The Cybernetic-Psychedelic Returns Across Aesthetic Fields

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
The Polish Journal of Aesthetics
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The Cybernetic-Psychedelic Returns Across Aesthetic Fields

Special Editor: Thomas Mical [Esoteric Library of the Kangra Valley (Indian Himalayas), New Centre for Research and Practice (US)]

The Polish Journal of Aesthetics - Volume 73 (2/2024)

Submission deadline: June 30, 2024

The resurgence of attention to the ethics, metaphysics, and aesthetics of the psychedelic in diverse philosophical disciplines and creative practices is clearly a search for saturated new processes, expanded consciousness, and reality-shifting from the personal scale to the social. The return of the psychedelic is a search for new concepts, models, and processes. Here we take aesthetic analysis beyond the reception of static representations as after-images so as to examine the displacement of psychedelic sense from ritualism and forms of sensing. Certainly, the new psychedelic aesthetic is informed of altered states of consciousness or even the pharmacological valences of spirit. We see the opportunity to explore this resurgence from metaphysics to media-philosophy to cognitive studies. In identifying this nascent growth of the suprasensory, the attention to alien worlds and altered states in the Posthuman era, even the optics and kinaesthesia of the prior psychedelic era is today often re-discovered or transformed by these hallucinatory visions, scintillating extensions of sensory perception, the rapid amplification of stimuli, all contributing to the extreme imagery of counter-cultural revolution now diffusing into other practices.

This return to the psychedelic also marks the abundance of media effect, and the more difficult projects and projections of psychedelia are perhaps diffusing outside the streaming moving-image format, across a wider range of aesthetic theory, practice, and reception. The return of psychedelic aesthetics, as part of new distortions and displacements becoming transgressive of the ordinary, calls attention to new perceptions as adventure, changes of phase-states, lines of flight, deeper cosmologies, or dissolution of alienation sought through an expanded sensorium. This psychedelic turn, perhaps drawing upon expanded environments beyond the amplification of dual cybernetic feedback loops (from Weiner and Bateson), hovering in the kaleidoscopic interface between Mind and Nature. Historically the psychedelic fringe of consciousness studies remained outside the questioning of Metaphysics or Mind, but today this is changing. We take our clue from recent works including Chris Letheby’s Philosophy of Psychedelics and Peter Sjöstedt-Hughes’ (edited) Philosophy and Psychedelics. Along with a resurgence of scholarship on the original psychedelic culture, from the legacy of Timothy Leary and now Ken Johnson’s Are You Experienced?: How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art; Daniel Beograd’s The Culture of Feedback: Ecological Thinking in Seventies America; and  Victor Szabo’s Turn On, Tune In, Drift Off: Ambient Music's Psychedelic Past offers a multiplicity of colored lenses to see the psychedelic anew. We note an opportunity to twin the recall of psychedelic aesthetics (then and now) in tandem with the rise of applications of the concepts, models, and theories of cybernetics (then and now). From the recent works on the contemporary permutations of cybernetics in cognitive capitalism, from CCRU and Mark Fisher’s Flatline Constructs: Gothic Materialism and Cybernetic Theory-Fiction to Tiqqin’s Cybernetic Hypothesis, the potential overlaps, revisits its, dualist evolution, or other explicit relationships between psychedelic aesthetics and cybernetic aesthetics is the focus of this special issue.

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The Polish Journal of Aesthetics is highly regarded as an international forum for debate in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. The journal is published to promote the study and discuss philosophical questions about aesthetic experience and creative work. The Journal is open to different intellectual and artistic orientations. It publishes lively and thoughtful articles on various topics, from art, aesthetics, the philosophy of art, popular culture, and new technologies. The journal is a semi-annual (appears twice a year) periodical published by the Institute of Philosophy at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland.

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