Arian Bagheri Pour Fallah - Spiel, Kunst, Computation, Consciousness Beyond the Creator Economy

We are honored to announce that Arian Bagheri Pour Fallah will be giving a speech at the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) 2022 Conference: Anthropology, AI and the Future of Human Society on June 7th, 2022. Arian’s speech, titled Spiel, Kunst, Computation, Consciousness: Beyond the Creator Economy is outlined in the passage below;

Modern physics associates consciousness neither with creativity nor with computation, emphasizing instead awareness of one’s relation to the game played by the given agent, while differentiating between deterministic and algorithmic systems (Penrose). Conversely, algorithmic culture (Striphas), from which contemporary modes of social production e.g., the creator and the attention economy arise, makes no such distinction. In ‘the informational space,’ (Bagheri Pour Fallah) from the centralized landscape of AI to the decentralized proposition of blockchains, algorithms are given precedence, albeit in opposing capacities, through computational excellence, over their human counterparts, provisionally granting the latter the freedom to assume the role of the creator, in an implicitly utopian vision of society. The term ‘creator’ here follows neatly the notion of the ‘prosumer’ (Toffler), taking simultaneous cues from relational and participatory art, asserting itself as the sine qua non of both web2 and web3 architectures of the internet as one coalescing into greater society. This paper asserts the replacement of the terms art and artist with creation (content) and creator to be more than a matter of semantics, and of significant anthropological relevance. Kant’s Anthropology locates man’s horizon as one ‘that goes from the ambiguity of the Spiel (game-toy) to the indecision of the Kunst (art-artifice)’ (Foucault). Similarly, in the existential anthropology of Peter Wust, man is in essence ‘the artist’ in the extent that ‘he is conscious of himself.’ To locate man today is therefore a matter linked with his role in the (network) society, as artist—beyond the creator economy.

Arian Bagheri Pour Fallah - Anthropology, AI and the Future of Human Society

Arian’s approach to anthropology spans six closely interlinked strata as follows; (i) technique, per the ethnographic récit, as developed by Michel Leiris, as a direct precursor to Lévi-Strauss’ Tristes Tropiques, best exemplified in Arian’s extended research on acousmatics, catalogued among others by the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Royal Musical Association, and the Society for Musicology in Ireland; (ii) form, per Clifford Geertz’s translation of concepts from philosophy of mind and language, in particular those of Gilbert Ryle, into evolutionary anthropology, exemplified in Arian’s research on Rylean precursors and successors, most notably, the works of Martin Heidegger and Daniel Dennett, as well as an ongoing project employing bioinformatics and machine-learning techniques for preservation of strictly human phenomena, conjointly conducted with Ashkan Zareie of the Czech Academy of Sciences; (iii) space, as exemplified in Arian’s decade-long work with The Blunder of a Horse, a geo-temporally dispersed art collective operating in urban- and non-urban spaces as distant as Fukaya, Palau, Rome and New York, highlighting space as a distinct mode of being, as opposed to production; in addition to individual projects such as the site-specific artwork, Mensch im Klang Gottes, located at the Stiftung Künstlerdorf Schöppingen and exhibited at the likes of Ars Electronica; (iv) exchange, exemplified in Arian’s monograph, From Living Currency to Moribund Space, recalibrating the early economic anthropology of Mauss and Malinowski for the post-Nixon-shock landscape of emerging counter-political economy, from cryptoeconomics to modern monetary theory (MMT); (v) myth, per Pythagoreanism and broader classics, among others, Lewis Spence’s mythographies of Brittany, best exemplified in the founding documents of The Site; (vi) consciousness, per the emerging anthropology of Kant and the terminal, existential anthropology of Peter Wust, synthesized in Arian’s ongoing research into ‘the creator economy,’ as enabled by two contrasting strands of emerging tech, blockchain and AI.

You can find the conference programme, as well as registration information here.