Digital Culture and Ancient Philosophy: An approach for the management of memory - DCAP2019
- Friday, 5 July 2019 (Introductory lectures)
Sergis: INTRODUCTION IN ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
During the introductory lecture we will study Ancient Philosophy and more specifically its division in periods and the basic problems it introduces in philosophical deliberations. We will examine the genealogy of problems, how and by which method they are introduced for the first time and finally how they are being answered through Ontology during the mature period. Finally there will be an introduction to the Philosophy of Culture in the area of Ancient Philosophy discussing the parameters still topical to this day for the evaluation of digital versions and potentials.
Vlahakis: FROM THE REPRESENTATION PRINCIPLE OF MODERNITY TO THE ANALOGY, AS THE SOCIO-CULTURAL TRANSFORMATIONAL PRINCIPLE IN THE DIGITAL ERA , 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Since Plato has first formulated a gnoseological theory based on the allegory of the shadows in the cave, as a kind of an Idols’ theory for the nature of human knowledge, he assumed in this concept the first principle of the socio-cultural formation based on the principle of simulation (simulacrum). The age of modernity afterwards has been characterized by the predominance of the Representation principle in all the spheres of the socio-economic production and its cultural reproduction. The digital era as a postmodern situation redefines this principle under the deep transformation of the material life in a non-material, virtual reality, in which the principle of the Analogy comes to re-organize and articulate the meanings and the reflections of both these worlds as far as the virtual world is becoming more and more the reality. A kind of a new simulation, a new Idols world arises then from the cave of this digital transformation.
Papageorgiou: CULTURAL REPRESENTATION I , 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The concept of representation holds a key position in cultural studies, information and communication technologies. It focuses on practices of formation, projection and signification of cultural data, developed both during the design/creation and the consumption/use of a cultural “product”. Specific topics focus on processes and representation techniques in fields, as for example image, sound, objects, multimedia, installations/exhibitions, visual reality, artificial intelligence and computer science/information technology. These interdisciplinary approaches bring cultural representation to the foreground as a modern field for the formation of cultural information, the management of which interrelates ideas, people, institutions and technologies, in collaborative dynamic interactions and relationships.
The four key characteristics differentiating modern practices of cultural representation from previous/older ones are:
- They are based on an “over-accumulation” of new available means and techniques, related to the “explosion” of technological development in “western” societies (particularly after the mid-19th century) which has (probably) never before been noticed in human history.
- They are combined with (the many times mass) creation of a large series of cultural products related to diverse economic and social uses, activities and target-groups.
- They have an extremely large range and spread speed on a local and supra-local (even a global) level.
- Elements are exchanged among them so directly and easily/effortlessly that lead to the gradual crystallization of specific homogenous global expressive patterns (forms).
Based on the above mentioned facts, modern practices of cultural representation are articulated on the basis of two features: an ontology imprinting/reflecting the recorded data up to the level of means combined with a descriptive approach of available data (e.g. texts, photographs, videos, 2D or 3D graphics), and an ontology imprinting/reflecting the selected data on a synthesis for the production of a presentation scenario. The specific differentiation will be analyzed and documented through concrete examples.
- Saturday 6 July 2019
Sergis: THE ISSUE OF TIME IN ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
During the lecture we will study the ideas about time in Ancient Philosophy. More specifically we will examine the mature periods of specific ideas resulting in the two great philosophical “systems” of the classical period. At the same time, we will seek the answer to the following question: why is History absent from the spectrum of Greek Ontology? Because at the Summer School we are interested in examining memory and its management through time, we will study philosophical reasoning about time aiming at understanding how memory about their culture was dealt with by ancient philosophers.
Papageorgiou: CULTURAL REPRESENTATION II, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Cultural representation practices consist one of the basic homogenization and also differentiation mechanisms of ethnic or religious groups, social strata, art schools and styles, “traditions” and innovations, on a global level: (most of the) modern cultural products, reflect and at the same time reproduce, both the verification of a global diachronic cultural continuity and the aspects and versions of differentiations attributing the particular cultural identity of producers and consumers they are addressed to.
Means and modes to transmit the message (code)
According to the above schema, every representation influences in a variety of ways and to a different degree the cultural process and/or every other representation from which it draws “primary material”: the projection of a public image also reshapes/reforms the “real” action it depicts.
- Sunday 7 July 2019
Visit to the Teriade – Theophilos Museum (Museum – Library of Stratis Elefheriadis – Teriade, http://www.museumteriade.gr/en/index.asp) at Varia, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, Lecture at the Museum
Sergis: ART AND MEMORY, FROM ANTIQUITY TO THE CULTURE OF MUSEUMS, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
An introductory lecture about how humans in all eras connected artistic production with the preservation of memory will take place on the premises of the museum. Beginning from the classical era we will refer to the perceptions of ancient Greeks about beauty and the request for harmony resulting from the perceptions about “cosmos”. Then we will move on to the modern era and the perceptions of western people about Museums as “depositaries” of memory. Finally we will be using the exhibits of the Teriade – Theophilos Museum as examples of this worldview in relation with an examination of the digital potentiality of the Museum.
- Monday 8 July 2019
Fokas: ORDER, CREATIVE TENSION AND INNOVATIONS IN COMPLEX SOCIAL SYSTEMS: From Growth Functions to Social Change, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Owing to the spectacular currency of information and communication technologies, the diffusion of innovations has become one of the most exciting research topics in social sciences in the past decade. This lecture gives an account of the most basic types of growth functions, and then inspects the broad applications of this diffusion of technological innovations. The second half of the lecture surveys the endeavors which seek to apply the use of growth functions to the broadest possible areas of social change via the long waves of economic development and logistic substitution processes. The last part of the lecture intends to focus on the other, much cruder aspect of social change, namely, the origin, rather than diffusion, of innovations. The fertile anarchy metaphor gives a very plastic description of the circumstances enabling the birth of the most diverse social, organizational, scientific, technical, and even biological innovations, while the instability and constraint metaphor pair offers a rhetorically less impressive, but somewhat more exact picture.
Fokas: Mass media as a complex system. The case of media dynamics - ritualism, evergreens and sensations, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
This lecture offers a longitudinal analysis of media dynamics and aims to capture the media as the vehicle of collective memory in modern societies. Associating the media with memory, however, sounds paradoxical, given that the media is usually associated with novelty and actuality. We argue that parallel to its topicality, the media also creates communities of remembering in modern societies. The empirical materials we use are predominantly the media representations of the Watergate scandal and the terrorist attack against the Twin Towers. We chose these topics because we can assume that our readers are familiar with the general context.
- Tuesday 9 July 2019
Noutsos: PRECONDITIONS & IMPLICATIONS OF THE 4th INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Sakellariadis: WITTGENSTEIN'S TRACTATUS: SOME REMARKS ON CULTURE AND VALUES, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Ludwig Wittgenstein is best known for his two major philosophical books, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus published just after World War I and the Philosophical Investigations, on which he was still working at the time of his death in 1951. Yet, quite apart from his published writings, Wittgenstein was also a remarkable man who grew up in a remarkable cultural environment. We believe that in presenting this point of view we will make Wittgenstein’s own intellectual concerns and cultural achievements more intelligible.
- Wednesday 10 July 2019
Noutsos: THE ROLE OF INTELLECTS IN THE DIGITAL ERA , 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Sakellariadis: FORMS OF LIFE: THE WITTGENSTINIAN PARADIGM OF NORMATIVITY, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Wittgenstein in later writings provides a descriptive and evaluative methodology which is fundamentally based on the very idea of the language game. Like a language game and inescapably a form of life, whose constitutive parts include an archimedean point in its essential grammar or rules and a temporal and contingent diversity in its actual uses or moves in chess field. Having this in mind Wittgenstein writes in Philosophical Investigations that “we find certain things about puzzling, because we do not find the whole business of seeing puzzling enough” (212). Such Wittgenstinian investigations can help us to clarify confusions and puzzlements in our conceptual field and to describe when theories work and when they do not.
- Thursday 11 July 2019
Departure from the city of Mytilene at 9:00 am. Transportation to the Museum of Sigri (Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest, http://www.lesvosmuseum.gr/site/home/ws.csp?loc=en_US), guided tour and lecture at the Museum
Sergis: CULTURAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS OF THE MANAGEMENT OF “ORIGIN/DESCENT”
During the lecture we will analyze the issue of “origin” as conceived in the evolution of culture and understood through the prism of the Philosophy of Culture. Using the findings of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos and the traces of life covered by the volcano lava, as a motive, we will examine how each culture manages its past catastrophes and its connection with previous forms of organized social life. Through Philosophy we will discuss how myth in Ancient Philosophy engages with historical facts of catastrophe (e.g. the myth of Atlantis in Plato’s Timaeus) and the functional conclusions about life deriving in relation with “origin”.
3 day stay at Tavari
- Friday 12 July 2019
Sergis: ONTOLOGY AND TIME IN PLATO, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Platonic philosophy has by many scholars been considered as denying “evolution” and downgrading the value of the material world. However, if Plato’s work is studied in depth and extensively this admission can be doubted. In line with the domination of Ontology in the platonic philosophy we will examine the position of time in his “system” and also how the ideas of Plato about “cosmic” harmony are probably directing his perceptions about human memory rather than degrading its value. Finally, beginning from the reasons why platonic philosophy remains topical to this day, we will examine whether the topicality of his worldview can contribute to the understanding of digital culture.
Hourmouziadi: MEMORY AND OBLIVION IN DIGITAL ERA, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
The more spacious our hard drive becomes, the weakest our memory turns out to be. In other words, digital technology, apart from being a powerful tool, radically influences essential mental mechanisms. Furthermore, scholars underline the obvious fact that we are living in an era that provides outstanding possibilities for the preservation of texts, images, sounds and snapshots of almost everything. A possibility that urges us to reflect on what we want to forget, now that it is so hard to delete, now that every act leaves permanent digital traces.
- Saturday 13 July 2019
Sergis: CAUSE, RANDOMNESS AND TIME IN ARISTOTLE, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
The perceptions of Aristotle about the transformation of matter have for many centuries influenced the scientific understanding of the natural world and consequently the shaping of culture/civilization. Aristotle is to this day still being discussed; especially from the moment when the epistemological value of History has been re-evaluated. While determinism has been established as a criterion for the founding of our culture/civilization, “random” has not been registered efficiently in our perceptions about our world. Finally, although time as a structure of natural evolution has a prominent position in the context of the Aristotelian worldview, History, which is the absolute anthropocentric factor, has been left out/omitted. Could Digital Culture be understood through an Aristotelian ahistorical prism?
Hourmouziadi: DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES AS A TOOL OF SOCIAL REMEMBRANCE, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
It is commonly accepted that hyper-modernity is characterised by the shrinking of time, so that the past is magnified and devours the present. The quick change makes us feel alienated from people, facts and situations with which only a few years separate us. Therefore, oblivion seams a permanent threat that has to be confronted with a variety of remembrance mechanisms, whether on a personal or on a collective level. At that point, new technologies, at great extent responsible for these changes, are employed once more not just to retain digitized memories, but to turn them into social goods, as well.
- Sunday 14 July 2019
Departure from Tavari at 10:00 am
- the Digital Museum G. Iakovidis (),
- the village Hidira and
- the Museum of Agia Paraskevi (Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production of Lesvos, )
Sergis: Summary of the topics covered during the Summer School, assignment of essays and closing of the Summer School, 08:00 pm-10:00 pm