Study Circle 2: Human-Technology Futures: making art, doing theory, shaking things up

Study Circle 2: Human-Technology Futures: making art, doing theory, shaking things up

Poiesis and automata.

In person, July 28-Aug 4, 2022, Oslo, Norway

Deadline for applications: 1 June 2022, extended deadline for june 6th

Short version

Dear all,

you are invited to submit abstracts for the summer symposium “Human-Technology Futures”, a study circle that is part of the Nordic Summer University (www.nsuweb.org).

Deadline for application 1th of june, 2022. Summer session, July 28th – Aug 4 2022, Oslo, Norway. The event will be fully in person.

We invite scholars, artists, students, technologists, theorists and other professionals working or writing on future technologies to take part in our study circle. We are open for experimental approaches to presenting and collaborating. In the past there have been long and short presentations, textual (read out) and performative, theory-based and practical, with artistic and aesthetic aims. Feel free to contact us if you are wondering how you would fit in.

Our core interest is in:

the ambivalent relationship between, on the one hand, the speculative and open futures that characterize the worlds of science, technology, media and art, and, on the other hand, the relentless, catastrophic or even post-apocalyptic, drive to commodify life forms, cultures and extend the networks of control.

For the full call and further information see: https://www.nsuweb.org/_circle2humantechnologyfutures-2/

Please send a short motivation letter and bio to eric@fripost.org

We look forward to your submissions.

Best wishes,

Eric Deibel, (Lecturer in Science, Technology and Society, Bilkent University).

Also on behalf of the other coordinators: Palle Dahlstedt (Professor of Interaction Design Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Gothenburg / Chalmers University of Technology) and Maru Mushtrieva (Researcher and Text-based Artist with a background in literature and based in Germany, who is a contributor to the collective “Trust” – shared infrastructure and imaginaries- and “Salon” – experiments in collective knowledge sharing and cultural production.

Full version:

Invitation

We invite scholars, artists, students, technologists and other professionals working or writing on future technologies to take part in the summer session of our study circle: Human-Technology Futures: making art, doing theory, shaking things up.

We are a migratory non-hierarchical group of international researchers. Our study circle is part of the Nordic Summer University (NSU). Since its inception, the primary aim of NSU has been to provide a forum for experimentation and cross-disciplinary collaboration welcoming members both from within and outside of universities and other institutions.

Theme of the summer symposiumOur invitation is of interest to anyone who is writing on or working on topics related to:
the ambivalent relationship between, on the one hand, the speculative and open futures that characterize the worlds of science, technology, media and art, and, on the other hand, the relentless, catastrophic or even post-apocalyptic, drive to commodify life forms, cultures and extend the networks of control.

Our study circle brings together theorists, practitioners, and technologists. Together we want to discuss practices of making and the social and cultural impact of future technologies. Our study circle considers the sciences, arts and technological culture as key “creative acts and processes” within the context of how the future of humanity is being re-imagined. We are interested in how “creation” is understood by makers, designers, artists and theorists. This can be practical, we’ve had many contributions in the form of inventions, provocations and performances. Also welcome our theoretical contributions or empirical studies, including those that tie together creation and destruction. It will by no means be assumed that human technology futures need to be hopeful or somehow committed to the affirmation of open futures. Rather, the conversation revolves around questions such as:

how can philosophical questions support the development of technologies? How in turn can technological practices and development inform philosophical, aesthetic, and sociological theories? And how can both making and theorizing help us imagining future technologies and their impact on societies?

Earlier this year we held a winter symposium (the first in-person event we held in a long time) and the theme of our summer symposium will be: Poiesis and automata. This year’s study circle is a continuation of a cycle of symposia called Cybioses. The new title follows up on how Cybioses is a combination of cybernetics and bios, greek for life. In turn, “poieses” refers to “autopoieses” as a key term in the history of cybernetics and contemporary forms of AI that invoke evolutionary overtones (e.g. consciousness, self-awareness, self-organization etc.).

Potential contributions:

To encourage you to consider participating, these are some of the previous themes we have organized over the years:

● ethical & philosophical perspectives on technology
● artificial intelligence and its impact on society
● the role of improvisation and creativity in the design process
● the status of originality and novelty in the creative process
● world building and thought experiments as speculative tools
● hacking, free and open software and its many offshoots
● speculative prototyping and the life cycle of products (from prototype to waste)
● critical examination of technology in neoliberal economies
● sustainable futures

● speculative art practices and/or design
● the limits of imagination, prediction, anticipation
● the relationship between science fiction and science

These themes are diverse as is reflected in the core interests of our participants, some of us have interests that are historically and theoretically informed, but many are practice-oriented and might again contribute with provocations, their own designs and inventions, aesthetically and so on. With this in mind we welcome you to challenge us (shake things up).

Format of the symposium

We are open for experimental approaches to presenting and collaborating. In the past there have been long and short presentations, textual (read out) and performative, theory-based and practical, with artistic and aesthetic aims. Ideally we are able to meet around a good variety of contributions. Feel free to contact us if you are wondering how you would fit in.

Expected results are primarily the unique experience of joining a community that values such diversity. More practically, however, the outcomes have included publications, manifestos, inventions and a solid based for future collaborations. We are currently working on an anthology.

While we expect a certain level of commitment from participants, it is perfectly sensible to come only out of curiosity.

To apply

To submit a proposal please send an email in PDF format to the circle coordinator, Eric Deibel (eric@fripost.org). You will receive a confirmation within a few days.

  1. A motivation letter (max. 350 words). This text should include your areas of interest and a proposed research theme that fits with the various topics mentioned above. The latter is encouraged, but not obligatory. Please indicate if special facilities are needed or other such considerations.
  2. A short bio (max. 200 words). The deadline to submit proposals is the 1th of June, 2022. The preliminary program will be announced on July 15th, 2022, on https://www.nsuweb.org/_circle2humantechnologyfutures-2/
  3. www.nsuweb.org is also where you can also find more information about NSU and sign up for the newsletter.

Once you have been accepted to participate in the symposium, you will be expected to complete the registration and payment process by July 1st, 2022. All registration and payment is done electronically, see https://www.nsuweb.org/shop/ The webshop to register and reserve a room will be open from June 1.

Cost and accommodation

The location is in Rønningen, just outside Oslo, and the event is held in “folkehøgskole”.

1. NSU membership: participation in the symposium requires NSU membership, which is connected with a small fee:
• Students, unemployed and independents, West Nordic & BalTc residents: 10 euro
• Those associated with institutions or companies: 25 euro
See www.nsuweb.org/product-category/nsu-membership/ If you took part in a winter symposium in 2022, no new membership is needed.
2. Prices: this is for the full week includes lodging, meals and the full program.

• single rooms for 650-700 euro per person.
• double/twin rooms for 500-550 euro per person.
• children up to 4 years old pay a small fee for food but no extra costs for accommodation (in cot with room of parent(s)). Other children/youth pay full cost
• family rooms for 1500-1800 euros (family of 4) or 1700-2000 (family of five).
See more on

3. Grants: A few grants are managed directly by the study circle. Scholarship receivers would pay 150 EUR and be accommodated in twin or triple rooms. Scholarship applicants can apply directly to the circle coordinator (1th of june) and will be notified of the outcome of their funding application by the 7th of June. For more information on the criteria and the full NSU grant program, see www.nsuweb.org/support_pages/arrkom/scholarship-and-grant-program/

Please note that people who receive grants and scholarships are expected to help the organising committee, ARRKOM, with small tasks like writing blog posts, sharing their experience, distributing information if needed, and helping out with setting up and cleaning up during the summer session.

All rooms at Rønningen Folkehøgskole are of very good quality and most have a beautiful view as the venue is located on the hill. The rooms include bed linen and towels, and all food is also included in the price.

Coordinators of circle 2:

Eric Deibel, Lecturer in Science, Technology and Society, Bilkent University.

Palle Dahlstedt, Professor of Interaction Design Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Gothenburg / Chalmers University of Technology, Lecturer in composition, Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg. Adjunct Professor in Art & Technology, Department of Communication & Psychology, Aalborg University, Denmark

Maru Mushtrieva, Researcher and Text-based Artist with a background in literature. Contributor to the collective “Trust” (shared infrastructure and imaginaries) and “Salon” (experiments in collective knowledge sharing and cultural production), Germany

About NSU
The Nordic Summer University (NSU) is a Nordic network for research and interdisciplinary studies. NSU is a nomadic, academic institution, which organises workshop-seminars across disciplinary and national borders. Since it was established in 1950, Nordic Summer University has organised forums for cultural and intellectual debate in the Nordic and Baltic region, involving students, academics, politicians, and intellectuals from this region and beyond. Decisions about the content and the organisational form of the NSU lay with its participants. The backbone of the activities in the NSU consists of its thematic study circles. In the study circles researchers, students and professionals from different backgrounds collaborate in scholarly investigations distributed regularly in summer and winter symposia during a three-year period

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