Para-Academia #6: I Are Cyborg: Cyberstuff, Design, and the Great Body Remix

iarecyborg1A multimedia talk on the fiction of cyborgs with artist Ethan Gould
Date: Thursday, December 8
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: FREE! But we ask a suggested donation of $5 to help us keep Observatory’s doors open
Presented by the Hollow Earth Society and The Public School New York

[TARGET AQUIRED] {BEGIN CHARMING DESCRIPTION} >#2355> Artist Ethan Gould presents a multimedia talk on the wide-ranging design ethos of the classic science fiction trope, the CYBORG: a fictional and widely disseminated pop-melding of mechanics and human biology whose quiet shadow, the field of cybernetics, has totally transformed our world and ourselves.

The birth and weird intersections of these two ideas and their super-strong, steel-crushing grip on culture is explored in art, fiction, science, movies, and popular design, interspersed with excerpts from a lifetime of the artist’s own work, some of it dating back to elementary school and quite embarrassing!

These piles of entertaining data are used to launch much larger questions: We set out on a line of inquiry debating the separations between fiction and fact, language and object, and the sheepish nightmares and hopeful possibilities that accompany a body-as-bricolage, merged with streams of data, capable of great and terrible feats.

Class reading

Ethan Gould is an artist, curator, and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. After graduating from the University of Rochester with a double degree in English and film studies and a concentration in brain and cognitive sciences, he obviously immediately began working as a puppeteer. Since then he has worked as museum program developer and illustrator and is currently a fine artist.

He is the co-founder of the Hollow Earth Society and a member of Observatory. With the Society, he has co-created the Suspicious… series of books including Suspicious Anatomy and Suspicious Zoology. With fellow HES co-founder Wythe Marschall, he will be the artist-in-residence at Elsewhere in April, 2012. He is currently working a corpus of retrobiomorphic head multimedia, which seems about right.


The Para-Academia & Theory Fiction Series
Ongoing workshops co-produced by the Public School New York and the Hollow Earth Society

A Shadow Genealogy of the Ivory Tower/Producing the Unwriteable

The para is the “alongside,” that which comments on the official or normative. While academics debate the finer points of Shakespeare and Kant, para-academics aggregate around shadow-commentators whose works do not so much categorize (striate) and enlighten (bring light into) difficult terrain, but produce that terrain, creating obscure spaces and nebulous discourses that are immune to traditional academic approaches.

Blogs, speculative medievalisms, Cyclonopedia, Charles Fort, teratology, Deleuzean-everything, print-on-demand—these and other tentacles of a polycephalic (many-headed) para-academia have entwined to produce an addendum and, finally, an ultimatum to established disciplines and practices.

We will explore these emerging ideas and modes of expression through a series of discussions and writing workshops, with audio available after each session.

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