Happy to join Nidesh Lawtoo’s Mimetic Turn upcoming conference. Especially looking forward to hearing from the distinguished keynotes. On my turn, I’ll be contributing some reflections about
Imitation, metamorphosis, becoming: A comparative social-theoretical sketch
Abstract. In my talk, I would like to address the relation between three notions that share significant similarities, but also exhibit crucial differences: these are Gabriel Tarde’s imitation, Elias Canetti’s transformation (Verwandlung), and Gilles Deleuze’s becoming (devenir). Tarde, whose work spanned the 1890s, is famously associated with the idea that social life is essentially imitative in nature, and although imitation does not truly exhaust his whole conception, it is amply elaborated and variously illustrated throughout his work. Both Canetti, writing in the 1950s, and Deleuze, through the 1960s and 1970s, seem to have subsequently deployed mimetic-like notions in their respective research; at the same time, both have been careful to remark how their conceptions remained distinct from the notion of imitative behaviour. My aim here is thus to compare and analyse these three notions, so as to untangle a little bit their complex, dense relations.
The Urban Transitions Hub of ICS-ULisboa and DINÂMIA’CET – ISCTE organise an online seminar on the changing shape of Territories and Territoriality within and beyond the current condition, with the authors of recently published book Animated Lands. Studies in Territoriology (University of Nebraska Press)
Coordination: Andrea Pavoni (DINÂMIA’CET – ISCTE; Urban Transitions Hub)
MEETING ID: 85795819829
Animated Lands. Studies in Territoriology introduces us to a science and topology of territory which seeks to rethink the concept of territory away from its historical fetishisation as mere space, tracing a trajectory which is also different from contemporary directions in geographical thinking wherein territory is assumed as an inert, static and merely extensive domain. Instead, with speculative craft and ingenious examples, Andrea Mubi Brighenti and Mattias Kärrholm foreground an understanding of territory that is able to account for its intensive, animated and becoming nature. This seminar aims to discuss the premises of the book within and beyond the current pandemic condition.
Andrea Mubi Brighenti (University of Trento)
Mattias Kärrholm (Lund University)
Andrea Pavoni (DINÂMIA’CET – ISCTE; Urban Transitions Hub)
An online seminar series co-organised with Carlo Brentari. Contact me to get the link for joining the seminar!
April 8 Carlo Brentari & Andrea Mubi Brighenti (Unitn, organisers) – Introduction & Glossary April 15 Timo Maran (University of Tartu) – Biomimicry April 22 Christian Borch (Copenhagen Business School)– Mimesis and Society April 29 Petra Gruber (University of Akron) – Biomimesis and Biornametics in Architecture
In this piece, we introduce the notion of ‘atmoculture’ as a conceptual tool to analyse the new forms of mobility supported and enacted by digital algorithms. In historical perspective, we analyse how modernity has created a movement-space where the problem of finding one’s way through an increasingly ‘displaced’ urban space first popped up, with noticeable psycho-social consequences. Reconstructing the new digital media as a continuation of this spatial imagination, we seek to zoom in onto the forms of mobility facilitated by digital algorithms. Urban digital navigation, we suggest, proceeds in parallel with a reorientation of the urban experience towards atmospheric considerations, maximising safety and pleasurableness in the user’s encounters with the environment. In this context, atmoculture appears a spatial-aesthetic, psycho-cultural, and bio-technological milieu that prepares space for convenient navigation. We discuss a number of consequences: first the disburdening effect, whereby subjects delegate to a number of perceptions and decisions to algorithms, expropriating the natural problem-solving aspect of subjectivity; second, the invisible transformations of urban space due to the biases and skews that are built in algorithms themselves; third, the tensional, even contradictory outcomes of atmocultural expectations, whereby the goal of a secure and pleasant environmental interaction is undone by the very quantity of information provided and the level of alertness required from the user.