(𝙉𝙚𝙪𝙧𝙤)𝙋𝙤𝙚𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝘼𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙄𝙣𝙛𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙎𝙚𝙣𝙨𝙚-𝙈𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙣 𝙎𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙤
a seminar by Marco Lin
30 April 2020 | 14:00 - 16:00 h
Humanity has accumulated an unprecedented degree of power and knowledge, via science and technology, yet this seems to not readily translate to a common sense or well-being for society as a whole. It's recognised that in part this is due to a misalignment of values or incentives, but I believe that an important factor is also the imbalance between modes of sense-making, in particular an impoverishment of our poetic modes of being.
Active Inference is an ambitious theory to understand brains, minds, and an increasingly wider scope of affairs. The brain-child of Prof. Karl Friston (UCL), the theory is notorious for its seeming inaccessibility, in part due to the dense jungle of maths and abstract formalisms. But that's just one side of the theory. In this talk I make the case for the appeal and natural affinity of the poetic side to Active Inference, that is the perspective that bridges the 'poetic' and 'noetic' modes of sense-making (e.g. arts and science). I will speak about the value of poetic sense-making as complementing counterweight to balance modern society’s excessive emphasis on the ‘noetic’, residing in our implicit belief in a myth of certainty. The symptoms of this imbalance are all around, if one looks for it: from the global rise of mental health crises and unexplained reversals of IQ scores in developed countries, to the so-called meaning crisis and sociocultural inertia towards transforming society towards good.
In this spirit, the seminar's format itself will be an exercise of 'sense-making in stereo', exploring the brain, society, and human Being, as seen through this complementary pair of lenses. Finally, it aims to contribute to our shared challenge of learning how to cope with an ever more complex world and maintain our liberty to flourish as diversely unique human beings and cultures. Please be welcome to join this experiment of exploring intermediating languages for the arts, sciences, and humanities.
Marco Lin is an independent interdisciplinary researcher trained in Cognitive Neuroscience (MSc) at University College in London and Psychology (BSc) at Leiden University. In his pursuit to understand human nature, its future(s) and the role of subjectivity, he has developed an appetite for many other disciplines including philosophy, arts and cybernetics. He deeply believes in the importance of bridging fragmented epistemic landscapes and is contributing his time to the development of an effective strategy for what he sees as the most urgent challenge today - understanding ourselves. For it is our psychology that is both the problem as well as the solution. Lin has worked as the strategy officer for a tech start-up, designing new sense-making ecosystems for this age of (mis)information, and is currently conducting research and publishing independently on several online platforms.
CLEA ArtScience is a research group consisting of scientists and artists associated with the Center Leo Apostel, Vrije Universiteit in Brussels. We investigate and imagine possibilities of synthesis for the wide range of artistic and scientific practices today. For more info, please see: https://tinyurl.com/u4hf9nc
The public lecture are part of a larger CLEA seminar series.
*Cover image trace-out: Drawing Hands (1948), M.C.Escher