[spectre] Fwd: Apply Now | Deep Ecology in the Cognitive Capitalocene | Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art 2022 NYC

Saas-Fee Summer Instituteof Art info at sfsia.art
Wed Apr 20 05:46:09 CEST 2022

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Art & Education (

April 19, 2022


Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-4.0.

Priority deadline: May 15
Programme dates: June 23–July 1

The Brooklyn Rail
Industry City
220 36th Street
Brooklyn, New York

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For 2022, Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art has partnered with The
Brooklyn Rail to present “Deep Ecology in the Cognitive
Capitalocene,” an in-person program in Brooklyn, New York, alongside
a free public lecture series held online.
The theme “Deep Ecology in the Cognitive Capitalocene” builds on
Gregory Bateson’s book Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972) to produce
a deep ecology of the expanded brain in the twenty-first century. In
the transition from the Holocene to the Anthropocene human activity
becomes the dominant influence on global climate and the environment.
During this time, cosmotechnics, “the unification of the cosmos and
the moral through technical activities, ​​whether craft-making or
art-making,” (Yuk Hui) is based upon conspicuous consumption and
resultant destruction. Following Arne Næss’s model of a
multidisciplinary deep ecology, the well-being and importance of all
(non-human) life is inextricably bound to our own in a facile network
of mutual respect and shared dignity. As such, we need to adapt to
ecocentrism rather than anthropocentrism and give precedence to the
ecosphere rather than the biosphere. In this respect, the program will
aim towards developing a means to decolonize ecology by recognizing
the importance of the Anthropocene’s relationship to capitalism,
racism and sexism to constitute a new ecological ethics. As Jedediah
Purdy has suggested, we need to produce a new environmental
We have now entered the century of the brain in which precarity,
immaterial labor, the financialization of capital, and valorization
from early cognitive capitalism have transitioned to late-stage
cognitive capitalism in which the brain's neural plasticity, its
capacity to be modified, is the new focus of power and forms of
cognitive laboring. For instance, brain-computer interfaces linked to
the internet may produce a new opportunity for surfing the web using
brainwaves but also produce new means to extract data emanating from
thought itself. The expanded brain model is not restricted by the bony
carapace we call the skull, and is not a crystalized, determined
entity made up of neurons and their glial counterparts but rather is a
becoming brain entangled with the environment of which accelerating
technology, sociology and culture play important roles. By focusing on
this expanded brain model, this situated intra-extracranial brain
complex, “Deep Ecology in the Cognitive Capitalocene” aims to
create a renewed ecocentric vision Timothy Morton calls ecognosis.
This gnosis, a result of an unfinished evolutionary process of the
becoming brain, gives us hope.
Is the refusal to tackle climate change a process of endocolinization
of the brain’s neural architecture sculpted by anthropocentric
technologies and their associated media conglomerates (Fake News) that
enfeeble the brain and its critical capacities, creating a kind of
neglect? With the sixth mass extinction at hand, we propose the need
to sculpt a new neural architecture based on an assortment of
ecocentric technical devices. Technologies for caring for the brain
also means caring for our ecosystem as the two are entangled in a
dependent coevolutionary process that has ramifications for the
future. To find such a model, “Deep Ecology in the Cognitive
Capitalocene” will consider the work of Bernard Stiegler, especially
his concept of exosomatic organogenesis in which technical evolution
of exterior artificial organs, like the handheld calculator, becomes
internalized through a process of epiphylogenesis, the process through
which the phylogeny of the technical species (or the evolution of
technical apparatuses in time) is transmissible. Through a process of
multiple exteriorizations, human (organic) matter becomes entangled
with technic (organized inorganic) matter. In cognitive capitalism,
one might say that the brain's architecture has been sculpted to
create an anthropocentric brain whose image of thought has been
constituted by capitalism and continues its legacy. If the
Anthropocene, or Capitalocene, has generated exploitive techne to
dominate the ecosystem in the transformation of nature into capital
then “Deep Ecology in the Cognitive Capitalocene” aims to explore
new materiality based upon an ecocentric cosmotechnics, such as the
Chthulucene or Ecocene, in order to transform the brain as a tool to
be used in our struggle for survival.
Franco Berardi, Nicolas Bourriaud, Phong Bui, Mareike Dittmer, Thyrza
Goodeve, Joan Jonas, Agnieszka Kurant, Reza Negarestani, Warren
Neidich (founder/director), Romy Opperman, Eliana Otta, Lucia
Pietroiusti, Florencia Portocarrero, David Rothenberg, Tomás
Saraceno, Barry Schwabsky (co-director), McKenzie Wark, Bruce Wexler,
and others to be announced.
Applications for SFSIA 2022 are open to students, practitioners and
scholars from the fields of art (including video, photography,
installation and multimedia), ecology, science and technology studies,
philosophy, design, architecture, critical theory, cultural studies,
film and media studies, and beyond. Please see our application (
) for more information.
Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art (SFSIA) is a nomadic, intensive
summer academy with shifting programs in contemporary critical theory
that stresses an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the
relationship between art and politics. SFSIA originated in Saas-Fee,
Switzerland in 2015 and then migrated to Berlin, Germany where it has
been hosted by Import Projects (2016) and Spike (2017-2019).
Additional programs have been hosted by Otis College of Art and Design
in Los Angeles, Performance Space New York, and sonsbeek20→24 in
Arnhem, The Netherlands. SFSIA was founded and is directed by Warren
Neidich and is co-directed by Barry Schwabsky. Sarrita Hunn is the
assistant director.
About The Brooklyn Rail
Founded in October 2000, The Brooklyn Rail provides an independent
forum for arts, culture, and politics throughout New York City and far
beyond. Our journal features criticism of visual art, music, dance,
film, theater and literature, alongside thoughtful political
commentary and original fiction and poetry. The Rail is distributed
free of charge both in print and online, and further fulfills its
mission by curating art exhibitions, panel discussions, reading series
and film screenings that reflect the complexity and inventiveness of
the city’s artistic and cultural landscape.
Please see our website (
) or contact info at sfsia.art (
) for more information. Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art also thanks
Industry City for hosting our program.

Art & Education (

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