The symposium of DEAF04.
According to the current view of the world, the earth has evolved into a gigantic complex of economic, biological, cultural, media and transport networks. This makes relevant the question of how those networks manifest themselves at a local level in everyday life. The networks in question do not so much 'influence' daily life; rather, daily life takes place solely within those networks.
Just as we experience the activation of neural networks in our brains in terms of feelings, in urban life global networks are translated into emotions, urges and ambitions. However much those feelings are fed by the global networks, the experience of them and the consequences connected to them are always local.
In the globalization process, every political and social system everywhere in the world is breaking open. Parallel to this, new systems are arising in the networks and old ones are taking on new, unforeseen forms. A striking example is the self-organizing slums in and around metropolises in developing countries, where the majority of the local population often lives, neglected by the government. Life in these slums is impossible according to every model concerning the odds of human survival in such extreme circumstances, and yet they manage. Resistance and imagination are just as important in this context as violence and crime.
In the symposium Feelings Are Always Local, we will on the one hand investigate how networks organize themselves from the inside out, expand, link up, and rearrange themselves. On the other hand, we will investigate how people live in networks, how possibilities are created, and things sometimes go wrong.
While the first question is scientific in nature - How do networks work? - the second is political: How are the networks made manageable on a concrete, everyday level?
Karim Nader (US), neurologist and connected to the McGill University in Canada as a researcher. Nader studies the neurological processes that occur when obtaining and storing memories. He has publications in various scientific magazines, for example Nature, Neuroscience and Annual Review of Psychology.
Arjen Mulder (NL), biologist and media theorist, who has written several books and articles on contemporary media culture and on the relationship between technical media, physical experiences and belief systems. His most recent work is Understanding Media Theory: Language, Image, Sound, Behavior (2004). Arjen Mulder will deliver a lecture on systems, networks, interaction and communication, and their importance for the arts.
Seiko Mikami (JP), Media artist and researcher, and Associate Professor at the Tama Art University in Tokyo (J), Department of Information Design. Seiko is an artist whose works engage the various information environments that the human body occupies. The nervous system, viruses, information wars, and membranes have figured largely in her works.
Sota Ichikawa (JP), Architect and media artist, lecturer at the Tama Art University in Tokyo (J), Department of Information Design. While working as an architect and director, in his free time he develops software, net-art, and conducts VJ performances at club events.
Tijs Goldschmidt (NL), biologist and author of Darwin's Dreampond: Drama in Lake Victoria (1998). He will describe a biological network theory and explain how the ecosystem of Lake Victoria, a closed system on an evolutionary level, was overturned after a predatory fish was introduced by humans.
Christopher Kelty (US), anthropologist. Kelty researches the mechanism that underlies the motives of people that develop software without payment that third parties can use free of charge (open source/free software). He will also discuss the right of ownership in question and the right of ownership of this software.
Loretta Napoleoni (IT), economist and author of Terror Inc., Tracing the Money behind Global Terrorism (2004), in which she exposed the connections between the global economical network and terrorism.
Alex Galloway (US), artist, computer programmer and author of Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralisation (2003). He will discuss the protocols that determine how computer networks and biological networks function and he describes how this form of distributed exercise of power can be used for political resistance.
Manuel DeLanda (MX/US), philosopher, filmmaker, media artist, programmer, software designer and author of Intensive Science & Virtual Philosophy (2002).
Friday 12 November
10:45 opening words V2_
10:50 introduction Manuel DeLanda
11:30 Karim Nader
12:30 Arjen Mulder
13:30 lunch break
14:30 Tijs Goldschmidt
15:30 Seiko Mikami and Sota Ichikawa
16:30 panel discussion
Saturday 13 November
10:45 opening words Manuel DeLanda
11:15 Christopher Kelty
12:15 Alex Galloway
13:15 lunch break
14:15 Loretta Napoleoni
15:15 panel discussion
V2_, in cooperation with NAi Publishers, have released the publication Feelings Are Always Local, accompanying the DEAF04 symposium and the festival. Other than festival catalogues, this book features essays from the symposium speakers, essays on the exhibition's installations, as well as articles by other writers.