Friday, July 10, 2009

Paradigm shift in brain-mind sciences : implications of enaction for personal ethics and society

This is the outline of a conference I had proposed for Reboot Now conference in 2008 (cancelled)

From solid reality to flexible intersubjectivity

In modern enactive cognitive science worldview, we are "moving from a world seen as a collection of objects to a world seen as a communion of subjects". That is to say scientists no longer believe that the world out there exists independently of us, rather, the self and the world are co-determining each other. Enactive cognitive science was born thanks to chilean scientists Francesco Varela & Umberto Maturana, it emphasizes the importance of autonomy in living beings. The concept of intersubjectivity, central to the enactive theory, radically modifies the status given to what we usually experience as and call "reality". Reason and emotion are no longer kept apart in this holistic approach.

Synchronization and resonance

Modern oscillatory theories of consciousness apply both at the individual and collective level, meaning that small local actions can have a tremendous impact on the global situation. Thus, man is no longer seen as a useless doll on the lower scale of the pyramid, unable of making things change but rather as a powerful enacter, part of a spheric net, who can spread social, political and ecological change through localised, synchronised, action. When carefully prepared, positive intended actions take place they can lead to alledgely "magical" results. "Highly advanced technology is indistinguishible form magic" : what have been thought by anthropologists to be primitive, naive, rituals are actually shamanic technologies, using carefuly designed procedures to unlock the potential non-ordinary possibilities of our brain-minds. By using entrainment techniques they achieve states of collective unification with high empathy. The importance of these "non-egocentric modes of consciousness" has been put forward recently by consciousness researchers.

Art, Science, Spirituality : the distinction's only in your head

This new scientific approach thus allows building bridges between ancient traditions's knowledge and modern science, between science, art and spirituality. It has led to various fruitful gathering between western scientists and tibetan scientists for instance. Nowadays, a growing number of techniques derived from eastern traditions are used by modern physicians and are scientifically shown to be very effective (eg Mindfulness based therapies). There is no contradiction between ancient wisdom and modern knowledge, they can work in a mutually enlightning fashion. Recent results show that the practive of meditation can be beneficial for a wide range of individuals. Scientists studying the mind are being ecouraged to practice meditation in order to get a first person, phenomenological, point of view that can be confronted to 'objective' knowledge. In Varela's view of a forthcoming "visionary science", there is room for Intuition and Emotion alongside Reason.

Towards a planetary consciousness

Therefore, Science regains ethics and thus has something to say about society and politics. Too often science is used to validate a posteriori economic or ecological choices, actually dictated by the politico-industrial complex. By expanding collectively our field of awareness, we can experience a new cognitive liberty. On a practical level, this leads to the emergence of autonomous collective spaces dedicated to art, mind and sustainable alternative action (ecology, politics...). Within these special moments in space and time, exemplified by Gathering of the Tribes, Reboot Now, Convergence, etc.., hierarchy and ego-games fade away so as to achieve higher purposes, in a synergetic manner. People do become the change they want to see in the world and enter the global cosmic Glass Bead Game of human consciousness, following the way of the heart.

Video Log

Audio-Visual Performance Xperiments : Part A Audio-visual jockey from ikar on Vimeo.

Teratone Vision Audio-Video workshop @ trip bubble lab.

::AV Mixing
Edirol V4 Video Mixer + Gemini DJ Audio Mixer
Alternate solo configuration with AV Mixer Demo

::AV Vinyl Timeline Control, Pitch & Scratch
Technics MkII Turntables + MsPinky IWS

::AV FX's
Legacy kaos pad with linked Audio & Video mapping

VJ Ikar + VJ Soyouth
Sony & Dell Dualcore laptops, Edirol & M-Audio Asio Soundcards, Novation Remote25 Controller

Expect some upgrade in the months to come ;-)

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