The Human as Electrochemical Computer – Toward a New Computational and Aesthetic Paradigm

This course will present differing disciplinary perspectives working toward articulating new understandings of the body. These observations will in turn be used to elucidate a new computational and aesthetic paradigm. Discussions/lectures will be drawn from many disciplinary perspectives: the Arts, Humanities, Biology, Cognitive Science, Psychology, Robotics, Physics, Ethics, Artificial Intelligence, Anthropology, and other research areas. The course will present and critique current models of the brain/mind/body/environment from multiple scientific (and artistic e.g. the interface) perspectives. Concurrently students will develop aesthetic, scientific and/or conceptual art approaches to the content both alone and/or in groups. The class will also include invited lectures related to disciplinary / interdisciplinary / transdisciplinary topic areas, and the generation of highly focused working groups. These groups will work toward articulating bridging languages to enable researchers to talk across disciplinary domains concerning particular research problems that are developed as part of the class. In particular, approaches to the development of a biologically inspired electrochemical computer will be discussed and explored. A multi-modal database will be created to share knowledge across disciplines [and document research generated in the class]. The database will form a repository for new forms of imaging, textual production and data collection and will also be discussed and employed as a research tool via meta-tags and relational combinatorics. Students will be required to participate in ongoing discussion, as well as to develop particular aspects of research both individually and/or in groups. Each student will write a major research paper tied to a potentially related research project (where relevant) as a course requirement. Some students may develop the paper as the major project.

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