October 29, 2023 ―
November 19, 2023

Topological and Metabolic Approaches to Ontogenesis

Topological and Metabolic Approaches to Ontogenesis

This series of seminars by Prof. Sha Xin Wei is hosted by the New Centre for Research and Practice.

October 29th, November 5th, 12th, 19th | 2023


If asked what the world is made of, we can say it’s made of objects and categories, or we can say it’s made of stuff. This seminar takes the latter proposition, of stuff, substrate, field. But instead of asking what stuff the world is made of, we ask how stuff changes, how things, relations and sense resonate, emerge, transmute, and condition but do not determine one another. Repurposing Galileo’s legendary observation – Eppur si muove – we will read and discuss theories of dynamic, historicity, process, and temporality. During this Seminar, we will:

Session 1 (Oct 29): Workshop the most salient working notions from topological matter and dynamics so that they provide conceptual grips for subsequent sessions: transformation, process, continuity and field.

Session 2 (Nov 5): Synthesize activating aspects of metabolism — beyond physics and beyond computation — from vegetal biology (Mauseth) and from emerging accounts of organism (Longo, Montevil, Kauffman);

Session 3 (Nov 12): Alloy theories of ontogenesis and individuation (Alexander, Simondon, Sarti & Citti)

Session 4 (Nov 19): Apply these notions to the problem of “making sense in common” (Brender, Deleuze, Morris, Stengers).