Last monday and tuesday POBICS took part in a workshop with the other team of TECSAL, Co-Dis (lead by the Senior lecturer Miquel Domènech), where all of us participated reading and discuting some differents ideas and points of view about machines, humans, objects, actors and other very interesting concepts related with the Actor-Network Theory. The workshop had a duration of two days and now we want to reflect some ideas about the first day: Simondon, magic and automaton.
The machines have always had a fascination on the human hand (since before the Renaissance automata). In addition, there has always been a need to emulate the human with these devices. Simondon wonders about the primitive magical way, which has to do with the symbolic process of separating and uniting. With the idea of evolution on his time, he discusses the historicity of magic-religion-science. Recompose in magic: the constitutive act of magic is not evolutionary, but have to see what question involves the "how" (How to rebuild what has been broken by magic and technicality?).
Simondon will tour with the transverse axis of the break & (re) composition and the magical in three times:
1) Industrial Revolution.
2) Information and cibernetics.
3) This, by the exercise of recomposition of the human by the machine, it is central. The improvement of the tools is a pusher act art. Man feels more powerful when the tool is renewed, because in that act the man feels that fulfills its role more effectively (modernist period, the environmental crisis, social ... with postmodernism).
In mediation it is when a set of points that are pooled and allow to allow to a first major technical distinction appear: the background / shape difference. The man-machine undistintion (any point is plausible to be in the magical point calculation, every point can be singularity (seminar last week), whether man or machine). Not a tabula rasa, but precisely as an invitation to make the first mark (first mark there ??) ((dice roll in Deleuze)). Simondon makes a privilege of the organization (with a nod to cyber / information): a set of points are privileged to the extent they are organized in a certain way.
In this vein, if we call technical / machine or man, it is because the magic act has chosen one and has "subjectivized".
Aesthetics is the recomposition capacity and therefore is able to "breathe" extra energy that is magical. The idea of "breaking" man / half, What is broken? How it breaks? are questions that come after. That game breaking religiously How to create autooorganización / life without resorting to a total principle (God)? At first he uses figures such as the Golem (being linking, blanket and defends the Jewish people from a sequence of letters and clay) or Pygmalion. So the magical act is recomposed at this time and re-use it. In Spain it's the same: in the first experiments in psychology experiments start with magic, esoteric (soul, suggestion); wondering Where does magic come from?
To Anthropology, to know you have to believe (any knowledge is based on a belief / I assume it, that is the same as believing). But I could be wrong, so I could not call knowledge.
The separation of the magic that is not going in the direction of Religion (I think so because, without foundations), but in the direction of the technical mediation. in improvable, in the possibility that it is known. Mediation not only separates, also recomposed. Recomposition league affectivity, a commitment and a will to that union. This binds us closer to the "warm" as they speak only mediation, mediation and mediation as a process of restructuring would be too "Frankenstein".
We can make a historicity 1) of the elements, their perfection or 2) under the grouping of these elements into clusters as goldsmiths, then the industrial space. To explain the role of the affective (most "warm"), it has not been evacuated, but what has been evacuated is the playfulness that before did exist in the function of the machine (today an automaton of a duck inside to see the digestive system as described by Alfredo Aracil, it does not generate playful affection, but rather affections related reproduce nature, the macabre, the Frankenstein, etc)
Photo Credit: kay