KEYNOTE 1. Plato on Facebook (Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen)

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In Keynote 1 for the Mimetic Turn, Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen reloads Plato’s critique of mimesis for the digital age by restaging the following dialogue:

Socrates : Of the many excellences which I perceive in the order of our state, there is none which upon reflection pleases me better than the rule about Internet.

Glaucon : To what do you refer ?

Socrates : To our refusal to admit the memetic kind of media, for it certainly ought not to be received … Speaking in confidence, for you will not denounce me to Facebook and the rest of the memetic networks, all memes are made to contaminate the thinking (dianoia) of the hearers, unless as an antidote (pharmakon) they possess the knowledge of the true nature of the originals.

Introducing the Mimetic Turn (Nidesh Lawtoo)

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If, for a long time, mimesis has been restricted to the logic of visual representation, aesthetic realism, and the metaphysics of sameness it presupposes, the ERC-funded project Homo Mimeticus overturns this perspective to foreground a re-turn to an immanent, affective, embodied, and relational conception of mimesis at play in different processes of becoming other. This introduction to The Mimetic Turn Conference (April 2022) presents some of the concepts driving this new theory of homo mimeticus.