[SydPhil] Exo-Mnemonics, A Symposium, 6-7 November, Western Sydney University, Parramatta City

Norma Lam-Saw N.Lam-Saw at westernsydney.edu.au
Mon Oct 30 17:12:05 AEDT 2023

Dear all,

Please find below a HASS x STEM interdisciplinary symposium on Exo-Mnemonics that may be of interest.

Exo-Mnemonics: Memory, Media Machines, A Symposium
10am-5pm, 6 Monday – 7 Tuesday November

Conference Room 1, Level 9, Peter Shergold Building, Western Sydney University, Parramatta Campus, 169 Macquarie Street, Parramatta

With a special film screening event in association with National Art School:
Remote Vision: a Film Screening from Stephen Cornford and Harun Farocki
6:30-8:30pm, Monday 6 November
Cell Block Theatre, National Art School, Cnr Forbes and Burton Street, Darlinghurst

2023 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Andy Clark’s and David Chalmers’s pathbreaking 1998 paper ‘The Extended Mind’. Initially controversial, Clark’s and Chalmers’s essential thesis – that the mind cannot be understood exclusively in terms of internal, psychological states, but extends into the external world, and includes the material objects, environments, and ecologies that play a role in memory and cognition – is now widely recognised in cognitive science and analytic philosophy of mind. It has informed both research and technological innovation in fields as diverse as computer science, artificial intelligence, biomedical engineering, robotics, and neurology. But the principles behind the extended mind have a much more expansive pedigree than Clark’s and Chalmer’s followers have heretofore acknowledged.

How have ideas of mind and memory as instantiated in the external, material world been taken up among different disciplines, institutions and industry? How does such a concept of mind inform and be informed by research practices and design? Is the idea of mind and self technologically extended in contemporary society or our experiences and approaches to art? How do various institutions—including the university, the artworld, and industry—engage and respond with exo-mnemonic technologies?

Speaking to such questions, this symposium brings together researchers, artists, and industry professionals across the traditional HASS-STEM divide to, as it were, extend the extended mind hypothesis. It seeks to establish the collaborative processes necessary to engage and develop not only on how the theory of the extended mind might be thought today, but on the creative and practical applications it offers.

The symposium begins on Day 1 with a series of short discussion papers, a seminar presentation, and special evening film screening in collaboration with the National Art School; Remote Vision, curated by NAS Lecturer in Drawing, Ben Denham, brings together two films that reflect on the role of new and developing imaging technologies in the contemporary world. A screening of Stephen Cornford’s Spectral Index (2023) will be followed by a discussion with the artist regarding his film and its relationship to Harun Farocki’s work, before screening Harun Farocki’s War at a Distance (2003).The symposium will finish with a masterclass seminar, discussion panels and a roundtable discussion engaging with and responding to emerging exo-mnemonic technologies on Day 2.

For a summary of the event details, please see the programme below.

We welcome all attendees with an interest in these conversations from any academic discipline, as well as from industry and art.

Lunch will be provided on both days. Please RSVP to Norma (n.lam-saw at westernsydney.edu.au<mailto:n.lam-saw at westernsydney.edu.au>)  by 31 October with any dietary restrictions along with the dates of attendance for catering purposes.

To register your place for the film screening, please visit: https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/isgXCk81N9tk931VYF2moVb?domain=eventbrite.com.au

Exo-Mnemonics Symposium
10am-5pm, Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 November 2023
Conference Room 1, Level 9, 1PSQ Peter Shergold Building, Western Sydney University, 169 Macquarie Street, Parramatta

Remote Vision: a Film Screening from Stephen Cornford and Harun Farocki
6:30pm-8:30pm Monday 6 November
Cell Block Theatre, National Art School, 156 Forbes St, Darlinghurst

Day 1
 10am-5pm Monday 6 November, 1PSQ WSU
 6:30-8:30pm Film Screening at the National Art School


Introducing Exo-Mnemonics
Exo-Mnemonics and the Archive Machine, by Dr Charles Barbour, Associate Professor in School of Humanities and Communication Arts (WSU)

Exo-Mnemonics: A Transdisciplinary Wager, by Dr Chris Fleming, Associate Professor in School of Humanities and Communication Arts (WSU)

Distributed cognition in practice: Can the extended view help improve aged care?, by Dr Celia Harris, Associate Professor and Director of Impact and Engagement at The MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development (WSU)

11:30- 1pm

Universally Acknowledged: Data, Literature, Truth, by Dr Tyne Sumner, ARC Research Fellow, School of Culture and Communication (UniMelb)

Respondent: Dr Michael Falk, Senior Lecturer in Digital Studies (UniMelb)

1 – 1:45pm



Exo-Mnemonics, Science, Design
Designing the Extended Mind among Affirmative and Transformative Making; Some examples of cognitive load/offload and critical making, by Dr Mauricio Nova-Munoz, Lecturer in the School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment (WSU)

The neuropharmakon, extimacy and extraction, by Dr Sam Lieblich, artist and psychiatrist in independent practice


Exo-Mnemonics, Politics, Society
Digital Twins and Data Brokers, by Dr Tamara Watson, Associate Professor in Cyber Security and Behaviour, Criminology & Policing (WSU)

Objectifying Memory: Fetish and the Artificial General Intellect, by Dr Liam Magee, Associate Professor at the Institute of Culture and Society (WSU)

Generation, Movement, Epistemology: The Computational Condition of Anti-Aesthetics, by Zoe Elena Horn, PhD Researcher, ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society and Prof. Ned Rossiter, Director of Research at the Institute for Culture and Society (WSU)


Remote Vision: a Film Screening from Stephen Cornford and Harun Farocki
Cell Block Theatre, National Art School, Cnr Forbes and Burton St, Darlinghurst

Please register your place:

Day 2
 10am-5pm Tuesday 7 November, 1PSQ WSU


Atmospheric Modulation (loops, cycles, oscillations)
Masterclass by Dr Ben Denham, Lecturer in Drawing (NAS)


Exo-Mnemonics, Philosophy, Art
Creative practice and making memory: a short reflection on the functions of creativity and information, Dr Jason Tuckwell, School of Humanities and Communication Arts (WSU)

Writing the self and mnemonic devices, Dr Jacinta Sassine, Lecturer at School of Law (WSU), and Dr Norma Lam-Saw, School of Humanities and Communication Arts (WSU)




Roundtable: Exo-Mnemonics Across Institutions
This roundtable will explore how various institutions – including the university, the artworld, and industry – are engaging with and responding to emerging exo-mnemonic technology. It will also offer an opportunity for participants to reflect on the event and plan how the project might be extended in the future.

Industry Speaker: Michelle Cheng, Service Designer Consultant
Industry Speaker: Robert McCaw, Barrister
Dr Roger Dawkins, Associate Dean Learning and Teaching and Senior Lecturer in Digital and Social Media, Communication, Creative Industries & Screen Media (WSU)


Afternoon Tea (and event end).

Kind regards,
Norma Lam-Saw
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