Representations of violence have subliminal contagious effects, but what kind of unconscious captures this imperceptible affective dynamic in the digital age? In volume two of a Janus-faced diagnostic on violence and the unconscious, HOM PI Nidesh Lawtoo traces a genealogy of a long-neglected, embodied, relational, and highly mimetic unconscious central to the problematic of (new) media violence. Now OUT with MSU P!
In this second episode of HOM Videos on The Neuroscience of Mimesis, Vittorio Gallese discusses with Nidesh Lawtoo important precursors of the discovery of mirror neurons in aesthetics, phenomenology and the tradition of the mimetic unconscious: from Nietzsche to Lipps, Merleau-Ponty to Aby Warburg, Charles Féré to Pierre Janet, a number of fin-de-siecle philosophical physicians were sensitive to the mirroring relation between movement and sensation later confirmed by the discovery of mirror neurons.
As HOM Videos moves toward a conclusion, Nidesh Lawtoo travels to Parma, Italy, to interview neuroscientist Vittorio Gallese who, along with Giacomo Rizzolatti and his team, discovered mirror neurons in the early 1990s. In the first of four episodes on a major contribution to the mimetic turn, Gallese retells the history of the discovery of mirror neurons in nonhuman and human primates, discusses what more is known about mirroring mechanisms 30 years later, and begins to lay out the theoretical implications of embodied simulation for the transformations of homo mimeticus in the 21st century.
5 years ago the HOM project promised a new theory of imitation to face some of the main challenges of the present. Here it is, with Leuven UP! In this book launch, HOM/GM team members Niki Hadikoesoemo, Marina García-Granero and Giulia Rignano talk with Nidesh Lawtoo about the main insights and takeaways ofHomo Mimeticus: A New Theory of Imitation(Freely available Open Accesshere). All are welcome, reception to follow, and on hybrid mode More information including Zoom link here.
Dr. Henry Dicks contributes to mimetic studies from the revolutionary perspective of biomimicry. Drawing on his forthcoming book The Biomimicry Revolution (Columbia UP, 2022). Dicks provides new philosophical foundations to rethink nature as a model, as an inspiration for measure, and as a mentor. Video available here.
If it is true that humans are mimetic animals (or homo mimeticus), and if it is true that we are entering an epoch of catastrophic transformations (or Anthropocene), which metamorphoses do we want to promote to affirm survival in the present and future? Mimetic studies should have a role to play in charting metamorphoses for the future. More information available here.
In this seventh episode of HOM videos, German philosopher Gunter Gebauer (Free U of Berlin) discusses the role mimesis plays in sports, the origins of language, social distinction, crowd behavior, and the recent rise of hypermimetic behavior in the digital age, all of which paint a picture of homo mimeticus beyond good and evil.
In this special issue of Europe, edited by Stephane Massonet, prominent Bataille scholars including Denis Hollier, Michel Surya, Jean-Christophe Bailly, Mathilde Girard, and others testify to the timeliness of this untimely thinker. Nidesh Lawtoo adds a chapter on Bataille’s mimetic community.
The articles in this special issue offer powerful transdisciplinary testimony to the rich potential of the contemporary return to mimesis, and in doing so suggest ways in which the mimetic turn and the post-literary turn may be understood as critically supplementing each other. In this short accompanying video Guest Editor Nidesh Lawtoo offers a foretaste of what readers can expect.