In every area of life, what we know – and what we don’t – is influenced by digitisation: how to live (life knowledge), how to produce (work knowledge), and how to think (conceptual knowledge). The last of these is the focus of Noetics Without a Mind, a symposium organised by Het Nieuwe Instituut in collaboration with TU Delft. In three sessions, we will delve into noesis, as philosophy calls the activity of the intellect.
The colloquium is organised by the Architecture Philosophy and Theory academic group and the Ecologies of Architecture research group of the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture in collaboration with Het Nieuwe Instituut. It will constitute the first step towards the establishment of a transdisciplinary consortium that will regularly assemble to examine technologically produced memories and desires.
We will examine how our psychic (personal) and social (collective) individuation are inseparable from technical evolution given that technology produces a series of dynamic constraints which literally determine how we sense the world. These technological constraints –from a table arrangement that conditions a discussion to a handheld device that exteriorises our thoughts – are parts of what Stiegler would call a general organology. Put simply, the organs of both perception and action become elements of techno-logically reconfigured sets. Next to our noesis, also our potentials for action — what James J. Gibson called affordances — are technologically produced through and through.
The colloquium will bring together Gibson’s thought with that of Stiegler and, crucially, with the thought of Gilbert Simondon. Making Simondon’s concept of technicity central, we start from the assumption that there is a reciprocity in the individuation of humans, technology, and their affective environment. Simply put, technicity deals with how humans relate and transform their environment through technology and how these relations transform all of them in turn – humans, technology, and environment. Thus, it is not an exaggeration to insist on the psycho-social dimension of individuation as dependent on technologically produced memories and desires.
Therefore, the question of a knowledge of the sensible, as well as a sensible form of knowledge, is considered as the central point of the colloquium. We will invite leading scholars to examine how lack of knowledge on the entanglements between technology, affordances and the production of our memories and desires leads to an impediment in understanding how our life and the life of our milieu is crucially dependent on technologically imposed constraints. Concretely, we will examine how technological literacy — especially in its digital variations — can produce a form of environmental literacy — in the broadest sense of the term environment.
Such a task is even more pertinent due to our current climate, social and urban challenges that necessarily demand a transdisciplinary approach in order to problematise issues in their full complexity. Therefore, the colloquium will bring together a cohort of thinkers who dare to cross disciplinary borders: from affect and affordance theories to architecture, art and cultural studies, from philosophy and philosophy of technology to (digital) media studies, from feminist theories to film theory, from social sciences to literature.
The invited speakers and participants will tackle the broad and complex spectrum of a contemporary, technologically invested understanding of noesis, providing a cutting edge and truly transdisciplinary contribution that manages to initiate an in-depth discussion and re-evaluation of our (formal and informal, institutionalised and radical) pedagogies, with the aim of enhancing our (affective) power over (technological) power through new forms of acquiring and disseminating knowledge.
10:45 – 11:00 Welcome and introduction
11:00 – 12:45 Session One: AFFORDANCES
- Gregory Seigworth (Professor of Communication Studies, Millersville University)
- Mariapaola Michelotto (Architect and Researcher, ETH Zurich)
- John Protevi (Professor of Philosophy, Louisiana State University)
14:00 – 15:45 Session Two: TECHNICITIES
- Susanna Paasonen (Professor of Media Studies, University of Turku)
- Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen (Professor of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University)
- Setareh Noorani (Architect and Researcher, Het Nieuwe Instituut)
16:00 – 17:45 Session Three: PEDAGOGIES
- Libe García Zarranz (Associate Professor of Literature, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
- Alina Paias (Architect and Researcher, TU Delft)
- Valdimar J. Halldórsson (Director of the Museum of Jón Sigurðsson)
17:45 – 18:00 Closing remarks