The Chimæric Mind – CR2024


Ascott`s Anecdotes: a Celebration of Consciousness Reframed:

Celebration Keynote Session – Roy Ascott’s Notable alumni.

  • Prof Roy Ascott,
  • Dr. Jill Scott,
  • Dr. Victoria Vesna,
  • Pete Townshend,
  • Dr. Bill Seaman,
  • Dr. Joseph Nechvatal,
  • Prof. Mike Phillips.

Chair: Dr. Jill Scott
(Co-chairs: Dr. Clarissa Ribeiro and Dr. Rewa Write)



In contemporary Western culture, the transformation of our sense of being, of presence, and the nature of time, can be seen as a consequence of accelerated developments in the technologies of mind and of the body (technoetics). Much earlier cultures also developed technologies, often dismissed as “simply” somatic or vegetal, that had the capacity to transform consciousness, reaching it would appear a spiritual significance that has so far, in these early days of digital development, eluded us. There may be political, corporate or cultural reasons for this. But as we move out of the era of techno-primitivism and reductionist fundamentalism, we can hopefully look to the encoding of empathy and emotion in computational systems, and so to an understanding that only when the computer can feel will there be machines that think. This may lead, in turn, to a greater understanding of what constitutes reality, or, as some might see it, a greater capacity to (re)build it, and ourselves, bottom

Roy Ascott, 2010


Roy Ascott, Espen Gangvik, Margarete Jahrmann, “Making Reality Really Real Reflections on Art, Technology, and Consciousness,” Proceedings of The 11th Annual International Research Conference, Consciousness Reframed: Art and Consciousness in the Post-Biological Era, Trondheim, 2010. Wennberg, Trondheim, Norway: TEKS Publishing, 2010.

Dear Esteemed Colleagues and Visionaries,

It is with great excitement and anticipation that we extend this invitation to you for the international Consciousness Reframed conference, marking two decades since the inaugural event in China in 2004. As we convene to celebrate this milestone, we also honor synchronous anniversaries: the 30th anniversary of the Planetary Collegium (CAiiA-STAR), a decade of the Roy Ascott Advanced Program in Technoetic Arts in China, and the 90th birthday of the visionary Roy Ascott himself.

The theme for CR 2024 is “The Chimæric Mind,” exploring the ethical, philosophical, political, spiritual, cultural, and aesthetic facets of the profound intersection between machine and human cognition. In a world where artificial intelligence propels discussions across disciplines, challenging our understanding of reality, self, and the potential futures of humanity, our conference aims to dissect and envision the implications of this synthesis.

Inviting us to confront the evolving relationship between machines and the human mind that beckons us to ponder transcendent dimensions of merging man and machine, man and other animals, and the blending and editing of all sorts of complex molecules, we hope that together we can enlarge our collective understanding of a world where the entanglements of AI, neurosciences, molecular engineering, and quantum biology steer discussions, questioning fundamental truths, challenging our perceptions of reality and the realities we can create and envisage, exploring the very essence of selfhood, and unveiling possible futures for humanity.

Taking place in Shangai, at the SIVA Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts in Songjiang with art exhibitions and performances in galleries in downtown Shanghai, and telematically, revisiting the 1992 Telenoia with hosted satellite events all over the world, the conference’s subthemes invite to meditate on the impacts of initiatives such as the “China Brain Project,” dedicated to pioneering brain-inspired AI. China’s AI-brain initiative encompasses diverse domains, including brain-inspired AI (BI-AI), connectomics, and brain-computer interfaces (BCI). BI-AI delves into mathematical representations of brain processes, translating biological computation into AI models. Connectomics replicates brain structures, employing AI for image interpretation, while BCIs decode and potentially leverage brain signals for computing resources. Shanghai, a technological hub, takes center stage, hosting facilities like the Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology and the “G60 Brain Intelligence Innovation Park” in Songjiang. This innovation hub, generously funded, explores BI-AI research, featuring intriguing ventures like cloned monkeys. Across the nation, institutes like Tsinghua University contribute to neural coding and machine learning algorithms. Under the umbrella of “The Chimæric Mind,” we invite our global community to delve into the ethical implications of using ‘animals-like-humans-as-if-not-humans’ in labs and the intricate interplay between humans and AI implied in public and private audacious efforts that can lead humanity to a future in which ‘Transcendent AI’ plays a central role in reframing consciousness. We hope to infuse perspectives that can spark discussions on experiences, challenges, and ethical considerations in the ever-evolving landscape of AI and scientific, technological, and artistic exploration by humans.

To guide academic submissions for the international Consciousness Reframed 2024 conference, the following sub-themes have been proposed to navigate aspects of “The Chimæric Mind” entangled with intellectual inquiry transcending arts, science, technology, culture, and spirituality:


1. Humans-AI-Entanglements

Places an invitation to explore the intricate and evolving relationships between humans and artificial intelligence, considering welcoming explorations that concern the entanglements that arise as AI becomes an integral part of our daily lives, hybridizing our perceptions, decisions, and even our identities — the era of a ‘convolutional cyberception’ —, additionally inviting to consider the multifaceted socio-political and cultural dimensions intricated with private and government-funded initiatives all over the planet.

2. The Syncretic Mind: Beyond Spirituality

The sub-theme invites us to delve into the syncretic nature of the mind as it navigates the intersections of spirituality, artificial intelligence, and neuroscience, welcoming submissions that critically consider the ‘transcendent dimension’ emerging from AI and experimental practices beyond traditional boundaries, taking cues from the advancements in brain-inspired artificial intelligence (BI-AI), connectomics, and brain-computer interfaces — the artificial divine or sacred beyond cultural and religious constraints.

3. Artificial Time, Scale, and Space

Places an invitation to examine how AI challenges previous conventional notions of space, time and temporality, scale, having implications in the understanding of presence and the very notion of existence and scale of existence, drawing insights from discussions around the AI and neurosciences research convergences, emphasizing breakthroughs in brain-like information coding, processing, and large-scale intelligent computing models.

4. Transcendent AI: on Artificial Consciousness

Transcendent AI refers to AI systems with intelligence and capabilities that become incomprehensible to humans and that might possess consciousness, creativity, and problem-solving abilities beyond the singularity. The sub-theme invites us to engage in discussions about the theoretical and practical aspects of imbuing machines with self-awareness, raising questions about the nature of consciousness and its potential replication in artificial entities.

5. Molmedia: the quantum biology of mind

The sub-theme places an invitation to explore “The Chimæric Mind” as an emergence from elementary entities’ behavior and qualities. The quantum mind or quantum consciousness comprises hypotheses proposing that interactions from classical mechanics or connections between neurons alone cannot explain consciousness, instead proposing that quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as entanglement and superposition play a central role since causing nonlocalized quantum effects.

6. Moist-Encounters: The Artificial Biochemical

This sub-theme invites participants to submit work venturing into the realm of biochemical interactions, discussing the implications of merging artificial intelligence with the biochemical processes of living organisms. Participants are encouraged to critically reflect upon the potential benefits, ethical concerns, and transformative possibilities of these moist encounters, including exploring research on genetic chimerism and molecular biology chimeras and the use of pluripotent stem cells in engineering new existences.

7. Artificial Ecology-as-Cosmology: Decolonial-Convolutional

Inviting to investigate the intertwining of AI and ecological and cosmological perspectives, potentially producing decolonial-convolutional unfoldings. This sub-theme invites participants to submit work examining how AI impacts ecological systems and cosmological narratives, challenging traditional perspectives and fostering a more inclusive understanding of interconnectedness.

8. On the (a)gender(s) of the Machine

Addressing the gender dynamics inherent in AI, this sub-theme invites participants to submit work exploring how gender is represented, constructed, or perceived in the realm of artificial intelligence, considering discussing the implications of gendered perspectives on AI development, usage, and societal impact. Beyond nature as gender-fluid, gender-related aspects mentioned in the context of AI-brain programs, such as hybrid enhanced intelligence theory and brain intelligence computing theory, can impact our very understanding of gender as a humanly created social construct.

The Consciousness Reframed 2024 conference calls upon our global community of visionary thinkers, scholars, artists, scientists, and technologists to join us in Shanghai or telematically to collectively explore, discuss, and envision the profound implications of “The Chimæric Mind” on our understanding of consciousness, reality, and the future of humanity.


Dr. Clarissa Ribeiro

Conference Chair

Program Director, Roy Ascott Advanced Program in Technoetic Arts, DeTAO


Roy Ascott

Founding President of the Planetary Collegium

Founding President of Consciousness Reframed Conferences

DeTAO Master of Technoetic Arts

DeTAO Masters Academy

SIVA Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts

Shanghai, China