Transtechnology Research Seminar Series 2012/13

Transdisciplinarity: Deep History, Contingency and the Sublime

“The breadth and indeterminacy of the term [sub­lime] are central to this project. Rather than ad­dress the sublime head on as a category seeking definition [i]n this con­text, the sublime is not offered either as a veiled religiosity or as a mandate for nihilism. Rather, it is seen as a means of defying conceptual rules and, in the process relating insights that were formerly unknown to each other.” (Hoffmann & Whyte, 2011, p. viii)

This series takes as its starting point the idea of the sublime as a category of the unknown that is accessible through the imagination, and which can impact on our conscious construction of the world as a contingency of our presence. The emerging discussion of deep history in the last few years will be used to ground this starting point in a process of thinking through objects in order to expand the use of the document as an evidential trace of the incomplete and partially understood. In a series of structured presentations researchers at Transtechnology Research will situate their current research in this intellectual framework to extend the discussion of deep history and test its viability in the context of transdisciplinarity as it is understood as the identification of new research topics and concerns (Nowotny).

Hoffmann, R. and Boyd Whyte, I. (eds.) (2011) Beyond the Finite: The Sublime in Art and Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Shryock, A. and Smail, D. (2011) Deep History: The Architecture of the Past and Present. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Smail, D. (2010) On Deep History and the Brain. Berkeley: University of California Press

The seminar series this year will be constructed in the form of an archaeological dialogue in which the concerns and topics that emerge will be used to stimulate subsequent presentations in order to engage with the incomplete and partially understood with breadth and rigour. What follows is an indicative roadmap of the intended range of the series. Reading material, references will be published on the Transtechnology Website and abstracts will be circulated prior to the seminar.

The seminars will take place in Portland Square, room B323, from 14.00 to 16.30 on the following dates:

26 Sept, 2012: Cinema, Film, Experience: Deep History, Contingency and the Sublime
(Prof. Michael Punt, Dr. Martha Blassnigg)

17 Oct, 2012: Objects, Subjects and Objectivity: Objectivity, Divination and the Sublime
(Hannah Drayson)

14 Nov, 2012: Practices of Inscription and Recollection
(Amanda Egbe with Claudy Op den Kamp, Jacqui Knight and Martyn Woodward)

12 Dec, 2012: Hope and Reality in Artificial Intelligence (Marcio Rocha) and This is not a Test: Undecidability In-between Machines (Robert Jackson)
(Marcio Rocha with Robert Jackson)

16 Jan, 2013: A Bewildering Confusion of Line: Some Deep-Time Aspects of Modern Visual Style
(Martyn Woodward)

13 Feb, 2013: Mediating the Infinite Object
(Rita Cachão with Amanda Egbe)

13 March 13, 2013: The Incomplete and Incoherent Fact
(Jacqui Knight with Paul Green)

17 April 17, 2013: Advertising The Sublime
This seminar coincides with the HERA TEF/CIM KT event and will take place in Amsterdam

15 May, 2013: Categories of Partial Knowledge
(Edith Doove with Martyn Woodward)

12 June, 2013: Business Meeting