This book demonstrates how and why vitalism—the idea that life cannot be explained by the principles of mechanism—matters now. Vitalism resists closure and reductionism in the life sciences while simultaneously addressing the object of life itself. The aim of this collection is to consider the questions that vitalism makes it possible to ask: questions about the role and status of life across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities and questions about contingency, indeterminacy, relationality and change. All have special importance now, as the concepts of complexity, artificial life and artificial intelligence, information theory, and cybernetics become increasingly significant in more and more fields of activity.

Making Music Matter

Making music matter
MariamFraser

A concert is being performed tonight. It is the event. (Deleuze, 1993: 80)

I

Bruce gilchrist'S artemergent project exploits ‘raw neurophysiological material’ (http://www.artemergent.org.uk) for a variety of art processes and performances, among them (and perhaps best exemplified by) the Thought Conductor pieces. In the second of these, Thought Conductor # 2 (TC2 from hereon), the signals generated by an individual hooked up to an electroencephalogram are converted, via a relational-database devised by Johnny Bradley, into ‘musical score’. This score appears on computer monitors, ready to be played by a string quartet. During the performance, things-to-see and things-to-hear manifest themselves discontinuously in space, as well as in a counter-intuitive temporal order: the graphic line of the EEG for instance, projected on a wall ...

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