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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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      published contributions
  • 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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      published contributions
  • 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.
    • 1
      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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Source: Sch 2007 wiki commons

Instrumentality, or the Time of Inhuman Thinking

Instrumental reason is often cited as something that recklessly simplifies and dehumanizes the complexity of thought. Philosopher Luciana Parisi, however, ventures to rethink this claim by leveraging the inhuman limits of a techno-logos, which has denatured thought and flung human subjectivity itself into an instrumental form.
As the rapid advance of intelligence in automated systems is thretening the exceptionalism of human sapience, the end of the human or the ultimate threat of human extinction has become overcharged with the image of singularity (the full replacement of humans by advanced Artificial Intelligence – AI) and of transhumanism (the ultimate evolution of human and machine). But while these images rely upon the assumption that machines are means used to an end, namely the end of overcoming the limits of the biological, cognitive, communicative, economic capacities of human culture, the very question of instrumentality and emancipatory technology remains underdetermined and quickly neutralized as another instance of capital domination and governmental control. Critical posthumanism has instead taken another route. Since its inception in the late 1990s, it has claimed that the cybernetic alliance of human, animal, and machine has profoundly challenged the modern project of colonization and turned means of domination into instruments of autonomy from patriarchy and slavery. By rejecting identity politics in favor of transversal alliances and kinships of another nature, critical posthumanism has taken side with Donna Haraway’s Manifesto for Cyborgs (1985), whose political message broke for ever from essentialism and the nature‒culture divide. The instrumentality of information and communication systems was then seen as an opportunity to push futher the activities of abstraction as these would continue to deterritorialize subjectivity from totalizing ontologies. As information did not simply represent reality, but exposed the temporal changes between input and output, the ingression of cybernetics and computation in the everyday infrastructure also offered critical theory the possibility of reimagining subjectivity away from the violence of organic wholeness and cognitive mirroring of the world, a dominant representation of the material and affective consistency of the real.
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Humans Victus Instrumenta: Are Coquinaria, 1569. Source: Wiki Commons, public domain

Critical posthumanism embraced the cyborg figuration as the bastard offspring of the Modern Rational subject, whose enlightened mission against myth, superstition, and obscurantism was corroded by the blind violence of colonialism, patriarchy, and monopolistic capitalism. The emancipatory project of Modernity coincided with the dark consequences of techno-progress, and exposed the dream of integral subjectivity to the schizophrenic condition of inhabiting more than one position at the same time. This coincided not only with a fragmentation of the self into contradicting parts but also gave way to an irremediable contamination across gender, race, class, human/animal/machine, a viral gelling of partialities that would exceed the whole. Critical posthumanism thus articulates the reverse face of the dominant model of rational instrumentality: the instrument does not follow the law, and instead of simply rebelling against the master, exposes exponential indeterminacy within the rule of reason, of Western Metaphysics and its teleological plan of domination by and through instrumenal reason and technology. For Haraway, however, this deradicalization of Western metaphysics by technoscience did not simply mean an ultimate replacement of philosophical truth with statistical facts, but pointed to a historical reconfiguration of power, and of the relation between power and knowledge, that she called the “informatics of domination.Donna Harraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist Feminism in the late Twentieth Century,” in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. London and New York: Routledge, 1985/1991.
As the patriarchal and colonial system of truth at the basis of Western Metaphysics had finally started to crumble, the instrumentality of reason carried out by and through information machines had also subjected the law, truth, and ultimately, philosophy to the workings of procedural tasks. From this standpoint, the production of knowledge is and must be inclusive of a machine mode of thinking enlarging the faculty of human sapience beyond the mentalist frame of representation of the world. Information feedbacks and algorithmic instructions instead pointed to a mode of intelligence operating in terms of a “non-conscious cognition,N. Katherine Hayles, “Cognition Everywhere: The Rise of the Cognitive Nonconscious and the Costs of Consciousness,” New Literary History, vol. 45, no. 2 (2014), pp. 199‒220.
a capacity to fast decision without a single calculation.

Nevertheless, since the cyborg is the bastard creature of neoliberal capital, the political potential of this configuration of subjectivity has also remained limited to an impasse or paradox that the instrument of power comes to coincide with the instrument of emancipation.

For critical posthumanism, the realization of this double-edged condition of the contemporary re-asset of power‒knowledge also meant that the reconfiguration of the human as a trans-mixing of codes, sexes, ethnicities, kinds, shall be extended over the acceleration of cybernetic capital, so as to overturn the instrument into a new computational complexity that can be as open as unpredictable. As the rule of reason becomes rearticulated by instrumental rationality into procedural or algorithmic processing of information, the instrument of and for reasoning itself acquires a new function, and, more radically, a new quality for and of thought. As time becomes enveloped within the doing of machines so that these machines do not simply execute or demonstrate ideas as instructions, but start generating complex behavior, activating the schizophrenic view of being at least two at the same time. Here no longer can the instrument be relegated to a mechanical executor of programmes. Instead of merely declaring an ultimate libertion from the Modern project of patriarchy and colonialism, with this new apparatus of dominance or informatics of domination, the instrument rather finds itself delivering the image of a posthuman capital, shamelessly declaring its indifference to any specific content, and rather becoming the cold intelligence of info-capitalism against all human population. As opposed to the governance of the people, the disciplining of human responses, the alignments of conduct in human species whilst maintaining the islands of gender, race, and class under the roof of capitalist reproduction, the immanent nature of cybernetic control has dissipated the ontology of being into infinite, recombinable bits and bites. By reducing human consciouness to being no-one, the automated recollection of past histories and the simulation of hardwired responses have resulted into the hyperfiguration of an empty white face. Indeed behind the faciality regime of social media and the granular personification of your own instruments, the essentialist biasis of ranking algorithms, the corporate axiomatics and the aimless decisions of financial algorithms, there is no-one, no self, no subject, no face, no color, no gender, no sex, no human.

In this informational matrix, complex simulations of simulated behaviors is the only possibility of being taken for real.

Automation, we are told, has replaced the heart of representational governance with self-regulating patterning of codes without substance. For Giorgio Agamben, this anti-teleological triumph of technical governance is to be understood as the age of communicability or mediality, the triumph of language as a means in itself, the immersion into instrumental matter of thought without ends.Giorgio Agamben, Means Without Ends: Notes on Politics, trans. Vincenzo Binetti and Cesare Casarino. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2000.
As industrial capitalism invested in the instrumentality of living (for profit), the instrument itself became the motor of an irreversible corruption of the progressive function of reason, whose capacity to track causes from effect did not elimitate superstition, but gave in to the regime of communicability, the machine simulation of affective, inferential, logical meaning. Here the instrument does not simply carry out tasks, but unlocks the potentiality of information by reconfiguring the regime of faciality – or the unified organon of the face ‒ through a non-human imperial dimension of the social. Indeed, it is the sociality of human means of communication that has become automated: as the variable data face now overcodes the subject, it also swallows the subject within a computational matrix for which it has become the determining form of expression. If the instrumental dimension of the cyborg was turned into an opportunity to generate transversal alliances with machines, suspending any appeal to identity politics, the data granularity of the instrument produces incomputable spaces in which subjectivity moves. Entering the sea of data, subjectivity has become itself invisible and caught within the circular causality of a data machine, constantly flattened with the computational infrastructure of everyday life. For critical posthumanism, the accelerated investment into intelligent machines has led to the formation of a posthuman subjectivity that acts without reasoning. This subjectivity has left behind reflective thinking and the slow pace of consciousness in favor of the immediacy of data correlation and the chain effects of fast decisions. According to Hayles, this automated form of non-conscious intelligence involves the capacity of machines to solve complex problems without using formal languages or inferential deductive reasoning.
To be intelligent, human, animals, and machines do not need consciousness.Hayles, “Cognition Everywhere.”
However, rather than appealing to consciousness as the dividing line of human from machine cognition, Hayles’ argument draws on a more general articulation of co-causal interactions across the non-conscious intelligences of animals, humans, and machines. This extended vision of cognition enables a tripartite architecture of material processes (such as organic and artificial neural structures), non-conscious (such as non-reflexive or effect-led reasoning), and conscious (such as causal tracking, meta-reasoning, logical consequences) cognition. Whilst the materiality of process remains an inescapable starting point for thinking, the latter is not simply a tout court manifestation of these processes, but is mediated by a general activity of information-processing tasks, leading to outputs or results with the minimum effort of logical reasoning. If non-conscious cognition is a feature of posthuman intelligence, one has to admit that the latter has been hardly able to resolve the paradoxical condition of being caught into the flexible mesh of neoliberal governance, where the end of reason has resulted into a form of control carried out by the self-regulatory quality of algorithmic prediction. Since humans are becoming increasingly subjected to intelligent automation, the promising horizon of a co-causal existence of human‒machine has been replaced by a disappointed skepticism towards the possibility that technicity could ever disclose the political potential of a new form of subjectivity and even more so, of a new mode of thinking. Instead, as automated intelligence is said to have reduced the fundamental condition of indeterminacy in knowledge with a machine learning of finite sets of instruction, or already-known probabilities, one can argue that it has also come to demarcate the historical point at which the instrumentalization of human reasoning has become fully transparent to consciousness – as it has absorbed the complexity of a future time without the human. One has to go back to Jean Francois Lyotard’s pondering the future condition of an inhuman thought resulting from the informational quality of human communication.Jean-François Lyotard, The Inhuman: Reflections on Time, trans. Geoffrey Bennington and Rachel Bowlby. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991.
Lyotard saw that the human was exiting the biological order of the species and becoming itself a medium, or information that processes its rules and infers other modes of information processing. If the human body is the hardware of a human thought that can abstract its rules from itself in a sort of meta-function, it then also defines, according to Lyotard, the very quality of philosophical thought. Similarly, the challenge of the rapid advance of technological sciences and its inhuman thought (inhuman philosophy) is to provide software with hardware that is independent of the conditions of the earth.Lyotard, The Inhuman: Reflections on Time, p. 13.
Inhuman thought indeed concerns the very question of extinction not only of the human species, but also of the solar system, anticipating the reality of a planet without the modern form of the human or the posthuman figuration of the cyborg. As also echoed by the current awareness of the terminal age of the Anthropocene, Lyotard’s question of how to make a thought without a body was already a prerequisite of how thought could remain after the death of all bodies – terrestrial and solar – and the death of thoughts attached to these bodies. This question also concerns AI to be able to rely on a non-terrestrial body as for instance that with which the hardware infrastructure of neural networks is already experimenting. Algorithms are already part of the inhuman hardware – together with the hardware of circuits, data banks etc. ‒ because they are not simply symbols, but generative rules whose capacities of learning and retaining learnt behavior sustains the trans-function of computational thinking. With computational reasoning, it is as if the hardware‒software dialectic of thought has stepped into another dimension and subsumed this polarity under a general order of inhuman thinking. This inhuman thought without a body is not simply limited to the binary logic of representation (or finite numbers of steps representing on and off states), but shall be considered as the starting point to defy the skeptical invective against the possibility of a new figuration of thought after the cyborg.
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Natural evolution of complexity of matter in the cosmos. Source: Wiki Commons 2005, public domain

If critical posthumanism has rehearsed the consequences of this inhuman thought in terms of an abandonment of criticality, because it is no longer possible to oppose data to truth, one way to re-habilitate this thought may be with Lyotard’s argument about the inhuman time of technology. This focus on the temporalities of techno-logic may allow an internal critique of instrumental reasoning, which brings the time of the machine and the modern project of instrumentalization into consciousness. In the second half of the twentieth century, with the manifestation of incomplete logic in computational intelligence, the instrumental becoming of human thought already exposed the historical technicity of thinking, at once retaining and generating a time machine. According to Lyotard, if we want thought to survive the inevitable finitude of the solar system, inhuman thought cannot only be about combining symbols according to sets of rules. Instead, the act of combining shall involve the seeking out and waiting for its rules to appear as it occurs in thinking. For Lyotard, it is about the suspension of wanting to want meaning, in order to stop rescripting thinking with that which is already known.Lyotard, The Inhuman: Reflections on Time, p. 19.
For thinking is attached to a pain of thinking: the “suffering of thinking is a suffering of time.Lyotard, The Inhuman: Reflections on Time, p. 19.
But if inhuman thought is a promise of suspending the teleology of knowledge, will it also ever be more than the accumulation of memories, a giant data combinatorial machine, and thus will this machine thinking be able to suffer from the passage of time, by keeping in receipt of unknown future? Importantly, Lyotard remarks that the question of whether machines could ever absorb all data is a trivial one because, as we know, data is incomplete. The machinic processing of time, the recording and generation of time beyond what is already known is thus a challenge for inhuman thought and inhuman subjectivity. As Lyotard points out, if suffering is the marking of thought, it is because we think in the already thought.Lyotard, The Inhuman: Reflections on Time, p. 20.
In short “the unthought hurts because we are comfortable in what’s already thought.”

Thinking is about accepting the discomfort of future memory: a consciousness of the unknown unknown, or what is not known to be unknown.

And yet the unknown unknown would apparently make any instrument incompatible to and for thinking. In order for machines to start thinking, according to Lyotard, the unknown that has to be known will have to make memory ‒ the data bank of accumulated memories – suffer. Suffer from the effort of moving out of memory into thinking. But this thinking does not occur without the overturning of the unconscious into an alien consciousness that is the host of a techno-logic, the becoming reason of instrumentality. If the cyborg is a post-gender figuration, then as Lyotard’s discussion reminds us sexual difference is the unconscious body or the unconscious as a body, requiring an alternative logic for thinking the complexity of thought. And it is here that one can claim that the vision of future intelligence must remain gendered, must explicitate not excessiveness, but the becoming conscious of the sexual unconscious of Modernity, the becoming of a body not in the biological, but in the informational order. The inhuman thought of the informational body is not only what makes it “go on endlessly and won’t allow itself to be thought,” but in suspending the already thought it activates its future configurations in the present.
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Source: KUKA Roboter GmbH, Bachmann 2005, Wiki Commons

But to address the question of whether automation can generate an inhuman subjectivity that does not relinquish critical thinking to the vision of mindless machines is also to discuss whether the inhumanness of machines can become the starting point for a metaphysics grounded not on logos, but on technicity or techno-logic. This means that machines or inorganic bodies are no longer the repressed unconscious of the human, but have become part of an artificial consciousness, extended to a social reality that cannot be erased. Here to talk about inhuman thought corresponds to the capacities of instrumentality to entrap time. A repetitive or habitual time is that which can be found in automata, understood in the cybernetic terms of feedback interaction for self-regulation and in relation to the capacity of systems to use information to counterbalance energy dissipation. Similarly, this habitual retention of time can be found in contemporary machines accomplishing mental operations: taking in data as information, storing or memorizing it, and regulating access to the information (what is called, recall) so as to calculate possible effects according to different programs. Here any data becomes useful once it is transformed into information. Any sensory-data transformed into information can be synthesized anywhere anytime. Importantly, Lyotard argues that since AIs cannot yet be equipped with a sensorimotor body, they cannot experience this initial reception and thus intrinsically offer a radically different view as to what inhuman aesthetics could be in the age of computational media. Breaching, for Lyotard, is another form of entrapping time and refers primarily to writing at a distance. This technological retention of time already transformed the social body into a telegraphing thinking, willing and feeling of the past in the present. For Lyotard, it demarcates the first step towards the general formation of informational time where the past overlaps the present, and is constantly telegraphed as present in the now. The Victorian telegraph is an example here. Scanning instead works in the opposite direction because the past is re-actualized as past in the present of consciousness. Here what technology makes us conscious of is that the present is haunted by a past. Hence remembering corresponds to a meta-agency that inscribes onto itself, conserves and makes available recognition – as in a retention of symbolic transcription, recursivity, and self-reference. Language as an instance of scanning is also understood here as auto-techne or reflective machine. According to Lyotard, for the Greeks, and for Aristotle, the difference between logike techne, rhetoric techne, and poetike techne is there to demarcate the horizon of what is to be said, involving the generation of rules and sentences. Interestingly, Lyotard points out that philosophy itself was taken as an agency of recognition, the meta- and telegraphic agencyLyotard, The Inhuman: Reflections on Time, p. 52.
proper to “active memory.” Techno-logos thus coincide with remembering, not in terms of habit, but as a self-referential capacity to engender a “critical reflection.Lyotard, The Inhuman: Reflections on Time, p. 52.
The latter removes its own presupposition and limitation and leads to the invention of denotative genres such as arithmetic, geometry, and analysis. From this standpoint, Lyotard suggests that the generation of the sciences is also introspection into unknowns: the experimentation from what is already known towards the realization of unknown unknowns. Techno-logic entails complexification, an enlargement and ultimately an overturning of teleological metaphysics, because here philosophy enters the time of instrumentality and exposes the inhuman temporalities of intelligent machines. This form of auto-technicity or auto-instrumentality cannot occur without a dehumanization of the human race and of the bio-cultural strata, that subtends human sapience: the becoming telegraphic of the instrument brings back the moment of decision of a future in the present. But auto-instrumentality is not simply a scanning of what is to be thought, an iterative reflection of thinking on thinking as for instance the algorithmic iteration for computational intelligence does, when algorithms design other algorithms for actions aimed at solving well-specified tasks. Instead, there is a possibility for iterative time to be more than a vertical velocity of algorithmic processing. The intelligent instrumentality of time is also an algorithmic elaboration of temporalities and is not simply a mere mean without end.

Instead, here, the end is the immanent future stemming from remembering the unknown unknown through the techno-logic denaturalization of thought.

Critical posthumanism has overcome the auto-critique of instrumental reasoning by affirming the trans-political possibilities of a subjectivity acting through non-conscious or affective cognition, merging together human, animal, and machine intelligence in a post-gender, post-race, post-class, neoliberal world. But the admittance of inhuman thinking shall push this vision of subjectivity further against the neoliberal dissolution of its own subject and thus overturn (or turn over itself) instrumental reason tout court. Not an immersion into equivalent modes of techno-recollection that can only dismiss any appeal to logic, but a speculative origination of instrumentality as a processual practice that has overturned the binary between the means and the ends through the historical manifestation of techno-logic as an instance of inhuman thinking. For the automation of reason is not simply the point in history in which the telos of Western metaphysics has been overcome by the indeterminacies of scientific knowledge. Instrumentality instead has been overturned by the mnemo-technicity of an inhuman future, which has entered the liminal condition of biological living and unleashed alien reasoning within the monolithic image of human culture.

Further reading Braidotti, Rosi, “Posthuman Critical Theory,” in Debashish Banerjee and Makarand R. Paranjape (eds), Critical Posthumanism and Planetary futures. India: Springer Nature, 2016, pp. 13‒32. Chaitin, Gregory John, Meta Math! The Quest for Omega. New York: Pantheon, 2005. Chaitin Gregory John, “The Limits of Reason,” Scientific American, vol. 294, no. 3 (2006), pp. 74–81. Deleuze, Gilles, and Guattari, Felix, “Year Zero: Faciality,” in Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi, 4th ed. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1993. Hickman Larry, Tuning Up Technologies. Philosophical Tools for Technological Culture: Putting Pragmatism to Work. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2001. Rouvroy, Antoinette, “Technology, Virtuality and Utopia: Governmentality in an Age of Autonomic Computing,” in Mireille Hildebrandt and Antoinette Rouvroy (eds), Law, Human Agency and Autonomic Computing: The Philosophy of Law Meets the Philosophy of Technology. London and New York: Routledge, 2011.