What Makes an Event? Considerations for the Occurrent Arts

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Presentation Title:

  • What Makes an Event? Considerations for the Occurrent Arts

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Abstract:

  • The ‘occurrent arts’ is a name suggested by philosopher Suzanne Langer for arts of the event. Digital media have complicated the question of what constitutes an art event – or for that matter an event in general – by making spatially and temporally distributed events the new norm. What makes an event an event when its occurrence is dispersive: when no unified perspective on it or integral experience of it is possible? The notion of distributed cognition is often appealed to in answer to this question. Does distributed cognition solve the problem, or complicate it further? The questions of distributed events and distributed cognition are not only relevant to art, but also have been a central topic for military theory in the age of ‘netwar’. This paper considers some of the questions raised by the notions of distributed events and distributed cognition, in art and war, drawing on the philosophies of experience of William James and A.N. Whitehead.

     

    Full text (PDF) p. 27-28

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