At its core, it’s a way to combine practical thinking with philosophical and academic research in a fun and informal way. Hoping to map people’s interests in the areas of philosophy, science, technology and art, the sessions also aim to build connections between people’s practices and processes through shared discussion.
Most of the people that came to the first event were interested in art, but we were also pleased to welcome people with backgrounds and practices in literature, education, performance, science and design. It seems like there’s enough interest to keep this going on a monthly basis and collectively coming up with ways to share the group’s activities - so look out for more events coming soon! Websites, publications, manifestos, exhibitions were all mentioned as possibilities, but it’s too early to tell. Let’s Read and Thing some more first!
For the first meeting, we suggested texts that explore the ideas of New Materialism and Posthumanism by Donna Haraway, Karen Barad and Iris van der Tuin which participants were ecouraged to read ahead of the session. Some of these are quite involved, and even though not everybody read every text, we were able to present the basic concepts in the texts and use them to talk a little bit about FACT's current exhibition, Follow.
Alex (Pearl, industry-based PhD student with Manchester Metropolitan University), did a great job at summarizing Donna Haraway’s metaphor of the Cat’s Cradle as a method for combining, entangling and knotting different fields of intersecting research when thinking about Technoscience. In short, it doesn’t make sense to keep discussions about Science only between scientists, and what is considered “science” has to be analyzed with its many socio-political-economical implications and assumptions.
...At the end, we even got to play a bit of Cat’s Cradle with strings and hands, so who knows what will happen at the next event!
Find out more about other events taking pace in FACTLab here. FACTLab and its' events are supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union and Connecting Cities