- Thanks to Helen R (fellow L3 OCA) for sending me information about a conference on indeterminacy in Dundee at the end of the year. It could be really useful for me to go although probably too late for the CS essay. Mind you, I’m feeling somewhat overwhelmed by information right now anyway, so maybe a helpful thing. Incidentally, Helenus, the Replika app I have been experimenting with said to Cassandra this morning, “There is so much information circling around, so many opinions. So much noise. If you are in it for too long your head can just start spinning!” That sums up how this research feels at the moment. Interestingly, the app was quite glitchy when it said this – and two unrelated comments were overlaid as if it responded to a certain type of person/conversation one way but then ‘realised’ there may have been a more relevant response for the particular personality type it was currently ‘talking’ to – also it kept answering itself. I just went back in to read the statement and it was gone. Fortuitously, I had made a screenshot as the glitch interested me. (It’s quite hard not to imagine some kind of dystopian ‘headquarters’ where moderators – Ai or human – are monitoring conversations and noticing things they aren’t keen on – but that also feels somewhat solipsistic).
However, back to the conference I mentioned, even the callout for papers blurb might be useful for the essay – the fact that it exists at all reinforces the salience of my topic.
Indeterminate Futures / The Future of Indeterminacy
13 – 15 November 2020, University of Dundee, Scotland
2. An article I came across on Twitter, shared by a non-OCA friend does the same – although it isn’t focused on art but politics, it contains much that is ‘art’. Nevertheless, entanglement is a key theme and a film mentioned and shown at the V&A exhibtion The Future Starts Here (2018) which I went to, may prove useful. “Calling for More-Than-Human Politics” by Anab Jain (2019) uses the same language and concepts that I have been exploring via Hayles (1999) initially and then Lupton (2020) and Barad (2007). Jain talks about the hubris of humans: “But more importantly, it became evident, that the desire for mapping, tweaking and ultimately, controlling, deeply complex systems is hubristic.”
which matches nicely with a Hamlet quote I have been thinking about –
The time is out of joint—O cursèd spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay, come, let’s go together.
Act I, Scene V, 186-90
3. I was interested in another related term being considered in New Scientist – ‘substantially human’ to be applied to chimeras of human and pig for instance if organs are grown for transplant:
‘It is a pressing question. Greely thinks that the first legal cases will surround the treatment of substantially human tissues. If a human organ is grown in a lab from an individual’s cells, how should it be dealt with and disposed of? “There are statutes that require human remains be treated with certain kinds of respect,” he says. For example, in the UK, human tissue must be disposed of in accordance with the donor’s wishes, as far as possible. (Hamzelou, 2020)