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january 16, 2001 ::

the enigma of consciousness

symposium of science, technics and aesthetics

 logo of the enigma of consciousness symposium


neue galerie luzern: cultural laboratory between art and science

Founded in 1987, "The Neue Galerie Luzern" ranks among Switzerland's top 50 galleries. "As an institution - supported by the Federal Office of Culture as well as local cultural institutions of the Canton and the City of Lucerne - the "New Gallery of Lucerne" is per definition a "cultural laboratory". It is not connected exclusively with one or more faculties, but aims to involve people from all faculties, schools of thought and walks of life in a critical dialogue concerned with art, technological innovation, science and society which they have long sought themselves but for which there has been no point of contact to date." From *Neue Galerie Luzern*

Gallery and symposium concepts are from *René Stettler*. Stettler is co-author together with Otto E. Rössler, from Universität Tü bingen, and keynote speaker at symposium, of a new theoretical perspective to look at the world *Endophysics and Endoperspective*.



previous biennial symposiums of science, technics and aesthetics

*Frontier Communication: Human Beings, Apes, Whales, Electronic Networks*
Liquid Visions



consciousness: issues and questions

The symposium is introduced with a quotation from *Roger Penrose*, of the Mathematical Institute from University of Oxford, and one of keynote speaker:

"How could any real progress be achieved towards solving the mysteries of how mental phenomena fit in with the physical universe? Do we need some important changes in our picture of physical reality? Can physics provide a theory of consciousness? Is quantum mechanics relevant to understanding consciousness? Can we imagine a theory in which "consciousness" finds some place within the purely physical descriptions of the world? Is a self or "I" necessary for consciousness or can consciousness exist independently of selves? Do we need an expanded science which includes subjective experience to understand human consciousness? Must a new science that we perhaps need be so different from the science of today that the evoke and explain issues with regard to mentality may finally find natural explanations?".



quantum mechanics and consciousness

Roger Penrose and *Stuart Hameroff*, one of the chairmen of the symposium, and member of Center for Consciousness Studies from University of Arizona, have argued that consciousness is in fact a quantum effect. In this model, consciousness resides in microtubules -tiny protein structures- within neurons viewed as quantum computers. They call this model *Orchestrated Objective Reduction (Orch OR)*.

Another keynote speaker *Anton Zeilinger* of Institut fü r Experimentalphysik from Universität Wien, is one of the leading researchers in the fields of Quantum Physics, Quantum Communication and Cryptography and Quantum Computation. Zeilinger and his group do the first experimental verification of quantum teleportation, a way to transfer the complete information to reconstruct quantum objects from one place to another without sending the objects themselves.



towards a science of consciousness

"The *Center for Consciousness Studies* at the University of Arizona encourages the promotion of open, scientifically rigorous and sustained discussions of all phenomena related to conscious experience. We support the development of an international and interdisciplinary science of consciousness, which would seek new ways to express and understand the relationships between mind and matter."

The Center emerged from the biannual Tucson conferences on consciousness Since 1994 (Tucson I. "Toward a Scientific Basis for Consciousness"), had an interdisciplinary approach to define a Science of Consciousness. This approach mix Philosophy, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Physics and Mathematics, Biology, Phenomenology/Culture (Experiential approaches, Anomalies of consciousness, Humanities, and Culture and Society). In December 1997 the Fetzer Institute awarded 1.4 million dollars to formalize and expand this activities in the form of a Center for Consciousness Studies.

In this framework, *David Chalmers* defined "the Hard Problem comes down to determining how standard physiological processes or any physical processes at all, for that matter translate into the seemingly enchanted realm of subjective experience."



reframing consciousness: the technoetic paradigm

Roy Ascott with media artist Ulrike Gabriel will be the presenters of this symposium.

*Roy Ascott*, founder-director ofCAiiA-STAR (University of Wales College Newport and University of Plymouth)is widely recognised to have pioneered the place of cybernetics, telematics and interactive media in art. Since 1997 convenes the annual international conference "Consciousness Reframed: art and consciousness in the post-biological era." "His work is concerned with the development of Technoetics: the practice and theory emerging from the convergence of art, technology and consciousness research."


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The Enigma of Consciousness

:: references
The Neue Galerie Luzern
René Stettler
Endophysics and Endoperspective
Roger Penrose
Stuart Hameroff
Orchestrated Objective Reduction (Orch OR)
Anton Zeilinger
Center for Consciousness Studies
David Chalmers
Centre for Advanced Inquiry In the Interactive Arts (CAiiA)
Roy Ascott Biographical Note

:: image
credit: <Neue Galerie Luzern site>


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