events ixdm

All Eyes on Method — 4 June 2015

Changes in ‘facts’  /// Changes in ‘tactics and strategies’  /// Objects are methods 

Bernard Dionysious Geogehagan  //

  • Media technologies of psychoanalysis 
  • Chris Csizetmihali and the motivation of programming / technical 
  • Technological media is not the primary thing at play 
  • Gender – clerical links
  • Learning programming … 

Kafka: How on earth did anyone get the idea that people can communicate with one another by letter! Of a distant person one can think, and of a person who is near one can catch hold – all else goes beyond human strength. Writing letters, however, means to denude oneself before the ghosts, something for which they greedily wait. Written kisses don’t reach their destination, rather they are drunk on the way by the ghosts.

Noise and backgrounds / foregrounds… Kittler’s line about the sounds of noise 

Leibniz:  said that he hoped his stepped reckoner would help astronomers… just like the first computer uses of Watson / IBM / Columbia first labs…

The media generative of — difference generating machines — media structure relations 

Book about transatlantic cables 

“Prison-house of wires” 

Working so hard to be subjects… 

Sarah Benhaim 

  • Noise ethnography
  • signal scrambling 
  • support / love 
  • irony and provocation — so

Harsh Noise Wall /// Sister Usine… 

How to create a discourse out of something that is 

Acting out what you thought… asking out the question of 

Music fidelity fetishism … noise lovers do not think of it as ‘bad sound’ 

Outsides of codification — 

Paul Legarty — noise as aesthetics 

The noise signal as ‘semantic-less’ — it’s both the best and worst topic, the hardest and easiest ‘object’ of discourse.  There is in this the same thought about politics… which creates noise

Anthropology of media-technologies… different recording devices make you a different reseracher
Perspectivism … what it is to see/hear as the musician, as the researcher, as the audience member – but also as the speaker, as the cement, as the air in the room… 

Luis Manuel Garcia

  • Luis in Paris
  • Talismanic value 
  • Fun and work
  • Distance / proximity… 
  • Blog post as a ‘form’

Kathleen Stuart – everydayness 


Thinking—Spaces for Research—Creation – McCormack (2008)

Thinking—Spaces for Research—Creation – McCormack (2008)

  • Matters of Concern 
    • “The question was never to get away from facts but closer to them, not fighting empiricism but, on the contrary, renewing empiricism. (…) … the critical mind, if it is to renew itself and be relevant again, is to be found in the cultivation of a stubbornly realist attitude—to speak like William James—but a realism dealing with what I will call matters of concern, not matters of fact.” (Latour 2004)
    •  “Give me one matter of concern and I will show you the whole earth and heavens that have to be gathered to hold it firmly in place”? 
  •  Matters of concern (for geography)
    • 1) Thinking space — how it is conceptualised, produced, inhabited, contested, constructed, made and remade
    • 2) Making more of the practice and craft of thinking — corporeal, affective and perceptual (“forces that act under the representation of the identical”)
    • 3) Fieldwork — “exploring how different techniques of experience and experiment work to animate and inflect thinking with the force of the nonrepresentational”
    • 4) How techniques of experience and experiment complicate the critical tendency to oppose the lived and the abstract as conceptual, ethical, and political spaces 
  • Thinking-space: as facilitating environment and generative activity / cultivation of ecologies of research-creation
  • To have a space // geography — is it immobilising concretisation? (Bergson / Whitehead) 
    • unprocessural in nature — space as a container for action – LIKE A LAB!? 
    • an ‘unwillingness’ to think becoming!? 
  • Space-time // thinking-space is ‘before individual agency or intentionality gets to work’
  • Thinking about space 
    • epistemological after-awareness of processuality 
  • Thinking-space
    • co-intensive sensing
    • fundamentally an object of encounter rather than recognition
    • “cognitive experience must originate within that of a non-cognitive sort”
  • “It is one thing to affirm a movement from the grammar of disciplinary extraction to that of participation in a world that already participates in us before we think about it. It is another to work this affirmation into the practice and craft of research.”
  • “‘field’ has come to be understood less as a site ‘out there’ at which research takes place, but a space of distributed agency, action and encounter within which research materials are not so much discovered as co-generated”
  • How are Thinking Spaces arranged? The Thinking Space of the cloister… it’s “rhythm analysis”
  • The Production of Space (1991) — “field of application par excellent [of rhythm analysis], its preferred sphere of experiment, would be the sphere of music and dance, the sphere of ‘rhythmic cells’ and their effects.” (1991) 
  • Lefevre’s rhytmic / Guattari’s ritornello
    • the production of subjectivities through multiple ritornellos
    • eternal returns // 
    • Lefevre Cloister / Guattari’s Kitchen
    • making spaces… Critical Media Lab? 
  • La Borde — psychoanalytical environment – Jean Oury – social political and aesthetic practices
  • Participation rather than presentation /// Not a plan of action but an ethos of openness
  • “relational movement exercises becoming movement of thought” 
  • The after-affects might sustain a series of affirmations, presented here in no particular order…
    • That the critic is the one who assembles, the one who provides arenas within which to gather (Latour 2004)
    • That the paradoxical movement of dancing bodies (Gil 2006; Manning 2006) is generative – in potential – of multiple thinking-spaces
    • That concepts are mobile attractors, things to be played with and not necessarily policed or applied.
    • That what Whitehead (1978) calls “conceptual feeling” is not a contradiction in terms.
    • That as far as research methods are concerned, much more can be made of techniques that in embracing their own inventiveness “are not afraid to own up to the fact that they add (if ever so meagrely) to reality”
    • That research-creation would benefit through learning ‘ritournello games’ which “fix the existential ordering of the sensory environment and which prop up the meta- modelizing scenes of the most abstract problematic affects” 
    • That research-creation involves an ethical commitment to learning to become affected (in a Spinozist sense) by the relational movement of bodies, and a political one borne of the claim that we can never determine in advance the kinds of relational matrices of which bodies are capable of becoming involved 
    • That the world needs more conceptually rich environments within which to experiment thus ethically and politically. 
  • Ganzfeld Tents
  • Bruce Naumann — Dance or Exercise on the Perimeter of the Square 
  • Certainly, the lines of this geography might trouble any phenomenology of lived space defined against abstraction. And they would do so as part of what Gunnar Olsson calls “a cartography of thought” (1991: 181) that draws out the lines of which things and events are composed: “the lines that make them up, or they make up, or take, or create”

Bateson’s (Digital) Tick

There is a species of tick, a little round creature that gets in your skin. The baby tick when he hatches, walks up a tree, and remains on a twig until he smells butyric acid, that is sweat. If and when he smells butyric acid, he falls off the tree and hopes to fall on a mammal.

If in two or three weeks, he does not smell any sweat, he falls off the tree and climbs another tree. It is the absence of butyric acid, in the end, has the same effect that the presence of butyric acid would have. He’s able to work at two logical type levels. He is able to deal with the absence of information as a piece of information. The information which doesn’t come is itself information.

This is dreadfully important in the whole relation of figure relation, and so on.








Bateson’s Donkey

You go into the mountains looking for a donkey, and then you discover that you’re riding on one. — Gregory Bateson


Cyborg Manifesto — Donna Haraway (1983)

Cyborg Manifesto — Donna Haraway (1983)

“Michael Foucault’s biopolitics is a flaccid premonition of cyborg politics, a very open field.”

“The stakes in the border war have been the territories of production, reproduction, and imagination. This chapter is an argument for pleasure in the confusion of boundaries and for responsibility in their construction.”
“the relation between organism and machine has been a border war. The stakes in the border war have been the territories of production, reproduction, and imagination.”
“a ‘final’ irony since the cyborg is also the awful apocalyptic telos of the ‘West’s’ escalating dominations of abstract individuation, an ultimate self untied at last from all dependency, a man in space. An origin story in the ‘Western’, humanist sense depends on the myth of original unity, fullness, bliss and terror, represented by the phallic mother from whom all humans must separate, the task of individual development and of history, the twin potent myths inscribed most powerfully for us in psychoanalysis and Marxism. Hilary Klein has argued that both Marxism and psychoanalysis, in their concepts of labour and of individuation and gender formation, depend on the plot of original unity out of which difference must be produced and enlisted in a drama of escalating domination of woman/nature. The cyborg skips the step of original unity, of identification with nature in the Western sense. This is its illegitimate promise that might lead to subversion of its teleology as star wars.” — this last sense in which the cyborg is, again, the fulfillment of a kind of knowledge of self — what Marx and Freud missed (that Simondon understood) is that there is not originary unity… — Hilary Manette Klein – Feminist Studies – Vol. 15, No. 2, The Problematics of Heterosexuality (Summer, 1989), pp. 255-278
“The main trouble with cyborgs, of course, is that they are the illegitimate offspring of militarism and patriarchal capitalism, not to mention state socialism. But illegitimate offspring are often exceedingly unfaithful to their origins. Their fathers, after all, are inessential.”
Charting Three Breakdowns

  • ANIMAL <> MAN — “By the late twentieth century in United States scientific culture, the boundary between human and animal is thoroughly breached. The last beachheads of uniqueness have been polluted if not turned into amusement parks–language tool use, social behaviour, mental events, nothing really convincingly settles the separation of human and animal. And many people no longer feel the need for such a separation; indeed, many branches of feminist culture affirm the pleasure of connection of human and other living creatures. Movements for animal rights are not irrational denials of human uniqueness; they are a clear-sighted recognition of connection across the discredited breach of nature and culture. Biology and evolutionary theory over the last two centuries have simultaneously produced modern organisms as objects of knowledge and reduced the line between humans and animals to a faint trace re-etched in ideological struggle or professional disputes between life and social science. Within this framework, teaching modern Christian creationism should be fought as a form of child abuse.”
  • ANIMAL <> TECHNOLOGY — Pre-cybernetic machines could be haunted; there was always the spectre of the ghost in the machine. This dualism structured the dialogue between materialism and idealism that was settled by a dialectical progeny, called spirit or history, according to taste. But basically machines were not self-moving, self-designing, autonomous. They could not achieve man’s dream, only mock it. They were not man, an author to himself, but only a caricature of that masculinist reproductive dream. To think they were otherwise was paranoid. Now we are not so sure. Late twentieth-century machines have made thoroughly ambiguous the difference between natural and art)ficial, mind and body, self-developing and externally designed, and many other distinctions that used to apply to organisms and machines. Our machines are disturbingly lively, and we ourselves frighteningly inert.
  • PHYSICAL <> NONPHYSICAL — ” Modern machines are quintessen- tially microelectronic devices: they are everywhere and they are invisible.”
    • The silicon chip is a surface for writing; it is etched in molecular scales disturbed only by atomic noise, the ultimate interference for nuclear scores. Writing, power and tech- nology are old partners in Western stories of the origin of civilization, but miniaturization has changed our experience of mechanism.
    • Our best machines are made of sunshine; they are all light and clean because they are nothing but signals, electromagnetic waves, a section of a spectrum, and these machines are eminently portable, mobile – a matter of immense human pain in Detroit and Singapore.”
      • Transparency and knowledge – something can become invisible because its a closed black box, and something can become invisible because its too open, sunshine, light…


  • “However, a woman is not simply alienated from her product, but in a deep sense does not exist as a subject, or even potential subject, since she owes her existence as a woman to sexual appropriation. To be constituted by another’s desire is not the same thing as to be alienated in the violent separation of the labourer from his product.”
  • “It is no accident that the symbolic system of the family of man and so the essence of woman breaks up at the same moment that networks of connection among people on the planet are unprecedentedly multiple, preg- nant and complex. ‘Advanced capitalism’ is inadequate to convey the structure of this historical moment.”
  • “Some differences are playful; some are poles of world historical systems of domination. ‘Epistemology’ is about knowing the difference.”

The Informatics of Domination

  • “we are living through a movement from an organic, industrial society to a polymorphous, information system from all work to all play, a deadly game.”
  • The cyborg is not subject to Foucault’s biopolitics; the cyborg simulates politics, a much more potent field of operations.”
  • “Technologies and scientific discourses can be partially understood as formalizations, i.e. as frozen moments, of the fluid social interactions constituting them, but they should also be viewed as instruments for enforcing meanings. The boundary is permeable between tool and myth, instrument and concept, historical systems of social relations and historical anatomies of possible bodies, including objects of knowledge. Indeed, myth and tool mutually constitute each other.”
  • Furthermore, communications sciences and modern biologies are constructed by a common move the translation the world into a problem of coding, a search for a common language in which all resistance to instrumental control disappears and all heterogeneity can be submitted to disassembly, reassembly, investment and exchange.
    • communications sciences, the translation of the world into a problem in coding can be illustrated by looking at cybernetic (feedback-controlled) systems theories applied to telephone technology, computer design, weapons deployment or database construc- tion and maintenance. In each case, solution to the key questions rests on a theory of language and control; the key operation is determining the rates, directions and prob- abilities of flow of a quantity called information. The world is subdivided by boundaries differentially permeable to information. Information is just that kind of quantifiable element (unit, base of unity) which allows universal translation, and so unhindered instru- mental power (called effective communication). The biggest threat to such power is interruption of communication. Any system breakdown is a function of stress. The funda- mentals of this technology can be condensed into the metaphor C3I, command-control- communication-intelligence, the military’s symbol for its operations theory.
  • Communications technologies depend on electronics. Modern states, multi- national corporations, military power, welfare state apparatuses, satellite systems, political processes, fabrication of our imaginations, labour-control systems, medical constructions of our bodies, commercial pornography, the international division oflabour and religious evangelism depend intimately upon electronics. Microelectronics is the technical basis of simulacra; that is, of copies without originals. Microelectronics mediates the translations of labour into robotics and word process- ing, sex into genetic engineering and reproductive technologies, and mind into artificial intelligence and decision procedures.

The ‘homework economy’ outside ‘the home’

  • “The extreme mobility of capital and the emerging international division of labour are intertwined with the emergence of new collectivities, and the weakening of familiar groupings.”
  • “In the prototypical Silicon Valley, many women’s lives have been structured around employment in elcctronics- dependent jobs, and their intimate realities include serial heterosexual monogamy, negotiating childcare, distance from extended kin or most other forms of traditional community, a high likelihood of loneliness and extreme economic vulnerability as they age.”
  • Gordon, Richard, and Linda M. Kimball. “High technology, employment and the challenges to education.” Prometheus 3.2 (1985): 315-330.
  • “To be feminized means to be made extremely vulner- able; able to be disassembled, reassembled, exploited as a reserve labour force… factory, home and market are integrated on a new scale and that the places of women are crucial and need to be analysed for differ- l’nces among women and for meanings for relations between men and women in various situations.”
  • “The homework economy as a world capitalist organizational structure is made possible by (not caused by) the new technologies. The success of the attack on rela- tively privileged, mostly white, men’s unionized jobs is tied to the power of the new communications technologies to integrate and control labour despite extensive disper- sion and decentralization. The consequences of the new technologies are felt by women both in the loss of the family (male) wage (if they ever had access to this white privi- lege) and in the character of their own jobs, which are becoming capital-intensive; for example, office work and nursing.”

  • “Technologies like video games and highly miniatur- ized televisions seem crucial to production of modern forms of ‘private life.”
    • Books, etc., did the same no?

Cyborgs: a myth of political identity

  • “Cyborg politics is the struggle for language and the struggle against perfect communication, against the one code that translates all meaning perfectly, the central dogma of phallogocentrism.”
  • “Cyborg politics is the struggle for language and the struggle against perfect communication, against the one code that translates all meaning perfectly, the central dogma of phallogocentrism. That is why cyborg politics insist on noise and advocate pollution, rejoicing in the illegitimate fusions of animal and machine.”
  • Anne McCaffrey’ s pre-feminist The Ship Who Sang (1969) explored the consciousness of a cyborg, hybrid of girl’s brain and complex machinery, formed after the birth of a severely handicapped child. Gender, sexuality, embodiment, skill: all were reconstituted in the story. Why should our bodies end at the skin, or include at best other beings encapsulated by skin?
    • The Bateson example of the blind man with the stick: IN STEPS TO AN ECOLOGY OF MIND, THE ANTHROPOLOGIST and scientist Gregory Bateson repeatedly uses a simple example to chal- lenge taken-for-granted assumptions about the body and the self. Consider, he says, a blind man with a stick. “Where,” Bateson asks, “does the blind man’s self begin? At the tip of the stick? At the handle of the stick? Or at some point halfway up the stick?” (Davis, Joseph E. “If the ‘Human’ Is Finished, What Comes Next?: a Review Essay.” (2007): 1–16. Print.)

Intense pleasure in skill, machine skill, ceases to be a sin, but an aspect of embodiment. The machine is not an it to be animated, worshipped and dominated. The machine is us, our processes, an aspect of our embodiment. We can be responsible for machines; they do not dominate m· threaten us. We are responsible for boundaries; we are they” – P 315


Eroll Morris

‘You can never trust someone who doesn’t talk a lot, because how else could you know what they’re thinking?’ – EM

art quotes

Edward Said on Gould and Hindemith

“…a stunningly fluent and demonic rendition of the last fugal movement of Hindernith’s Third Sonata, a fine piece hardly ever played in concert today for reasons that have to do with the intellectual cowardice and low aesthetic standards of a majority of today’s musicians, which Gould’s career as a whole so strenuously impugns.” (Edward Said, Musical Elaborations, p. 31)


Matter, Memory, and the More-than-Human

Matter, Memory, and the More-than-Human
Relational Aesthetics and Politics in the Age of the Anthropocene

Heather Davis

Freezes the processes of becoming that biological organisms need

Bernadette Vincent — plastics are supposed to be ephemeral… Bergson… they are supposed to be at rest as moments of being. The ephemeral present of plastis… is the tip of a heap of memory. Plastics really belong to Bergson’s duration… the present is conditioned by the accumulated … past… It’s waste will constitute the archives of the twentieth century and beyond.”

Slow violence – against morphogenesis – by stopping processes of becoming

The virtual — is plastic anti-virtual — in terms of potential

Bacterial lifeforms that digest plastics —

Ridvan Askin – Every Pumking in the Field… Emerson

  • Nature Always wears the colours of the spirit
  • Pumpkin and human relations are through spirit
  • Pumpkins are immersed in the entirety of pumpkin history (biology)
  • Every person in town goes through every point of human history
  • What is the shared history of pumpkinhood
    • The work of vegetable and the mineral material is not something that they are outside of, but that which they inhabit (why are humans under the impression that they are outside of this?)
    • The standing forth of pumpkins – natural archives for us, and a memory of matter for us
  • Matter, Aesthetics, Memory
  • Emerson and matter and spirit – every materialist is an idealist, but the idealist cannot be a materialist
  • For Emerson materialism is a kind of empiricism
  • There is no difference between human, stones and pumpkin – they are “better or worse reflectors” – humans are the best reflectors
  • Human thought’s self-reflexivity
  • Aethetics – ‘intuition materialised’
  • Ar is a relation of the material and the immaterial – the veritable speculative experiment in metaphysics – its methods is that of a transcendental empiricism (only true document of philosophy – Schelling)
  • The saturation of art with metaphysics
  • Art discloses the relation between the immaterial and material
  • “The earth is a museum, and the five senses a philosophical apparatus of such …” (earth and time … angel of history)
  • Emerson’s self reliance – becoming god or becoming one –
  • Self-reliance — aesthetics — memory
  • “beauty” and “virtue” — the realm of thought to the realm of action
  • Thought and action are related by means of things
  • Thought alone, being finite cannot quite render god, etc. —
  • The method of transcendental empiricism — tune oneself to the idea — speculative pragmatism
  • Onto-ethics — Spinoza’s third kind of knowledge, Deleuze’s other knowledge   

It seems like ‘relating the finite and the infinite’ is something you could claim about everything. The relation to the collective.

Emerson to James — transcendental empiricism / radical empiricism

Stamatia Portanova

The Genius and the Algorithm. Refections on the post digital Aesthetics as Capitalist Neurosis

New Aesthetics is mostly discussed in terms of

Sociotechnical-psychophysical — neurosis (Deleuze and Guattari)

Post-digital neurosis is the main aesthetic form of contemporary capitalism

The Anti Oedipus — Schizophrenia is a relational attitude, a being a capacity for relation. A horizontal attitude – being able to be multiple, to produce a life in relation in collaboration. The neurotic, someone or something that lives the rules and external logic of the society. Capitalism is a schizophrenic economic system, which also operate in a neurotic way.

The Body Without Organs is a pure fluid.

Digital images are everywhere versus us seeing images as digital.

The New Aesthetic argument: Computers have a capacity to dictate a style

Digital Algorithms in a Whiteheadian sense – as a capacity to decide efficiently – have the most type

Postdigital aeshtetics – are about abstract flows of money — industrial captalism is about the earned money and money to invest (surprlus) — now the operation of dissimilating

Post digital aesthetics give us a kind of ‘as if’ — capitalism is acting as if the material structure

Computational machines allow money to become more fluid — controlling and regulating the flows of capital in a more abstract way. This is work – “money is not free.”

Technical machines have a new role – giving capitalism a ‘new style’ (a new efficiency)

“You cannot process information without dissipating energy.” (Shaviro … reminds me of Serres and mathematics)

Algorithms become for the economists the most reliable modes of thought.

Kant as the origin of the fixation on objects + aesthetics

Joel McKim

A Philosophy of Infrastructure

Primary concerns for architecture – away from the design of signature buildings, to the organisation of energy, transportation, information, naturalism

Norman Foster — reigning architect of infrastructure

Thomas Heatherwick — garden bridge

Lateral Office — Infrastructural Opportunism (where transportation, etc., infrastructures are used for other things — e.g.: Highline?)

Herzog & de Meuron – 1111 Licoln Road

J. Henry Fair – geological manipulation

Marjetica Potrc – Hybrid House – various forms of “infrastructural coping”

Infrastructures of the past – Robert Smithton’s Floating Island that would travel around the city of Manhattan (1970 proposed, 2015 effected)

Eliason – Waterfalls in NYC – man made infrastructural nature

Disciplinarian argument: Infrastructure is about a move away from philosophical concerns — architecture’s kind of integration with deconstruction producing a kind of over-theorising of the practice — and infrastructural architects seems to move around the. This is strange as there is a move toward the infrastructural thinking in philosophy.

Jane Bennett / Graham Harman / Timothy Morton – Philosophy of infrastructures

Fresh Kills – refers to the dutch word ‘kills’ meaning stream – Fresh Stream – reopened as a site for 9/11 and of course there is still garbage flowing. (What of the psychological desire to right the site vis a vis its history)

Data Centers – largely non-visible and aestheticisces (Walmart Data Centre, Yahoo! Data Centre – chicken coop)

Jane Bennett – thing power, latour, etc. – efficacy. A complex assemblage of actants, rather than a single root, is ever responsible for something like a ‘blackout’.

“Astonishingly non-anthropocentric”

A number of the talks today focused on this shock — how pumpkins having history seems crazy, how our plastics are ‘coming back to haunt us’ and the speculative realism object (things in themselves – tool being)

Transcendental empiricism as a moral responsibility — and the proximity of practice to both the everyday lives of people (in terms of their distancing through capitalism, etc.) and to the theorist (it’s true that theories of art are created, but most are oriented toward aesthetics as a non-production of the

Christoph Jenkin — Artistic Research

Sadie Plant

Cybernetic Cultures Research Unit – Nick Land

“There is a sense of everyone trying to out radicalise one another”


What is strange about the resurgence of these ideas // apolocalyptic flavour that is

Skeptical of immanent singularity

Radical turn away from linguistics — emphasis of the world of text that we should read — emptied of all substance

Iriguray – materiality of the body, jouissance, mechanics of fluids

The new interest in the outside – the real

Women were never part of the ‘anthropogenic’ world view — they were never admitted to being ‘fully human’, and so were “denied the illusion of subjectivity” (Zero’s and One’s book by plant). Women were objects, and part of infrastructure (particularly in technology) — objectified, gaining subjectivity.

Feminism can almost be accounted for in the ways that objects become more vibrant and lively. Women were the avant grade of threse processes. Why feminism happened at a certain time and a certain moment (because of the liveliness of technoculture?). Our tools begin to have far more to say in the processes we undertake…

There simply are more things (and our access to them) and they are more lively

Mcluhan – what if humans are simply the reproductive organs of machines // rear view mirror

DeLanda – tracing the history of the planet

Finitude of the human — the fact that we can’t get outside of ourselves — in Harman is extending these things outside of the human. Everything’s relation to everything else is problematic, incomplete, etc.

The relation of Speculative Realism to objects: There isn’t much specificity attended to the actual object, and so it’s not clear that the SR crew has much to offer artists…

There is this reality that sits outside of us — Meillasoux — a becoming governed by no necessity whatsoever

events ixdm

Demo or Die! — Orit Halpern

Demo or Die!

Computer immersive environments and biopolitics 

Seek – Life in a Computerized Environment 

What does it mean to be critical?

A history of senses in relationship to cybernetics 

  • Frogs / aerial views / virtual systems / smart cities
  • Smart cities — the global business utopia — Incheon
  • Ubiquitous computing is about apocalypse 
  • How did bandwidth come to equate life itself…?
  • Performative architecture 

How as Sensing = Smartness? Smartness = Networked Stupidity? Networked Stupidity = Value

Historical Genealogy of Contemporary Responsive Environment 

  • Science of communication and control in the animal and the machine 
  • Norbert Wiener — statistical behavirou of plane bombers
  • “The Human Use of Human Beings” 
  • Cybernetics 
    • Behavioural — black box
    • Probabilistic
    • Anticipatory
    • Data Rich
  • What the Frog’s Eye Tells the Frog’s Brain
    • sui generous – experimental esptemology
    • McCulloch – machines for making thought 
    • Beginning of computer vision
    • Informatic overload – all processing cannot occur in the brain
    • The eye speaks to the brain already highly organised
    • The eye becomes ‘autonomous ‘ in some sense – a Turing Machine 
    • Optic nerves don’t transmit data – they transmit 
    • “Information is not a measure of what you say, but what you could say” – the potentiality of the media / medium is the message
  •  The idea of vision —> sense as intellect
  • Autonomous perceptual field —> mobile observer 
  • Gyorgy Kepes (taught a course with Moholy Nagy in Chicago on camouflage) 
  • Kepes assumes scale gives us a new objectivity — sustaining the image allows us to ‘get over the eye’ — the machine has a perfect visual experience 
  • Better design is about capacity 
  • Actioncy — modelling the act of perception itself 
  • Sensing = Process = Knowledge 
  • The focus on environment 
  • Vanderbeerk Movie Drome 
  • “artist in resident of the world, but we don’t know where to apply” – Vanderbeek 
  • Architecture Machine Group 
  • Aspen Project – Naimark – “This is a way to live…” – the world as interface
  • Entebbe Mock-up 1976
  • Demo or Die — Microworlds – Testing Computing to develop responsive urban design from The Architecture Machine 1970. The demo 
    • “… said things to this machine they would probably not have said to another human, particularly a white planner or plot: to them the machine was not black, was not whte, and surely had no prejudices.”
  • Software Exhibition — Jewish Museum 
    • The Gerbils (mongolian) were 
    • The computer didn’t work / the software / fell apart
  • Negroponte — radical nihilism of the gerbils — was corrected by the “soft machine” version
  • Critical Design / Art —> opening the way to 
  • Demo or die —> doing work for companies as test subjects… 
  • Vanderbeek – “dedicate my work to the extraterrestrial whales”
  • Linking technical practices to the encountering forms of other worlds, other animals, etc. 
  • Alternate architectures for post-cybernetic worlds


  • Multimedia and multi-sensory working as an expectation – that you can translate ‘your concept’ in some way into various media
  • The question of scale – how supply chains are reflected in object design 
  • Political question – Sudong City – mobilise our nervous energy 
  • Separation between risk and uncertainty (there is an end in one case, and none in the other) … Manipulation of those kind of futures being written into all of our lives.
  • The split between the technology developers and humanities on the science side. Designers not being up on the ways that the political-sociological has been critiqued. Teaching design as constraint driven — not in terms of what we might like to do // History gives the sense of alternatives…


  • The demo or die culture // user fixing the company’s software // relational aesthetics // the positivity of the prototype // everything is a demo-prototype // life as an experiment // the inability to do anything — Link to the power that we have, as creators, to do anything (research exhibition)
    • Also a good word for this might be ‘render’ culture (that starts with a model and can always be remodelled) 

Critique of Creativity — Anke Finger

Critique of Creativity – On Imagining the Post-Human in the Digital Age

Creativity in the Western World

  • How do we become creative participants in our world?
  • Creative genius?
  • Kurt Vonnegut — “creativity running in the family” — stigma and fetish of mental illness
  • Divergent thinking … the ‘four c’s’
  • Hype of creative industries / cities
  • Creativity as a cultural value


  • A form of ‘exile’ — outside the human
  • A form of pathology?
  • If post-human is the end of exile and the end of pathology, can we be creative?
  • The marketing potential of ‘creating 10 species’ — that we exist in the post-human world as we are non-subject, ‘never fully reconstituted as subjects’

Flusser & Exile as a Position of Creativity

  • Fields of possibility that allow for creativity
  • Cruel freedom – beginning to design
  • De-sign and creativity
  • The “brain man” — design and imagination
  • Forms of disciplinarity and knowledge making — making art and science the same
  • That digitisation is a ‘end point’ —
  • Plasticity of abstract materials — homogenisation of digitisation at once proving that there are similarities between aesthetics / epistemologies / ethics are the same, but it always minimises the notion of difference — What happens when we only HAVE ONE MATERIAL (the “digital”)


  • Extremophiles — the outliers and the folding of difference
  • Aesthesis
  • The development of an ethical form of creativity — how do we insist on diversity … while taking advantage of the ‘malleability’ of abstract forms (digital). How do we understand and represence the perfidy of these forms. Flusser also gives us this: “It is a fact that functionally complex systems are a challenge to creative thought whereas functionally simple systems are stultifying, idiotic.”
  • Critique: There is no basis in idea that Flusser saw the mediation of the world as a ‘final’ stage in some kind of teleological project — i.e.: Digital is the ‘end point’ of mediation which is a kind of ‘pure thought. E.g.: “
  • “Once we have learnt to listen to electronic music, we will have learnt to grasp the beauty of pure thought. We will have learnt to grasp experientially the reality that our theoretical sciences reveal. We will have recaptured a new sense of reality, which is a new faculty, perhaps simultaneously epistemological, aesthetic and ethical.”
  • Depression / Flusser — that the work is what keeps us alive, as human