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Posthuman

Posthuman

CRITIQUING TECHNOLOGIES OF THE MIND

CALL FOR PAPERS

Critiquing Technologies of the Mind: Enhancement, Alteration, and Anthropotechnology

Special Issue of Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

Over the past twenty or even thirty years, an international and interdisciplinary body of research has developed on the various ethical and philosophical issues raised by the possibility of using technological means to transform the human body beyond medical ends. The phrase that has emerged in the English-speaking bioethical debate to describe this new field is ‘human enhancement’. Some authors, particularly in France, have raised objections to the positive valuation that is implied in the preferred English terminology. As an alternative, the terms ‘anthropotechnics’ and ‘anthropotechnology’, combining the Greek words ‘anthropos’ and ‘techne’, have been suggested as preferable conceptual tools, which avoid the implicit positive valuation of ‘enhancement’, while directly addressing the question of technological intervention in and on the body for extra-medical ends.

This special issue will investigate a specific area of the anthropotechnics/enhancement debate: those modifications of the body aimed at affecting the processes of the mind. This field is generally referred to as ‘cognitive enhancement’, we prefer the more neutral and encompassing expression ‘technologies of the mind’. The issue will aim to address the fundamental ethical and philosophical questions surrounding this area of technology through the prism of the philosophically productive contrasts and conceptual differences between the (broadly speaking) Anglo-American and the (broadly speaking) French debates. The idea of anthropotechnics has emerged out of different philosophical traditions than the mainstream Anglo-American philosophical discourse around enhancement. We argue that a careful interrogation of the conceptual resources drawn upon by the French and, rather coarsely speaking, continental philosophical traditions (here we include phenomenology, hermeneutics, French epistemology, and post-structuralism) examined against a backdrop of the ‘enhancement’ debate more familiar perhaps to English speaking readers, will significantly enrich and broaden the philosophical literature in this area, as well as enlarging its international conceptual scope.

We propose four main axes for consideration, but welcome contributions on all topics and from all approaches within the scope outlined above:

What are the different technologies that are currently presented as cognitive enhancers? To what extents are the virtues attributed to them a reality? This includes the stage they are at on the path from hypothetical modification to widely used products, and the various philosophical questions arising from their use.

How is the concept of cognition is itself deployed in the idea of cognitive enhancement? Nick Bostrom and Anders Sandberg, two of the most prominent philosophers studying ‘enhancement’ define cognition as a set of processes that comprise acquiring information (perception), selecting (attention), representing (understanding) and retaining (memory) information, and using it to guide behaviour (reasoning and coordination of motor outputs)’. They insist that ‘interventions to improve cognitive function may be directed at any one of these core faculties’. But these faculties are generally approached uncritically in the literature, as is the question of how they overlap and interact with one another as well as with emotion, and aspects of embodiment. Also, most of the products that are presented as potential ‘cognitive enhancers’ (caffeine, Adderall, etc.) often appear, after more detailed studies, not to improve cognition itself, but the conditions of use of existing cognitive abilities. Likewise, in the existing literature, there are few studies interested in issues such as altered perception: the focus on a few products and specific functions like alertness and memory appears to hinder the consideration of technologies that may affect other aspects of cognition, and in other ways than enhancement narrowly conceived.

Does the modular approach to cognition, often ignoring the first-person perspective, and widespread in the ‘cognitive enhancement’ literature, present an accurate account of subjectivity, and specifically of the enhanced subject? In this respect, some qualitative studies already provide a more complete picture of the enhanced subject. But we argue that a wider use of phenomenological, neurophenomenological and narrative approaches to the subject is also needed, alongside more conceptually sophisticated accounts of subjective relations with environment.

What role should speculation and fiction play in the study of cognitive enhancement? Some philosophers emphasize the need for a ‘pre-emptive’ approach that tries to bring out the potential issues in technologies not yet developed, but on a speculative horizon, so as to be ethically and politically ready when they appear. But is this a legitimate and productive methodological approach? Are there past examples of such successful ‘pre-emptive’ philosophies of technology? How do these general considerations about speculative ethical thinking affect the particular topic of cognitive enhancement?

This aim of this issue is to explore these and other approaches to the questions surrounding ‘technologies of the mind’, in particular by setting up an dialogue between analytical and continental, English-speaking and French-speaking, philosophical traditions.

*Submission information*

Word limit: 8000 words

Deadline for submissions: 30 June 2015

Publication is expected in 2016/17

Peer review: all submissions will be subject to a double blind peer-review process. Please prepare your submission for blind reviewing.

Submissions should be made directly via the journal’s online submission system: (http://www.editorialmanager.com/phen) indicating: Special Issue: Critiquing Technologies of the Mind.

For further details, please check the website of Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences: http://www.springer.com/philosophy/philosophical+traditions/journal/11097

Specific questions about the special issue can be addressed to Darian Meacham (darian.meacham@uwe.ac.uk), Ruud ter Meulen (R.terMeulen@bristol.ac.uk), or Sylvie Allouche (allouche.sylvie@gmail.com). Please include the text “Special Issue: Critiquing Technologies of the Mind” in the subject line of the email.

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Capitorg

Capitorg

POSTHUMANISMS

Call for Papers

Symploké: A journal for the intermingling of theoretical scholarship

Symploké: http://www.symploke.org/

Posthumanisms (Vol. 23, No. 1-2 [2015])

Welcome are papers that engage posthumanism in ways that avoid flattening “the human” into a monolithic or homogenous problematic. We are especially interested in papers that take up posthumanism in relation to the crisis of the humanities and the ongoing crises faced by marginalized “humans” around the globe. How might posthumanist thought be symptomatic of the crisis of the humanities and (higher) education more broadly? How has posthumanist inquiry ignored the lived heterogeneities of humanness distributed across raced, classed, gendered, and differently abled bodies? How can posthumanism’s critical political project benefit from being brought into intimate connection with critical race, queer, feminist, anti-colonial, and disability theories?(Deadline: 31 December 2014.)

Manuscripts must be received by December 31, 2014.

Submissions of any length which are appropriate to the aims of symplokē will be considered, although those between 4,000 and 6,500 words (approximately 16-26 typed, double-spaced pages) are preferred. Please keep in mind that submitted manuscripts need not be intended for an upcoming special issue; general submissions of high quality are encouraged. The editors reserve the right to make stylistic alterations in the interest of clarity. Authors will receive a complementary issue of the journal. All submissions must strictly follow the guidelines for copy preparation listed below. Articles not conforming to these guidelines may be sent back to the author for revision.

Preparation of Copy:
1. All submissions must provide a complete listing of references and use footnotes rather than endnotes.
2. Footnotes should generally consist only of references and are to be consecutively numbered throughout the manuscript.
3. References must include the names of publishers as well as places of publication. Also include full names and a complete listing of translators and editors.
4. The format of the manuscript must conform to the current MLA Style Manual.
5. All manuscripts must be submitted in duplicate. If the manuscript was word-processed, include a copy of your IBM- or Macintosh-compatible disk. Microsoft word or ASCII files are preferable.
6. All quotations, titles, names and dates must be checked for accuracy.
7. All articles must be written in English.
8. This journal has a policy of blind peer reviewing; thus the author’s name should not appear on the manuscript and a separate title page must be provided.
9. Material not kept for publication will be returned if accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Address submissions to:

symplokē
Jeffrey R. Di Leo, Editor-in-Chief
University of Houston-Victoria
3007 North Ben Wilson
Victoria, TX 77901.

Or send attached files to the Editor-in-Chief at: editor@symploke.org.

All materials published in this journal are copyrighted by symplokē. Submission of an article to this journal entails the author’s agreement to assign copyright to symplokē. Articles appearing in symplokē may be reproduced for research purposes, personal reference, and classroom use without special permission and without fee payment. This permission does not extend to other kinds of reproduction such as copying for general distribution, for the creation of collected works or anthologies, for advertising or promotional purposes, or for resale. These and all other rights are reserved.

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.co.uk

 

Glenn Rikowski’s latest paper, Crises in Education, Crises of Education – can now be found at Academia: http://www.academia.edu/8953489/Crises_in_Education_Crises_of_Education

Glenn Rikowski’s article, Education, Capital and the Transhuman – can also now be found at Academia: https://www.academia.edu/9033532/Education_Capital_and_the_Transhuman

 

Capitorg

Capitorg

GENERAL ORGANOLOGY

 

General Organology

The Co-individuation of Minds, Bodies, Social Organisations and Technº

20th-22nd November 2014

International Conference

University of Kent

General organology proposes to rethink the relations between biological organs, technical organs and social organisations and how all of these individuate in the socius. General organology draws from the original practice of organology in musicology, which is the study of the history of musical instruments, their practices and their social roles in all civilizations and historical periods. Yet general organology is not limited to the study of musical instruments but it takes into account all technical instruments and their effects on biological and social organs.

In addition to Marianne Wolf, Maurizio Lazzarato and Bernard Stiegler, other renowned academics will present on the project of general organology: Cornelius Borck (Lübeck), Antoinette Rouvroy (FNRS and Namur), Francesco Vitale (Salerno), John Mowitt (Leeds), Michael Lewis (UWE), Ian James (Cambridge), Martin Crowley (Cambridge), Ben Roberts (Bradford), Patrick Crogan (UWE), Yuk Hui (Leuphana), Pieter Lemmens (Radboud University of Nijmegen), and many others.

The conference programme is available at this address: http://nootechnics.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/ProgrammeKent1.pdf

And for more information on the conference, please follow the link to the Noötechnics website: http://www.nootechnics.org/

Attendance is free but places are limited, please register before the 10th November (for catering purposes): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/general-organology-3-days-tickets-13075618527

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.co.uk

 

Glenn Rikowski’s latest paper, Crises in Education, Crises of Education – can now be found at Academia: http://www.academia.edu/8953489/Crises_in_Education_Crises_of_Education

Glenn Rikowski’s article, Education, Capital and the Transhuman – can also now be found at Academia: https://www.academia.edu/9033532/Education_Capital_and_the_Transhuman

Capitorg

Capitorg

APPROACHING POSTHUMANISM AND THE POSTHUMAN

Conference and Doctoral Workshop

June 4-6, 2015 – St. Maurice, Switzerland

 

Keynote Speakers:

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, George Washington University

Stefan Herbrechter, Coventry University

Margrit Shildrick, Linköping University

Cary Wolfe, Rice University

 

Organizers: Deborah Madsen, Manuela Rossini, Kimberly Frohreich, and Bryn Skibo-Birney

 

CALL FOR PAPERS: http://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/node/57765

 

A highly topical and sometimes contentious notion, posthumanism continues to spark debates as to how it is

and should be defined, particularly in relation to humanism. One might ask whether the posthuman is merely

an imaginative, literary, and/or theoretical figure or if we are already posthuman. Is posthumanism simply

“after the human” or does it speak to a being beyond, above, within, encompassing, and surpassing what we

currently know as “the human”? Moreover, even if we recognize that posthumanism is inextricably bound to

and wound up in humanist discourse, does the posthuman figure effectively open up alternative perspectives

and positions from which to question, to destabilize, and to decenter the human?

 

These questions permeate contemporary literature, film and television, comic books, video games, social

media, philosophical and theoretical essays in which posthuman figures abound. From avatars and cyborgs to

clones and zombies, the posthuman appears continually to challenge the line dividing the human from the

nonhuman. Whether blurring the distinction between human and machine, human and animal, organic and

inorganic, or the living from the dead, whether destabilizing gender, sexuality, race, class, age, the

mind/body dichotomy, or species categorization, posthumanism points to the ways in which (the exclusion

of) the Other is necessary to the self-bounded identity of the human(ist) subject. More than a contemporary

issue, posthumanism appears whenever “humanness” or anthropocentrism is in crisis, and critics have

accordingly noted the presence of posthumanist thought, themes, and figures not only in postmodern

literature but in much earlier literary periods as well.

 

The aim of this conference is both to explore the multiple ways in which posthumanism in its various

configurations questions, complicates, destabilizes, and “haunts” humanism and the human, as well as to

discuss theoretical approaches to posthumanism and/or the posthuman. In addition to inhabiting a wide range

of literary periods, genres, and media, posthumanism can also be said to blur the seemingly well-defined

borders between humanities disciplines, lending itself to interdisciplinary approaches involving literary and

cultural studies, media studies, animal studies, and fields like the digital, medical, and environmental

humanities, as well as drawing from multiple theoretical frameworks such as feminism, gender studies, queer

theory, race theory, disability studies, postcolonial studies, psychoanalysis, and deconstruction.

 

Please send 300 word abstracts to Kimberly Frohreich (kimberly.frohreich@unige.ch) and Bryn Skibo-

Birney (bryn.skibo@unige.ch) by September 15, 2014.

 

Paper topics can address (but are not limited to) any of the above areas and themes across disciplines, periods, genres, and media.

An additional list of potential paper topics is below:

  • Posthumanist discourse and/or figures in medieval, early modern, modern or contemporary literature
  • Posthuman figures in film and television
  • Posthuman figures in comic books and graphic novels
  • Posthuman figures in contemporary media forms, e.g. video games, social media, etc.
  • Posthumanism and critical animal studies
  • Digital humanities and posthumanism
  • Medical humanities and posthumanism
  • Environmental humanities and posthumanism
  • Postcolonial posthumanism
  • Posthumanism and the Gothic (then and now)
  • Posthumanism and fantasy, science fiction and/or speculative fiction
  • Virtual versus embodied reality
  • Monsters, ..freaks,.. and/or superheroes
  • Metamorphoses and interspecies being/becoming
  • Posthuman(ist) subjectivities
  • Embodying posthumanism or the posthuman body
  • The posthumous
  • Language and the posthuman
  • Posthumanism and gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and/or class
  • Anthropomorphism
  • Posthuman politics and ethics

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

 

Herbert Marcuse

Herbert Marcuse

CRITICAL THEORY BEYOND NEGATIVITY: THE ETHICS, POLITICS AND AESTHETICS OF AFFIRMATION

Summer School Utrecht

Call for Applications

18.08.2014 – 22.08.2014

Course Director: Professor Rosi Braidotti

 

The intensive course “Critical Theory Beyond Negativity: the Ethics, Politics and Aesthetics of Affirmation” explores critical theory in the Continental philosophy tradition, with special reference to the work of Gilles Deleuze, Luce Irigaray, Henri Bergson and Rosi Braidotti. The course offers an introduction to contemporary critical debates on the function of ‘the negative’ in the construction of subjects and of their epistemic and ethical values. Starting from an assumption that we are in the midst a ‘posthuman turn,’ it explores different aspects of posthuman subjectivity and stresses the productive potential of the posthuman condition, advocating for the politics of affirmation.

This is an intensive course convened and taught by Prof. Rosi Braidotti and an interdisciplinary team of co-teachers including Dr. Iris v.d. Tuin and Maria Hlavajova. It consists of keynote lectures in the morning and three thematic tutorials for four afternoons (the class ends at noon on Friday). The theme of the course this year is: “Critical Theory Beyond Negativity: the Ethics, Politics and Aesthetics of Affirmation.” The course is about contemporary critical theory in the Continental philosophy tradition, with special reference to the work of Gilles Deleuze, Luce Irigaray, Henri Bergson and Rosi Braidotti. The course offers an introduction to contemporary critical debates on the function of ‘the negative’ in the construction of subjects and of their epistemic and ethical values.

The starting assumption is that we are in the midst a ‘posthuman turn’ which both calls for and paves the way for affirmative politics. Cultural diversity, global migration, digital ‘second life’, genetically modified food, advanced prosthetics, robotics and reproductive technologies are familiar facets of our global and technologically mediated societies. How do they affect the self-understanding, the cultural representations and the social and political participations of contemporary subjects? How does a neo-Spinozist approach based on vitalist materialism illuminate these issues? The emphasis on Deleuzian nomadic theory aims to outline a project of sustainable modern subjectivity and to offer an original and powerful alternative for scholars working in cultural and social criticism. Arranged thematically, the sessions of the course explore the different aspects of critical theory debates about contemporary subjectivity: the function of the negative and the need for more affirmative praxis; embodiment, gender and racial differences, multi-cultural and post-secular citizenship, issues linked to globalization, network societies, contemporary art and techno-science. The course stresses the productive potential of these features of our culture and it promotes the politics of affirmation, which emphasize the importance of affects and the imagination. It establishes a theoretical framework that combines critique and creation, granting a major role to the arts and new media. By inscribing affirmative posthuman subjects in the context of contemporary culture, the course also assesses the extent to which intense technological mediation and global networks have blurred the traditional distinction between the human and its others, both human and non-human others, thus exposing the non-naturalistic structure of the human subject.

The course analyzes the escalating effects of the posthuman condition, which encompass new relationships to animals and other species and ultimately questions the sustainability of our planet as a whole. After delving into the inhumane and structurally unjust aspects of our culture by looking at new wars and contemporary conflicts, the course concludes by outlining new forms of cosmopolitan nomadic citizenship and new art practices that explore this complexity. Rather than perceiving the posthuman situation as a loss of cognitive and moral self-mastery, this course argues that it helps us make sense of our flexible nomadic identities. The challenge for critical theory today consists in seizing the opportunities for new social bonding and community building, while pursuing sustainability and empowerment.

Adorno

Adorno

COURSE LEADER

Prof. Rosi Braidotti

 

LECTURERS

Rosi Braidotti (B.A. Hons. Australian National University, 1978; PhD Cum Laude, Université de Paris, Panthéon- Sorbonne, 1981; Senior Fulbright Scholar, 1994; Honorary Degree ‘Philosophiae Doctrix Honoris Causa’, University of Helsinki, 2007; Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion, 2005; Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, 2009) is Distinguished University Professor and founding Director of the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University. Her books include Patterns of Dissonance, Polity Press, 1991; Nomadic Subjects, Columbia University Press, 1994 and 2011a (second ed.); Metamorphoses, Polity Press, 2002; Transpositions, Polity Press, 2006; La philosophie, lá où on ne l’attend pas, Larousse, 2009; Nomadic Theory. The Portable Rosi Braidotti, Columbia University Press, 2011b and The Posthuman, Polity Press, 2013. Since 2009 she is a board member of CHCI (Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institutes). For more information please check http://www.rosibraidotti.com

Iris van der Tuin is Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and Philosophy of Science in the Graduate Gender Programme of Utrecht University, the Netherlands. A leading researcher in the next generation of feminist philosophers, she has edited Doing Gender in Media, Art and Culture (Routledge, 2009) with Rosemarie Buikema, and wrote New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies (Open Humanities Press, 2012) with Rick Dolphijn. Her work on new feminist materialism has appeared in Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Australian Feminist Studies, European Journal of Women’s Studies, and Women’s Studies International Forum. She is currently holding the prestigious post-doctoral fellowship of The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and has spent a semester as a visiting fellow in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University in the US. For more information please check http://www.uu.nl/gw/medewerkers/IvanderTuin

Maria Hlavajova is founding artistic director of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, the Netherlands since 2000. She is also currently leading the project FORMER WEST (2008–2014), which she initiated and developed as a research, education, publication, and exhibition undertaking, realized through an international collaborative effort involving a dense network of researchers and art institutions. In 2011 Hlavajova organized the project of the Roma Pavilion in the framework of the 54th Venice Biennale entitled Call the Witness, and in 2007 she curated the three-part project Citizens and Subjects, the Dutch contribution to the 52nd Venice Biennale, which included a new video installation by Aernout Mik in the Dutch Pavilion, a critical reader (Citizens and Subjects: The Netherlands, for example, co-edited with Rosi Braidotti and Charles Esche), and a series of lectures, workshops, residencies, and master classes (Citizens and Subjects: Practices and Debates). Hlavajova has organized numerous exhibitions and projects at BAK including: Lawrence Weiner: Dicht Bij, 2010; Sanja Iveković: Urgent Matters, 2009 (a two-part exhibition at BAK and the Van Abbemuseum); The Return of Religion and Other Myths, 2008–2009; and many others. Hlavajova lives and works in Amsterdam and Utrecht. For more information please check http://www.formerwest.org/Team/MariaHlavajova

Gilles Deleuze

Gilles Deleuze

 

TARGET GROUP

This interdisciplinary course is aimed at research-minded advanced master and PhD students with a critical and curious intellectual disposition. A strong background in at least one of the following disciplines is required: critical theory, Continental philosophy, gender studies, media and technology studies, social and political theory, postcolonial and race studies, cultural studies.

COURSE AIM

To provide an introduction to contemporary critical theory in the Continental philosophy tradition through the exploration of debates about contemporary subjectivity, globalization and power, and the politics of affirmation.

STUDY LOAD

Students will be required to prepare thoroughly before the course by studying the reading material and preparing discussion questions. The one-week course will consist of lectures in the mornings and tutorials in the afternoon, except for the last day of the course (the class on the last day will end at noon).

FEE

• € 500 – Course + course materials + housing

• € 300 – Course + course materials

REGISTRATION

http://www.utrechtsummerschool.nl/courses/culture/critical-theory-beyond-negativity-the-ethics-politics-and-aesthetics-of-affirmation

REGISTRATION DEADLINE

1 June 2014

MORE INFORMATION

Goda Klumbyte, Personal Assistant to Prof. Rosi Braidotti Achter de Dom 20, 3512 JP Utrecht, The Netherlands

E: BraidottiAssistant.gw@uu.nl P: +31 30 253 5537

http://www.rosibraidotti.com

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskpoint.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Posthuman

SRHE DIGITAL UNIVERSITY NETWORK

SRHE Digital University Network

Friday 2 March 2012

9.30 – 12.30 followed by lunch

 

Digital Disaggregation:  Assessing the Uncanny Posthuman

Dr Sian Bayne, School of Education, University of Edinburgh

To learn and teach across multiple digital spaces can be to experience uncertainty, disorientation and fragmentation in both generative and disturbing ways. This presentation will draw on notions of the uncanny and of the posthuman in theorising the ‘strangeness’ of these new modes of being in education. In particular, it will discuss the ways in which assessment practices in online learning can explicitly engage with disaggregation, spectrality and posthuman pedagogy, as critical moves in re-thinking teaching, learning and assessment for the digital mode.

Dr Bayne’s research focuses on the impact of the digital on higher education, museum education and lifelong learning. Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Edinburgh, she has held awards from the British Academy, the Higher Education Academy, the AHRC and the Royal Society of Edinburgh for a range of projects concerned with the ways in which technological change prompts us to re-think what education is and can be. Dr Bayne is a member of the University of Edinburgh Digital Cultures and Education research group (http://www.education.ed.ac.uk/dice/), Programme Co-Director of the University of Edinburgh MSc in E-learning (http://www.education.ed.ac.uk/e-learning/), and Associate Dean (digital scholarship) for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Edinburgh (http://www.digital.hss.ed.ac.uk/).

 

Education as Sociomaterial Practices – Posthuman Frontiers for Educational Technology

Professor Tara Fenwick, School of Education, University of Stirling
The materiality of everyday interaction is too often ignored, dismissed, or isolated in educational research. Objects and technologies are often assumed to be separate and distinct from human desire and action, in ways that lead to other unhelpful distinctions between virtual and real, designers and users, and knowledge and action. In this presentation I argue for a different configuration, showing how the social and material not only are entangled in assemblages of the human and nonhuman, but also constitute the practices and knowings that comprise education. Sociomaterial analyses trace how and why particular practices and knowledges in educational processes become naturalized or stabilised, what is holding them together, what is excluded and what inequities are created. Capacities for action are more-than-human, they are relational, distributed, and enacted through particular dynamic assemblages. This is a posthuman, not anti-human approach – a sociomaterial sensibility opens radical new questions and imaginative possibilities for education and educational technology.
Professor Fenwick has written extensively about theories of learning and gender in relation to work practices and education, most recently focusing on what some call ‘socio-material’ theories, particularly actor-network theory and complexity sciences. Her book Learning Through Experience: Troubling Assumptions and Intersecting Questions (Krieger, 2003) was granted the 2004 Cyril Houle Award of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education for Outstanding Contribution to Adult Education Literature. Recent large projects funded by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council include (1) an examination of older professionals’ informal learning and its relation to aging and generational issues; (2) a study exploring knowledge networks and practices of ‘portfolio’ workers (independent and mobile professionals who work with multiple employers and organizations simultaneously); and (3) a participatory research project studying social responsibility learning among small business owners, including professional firms. Her current project with Canadian colleagues Kathryn Church, Elizabeth Lange, Taylor Webb is comparing knowledge-creation practices of nurses, social workers and teachers in changing organizations, using an activity theory framework.

 

Event booking details

To reserve a place at this seminar please register at: www.eventdotorg.co.uk/events.asp

Or telephone +44 (0) 207 4472525.  SRHE events are open to all and free to SRHE members as part of their membership package. The delegate fee for non-members is £25 [full time students £20]. Non-members wishing to join the Society may do so at the time of registration and the delegate fee will be waived. Please note that places must be booked in advance and that a £25 for non-attendance will be charged if a place has been reserved but no notice of cancellation/non-attendance has been given in advance.

 

Yours sincerely

Francois Smit, SRHE Event Manager

PLEASE NOTE THAT SRHE HAS MOVED TO NEW OFFICES. OUR NEW TELEPHONE NUMBER

OUR NEW OFFICE DETAILS ARE: Society for Research into Higher Education, 73 Collier Street, London N1 9BE

Telephone 0207 427 2350; Fax number 0207 278 1135; srheoffice@srhe.ac.uk; http://www.srhe.ac.uk

**END**

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

‘The Lamb’ by William Blake – set to music by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw3VloKBvZc

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

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Utopia

ALTERNATIVE WORLDS

Alternative Worlds: A retrospective of the last 111 years

Call for Papers / Art Presentations

Seminar in Visual Culture 2011
Deadline for proposals: 13 December 2010

Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, Room ST 274 (School of Advanced Study, Stewart House, 32 Russell Square, WC1B 5DN London)

This series of seminars acts as a forum for practicing artists, researchers, curators, students, and others interested in visual culture who are invited to present, discuss and explore a given theme within the broad field of Visual Culture.

In an attempt to escape the doom and gloom of the economic crisis the theme for 2011 is ‘Alternative Worlds’. The aim is to examine the dreams, plans and hopes, but also the nightmares and fears reflected in utopian thinking since 1900 in the Western hemisphere. What has become of all those possible worlds? How do they reflect their contemporary culture and society and what, if anything, do or can they mean for our present, or indeed, our future? What alternative worlds are engendered by our own times, by the world of 2011 itself? This is, hence not only a retrospective of past utopias and their after-lives but also an invitation to look towards our possible futures.

Looking backwards, we could revisit the Futurist utopia of a mechanical universe based on the principles of speed and technology, or look at the somewhat similar proposals of the American Technocratic Society for a world based on the laws of engineering. Or we could examine the repercussions of Hermann Sörgel’s plan for Atlantropa, a merger of Europe and Africa created by damming the Strait of Gibraltar, meticulously worked out in the late 1920s and promoted by Sörgel until his death in 1952. Or we could look at the architectural utopias of Modernism, at Le Corbusier’s Plan Voisin, or at GM’s 1939 Futurama exhibit of the ‘City of the Future’ with its intricate congestion-free road systems. We could look at the social housing projects of the 1950s and ’60s – those that were built and those that were imagined. We could look at the many futures inspired by the space age, or at the alternative lives and societies envisaged in reaction to the Cold War and the nuclear threat. We could revisit the multiple Ballardian worlds or the various projects for the future proposed by the architects and artists who contributed to “This is Tomorrow”, the exhibition held at London’s Whitechapel Gallery in 1956 and restaged in 2006 at Tate Britain. We could look at the social utopias of the 1960s, the communes, sex and free love as a basis for a new society. We could look at the alternative worlds inspired by the possibilities of robotics, cybernetics or genetics; or at virtual worlds, like Second Life or all those parallel lives made possible by social networking sites. We could look backwards and at the same time look forwards.

Contributions on any of the above topics or on other alternative worlds of the past and the present are invited from individuals working in the fields of art history, philosophy, literary, cultural and visual studies, fine arts, film and media studies, theatre, history, etc.

Artists are also invited to present new (and existing) work on the theme.

Please send proposals for art presentations (200 words plus images) or academic papers (200 words) to Ricarda Vidal: ricarda.vidal@sas.ac.uk ||| by 13 December 2010.

Please indicate which date you would prefer for your talk.

Dates and times:

Wednesday 26 Jan. 2011, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Wednesday 23 Feb. 2011, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Wednesday 30 March 2011, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Wednesday 27 April 2011, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Wednesday 25 May 2010, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

END

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

The Man in Black

THE COMING OF THE BODY

NEW TITLE FROM VERSO: The Coming of the Body

By HERVE JUVIN

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“After gods, after revolutions, after financial markets, the body is becoming our truth system. It alone endures, it alone remains.” Herve Juvin

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This startling book argues that scientific developments are redefining what it means to be human. Though we live longer than ever before, we are increasingly obsessed with youth and longevity, and increasingly disconnected from suffering, need and time. In the process, are we losing our morality?

The human lifespan has tripled in the last two centuries, ushering in a new kind of humanity which places the body at its centre. In the West, money, technology and medicine combine to deliver the body from war, suffering, death and religion. Even as state and global institutions crumble, this emergent body no longer struggles or resists.

The new body is rendered immune and newly resistant to the ravages of time, nature and capital. An emergent ‘industry of life’—from diets and plastic surgery to sex-free reproduction and virtual reality—further seeks to liberate the body from its biological functions.

Newly translated into English, THE COMING OF THE BODY weaves together a rich variety of sources to paint a cogent, if chilling, picture of this new paradigm. Technological advancement couples with demographic shifts to bring about a sweeping change in social relations. Adult adolescence becomes increasingly protracted and a new ethics of desire begins to emerge. Unabashedly hedonistic, the body becomes a machine of desire that eschews family, state and nation in favour of individual health, security and pleasure. In a society governed by contracts rather than ethical ties, money replaces traditional morals, fidelity and family in an insatiable quest for eternal youth.

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Praise for THE COMING OF THE BODY:

“Mr. Juvin’s book is being read attentively by philosophers and politicians, because it warns that pretty much all the values we consider human or humanist are collapsing…If we accept Mr. Juvin’s argument, the trinity of western ideals (‘liberty, equality, fraternity’) is in the course of being replaced by another one (‘health, security, pleasure’).” Christopher Caldwell, Financial Times

“Juvin’s central message is a sinister paradox: what communism set out to do, and disastrously failed to achieve, capitalism is in the process of realizing—the discredited messianic goal of reinventing humanity.” Perry Anderson, New Left Review

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HERVE JUVIN is President and founder of the Eurogroup Institute and is the author of a number of books on economics, finance, and management. He was a columnist for LE MONDE and now regularly contributes to L’EXPANSION and ENJEUX LES ECHOS.

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ISBN: 978 1 84467 310 0 / $27.95 / £14.99 / CAN$31.00 / Hardback / 188 Pages

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For more information visit: http://www.versobooks.com/books/ghij/ij-titles/juvin_h_coming_of_the_body.shtml

To buy the book in the UK : http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781844673100/The-Coming-of-the-Body

or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Coming-Body-Herve-Juvin/dp/1844673103/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1283790998&sr=8-3

To buy the book in the US : http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Body-Herv%C3%A9-Juvin/dp/1844673103/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1283791027&sr=8-1

———————————–

ACADEMICS BASED OUTSIDE NORTH AMERICA MAY REQUEST AN INSPECTION COPY – PLEASE CONTACT tamar@verso.co.uk

ACADEMICS BASED WITHIN NORTH AMERICA MAY REQUEST AN EXAMINATION COPY – PLEASE CONTACT clara@versobooks.com

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Not What It Seems

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com/

 

Alternative Culture

 

COMMONALITIES CONFERENCE

Please join us for “Commonalities: Theorizing the Common in Contemporary Italian Thought,” a conference sponsored by the journal diacritics. The event, to be held at Cornell University on September 24-25, 2010, will bring together a number of leading thinkers around the theme and question of the common. Participants will include Kevin Attell, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Remo Bodei, Bruno Bosteels, Cesare Casarino, Roberto Esposito, Ida Dominijanni, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri (by video conference), and Karen Pinkus. More information can be found at the conference website (www.commonconf.com) or by contacting Professor Timothy Campbell (tcc9@cornell.edu)

Il manifesto
For the better part of a decade the position of Italian thought in the Anglo-American academy has increasingly grown in importance. From issues as far ranging as bioethics and bioengineering, to euthanasia, to globalization, to theorizing gender, to the war on terror, works originating in Italy have played a significant, perhaps even the dominant, role in setting the terms and conditions of these debates. Indeed it might well be that no contemporary thought more than Italian enjoys greater success today in the United States. If twenty years of postmodernism and poststructuralism were in large measure the result of French exports to the United States — Derrida, Lacan, Deleuze, and Foucault — today a number of Italian philosophical exports are giving rise to a theoretical dispositif that goes under a variety of names: post-Marxist, posthuman, or most often biopolitical. Yet the fact that Italian thought enjoys such enormous success in the United States and elsewhere begs an important question, one put to me polemically recently by a prominent Italian philosopher. Is there really such a thing as contemporary Italian thought? And if there is what in the world do its proponents have in common?

By way of responding, it might be useful to recall some details about the recent reception of Italian thought in the American academy. In the aftermath of the end of the postmodern — which a number of American observers savored as spelling the end of the use and abuse of philosophy by large numbers of literary critics — two works appeared in English within a span of three years: Giorgio Agamben’s ‘Homo Sacer’ and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s ‘Empire’. Stepping into the void left by the departure of what in the United States was known as “theory,” these works made a number of bold theoretical claims about the relation between political power and individual life (Agamben) and globalization and collective life (Hardt and Negri), claims that uncannily – sometimes almost prophetically – addressed some of the most pressing issues in our current state of affairs. Equally a number of important works of Italian feminism appeared over roughly the same period. Works by Adriana Cavarero and Rosi Braidotti, among others, deeply influenced a whole generation of American theorists in fields like gender studies, political philosophy, and law. Looking back it’s difficult to overestimate the influence of all these figures when accounting for the intellectual success of Italian thought today. Certainly it became possible for other voices to be heard, Paolo Virno, and more recently Franco Berardi, Roberto Esposito, and Maurizio Lazzarato among others.

But to take up again the question at hand: what do authors as seemingly different as Agamben and Negri, Berardi and Esposito, Braidotti and Bodei, or Cavarero and Virno have in common outside of the mere fact of writing in Italian? Beyond a common language, is there, for example, such a thing as a common Italian philosophical tradition of which they are all a part? Some, most notably, Mario Perniola, would say yes, one found in the elements of repetition, transmission, mixture, and body that together forged an Italian philosophical culture over the last 300 years. Deleuze and Guattari would have said no, arguing that Italy has historically “lacked a milieu” for philosophy. For them the reason for this lack could be found in Italy’s proximity to the Holy See, which continually aborted philosophy across the peninsula, reducing Italian thought to mere rhetoric, philosophy’s shadow, and allowing only for the occasional “comet” to briefly light up the philosophical sky. Yet what if Italian thought today does in fact enjoy a milieu? What “event” or “events” in the recent past might have fashioned a milieu for the emergence of Italian thought? What would the features of that milieu look like?

Undoubtedly, the decade-long Italian 1968 would have played the decisive role. The votes on abortion, the emergence of counterculture and student and feminist movements, and changes in labor and production all deeply changed the space in which politics — as well as philosophy – was practiced. Indeed one of the central features of the Italian 1968 was precisely the emphasis on politics as philosophy and philosophy as a form (among others) of politics. We can see this in the place 1968 and 1977 awarded political militancy; in the increasing prominence given to questions of subjectivization; and more broadly in the birth of new forms of social and political life separated from those that had previously dominated.

Yet Italy’s long 1968 wasn’t enough on its own. It was only with 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall that politics and philosophy truly begin to pass intensely into each other, to stay with the language of Deleuze and Guattari. Although it may seem less the case for those writing in Italy, when seen from the outside 1989 was experienced as trauma more in Italy than in the rest of Europe. The result forced a number of thinkers to re-examine the fundamental political and philosophical categories that had underpinned decades if not centuries of thought: what meaning would the end of a certain form of common life have for politics, for philosophy, for culture? Such a calling into question of the previous understanding of the common had the effect of reterritorializing politics and philosophy under new terms and new problematics, one of which will be “life,” broadly speaking. It is only when 1968 is considered as the motor for deterritorialization of the common in political theory and philosophy and 1989 as the turn toward its reterritorialization as newly mapped by (among other things) biopolitical theory that something like a milieu is constructed for contemporary Italian thought.

This is not to say that proponents of Italian thought share the same understanding of the common or even celebrate it. Clearly they do not. Yet the centrality of the common raises a number of questions about Italian thought and Italian public life today. What does it mean to be or have in common in 2010? What are the effects of questioning the weight of shared life and what possible futures are there for the common? How might singularities be thought together so as to create new forms of life and what kinds of co-habitations or contaminations might reinforce these new forms of life? These kinds of questions are ones Italian thought, in all its diversity, has placed at the forefront of contemporary theory, questions that in turn raise fundamental questions about the nature of relationality and of a politics that would seek to strengthen relations and to extend them in order to create yet further relationality. Such is the force of Hardt and Negri’s discussion of the capacity for love near the end of Commonwealth, though one can well imagine others, including a capacity for play, for attention, and for compassion too.

Yet the relationality implicit in these new forms of shared life doesn’t only lead to greater and more positive capacities for relationality among singularities. The deterritorialization of the common as biopolitics, the posthuman or even insurrection by no means conjures away the specter of power; thus with greater capacity on the one hand comes the possibility of more intense and invasive forms of power on the other. The question then becomes: how are new forms of the common that are being forged today — shared singularities, mirror neurons, impersonality – also being reterritorialized and recontained, and by whom? Is it possible that more intense forms of relationality might signal a return to the very terms that earlier critiques of the common had attempted to uncover? On the one hand the recent success of social networking sites like Facebook suggests that new forms of virtual relations involving vast numbers of “friends” are not only possible but involve ever greater exposure to others. On the other hand such exchanges continue to be premised on the notion that my body and my opinions belong to me, what the Invisible Committee unforgetably characterized as treating “our Self like a boring box office,” using whatever prosthesis is at hand “to hold onto an I.” In such a neo-liberal scenario, the circulation of information, of goods, of persons, of persons as goods is taken to mean a return to a common mode of being-together. It’s a film we’ve seen countless times before: the common’s reinscription in contexts less open to affect that are continually based upon a conflation of connnectivity with more open modes of relating.

These questions among others will be the foundation for a two-day conference sponsored by the journal Diacritics to be held on the campus of Cornell University on September 24-25, 2010. The conference, titled “Commonalities: Theorizing the Common in Italian Thought,” will bring together a number of Italian voices so as to think together not only the relation between Italy and the common but to consider emerging forms of the common and common life today as well as consider the efficacy of a term like the common for a progressive (bio)politics. Equally, the event, the first of its kind of recent memory in the United States, is an occasion to register the state of Italian thought today. When seen from the other side of the Atlantic, no other contemporary thought more than Italian seems better suited today to offer what Foucault called an ontology of the present. At a minimum, and pace my doubting Italian philosopher, the editorial and intellectual success of Italian thought merits a closer look.

Featured at the conference will be some of the leading philosophical figures from Italy today, including Franco Berardi, Remo Bodei, Cesare Casarino, Ida Dominjanni, Roberto Esposito, Michael Hardt, and Antonio Negri. The conference will be transmitted over the internet at http://www.commonconf.com. A number of Cornell students will be blogging the conference live over the two days.

Antonio Negri

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Ageing?

FUTURES OF AGEING: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND THE BODY

Monday July 19th at the British Library, London

We are delighted to announce the programme for our annual one day conference ‘Futures of Ageing: Science, Technology and the Body’ on Monday July 19th at the British Library, London.

In particular, we are delighted to present an excellent, dynamic and inter/national line up of keynotes, plenary papers, concurrent paper session, and posters. This includes:

Keynote address:

Professor Simon Williams (University of Warwick) ””Boosting the Brain?” Neuroculture, Active Ageing and Cognitive Decline’

Plenary papers:

Prof Joanna Latimer (Cardiff University) Intimations of (Im)mortality: how aging scientists debate the relation between the normal, the natural and the pathological.

Prof Paul Higgs (University  College London); Prof Ian Rees Jones (Bangor University) ‘Anti-Anti-Ageing’, progressive critique or conservative metaphysics?

Prof Stephen Katz (Trent University, Canada) Embodied Memory: Ageing, Neuroculture and the Genealogy of Mind

Prof Chris Gilleard; Prof Paul Higgs (University College London) Refusing to face the future?  Developments and tensions in the discourses of anti-aging surgery.

Plenary panel: Technogenarians: Studying Health and Illness through an Aging, Science, and Technology Lens

Professor Barb Marshall (Trent University, Canada);

Louis Neven (University of Twente);

Dr Katie Brittain (Newcastle University, UK)

Chairs: Dr Kelly Joyce (College of William and Mary, USA) and Dr Meika Loe (Colgate University, USA)

We also have a wine reception sponsored by Wiley Blackwell and launch of the latest Sociology of Health and Illness monograph Technogenarians: Studying Health and Illness through an Aging, Science, and Technology Lens

We very much hope you will join us for this exciting day of debate and discussion. 

We invite delegates to participate in this exciting area of study and if you wish to attend or hear more about the conference, please contact the British Sociological Association conference office at conference@britsoc.org.uk or alternatively download a booking form from http://www.britsoc.co.uk/events/ageing

We hope to see you all soon! b/w Wendy and Julia, co-convenors

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski