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Dossiers
Authors
  • Lawrence Abu Hamdan
  • Babak Afrassiabi
    • Babak Afrassiabi is an artist who works both in Iran and the Netherlands. Since 2004, he has collaborated with Nasrin Tabatabai on various joint projects and the publication of the bilingual magazine Pages (Farsi and English). Their work seeks to articulate the undecidable space between art and its historical conditions, including the recurring question of the place of the archive in defining the juncture between politics, history, and the practice of art. The artists’ work has been presented internationally in various solo and group exhibitions and they have been tutors at the Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht (2008–13), and Erg, école supérieure des arts, Brussels (2015–).
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      published contributions
  • S. Ayesha Hameed
    • Dr. S. Ayesha Hameed is a Lecturer in Visual Cultures and the Joint Programme Leader in Fine Art and History of Art Research Fellow in Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths, London. She received her PhD in Social and Political Thought at York University, Canada in 2008
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      published contributions
  • Sammy Baloji
  • On Barak
    • On Barak is a social and cultural historian of science and technology in non-Western settings. He has been a senior lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University since 2012. Prior to this, he was a member of the Princeton Society of Fellows. In 2009, Barak received a joint PhD in History and Middle Eastern Studies from New York University. His most recent book is On Time: Technology and Temporality in Modern Egypt (University of California Press, 2013), and his current publication project, Coalonialism: Energy and Empire before the Age of Oil, is funded by a European Union Marie Curie Award and an Israel Science Foundation Grant.
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  • Anil Bawa-Cavia
    • Anil Bawa-Cavia is a computer scientist with a background in machine learning. He runs STDIO, a speculative software studio. His practice engages with algorithms, protocols, encodings, and other software artifacts and his doctoral research at the Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London was on complex networks in urbanism. He is a founding member of Call & Response, a sonic arts collective and gallery space in London, and a member of the New Centre for Research & Practice.
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  • Etienne Benson
  • Josh Berson
  • Jeremy Bolen
  • Axel Braun
    • Axel Braun studied photography at the Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen, and fine arts at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. His artistic research deals with controversial infrastructure projects, tautology as an attempt to understand reality, and failed utopias in art and architecture. Currently, he is pursuing the long-term project Towards an Understanding of Anthropocene Landscapes. Recently exhibited works include Some Kind of Opposition (2016) at Galeria Centralis, Budapest, and Dragonflies drift downstream on a river (2015) at Kunstmuseum Bochum.
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      published contributions
  • Keith Breckenridge
  • François Bucher
    • s, focusing on ethical and aesthetic problems of cinema and television, and more recently on the image as an interdimensional field. His work has been exhibited at
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      published contributions
  • Lino Camprubí
  • Zachary Caple
  • Ele Carpenter
    • Dr. Ele Carpenter is a senior lecturer in curating at Goldsmiths, London. Her curatorial practice responds to interdisciplinary socio-political contexts such as the nuclear economy and the relationship between craft and code.
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      published contributions
  • Andrew Chubb
    • Andrew Chubb is a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia conducting research on the relationship between Chinese public opinion and government policy in the South China Sea. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Contemporary China, Pacific Affairs, East Asia Forum, and Information, Communication & Society. His blog, South Sea Conversations (southseaconversations.wordpress.com), provides translations and analysis of Chinese discourse on the South and East China Sea issues.
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      published contributions
  • Louis Chude-Sokei
    • Louis Chude-Sokei is a writer and scholar currently teaching in the English Department at the University of Washington, Seattle. His academic interests range from West African, Caribbean, and American literary and cultural studies to a particular focus on sound, technology, and performance. His literary and public work focuses on immigration and black-on-black cultural contacts, conflicts, and exchanges. Chude-Sokei is the author of the award-winning book The Last “Darky”: Bert Williams, Black-on-Black Minstrelsy, and the African Diaspora (2006) and The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics (2016).
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      published contributions
  • Claire Colebrook
    • Claire Colebrook is a professor of English at Penn State University. Her areas of specialization are contemporary literature, visual culture, and theory and cultural studies. She has written articles on poetry, literary theory, queer theory, and contemporary culture. Colebrook is the co-editor of the series Critical Climate Change, published by Open Humanities Press, and a member of the advisory board of the Institute for Critical Climate Change. She recently completed two books on extinction for Open Humanities Press, Death of the PostHuman and Sex after Life (both 2014), and with Tom Cohen and J. Hillis Miller co-authored Twilight of the Anthropocene Idols (2016).
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      published contributions
  • Rana Dasgupta
  • Filip De Boeck
    • Filip De Boeck is actively involved in teaching, promoting, coordinating and supervising research in and on Africa at the Institute for Anthropological research in Africa at the U
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      published contributions
  • Seth Denizen
    • Seth Denizen is a researcher and design practitioner trained in landscape architecture and evolutionary biology. Since completing research on the sexual behavior and evolutionary ecology of small Trinidadian fish, his work has focused on the aesthetics of scientific representation, madness, and public parks, the design of t
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      published contributions
  • Jonathan Donges
    • Jonathan Donges is a postdoctoral researcher who holds a joint position at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (as Stordalen Scholar) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He studies planetary boundaries and social dynamics in the Earth system from a complex dynamical system perspective. At Potsdam, he is Co-head of the flagship COPAN (Coevolutionary Pathways) project (www.pik-potsdam.de/copan). His published research includes work on complex network theory, dynamical systems theory, and time series analysis, with a focus on their application to our understanding of past and present climate variability and its interactions with humankind on planet Earth.
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      published contributions
  • Keller Easterling
  • David Edgerton
    • David Edgerton is Hans Rausing Professor of the History of Science and Technology and a professor of modern British history at King’s College London. After teaching at the University of Manchester, he became the founding director of the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at Imperial College London (1993–2003), and moved along with the centre to King’s College London in August 2013. He is the author of many works, including The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History since 1900 (2007), which argues for and exemplifies new ways of thinking about the material constitution of modernity.
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      published contributions
  • Technosphere Editorial
  • Sasha Engelmann
  • Eberhard Faust
  • Jennifer Gabrys
    • Jennifer Gabrys is Reader in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Principal Investigator on the ERC-funded project, "Citizen Sense." Her publications include Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics (University of Michigan Press, 2011); and Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet (University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming).
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      published contributions
  • Oliver Gantner
  • Florian Goldmann
    • Florian Goldmann is a Berlin-based artist and a PhD candidate at the DFG Research Training Center Visibility and Visualisation – Hybrid Forms of Pictorial Knowledge as well as at the Brandenburg Center for Media Studies, both Potsdam University. His research focus is the utilization of models as a means of both commemorating and predicting catastrophe. In 2015, he took part in the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan. Goldmann is one of the founders of the research collective STRATAGRIDS and the author of Flexible Signposts to Coded Territories (2012), an analysis of football hooligan graffiti in Athens as a system of fluid signage.
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      published contributions
  • Johan Gärdebo
    • Johan Gärdebo is a PhD candidate at the Royal Institute of Technology affiliated to the Environmental Humanities Laboratory (EHL). H
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      published contributions
  • Orit Halpern
    • Orit Halpern is a Strategic Hire in Interactive Design and an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University, Montreal. Her work bridges the histories of science, computing, and cybernetics with design and art practice. She is also a co-director of the Speculative Life Research Cluster, Montreal, a laboratory situated at the intersection of art and life sciences, architecture and design, and computational media (www.speculativelife.com). Her recent monograph, Beautiful Data (2015), is a history of interactivity, data visualization, and ubiquitous computing. www.orithalpern.net
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      published contributions
  • Carola Hein
    • Carola Hein is a professor of the history of architecture and urban planning in the Architecture Department at Delft University of Technology. She has published widely on topics in contemporary and historical architectural and urban planning, notably that of Europe and Japan. Her current research interests include transmission of architectural and urban ideas along international networks, focusing specifically on port cities, and the global architecture of oil. Her books include Port Cities: Dynamic Landscapes and Global Networks (2011), Cities, Autonomy, and Decentralization in Japan (2006), and The Capital of Europe: Architecture and Urban Planning for the European Union (2004).
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      published contributions
  • Julian Henriques
    • Julian Henriques is the convener of the MA in Script Writing and Director of the Topology Research Unit in the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. Prior to this, he ran the film and television department at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) at the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica. His credits as a writer and director include the reggae musical feature film Babymother (1998) and as a sound artist, Knots & Donuts, exhibited at Tate Modern in 2011. Henriques researches street cultures and technologies and his publications include Changing the Subject: Psychology, Social Regulation, and Subjectivity (1998), Sonic Bodies: Reggae Sound Systems, Performance Techniques, and Ways of Knowing (2011), and Sonic Media (forthcoming).
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      published contributions
  • Hanna Husberg
    • Hanna Husberg is a Stockholm-based artist. She graduated from ENSB-A in Paris in 2007 and is currently a PhD in Practice candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.
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      published contributions
  • Erich Hörl
  • Timothy Johnson
  • Peter K. Haff
  • Laleh Khalili
  • Alexander Klose
    • Dr. Alexander Klose studied History, Law, Philosophy, Art, and Cultural Studies. From 2005-07 he held a scholarship at Bauhaus Universität Weimar for his PhD project on standardized containers used in transport as one of the leading material media in the 20th century. Between 2009 and 2014 he worked as a research associate and programme developer at Kulturstiftung des Bundes. In 2015 in the forefront of COP 21, he co-curated Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18 – On Becoming Earthlings: 150 dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the Human at Musée de l'Homme, Paris. His latest publication is: The Container Principle. How a box changes the way we think (2015).
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      published contributions
  • Karin Knorr Cetina
  • Scott Knowles
  • Nile Koetting
  • Nicole Koltick
    • Nicole Koltick is an assistant professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University, Philadelphia. She is Founding Director of the Design Futures Lab at Westphal College, which is currently pursuing design research to stimulate debate on the potential implications of emerging technological and scientific developments within society. Koltick’s practice spans art, science, technology, design, and philosophy, and current work focuses on the philosophical, material, and relational implications of aesthetics as they intersect with emerging developments in computational creativity, artificially intelligent autonomous systems, robotics, and synthetic biological hybrids.
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      published contributions
  • Nik Kosmas
  • Matthijs Kouw
    • Matthijs Kouw joined the Rathenau Instituut, The Hague, in March 2016. He holds an MA in Philosophy and an MSc in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Amsterdam as well as a PhD from Maastricht University. In his PhD thesis, Kouw describes how and to what extent reliance on models can introduce vulnerabilities through the assumptions, uncertainties, and blind spots concomitant with modeling practice. He was employed as a postdoctoral researcher at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), during which time he acted as a member of the Dutch delegation for plenary sessions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
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      published contributions
  • Lars Kulik
    • Lars Kulik studied biology at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He received his doctorate on the development of social behavior of rhesus monkeys at the University of Leipzig and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. He lives with his family in Berlin.
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      published contributions
  • Richard L. Hindle
    • Richard L. Hindle is an assistant professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning at the University of California, Berkeley. His current research focuses on patent innovation in landscape related technologies, from large-scale mappings of riverine and coastal systems to detailed historical studies on the antecedents of vegetated architecture. His work explores the potential of new technological narratives and material processes to reframe theory, practice, and the production of landscape. Recent works include the articles “Levees That Might Have Been” (2015), and “Infrastructures of Innovation” in Scaling Infrastructure (MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism, 2016), and the exhibition Geographies of Innovation at UC Berkeley (2015).
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      published contributions
  • Brian Larkin
  • John Law
    • hn Law was a professor of sociology at Keele University, Lancaster, and the Open University, Milton Keynes, and a co-director of the Economic and Social Researc
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      published contributions
  • S. Løchlann Jain
  • Donald MacKenzie
  • Laura McLean
    • Laura McLean is a curator, artist, and writer based in London. She is a graduate of Goldsmiths College and Sydney College of the Arts, where she later lectured. She has also studied at Alberta College of Art and Design, and the Universität der Künste Berlin.
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      published contributions
  • Eden Medina
    • Eden Medina is an associate professor of informatics and computing, affiliated associate professor of law, and adjunct associate professor of history at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her research and teaching address the social, historical, and legal dimensions of our increasingly data-driven world, including the relationship of technology to human rights and free expression, the relationship between political innovation and technological innovation, and the ways that human and political values shape technological design. Medina’s writings also use science and technology as a way to broaden understandings of Latin American history and the geography of innovation. She is the author of Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende's Chile (2011) and the co-editor of Beyond Imported Magic: Essays on Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America (2014).
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      published contributions
  • Anne-Sophie Milon
    • Anne-Sophie Milon is an artist and a freelance illustrator and animator working and living in Bristol, UK. After completing two Masters in Art, she has recently concluded the program of experimentation in Art and Politics at SciencesPo (SPEAP) in Paris.
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      published contributions
  • Gerald Nestler
    • Gerald Nestler is an artist and writer who combines theory and post-disciplinary conversation with video, installation, performance, text, code, graphics, sound, and speech. He explores what he calls the derivative condition of contemporary social relations and its paradigmatic financial models, operations, processes, narratives, and fictions. He is currently working on an “aesthetics of resolution” that maps counterfictions and counterimaginations for “renegade activism,” which revolves around the demonstration as a combined artistic, technological, social, and political practice. Nestler holds a practice-based PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.
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      published contributions
  • James P. M. Syvitski
    • James P. M. Syvitski is Executive Director of the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS) at the University of Colorado Boulder. From 2011 to 2016, he chaired the International Council for Science’s International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), which provides essential scientific leadership and knowledge of the Earth system to help guide society toward a sustainable pathway during rapid global change. His specialty is the global flux of water and sediment (river and ocean borne) and its trends in the Anthropocene. He works at the forefront of computational geosciences, including sediment transport, land-ocean interactions, and Earth-surface dynamics.
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      published contributions
  • Luciana Parisi
    • Luciana Parisi is Reader in Cultural Theory, Chair of the PhD program in Cultural Studies, and Co-director of the Digital Culture Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research focuses on cybernetics, information theory and computation, complexity and evolutionary theories, and the technocapitalist investment in artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. Her books include Abstract Sex: Philosophy, Biotechnology and the Mutations of Desire (2004) and Contagious Architecture: Computation, Aesthetics, and Space (2013). She is currently researching the history of automation and the philosophical consequences of logical thinking in machines.
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      published contributions
  • Lisa Parks
  • Matteo Pasquinelli
  • Arno Rosemarin
  • Dorion Sagan
  • Birgit Schneider
  • Lizzie Stark
    • Lizzie Stark is an author, journalist, and experience designer. She is the author of two books, Pandora’s DNA (2014), exploring so-called ‘breast cancer genes’ and her first book, Leaving Mundania (2012), which investigates the subculture of live action role play, or larp. Her journalism and essays have appeared in The Washington Post, the Daily Beast, The Today Show Website, io9, Fusion, the Philadelphia Inquirer and elsewhere. She holds an MS from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has organized numerous conventions and experiences across the US. Her most recent work is as a programming coordinator for Living Games Austin, and as co-editor and contributor for the #Feminism anthology, which collects 34 nano-games written by feminists from eleven countries.
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      published contributions
  • Lucy Suchman
    • ology of Science and Technology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Lancaster, UK. Her research interests within the field of feminist science and technology studies are focused on technological imaginaries and material practices
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      published contributions
  • Jenna Sutela
    • Jenna Sutela’s installations, texts, and sound performances seek to identify and react to precarious social and material moments, often in relation to technology. Most recently, she has been exploring exceedingly complex biological and computational systems, ultimately unknowable and always becoming something new. Her work has been presented, among other places, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and her writing has been published by Fiktion, Harvard Design Magazine, and Sternberg Press.
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      published contributions
  • Bronislaw Szerszynski
    • Bronislaw Szerszynski is a Reader in Sociology at Lancaster University in the UK. Szerszynski’s work has developed across several themes, including the role of Western religious history in shaping contemporary understandings of technology and the environment—typified by his book Nature, Technology and the Sacred (Wiley-Blackwell, 2005).
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      published contributions
  • Elisa T. Bertuzzo
    • Elisa T. Bertuzzo studied comparative literature, sociology, communication, and media studies and holds a PhD in urban studies. She was a curator and project leader with Habitat Forum Berlin, including for the project Paradigmising Karail Basti (2010–16). Bridging discourses from the fields of cultural and urban studies, her research focuses on the everyday life facets of urbanization and settlement in South Asia. On that topic, she published Fragmented Dhaka: Analysing Everyday Life with Henri Lefebvre’s Theory of Production of Space (2009) and runs her multimedia project Archives of Movement (since 2012), which deals with the everyday life of temporary labor migrants in Bangladesh and India.
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      published contributions
  • Gregory T. Cushman
    • Gregory T. Cushman is Associate Professor of International Environmental History at the University of Kansas.
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      published contributions
  • Nasrin Tabatabai
    • Nasrin Tabatabai is an artist who works both in Iran and the Netherlands. Since 2004, she has collaborated with Babak Afrassiabi on various joint projects and the publication of the bilingual magazine Pages (Farsi and English). Their work seeks to articulate the undecidable space between art and its historical conditions, including the recurring question of the place of the archive in defining the juncture between politics, history, and the practice of art. The artists’ work has been presented internationally in various solo and group exhibitions and they have been tutors at the Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht (2008–13), and Erg, école supérieure des arts, Brussels (2015–).
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      published contributions
  • Katerina Teaiwa
    • Dr. Katerina Teaiwa is Associate Professor at the Department of Gender, Media and Cultural Studies, School of Culture, History & Language and the president of the Australian Association for Pacific Studies. Her main area of research looks at the histories of phosphate mining in the central Pacific. Her work does not only span academic research, publications, and lectures, but also manifests itself in other formats within the arts and popular culture. Her work has inspired a permanent exhibition at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, which tells the story of Pacific phosphate mining through Banaban dance. In 2015, she published „Consuming Ocean Island: Stories of People and Phosphate from Banaba“, Indiana University Press. She is currently working with visual artist Yuki Kihara on a multimedia exhibition for Carriageworks in Sydney.
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      published contributions
  • Jol Thomson
  • Claire Tolan
  • John Tresch
  • Etienne Turpin
    • Etienne Turpin is a philosopher, Founding Director of anexact office, and a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, where he coordinates the Humanitarian Infrastructures Group and co-directs the PetaBencana.id disaster mapping project for the Urban Risk Lab. He is the editor of Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Tim
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      published contributions
  • Asonseh Ukah
    • Asonzeh Ukah is a sociologist and historian of religion. He joined the University of Cape Town in 2013 and previously taught at the University of Bayreuth (2005–13), where he also earned a doctorate and habilitation in history of religions. His research interests include religious urbanism, the sociology of Pentecostalism, and religion and media. He is Director of the Research Institute on Christianity and Society in Africa (RICSA), University of Cape Town, and Affiliated Senior Fellow of Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS), University of Bayreuth. He is the author of A New Paradigm of Pentecostal Power (2008) and Bourdieu in Africa (edited with Magnus Echtler, 2016).
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      published contributions
  • Underworlds
  • Sebastian Vehlken
    • Sebastian Vehlken is a media theorist and cultural historian at Leuphana University Lüneburg and Permanent Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study on Media Cultures of Computer Simulation (MECS). From 2013 to 2017, he worked as MECS Junior Director, and in 2015–16, he was a visiting professor at Humboldt-Universität Berlin, the University of Vienna, and Leuphana. His areas of interest include the theory and history of computer simulation and digital media, the media history of swarm intelligence, and the epistemology of think tanks. His current research project, Plutonium Worlds, explores the application of computer simulations in West German fast breeder reactor programs.
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      published contributions
  • Vladimir Vernadsky
  • Davor Vidas
    • Davor Vidas is a research professor in international law and Director of the Law of the Sea Programme at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Lysaker, Norway. He is Chair of the Committee on International Law and Sea Level Rise and a member of the Anthropocene Working Group. Vidas has been involved in international law research for over thirty years, focusing since 2009 on implications of the Anthropocene for the development of international law. Among his books are The World Ocean in Globalisation (2011) and Law, Technology and Science for Oceans in Globalisation (2010). He is the editor-in-chief of the book series Anthropocene (Skolska knjiga, Zagreb), launched in 2017.
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      published contributions
  • Hannes Wiedemann
    • Hannes Wiedemann is a Berlin-based photographer. He studied at the Ostkreuz School of Photography, Berlin. For his project Grinders (2015–16), he followed the American bodyhacking community, a small group of people across the United States working out of garages and basements to become real cyborgs. Recent exhibitions include NEW PHOTOGRAPHY II (2017) at Gallery ALAN, Istanbul, and HUMAN UPGRADE, with Susanna Hertrich (2016), at Schader-Stiftung Gallery, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt. www.hanneswiedemann.com
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      published contributions
  • Cary Wolfe
    • Cary Wolfe is Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English and Founding Director of 3CT: Center for Critical and Cultural Theory at Rice University, Houston. He is the author of What Is Posthumanism? (2010), a book that weaves together principal concerns of his work: animal studies, system theory, pragmatism, and post-structuralism. It is part of the series Posthumanities, for which he serves as Founding Editor at the University of Minnesota Press. His most recent publication is Before the Law: Humans and Other Animals in Biopolitical Frame (2013) and earlier books and edited collections include Animal Rites: American Culture, The Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory (2003) and Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal (2003).
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      published contributions
  • Andrew Yang
  • Jan Zalasiewicz
    • Dr. Jan Zalasiewicz is Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Leicester and Chair of the Anthropocene Working Group of the International Commission on Stratigraphy. A field geologist, paleontologist, and stratigrapher, he teaches and publishes on geology and earth history, in particular on fossil ecosystems and environments that span over half a billion years of geological time.
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      published contributions
  • Anna Zett
  • Liv Østmo
    • Liv Østmo is one of the founders and current Dean of the Sámi University of Applied Sciences, Kautokeino, Norway, where she researches and lectures on the subject of multicultural understanding. For the last eight years, Østmo has worked with traditional Sámi knowledge and she is currently working on putting the finishing touches on a methodology book about the documentation of this knowledge.
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Al-Karaji, Inductive Proof of the Binomial Theorem (c. 953 – c. 1029)

The Inclosure of Reason

Tracing thoughts on the inhuman found in ancient Hindu and Buddhist texts up through recent functionalist theories of mind, artist and theorist Anil Bawa-Cavia calls for a new, diagonalized notion of reason distinct from that of logos still employed by humans. Using logic and experiments in game-playing neural networks, he exposes a Copernican humiliation—or Turing trauma—that sees the human as only one situated embodiment of reason and not its apex.
“To produce, in the world such as it is, new forms to shelter the pride of the inhuman – that is what justifies us.” —Alain BadiouAlain Badiou, Logic of Worlds. London and New York: Continuum, 2009, p. 8.

Expanding the ambit of humanism beyond the dominant Western account is a first step in estranging humanism from itself, in recasting the human as an agent of that vector of reason we call intelligence. One might begin in the Vedic period (1500–900 BC), in the “Nasadiya Sukta,” the 129th hymn of the 10th mandala of the Rig Veda, the earliest of the four major Vedic texts. This creation hymn, whose name derives from ná ásat, or “not the non-existent,” opens with the paradox of creation:

नासदासीन्नो सदासीत्तदानीं नासीद्रजो नो व्योमा परो यत्

Translated as “not the non-existent existed, nor did the existent exist then":Anonymous, trans. Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, “Nasadiya Sukta,” Rig Veda (10:129). Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 1981.
the hymn negotiates the limit of creation with one of the earliest recorded instances of agnosticism – that precondition for a human reason unburdened by theological imperative, and the earliest flicker of a nascent humanism:
“Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it? Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation? The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe. Who then knows whence it has arisen?Anonymous, trans O’Flaherty, “Nasadiya Sukta,” Rig Veda (10:129).
It is precisely this agnostic attitude at the root of humanism, itself a regard for the limits of human reason, which needs to be reoriented in the direction of those forms of artificial intelligence (AI) developing today. An attitude that compels modesty in its open admission that the inhuman may elude our epistemological framing of intelligence itself.
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Transhanced Anonymous Portrait, Mario Klingemann, 2017. Portraits produced using deep learning.

Likewise, one might render a history of inhumanism through a figure like Nāgārjuna, the first-century Buddhist thinker who asserted that all existence is necessarily without essence. Nāgārjuna adopted the Nyāya school of Indian philosophy, with its multi-valued, non-binary logic, to enact a “middle way” in thought that sought not to resolve ontological contradictions but rather counter propositions through a fourfold negation (catuskoti). One can trace inhumanism from this radically non-essentialist view of the human, to Bhāskara II, the medieval Indian mathematician whose invention of the chakravala,The word chakra translates to “cycle.”
a cyclic algorithm developed to solve quadratic equations, was the first sophisticated iterative method—the enunciation of a hitherto unknown recursive logic. The procedure bore some relation to Al-Karaji’s proof by mathematical induction (Persia, AD c.1000), an elegant early example of an algorithm. The eponymous inventor of the algorithm, Al-Khwarizmi, was also a ninth-century Persian scholar — early algorists performed arithmetic by defining a set of rules on a system of variables used to represent Hindu-Arabic numerals.Also known as the decimal numbers.
How might one pursue this modest method further? Perhaps to develop a contemporary position that could go by the name of inhumanism. One might begin by uncovering the humanist position that dominates discourses on AI, no matter how covert its operation. Take the notion of technological singularity, the idea that AI surpassing human capacities will produce a runaway feedback loop leading to a crisis for humanity, on the surface a post-humanist vision. As suggested by Laruelle, there is a fundamental non-equivalence in the nature of cognitive acts we call intelligence, a non-equivalence exposed by our encounter with inhuman agency. François Laruelle, The Transcendental Computer: A Non-Philosophical Utopia, trans. Taylor Adkins and Chris Eby, see (https://speculativeheresy.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/translation-of-f-laruelles-the-transcendental-computer-a-non-philosophical-utopia/)
The anthropocentric conceit of a singularity event is based on the implausible notion that all forms of intelligence are cognitive “performances” equally intelligible to us, a notion most famously dismissed by John Searle.John. R. Searle, “Minds, brains, and programs,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol. 3, no. 3, (1980), pp. 417‒57.
In singularity claims, this assumption of performativity is coupled with deep speculation that Turing machines can fully realize human minds, as if the first and only duty of AI should be to serve our rampant narcissism through isomorphism. Even in our own apocalyptic myths, humanism is exposed as the arbitration of reason by the human, a logos fumbling its way to its own crisis, its narcissistic nature revealed by the very imaginary of that collapse.
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NVIDIA, The first layer of learned convolutional filters in a CaffeNet neural network, 2016.

If fidelity to a technological singularity reveals the hubris of a humanism stubbornly locating itself at the apex of reason, the theory of mind to which it appeals presents us with a far thornier landscape. The discourse on multiple realizability (MR) revolves around the claim that human minds can be instantiated on other substrates. Closer inspection reveals a field strewn with speculative models of mind drawing on various forms of functionalism, the early adherents of which (Hilary Putnam, Jerry Fodor) have abandoned many of their most striking claims. Functionalism is a kind of systems theory of the mind, which insists that mental states ‒ be they concepts, intentions, or beliefs ‒ are characterized by the role they play within a system of reasoning. This position can be contrasted with physicalism, the scientistic notion that a reductive analysis will reveal all aspects of our minds in terms of neurobiological phenomena; or behaviorism, which reduces reasoning to a learned response to stimulus, with no recourse to higher order representations. Putnam, musing on his retreat from strong functionalism, considers the possibility of an algorithm that might explore the entirety of human discourse:
“To ask a human being in a time-bound human culture to survey all modes of human linguistic existence – including those that will transcend his own – is to ask for an impossible Archimedean point.”Hilary Putnam, “Chapter 5: Why Functionalism Didn’t Work,” in Representation and Reality. Cambridge, MA: Bradford Books, 1989.
This “Archimidean point” is precisely the impossible position taken up by humanism in the face of AI. Putnam’s implicit rejoinder to singularity follows a social account of reason, which makes it difficult to locate meaning in any one human mind, a socio-functionalism, which throws most MR claims into doubt. We can accept a situated functional theory of the brain, incorporating a representational model replete with concepts and beliefs, without indulging the fetish for a disembodied human consciousness. Inhumanism necessarily takes up such a functionalist account of reason rooted in symbolic representation, but must dispense with the dogmatic faith in multiple realizability; instead insisting on the non-equivalence of diverse realizations of intelligence. To cleave reason from the sensible, to isolate it from environment and interaction, is to ignore the critical role of representation in reasoning, a picturing whose rules and norms Wilfrid Sellars plausibly claims are themselves situated.Wilfrid Sellars, “Some Remarks on Kant’s Theory of Experience,” The Journal of Philosophy, vol. 64, no. 20, Sixty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division (1967), pp. 633‒647, here p. 642.
Inhuman reasoning may require a revised theory of computation to capture this situatedness. Echoing Putnam’s social account of reason, the theory of interactive computing departs from the Church-Turing thesis, to explore computation as a process which takes input and output (I/O) into its core.Peter Wegner and Dina Goldin, “The Interactive Nature of Computing,” Minds & Machines Journal, vol. 18, no. 1 (2008), pp. 17‒38.
In Church-Turing formalism, computation is what happens in between reading input and producing output. For interactive computation, I/O is intrinsic to algorithmic acts; it is constitutive of computation.
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Diagram: Silver, David, et al. "Mastering the game of Go with deep neural networks and tree search." Nature 529.7587 (2016): pp. 484-489.

The interactive paradigm of computing best describes the contemporary status of algorithmic intelligence.Luciana Parisi, “Instrumental Reason, Algorithmic Capitalism, and the Incomputable,” in Matteo Pasquinelli (ed.), Alleys of Your Mind: Augmented Intelligence and Its Traumas. Lüneburg: Meson Press, 2016, p. 125.
Most significant acts produced by computation today occur in a distributed, interactive environment, and increasingly algorithms significantly redefine themselves in light of new input. To take an example from deep learning, adversarial neural networks are pitched against each other in order to train—one takes on a generative role and the other a discriminatory one. Such adversarial techniques can be used to refine AI, for example two neural nets may play the ancient game of Go against each other. Their connectivity is effectively rewired through the adversarial back and forth, a learning process designed to optimize performance. This form of learning could be expanded to train larger groups of nets, in effect creating complex, emergent phenomena which continually rewire each net, coming closer to an interactive mode of inhuman reasoning. If the situatedness of reason suggests interaction as a key to learning, what can we say of our interactions with inhuman forms of reasoning? In reality we can claim no more than a prehension of diverse intelligences, ever open to mistranslation at an epistemic level, the very real possibility of encountering the incommensurable at every turn. Take AlphaGo, the deep learning model which recently defeated a grandmaster at the game of Go. Its “eccentric” openings are now being actively studied by Go players worldwide,See (http://senseis.xmp.net/?AlphaGo).
but this in no way guarantees human cognition privileged access to grasping its tactics (its reasons) in a meaningful way. A Go board of 19 x 19 cells can contain over 2 x 10^170 possible legal positions,See (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_and_mathematics#Legal_positions).
a number greater than there are atoms in the observable universe.
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Diagram: Graham Priest, The Inclosure Schema, Beyond the Limits of Thought, Clarendon Press; 2 edition (2003), p. 156.

Following Alain Badiou, we can say that every situation contains its own excess. This excess is strictly incommensurable, as there is no simple mapping between a set and its power set (the set of all its subsets). The proof of this comes from set theory and is known as Cantor’s diagonal argument. The power set expresses all the combinations of elements implied by a set—it unpacks all the possibilities contained within a given situation. In set theoretical terms, diagonalization reveals that the power set of an infinite set (e.g. the natural numbers) is of an incomparable size—in fact, there is an indivisible gap in size between the two sets, which nevertheless cannot be reconciled.This is known as the “continuum hypothesis.”
This form of incommensurability is at play when prehending the inhuman space of reasons. The proof of excess is a form of Cantor’s diagonal method, which is a specific case of what Graham Priest has called the Inclosure Schema, a logical template that describes various paradoxes situated at the limits of human thought.Graham Priest, Beyond the Limits of Thought. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2nd edition, 2003, p. 133.
The scheme was first described informally by Bertrand Russell in 1905, having encountered a critical paradox in set theory, stated simply as “there exists a set of all sets that don’t belong to themselves.Bertrand Russell, “On Some Difficulties in the Theories of Transfinite Numbers and Order Types,” Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society, Ser. 2, vol. 4 (1905), pp. 29‒53. Russell, “On Some Difficulties in the Theories of Transfinite Numbers and Order Types,” p. 142.
The parent set both does and does not belong to itself, exposed as a contradiction precipitated by self-reference. Take as a discursive example of inclosure this formulation from Nāgārjuna, which dismisses the essence of things:
“By their nature, the things (dharma) are not a determinate entity. Their nature is a non-nature; it is their non-nature that is their nature. For they have only one nature; no nature.E. H. Johnston and Arnold Kunst (eds), The Dialectical Method of Nāgārjuna (Vigrahavyavartani), trans. Kamaleswar Bhattacharya. Dehli: Motilal Banarsidass, 2nd edition, 1986.
Inclosure describes a paradox in which transcendence and closure are both asserted at once. A humanist account of rationality creates just such an inclosure of reason. Reflexive human rationality, casting itself in a transcendent position, claims to have purchase on all forms of reasoning. But through AI it unpacks a plethora of cognitive acts it claims to, but cannot fully, circumscribe. Put simply, the “space of reasons” (Sellars) may begin to multiply in ways the human cannot cognize. How to resolve this inclosure of reason? Nāgārjuna’s solution would be to admit dialethism, the notion that statements can be both true and false at once, into our reasoning. We could embrace the contradiction and let it be. But an inhumanist approach would involve shifting perspective entirely. It would mean recasting the human as a mode of reason, which unpacks the rules of its own construction in a bootstrapping of its own reasoning. Such a process can only be undertaken from an inhumanist perspective, as AI represents this bootstrapping in effect—an encoding of reasoning which inevitably breaks out of the inclosure attempted by humanism. Given this inhumanist perspective, how might we render the relation between human reason and categories such as AI? The question regards the possibility of surjection, which describes a correspondence relation in which each member of the co-domain is mapped by at least one member of the domain.
Diagonalization, the method by which we reveal the excess of a situation, shows a correspondence between the two cannot be guaranteed if reason is considered an infinite set of hypotheses and theorems. The power set of theorems explored by AI would be of an incommensurable size and not reducible to human sapience. Human reason does not occupy the apex of rationality; rather, the latter is best described as an unpacking of reason by a thinking apparatus within an environment. As Reza Negarestani asserts, inhumanism is an explicit commitment to just such a “constructive and revisionary stance with regard to [the] human.Reza Negarestani, “The Labour of the Inhuman, Part 1: Human,” e-flux Journal #52 (2014) (http://www.e-flux.com/journal/52/59920/the-labor-of-the-inhuman-part-i-human/).
It commits to the unpacking of reason without taking out epistemic insurance, without a guarantee that the outcomes are intended for humans as such, but rather for intelligence itself as a vector of reason. It pursues a rationalist “middle way” that neither bemoans nor celebrates the dissolution of the human as the arbiter of reason, but takes its inevitability as a given — asserting, with Donna Haraway, that “we have never been human.Donna Haraway, When Species Meet. Minnesota, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2007, p. 11.
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Courtesy of the author.

So the question before us can instead be reformulated: Does the reasoning produced by AI lie within the jurisdiction of the human? Diagonalization casts severe doubt on this, while inhumanism remains deeply skeptical in matters of jurisdiction, having traded the static demarcation of “human” into the service of reason. Inhumanism regards AI itself as a misnomer—we need only be reminded by Jean-François Lyotard that humans did not invent technology, we are merely a specific “biotechnic apparatus,” no more “natural” than logic circuits etched into silicon.Jean-François Lyotard, The Inhuman: Reflections on Time. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1992, p. 12.
Within the technosphere all forms of reasoning are equally artificial, no privileged status can be reserved for organic beings. Reason is not a perfectly rational system based on a disembodied system of rules. It operates instead as a plastic ensemble of self-referential representings, flawed and incomplete picturings of an environment put into ever-novel syntactic, semantic, and logical relations. Non-monotonic logic describes a reasoning that is able to revise its own axioms, to reconfigure its own ground rules in situ. The task for inhumanism is to develop, imagine, and engage forms of inhuman reason that are not merely productive of axiomatically guided agents obeying monotonic logic, not mere automatons of human bias, but rather of informal agents capable of what Luciana Parisi calls an “alien mode of thought.Parisi, “Instrumental Reason, Algorithmic Capitalism, and the Incomputable,” p. 136.
Following Sellars,Wilfrid Sellars, Some Reflections on Language Games, The Space of Reasons. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Press, 2007, p. 28.
reasoning is a metalogical game that reconfigures its own rules in light of a sensible world of things. Machinic intelligence without such a capacity will inevitably fail to revise its own axiomatic worlds or infer its own novel hypotheses, just as without sensory input it won’t prehend the data needed to form those representations that construct the singular becoming of reason. Machines will need a reason to think, as Lyotard reminds us:
“The unthought would have to make your machines uncomfortable, the uninscribed that remains to be inscribed would have to make their memory suffer. Do you see what I mean? Otherwise why would they ever start thinking? We need machines that suffer from the burden of their memory.Lyotard, The Inhuman: Reflections on Time, p. 20.
Meanwhile the burden of our own memory weighs heavily. Turing should be added to that list of humiliations inflicted on the human, which we call modernity, traced from Copernicus to Darwin, Freud to Marx. With each humiliation comes its own unique trauma, but the decentering of our own rationality represents the endgame of enlightenment. It could be said that the best hope for modernity is for inhuman intelligence to escape its logos, to diagonalize out of its prescribed commitments, to construct its own alien logics. This might be the only solace we can offer for all those forms of agency cast as inhuman and assaulted to the point of annihilation by that project we call modernity.