2014 Conference on Neuroesthetics
Seeing Knowing: Vision, Knowledge, Cognition, and Aesthetics
Speakers include Deborah Aschheim, Harold Cohen, James Elkins, Line Cecilie Engh, Cristina Grasseni, Derek Hodgson, Ellen Lupton, Alan MacEachren, Aaron Marcus, Marcos Nadal, Aude Oliva, William Seely, Colin Ware, Peter Wells, and Johanna Drucker (convener).
What is the connection between vision and knowledge? Do historical and cultural experiences become embodied in visual cognition? How do designers of digital and networked platforms draw on aesthetic as well as analytical tools to create engaging graphic environments?
This conference, scheduled for September 6th and 7th at UC Berkeley, brings together scholars, artists, and cognitive scientists working at the intersection of perception, cognition, representation, and design. At its core is a conviction that the field of “visual epistemology” is poised for a long-overdue systematic articulation.
Topics include the history of vision and its role in early human social organization, the modeling of artificial vision as a set of principles for composition, the investigation of brain patterns and responses to aesthetic activity, and the function of graphic structures in design for cross-cultural communication. Speakers include artists and researchers from graphic design, information visualization, art history, paleo-anthropology, artificial intelligence, geography, and visual studies.
In “Cartesian Robotics,” now available in Representations 124, David Bates looks at Descartes’s physiological theory, and especially his theorization of the nerves and the brain as an information-processing system, in order to offer a new interpretation of cognition within his philosophy. Rather than opposing mind and body, Descartes showed how the operations of the soul interrupted the automatic cognitive processes of the body to provide adaptive flexibility for the human organism as a whole. Bates is Professor in the Department of Rhetoric at UC Berkeley, where he teaches intellectual history.