The Discursive and Curatorial Production Initiative Winter/Spring 2013 Program

Conflict of the Faculties: Tensions in the Field of Art & Education

Presents a Talk by

Warren Neidich

Artistic Research in the 21st Century: Turning the Inside-Out
Neuropower: Resistance is Fertile

Tuesday, 29 January 2013, 4-6PM

UC San Diego, Visual Arts Presentation Space at the Structural and Materials Engineering Bldg
9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, California 92093

Artistic Research in the 21st Century: Turning the Inside-Out, the idea of artistic research, along with the artist PhD, is a hotly debated topic today, especially in our moment of the information economy in the 21st century. But what does "artistic research" mean as artistic creativity finds itself under siege in our neoliberal climate, embedded in a network of consumer viability, scientific exploration, debates concerning practicality/usefulness and finally competing for attention in the over wrought consumer driven spectacular experience/event? The word "research" is bound to specific scientific connotations that are connected to its specific methodology, which is at odds with the way art is made and produced. Artistic research is not necessarily verifiable nor concerned with constancy and recurrence, but, just the opposite, variability and the process of becoming. As a model it must be assembled within its own functioning territories, histories, logics, methods, materials, spaces, temporalities and utilize apparatuses unique to its own history of production to investigate extra-disciplinary spheres of knowledge such as economics, political philosophy, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology. Neidich employs this model of artistic research and will elucidate through examples from his practice.

Neuropower: Resistance is Fertile

Neuropower constitutes the new focus of power to administer difference in order to sculpt a homogenous people. It acts upon the neural plastic potential of the brain in a living present and is the latest stage of an ontogenic process beginning with the disciplinary society, followed by the society of control, and proceeding onwards towards noo-politics. Nevertheless, we must also consider that there exists another, possibly emancipatory, surface to neuropower. Through both its direct and indirect effect on the cultural field, artistic practice, through the struggle for the inscription upon a limited neural space, can activate the pluripotentiality of neural plasticity. Neidich will present one instance of this possibility, in which noise music can act as a neuromodulator and emancipate the virtual contingencies locked up in the pluripotentiality of the pre-individual, sculpting inter-subjective difference and heterogeneity.


Neidich, Warren. "From Noopower to Neuropower: How Mind Becomes Matter." In Cognitive Architecture: From Biopolitics to Noopolitics. Architecture & Mind in the Age of Communication and Information, edited by Deborah Hauptmann and Warren Neidich. (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2010).

"Interview with Warren Neidich." By Claudia Slanar. New Interactive Practices in Contemporary Art, edited by Kathryn Brown (I.B. Tauris, 2013).


Warren Neidich is a Berlin and Los Angeles based artist, writer and activist. His work explores the interfaces between culture, memory, phenomenology, social mind, neuroscience within the context of Post -Fordist economic structures. Currently his practice has been directed towards noise compositions as neurobiological modifiers and the production of dissonant networks.

Selected exhibitions include The Whitney Museum of Art, New York City, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Ludwig Museum, Koln, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles,California, Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota, P.S.1, MOMA, Long Island City and the MAK, Vienna. He has received numerous awards, most recently including the Murray and Vickie Pepper Distinguished Visiting Artist and Scholar Award, Pitzer College, 2012, The Fulbright Scholar Program Fellowship, Fine Arts Category, 2011 and the Vilem Flusser Theory Award,Transmediale, Berlin, 2010. Neidich has authored and edited several publications, including Blow-up: Photography, Cinema and the Brain (DAP, 2003), Warren Neidich, Lost Between the Extensivity/Intensivity Exchange (Onomatopee Press, 2009), as well as Cognitive Archtitecture: From Biopolitics to Noo-power (010 Press, 2011). Forthcoming in 2013 is The Psychopathologies of Cogntive Capitalism Part 1 (Archive Books) and The Noologists Handbook and other Art Experiments (Archive Books). Neidich has been visiting lecturer in Fine Arts at Goldsmiths College, London, Harvard University, Duke University, Columbia University, Brown University, Sci-Arch, Cal Arts, Art Center and UCLA.

In 1995, he founded of a field of aesthetic investigation called Neuroaesthetics, followed by related website and publication The Journal of Neuroaesthetics in 1997. Neidich has curated related exhibitions and organized conferences in New York, London, and Berlin. He curated Conceptual Art as a Neurobiologic Praxis at the Thread Waxing Space in 1999. Most recently, he organized a two part conference, Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism, in collaboration with the California Institute of the Arts, Art Center for Design and ICI Berlin.