on Citizen Science. Public involvement in science research means democratisation and open use of tools. Funnily enough, many documented projects involve measuring urban air pollution, to go against formal measurements, that sometimes hide real numbers from the public. #informationispower

Ø  What are the conditions to engage with the non-human in artistic practices? How do we evaluate anthropomorphic leaks, psychological dissociation etc.?

Ø  What is “future”? Which objects, images, sounds, patterns, ideas make up the temporal axis of past/present/future? How can this axis be intentionally shaped beyond the persistent modernist and mythological dichotomy of messianism/apocalypse? How does the emergent “reality settings” of ex. synthetic biology attempt to corroborate or reconfigure such a determining dynamic?


We live in the future according to David. It’s already extraterrestrial. 

Questions for HOW-TO:

What is ‘scary’ in technologies today is that their production is driven by an ‘unresolved nature’ humans have, and humans are able to develop technology without really understanding it.

What artists and philosophers carry as a role within the rampant capitalist science speed race is to put a break onto scientific innovation placing valid ethical questions on the table. Social sciences and art are still using their tools to understand the past. History is as alive as the future. Meanwhile, corporations base decision-making barely on profit and competitiveness only looking towards the future. Where is institutional control and ethical discussion regarding the impact of emerging technologies? How can we welcome innovation with a thoughtful and sustainable approach? How do we overcome death, by accepting it? 

It all boils down to Dealing with MORTALITY - VULNERABILITY without getting too melancholic about it. The Terror Management Theory, a social and psychology theory developed by Jeff Greenberg, Sheldon Solomon and Tom Pyszczynski, holds that the fear of death in humans is so grave and results in such a deep state of existential terror that the whole of human civilization has grown out of trying to deny and overcome the inevitable. (The Denial of Death)

What are the things in general that we develop without understanding? 

To see that, perhaps we need to look at what’s most aboriginal in us. Complex biological processes like love etc. as we actually sense things first and most of all, before we realize they turn into conscious ideas

What do observations still tell us today? They way we started to learn the world in antiquity. 

Artmaking has a lot to do in this intuitive way of getting ‘drawn into’ things and ‘making’ things. I suggest checking and colliding things that make us ‘feel’ stuff. And develop ways of understanding them. What is their connection? How can it make us connect as a group? Can we develop a common ground for sensations/perceptions? How can we experiment on these via artmaking? 

I am excited to get involved in something that will ‘live with us’ after the COOP. 

It would also be wonderful if it will have a potential to be shared with others, and be developed when shared. Like an algorithm. Think about we create some sort of a system, a mechanism etc to share with others at the Summit this summer.

An interactive installation, a map, a reader or a test ..something.

We can start by responding to the same things in a methodical way >> To understand how it goes, and note down what they evoke in us, try to make a mapping to see if there are things that connect them biologically. There is a big amount of information in our immediate responses. 

Like colors, how they have a calculable physical value and the possible ‘mood’ they evoke in us. 

Let’s create a paracosm, paved by our childhood fantasies! 

Let’s analyse our DNAs, each one receives their own DNA string code and then uses it as an open score. It can be the starting point for a text, an action, a movement score, a philosophical question, a song.


COOP study group: Reality Settings: Art, Biology & Computation.