In his article “Changing the Rhythm of Design Capitalism and the Total Aestheticization of the World” Márton Szentpéteri intends to highlight the most important stages of the accelerating total aestheticization of the world resulting at the contemporary period of neoliberal design culture. In the age of design capitalism, the hegemony of consumption culture is being constantly maintained by a culture industry substantially expressed by and embodied in design. The paper claims that the eminent reason of the crisis of democracy today is rooted in the global society of the designed spectacle with its one-dimensional citizens loosing almost all abilities to recognize and consequently defend their rights and to decrease their alienation from real needs, responsibilities and sensibilities. Democracy is fading due to neoliberal globalization – especially in the case of the commercialization of the public sector. However, the particular role of design in this process has hitherto been neglected or underestimated. Against the trend of fading democracy, different sorts of design activism experimenting with disobedient objects and strategies of critical design point towards a much-awaited rebirth of art in terms of its compensatory power against damages of our lifeworld generated by the modernization process with globalisation in the lead. These endeavours are in harmony with the return of art in terms of emergency aesthetics. This rebirth can also be reinforced by the defence of the values of liberal learning being so much threatened amid a global higher education crisis, and especially by understanding design education in the frameworks of liberal learning rather than vocational training.
In his article “A Distant View of Close Reading: On Irony and Terrorism around 1977,” György Fogarasi investigates the contemporary critical potentials of close reading in the light of recent developments in computation assisted analysis. While rhetorical reading has come to appear outdated in a “digital” era equipped with widgets for massive archival analysis (an era, namely, more keen on “distant,” rather than “close,” reading), Paul de Man’s insights concerning irony might prove useful in trying to account for the difficulties we must face in a world increasingly permeated with dissimulative forms of threat and violence. The article draws on three major texts from 1977: de Man’s draft on “Literature Z,” his lecture on “The Concept of Irony,” and the first and second Geneva Protocols. The reading of these texts purports to demonstrate the relevance of de Man’s theory of irony with respect to the epistemology of “terrorism,” but it also serves as an occasion to reflect upon questions of distance, speed, range, scale, or frequency, and the chances of “rhythmanalysis.”
In his article “Drums of Doubt: On the Rhythmical Origins of Poetic and Scientific Exploration” Caius Dobrescu argues that even though the sciences and arts of doubt have never been connected to the notion of rhythm, doubt is a form of energy, and more specifically, a form of vibration. It implies an exploratory movement that constantly expands and recoils in a space essentially experienced as uncharted territory. Poetry acquires cognitive attributes through oscillatory rhythmic patterns that are explorative and adaptive. In order to test this hypothesis, the essay focuses on the nature and functioning of free verse. This modern prosodic mutation brings about a dovetailing of the rhythmic spectrum, but also, and more significantly, a change in the very manner of understanding and experiencing rhythm. Oscillatory rhythms are broadly associable with entrainment indexes that point to the adaptation of inner physiological and behavioral rhythms to oscillatory environment stimuli. Free verse emerges from the experience of regaining an original explorative, adaptive, and orientation-oriented condition of consciousness.
In his article “Embracing Noise and Error”, Bálint L. Bálint argues that human society is going through a profound change as mathematical models are used to predict human behavior both on a personal level and on the level of the entire society. An inherent component of mathematical models is the concept of error or noise, which describes the level of unpredictability of a system by the specific mathematical model. The author reveals the educational origin of the abstract world that can be described by pure mathematics and can be considered an ideal world without errors. While the human perception of the world is different from the abstractions we were taught, the mathematical models need to integrate the error factor to deal with the unpredictability of reality. While scientific thinking developed the statistic-probabilistic model to define the limits of predictability, here we present that in a flow of time driven by entropy, stochastic variability is an in-built characteristic of the material world and represents ultimately the singularity of each individual moment in time and the chance for our freedom of choice.
In his article “Genetics and ethics: ‘Do not go alone’”! András Falus presents genomics as a network science triggering an entirely new trend in contemporary biology. Based on the advent of molecular biology the complete sequence of human and other genomes has been determined and since all information is available on internet-based databanks, the huge mass of data is being analysed by advanced methods of informatics. The author is focusing on the upcoming ethical aspect of genetics and genomics, then, in the second part of the article he answers the questions of the editor concerning the genetic approach to ethics and ethical approach to genetics.
In their article “Hand-Written Road Maps to Multi-Dimensional Space” István Berszán and Philip Gross investigate the heightened alertness of literary reading and writing in an interview with Gross, the prize-winning British poet and professor of creative writing. After the presentation of the interviewee Berszán ask him questions concerning the kinetic spaces of his literary practices. The itinerary follows issues like place, temporality of occurrences, attention, system and ecology, metaphor, time projection, gesture-resonance and collaboration. Gross seems to be as good a creative playmate during the discussion as he was for children, students, artists or readers who met him in a „collaborative space between”: his answers turn the questions both into hunter and quarry.
In her article “‘IF’: Planning, Research and Co-creation of an Existential Installation-performance” Rita Sebestyén offers an account of the research period and performances of the experimental, action-research based and interdisciplinary performance ‘IF’. The installation-performance was co-created by a group of Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Hungarian artists, and conceived and produced for an international audience. ‘IF’ poses a series of existential questions throughout four interactive installations that allow the audience to interact and become co-creators of the performance, together with the performer-facilitator. Using biology, anthropology, mathematics, elements of gamification, sociology and futurology, this performance is a cross-disciplinary and cross-genre experience, and its research cycles are of both scientific and artistic interest, as the author points it out.
In the first part of the Introduction Levente T. Szabó introduces Hungarian Studies Yearbook revealing its purpose to serve as a new scholarly hub and focal point for Hungarian studies oriented both towards methodologically challenging experiences and an evidence-based, resource-oriented Hungarian studies. In the second part of the introduction István Berszán presents the thematic issue “Kinetic Spaces – the Challenge of Complexity by Practical Rhythms”, which initiates interdisciplinary research into the rhythm of practices and occurrences in order to open fields of orientation that are larger than recent paradigmatic spaces.