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10.00 – 19.30, Saturday 29 October 2011 (with registration from 09.00)
King’s Anatomy Theatre & Museum, 6th Floor, King’s Building
King’s College London, Strand Campus, London, WC2R 2LS
(for directions please see http://atm.kcl.ac.uk/location)
How can we think of novelty without attributing ontological prominence and metaphysical distinction between discreteness and continuity, or between the actual and the virtual, the analog and the digital, or the spatial and the temporal? Can a concept of ‘rhythm’ understood as a vibratory movement detached from substance, structure, metric property, and lived experience, become a method with which to account for how the new comes to be? Certainly, on the one hand, Bergson and, following him, Deleuze allow room for the coexistence of these concepts away from opposition. On the other hand, Bachelard and, following him, Lefebvre, have attempted to construct a rhythmanalysis of newness, while Badiou’s theory of the event signals an interruption in the spatiotemporal order. But perhaps there are yet other connections to be made between (what is absent in) these thinkers and towards conceiving ‘a rhythmics of the event’. For example, for theorists such as Kodwo Eshun and Steve Goodman rhythm points to a complex ecology of speeds, inciting mutations across the human-machine network to allow for the construction of a sonic futurity: a virtual coexistence of past and future in the present.
The purpose of this symposium is to elaborate a philosophy of rhythm as an appropriate mode of analysis of the event. Whether aesthetic, cultural, strategic, or other, we understand the event to be an instance of rhythmic time, summoning, expressing and animated by the abstract yet real (virtual) movements of matter. A rhythmic ontogenetics of this kind necessarily departs from a binary split between, on the one hand, natural bodily rhythms (breath, heartbeat and so on) and, on the other, a mechanics of steady tempo or pulse presupposing the metric organisation of spacetime. Instead, this symposium seeks to explore rhythm as an interface between diverse elements (human, machine or other) and a somewhat non-sensory, irregular and amodal movement, lurking at the most potentially unknown or ‘unthought ’ dimensions of the event.
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