regory Ulmer was invited by Mark Goulthorpe to contribute to a transdisciplinary seminar that the latter organizes for the Architecture School at MIT. The topic this year is "Waste and Failure," prompting a few jokes about the relevance of Ulmer's work to this theme. Ulmer was preceded by sessions devoted to the choreography and performance of works by Bill Forsythe (deconstructive ballet), and on the dilemmas of nuclear energy and its waste. Guiding Ulmer's remarks was a circumspective evocation of a transformation of the cogito from literacy to electracy, from Descartes's Je pense, donc je suis (I think, therefore I am), to Bataille's Dépense, donc jouis (Expend, therefore enjoy). An interview Ulmer recently had with the online site Full Stop also offered a frame for his approach. FRE ambitions for collaboration with colleagues and students at MIT is to enlist support not only for electracy, but for promoting and developing the hedonic economy through inventive rhizomes linking STEM disciplines with H'MMM disciplines.
Nemesis: The Pungentumami (Video of the lecture).
The visit to Cambridge enabled an FRE meeting with John Craig Freeman and his colleagues and students at Emerson College in Boston. One of the highlights of the weekend was the dinner after the Emerson lecture, including brainstorming with Eric Gordon and his colleagues running the Engagement Game Lab at Emerson (FRE and EmerAgency consulting shares Gordon's interests in location-based media, technology and community, and serious games). The timing of this conversation is good, since Jan Holmevik and Cynthia Haynes are visiting Gainesville this coming weekend (Oct 12) for a planning session with Ulmer and Jack Stenner.