COOP ACADEMY 1 (PUBLISHING CLASS): (Against) Neuralgia: Care of the Brain in Times of Cognitive Capitalism FROM MONTH TO MONTH

Seminar 7: May 19-20, 2017

At the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven within the 10-day caucus Becoming More, Open! COOP Academy! will collaborate with art critic and editor Federica Bueti on the live coverage of the public programmes convened by Iris Kensmil on Friday (On Experience and Choices)  and Eric de Bruyn/Sven Lütticken on Saturday (Future Caucus). The Open! COOP Academy students-participants will form an editorial team on the spot to work and think collectively and experiment with collaborative forms of critical writing. Their live reports will be published directly on a special section of the Open! platform. Simultaneously the participants will work on finalizing their essays together with course tutors Florian Göttke and Jorinde Seijdel and the Open! editorial team members Janine Armin and Niels Schrader.  

Seminar 6: April 20-21, 2017

Willem van Weelden, researcher and writer on new media culture, will be our guest for the Thursday seminar. In a course titled Trauma and the Eternal Frame, Willem wants to critically compare Catherine Malabou’s recent new definition of trauma (brain trauma and psychic trauma), based on the advances made in neurobiology and new senses of materiality (plasticity), with Jean-Francois Lyotard’s investigation of time and matter - as demonstrated in the eighties by his manifestation ‘Les Immatériaux’ and his philosophy of the Inhuman. This critical juxtaposition and comparison is probed by some examples of re-enactment ‘art’ that shed a medial oriented light on these philosophical questions. Preparatory reading: Catherine Malabou, “Post-Trauma: Towards a New Definition?”, published in: Alleys of Your Mind. Augmented Intelligence Traumas (Ed. Matteo Pasquinelli), Meson Press, 2015, pp. 187-198; "Les Immatériaux: A Conversation with Jean-François Lyotard and Bernard Blistène", re-published by Tara McDowell on Art Agenda, May 27, 2014 (  With group meetings and face to face tutorials on Friday, we will spend time on the progress of the individual essay assignments.

Seminar 5: March 9-10, 2017

This month our seminar is with Amelia Groom. Within the context of the main subject matter of this year's Publishing Class she will focus on 'viscosity with a will’ and explore the ways in which soft invertebrates (like cephalopods) and brainless slimes (like physarum polycephalum) invite new ways of understanding intelligence, embodiment and collectivity. As anthropocentric and neurocentric perspectives start to decompose, existing conceptions of language, attention, memory and learning are being rethought. In a series of face to face meetings Amelia will also give her feedback to some of the individual writing projects. Furthermore we will watch Outlandish: Strange Foreign Bodies (2009) by Phillip Warnell and Jean Painlevé’s Octopus (1927), and The Love Life of the Octopus (1967). Preparatory reading:”Octopus” in: Living with the Animals, Willam S. Burroughs; Vampyroteuthis Infernalis (fragment), Vilém FlusserTentacular Thinking: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene, Donna Haraway.

Seminar 4: February 9-10, 2017

On February 9 we will have a seminar with theorist and activist Franco Berardi ‘Bifo'. He will speak about the Guattarien concept of ‘chaosmose', 'chaosmique spasm', and talk about 'trauma and disentanglement as a neural possibility’. Berardi: 'A process of traumatic barbarianism seems to be underway: politics is unable to stop it, as it has stepped beyond the point of no return. The Global Civil War is proceeding together with a process of automation of cognitive activity.’ Besides the seminar we will continue working on the (Against) Neuralgia: Care of the Brain in Times of Cognitive Capitalism lexicon texts and essay assignments with an editorial meeting and discussing new reading, screening and listening material. Janine Armin, editor of Open!, will join the editorial meeting on Friday morning and give her feedback on the essays in progress.
Reading material: Franco Berardi Bifo, The Neuroplastic Dilemma: Conciousness and Evolution, e-flux journal # 60, December 2014; "Conclusion: From Chaos to the Brain”, in: Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, What is Philosophy, Colombia University Press, New York, 1991, pp. 348-379. Film:Il Trasloco - Moving out the FutureIndépendant documentary about the Autonomia movement by Renato de Maria from 1991.

Seminar 3: January 12-13, 2017

With this month’s Open! Coop Academy Publishing Class we receive art historian Antonia Majaca for a seminar about the use of technology and the potential to generate non-paranoid imagination and agency. Antonia is a curator and researcher at the IZK Institute for Contemporary Art at the Graz University of Technology, where her work focuses on the art-based transdisciplinary research and the epistemology of art in the age of algorithmic governmentality. For preparation we read her text - published by e-flux journal - Little Daniel Before the Law: Algorithmic Extimacy and the Rise of the Paranoid Apparatus (2016) and Fredric Jameson’s essay Cognitive Mapping (1990). The seminar is connecting to one of the main points of (Against) Neuralgia: Care of the Brain in Times of Cognitive Capitalism: to chart possibilities to subvert the instrumentalization of our brains. Besides the seminar with face to face and group meetings we will also focus on finalizing the text and image based lexicon we are creating jointly and discuss the first essay proposals.  

Seminar 2: December 8-9, 2016

On December 8 we will focus on the idea of care of the brain. Why should we care of our brain in times of cognitive capitalism? And how could we practice this care or reflect on it? How is care of the brain related to 'care of the self’ and how could we think of contemporary 'technologies of the self’? (As stated by Foucault technologies of the self “permit individuals to effect by their own means or with the help of others a certain number of operations on their own bodies, thoughts, conduct, and way of being so as to transform themselves in order to attain a certain state of happiness, purity, wisdom, perfection, or immortality.”) On Thursday evening we will discuss the individual writing assignments together and face to face. On Friday morning we will have a seminar with artist and theorist Warren Neidich as guest tutor. Neidich will elaborate on his artistic practice and his notion of ’neuro-aesthetics’. He will also clarify and question the underlying ideas of publications he edited such as The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism Part 1, 2 and 3

Seminar 1: October 20-21, 2016

In this month’s Open! COOP Academy Publishing Class core tutors Jorinde Seijdel and Florian Göttke will further introduce the project and discuss the publishing assignments and the overarching theme (Against) Neuralgia: Care of the Brain in Times of Cognitive Capitalism. We will speak about the introduction of Catherine Malabou’s book What Should We Do With Our Brain? (Fordham University Press, 2008) and Franco Berardi’s essay "The Neuroplastic Dilemma: Consciousness and Evolution” (e-flux journal #60, 2014). Subsequently we will create a mindmap to get grip on the most crucial concepts we are going to work with. For the individual publishing assignments Niels Schrader, designer and image editor of Open!will elaborate on the Open! platform as a frame work and environment to publish text and/or image works in.