Tag: Tony D Sampson

Is it possible; a sensible life?

Fall Semester

Is it possible; a sensible life?

A question addressed in various ways by a number of writers, including

Zairong Xiang

Tony D. Sampson + Jussi Parikka

Benjamin H. Bratton

Catherine Malabou

Leonardo Caffo

Peter Singer + Michael Plant

Franco “Bifo” Berardi + Andreas Petrossiants

It would be naïve to portray the present moment as revolutionary, or as portending a type of impending fundamental downfall. All the stressors that left us with feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, anxiety, and powerlessness before this crisis, are now compounded. Financial, emotional, existential, and now our very survival urges a transformation in the world as we knew it. The imposed reflection upon our immediate past as individuals and as societal bodies now, more than before, implores us to make space to contemplate for a truly sensible life ahead.

Royalty free image

Read on

Blurb for A Sleepwalker’s Guide to Social Media

The blurb for the new book, A Sleepwalker’s Guide to Social Media – in production with Polity due in spring 2020 has been decided on…

somnambulist_book
Mikey B Georgeson’s Fictioning Machine performance of the Somnambulist at the Society of Affect Summer School in Lancaster PA, USA in August 2019.

Positing online users as ‘sleepwalkers’, Tony Sampson offers an original and compelling approach for understanding how social media platforms produce subjectivities.

Drawing on a wide range of theorists, including A.N. Whitehead and Gabriel Tarde, he provides tools to track his sleepwalker through the ‘dark refrain of social media’: a refrain that spreads through viral platform architectures with a staccato-like repetition of shock events, rumours, conspiracy, misinformation, big lies, search engine weaponization, data voids, populist strongmen, immune system failures, and far-right hate speech. Sampson’s sleepwalker is not a pre-programmed smartphone junkie, but a conceptual personae intended to dodge capture by data doubles and lookalikes. Sleepwalkers are neither asleep nor wide awake; they are a liminal experimentation in collective mimicry and self-other relationality. Their purpose is to stir up a new kind of community that emerges from the potentialities of revolutionary contagion.

At a time in which social media is influencing more people than ever, A Sleepwalker’s Guide to Social Media is an important reference for students and scholars of media theory, digital media and social media.

Two Assemblage Brain related articles published in AI and Society

There are two Assemblage Brain related articles published in the current issue of AI & Society journal.

I am more than a little excited about these publications since my school history teacher at an Essex comp in the late 1970s, Richard Ennals, set up AI & Society in 1986.

Firstly, Tero Karppi’s review of the book. See Karppi, T. ‘Tony D. Sampson: The Assemblage Brain. Sense Making in Neuroculture.’ AI & Society (2019) 34: 945. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00146-018-0826-8

And next, the first article I wrote after the book was published in Dec 2016.

See Sampson, T.D. ‘Transitions in human–computer interaction: from data embodiment to experience capitalism.’ AI & Society (2019) 34: 835. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00146-018-0822-z

This one develops on themes from the book, including Experience HCI and Capitalism, as well as many of the subsequent Whiteheadian ventures started in AB and picked up again in my next effort.

sampson-e1520790910576.jpg

TS 20/10/19

Digital Ecologies II: Fiction Machines (one day symposium)

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Professor Simon O’Sullivan, Professor of art, theory and practice,
Goldsmiths College, London

Dr Tony David-Sampson, Reader in Digital Media Culture and Communication, University of East London

Other Confirmed Participants include:

Ami Clarke, Jennet Thomas, Rod Dickinson, Charlie Tweed, Andy Weir, Harry Meadows, Ada Hao, Ramon Bloomberg, Bjørn erik Haugen, Hugh Frost, Annabelle Craven-Jones, Monika Oechsler, Garfield Benjamin, John Wild, Alberto Micali, Maud Craigie, Michelle Atherton, Rebecca Smith, Stephanie Moran and Alex Hogan and Teodora Fartan.

The Centre for Media Research at Bath Spa University is proud to host the second Digital Ecologies symposium: Fiction Machines and it will take place on Tuesday July 16th 2019.

In the introduction to his book Fiction as Method (2017) Jon K Shaw identifies a fictional place called ‘Null Island’, a fiction that is located at a point in the centre of the earth, amongst the lava that no one can travel to.

‘From this unreal centre the machines can tag our photos to map our memories and images onto the material world, can align our satellites to coordinate and connect us across the planet. Whenever we perform one of these actions, we pass through this fiction. We are transported home via the fictional island.’ (Shaw, 2017: 7)

Our vision of the earth and of each other is increasingly filtered through the operations of a complex assemblage of networked computational writing machines and as Shaw implies, these exist at the centre of our world and our daily experience. As a result the planet itself is increasingly becoming computational, Nigel Thrift describes how the ‘real’ as we know it is the result of multiple simultaneous ‘writing machines’ using a continuous looping process of algorithms. (2005, loc.2879)

As a result, humans now exist within complex informational spaces that produce affects, simulate, analyse and respond to user and environmental data. Within these conditions, fiction and reality become increasingly blurred, machine and human voice, difficult to distinguish.

These machines allow for the generation of complex webs of fabulation which exist in a plethora of contexts from corporate identities to labyrinthine brand stories, to political propaganda and the operations of the derivatives market.

Furthermore our understanding of the ecological is itself increasingly filtered through multiple layers of networked technologies, sensors, algorithms and data visualisations. Jennifer Gabrys discusses the notion of ‘planetary scale computerisation’ and how this leads to the generation of ‘new living conditions, subjectivities, and imaginaries’. (Gabrys, 2016)

Within this context new fictional strategies within creative practice emerge as important weapons for critique, intervention, speculation and change. As Simon O’Sullivan notes: fiction can be used not as a matter of ‘make believe but rather in a Ranciere sense of forging the real to better approximate historical and contemporary experience’. (O’Sullivan, 2016: 6)

In the symposium we ask how fictional methods are being employed to rethink and renegotiate our relationship with current and future technologies; how such methods can be used from activist and political perspectives; how they can address and critique post-truth conditions; how they can reveal forgotten histories and non-human perspectives; and how they can be used to speculate on, and design, new futures.

As Benjamin Bratton notes: ‘Our shared design project will require both different relationships to machines (carbon based machines and otherwise) and a more promiscuous figurative imagination.’ (Bratton, 2016, loc.283)

Symposium Strands:

• Activist fictions

• Speculative design fictions

• Non-human fictions

• Post-truth fictions

• Machinic fictions

The event will culminate with a series of performances by artists including: Ami Clarke, Harry Meadows & Andy Weir, and Annabelle Craven-Jones.

Throughout the event artist Rod Dickinson’s project Fear Filter will feed images to our Media Wall.

TICKETS:

Tickets are now available from the link below and include lunch, coffee and wine reception, with a special discount for students.

https://www.bathspalive.com/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=C7EA82EC-2FD7-4C2F-BF0B-CC1AE4A4584D&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::context_id=D70272D5-9DE8-48B8-A750-A8AB1D88536E

ANIMATIONS AND PROVOCATIONS

Just bookesafe_image.phpd flights for the SSA Summer School in Lancaster PA this summer. I’ll be doing a double act with artist, performer, musician, Mikey Georgeson.

If anyone has PhD, Prof Docs, MAs etc looking for affective toning this summer, then please pass on the details. Looks like a wonder experience.

 

Link: http://affectsociety.com/

Lancaster is fun in the sun!

Registration opens 1st April for #SSASS: ANIMATIONS AND PROVOCATIONS Society for the Study of Affect Summer School

I’ll be in Lancaster PA with Mikey Georgeson for #SSASS: ANIMATIONS AND PROVOCATIONS Society for the Study of Affect Summer School July 29 to August 02, 2019.

Registration will open here on the 1st April as will details about the seminar programme.

 

Digital Ecologies II: Fiction Machines

Digital Ecologies II: Fiction Machines has a website with cfp and submission details. See here: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk//news-and-events/events/digital-ecologies-ii/

Digital Ecologies II: Fiction Machines

Tuesday 16 July, 2019
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
The Centre for Media Research
Bath Spa University
Newton Park, Newton St Loe, Bath, BA2 9BN

Keynote speakers

  • Professor Simon O’Sullivan, Professor of Art, Theory and Practice, Goldsmiths College, London
  • Dr Tony David-Sampson, Reader in Digital Media Culture and Communication, University of East London

Call for papers

In the introduction to his book Fiction as Method (2017) Jon K Shaw identifies a fictional place called ‘Null Island’, a fiction that is located at a point in the centre of the earth where no one can travel to, set amongst the lava.

“From this unreal centre the machines can tag our photos to map our memories and images onto the material world, can align our satellites to coordinate and connect us across the planet. Whenever we perform one of these actions, we pass through this fiction. We are transported home via the fictional island.”

Our vision of the earth and of each other is increasingly filtered through the operations of a complex assemblage of networked computational writing machines and, as Shaw implies, these exist at the centre of our world and our daily experience. As a result the planet itself is increasingly becoming computational, Nigel Thrift describes how the ‘real’ as we know it is the result of multiple simultaneous ‘writing machines’ using a continuous looping process of algorithms.

Humans now exist within complex informational spaces that produce affects, simulate, analyse and respond to user and environmental data. Within these conditions fiction and reality become increasingly blurred, machine and human voices difficult to distinguish.

These machines allow for the generation of complex webs of fabulation which exist in a plethora of contexts from corporate identities to labyrinthine brand stories, to political propaganda and the operations of the derivatives market.

Furthermore our understanding of the ecological is itself increasingly filtered through multiple layers of networked technologies, sensors, algorithms and data visualisations. Jennifer Gabrys discusses the notion of ‘planetary scale computerisation’ and how this leads to the generation of ‘new living conditions, subjectivities, and imaginaries’. (Gabrys, 2016)

Within this context new fictional strategies within creative practice emerge as important weapons for critique, intervention, speculation and change. As Simon O’Sullivan notes: fiction can be used not as a matter of ‘make believe’ but rather in a Ranciere sense of forging the real to better approximate historical and contemporary experience.

In the symposium we ask how fictional methods are being employed to rethink and renegotiate our relationship with current and future technologies; how such methods can be used from activist and political perspectives; how they can address and critique post-truth conditions; how they can reveal forgotten histories and non-human perspectives; and how they can be used to speculate on, and design, new futures.

As Benjamin Bratton notes: ‘Our shared design project will require both different relationships to machines (carbon based machines and otherwise) and a more promiscuous figurative imagination.’

We are interested in submissions from interdisciplinary researchers including artists, filmmakers, writers, geographers, scientists and theorists whose work connects with the themes of the symposium or the below listed research strands.

Symposium strands

  1. Activist fictions – responses that employ fiction as a political or social method for recuperation/change/intervention
  2. Speculative design fictions – responses that utilise fiction to reimagine social, environmental and technological futures
  3. Non-human fictions – responses that employ fiction to bring non-human perspectives and voices into view
  4. Post-truth – responses that critique and subvert the mechanisms and mediation of post-truth.

 

Internet Addiction watch “Are We All Addicts Now? Video

This topic has been getting a lot of TV/Press coverage here in the UK.

Here’s a video of a symposium discussing artistic resistance, critical theory strategies to ‘internet addiction’ and the book Are We All Addicts Now? Convened at Central St Martins, London on 7th Nov 2017. Introduced by Ruth Catlow with talks by Katriona Beales, Feral Practice, Emily Rosamond and myself…

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Unthought Meets The Assemblage Brain: A Dialogue Between N Katherine Hayles and Tony D Sampson

Unthought Meets The Assemblage Brain:

A Dialogue Between N Katherine Hayles and Tony D Sampson

Fig 4

My dialogue with N. Katherine Hayles has just been published in the latest issue of the excellent Capacious journal with illustrations by Dorota Piekorz (right) and Francesco Tacchini. Timely discussion given preparations for the Neuroaffect stream at the Capacious conference in August.

Abstract

What transpires in the unmediated space-time excess that moves, at once, between and alongside cognition and recognition, between and alongside formation and information, between and alongside prehension and comprehension? Following upon their most recent books—N Katherine Hayles’  Unthought: The Power of the Cognitive Unconscious (University of Chicago, 2017) and Tony D Sampson’ s The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (University of Minnesota, 2016), the convergences and divergences that emerge and weave throughout this conversation are quite revealing.

Keywords

affect, assemblage, neuroscience, neuroculture, biosemiotics

First online: June 3, 2018