Mystical Pragmatism: Philo-fiction and invention

10 Nov 2017

Mystical Pragmatism: Philo-fiction and invention
With:  Anne Françoise Schmid e Tony Yanick
Room 8.2.06
16.00h – 20.00h
Cartaz 10 nov
What are integrative objects? They are not directly apprehensible, so we cannot decide immediately if an object is or is not integrative. It is not a question on ontology, but a methodological quest. These objects are a device to understand new ones, which are no more synthesizable. They are objects, but the principle of their unity is lost. It is not a question of uncertainty, it is more fundamental, about the status of our knowledge, philosophical, scientific or artistic.
Anne Francois Schmid and Tony Yanick ask us to explore with them the non‐philosophical vision of fiction for a Philo-Fiction Workshop: On Integrative Objects. We set out to gain traction on their concept of philo-fiction, participating collectively on the practices that engage with this specialized posture of research and the common understanding of “integrative objects” (Schmid). The integrative object puts the link between architectonic, fiction and point of externality. The concepts of “myth” and “philo-fiction” will be explored to make visible what they call “platforms” of the scientific creation condition. Rather than a methodology, philo-fiction is an operative practice, its operators: fiction, the generic and the future.
Operators neutralize, to expand and implement the generic knowledge with respect to the disciplines “processed”. Fiction combines the object (O) with knowledge (C) with knowledge (O x C in C), the generic breaks down concepts and disciplinary proposals in terms of relatively independent disciplines, future generic reintroduced in the disciplines creating a break in them from the real.
In philosophy, fiction and invention are not the same. Invention is a question of modifications in the structure 2/3 (empirical-a priori/transcendental). For classical philosophy, invention was a question of life or death for a new philosophy, and fiction were not necessary, but a local device. Invention is linked with the system itself. Fiction is not simply the story, but as mentioned above, it is an operator distinct of those of the philosophical perspective or worldview, as well as a method of setting assumptions. There is philosophy, which gives rise to endless stories, but we can construct a fiction that is a kind of new rigor; “a committed philosophy of philosophy”. Fiction mobilizes knowledge other than that which was made about its use. Any realization of philo-fictional work is subordinated to a point of exteriority, exterior to the limits of the philosophy; an experimental mode of fiction that changes the practice of philosophy:
1) It deciphers the concept of philosophy: There is of the empirical, there is of a priori, there is of the transcendental, their links are undone and allow it of new, not predictable. Philosophy becomes a multiple object, without synthesis
2) It invents generic posture where the writing is not in philosophies but with philosophical ingredients
3) Philosophy tends so to be immerged in a fictional universe
No critics, no corrections as devices of invention of new philosophies. The collective intimacy is a condition to reconstruct the multiplicity of philosophies as an object of research. Each philosophy can be a dimension of this space, each philosophy can be an occasion to deconstruct another. This is no possible in the unique space of a particular philosophy.
Collective intimacy gives in the same time the relationship between a philosopher and his knowledge of the other philosophies. We create a new philosophy when we make passages, we have a posture about philosophies. The relation of a philosopher and the philosophy is also complex, it is knowledge, but it is in the same time the postures about this knowledge. Thus, collective intimacy gives another meaning of the multiplicity of philosophies. It is an equivalent of “mannerism” in art.
Anne and Tony have a working book (in editing phase) on pedagogy and collective intimacy as well and much of the readings and practices will come from this.
On Anne-Francoise Schmid
Philosophy of Science, Ethics, Epistemology
MINES ParisTech
Département Economie, Management, Société (MINES ParisTech)
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Associate Professor
Invited research School of MINE of Paris
Theory and Method of Design Concept
Philosopher among scientists
Also collaborate with Ecole des Mines de Paris, Centre de Gestion Scientifique et chaire de la conception
And with INRA, Centre de Jouy-en-Josas (animal biology)
Associate researcher of Poincaré Archives, University of Nancy
Specialist of Poincare, editor of Russell and Couturat, founder of the generic epistemology.
Member of the editorial committee of the interdisciplinary scientific journal Natures, Sciences, Sociétés (EDP Sciences), of Philosophia Scientiae (Poincaré Archives, Kimé éditions), and of Russell. The Journal of the Bertrand Russell Research Center (McMaster University, Ontario, Canada)
Honorary associated professor of INSA de Lyon, associated to the Chair of Theory and Methods of Innovative Design, MinesParisTech, and to Poincaré’s Archives (Laboratoire de Philosophie et d’Histoire des Sciences – Archives Henri Poincaré », UMR 7117, Université de Lorraine). Specialist of Poincaré’s philosophy, editor of Bertrand Russell and Louis Couturat. Philosopher among the scientist’s (EPFL, INSA, MinesParisTech, INRA), she is co-founder of the generic epistemology. Currently, she is writing with Muriel-Mambrini-Doudet “ A Manual for the future sciences”. In parallel, with non-standard philosophy, she is searching a style to write with the philosophies without depending on one of them in particular, a generic mode of writing.
Jean-Marie Legay & Anne-Françoise Schmid, Philosophie de l’interdisciplinarité. Correspondance (1999-2004) sur la recherche scientifique, la modélisation et les objets complexes, Paris, Pétra, 2004.
Bertrand Russell, 2001, Correspondance sur la philosophie, la logique et la politique avec Louis Couturat (1897-1913), edition Anne-Françoise Schmid, Paris, Kimé, 735 pages.
Tony Yanick is a Philosopher, media-theorist, computer engineer, multimedia artist, and musician from the United States. He holds a Master of Science in computer engineering with a concentration on mobile robotics and artificial intelligence, as well as an interdisciplinary Master of Arts in philosophy and world literature. He has spoken on philosophy, film, media, and technology internationally. He has had work installed in galleries in Germany (Working City), Prague (Artificial Cinema at Tranzit Gallery), Austria (Working City at Destination Vienna 2015), Istanbul (Chronic Cinema), New York City (The Fixers: Naudia Loftis), Cleveland (Working City & The Fixers: Naudia Loftis). Currently, he is working with internationally acclaimed filmmaker Robert Banks Jr. towards the completion of his very first feature-length film, Paper Shadows. The Fixers: Naudia Loftis, is a documentary piece commissioned during the Republican National Convention that received National attention during its showing. Art critic, Lori Waxman, has recently reviewed his work stating, “Yanick had the eerie prescience to make films about [the melancholy produced by the upsetting event of Trumps election] ahead of time.”
In addition to these events, Tony was the former production editor of the transdisciplinary journal and publishing platform &&& (, as well as the production editor for the Deleuze Audio/Visual Journal (Deleuze A/V) since 2013. He was the head in development of a platform for collaborative research and digital pedagogy, where Tony was the conveyer of The New Centre for Research & Practice and former co-organizer for its first three years of operation. He is currently working on a new platform that focusing attention to transversal research creation and publication using the film-essay or video-essay as the generic form of collections to share and revision along with a collaborative community.
Currently, he is working towards experimenting in the development of a methodology of science-fictional practices, expanding beyond its literary form (including speculative philosophy, “philo-fiction”, and design fiction), investigating the generic capacities of temporal displacement/disturbance and anachronistic temporalities. This is an attempt to create revive the optical, liberal, and aural unconscious aided by projections of fictions — the role of myth and fictioning therefore transgresses its aesthetic component to engage in a real political role —collective libinization of politics through capture of collective desire and deployment of affect. This study attempts to assess the myth-making and fiction power that calls upon operational futurity as an articulation of the sensible (the making and manipulation of synthetic—optical and sonic—images that may have a real transformative traction on the world (i.e. through world-building capacities of design fiction and speculative artistic practices). Lastly, this would also include manipulations of the archive (both fictional and real, past/potential/futural) as a form of constituting knowledge production, describing possible worlds as fictions of possible futures, designing scenarios of abduction, engaging proleptic and prospective mnemonics of anticipation and contingency, re-enactment and revisionary archeologies.

Mind the gap. Public talks about Science and Art

04 May 2016

10.30h – 13.30h | FCUL | Room 8.2.13 | Free entry




28 April 2016

15h – 19h | FCUL | Room 6.2.52 | Free entry

1. Ingeborg Reichle
Institute for Fine Arts and Media Art, University of Applied Arts Vienna

Synthetic Biology in Art & Design: Reframing Life in Current Artistic Practices and Design Approaches

In the last three decades the incorporation of biological material, like cells, bacteria, tissue cultures, and scientific technologies, into the arts went hand in hand with debates about the aesthetic value and ethical and ontological consequences of introducing cutting edge science into the arts. With the emergence of BioArt, biotechnology became part of the art world, raising questions about the aesthetic and ethical status of manipulating the genetic make-up of living organisms. This encounter with living materials has opened up new avenues of artistic expression, and by bringing biotechnology and genetic engineering closer to the public sphere art has provoked wider reflection about the ethics of turning biology into technology.

Lately artists and designers turned their attention to the emerging field of synthetic biology, a new approach to engineering biology that will soon turn into an important agent of the transformation of our economy into a bioscience-based economy. While passing through the gates of academic institutions to go ‘hands-on’ in a laboratory was a challenging encounter in the early days of BioArt, the field of synthetic biology virtually seems to welcome artists and designers. Only five years after the first iGEM competition did take place at MIT in 2004 a new category was added: art and design. By applying engineering principles to life – to build in the long run new complex living systems, scientists and engineers are making biology also a new material for design. This shift makes it necessary for artists and designers to get acquainted with the new epistemologies of synthetic biology and the logic of the technoscientific regime, which governs the re-framing of life within this new setting: a setting that is ruled by patents, the flow of global capital and government based strategic plans for a new bioscience-based economy: In February 2016 the UK-Minister for Life Sciences announced the UK Synthetic Biology Strategic Plan 2016 with a most promising title Biodesign for the Bioeconomy.

In my paper I will examine a number of case studies of art’s encounter with synthetic biology to develop a critical understanding of the role of art in the twenty-first century.

Suggested readings:

Ingeborg Reichle, Synthetische Biologie und biologisches Design in Kunst und Wissenschaft. In: Sonja Kießling, Heike Catherina Mertens (eds.), Evolution in Menschenhand? Synthetische Biologie aus Labor und Atelier, Freiburg i. Br. 2016, Herder, pp. 77-92

Kristin Hagen, Margret Engelhard, Georg Toepfer (eds.), Ambivalences of Creating Life. Societal and Philosophical Dimensions of Synthetic Biology. Ethics of Science and Technology Assessment, Vol. 45, Cham, Springer International Publishing, 2016

Further readings:

Jenny Boulboullé, ‘In Touch With Life. Investigating Epistemic Practices in the Life Sciences from a hands-on Perspective’ in Bio Art, Descartes as a hands-on Practitioner, Molecular Genetics Laboratories; Diss, University of Maastricht, 2012

Robert H. Carlson, Biology Is Technology. The Promise, Peril, and New Business of Engineering Life, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2011

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg et al. (eds), Synthetic Aesthetics. Investigating Synthetic Biology’s Designs on Nature, Cambridge, MA, London, MIT Press 2014

William Myers, Bio Design. Nature, Science, Creativity. Foreword by Paola Antonelli, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, London, Thames & Hudson, 2012

2. María Antonia González Valerio 
Professor, PhD, Faculty of Philosophy and Literature, National Autonomous University of Mexico

Repositioning Biotech Arts in Mexico. The project of Art&Science at the National University of Mexico

What are the aims of a research group and an art collective that reunite scholars, artists, scientists, and students inside a huge university that shelters almost any research field that is being studied in the country?

What are the possibilities of working in the intertwining of art, science, technology and humanities in Mexico City and which ones could be the topics that should be addressed from a local point of view? And why local?

In this talk I will address these questions and present the recent projects that we have developed in Mexico City in the intertwining of arts, science and philosophy that deal with biotechnology, transgenic corn, bioartifactuality and animality.

María Antonia González Valerio is a philosopher working in the fields of aesthetics and ontology, with a focus on biotechnologies and the arts. She is full professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She is the author of three books: Cabe los límites. Escritos sobre filosofía natural desde la ontología estética (México, Herder, 2016), Un tratado de ficción. Ontología de la mimesis (Herder, 2010) and El arte develado (Herder, 2005). She is editor of five books, the most recent: Pròs Bíon: Reflexiones naturales desde el arte, la ciencia y la filosofía (UNAM, 2014). She is the head of the interdisciplinary research group Art+Science based at the UNAM and the coordinator of the arts collective BIOS Ex machinA (workshop for the fabrication of the human and the nonhuman). She has also worked as curator in Mexico.