Transtechnology Research Seminar Series 2013/14

Mediation and Transdisciplinarity: Towards an Archaeology of Affection

This seminar series concerns an aspect of the history of human cognition in relation to media archaeology. It asks the question: what is the relationship between changes over time in media form and apparently corresponding changes in human cognition. Is it as Arnheim might suggest that art and media release dormant capacity in human cognition, or is it as perhaps more socially focused commentators might argue that media changes human cognitive competence? Alternatively is this simply a quirk of chance that technologies, such as the cinema, for example, exploit a latent cognitive potential that had hitherto remained occult or was human cognition prepared for the kinds of stimuli cinema provides by other technological changes such as train travel as Kirby, Gunning and Schivelbusch argue?  More adventurously: does the cinema represent a semi-material externalisation of consciousness that enables its expansion into hitherto uncharted affective domains? The seminar series will comprise presentations and papers anchored in existing atlases that try to codify aspects of human cognition such as encyclopedias, engineers’ stock books, actors’ manuals or Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas. We will ask how evidence from these and other sources might be further explored and applied to new media and human cognition today.

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

Seminar series topics:

18 Sept 2013: An Introduction
(Prof. Michael Punt, Dr. Martha Blassnigg and Dr. Hannah Drayson)

23 Oct 2013: An Archaeology of Darwin’s ‘Tree of Life’: Mark-making, Imagination and Becoming
(Martyn Woodward)

20 Nov. 2013: The harmonic perception of the contrasting colours
(Dr. Madalena Grimaldi)

11 Dec 11 2013: A reflection on Stephen Pinker’s ‘How the Mind Works’
(Claudia Loch)

15 Jan 15  2014: Degrees of Lustre: An Experimental Taxonomy of Manifestations, Marvels and Mischwesen
(Jane Hutchinson)

26 Feb 26 2014: Cyber-performatives: The cogni-cyber-performative nature of puppetry and ventriloquism and the human interaction with artefacts
(Marcio Rocha)

19 March 19 2014: Ontologies of the Moving Image: From Paper Prints to Flipbooks
(Amanda Egbe)

9 April 2014: The Antinomies of Realism
(Prof. Michael Punt)

14 May 2014: The Impossibility of Saying the Event
(Jacqui Knight)

25 June 2014: ‘Real Space’ revisited – diagram as space
(Rita Cachao)