Platform for Research through the Arts and Sciences

project link: Neurocultures Research Group


Coordinated by Patricia Pisters & Stephan Besser, this research programme within the ASCA is dedicated to the critical and productive study of the rise of the neuro-turn from a humanities perspective. While there have been varying reactions to the neuro turn – some ebullient, some critical – this research group has opted for a specific approach in bringing scholars from different fields together with those working on practical implementations and artists developing their imaginings of what lays ahead of us. In this research group the brain is understood in a broad, non-reductionist sense and approached via a wide range of multi- and cross-disciplinary encounters. They converge in a focus on ‘worldings’ of the brain, i.e. the various ways in which brains are currently placed within and related to worldly contexts in different social, scientific and artistic practices and discourses. This perspective has provided the framework for two international conferences and one symposium that the research group has organized in 2016 and 2017 under the series title Worlding the Brain. Participants in the group include Julian Kiverstein, Machiel Keestra, Patricia Pisters, Stephan Besser, Halbe Kuipers, Flora Lysen, Nim Goede, Moosje Goosen, Dan Leberg, Manon Parry, Tim Yaczo, Joe van Eerden, Dan Oki and others.

This practice-led research in cinema deals with anthropological aspects of infinite regression and the cinematic self, filmmaking as therapy and autobiography, and film as a cinematic database medium. The verbal animal is becoming a cinematic animal through the influences of cinematic processes on Homo Sapiens’ sub-symbolic drives. This claim will be derived from an analogy of the relationship between syntactic recursion and primal drives, just as Paulo Virno structures it on the hierarchical stratification created by infinite regression. The research consists of three parts: theoretical angles, analysis of autobiography in cinema and visual arts, and a feature-length autobiographical hybrid film project with the title The last DV film.

PhD supervisors: Patricia Pisters (UvA), Laurent van Lankert (AHK)