WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR BRAIN? — ART & LIFE IN TIMES OF COGNITIVE AUTOMATION. 8th Feb 2017

In January, February and March 2017, through talks, performances, film screenings, a reading group, Brainstorms, an exhibition of student works and a conference-festival at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Studium Generale Rietveld Academie & Rietveld Uncut are collaborating on an extensive, artistic research trajectory.

8th Feb 2017

Franco “Bifo” Berardi and Tony D Sampson

Franco “Bifo” Berardi: Trauma and Disentanglement as a Neural Possibility

A process of traumatic barbarianism seems to be underway: politics is unable to stop it, as it has stepped beyond the point of no return. The global civil war is proceeding together with a process of automation of cognitive activity. The trauma will not be a mere cultural breakdown, but it will possibly evolve into a neurogenetic transformation whose forms and meaning may be shaped by therapeutic and aesthetic action. As the trauma is going to transform the relation between emotional and cognitive in the neurosphere, will it be the condition for autonomy of knowledge and communist solidarity of cognitive workers?

Franco Berardi Bifo is a contemporary writer, media theorist and activist. He founded the magazine A/traverso (1975-1981) and was part of the staff of Radio Alice, the first free pirate radio station in Italy (1976-1978). In the ’70 and ’80s he worked with Felix Guattari in the field of schizoanalysis. His last book is AND. Phenomenology of the End (Semiotexte, 2015

Tony D Sampson: The Assemblage Brain

In his new book, The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (Minnesota, 2017), Tony D. Sampson unravels the conventional image of thought that underpins many scientific and philosophical accounts of how sense is assumed to be produced inside the brain. In this talk he uses his assemblage brain thesis to draw specific attention to the politics of neuroculture, looking at capitalism and the neurosciences endeavour to colonize the brain and the potential for brains to be free.

Tony D. Sampson is reader in digital culture and communications at the University of East London. He is coeditor of The Spam Book (Hampton, 2009), author of Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (Minnesota, 2012) and The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (Minnesota, 2017). Tony is also the organizer of the Affect and Social Media annual conference in East London. He is currently coediting a new book (Affect and Social Media) for the Radical Cultural Studies series (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2018). Academic Profile: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Staff/s/tony-sampson. Blog: https://viralcontagion.wordpress.com/. New book: https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/the-assemblage-brain

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About Virality

Tony D. Sampson is Reader in Digital Culture and Communications at the University of East London. He has a PhD in social-cultural-digital contagion theory from the Sociology Department at the University of Essex. He is a former art student who re-entered higher education in the UK as a mature student in the mid-1990s after a long stint as a gigging musician. His career in education has moved through various disciplines and departments, including a maths and computing faculty, sociology department and school of digital media and design His publications include The Spam Book, coedited with Jussi Parikka (Hampton Press, 2009), Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and Affect and Social Media (Rowman and Littlefield, July 2018). He is organizer and host of the Affect and Social Media conferences in the UK. As a co-founder and co-director of the public engagement initiatives, Club Critical Theory (CCT) and the Cultural Engine Research Group (CERG), Sampson has developed a number of funded research projects and public events that aim to bring impactful critical theories into the community and local political sphere to approach a series of local challenges. These activities have included large conferences co-organized with local authorities looking at a range of policies relating to the revitalization of the Essex costal region, developments in the cultural industries as well as a series of community focused events on food cultures and policy, collaborations with arts groups and informal lectures/workshops in pubs and community centres. Director of the EmotionUX Lab at UEL. He occasionally blogs at: https://viralcontagion.wordpress.com/ Full academic profile: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Staff/s/tony-sampson
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