The Future Whispers

Barbara Kasten: Architectural Site 17, August 29. 1988

The Future Whispers:
Susanne Langer’s Archaeology of Mind

A compilation that excavates the visionary in Susanne Langer’s philosophical work and its influence on later generations of thinkers and beyond.

Keywords: Susanne Langer, Art and Science, Aesthetics, Logic, Female Voices, Archaeology of Mind, New Materialism(s), Diffractive Reading

Leaving off from recent cutting-edge and transdisciplinary discourses in aesthetics, media art, cognitive science and biology, this expert discussion opens new avenues to Langer’s philosophy of mind. It reengages a long-overlooked voice and reveals its influence.

Popping up more recently in the genealogy of (post-)post-structuralist theories and new materialism(s) (v.d. Tuin 2015) as well as discussions on media art and the affective turn (Massumi 2011), Langer’s position in review of twentieth century philosophy is experiencing a renaissance. Langer’s theoretical hybridity in developing a theory of art from symbolic logic is enticing newer generations of philosophers and artists engaged in new media—the millennium generation. Some of Langer’s key ideas on embodied cognition and biologically informed symbolization processes anticipated later developments that emerged from the cognitive turn, seeding new approaches in postmodern sciences and cultural studies. Was Langer indeed a visionary of her time? Closer research on her work shows previous shortcomings in estimating her philosophical achievements (Dengerink Chaplin 2020; Innis 2009; Lachmann 2000) and that the instances in which twentieth century avant-garde artists, thinkers and scientists were influenced by her ideas have been neglected. This book elucidates Langer’s transdisciplinary connections and insights.

Confirmed authors: Iris v. d. Tuin, Eva Kit Wah Man, Thomas Leddy, Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin, Vera Bühlmann, Eldritch Priest, Christophe van Eecke, Brian Massumi, and more tba.

Edited by Lona Gaikis.