Workshop 1: The Experimental Condition: Programme Launch
- What is distinctive about ‘the experimental’ as a way of knowing and acting?
- To what extent is experimentation a perennial aspect of human culture and being-in-the-world?
- How and why did the experiment come to play such a key role in the new world-picture ushered in by the scientific revolution?
- How might a comparison of experimental practice in the arts and the sciences illuminate the possibility of alternative modernities – ones which involve different relationships between truth, power and freedom?
- To what extent is a kind of continuous experimentality becoming the primary operation of power in the modern world – and how does this affect the possibility of social critique?
- Can we envisage forms of collective experimentation that might distribute the power to shape the future more justly?
Such questions are amongst those that were explored at the workshop held to open the Experimentality research programme. Over two days, speakers from a range of disciplines debated the changing role of experimentation in human society, using examples drawn from domains including experimental science, modern art, warfare, capitalism and development.
The workshop started at 13.30 on 15 October and ended at 17.00 on 16 October, and included an evening performance of the experimental performance piece Ringside by Mem Morrison. For the original programme, click here.
Thursday 15 October 2009
13.30 – 14.00 Introduction
Michael Krätke (Director, IAS, Lancaster University) – Welcome
Bronislaw Szerszynski (Sociology, Lancaster University) – Introducing the Experimentality programme
14.00 – 15.00 Homo experimentalis
Robin Skeates (Archaeology, University of Durham) ‘Archaeology as/and experiment’
Christina Toren (Anthropology, University of St. Andrews) ‘'Ethnography as ontological experiment’
15.30 – 16.30 Historical perspectives on Western experimentalism
Stephen Pumfrey (History, Lancaster University) ‘On the emergence of modern experimentalism: the Renaissance and after’
Stephanie Koerner (University of Manchester) 'Rethinking Art and Science’s Histories – Implications for Cautious Promethean ‘Ways of Knowing’
16.30 – 17.00 Response to the afternoon’s papers, and discussion
Geoffrey Lloyd (Needham Research Institute, Cambridge)
Friday 16 October
Bronislaw Szerszynski - Introduction to second day
09.30 – 11.00 Experiment in Art and Science
David Lomas (AHRC Surrealism Centre, University of Manchester) ‘Simulation and Experiment in Surrealism’
Cornelius Borck (Institute for History of Medicine and Science Studies, University of Lübeck) ‘Dancing With the Brain: Voodoo Science, False Colours, and Attentive Failures’
11.15 – 12.45 The University as an Experimental System
Marion McClintock (Honorary Archivist, Lancaster University) ‘The Post-War UK University’
Bogdan Costea (Organisation, Work and Technology, Lancaster University) ‘Managerialism, Creativity and the Academy’
13.45 – 15.15 The Age of the Generalised Experiment
Michael Dillon (Politics and International Relations, Lancaster University) ‘Warfare as Experiment’
Nigel Thrift (Vice-Chancellor, University of Warwick) ‘The Transformation of Contemporary Capitalism’
15.30 – 17.00 Innovation as Collective Experimentation
Melissa Leach (STEPS, University of Sussex) ‘Experimenting with development’
Brian Wynne (CESAGen, Lancaster University) ‘Experiment, memory and social learning’