What is happening to our brain? – Art & life in times of cognitive automation

Studium Generale Rietveld Academie & Rietveld Uncut will dive into current concepts and fantasies of and about the brain.


The brain is not ahistorical, fixed, or atemporal. (…) the brain is always situated in a body and self, and thus in social relations, in family, community, in culture and the economy, in the local and the global, in history.

(Victoria Pitts-Taylor’s NeuroCultures Manifesto, 2012)

Culture and brain form complex systems of influence, control and resistance. The present brain seems to have been invaded by technology: machines increasingly perform the previously human tasks of language, memory, and imagination, with our learning processes taken up by automated and algorithmic procedures. What are the philosophical, social and political implications of this cognitive automation for our brains and bodies? What is happening to our subjectivity, identity and free will? What about the artist’s brain?

Keywords: AI, algorithmic cultures, bio-politics, body, brainstorm, cognitive capitalism, machine, memory, mind, mindreading, neurocentrism, neurocultures, neuro-power, noo-politics, neuro-emancipation, neuro-plasticity, neurol engineering neuro-markelting, neuro-aesthetics, attention economy, brain hacking, bushwhacking, datamining, blockchain, deep storage, designer brains, bio genomics, cognitive automation, free will, neohuman, Google Brain, machine intelligence, theory of mind, collective head, general intellect, deep mind, embodied mind, ‘embrained’ body, self…

Talks, readings, presentations, performances, screenings:

Tomas Adolfs, Tarja Szaraniec, Stephan Schleim, Patricia Pisters, Victoria Pitts-Taylor, Antonia Majaca, Fiona Kearney, Marcos Lutyens, Franco Berardi Bifo, Tony D. Sampson, Bassam el Baroni, Michele Rizzo, Amelia Groom, Yuk Hui, Flora Lysen, Lancel/Maat, Erik Rietveld, Janneke van Leeuwen, Tanne van Bree, Warren Neidich, André Lepecki, Melanie Bühler, Hannah Barton, Jennifer Chan, Paul Feigelfeld, Daniel Keller, Elizabeth Orr, Özgür Kar, Timotheus Vermeulen, John C. Welchman, Daniel Pinchbeck, Florencia Portocarrero, Lars Bang Larsen, Patricia Clough, Mette Edvardsen, Leon Hilton, and Anne Juren.

For previous years, see the archive. Lectures can be found here.

Also this year, Rietveld Uncut was part of Studium Generale.