Media & Events

The Modern City and the Creation of a "New Heritage"

czyzewski krzysztof







KRZYSZTOF CZYZEWSKI, 2014 laureate, explores life in a modern city, a dying city whose backbone is broken, whose inhabitants are reconnecting with an "old civilization" to create a new heritage as a way of finding themselves in the present in order to have prospects for the future. 


"...we are here in modern times, in democracy, in market economy, in the process of European integration... But to 

be honest, we have found ourselves on the debris of a forgotten civilization which occupies its 

outskirts and constitutes its subcultures. We can perceive that 'we have still got slits in the walls, 

devastated roofs, trees growing out of the staircases, some remnants of stained‐glass windows 

and marble panels under our feet' (Andruhovich)."


 "This is a story that reaches deeper than our childhood, down to prenatal memory, down to 

the world of the old civilization, which is, however, a great mystery of our childhood and 

maturation. That is why we always seek for connections with it, in the same way as we seek for 

reality. The story stops today, at the suspended question about our identity, at the expression of a 

sense of lack, which makes us uneasy."


"...we look through the slit into the depths of the old civilization, we look for ourselves 

for the supportive philosophy. We have found ourselves in the outskirts, among the ruins and the 

abandoned buildings which once served as an ideal place for our childhood games. And the same 

mystery is tempting us, we are still the participants of the same journey, when we ask today who 

we are, when more and more clearly we realize where the keys are and how we can open the 

gates of our city in order to enter inside and come down to the heart of it. "


Read the article by Krzysztof Czyzewski


800px-Pierre NoraHistory









PIERRE NORA, 2014 laureate, analyses the changing relationship between History and Memory over time in his scholarly article published in Eurozine, April 19, 2002, and ends with a quote from Nietzsche and a warning: "There is a certain degree of sleeplessness, of rumination, of [memorial] significance beyond which any living creature is threatened with collapse, and in the long run destroyed, whether it be an individual, a people or a civilization." It is this message left by memory that we also need to remember.

"...the way in which a society, nation, group or family envisaged its future that traditionally determined what it needed to remember of the past to prepare that future; and this in turn gave meaning to the present...

For the other effect of this "acceleration of history" [increasingly rapid change, an accelerated precipitation of all things into an ever more swiftly retreating past], is to abruptly distance us from the past - we are cut off from it. We no longer inhabit that past, we only commune with it through vestiges ... since they hold the key to our "identity", to who we are.  

We can only recover it by reconstructing it in monumental detail with the aid of documents and archives; in other words, what we today call "memory" - a form of memory that is itself a reconstruction - is simply what was called "history" in the past. We are dealing here with a radical and dangerous shift in the meaning of words, a shift itself characteristic of the spirit of the age. "Memory" has taken on a meaning so broad and all-inclusive that it tends to be used purely and simply as a substitute for "history" and to put the study of history at the service of memory. 

The idea that memory can be collective, emancipatory and sacred turns the meaning of the term inside out. Individuals had memories, collectivities had histories. The idea that collectivities have a memory implies a far-reaching transformation of the status of individuals within society and of their relationship to the community at large."

Read the article



Which human skills will be more valuable in the age of brilliant machines ?


Garry Kasparov vs. Deep Blue Supercomputer. He reported that his machine partner possessed greater “tactical acuity,” but he possessed greater “strategic guidance.”

"Creativity ... the ability to grasp the essence of one thing, and then the essence of some very different thing, and smash them together to create some entirely new thing.

The role of the human is not to be dispassionate, depersonalized or neutral. It is precisely the emotive traits that are rewarded: the voracious lust for understanding, the enthusiasm for work, the ability to grasp the gist, the empathetic sensitivity to what will attract attention and linger in the mind.

Unable to compete when it comes to calculation, the best workers will come with heart in hand."

Read the New York Times op-ed article, February 3, 2004


A future in which the paralyzed walk, the sick are healed, the maimed are whole again, and it all happens through bioengineering

ROBERT LANGER, 2005 laureate, "MIT scientist who runs the world's largest bioengineering lab, said last week that those dreams aren't fantasies, but future engineering achievements promised by today's lab results."
The "development of drugs and of drug delivery systems that improve effectiveness by manipulating how long and where in the body they work ... have the potential to one day offer alternatives to people injured in accidents and war ... and would allow minute doses of anticancer drugs, for example, to be delivered directly to tumors, with the intent of both reducing toxicity and increasing effectiveness. Trials so far on more than 100 patients suggest that the method is safe and effective."


Don' take that apple - use your lateral frontal pole!








Whoa there! Brain area found to help spot bad decisions

Ball of tissue named lateral frontal pole found to be crucial in analysing alternative decisions – and may be unique to humans

"There are a few brain areas that monitor how good our choices are, and that is a very sensible thing to have. But this region monitors how good the choices are that we didn't take. It tells us how green the grass is on the other side of the fence."

"...the work ... could pave the way for fresh advances in understanding psychiatric diseases."

Read the article in The Guardian

Hello, I'm here to help ...





Robotics: A new breed of robots is being designed to collaborate with humans, working alongside them to make them more productive

Rather than constituting a threat to workers' jobs, collaborative robots often end up adding shifts because production costs drop, and because workers themselves do the programming, they tend to regard the robots as subordinate assistants, which his is good for morale. 

Whereas handing over an object sed to end in a tug-of-war, robots can now execute “unscripted” handovers to humans requiring the robot to determine whether a person wants and is authorised to have a particular item and present the item in the most advantageous orientation for the human.

Classroom robots are equipped with electrodes enabling them to determine whether students are bored, confused or anxious, thereby adapting their teaching style accordingly and fostering “social bonding” between people and robots.

Whether on the factory floor, at home or in the classroom, the evolving relationship between human robots will be defined by a process of collaboration.

Read the article in The Economist, September 7, 2013