Meeting on February 18, 2022—Dr. Andrew Pickering

February 18 2022 ONLINE
10 am ET

We are pleased to welcome invited speaker, Dr. Andrew Pickering.

Andrew Pickering is an emeritus professor of sociology and philosophy at Exeter University, UK. His field is science and technology studies, focussing on practice and materiality. His writings include Constructing Quarks, The Mangle of Practice and The Cybernetic Brain. He is currently completing a book on our relations with the environment—Acting With the World: Doing Without Science—and thinking about a book on art and agency.

This talk runs through some thoughts on human and nonhuman agency in improvisation in science and the arts. While improvisation is inherent in being, we also need to think about what is not improvisation—what structures improvisation from within and without.

Science. Improvisation as integral to research: the open-ended extension of culture. Structured from within by fields of resources and disciplines. Structured from without: dances of agency and the telos of stabilisation; improvisation backgrounded. In mathematics: a clean split between structure and improvisation: bridging, transcription and filling.

The arts. Foregrounding improvisation; doing without stabilisation; dances without end. Cybernetics as a link from science. Decentring the artist and artworks. Examples from art and architecture might include Brian Eno, the Musicolour machine, the Fun Palace. Beyond improv, beyond the human: eg flicker and EEG art.

Other fields (if time): robotics, engineering, psychiatry, management.