Goldsmiths : April 23: Rhythm as Pattern and Variation -- Political, Social and Artistic Inflections

Rhythm as Pattern and Variation -- Political, Social and Artistic Inflections

April 23, 2016
Goldsmiths London

Paola Crespi and Eleni Ikoniadou

Participants included

Pascal Michon (KEYNOTE)
“Could Rhythm Become a New Scientific Paradigm for the Humanities?"

Dee Reynolds
"Rhythmic Seascapes and the Art of Waves"
Paola Crespi
"'Time is Measurable and It's NOT Measurable': Polyrhythmicity in Rudolf Laban's Unpublished Notes and Drawings" 
Bruno Duarte
“Rhythm and Structure: Brecht's Rewriting of Hoelderin's 'Antigone'"

Ewan Jones
"How the Nineteenth Century Socialised Rhythm"
Mickey Vallee
"Notes Towards a Social Syncopation: Rhythm, History and the Matter of Black Lives"
John Habron
“Rhythm and the Asylum: Priscilla Barclay and the Development of Dalcroze's Eurhythmics as a Form of Music Therapy"

Simon Yuill 
Bev Skeggs
"Conflicted Rhythms of Value and Capital: Rhythmanalysis and Algorhythmic Analysis of Facebook" 
Sven Raeymaekers
“Silence as Structural Element in Hollywood Films"

Laura Potrovic
"Body-Flow: Co-Composing the Passage of Rhythmical Becoming(s)"
Mihaela Brebenel
"What Could Possibly Still Get Us Going: Rhythm and the Unresolved"
Eilon Morris 
“Rhythm and the Ecstatic Performer"

RHYTHM and NUMBER (Topology Research Unit Panel)
Peggy Reynolds
"Rhythms All the Way Down"
Julian Henriques
"Rhythmanalysis Weaponised"
Vesna Petresin
"Being Rhythmic"
Sha Xin Wei
“Rhythm and Textural Temporality: An Approach to Experience Without a Subject and Duration as an Effect"

Steve Tromans
"Rhythmicity, Improvisation and the Musical-Philosophical: Practice-as-Research in Jazz Performance"
Eliza Robertson
"Rhythm in Prose: Bergson's Duree and the Grammatical Verbal"
Yi Chen
“Rhythmanalysis: Using the Concept of Rhythm for Cultural Enquiry"

Sound Installation 
Annie Goh and Lendl Barcelos’ ‘DisqiETUDE'
St Hatcham Church G01

Synthesis: psychology, neuroscience, Helga Wild, Karl Pribram, Helgi-Jon Schweitzer

Dr. Helga Wild’s earlier research in neuroscience and psychology was with:

Prof. Helgi-Jon Schweitzer @ Innsbruck
Prolegomena zur Theoretischen Grundlegung der Psychologie Kurzer Einführender Text. 
Erscheinungsjahr: 2002

Prof. Karl Pribram @ Stanford
Brain and Perception: Holonomy and Structure in Figural Processing

Xin Wei

meaning, memory, G Longo on Zalamea

"Meaning derives, moreover, from the intentionality, even a pre-conscious one, that inheres in protensive gestures
a digital machine with a perfect memory cannot do mathematics, because it cannot constitute invariants and its associated transformation groups, because a perfect, non-protensive memory does not construct meaning
Only animal memory and its human meaning allow not only the construction of concepts and structures, but proof as well, as soon as the latter requires us to propose new concepts and structures, or the employment of ordering or invariance properties which go beyond the given formal system

p 18, Synthetic Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Conceptual analyses from a Grothendieckian Perspective.  Reflections on “Synthetic Philosophy of Contemporary Mathematics” by FERNANDO ZALAMEA,  by Giuseppe Longo

haptic-light sense organ --> place-memory experiment

I'm tremendously interested in seeing this little arc finish in some insights that we can contribute in conversation with colleagues in the Consciousness and Cognition journal, or SPEP.   It's low-hanging fruit as far as craft is concerned, because the craft is child's play for us, but the research questions are deep.

Speaking of the research questions, it's crucial to understand the aim of the actual experiment.  The light-haptic prosthetic organ was just the warm-up precursor to the actual experiment having to do with what Ed Casey called place-memory.   Please read the 
to build on the large amount of prior work and understanding with the Memory Place Identity group.

We want a projective ray, along a very narrow cone -- essentially a line oriented along the pointing gesture.
And as I said before, no proximity, only on off with threshold. 
Yeah you heard me right -- just on-off, no floating points between 0.0 - 1.0 ;)
There are deep phenomenological and consequently methodological reasons for this that David Morris and the Memory Place Identity group seminar realized.

Then, the actual experiment is the place-memory experiment that I've described to Omar, Harry, Elena, Liza that we inherit from Patricia+Zohar's work with the Memory Place Identity group. 

Please read Ed Casey's chapters on body- and especially place-memory, as well as the Lenay-Steiner paper whose experiment we're trying to replicate and then extend to the experiment where we turn the prosthetic on or off depending on where the person is located.  (I attached the chapter + article to the previous entry.)

We need to keep in mind that this is technically trivial engineering.  And it ought to remain engineering-trivial, at least till we get through the place-memory experiment and so we can understand the timing and calibration issues.   So I would simply retain Patricia and Zohar's electronics unless you can improve upon it in less than 4 days calendar time.  All other work should go toward the complete experimental apparatus :  
write code to turn the prosthetic sense organ on/off
(needs new code, and wireless access to on-body processor)
(if necessary use cable tethering the subject! that's OK if that makes it possible 
to skip a step of acquiring a wifi+processor and simply hack it
all in Max via a long cable.)
get the camera feed in the TML
use it to turn the  prosthetic  off/on as a 
function of where the wearer is standing in the TML.

I would place stock by Harry and Liza's judgment on experiment construction, especially for moving this along briskly so as to not get bogged down in technicalities or artful polish at the expense of gaining phenomenological insight.   Fail early, iterate rapidly.  I add an extra request perhaps unique to TML: please make it a 24x7 running environment so that people who are not authors of the experiment can wander in and experience the environment live at any time without you there to run it.   Perhaps it can be another preset state on Nav and Julian's faders.

restarting the place-memory experiment

Who's interested and has the technique to rebuild the photocell + pressure = vibration prosthetic sense organ that Patricia and Zohar build some years ago in the Memory+Place experiments?

Omar and I are hoping to take it to the next level with Liza, and carry out the actual experiment that David and the group wanted to realize.   My hunch is that it would be straightforward and fun with contemporary tech + the expert knowledge that's available around the TML :)

We're hoping to write up the results of this experiment as soon as possible, in August.  If you're interested in doing a bit of pure research, RSVP Omar Faleh <>,  Liza Solomonova <>, cc. me !

Claire Petitmengin: Gestural and Transmodal Dimension of Lived Experience

Thanks to David Morris, from Shaun Gallagher:

CREA: Centre de Recherche en Epistémologie Appliquée (Ecole Polytechnique/CNRS)*

Journal of Consciousness Studies,  14,  No. 3,  2007,  pp. 54–82

Who Is I ? – Video, Talk @ Panel at Center for Creative Inquiry

* CREA has been the base also for Jean-Pierre Dupuy, and Jean Petitot.

déjà vu

déjà vu does not have to be a visually perceived. Maybe kinesthetic methods would be more conducive to inducing such a sense. Doesn't déjà vu come with some vertigo?

Maybe it's is wrong to say déjà vu is an experience, rather it's a mode, a way of interpreting what's happening. Maybe trying to induce such a mode, we'll discover ways to condition events with some other effect that won't fit the label "déjà vu" but which we'll find equally interesting. Just "zeroth order" effects of repetition could be an easy starting place: repeatedly showing representations of a situation.

David Morris: Protocol for getting Phenomenological Descriptions out of participants in our experiments

I recently had a very productive conversation with Shaun Gallagher about protocols helpful for the sort of experimental phenomenology that we are doing.

In particular, he directed me to the work of Claire Petitmengin,, and especially to her article "Describing one's subjective experience in the second person, an interview method for the Science of Consciousness", Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 5:229-269, which you download via the articles link on her site. I encourage you to read this if you are working on the phenomenological experiment issues.

(Tristana, can you send me again your paper on methodology—I can’t seem to find it. And I don’t remember if you had cited her in your summary.)

I think this could be a really powerful—although laborious—method for us. One insight Petitmengin has is that the interviewer isn’t just asking the participant to report on what they already have available or are already ready to describe: the interviewer anchors and scaffolds a process that helps the participant get to an explicate that experience in the first place. In this process it’s important to keep the participant on track and sticking with description rather than presumption. I.e., even a well trained phenomenologist can be diverted, and needs outside help to stay on track. So there’s an interesting notion here that first person reports in fact might be bettered by or even require an intersubjective relation. We could note that Husserl, say, internalizes that intersubjective relation, by checking his experience against that of his presumed reader, and by having his responsibility to his reader always guide focused investigation of experience. I.e., he’s not doing wishy-washy spontaneous introspection, but a sort of ‘self-interview’ that is mega-labourious and endless.

Petitmengin’s procedure to my mind resembles, a bit, a therapy session, where instead of the therapist helping someone unpack a traumatic experience, they are helping them unpack an experience in general. Or, maybe a detective trying to lead an eyewitness through memory of an event by leading them back into it.

I think we could think of a protocol where we have various participants, variously expert or non-expert in movement/perception, go through an experience that we provide and record from the outside, then work them through the above procedure, then let them go back to the experience in relation to our recording, to coordinate their experience with their body movements, and then have a group of participants sit down together in a workshop to get multiple perspectives on this.

What I am thinking of is our obtaining “the experiential correlates of movement,” which is sort of the opposite of the “neural correlates of consciousness.” In the latter, we think the physiological stuff is the hard thing to find, and the consciousness is the easy and obvious thing. We do the opposite—seeing how people move from the outside is the ‘easy thing’, the hard thing is describing what it is that they are DOING.

Conceptually, the issue here is that MOVING IS NOT DISPLACEMENT OF OBJECTIVE BODIES. In terms of relative objective displacement, the situation is the same whether your body moves forward in relation to the walls around you, or whether the walls move backwards in relation to you (as in the sway room experiment with the babies in the middle of a room that moves). But, in terms of EXPERIENCED MOVEMENT, the two situations are different, because in the one case you’re the agent of displacement, in the other the patient of displacement. This is an argumentative opening for needing to study movement through our EXPERIENCE OF MOVING BODILY AGENCY. So we to describe that.

recent neuroscience re. vision - Austin Roorda: How the unstable eye sees a stable and moving world

[Thanks to Adrian-in-Berkeley.   This may add a bit of flesh to the Petitot-Connes-Sha;) thesis that objects are invariants of Lie groups for a suitably defined group of actions in the experienced world.   See also, Madeline Gins and Arakawa's Organism-That-Persons.]

How the unstable eye sees a stable and moving world

Austin Roorda
School of Optometry, UC Berkeley

Wednesday, December 14 at 12:00
560 Evans

How is it that the eye can have an exquisite sense of motion even while the
retinal image of the stable world during fixation is in constant motion?
Several hypotheses have arisen: The "efference-copy" hypothesis holds that
efferent signals derived from the opto-motor control circuitry are used to
exactly offset the image instability induced by eye-motion[1]. The
"data-driven" hypothesis holds that image stabilization is computed from the
content of the images, deriving compensatory information from the
displacement of image features over time[2].  Or, we might just suppress the
lowest common motion of any visual scene[3]. In any case, the physiology
underlying this phenomenon remains largely unknown. Recent experiments from
our lab using an adaptive-optics-based eye tracker have revealed that the
percept of motion bears a different relationship to actual eye-motion than
any extant hypothesis predicts. We found that stimulus motions that have
directions which are consistent with eye-motion, but largely independent of
magnitude of that motion, produce the most stable percepts. These new
observations not only challenge all existing theories but, more importantly,
define a simpler path toward a physiological solution. 

1. Helmholtz,H. Helmholtz's Treatise on Physiological Optics. Optical
Society of America, Rochester (1924). 
2. Poletti,M., Listorti,C. & Rucci,M. Stability of the visual world during
eye drift. J. Neurosci. 30, 11143-11150 (2010). 
3. Murakami,I. & Cavanagh,P. A jitter after-effect reveals motion-based
stabilization of vision. Nature 395, 798-801 (1998).

Bruno A. Olshausen
Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute & School of Optometry Director, Redwood
Center for Theoretical Neuroscience UC Berkeley 575A Evans hall, MC 3198
Berkeley, CA 94720-3198
(510) 642-7250 / 2-7206 (fax)

Inscribing the body, exscribing space

Haven’t read it yet, but this article looks relevant to our group.


Inscribing the body, exscribing space 

Ivar Hagendoorn 

# Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Hey David,

Thanks for posting this article (Hagendoorn on space and sensorymotor). Definitely up my alley. Had a chance to look through it and it brings up some quite interesting and relevant things.

A loose summary: 

H. Uses ‘excription’ (borrowed from J-L Nancy) to describe a kind of reciprocal verifying or excribing of the body in space. He makes a distinction between ‘alocentric’ (a kind of ‘other’ space, abstract space, objects in relation to one another) and ‘egocentric’  (space created by movement and configuration of the body). The relation between the two is the reciprocal part, which constitutes full spatial awareness. From neuroscience he notes studies which indicate the existence of ‘place cells’ and ‘grid cells’ serving distinct  spatial awareness functions. Place cells fire in specific relation to location (so related to the egocentric, to memory/knowledge(?)). Grid cells fire regularly during a rat’s encounter with an unknown space and function like a trail marking, bread crumb system; creating trajectories memorized as motor sequences. A side note is that these neurons actually seem to fire on the side of the brain where a desired object is located; they possibly have a topographical arrangement.  H. notes that we can access an experience of this more basic construction of space by doing things like examining an object behind our back—so taking place in a relatively unfamiliar part of the body zone  and (importantly) out of sight. And, he extrapolates, this is similar to how we experience dance (either dancing or as observer). He's careful to stipulate that he means certain specific types of choreography conceived to reveal alocentric vs egocentric movement (but I think its actually true as a more general point)

Makes me think of a few things:

First, neuroscientist Rodolfo Linas’ sea squirt, the little animal with a little brain, which begins life moving around to find a spot to anchor, at which point it promptly digests its brain and lives the rest of its life without. Linas conjecture is that thought, or the function of neurons at its most basic is related to movement and motor-negotiation of space, even you could say ‘thought is movement’, or the rehearsal of movement (well, which of these is it?).

H’s point about how watching/and doing dance are related is undeveloped by him, but super important. When I have tedious discussions with people about ‘virtual space’ created using linear perspective in electronic media, the point I make is that the virtual space is in our heads and its not really virtual at all. Experience of movement or of architectural space is like real space. Our fascination with watching bodies dance, or play sports, or sitting at cafés watching the passers-by or even watching animals is that this is compelling on a very neuro-visceral level, that watching unusual movement is doing in some sense—we are rehearsing space, and in rehearsing it we are making/marking it. So thinking about dance, thinking about movement, thinking about space, thinking about architecture (rooms, gridded space) are all related.

The idea that doing something behind one’s own back as revealing of a primal space-building (up to the point that one familiarizes that space) is similar to our first round of experiments, where we were reaching-for or sounding an unknown space or objects in a void. There are other similar spaces, kinds of unbounded rooms which echo this. I think of the inside of one’s mouth as such a ‘room’. We have very little rational or visual context for what this space is, yet it is deeply familiar. Put an object you have not seen in you mouth—what are you experiencing? Try to imagine the boundaries of this space which is the mouth. You are engulfed by it (you are tiny inside this space) and surround it at the same time. That's pretty fascinating, experientially. I think that a clarification of our idea of what the nascent process of building primal spatial temporal awareness could lead to several potential experiments/experiences/thought exercises which relate back to our room/space/memory exploration.