Inventive Experimentation: Weird Science, Affectivity and Archives of the Future

Blackman, Lisa. 2016. Inventive Experimentation: Weird Science, Affectivity and Archives of the Future. In: Irene Hediger and Jill Scott, eds. Recomposing Art and Science: Artists in Labs. Birkhauser: DeGruyter/Springer Publications, pp. 171-186. ISBN 978-3-11-047459-6 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter will explore the positivity of particular art science collaborations as potential laboratories for exploring, analysing, and inventing new methods and forms of knowledge production that can intervene and shape what Derrida (1995) termed 'archives of the future'. My own contributions to this problematic are based upon a series of reflections on my own experiences of collaborating with and across the humanities and the sciences in the context of experiences and phenomena that often signify as anomalies, puzzles, abnormal perceptions and sometimes as signs of psychopathology. For readers not familiar with my work I have always been interested in phenomena that challenge and disrupt distinctions between self and other, inside and outside, past and present, the human and the technical, material and immaterial and the natural and the cultural. This includes phenomena that trouble individualized conceptions of the body and demonstrate how bodies can be moved and extended by human and non-human actors and agents - this includes priming, automaticity (the feeling of being moved by someone or something else), suggestion and voice hearing.

These phenomena raise questions about agency and invite us to explore more distributed forms of agency, as well as orientate our attention to more intensive registers of experience; that is those experiences which circulate and exist largely below the threshold of conscious awareness and attention.
This includes what I have termed 'threshold phenomena', such as suggestion, automaticity and voice hearing as well as phenomena often associated with the paranormal and occult; this includes telepathy, mediumship, clairvoyance, automatic writing and related practices. I write from the position of somebody initially trained within the psychological sciences, but who left the discipline some twenty five years ago to work in the neighbouring disciplines of both sociology and latterly within media and cultural theory and body studies. My focus in relation to psychology has been on outliers, looking particularly at what becomes disqualified, and exists in submerged, disguised or displaced forms in relation to the so-called proper archives of psychology.

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Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


September 2016Published

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Date Deposited:

24 Oct 2016 14:42

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 13:42


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