On Alienation:
3 events in  Beirut 5,6 and 7 November 2014


5th of November, Wednesday
7pm AUB Gallery, Beirut
Ray Brassier & Mattin
Non-idiomatic Improvisation
Guitar and drums


6th of November, Thursday
Mattin in collaboration with...
7pm, 98weeks @ The Mansion
http://mansion-blatt.blogspot.com/

On Alienation is a doctoral research in different chapters and formats on the concept of alienation. For each chapter, Mattin does a performance in which abstract, theoretical ideas are explored in a concrete situation. Mattin is interested in collapsing scientific experiment and experimental music, and in reconsidering the correlation between cause and effect when particular factors and concepts are manipulated in real life.
On Alienation’s first performance is hosted by 98weeks, and will take place at the Mansion on November 6th at 7pm.
The following day, Mattin will present his theoretical research in conjunction with an account of the performance realized the night before.


7th of November, Friday
On Alienation
talk
2pm, Art History Department, AUB, 



The concept of ‘alienation’ is both intrinsic to the development of modernity and closely connected to aesthetics. For Schiller, the fragmentation of the individual in mechanized modern society causes humans to lose their natural wholeness; only through aesthetics and playfulness in particular, could this wholeness be recovered.  For Hegel's dialectical thinking, the notion of alienation is central as it is the manifestation of mediation, a process that is constitutive of human self-consciousness. For Marx, alienation happens in capitalism when the worker objectifies her activity in exchange for a wage. Today, neuroscience is showing us a different type of mystification: it exposes our spontaneous beliefs about ourselves, and about what it is to be a self, as illusions. In particular, the work of Thomas Metzinger shows how the self is a projection generated by our brains; a projection which produces what he calls “the illusion of transparency”. This is an appearance that makes us believe that the self is real because we don’t have access to the processes that produces this illusion. In aesthetics, the notions of alienation, estrangement, and defamiliarization have been used specially in modern art, theatre, literature, and cinema in order to render unfamiliar that which seems familiar, thereby encouraging us to question mechanisms of production that appeared to be natural or neutral. In noise and improvisation -the contexts in which I work - some of these techniques have been used before and have obtained powerful results. However, my contention is that they have become conventionalized and emptied of their original critical purchase. This is particularly the case when they continue to invoke the self as the decisive agent of freedom. My research seeks to synthesize the theoretical resources that deal with alienation in order to develop new techniques for a contemporary use of alienation in aesthetics, and more specifically in the practices of noise and improvisation, a field I work in.







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