Faces of Consciousness: Repetition and Time

With recourse to neuroscience, philosophy and informatics, “Faces of Consciousness” addresses the cultural crisis of a contemporary generation caught in the impasse between having a history without memories or memories without history. The artwork of Andrea Geyer serves as a case study for critical intervention.

Originally published in Erasure: The Spectre of Cultural Memory, eds. Brad Buckley and John Conomos, Erasure: The Spectre of Cultural Memory (Libri Publishing Ltd., 2014).
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March on Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr. I have a dream speech, August 28, 1963,

By Juli Carson

The exponential growth of digital technology and social media in the first decade of the 21st Century has exacerbated a pre-existing crisis of cultural consciousness. While the Internet has the capacity to help memory along when used as a public free access domain, it often does quite the opposite, in that the Internet’s infinitely exchangeable and free-flowing connections resemble the structure of the unconscious more than a functional archive. Consequently there’s an entire generation living in the impasse between having a history without memories or memories without history. But contemporary research in the fields of neuroscience, philosophy and new historicism provide a roadmap for the critical thinker to navigate his or her way through the digital labyrinth of information and social exchangeability. Informed by these debates, key interventions are to be found by artists who employ the tactic of repetition in the face of cultural amnesia. In this context, Andrea Geyer’s Comrades of Time (2011) is one such case to be explored here.


In the field of neuroscience it’s a hotly debated finding. Apparently there are concept neurons in our brain, according to Cal Tech neuroscientist Christof Koch, who, for some decades now, has been on a quest for the neural correlates of consciousness. Towards this end, a group from Koch’s laboratory – working under the supervision of renowned neurosurgeon Itzhak Fried at UCLA School of Medicine – recently discovered such neurons in the medial temporal lobe, a region that includes the hippocampus where perceptions are turned into memories.[1] Koch recalls: “I was thrilled when [they] showed me the first cells. One fired only when the patient was looking at photos of then-President Bill Clinton, but not other famous people, and the other responded exclusively to cartoons of Bart and Homer Simpson.” In subsequent studies, Koch continues, “We have found cells that respond to images of Mother Teresa, to cute little animals (‘Peter Rabbit cell’), to the images of the dictator Saddam Hussein, and his spoken and written name, and to the Pythagorean theorem, a2 + b2 = c2 (this one in the brain of an engineer with mathematics as a lobby).”[2]

Fast forward to today. Sitting in the audience of the 2013 conference for the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness,[3] my mind began to wander as to the cultural implications of this discovery, one that Fried, the keynote speaker, was discussing at length on stage. Indeed, if there are “concept neurons” in our brain – ones that constitute the neural correlate of conscious thought, i.e. our minds – then what, by extension, does this have to do with the primary feeder of this biological neural network today: the internet? Moreover, how does the Internet effect what our minds encase: generational consciousness and historical memory / erasure? I’ll elucidate upon the Internet’s role in this process momentary. Meanwhile, these were the questions that entered my own high order – prefrontal – consciousness, when Fried reported that in one of his studies the patients had a very low level of concept cells firing – to the point of little or no recognition – when flashed an image of Martin Luther King’s face, whereas for Homer Simpson’s face their concept cells reacted through the roof. At another point in the same study, a patient’s concept cell for Bill Clinton’s face mistakenly fired for Homer Simpson’s face, but the patient quickly corrected course by relaying that the misrecognition was based on the fact that the Simpsons commonly made jokes about Bill Clinton. Simply put, Fried explained, no one is born with a concept cell for, say, Jennifer Aniston. Rather, the learning algorithms of the brain sculpt those synaptic fields in which concept neurons are embedded, meaning we don’t have concept neurons for things we rarely or never encounter. As a rule, a person needs to encounter something three to four times, under conditions of significant recognition, to manifest concept cells.

Needless to say, the cultural implications of Fried’s study – the lack of Martin Luther King concept neurons in Fried’s subjects – is discouraging. At the time of this writing, the unprovoked fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American student, by George Zimmerman, a 29-year-old neighbourhood watch coordinator for a gated community in Sanford Florida, has resulted in a spectacular televised trial and subsequent acquittal of the shooter. For many, this contemporary event – both the murder and the trial – evoked a tragic historical event. On 21st June 1964, three civil rights activists – Andrew Goodman, Michael H. Schwerner and James Earl Chaney – were murdered during a voter registration drive near Philadelphia, Mississippi. 18 members of the KKK were subsequently indicted, although all were dismissed in the 1967 trial, United States vs. Cecil Price, also known as the “Mississippi Burning” trial. A year later, on 4th April 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Returning to the present: At the recent 50th anniversary festivities of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech in Washington D.C., it was no surprise that Trayvon Martin’s slain body was a spectre weaving itself through the event’s commemorative speeches delivered at the National Mall. One vender even sold a t-shirt with an image of Martin Luther King and Trayvon Martin’s two faces spliced together, lengthwise, with the memorial tag “Trayvon Martin Luther King.” All this begs a number of questions. While the tragic historical events of the 1960s are repeated today, in the worst Nietzschean sense, for whom are they happening for the first time? Moreover, who amongst us are attempting to build (or rebuild) the collective concept neurons for these events so that people across generational lines can recognize this repetition?


On the question of collective consciousness, the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler predicted the quagmire of cultural erasure, vis-à-vis the Internet’s capacity to radically deindividuate its users, in his book Technic and Time, 3. Strikingly, his observations were made a full decade before social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram simultaneously exasperated and capitalized upon the paradoxical connection between recall and erasure that underscores cultural deindividuation. According to Stiegler, this phenomenon results from the “industrialization” of memory that attended the rapid digitalization of data processing and retrieval (informatics) over the 1990s, afforded by the invention of TCP-IP (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol) – the two main protocols, built into the UNIX operating system, used to connect a mass network of hosts on the internet. UMTS radio frequency bands (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System networks) – those used by third generation wireless mobile devices – exponentially increased this trend. These protocols and networks, in turn, perfected the convergence of informational technology with telecommunications and audiovisual technologies. That was the first step. Subsequently, the Internet – as the quintessential digital “prosthetic” for its users – produced a new “temporal object,” one based upon the seamless synchronization of logistic (informatics) and symbolic (audio-visual) functions. The result was that Internet users – spending an increasing amount of time facing computer screens – collectively encountered what Stiegler calls the “industrial demoralization” of their consciousness.

Bringing to mind Guy Debord’s all consuming Society of the Spectacle, Stiegler further maintains that by the year 2000 the Internet had already subjugated all facets of the user’s psychological, economic and culture milieus to the demands and developments of the global neo-liberal market. As he put it: “Markets are above all consciences – acting as places for exchanges by consumers whose consciousnesses are themselves consumer ‘goods,’ and for market financiers whose ‘consciousnesses’ are investors and speculators.”[4] When confined to the Internet’s virtual marketplace, one that increasingly manipulates the user’s desire in an effort to move commerce, the individual’s consciousness rapidly becomes cut off from the world. And when this is the case, when an individual consciousness is cut off from the “world”…

…it aims either at embedding itself in the archi-flux of the programming industries or being trapped in the webs of ‘user profiling’ – whose goal is to subdivide and tribalize them into subcommittees through devices that can observe the behaviour of the programmed consumers within the wide variety of informational internet content that then, on the basis of those observations, can create models for the hypersegmentation of the target audiences of advertising, while still giving them the impression that the system is responding to them personally; this is obviously pure illusion, since this system is always one of industrializing what had never been industrializable – individual behaviours – thereby reinforcing them until the consumer, being locked in, can no longer escape; she can be perfectly anticipated and controlled, no longer an individuated and individuating ‘person’ but in a real sense Nobody, a perspectiveless Cyclops.[5]

And so here we are, more than a decade hence, amidst a multitude of internet based social networks – a jungle really – living out Stiegler’s prediction that “[t]his loss of individuation, in which I persists as a yawning void, no longer moving toward a We who, being everything, the confusion of all possible I’s in an undifferentiated flux (the totalitarian model of ‘community’), is condemned to dissolve into a globalized, impersonal One.”[6] As a consequence, Internet users are transformed into a state of pure unconsciousness – the very definition of which is an undifferentiated flux – which could account for what Stiegler calls “the inescapable malaise at work today.”[7] In turn, a facet of contemporary life based upon individual cultural memory is erased, or better yet, repressed, because along with the rise of a globalized, impersonal One comes the collapse of the subject as a figure cognitively situated upon any notion of an historical landscape.

That said, Stiegler is no Luddite. If, as Stephan Barker explains, Stiegler’s notion of “the human” is itself technics, then human consciousness could be conceived as “a network of inter-connected and multi-layered circuitry, ranging from the unconscious to the history – the memory – of ‘culture itself’ (what Stiegler calls ‘tertiary retentions’).”[8] In the most general sense tertiary retention is what Stiegler calls “the prosthesis of consciousness.” Without it there would be neither a mind nor a memory of a past that one hasn’t personally lived. In short, there would be no culture.[9] In this way, as Barker further explains, consciousness is constructed by way of mnemotechnics, “…the ‘technical prostheses’ through which memory is recorded and transmitted across generations, never limited to – by definition never capable of being limited to – individual minds.” Libraries, archives, anecdotal and oral histories – along with any of the technological devices that make memory available to the public – are all materializations of such tertiary memory. [10]

However, mnemotechnics is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, should we misrecognize these technical prostheses – the Internet key among them – as the ‘outside’ world, as reality itself, then we’re reduced to nothing but an atomistic particle, a Cyclops consumer within the unconscious, undifferentiated flux of an a-historical global market place. At that point, the concept of time founded upon historical consciousness would be erased. On the other hand, should we acknowledge the manner in which the internet-as-mnemotechnics actually constitute the evolution of “the human,” one whose consciousness is always already propped up by such prosthetic devices, then a Cyborg producer of culture emerges. That is to say, when we see the interconnectedness of the two – technics and human – we become custodians of historical memory not its erasure.

Which brings us to the history of everyday life.


In doing the history of everyday life, attention is focused not just on the deeds (and misdeeds) and pageantry of the great, the masters of church and state. Rather, central to the thrust of everyday analysis is the life and survival of those who have remained largely anonymous in history – the ‘nameless’ multitudes in their workaday trials and tribulation, their occasional outbursts of dépenses.[11]

Alltagsgeschichte – “the history of everyday life” – emerged in the mid-1970s as a major development in German historiography. Continuing the West German New Left’s concentration on “coming to terms with the past,” that is, tracing the contributing factors to the rise and fall of National Socialism, the Alltagshistoriker wholeheartedly embraces an ethnographic methodology. This entails a shift in focus from the meta-narratives of macro-historical dialectics to the subjective everyday experience of history’s “human actors,” that is, the women, men and children who are formed by their micro-historical settings. Case studies and individual biographies are thus the privileged genres, as the Alltagshistoriker hopes to take these human actors out of the undifferentiated flux into which the dialectical social historian has dropped them. As Alk Lüdtke, puts it: “Alltagsgeschichte…does not raise secular change to a level detached from human agents, occurring behind by their backs, as it were. Rather, historical change and continuity are understood as the outcome of action by concrete groups and individuals. Human social practice is shifted into the foreground of historical inquiry.”[12] And yet, the blind spot of Alltagsgeschichte, according to its critics, is that the focus on history’s individual actors tends to romanticize the past, reducing the suffering and toil of the everyday experience to the realm of the picturesque.

On this note, Andreas Huyssen’s analysis of postmodern “memory discourses” – put forth in his essay “Present Pasts: Media, Politics, Amnesia” – is salient. There, Huyssen observes a turning toward the past, within postmodern Western thought, in stark contrast to the privileging of futurist rhetoric indicative of 20th century Modernity. Since the 1980s, within discourses focused on memory and temporality, a postmodern notion of a present-past has thus supplanted the modernist notion of a present-future. And with that turn, memory discourses indicative of the aforementioned Alltagsgeschichte have supplanted the old historicist meta-narratives, a trend that accelerated in Europe over the 1980s, as Huyssen explains, “energized by the broadening debate about the Holocaust (triggered by the television show Holocaust, and somewhat later, the testimony movement) and by media attention paid to the 40th and 50th anniversaries of events of the history of the Third Reich.” Suddenly a cavalcade of pictorial representations of the Holocaust flooded the mass media, alternately depicting Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, the Kristallnacht pogrom of 1938, the Wannsee Conference of 1942, the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945, the Nuremberg Trials of 1945-46, and so forth. By 1989, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, there was a generalized globalization of Holocaust discourse whereupon – detached from the original event – it functioned as a metaphor for other traumatic histories and memories from post-communist countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, to the Middle East, South Africa, Rwanda, Asia, Australia and South American.

For Huyssen this globalized trend was problematic. While Holocaust comparisons may have rhetorically energized some discourses of traumatic memory, he argues, they more likely worked as screen memories blocking insights into specific local histories.[13] More problematic, still, is that this globalization of Holocaust discourse attended the mass marketing of Erlebnisgsellschaft – the society of experience – that privileges “intense but superficial experiences oriented toward instant happiness in the present and quick consumption of goods, cultural events, and mass-marketed lifestyles.”[14] Indeed it is a macabre form of pleasure that would result from Holocaust discourse. But, as Adorno reminds us, “The so-called artistic representation of the sheer physical pain of people beaten to the ground by rifle-butts contains, however remotely, the power to elicit enjoyment out of it. The moral of this art, not to forget for a single instant, slithers into the abyss of its opposite.”[15]

What, then, might exist for subjects between the romantic, pictorial representation of their lives within micro-history and their complete erasure within the undifferentiated flux of macro-history? For Hannah Arendt, what lies between these poles is the space of thought, for to exist outside this space results in the utter demise of culture. Which brings us to a philosophical notion of consciousness, one that is both moral and political.

In “Thinking and Moral Considerations,” Arendt reflects upon testimony given by Adolph Eichmann in his famous trial that took place in Jerusalem, between 31st May and 1st June 1962, which she had covered as a journalist for The New Yorker.[16] In face of Eichmann’s spectacular representation in the media – where he was coined “the architect of the Holocaust” – Arendt spoke of a non-pathological notion of evil, one that was factual and banal. Driven neither by demonic nor monstrous impulses, the real source of Eichmann’s evil, she argued, was “a curious, quite authentic inability to think.” As she recalled:

He functioned in the role of a prominent war criminal as well as he had under the Nazi regime; he had not the slightest difficulty in accepting an entirely different set of rules. He knew that what he had once considered his duty was not called a crime, and he accepted this new code of judgment as though it were nothing but another language rule…Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional standardized codes of expression and conduct [all of which gave rise to Eichmann’s sense of self] have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality, that is, against the claim on our thinking attention which all events and facts arouse by virtue of their existence. If we were responsive to this claim all the time, we would soon be exhausted; the difference in Eichmann was only that he clearly knew of no such claim at all.[17]

For Arendt, then, what made Eichmann so horrific was his utter banality. Before World War Two, Eichmann had been an ordinary drifter, moving from job to job – from day labourer to office worker to travelling salesman for the Vacuum Oil Company, AG – until 1932, when he effortlessly moved into the Reich Security Main Office and later entered the Nazi Party and the SS. Eichmann’s inability to think, to have any self-awareness outside the conventional terms of either democratic or totalitarian reasoning, and the disastrous failure of his conscience were unambiguously coterminous. For Eichmann, and those historical actors like him, the only demand to be met by citizens of any political system was the swift adaptation of its shifting linguistic, legal and social codes. A case in point is when Eichmann escaped US custody, he lived a perfectly benign lifestyle as “Ricardo Klement” in Argentina, that is until agents of the Israeli Security Service (Mossad) abducted him and brought him to Israel to stand trial in 1960. There, again, Eichmann adapted himself to the situation at hand, using legalese to explain to the tribunal that even though he had committed the actions of which he was accused, he was in no way guilty of committing any crime. While his life experience had spectacularly shifted from the ordinary to the sublime to the absurd, one thing was consistent: at no time was there any instance of Eichmann actually thinking.

With regards to our broader question of how historical awareness underscores contemporary consciousness, two things about Arendt’s original reportage of Eichmann’s trial are notable. First there’s the act of Arendt’s own thinking through this event, a contemplative process that employs elements of Alltagsgeschichte with neither the puffed up romantic rhetoric nor the trivialized global analogies. To the contrary, through out all of Arendt writings on the Holocaust, there’s an analytic awareness as to which series of quotidian attitudes might have led to this original event, attitudes erased by canonical meta-histories based precisely their ubiquitous banality. Such that, for Arendt, the causal factor in any culture’s demise, German or otherwise, can be traced to the individual’s utter lack of critical judgment vis-à-vis the minute cultural codes, historical and contemporary, in which he/she lives and through which he/she is defined. Arendt was addressing the ordinary citizen, of any trade. But we should also ask: what might the artist’s more specific role be in this scenario? What might their thought process entail?

Enter the work of Andrea Geyer.


How does the cameraman compare with the painter? To answer this we take recourse to an analogy with a surgical operation…The magician heals a sick person by the laying on of hands; the surgeon cuts into the patient’s body…Magician and surgeon compare to painter and cameraman. The painter maintains in his work a natural distance from reality, the cameraman penetrates deeply into its web. There is a tremendous difference between the pictures they obtain. That of the painter is a total one, that of the cameraman consists of multiple fragments which are assembled under a new law.[18]

As a means of introducing Andrea Geyer’s video project Comrades of Time, returning to Ithzak Fried’s research is helpful, given his focus on the hippocampus, where neurons generate abstractions and hence memory and volition. Because Fried puts micro electrical rays in the neural cells of epileptics to locate the source of their seizures – combining neuroscience and neurosurgery – his research follows that of Wilder Penfield, the Canadian neurosurgeon who brought brain science into the operating room. In so doing, Penfield, along with his colleague Herbert Jasper, invented the “Montreal Procedure,” whereby patients are operated upon while they are awake in order to locate the neuronal source of their epilepsy. From Penfield’s work, Fried thus makes a distinction between “conscious experience” and “consciousness,” a distinction drawn from Penfield’s discovery of “mental diplopia,” more commonly known as “double vision.” The diplopia with which Fried is concerned – one that happens on the operating table – is a doubling of consciousness due to an electrode stimulus that triggers a past memory for the subject, while, concurrently, the subject sees everything happening in the present time/space of the stimulation. For Fried this proves that there indeed is a key mechanism in the brain that analogs the past.[19] From the viewpoint of neuroscientists like Fried and Christof Koch, the brain and mind are thus synonymous. Which is to say, they are not analogous. Nor is one subordinate to the other. On the contrary, to speak of abstract concept cells in one’s brain is to speak, simultaneously, of one’s capacity for memory in the mind. And this capacity is, first and foremost, grounded in the subject’s own consciousness of time.

Diplopic temporal consciousness – more specifically historical diplopia – is also the subject of Andrea Geyer’s Comrades of Time, a case study of what Walter Benjamin’s “artist-as-surgeon” might produce when armed with a camera rather than scalpel. The work’s title derives from Boris Groys’ essay of the same name, where he states: “To be contemporary means to be ‘with time’ rather than ‘in time.’ ‘Contemporary’ is ‘zeitgenössisch.’ As Genoosse means ‘comrade,’ to be contemporary – zeitgenössisch – can thus be understood as being a ‘comrade of time’ – as collaborating with time, helping time when it has problems, when it has difficulties.”[20] Geyer cites this very passage often when explicating her own Comrades in Time, a work consisting of 6 individual videos, in which a group of young women appear alone in the same study reminiscent of a 1920s Bauhaus office. As she describes them: “Sitting at a desk designed by Marcel Breuer, they speak to themselves as if addressing a group of friends, or colleagues and at times a large mass. Their voices are oscillating between reflection and prophecy while they speak to the political situation that surrounds them.[21] The young women’s words consist – as Benjamin would have put it – of multiple fragments assembled under a new law of critical inquiry, fragments drawn from a network of historical speakers active during the tumultuous 1920s German Weimer Republic: political leaders, union organizers, philosophers, workers, writers, musicians, theorists, architects, artists, singers, and so forth. Their rhetoric is at once remotely historical and poignantly contemporary, which may be surprising to some, but not to others, since the Weimer Republic’s historical bookends were the conclusion of World War One and the beginning of the Third Reich (1919-1933). But in scripting the dialogue, as such, it was precisely Geyer’s intention to induce this type of double vision, thereby collaborating with time, helping it along, for a younger generation in need of Stiegler’s type of mnemotechnics, in order to think beyond the double-edged sword of cultural myopia and historical amnesia.

A case in point. In one video we see a young woman “Maggie,” sitting at the desk in timeless loose grey trousers and a white dress shirt. In a reflective tone, she states:

Just see where we are today, in the midst of an economic crisis that shows us the true outcome of every war: The material bankruptcy, the struggling working class, the lack of social services and most of all the emotional disillusionment that most of us carry. But comrades, a crisis like this one has often been a crucial turning point for a people, for a nation. It’s foolish and mad for people to imagine that all they have to do is survive the last breath of war, like a rabbit waiting out a storm under a bush, in order to fall happily back into the old routine once it’s all over. This war and the crisis that will follow it have altered the conditions of our lives now and forever.

These words, uttered without the affect of grand narrative, are drawn from Rosa Luxemburg’s The Janus Pamphlet: The Crisis in German Social Democracy, conceived in 1906 as an international call for workers to resist the tides of war in favour of a mass strike to be staged in such different nations as Weimar parliamentary Germany and Tsarist autocratic Russia. By 1915, after the World War One had commenced in spite of her call for international resistance, Luxemburg was imprisoned, whereupon she wrote her final draft of the pamphlet, which was subsequently adapted as the statement of policy for the International Group. Not only were Luxemburg’s historic words tragically prophetic, as Arendt herself noted in Men in Dark Times, they are resoundingly contemporary in the current context of the US led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more recently the civil wars ongoing in Libya, Egypt and Syria.

As I, myself, watch Maggie repeat Luxemburg’s words, just as the other women in Comrades of Time – Anna, Vanessa, Anya, Nikki, Jess and Elsa – repeat the words of Helene Lange, Alice Salomon, Clara Zetkin, Thomas Mann, George Grosz, Ernst Bloch, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein among others,[22] my mind wanders back to Fried and Koch’s experimental research on concept neurons in the brain. Ostensibly, this is the first time Geyer’s actors have encountered, with any intensity, the writings they are asked to repeat. Which is to say, in performing Comrades of Time, in preparing to memorize and perform these texts – literally embodying this corpus of historical writing – what happens to these young women’s consciousness, in any register, be it neurological, philosophical or political? What are they thinking, learning or seeing for the first time? Moreover, what are the young men and women who watch these videos thinking, ones from the same generation who see their own faces mirrored by those of the actors? Is there a transformation? Yes, Comrades of Time is an artwork, not a science experiment. As such, Geyer isn’t tasked with providing quantifiable data on a given subject’s transformations of consciousness. Nor is she tasked with deriving truth claims, as is the case with philosophers. But it is precisely as an artwork, that Comrades of Time hails us to contemplate these questions of consciousness, ones conceptually and politically valid –if not urgently necessary – for contemporary for artists and writers to ponder.

A final observation. Lest we think the political, aesthetic and theoretical lessons of the Roaring Twenties are now obsolete and better left to the dustbin of history, a recent article by Anisse Gross published in The New Yorker begs the opposite conclusion: “Inside the Musto Building, a space in San Francisco’s Financial District that once housed a marble mill and a candy warehouse, a pair of Internet multimillionaires has founded a members-only club called the Battery. It includes a wine cellar, a spa, and a poker room. The inclusiveness doesn’t extend very far beyond that.” Notably, Michael and Xochi Birch, a married couple who founded and developed the social-networking site Bebo, founded the club. As Grosse explains, “In other words, they benefitted from one of the worst acquisitions in dot-com history: AOL bought Bebo for eight hundred and fifty million dollars in 2008; earlier this year, the Birches bought it back for a million dollars.”[23] The club, for which members must pay an annual twenty-four-hundred-dollar fee, is just part and parcel of a massive displacement of middle and lower income residents out of San Francisco initiated by Silicon Valley moguls looking for a better place than Palo Alto to live and party. Behold the reinvention of the 1920s tycoon as an informatic yawning void. The beast is still alive, and it’s very hungry.

  1. Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, et. al., “Invariant visual representation by single neurons in the human brain,” Nature, 435, 2005, pp. 1102-1107.

  2. For an anecdotal account of this discovery, see: Christof Koch, Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist, (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012), pp. 64-65. For Koch’s scientific account of this research, see: The Quest for Consciousness, (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004), Chapter 5: “What Are the Neuronal Correlates of Consciousness?”

  3. The 2013 conference for the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness was hosted by the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego: http://www.theassc.org/assc_17

  4. Bernard Stiegler, Technic and Time, 3: Cinematic Time and the Question of Malaise, trans. Stephen Barker (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011), pp. 2-3.

  5. Stiegler, pp. 4-5.

  6. Ibid. p. 5.

  7. Ibid. p. 5.

  8. Stephen Barker, “Transformation as an Ontological Imperative: The [Human] Future According to Bernard Stiegler,” Transformations, Issue No. 17, 2009. http://www.transformationsjournal.org/journal/issue_17/article_01.shtml

  9. Stiegler, p. 39.

  10. Barker, ibid.

  11. Alf Lüdtke, The History of Everyday Life: Reconstructing Historical Experiences and Ways of Life, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), p. 4.

  12. Lüdtke, p. 6.

  13. Andreas Huyssen, “Present Pasts: Media, Politics, Amnesia,” Public Culture, 12(1), Winter, 2000, p. 24

  14. Huyssen, footnote, p. 25. Here Huyssen is making reference to Gerhard Schulze’s Die Erlebnisgesellschaft: Kultursoziologie der Gegenwart (Frankfurt: Campus, 1992).

  15. Theodor Adorno, “Commitment,” Aesthetics and Politics: The Key Texts of the Classic Debate within German Marxism, (New York: Verso, 1995), p. 189.

  16. The New Yorker reportage was later published as a book under the title Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, originally published in 1963.

  17. Hannah Arendt, Responsibility and Judgment, (New York: Schocken Books, 2003), pp. 159-160.

  18. Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, (New York: Schocken Books, 1989), p. 233.

  19. See: Francis Crick, Christof Koch, Gabriel Kreiman and Irzhak Fried, “Consciousness and Neurosurgery,” Neurosurgery, vol. 55, no. 2, August, 2004.

  20. Boris Groys, Comrades of Time, e-flux journal, No. 11, 2009.

  21. Artist statement.

  22. Many of these documents are collected in: Martin Jay, et. al., The Weimar Republic Sourcebook, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).

  23. Anisse Gross, “A New Private Clue in San Francisco, and an Old Diversity Challenge,” The New Yorker, October 9, 2013.