PRESENCE IN THE MINDFIELD:
Art, Identity and the Technology of Transformation.The conference will look at art as behaviour of mind, embedded in the physical world, but articulating its immateriality. Just as institutionalized art, with its tired orthodoxies of instruction, production and distribution, is challenged by the new technologies of knowing and perception, so our sense of self - its singularity and authenticity - is open to reconstruction and reinterpretation. In his assault on identity and authorship, the great Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa created over 70 heteronyms. “His jostling aliases,” as John Gray has put it, “expressing his belief that the individual subject - the core of European thought - is an illusion.” This exploration of the plurality of self finds is contemporary expression in the proliferation of personas and avatars through which we navigate the actual and virtual universes of our making. Transdisciplinary discourse, the adoption of new technologies, the invisible forces and fields of the sciences, the recuperation of abandoned metaphysical and spiritual models of being, can all find expression within the context of this conference.