Finding Friendship in Art and Algorithms

COVID-19 has reinforced the vital nature of friendship and community – not just with other humans but also our connections to nature, algorithms, animals and art.

pursuit podcast

Aristotle wrote about friendship. He said that there are three kinds of friendship. Those that are useful, those that are beautiful and then the third – a type of friendship he called virtuous.

This is when the relationship or the attraction or the use actually produces a kind of harmonic state of being.

But, according to media and communications professor, Nikos Papastergiadis, the real bottom line of friendship is the experience of empathy.

This week, a new podcast – Eavesdrop on Ideas hosted by Dr Andi Horvath and Dr Suzie Fraser – explores the idea of friendship, bringing together a philosopher, a psychologist and an author.

Psychologist Dr Katie Greenaway says friendship involves a sense of emotional closeness and connection with another person, but the nature of that interpersonal connection can really vary for people.

And technology can play a role.

“If your friend is kind of made of metal and circuitry or whether it’s made of flesh and bones. Whether it’s a pet, a robot or a human - it’s the degree of the relation, the nature of the relation that counts, not the origin or the species involved,” says philosopher Professor Rosi Braidotti from Utrecht University.

This episode features:

Professor Rosie Braidotti; contemporary philosopher and feminist theoretician at Utrecht University.

Professor Nikos Papastergiadis; from the University of Melbourne Arts Faculty, author of ‘On Art and Friendship’.

Dr Katie Greenaway; from University of Melbourne’s Psychological Sciences, researcher on social connection.

Our sound engineer is Arch Cuthbertson.
Your hosts and researchers are Dr Andi Horvath and Dr Suzie Fraser.
Additional voices are Siri and Chris Hatzis.
The producer is Dr Andi Horvath.
Production assistant is Silvi Vann-Wall.

To listen to the podcast...