. community —

International symposium: “The Digital Subject#3: Temporalities” - University of Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis / Archives nationales, November 12-14, 2014

  • Location:
    University of Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis, 2 rue de la Liberté, Saint-Denis, 93526, FR

Call for papers (new extended deadline): International symposium: “The Digital Subject#3: Temporalities” - University of Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis / Archives nationales, November 12-14, 2014


Pierre Cassou-Noguès (Department of philosophy, LLCP, SPHERE, EA 4008)

Claire Larsonneur (Department of anglophone studies, Le Texte Étranger, EA1569)
Arnaud Regnauld (Department of anglophone studies, CRLC – Research Center on Literature and Cognition, EA1569)

This symposium is part of a long-term project, “The Digital Subject,” endorsed by the LABEX Arts-H2H (http://www.labex-arts-h2h.fr/). It follows two symposiums (Hypermnesia held in 2012 and Scriptions in 2013). We are exploring the ways in which digital tools, be they real or fictional, from Babbage to Internet, have altered our conception of the subject and its representations, affecting both its status and its attributes. We welcome contributions from the following fields : philosophy, literature, arts, archivistics, neuroscience, and the history of science and technology.

The working languages will be French and English. Contributions may be submitted in either language and should not exceed 3000 characters. Please enclose a brief bio-bibliographical note.

Please submit your abstracts via EasyChair as well as a brief bio-biographical note : www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=thedigitalsubject3

Do not forget to upload your documents in PDF format

For further information, you may write to temporalites@univ-paris8.fr.

Deadline for submissions: July 15, 2014.

Contributors will be informed of the scientific committee’s decision by Sept. 15, 2014.

Keynote speakers:

Timothy Barker, School of Culture and Creative Art, University of Glasgow
Gregory Chatonsky, independent artist and researcher
Milad Doueihi, Université de Laval, Québec (to be confirmed)
Elie During, Université Paris Ouest-Nanterre, France
Eric Mechoulan, Université de Montréal, Québec

Call for papers: "The Digital Subject#3: Temporalities"

Speed playing against retention, instantaneous access to information playing against the hypermnesiac (or hypomnesiac) inflation of data storage. Time is lost, time is gained. Time may be lost through forgetfulness or in time-consuming technological processes; time may appear to have been won through the greater efficiency these technologies advocate. Time spans the so-called interior musings, always being modified by technology, but also the specific timings of our evolving technological environment and the time frame of our geological environment where we leave traces, marks and waste that may outlive us.

What kind of time, or rather regimes of time, time(s) do digital technologies foster? How do these new experiences of time relate to each other? How do they relate to the whole gamut of subjective time(s) outlined by fiction, philosophy, social sciences ? How do they relate to the specific time(s) of the living, geologic environment?

These questions suggest a number of issues, some of which are delineated further down the text.

A multi-timed subject.
Online games, e-literature or “learning machines” often create a loop of interaction between man and machine: the machine regulates the flux it produces according to the subject’s reactions, as if what appears on screen could represent the subject’s thoughts. New forms of technological environments, cloud or crowd computing for instance, implement and rely on a complex temporal milieu, which is based on “multiple simultaneities”. We may even speak of “multineity” when the time required by the subject to inscribe and decipher meaning coincides with, overlays or jars with the specific timings of other connected users, as is the case in collaborative online writing. It is now possible to have the intimate experience of a shared temporality, to be distributed both in immediate time and asynchronously. From which we may ponder the intrinsic polyphonous nature of our new digital selves.

Political control.
The constant, continuous broadcast of flux could be viewed as imprisoning the user in a memory-less present, in a form of pure immediacy that bars global overview of date and only allows sampling. Such limitations imposed on the subject reversely mirror the illimitation of hypermnesiac machines (Internet, databases), whose unknown technical possibilities raise the issue of the political monitoring of information, especially of private data, the digital traces left by the subject. For instance, what can we make of Facebook movies, footage automatically generated from a member’s posts on his “timeline” ? Is this an adequate retention or should we consider it superfluous, even abusive?

Could the emergence of multiple subjective time(s) help us describe those ecotechnical milieus in which the subject stands? Do they put into question the eternal present of natural cycles? What is the specific time-experience for ecotechnics (Nancy)? Digital technology is usually viewed in connection with speed, as opposed to nature which would be slower. Does that assumption stand?

Drawing from these examples, together with all manners of literary, philosophical, artistic digital experiences, we will study the evolution of digital time setups under their technical, social, political aspects. What mediations of time(s) do they enact ? What rewritings of the subject, polyphonous, multi-temporal, do they suggest?

Keywords :
speed, retention, recursitivity, accumulation, multiple simultaneities, shared temporalities, ecotechnics, environment, illimitation, mediations, control.