World Premier: Beyond Paper | Au-delà du papier, a film by Oana Suteu Khintirian

For those of you in Quebec, stay tuned for

International Festival of Films on Art 


 in Montreal March 15

and the 

the theatrical release April 6!

World Première:

Beyond Paper (English trailer) | Au-delà du papier (trailer français)

Beyond Paper

2022 | 2 h 10 min
At a critical moment in the history of the written word, as humanity’s archives migrate to the cloud, one filmmaker goes on a journey around the globe to better understand how she can preserve her own Romanian and Armenian heritage, as well as our collective memory. Blending the intellectual with the poetic, she embarks on a personal quest with universal resonance, navigating the continuum between paper and digital—and reminding us that human knowledge is above all an affair of the soul and the spirit.

2022 | 2 h 10 min
À un moment charnière de l’histoire de l’écrit, où les archives de l’humanité migrent vers l’infonuagique, une cinéaste entreprend un périple à travers la planète pour mieux comprendre comment préserver son propre patrimoine, roumain et arménien, mais aussi notre mémoire collective. Mêlant intellect et poésie, sa quête personnelle aux accents universels parcourt le continuum entre papier et numérique, nous rappelant que la connaissance humaine est avant tout affaire d’âme et d’esprit.

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Professor European Graduate School | Associate Editor AI & Society Journal
Founding Director Topological Media Lab | Weightless Studio

Writing in water: dense responsive media in place of relational interfaces

"Writing in water: dense responsive media in place of relational interfaces”, AIS 2021.

In this essay we explore extensive modes of enactive engagement among humans, physical and computational media richer than the modes represented by classical notions of interaction and relation. We make use of a radically material and a potential-theoretic account of event to re-conceive ad hoc, non-pre-schematized activity in responsive environments. We can regard such activity as sense-making via dehomogenization of material that co-articulates subjects and objects.

new materiality

A child in Quebec who was learning about how plastics persisted endlessly in our ecosystem said:
Si la chose ne peut pas être défaite elle ne devrait pas exister.
( If a thing cannot be un-made then it should not be made. )

Merleau-Ponty on time

Some striking passages from Chapter 2: Temporality
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, tr. Donald Landes, Routledge, 2012 (1945).

We say that time passes or flows by. We speak of the course of time. The water that I see rolling by was made ready a few days ago in the mountains, with the melting of the glacier; it is now in front of me and makes its way towards the sea into which it will finally discharge itself. If time is similar to a river, it flows from the past towards the present and the future. The present is the consequence of the past, and the future of the present. But this often repeated metaphor is in reality extremely confused. For, looking at the things themselves, the melting of the snows and what results from this are not successive events, or rather the very notion of event has no place in the objective world. When I say that the day before yesterday the glacier produced the water which is passing at this moment, I am tacitly assuming the existence of a witness tied to a certain spot in the world, and I am comparing his successive views: he was there when the snows melted and followed the water down, or else, from the edge of the river and having waited two days, he sees the pieces of wood that he threw into the water at its source. The ‘events’ are shapes cut out by a finite observer from the spatio- temporal totality of the objective world. But on the other hand, if I consider the world itself, there is simply one indivisible and changeless being in it. Change presupposes a certain position which I take up and from which I see things in procession before me: there are no events without someone to whom they happen and whose finite perspective is the basis of their individuality.

If we separate the objective world from the finite perspectives which open upon it, and posit it in itself, we find everywhere in it only so many instances of ‘now’.

Correspondingly, therefore, the subject must not be himself situated in [time], in order to be able to be present in intention to the past as to the future. Let us no longer say that time is a ‘datum of consciousness’; let us be more precise and say that consciousness deploys or constitutes time.

Time exists for me only because I am situated in it, that is, because I become aware of myself as already committed to it, because the whole of being is not given to me incarnate, and finally because one sector of being is so close to me that it does not even make up a picture before me—I cannot see it, just as I cannot see my face.

on Chinese thought: non-dualism, relationality, transformation

Chinese thought: non-dualism, relationality, transformation

From a BBC podcast about a renowned herbalist Li Shizhen 東璧 (1518 – 1593)

"When in pre modern China, people generally had a very organic view of the world around them. So one overarching idea was that everything around us is interconnected, interdependent, and networked together. And that in other words, rather than thinking of the natural world, as that bit of the world around us that's untouched by humans, the Chinese planted human beings right in the middle of it. Now, a second main underlying idea there is that therefore, in order to understand the natural world, rather than trying to identify by or physically what things are, it is much more important to try and explain how things relate to each other. So describe the relationship of various beings, objects, plants, animals with each other. A [third] underlying idea was that everything around us in the natural world is constantly subject to change. The only certainty we have, ironically, about what happens around us is that things are constantly changing. And so everything is subject to transformations, to metamorphosis. And so the, I suppose the sage or the observer, or the scholar needs to put his finger on  explaining why changes happen and how they happen. Now, to do that you need a conceptual toolbox, and the Chinese developed that, you know, over the centuries. One is to think of everything in the world as consisting of complementary opposites. The Chinese call it Yin, and Yang, you know, the shadowy side of a hill, versus the sunny side of a hill so that you can think of things in terms of hot, cold, high, low, black, white, and so on. So that's one toolbox they had.  A second model that was applied to the understanding of the natural world was the idea that everything somehow can be classified into a group of five or following a sequence of five phases. These were natural elements identified as early as the fourth century BC fire, you know, wood, metal, earth. And I left one out here water, I think. And so the whole purpose of it is basically to just describe the pattern of change and describe ways of sequencing of how things follow on from each other. The result of that is that that you know, for the right or the wrong reasons, people who categorize nature in pre modern China seem to be always impelled to have to do this in groups of five and categories of five. And a final, not insignificant feature really about the way in which the Chinese and pre modern China handled nature or saw that relationship is that they used a language which drew substantially on figurative language. They used analogies to talk about nature comparisons. metaphors, rather than a highly technical sort of language and that sometimes takes getting used to.”

Roel Sterckx, Joseph Needham Professor of Chinese History, Science, and Civilization at Cambridge University
BBC In Our Time 20191128

Collective intentionality and the further challenge of collective free improvisation

Collective intentionality and the further challenge of collective free improvisation


The kind of collective improvisation attained by free jazz at the beginning of the sixties appears interesting from the perspective of contemporary debates on collective intentionality for several reasons. The most notable of these, is that it holds a mirror up to what analytical philosophers of action identify as “the complexly interwoven sets of collective intentions” that make a group more than the sum of its parts. But at the same time, free jazz poses a challenge to these philosophical theories of collective intentionality, because what happens is not planned in advance but arises from spontaneous interactions in the group. The second and no less decisive reason is that jazz musicians act together in a very distinctive way, which casts into clear relief the interplay between togetherness and agonism, individual freedom and group commitment, which is contained in every human interaction. In other words, in free jazz we find what Hannah Arendt calls the “paradoxical” or “twofold” character of “human plurality.” Starting with the analysis of two paradigmatic case studies—Charles Mingus’s Folk Forms No. 1 and Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation—my main concern in this paper is to provide a phenomenological account of the individual-yet-plural intentionality that emerges and runs through the improvisatory process in the free jazz case. After having made the negative point that this phenomenon represents a challenge to the analytical theories of collective intentionality, I shall argue that it can be accounted for from a phenomenological perspective. My basic thesis is that the overall cohesiveness of the improvisatory process must be regarded as a meaningful realization of an overall feeling, shared and shaped together by musicians over time—and not as the execution of an advanced plan.

ensemble play in online class, First Year Acting - Vocal Technique, Romania

“rhythm" can be the name for the patterning joining antecedent and emergent, here and elsewhere:
Actorie Anul 1 - Tehnică Vocală (curs online)

#stamacasa, dar facem cursuri împreună! Anul 1 Actorie, la cursul online de Tehnică Vocală (prof. Irina Sârbu). ------------------- #unatc #unatc70 #online #remote #onlineclass #acting #theatre #workfromhome #onlinecourse #onlineclasses #workremotely #studentlife #stauacasa #onlinecourses #cursonline #canto #actorie #carantina #actorie #stayhome

Posted by UNATC I. L. Caragiale on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Ensemble play in the face of pandemic, by students in an online course:

Actorie Anul 1 - Tehnică Vocală
First Year Acting - Vocal Technique 
UNATC I. L. Caragiale, Bucharest
(the top art academy in Romania)