Tuesday 11 November 2014 – Lunchtime seminar with Warren Neidich, Artist

Title: Remapping Dissensus in Cognitive Capitalism: The Glossary of Cognitive Activism
Speaker: Warren Neidich

Warren Neidich is a Berlin and Los Angeles-based post-conceptual artist and theorist who exposes the interfaces between Marxist inspired cultural production and its interrelationship to the brain and cognitive capitalism to produce an Emancipatory Materialism. His interdisciplinary anarchic experimental works combine photographic and video elements, Internet downloads, scotch tape, painting, and noise installations. Selected international exhibitions include: PS1 MOMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, ICA London, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Walker Art Center, Kunsthaus Graz, Kunsthaus Zürich, and Los Angeles County Museum. He was a tutor at Goldsmiths College on the MA Visual Arts, and has taught at Harvard University, Princeton University, Brown University, Columbia University, University of Cambridge, the Düsseldorf Academy, among others. Selected awards include the Fulbright Specialist Program Award, Fine Arts Category, American University in Cairo, 2013, and the Vilem Flusser Theory Award, Berlin, 2010. His book The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism Part Two was recently published by Archive Press, Berlin, Germany. His collection of essays Resistance is Fertile will be published by Merve Verlag in 2014.

We are witnessing a diffuse degrading of our personal freedoms. The resurgence of racism and sexism, the power of the global art market, the deemphasis of theory and humanities curriculum in universities, and the various assaults on our privacy, such as digital profiling, are just a few examples of a strategy of normalization and governmentalization in the digital economy. The insensibility of democratic institutions to the will of the people, that massive demonstrations against American and British involvement in the Iraq War had no effect is a direct result of trying to use archaic forms of resistance to solve twenty-first century problems of communicative algorithmic capitalism. We live in a world of tremendous connectivity but little collectivity! Immaterial digital labor is precarious and isolating in spite of what we are led to believe. Remapping Activism and the production of a Glossary of Cognitive Activism is my attempt to update the epistemological foundations of the necessary conditions of a resistant form of thought. Cognitive capitalism assumes that wealth production is a product of the factory of the brain highly tuned and attentive to a hyper branded designed distribution of sensibilities. This project understands the role of diverse aesthetic production in the creation of heterotopy of diverse neural maps and coupled network configurations, a so-called emancipatory materialism that Jacques Rancière would call ] a redistribution of sensibility. My project takes the ideas of Foucault, Deleuze, Rancière and Agamben to elaborate a theory of extended mind and cognition in which the power of aesthetic production to sculpt the neuralplastic potential is on par or even greater than those forms emanating from institutional regimes. I work with audiences to further refine and elaborate this glossary. I hope that together we can build the foundation for a socially engaged artistic practice that confronts these threats.

1.00 PM – 2.00 PM

All SHU staff and students are welcome to attend the C3RI Lunchtime Research Seminars. If you are from outside of the University and would like to attend a seminar, please email CCRC Administrator, Rachel Finch (R [dot] Finch [at] shu [dot] ac [dot] uk) to arrange for entry.