Lecture | Sha Xin Wei – A multi-scale rhythmanalytic approach to biosocial complex systems

CAAD talk #42
Tuesday 23. June, 2015 14:00 HPZ F


How do innovations emerge, not merely as functions of the conditions at a single event nor even a set of discrete events, but emerging from regions of durations and sociotechnical ensembles?  How do different value-producing socio-technical processes synchronize, blend, diverge, interfere with one another?
These questions that can be asked of any biosocial complex system at many strata: media, corporeal movement, organizations and cities.  Can we gain some purchase on the dynamics in these different strata by transporting approaches (not models) from one domain like gesture and sound to another like reaction-diffusion of cities in their ambient terrains, via an attention to rhythm.  In this talk we will unmoor the notion of rhythmanalysis from certain abstractions like time and (a priori) metric.    We describe tactics for avoiding universalizing or transcendentalizing models while experimentally modulating live events.
Sha Xin Wei Ph.D. is Professor and Director of the School of Arts, Media + Engineering in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts + Fulton Schools of Engineering.  Dr. Sha is Director of the Synthesis Center for transversal art, philosophy and technology at Arizona State University, and is also a Fellow of the ASU-Santa Fe Institute Center for Biosocial Complex Systems.
Trained in differential geometry, analysis on manifolds and geometric measure theory, Dr. Sha’s early work was in scientific simulations and human-computer systems architecture.  Since his degrees in mathematics from Harvard and Stanford, Dr. Sha’s core research concerns ethico-aesthetic improvisation, and a topological approach to ontogenesis and process philosophy.  His art and scholarly work range from gestural media, movement arts, and realtime media installation through interaction design to critical studies and philosophy of technology.
In 2001 Sha established the Topological Media Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology as an atelier for the study of gesture and materiality from computational and phenomenological perspectives.  From 2005-2013 as Canada Research Chair in media arts and sciences and Associate Professor of Computer Science and of Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montréal, Dr. Sha led the TML in creating responsive environments for ethico-aesthetic improvisation.   MIT Press published Dr. Sha’s Poiesis, Enchantment and Topological Media in 2013.