Hylozoistic neural computation

work in progressryan 2013/04/04 08:57

Unpick the individual, travel down her spine, into the rocks, through the iron core, attaining a burning immanence with the sun, and exiting towards the unknown. 1)

Image: Nihal Yesil

Introduction

Modelling the axon hillock with chalcopyrites

The axon hillock is a specific area of a neuron that connects to the axon. It was thought to be the initial site for action potentials, the electronic signals fired between neurons to send messages. The axon hillock can be modelled in hardware as shown in schematic below.

Modelling the axon hillock with chalcopyrites was inspired by images of the first integrated circuit by Kilby (1953) and neuroscience schematics of the axon hillock area of a neuron (Indrei et al, 2011). Chunks of chalcopyrites are assembled replicating an Adams Crystal Amplifier (Adams, 1933) which is a precursor of the current day transistor. These circuits are then built to model the axon hillock with the output of the circuit connected to loud speakers resulting in sporadic, non-linear noise.

As electrical current is passed through the chalcopyrites of the axon hillock one of the outputs is audible noise. Irregular, non-linear, screams and blasts of white noise are emitted from loud speakers which then subdue into delicate cracking and clicking noises. Occasionally the circuit exhibits visual output coinciding with the audible in the form of small sparks and minute explosions occurring where the copper point contacts meet the surface of the chalcopyrite.2)

The axon hillock has emitted the spark of life and babbles away to itself.

Workshop

Audio recordings

1) Robin Mackay, “Brief History of Geotrauma,” in Leper Creativity. Cyclonopedia Symposium, eds. E. Keller, N. Masciandaro, & E. Thacker (New York: Punctum Books, 2012): 32.
2) I think this is due to the impurities in the rock or the material constitution of the rock itself. Chalcopyrtie is copper iron sulfide and both copper and iron can be used as oxidising agents in pyrotechnic explosions.
hylozoistic_neural_computation.txt · Last modified: 2013/04/04 08:58 by r
 
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