The concept of technique is conceived broadly and without recourse to privileged epistemological and ontological frameworks. Our focus on techniques is designed to cover a full range of practices and forms of know-how that have little to do with devising a set of best practices deployed at scale. The CPT experiments with just the opposite proposition: that there is no technique deemed useful or useless in itself. A technique finds its relevance in relation to the environments in which it is embedded.
We, therefore, conceive of this initiative as an extended exercise in speculative pragmatics: we experiment with diverse techniques while resisting the pernicious modern tendency to evaluate their relevancy based upon pre-established metrics. To this end, the Center is inherently promiscuous in its critical and speculative engagements: it addresses techniques that are ancient and futuristic, abstract and concrete, analog and digital, scientific and occult. No matter what the technique, and no matter what discursive, material, and epistemological frame in which it is embedded, the CPT is committed to developing experimental research methods to ascertain a technique’s possible meanings and relevancies today and in the future.
Over the next several years, researchers, fellows, and guests of the CPT will engage in diverse forms of research-creation centered on techniques that are relevant to addressing the various crises now racking the planet: financial, climactic, spiritual, infrastructural, racial, geopolitical. To facilitate the exchange of ideas and practices, the Center will devote an entire calendar year to a single technique in an effort to explore its many vicissitudes.
Three interconnected nodes of experimental research structure the Center’s inquiry: a Speaker Series that brings scholars, scientists, artists, designers, and activists to present their work to the CPT and ASU community; a Fellowship Program that supports faculty and graduate student research and practice; and a peer-refereed Journal, Techniques, that publishes scholarly, artistic, and creative investigations.