Science-art: accelerated models of spectating

Klee, Steve (2016) Science-art: accelerated models of spectating. In: Radical Future and Accelerationism, 18 - 19 June 2016, Jagiellonian University, Krakow.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


My paper proposes a role for contemporary art as part of the broader accelerationist project, summarised by Brassier as the attempt to bring about a moment “where human beings have understood themselves - including their biological inheritance and their physical constraints – sufficiently well to […] refashion the world to make it amenable to rational ends”. Many are currently engaged in thinking art as accelerationism; my contribution is to suggest that art open itself up to the influence of scientific naturalism, specifically neuroscience. Explicit Sci-Art collaborations are a growth area. I want to accelerate the interpenetration at work here. To clarify the path forward I proceed by critiquing the limitations of an existing Sci-Art project: Ann Veronica Janssens’ yellowbluepink, an installation which opened the Welcome Trust’s current major exhibition, States of Mind. I highlight a particular factor which inhibits this and similar projects: the model of selfhood that dominates contemporary art, which is the basis of its ideal spectator, the – so called – decentred subject, is, according to my original analysis, constituted as refractory to science. There is a deep paradox in projects wherein this model of subjectivity is brought into a scientific field, one that seeks to explain experience and subjecthood in terms of a neurobiological base. Art can escape this bind by progressively recalibrating, in light of neuroscience, its theory of spectatorship. In addition art-encounters could be designed to enable these new spectators to emerge. This is art’s contribution to epistemic acceleration. One such radical recalibration might base itself on Thomas Metzinger’s speculation about a Nemocentric brain-state; the resulting spectator would understand herself to be no-one and no-where. This would be a radicalisation of the logic of decentring, taking the subject into uncharted territory.

Keywords:Brassier, Metzinger, Krauss, Art, Phenomenology, Neuroscience
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V500 Philosophy
W Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V550 Philosophy of Science
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V350 History of Art
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Fine Arts)
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ID Code:30607
Deposited On:18 Feb 2018 20:18

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