38 found

Year:

  1.  1
    Introduction: Dismantling the Man-Machine.Pierre Cassou-Noguès - 2018 - Substance 47 (3):3-6.
    This issue should have been entitled, "The Man-Machine." It was the title that we had submitted to SubStance. At first, there was no question of dismantling the man-machine. The dismantling of the man-machine was an accident.This issue originates from a seminar organized at University of Paris 7, in the laboratory SPHERE, by Pierre Cassou-Noguès, Viktoria Tkaczyk, and Koen Vermeir. It ran for several years. The idea was to meet about once a month and invite scholars from various disciplines around a (...)
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  2. The Story of the Raven and the Robot.Pierre Cassou-Noguès - 2018 - Substance 47 (3):113-134.
    I could buy a Pepper, or better a Nao. I have seen him at Darty's last Sunday. A jolly little fellow, with a friendly face of white plastic and a perpetual smile. I shook his three fingered hand, and he said a few words, something like, "Welcome in, enjoy the evening." At home, it would be different. I could try and teach him things. I would let him wheel around the apartment, and make sure everything is alright. If I were (...)
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  3. Phobic Postcards: Preview.Pierre Cassou-Noguès - 2018 - Substance 47 (3):176-177.
    If the greatest philosopher in the world finds himself upon a plank wider than actually necessary, but hanging over a precipice, his imagination will prevail, though his reason convince him of his safety. Many cannot bear the thought without a cold sweat. I will not state all its effects.This project explores phobia through twelve videos and many notes–absurd fears, where there is nothing to fear, really. Pascal's philosopher standing on the plank above the abyss knows there is nothing to fear. (...)
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  4.  1
    The Question of the Woman-Machine: Gender, Thermodynamics, and Hysteria in the Nineteenth Century.Minsoo Kang - 2018 - Substance 47 (3):27-43.
    In recent scholarly works on automata, a major topic of discussion has been the man-machine, or the idea of considering a human being in mechanical terms.1 The notion has been deployed in the various fields of biology and physiology, in the use of the machine analogy in the description of the body; in psychology and sociology, in the elucidation of individual as well as mass behavior; and in philosophy, in the understanding of the mind in relation to, as well as (...)
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  5. If the Network Resonates.Alban Leveau-Vallier & David F. Bell - 2018 - Substance 47 (3):135-146.
    Dear Jacques Derrider,Today is my birthday. I received a considerable number of messages, almost all written and sent by computer programs. Because most of my contacts have died, or else they are too busy to write me.I'm not bothered by the fact that these letters were written by programs. I am troubled, however, when they remind me of all of those who have died. And especially when I am no longer able to distinguish between the programs that speak for the (...)
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  6.  2
    Elove: What Does Fiction Know?Sydney Levy - 2018 - Substance 47 (3):44-69.
    Olimpia, Hadaly, Rachael, Faustine, Samantha, Albertine…. All loving machines, like we say "washing machines" or "answering machines," machines that you may love and that have the potential of loving you back. All fictitious, of course. As emotions are starting to make their way into computing—think of the pervasive use of emoticons, or more interestingly, of IBM's Watson which, in its text-analysis tool, attempts to give an idea of what it calls "personality insights" of the writer and the "emotions and communication (...)
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  7.  1
    The New Digital Flesh of Fantastic Bodies.Denis Mellier & Charles La Via - 2018 - Substance 47 (3):93-112.
    One possible way of tracing the history of fantastic forms in Western culture is to link it to the adventure of bodies that encounter radical alterity, which may appear in the guise of something purely external, or as the externalized expression of an intimate experience that has become terrifying, unbearable, and schizoid.1The fantastic represents a privileged realm of imagination for contemplating a corporeal history of different forms of violence. It constitutes the exemplary locus of a negative reverie on the frightening (...)
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  8.  3
    Surrealist Ghostliness by Katharine Conley, And: Tiny Surrealism: Salvador Dali and the Aesthetics of the Small by Roger Rothman.Effie Rentzou - 2018 - Substance 47 (3):167-175.
    Surrealism remains an object of fascination for scholars and the public alike, with ebbs and flows ranging from rejection and devaluation to moments of exciting rediscoveries and theorizations. Following a long period of scholarly disdain in the 1970s, the period of the mid-1980s to mid-1990s was one such moment of reevaluation. Until then a mostly literary movement invested in the production of obscure texts, surrealism was revisited as a dynamic art movement and gained a position in the narratives of modernist (...)
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  9.  2
    Love in the Time of Capital.Mark Steven - 2018 - Substance 47 (3):147-166.
    What is love? Or, more specifically, what does it mean to love? These questions underwrite Alain Badiou's In Praise of Love, a book-length interview from 2012 on that familiar yet fugitive concept. In this atypically humanist volume, Badiou interweaves philosophical and aesthetic thought with autobiographical rumination so as to revivify the idea of love as a necessary condition for subjective vitality– or, as his ontological system would have it, as a formal procedure on an order of magnitude with science, art, (...)
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  10.  1
    Cybertrance Devices: Countercultures of the Cybernetic Man-Machine.Mathieu Triclot & Charles La Via - 2018 - Substance 47 (3):70-92.
    This article examines a collection of singular artifacts, originating in the 1960s and 1970s, which I call "cybertrance" devices. These devices are based on the reappropriation of instruments from the academic world in order to place users in modified states of consciousness, far from the ordinary mode of wakefulness. All of these inventions draw on the heritage of American cybernetics, and re-articulate the man-machine concept central to it: passing from neo-mechanistic theory to experimentations with coupling and prostheses, and from rational (...)
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  11.  2
    The Android and the Machine: Materialism, Mechanicism, and Industrialism in the Early and Late Modern Ages.Adelheid Voskuhl - 2018 - Substance 47 (3):7-26.
    Ideas surrounding mechanicism and materialism are so prevalent and fundamental in early modern and modern philosophy and critical theory that almost all key intellectual, political, and theological questions have been cast in their terms. From the 1730s onward, such questions were increasingly connected to the idea of the "man-machine" – the mechanical android. This was not least due to Jacques de Vaucanson's work from the 1730s, and the work of other artisans in the following decades, whose mechanical androids quickly became (...)
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  12. Extracts From Pierres Réfléchies.Roger Caillois & Charles A. La Via - 2018 - Substance 47 (2):149-155.
    SubStance is pleased to present, for the first time in English, the Prologue and Epilogue from Roger Caillois's Pierres réfléchies. Pierres réfléchies is the last, and least cited, of Caillois's singular writings on stones, which are being rediscovered and reread in the contemporary geologic-philosophical-aesthetic context. Here, Caillois provides a final articulation of his mystical materialism and diagonal science, his hermetic reading of a cosmos composed of hieroglyphic signs, in which "stone… speaks… the most convincing language in the universe." These ruminations (...)
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  13.  3
    Bare Life on Molten Rock.Nigel Clark - 2018 - Substance 47 (2):8-22.
    She laughs to herself, and her whole body shakes with it—she's got a volcano to choke off. So she curls the fingers of one hand into a fist, and sears down its throat with her awareness, not burning but cooling, turning its own fury back on it to seal every breach. She forces the growing magma chamber, back, back, down, down …We know surprisingly little about rock. Rock is red-hot, creeping, viscous stuff that we rarely see, and touch at our (...)
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  14.  2
    Feeling Stone.Jeffrey Jerome Cohen - 2018 - Substance 47 (2):23-35.
    Stone hurts—and not simply because rocks so easily become missiles. The lithic offers a blunt challenge to our belief that humans matter. Homo sapiens are a species perhaps 200,000 years old. Homo erectus and Homo habilis, two of our earliest ancestors, go back perhaps 2.5 million years. That seems a substantial span. If you were to count one number per second and never pause to sleep or eat, it would take about twelve days to reach one million. Two-and-a-half million is (...)
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  15. Stoned Thinking: The Petriverse of Pierre Jardin.Paul A. Harris - 2018 - Substance 47 (2):119-148.
    PETRIVERSE. Noun.A world composed of rocks; e.g., a rock garden.Words composed of rocks; i.e., verse written in and/or about stone. [Latin petra, rock; Old English vers, from Latin versus a furrow]The Petriverse of Pierre Jardin is a xeriscape in the California Heights neighborhood of Long Beach, California, where many residents have taken advantage of a city program that subsidizes the conversion of grass lawns into drought-tolerant landscapes. The garden was conceived in 2009 when Pierre Jardin coined the neologism 'petriverse' to (...)
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  16.  1
    Viewing Stones: A Virtual Exhibition.Paul A. Harris & Richard Turner - 2018 - Substance 47 (2):68-68.
    The term "viewing stones" is primarily associated with two traditions of stone appreciation: Chinese Gongshi and Japanese suiseki. Today, viewing-stone associations around the world take inspiration from these traditions and are creating new ways of displaying stones. Petraphiles, whether ancient or contemporary, are often drawn to express their appreciation of favored stones in writing.The Petraphiles represented in this virtual exhibition are diverse in their expressions of geo-affection. They are, by turns, both scholarly and poetic. In each entry there is a (...)
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  17.  2
    Introduction: Rock Records.Paul A. Harris, Richard Turner & A. J. Nocek - 2018 - Substance 47 (2):3-7.
    Rock Records explores the intricate entanglements between Anthropos and Geos through a wide range of writings about stone, from media theory and ecophilosophy to the role of stones in art and the aesthetics of viewing stones. Authors engage the activity, vitality, and relationality of lithic matter and articulate multiple modalities of 'geo-affection,' as well as forms of geo-mythology, geo-sociality, and occult lithography. As the initial issue in a new digital/intermedial series of SubStance aimed at interweaving creative and critical work, Rock (...)
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  18.  2
    Baudelaire and the Literary Fabrication of the Poor.Maud Meyzaud - 2018 - Substance 47 (2):156-174.
    By the time Baudelaire starts his work-in-progress prose-poems project, the Petits Poëmes en prose, also known as Le spleen de Paris,1 the poor, a recurrent protagonist of these short narratives, have already achieved a successful literary career of three decades. This evolution has mainly taken place in the rising genre of the novel, which, from the 1830s onward, interacts with an emerging mass public, whether one thinks of Dickens' Oliver Twist; or, the Parish Boy's Progress, the Newgate novels, Eugène Sue's (...)
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  19.  2
    Third Stone From the Sun.Timothy Morton - 2018 - Substance 47 (2):107-118.
    Picture yourself on a train in a station. The presence or absence of Plasticine porters with looking-glass ties is irrelevant.1 For some reason, the station is called Entity. Entity Junction, in the county of Anywhere.There are two platforms in Entity Junction, and they consist just of the two sides of the concrete sliver on which the very occasional passengers pace up and down—after all, it's just a junction. Rather than having numbers, the platforms have names. As you stand looking out (...)
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  20.  3
    Geology, Myth, Media.A. J. Nocek - 2018 - Substance 47 (2):84-106.
    This article argues for the relevance of mythical signification in our geological epoch. More than this, it contends that we need to revise our assumptions about media and communication systems in order to grasp the importance of myth in an era where the future of human and nonhuman life on the Earth is entirely uncertain. To make this case, I focus on the growing consensus in the sciences and theoretical humanities that mythical stories about geological and planetary processes cannot simply (...)
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  21.  1
    Deep Blue Geomediations: Following Lapis Lazuli in Three Ecological Assemblages.Patricia Pisters - 2018 - Substance 47 (2):36-58.
    Stones, like us, stand at the intersection of countless lines crossing one another and receding to infinity, at the center of a field of forces too unpredictable to be measured…On my desk, next to my laptop, a small piece of lapis lazuli. My eye is captured by the intense blue from its most important component, the mineral lazurite. The stone also contains white calcite specks and some metallic glistering from its pyrite elements. Looking at the play of colors, feeling the (...)
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  22. The Algorithmic Writing of Stones: A Cybernetics of Geology.Paul Prudence - 2018 - Substance 47 (2):71-83.
    To know the shape is to enjoy the information it embodies.In his classic work of lithic scrying, The Writing of Stones, Roger Caillois suggests that the pareidoliac's interpretation of a stone's pattern depends upon her own personal internalized database of stored images, a database defined by the cultural stock of mediated imagery forged and embellished by personal memory, emotion and psychical topography. For Caillois, "the vision the eye records is always impoverished and uncertain. Imagination fills it with the treasures of (...)
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  23.  4
    Unspeakable Histories: Film and the Experience of Catastrophe by William Guynn, And: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth-Century by Timothy Snyder.Rosemarie Scullion - 2018 - Substance 47 (2):175-196.
    On November 15th, one week after the results of the 2016 US presidential election were known to all, Timothy Snyder, a distinguished historian of Modern Europe, took to his Facebook page where he formulated a series of steps he urged readers to take in response to what he clearly deemed an emerging threat to the future of American democracy. Snyder's message, which captured the sense of urgency and foreboding that was palpable across large swaths of the land, instantly went viral. (...)
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  24. ReGrounding: The Art and Practice of Viewing Stone Display.Richard Turner - 2018 - Substance 47 (2):59-67.
    A viewing stone is a rock that has been selected and displayed for the purpose of aesthetic appreciation. The relocation of a stone from its natural habitat changes the found object from an ordinary rock to a viewing stone that invites close examination and perhaps contemplation.In this essay, I will examine the act of "re-grounding" rocks that have been removed from nature and resettled in the soil of culture. Using examples from my collection of viewing stones, I will consider the (...)
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  25. CO-MODIFIED: Rocks on Vinyl Nine Studies in GeoMedia.Richard Turner & Paul A. Harris - 2018 - Substance 47 (2):69-70.
    CO-MODIFIED: Rocks on Vinyl comprises nine 6' x 3' banners displayed like convention signage. They are presented as a series of speculative geomedia landscapes that explore contemporary human entanglements and collaborations with the lithosphere, activities that are transforming the earth's surface and registering in its stratified depths. Animated by an affective, aesthetic appreciation of stone, these works invite reflection and discernment in a historical moment defined as the geologic now.1The stories of earth and humans are written in stone, from tectonic (...)
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  26.  10
    The Minoritarian Powers of Thought: Thinking Beyond Stupidity with Isabelle Stengers.Didier Debaise - 2018 - Substance 47 (1):17-28.
    The thought of Isabelle Stengers undeniably holds a very particular place in the field of contemporary philosophy. For anyone attempting to situate it, the difficulties are innumerable. These not only concern the multiplicity of objects that she has explored, or the novel articulation between practices that she has effected, but also the philosophical lines of filiation within which she has inscribed her work. It would be in vain to establish orders of priority or seek to establish a hierarchy of the (...)
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  27.  7
    Talking Before the Dead.Vinciane Despret - 2018 - Substance 47 (1):64-79.
    “I would define humor as the ability to recognize oneself as a product of that very history through which one tries to pursue the construction of history, and this conception of humor is thus distinguished in the first place from irony. Humor is an art of immanence”In her book La Vierge et le Neutrino [The Virgin and Neutrino], Isabelle Stengers uses ferocious humor to challenge the practitioners of the humanities: “We are confident that the Virgin [who appears to Medjugorje pilgrims] (...)
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  28.  2
    The Oxford Handbook of Virtuality Ed. By Mark Grimshaw.Susannah Ellis - 2018 - Substance 47 (1):165-169.
    Gilles Deleuze, arguably the best-known theorist of virtuality, describes the virtual as part of an ontology of becoming and multiplicity: he sees the virtual as a characteristic of being which is directly opposed to, but simultaneously constitutive of the actual aspect of reality, as a force that works mostly invisibly, but powerfully within the interstices of the material world, introducing constant flux into reality through its negotiations with the actual.1 This conception of the virtual represents something of a leitmotif for (...)
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  29.  4
    Powers, in the Singular.Andrew Goffey - 2018 - Substance 47 (1):47-59.
    “To pose the problem of ‘scientific concepts’ is, immediately, to pose the problem of their power.”For many Anglophone readers, the interest of Isabelle Stengers’s now extensive writings will have been shaped—in part, at least—by a critical tradition of thinking that finds in the sociological and cultural study of science a welcome set of intellectual tools for denouncing the pretentions to a foundedness in scientific truth of socio-political domination. Informed by arguments about the instrumental qualities of scientific rationality, the social and (...)
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  30.  2
    A Question of Faith?: Stengers and Whitehead on Causation and Conformation.Michael Halewood - 2018 - Substance 47 (1):80-95.
    Generalized solutions with apparently limitless applications are anathema to Isabelle Stengers, who demands that we recognize the specificity of the remit of the abstractions that we are constructing. One hallmark of her work is the distrust of any response that appears to be able to mollify a wide range of positions, problems or questions. Stengers is also wary of denouncing the positions held by opponents by claiming to trap them in a logical vice or pinning them in an absurdity. This (...)
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  31.  11
    SF with Stengers: Asked For or Not, the Pattern Is Now in Your Hands.Donna Haraway - 2018 - Substance 47 (1):60-63.
    When I first held a copy of Isabelle Stengers’s passionate book, a big tome that tangles with a truly speculative philosopher, one we were both in love with, I misread the actual title, Penser avec Whitehead, as Pensez avec Whitehead! My French is better than that, but I fear my character is not. I saw an imperative rather than a situated practice of thinking-with. Horrified but laughing, in a characteristic act of friendship, with earth-rooted and precise abstractions, Stengers lured me (...)
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  32.  10
    The End of Oulipo?: An Attempt to Exhaust a Movement by Lauren Elkin and Scott Esposito, And: Une Nouvelle Pratique Littéraire En France: Histoire du Groupe Oulipo de 1960 À Nos Jours / Creating a New French Literary Style: A History of the Oulipo Circle by Cécile De Bary.Mitchell Kerley - 2018 - Substance 47 (1):156-164.
    Two recent texts join the field of research on the Oulipo writing group. The End of Oulipo?: An Attempt to Exhaust a Movement is a slim volume, mostly comprising two essays and a preface. Authors Lauren Elkin and Scott Esposito contribute one essay each, in which they address some of the issues that have arisen with the present-day Oulipo. Cécile De Bary’s Une nouvelle pratique littéraire en France: Histoire du groupe Oulipo de 1960 à nos jours is almost as brief, (...)
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  33.  5
    On the Risk of Gaia for an Ecology of Practices.A. J. Nocek - 2018 - Substance 47 (1):96-111.
    The work of Isabelle Stengers engages a baffling number of topics and includes collaborators from across many disciplines and practices. For this reason, there is perhaps no set of terms or concepts that easily encapsulates her work. Nevertheless, in recent years concepts such as “cosmopolitics” and the “ecology of practices” have gained a special currency in the context of humanities and social science research. While cosmopolitics is not a new term, and Stengers is certainly not the only one to employ (...)
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  34.  7
    Introduction: Isabelle Stengers and the Dramatization of Philosophy.Martin Savransky - 2018 - Substance 47 (1):3-16.
    In what may seem like an uncharacteristic passage by someone who otherwise described himself as the typical example of the Victorian Englishman, Alfred North Whitehead once wrote that “[t]he notion of pure thought in abstraction from all expression is a figment of the learned world. A thought is a tremendous form of excitement”. It is the patterned signature of its expression that not only gives thought its own distinct character, but also propels it out into the world, exciting its environment (...)
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  35.  6
    The Humor of the Problematic: Thinking with Stengers.Martin Savransky - 2018 - Substance 47 (1):29-46.
    In the chapter of Gilles Deleuze’s The Fold: Leibniz and The Baroque where Whitehead makes a surprising and crucial appearance, Deleuze chooses to introduce the English mathematician and philosopher as the successor, or “diadoche,” of what he describes as a somewhat secret school. The reason for the secrecy of this school is itself something of a mystery. Even when Deleuze alludes to the question “What is an Event?” as a thread weaving its members together, it cannot be a coincidence that (...)
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  36.  8
    Relearning the Art of Paying Attention: A Conversation.Martin Savransky & Isabelle Stengers - 2018 - Substance 47 (1):130-145.
    The first question I wanted to ask you has to do with the manner in which you do philosophy, in the sense that the concepts that you create, develop and experiment with, always resist the temptation to tell others what to do. In fact, at the very beginning of your “The Cosmopolitical Proposal”, you begin with a question that I think resonates with this. You write: “How can we present a proposal intended not to say what is, or what ought (...)
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  37.  2
    Aesthetic Concerns, Philosophical Fabulations: The Importance of a 'New Aesthetic Paradigm'.Melanie Sehgal - 2018 - Substance 47 (1):112-129.
    “Aesthetics” is not a concern that figures prominently in Isabelle Stengers’s work and it is not difficult to find the reasons why. Reading the discipline of aesthetics through a historical and systematic perspective derived from Stengers and Alfred North Whitehead, the invention of modern aesthetics as a philosophical discipline in the 18th century can be read as the flipside to “the invention of modern science” described by Stengers in her seminal book with just this title. Understood in this historical sense (...)
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  38.  5
    Postlude.Isabelle Stengers - 2018 - Substance 47 (1):146-155.
    Reading this collection of articles is a troubling experience because, each in their own manner, they produce something like a “portrait of a philosopher with her problem” – to recall Gilles Deleuze’s proposition about how to characterize the work of a philosopher. I am most grateful to Martin Savransky and those who accepted his invitation because, in order to obtain such a “portrait,” they needed not to stop at the obvious but respond, each in her or his own way, to (...)
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