A Diagrammatic Life

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Diagrams, Formulae and Models: Aesthetic and Scientific Strategies of Visualisation

Presentation Title:

  • A Diagrammatic Life

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • Panel: Diagrams, Formulae and Models: Aesthetic and Scientific Strategies of Visualisation

    Arthur Koestler’s 1964 book, The Act of Creation, puts forward a transversal, diagrammatic notion of creative activity. He referred to this diagram as a ‘bisociation’: an event in which “two self-consistent but habitually incompatible frames of reference” coincide.  Such an event, as he described it, “is made to vibrate simultaneously on two different wavelengths, as it were.” The outcome of this coincidence of independent matrices is either a collision, producing laughter, fusion, producing synthesis, or confrontation, producing aesthetic experience. This presentation traces the many ways that Koestler’s diagram can be found embodied within a series of critical events inside the developmental process and aspirations of the Transmute Collective’s award winning multi-user interactive work, Intimate Transactions. Specifically, I will discuss this through my own collaborative involvement in this project developing the haptic feedback system. It will be argued that the multiple instantiations of this diagram resonate to produce a diagrammatic ‘life’ –  signaling a way of thinking about the individuation of Intimate Transactions as a creature. More generally, Koestler’s diagram and this collaboration are discussed as a way to propose an idea of a transversal, distributed form of life that this has particular value in relation to ethical dimensions within creative practice research.

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