FICTION: Notes from Zürich (uploaded in Jaipur)

What does it mean to be playfully poetic? What is the difference between fact, myth, notes and fiction? Can our own experiences become an origin that allows us to perform philosophy? In other words, how is “doing” a form of “knowing”? Performative philosophy can treat being-in-the-world not as a timeless essence, but as a process of ongoing action, where epistemological models of technology serve as a starting point but take on new forms that we ourselves initiate, to reconsider our relationship with nature, sensory knowledge and senses of existence.

We embrace the open “C”, a line that never closes into a circle (the O of verboten) but rather insists on the gap, the freedom to think differently, the ability to curl in an alternative direction or leap from the page, to create more layers. The linear, the logical, the rational and the enlightened all come up against the gap of the “C”, the space between which never closes.

Chaos, coincidence, crossroads, crystal

Chaos. The origin, the germ of creation; a group of students, international, diverse, hybrid, the non-essentializing dialectic between East and West. History deriving from Greek and Itihaas deriving from Vedic Sanskrit find an unstable, exciting infraspace in the same room at Toni Aereal, working to generate new combinations from topsy-turvy.

Coincidence. Who could have guessed that a photo could capture, with the lightest touch, such unexpected light, such an original angle, such a brush of texture on texture? Who could have known that with patience and empathy we would carefully discover so many points in common, Charlemagne, the sleep of the beloved, the percentage of anger to happiness on our faces. Points in common are only discovered, of course, if there exists a predisposition to find them.

Crossroads. We wanted to go past dichotomies, to work from the center where selves cross and blur. In the smoke from the factory, in the light of the moon, our ideas were taken from their storage boxes and given oxygen in cold Swiss air, as we stood at the railway tracks at this junction, traveling, still traveling.

Crystal. A filter that helps us to see better, a creative response to a creative technology, a means drawn from a means that is actually meaningful. François Jullien is a concrete sculpture made with 3D printing, and we install him in a clearing of Chinese bamboo, beneath a mountain bathed in light. It could be Mount Rigi or the Hindu Kush. A prism for our thought, he helps us refract back on ourselves, onto other paradises.

At the Design Museum: “Solutions are often found in the process of making”. Here we note the importance of materials, texture, feeling the jute fabric, the solidity of the concrete retaining wall, mycelia: renewable biomaterial, futuristic fantasies. Automne de Varsovie, livres américains, György Kepes’s language of vision, William Klein’s photograms, robot architects, the short film Just in Time in which the efficient Swiss man dies, run over looking at his phone on the way to the digital detox clinic.

The rhythm of our thoughts? A poll, pick one: a) Scott McKenzie – San Francisco, b) Pavement – Zurich is Stained, c) Bikini Kill – This Is Not a Test, d) Baudrillard Boys / Gramsci Girls – TBD.

Living cultures in an ex-yoghurt factory, the bad joke as a form of poetic philosophy. Book suggestions: Cold Intimacies, Platform Capitalism, The Invention of the Future. The space before us breathes as we do, sinking and rising, as we exist as who we were and will be, melding, perpetually approaching as the horizon before us sinks and rises through time, never-ending, ever-changing.

This is a new discourse of knowledge production that comes from experimenting and imagining with nature and self. Technology is a productive way in the modern world to explore creative ideas through research.

Thinking beyond the boundaries of academic institutions is a unique practice that trains our minds to be creative. We seek out learning like this which provides a platform to think, talk, explore and experience various epistemic canons in order to initiate a shift from existing learning practices in an institutionalized environment. The juxtaposition of the sensual and the rational, in cognitive exercises in conjunction with technology, helps us to venture into transcendental methods of knowledge-production and its practice. But do we produce knowledge for its utility or should it have other purposes? And how should we design a futuristic way of learning and practicing knowledge in a post-technological era?

Ekphrasis 𝓣 𝓤 𝓛 𝓘 𝓟 𝓞 𝓜 𝓐 𝓝 𝓘 𝓐 ƎNƎϽ∩H˥∩H⊥Ͻ. Which way does your philosophy of thinking go? Podcast: The History of Philosophy Without any Gaps. What are the good and bad things about using a Frankfurt School thinker as a base or challenge for thinking, rather than a YouTube guru? In what ways has McKinsey gone Sufi? Let’s talk about non-rational forms of thinking, and the deeply social nature of our being.

Oof. What we find ourselves in, is it chaos? Or do we simply lack the appropriate sense of scale? Oof. In finding futuristic ways of learning we are under immense temporal pressure and I didn’t even deep read the texts. Oof. Can a creative response to technology be within the bounds of its copywriting? Crystals sound so astrology what do I wanna be? Intrusive thoughts. Oof.

A little dopamine kick when I scroll, but when I click, it becomes a responsibility. My liability is my thirst for neurotransmitted hypervalidation machinery, as my right thumb slides over cracked screen glass, no wack-ass ad is too boring for me. Theodicy and my odyssey has carried me to where I got married to usb electricity. Where is this “me”?

Should I have inked this last part out? What kind of writing is functional, what is dysfunctional, in the context of a fictional essay (or essayistic fiction)? On Red Ink in Lens Culture:

“The book’s title references an old joke from the defunct German Democratic Republic, recounted in Slavoj Žižek’s Welcome to the Desert of the Real. Pinckers includes the excerpt, which outlines the tale of a German worker who is offered a job in Siberia, verbatim on the inner back cover: “Aware of how all mail will be read by the censors, he tells his friends: ‘Let’s establish a code: if a letter you get from me is written in ordinary blue ink, it’s true; if it’s written in red ink, it’s false.’ After a month, his friends get the first letter, written in blue ink: ‘Everything is wonderful here: the shops are full, food is abundant, apartments are large and properly heated, cinemas show films from the West, there are many beautiful girls ready for an affair—the only thing you can’t get is red ink.’”

Is a multispectral idea possible that goes beyond dichotomous idea of the world? How do we think about self and nature? Is there a deterministic link between ancient and present thought (a sedimentation) antithetical to the idea of a flux or flow field of thinking? How does play enter into this, and create ideas of good and bad faith? Can we all be Chinese? What does transculturality mean?

Is technology a mechanism for spectator mediation? Have you ever played open world games like Death Stranding? Do you enjoy the troubling pleasure to be found in the sublime, horror, violence, the post-apocalyptic and the liberations of speculative reality? Or do you prefer to wander along the river, sit on the bench, buy chestnuts from a local stall (little bag hot in your hands, glints of light on water), thinking of whether to get spicy ginger tea or an absinthe at the Cabaret Voltaire, and wondering about the onion in “Letters from Onion Island” at Les Complices . . .

Text written in collaboration during the workshop “Playful and Poetic. Creative Responses to Technology” at the at the Learning Environment and Research Nucleus (LEARN) of the School of Commons, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste. Organized by: Marea Hildebrand, Jessica Sequeira and Jörg Sternagel. Participants: Yris Apsit, Matthias Bernhardt, Joanne Ho, Shabnam Khan, Iswar Parida, Jayanti Sahoo, Andri Schatz, Simon Schwyzer.

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