- a novella
- a prose essay
- an excavation
- a work of impatience and death
Maria Fusco is an award-winning Belfast born writer based in Glasgow, working across fiction, criticism and theory; her work is translated into ten languages. She is a Reader in Interdisciplinary Writing at the University of Edinburgh and was Director of Art Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her latest books are Legend of the Necessary Dreamer (London: Vanguard Editions, 2017) described by Chris Kraus as “a new classic of female philosophical fiction” and Give Up Art: Collected Critical Writings (LA/Vancouver: New Documents, 2017) of which James Elkins had written "After a book like this, most nonfiction seems curiously unaware of what writing can be." Master Rock is a repertoire for a mountain, commissioned by Artangel and BBC Radio 4, the experimental radio play has been experienced by more than 2.5 million listeners. Her solo-authored books are With A Bao A Qu Reading When Attitudes Become Form, 2013 (LA/Vancouver: New Documents, 2013), Gonda, 2012 and The Mechanical Copula, 2011 (both published Berlin/NY: Sternberg Press) and she is founder of The Happy Hypocrite, a journal for and about experimental writing. She is Research Fellow at Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam, 2018.
The situation escalates with Shannon's techno-mathematical definition of information which is—more than ever—the enduring foundation of digital media communication today. In principle (en arché), the "bit" is timeless in its lossless, (neg-)entropic reproducibility and calculability. More than this, binary computation even generated a new epistemic time object, the notion of "time of non-reality" (Norbert Wiener) which is the switching interval between two voltage states: very tempor(e)al in Lacan's sense, escaping the symbolic order of traditional cultural techniques of time.
With the background concept of "implicit sonicity" as temporal form, the lecture will refer to Norbert Wiener's cybernetic interpretation of the organ tone, John Cage's composition Organ²/ASLSP, sounding matter (acoustic earthquake monitoring), Fourier's implicitly "sonic" analysis of heat conduction and its cold calculation, electro-acoustic time stretching, the reciprocal relation between storage (beholding the end) and transmission ("tradition" as time channel), the temporality of Arctic temperature
(frozen vibrations, frozen voices).
Following a relationship by correspondence, philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650) met and briefly interacted with Queen Kristina (1626-1689) in wintry Stockholm; he died of a respiratory infection just six weeks later. At first, the two didn’t see each other much. Kristina’s philosophical interest was genuine enough, but Descartes was there in a more or less decorative function: to adorn Kristina’s ambitious project of creating an Academy that would put Sweden’s elite on the intellectual map of Europe.
Descartes left Western thought with both a burden and a treasure. The burden was a misconstrued dualistic tradition that meant, in my view, only that he accepted the dualism of the Catholic Church but fought against its lack of reason all his life. The treasure was a decisive advance in rational thought that excised neither the body nor religion. The (in)famous cogito can be interpreted in the opposite direction, as an attempt to embody thought. In this project I look back from his last book, The Passions of the Soul, and consider the ongoing struggle against dualism through different episodes of his life.
Mieke Bal is a cultural theorist, critic, video artist and occasional curator. She works in cultural analysis, literature and art, focusing on gender, migratory culture, psychoanalysis, and the critique of capitalism. Her many books include a trilogy on political art: Endless Andness (on abstraction), Thinking in Film (on video installation), both 2013, Of What One Cannot Speak (on sculpture, 2010). Some of her work comes together in A Mieke Bal Reader (2006). In 2016 appeared In Medias Res: Inside Nalini Malani’s Shadow Plays (Hatje Cantz), and in Spanish, Tiempos trastornados on the politics of visuality (AKAL). Her video project Madame B, with Michelle Williams Gamaker, is widely exhibited, in 2017 in Museum Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova in Turku, and combined with paintings by Edvard Munch in the Munch Museum in Oslo. Her most recent film is Reasonable Doubt, on René Descartes and Queen Kristina (2016).