File deleuze-guattari/deleuze-guattari.0811, message 1

Date: Sun, 9 Nov 2008 11:16:26 -0500
Subject: [D-G] notes from the ECAM 2008 conference in Mexico City

Here are my notes from the ECAM 2008 conference in Mexico City.

These brief words are an attempt to outline for ECAM 2008 what I am 
calling Cybism by stating what I take to be its underlying attributes.

Cybism is a new sensibility emerging in art respecting the 
integration of certain aspects of science, technology and 
consciousness =AD a consciousness struggling to attend to the 
prevailing current spirit of our age. This cybistic zeitgeist I 
identify as being precisely a quality-of-life desire in which 
everything, everywhere, all at once is connected in a rhizomatic web 
of communication. Therefore, cybism is no longer content with the 
regurgitation of a standardized repertoires. Rather I detect in art a 
fertile attraction towards the abstractions of advanced scientific 
discovery - discovery now stripped of its fundamentally reductive 
logical methodology.

Moreover, cybism can be used to characterize a certain group of 
researchers and their understanding of where cultural space is 
developing today. Cybists reflect on system dynamics with a hybrid 
blending (cybridization) of the computational supplied virtual with 
the analog. Digitization is a key metaphor for the cybists only in 
the sense that it is the fundamental translating system today.

This blending of the computational virtual with the analog indicates 
the subsequent emergence of a new cybrid topological cognitive-vision 
which I have called the =8Cviractual=B9: the space of connection betwixt 
the computed virtual and the uncomputed corporeal (actual) world 
which merge in cybism. This cybrid space of cybism can be further 
inscribed as a span of liminality, which according to the 
anthropologist Arnold van Gennep (based on his anthropological 
studies of social rites of passage) is the condition of being on a 
threshold between spaces.

Concerning this cybrid topological cognitive-vision, I am reminded 
here of two very different, yet complimentary, concepts: entrainment 
and égréore. Entrainment, in electro-physics, is the coupling of two 
or more oscillators as they lock into a commonly sensed interacting 
frequency. In alchemical terms an égréore (an old form of the word 
agréger) is a third concept or phenomenon which is established from 
conjoining two different elements together. We suggest that the term 
(concept) cybrid (and cybism) may be a concordant entrainment/égréore 
conception helpful in defining this third fused inter-spatiality 
which is forged from the meeting of the virtual and the actual.

Co-extensive notions found in cybism have piquant ramifications for 
art as product in that the cybists are actively exploring the 
frontiers of science/technology research so as to become culturally 
aware of the biases of consciousness in order to amend those biases 
through the monumentality and permanency which can be found in 
powerful art. They begin with the realization that every [new] 
technology disrupts the previous rhythms of consciousness. Then, 
generally speaking, they pursue their work in an effort to contradict 
the dominant clichés of our time as they tend to move in their 
regimented grooves of sensibility. In this sense their art research 
begins where the hard science/technology ends.

Most certainly cybists understand that in every era the attempt must 
be made anew to wrest tradition away from a conformism that is about 
to overpower it. Hence the role of the cybist is that of the 
explorer/researcher. The function of such an explorationaly inclined 
artist however is not to only find, but to participate in and foster 
a constant instability of consciousness, to mitigate against 
self-stabilizing formations so as to encourage internal =8Ccybomatic=B9 
connections to sprout and expand. This integration goes far towards 
exemplifying an aesthetic which has a problematic relationship to 
material science-based reality.

Today, with the emergence and continual growth of cyberspace, it 
seems that no sense of closure will ever be able to contain the 
deterritorialization articulated and monumentalized by cybism. 
Consequently, cybism has begun articulating a new techno-digital 
sense of life. By looking at the complex social and technological 
changes already occuring within the 21st century, cybists seem to 
perceive the world now as a kaleidoscopic environment in which every 
tradition has some valid residual form as information and sensation. 
A world of perpetual transformation has emerged and established a 
seemingly unrestricted area of abundant options.

best regards
Joseph Nechvatal

recent paris show

my blog

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