Field research

Matčusz Kula 

In his last presentation (23rd of January), Matčusz Kula  explained his research on the theory of the cognitive vision of the mind and the construction of the self. Now, continuing the presentation, he talked about his research on the plasticity of the brain, and the "Thomas Berndhard Day Recipe" which came as an idea out of a collaboration with AKH and WIldlife Ecology Institute. In contrast to the last presentation, this time Matéusz showed the methods that he will use. Matéusz was not convinced with stimulating the brain with standardised audio-visual libraries called International Affective Digitized Sounds (IADS) or International Affective Digitized Images (IADI). He started to think of a different approach for this. His idea is to collect data from the environment and use this to create visual collages, in particular patterns which the brain could recognise.

Simon Sailer 

The presentation was continued by Simon Sailer, who had prepared a book which he wanted to discuss. In 1947 the Critical Theorists Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno published a book called Dialectic of Enlightenment. Under the immediate impression of national-socialism they try to understand how the process of civilization could terminate in Auschwitz. How a development towards the rational could produce the ultimate irrational. For Horkheimer and Adorno the process of enlightenment does not start with the historical era but as soon as humans start to dominate nature. First via mimetic methods, by finding myths and anthropomorphizising nature to make it manipulatable, then by using wit to overcome the gods (Ulysses) and finally through making concepts and models to explain and control nature. There is however, the authors claim, a violence in this relation towards a controlled and regulated nature that returns as violence between humans. This violence between humans is itself a piece of uncontrolled nature. The work has often been taken for either a glorification of reason or as fundamentally rejecting the notion of reason; in fact it is both and neither, a self reflection of reason, a last attempt to save what might have been irrevocably damaged.

Ana Daldon

The last, short, presentation was by Ana Daldon, on a research paper by Georges Perec, "Cantatrix sopranica L.". The paper deals with "throwing tomatoes at singers" which often happened when the public was particularly unhappy with the act of the performer. What was interesting about this paper, and the reason why Ana chosen it, is that it is written in a scientific manner.