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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
  • Malin Ah-King
  • Memo Akten
    • . He is currently a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he is researching artificial intelligence, machine learning, and expressive human-ma
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      published contributions
  • Jamie Allen
  • 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
  • Subhankar Banerjee
  • 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
  • Paul Boshears
  • Benjamin Bratton
    • for Media, Architecture and Design, Moscow. Bratton is also Professor of Digital Design at the Eur
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      published contributions
  • 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
  • Amy Cimini
  • 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
  • Flavio D'Abramo
  • Ana Dana Beroš
    • chitect and curator focused on creating uncertain, fragile environments that catalyze social chan
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      published contributions
  • Pietro Daniel Omodeo
  • 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
  • Rohini Devasher
  • 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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  • Design Earth
    • ollaborative architectural practice led by El Hadi Jazairy
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      published contributions
  • Keller Easterling
  • Anna Echterhölter
  • 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
  • Lois Epstein
    • stein is Arctic Program Director at the Wilderness Society an American land conservation non-profit. A licensed engineer, she has served on a number of federal advisory committees, including a National Academy of Sciences committee studying oil and gas regulations, and, for twelve years, a committee focusing on oil pipeline safety. Epstein holds a Master of Civil Engineering with a specialization in environme
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  • 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
  • Elaine Gan
  • Oliver Gantner
  • Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann
  • 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
  • Mark Graham
  • Jacques Grinevald
  • 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
  • Eva Hayward
  • Gabrielle Hecht
  • Gerda Heck
  • Florian Hecker
    • dio 3 as the broadcaster’s first ever live binaural broadcast. Recent major exhibitions
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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
  • Sabine Höhler
  • Erich Hörl
  • Timothy Johnson
  • Peter K. Haff
  • Bernd Kasparek
  • Nikos Katsikis
  • Laleh Khalili
  • Axel Kleidon
  • 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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  • 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
  • Matija Kralj
  • Kei Kreutler
  • 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
  • Hannah Landecker
  • Brian Larkin
  • Bruno Latour
  • Manfred Laubichler
  • 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
  • Yoneda Lemma
    • ents from one fiction to another. She has exhibited her work at V4ULT, Berlin; Le Cube, Par
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      published contributions
  • Esther Leslie
    • t theories of aesthetics and culture, with a particular focus on the work of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno. It deals with the poetics of science, European literary and visual modern
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      published contributions
  • George Lewis
    • my of Arts and Letters, New York. He has been a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Chicago, since 1971. Lewis’s work as composer, electronic performer, installa
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      published contributions
  • S. Løchlann Jain
  • Donald MacKenzie
  • Stefan Maier
  • Chowra Makaremi
  • Annapurna Mamidipudi
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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
  • Paul N. Edwards
  • 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
  • Huiying Ng
  • Daniel Niles
    • terial, millenary and momentary—that their knowledge takes, and, finally, the significance of this experience to our understanding of t
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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
  • Karen Pinkus
    • w York. She is also a faculty fellow of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Ithaca. Author of numerous publications in literary studies, Italian studies, critical theory, and environmental humanities, Pinkus is also Editor of the journal Diacritics. In her latest book, Fuel (2016), Pinkus thinks about issues crucial to climate ch
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  • Giulia Rispoli
  • Sophia Roosth
    • t when researchers are building new biological systems in order to investigate how biology works. She holds a PhD from the Massachuse
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      published contributions
  • Arno Rosemarin
  • Rafico Ruiz
    • afico Ruiz is Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. He studies the relationships between mediation and social space, particularly in the Arctic and subarctic; the cultural geographies of natural resource engagements; and
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  • Kim Rygiel
    • f International Affairs in Waterloo, Canada. Her research focuses on border security, migration, and citizenship in North America and Europe. She investigates how citizens and non-citizens engage in citizenship practices and challenge notions
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      published contributions
  • Dorion Sagan
  • Isabelle Saint-Saëns
  • Birgit Schneider
  • Sever
    • SEVER was developed as a speculative design project by Francesco Sebregondi, Alexey Platonov, Inna Pokazanyeva, and Ildar Iakubov during the New Normal postgraduate program at Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, Moscow. SEVER seeks to intervene into current Arctic debates by disturbing the landscape of the region’s possible futures
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      published contributions
  • Jens Soentgen
  • C Spencer Yeh
  • Nick Srnicek
  • 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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  • Carolyn Steel
  • Benjamin Steininger
  • 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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  • Kaushik Sunder Rajan
    • echnology studies, and postcolonial studies, holding a special interest in the global political economy of biomedicine, with a comparative focus on the Un
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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
  • Ksenia Tatarchenko
    • dies Institute, Geneva University, specializing in the history of Russian science and technology. She has held positions as a visiting Assistant Professor of History at NYU Shanghai and a post-doctoral fellow at the Harriman Institute, Columbia. Most broadly, she studies questions of knowledge circulation to situate Soviet developments in the global context. She is currently writing a book on science and innovation cultures in Siberia provisionally
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  • 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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  • Terre Thaemlitz
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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
  • Ben Vida
    • Korea, Australia ,and Europe at such institutions as the Guggenheim, New York; Centro Pecci, Prato, Italy; STUK Arts Center, Leuven
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  • 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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  • Kalindi Vora
  • Jennifer Walshe
    • porary Arts, New York; DAAD Berliner Künstle
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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
  • Elvia Wilk
  • 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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  • Anna Zett
  • Sander van der Leeuw
    • ionships, and complex systems theory. He investigates the preconditions for and the practices and role of invention, sustainability, and innovation in societies. He has done
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  • 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.
    • 1
      published contributions

9. Anti-Worlds

The discrepancies between human and machine listening might be productively differentiated by considering their respective capacities for abstraction. Yoneda Lemma discusses her composition Calm can only make it false (Noise Floor), and the techno-political underpinnings of her compositional practice.

A note about the piece "Calm can only make it false" (Noise Floor )

In the context of making Calm can only make it false for the “Noise Floor” segment of the Technosphere event entitled 1948 Unbound (with Inigo Wilkins and Giuseppe Longo), I was thinking a lot about chauvinism in the electronic music worlds and how angering it is that this challenge is too often left up to feminists and womxn to bring forward in conversation (or concert). Even with those composers and sound theoreticians that recognize the asymmetries of power, we hear little discussion coming from them about the veiled masculinity, about the exclusion of womxn from the circles of music discourse, or the ways in which womxn’s sound works and writings on sound or listening posthumously end up being largely controlled by small, male-dominated circles. “Calm can only make it false” is simply saying, you cannot talk about it without something angering you (ever heard of the feminist killjoys? — read Sara Ahmed). At the same time, embodying a certain level of calmness, or even peacefulness in the face of full-blooded chauvinism (by those who have fallen ill with this wake) can sometimes be enough to falsify it.
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This piece is deliberately made to sound boring. With the minimal use of a slow-tempered, barely comprehensible distorted voice, it carries with it a simple message: that the fetishization of randomness and algorithmic processing techniques in computer music discourse is boring—there are so many other (under-appreciated) areas to really look at (or fetishize) in computer music production! And when one learns that this fetishization often extends peculiarly gendered categories of intuitionism as pitted against rationalism (as if these things are contradictory), it is equally angering. The message is cut-up—literally, it is a cut-up of various poetic fragments from a reading of 0(rphan)d(rift>)’s sci-fi work Cyberpositive (1995). The voice, in this agonizingly slow temporal form, reaches a primal level of abstraction: any temporally-shifting form of speech reveals how our human capacities to understand language are caught in the symptoms of sensory exploration: the short-circuited pathways of an ancient opportunistic hunger for patterns, or the possibility to sense information without an intellectual process involved. This deliberation of distortion evacuates our understanding whilst keeping us hooked with its slowness in a strange loop. While the sub-poetics of speech are treated like a melody, the machinic processing is made into a trope, thus displaying the meme or idea of ‘algorithmic alienation,’ so heavily codified to the point of being uninteresting. Truthfully, as Giuseppe Longo pointed out in conversation, there is nothing stochastic (or even new) about this music.

ANTI-WORLDS A Hypothetical Sound Piece

Section I Logic of the Wild: Enclosure of the body is the enclosure of the future. Section II Logic of the Double Negation: The victory of materialism over self-determination. Section III Logic of Cosmic Pessimism: Vocal transgressions of post-enlightened beings.
I
Human thought has become shrouded in Idealism, all the way down the spiraling universal continuum. What blocks certain things in history from our recognition of the hidden? How can we (sub)merge the fleshy pores of historical images through sound? If chronopolitics is a rearrangement of the architectures of time in order to corrode the sociopolitical present, then augmenting the universal logic of a sonic continuum is a reorientation in historical space with the unreality of time, a retuning of positionality with the eternal catastrophe (something that happens to time: the invention of time). Chronopolitics generates links between times redefined, redefining time by aesthetics. “It is a matter of present-day urgency,Kodwo Eshun, conversation with the author and others, Summer, 2016.
Kodwo Eshun remarks in his reading of the Senegalese film Hyenas by Djibril Diop Mambéty (with a nod to Fred Moten, Ralph Ellison, and Edouard Glissant). We must retrieve overlooked futurisms to invent the future; synthesize non-identities from the phantasmagoric geographies of non-places. As Eshun puts it, our chronopolitical realities are "incorporated": the "occlusion" of the act of incorporation—envelopment—is replaced by the transparency of the sacrifice, at the dichotomy of subsistence versus incorporation.To read more of Eshun’s thoughts on the occlusion of incorporation in capitalism, one can access: http://www.re-visiones.net/index.php/RE-VISIONES/article/view/174/245, Re-visiones #Six, The Final Scene of Hyenas: A Parenthetical Incorporation, talk by Eshun translated by Marta Malo de Molina.
What does this mean? It means that in the sacrifice of personhood we are weaving textures rather than components. Envelopment through incorporation means supporting each other. Indeed, the incorporated community was a precursor for capitalism. The corporate body is a mere “shell of incorporation,” a dramatization of the envelopment. Rather than having a real interest in what envelopment through incorporation is, it has only interest in the dramatization of its existential assertions.ibid
From the corporate body we discover that the enemy of humankind is money (an allegory for early modern human’s magical thinking). We fantasize disincorporation, making an escape from the group: freedom against the group logic. Indeed, the failed subject is a paradox, for can we escape from the history of freedom? We are chained to the walls of freedom—chained for freedom. The contradiction is that the freedom fighter is subjected to the will of the group, becoming an allegory for freedom itself, militating against the pathos of the reading. Sacred disincorporation is the prerequisite for a rising future. Today, the shell-incorporation translates into the “blindness” of algorithms, blind in predicting "present-futures" rather than "future-presents" (forecasting not being the same as prediction, as variously discussed by the theorist Elena Esposito; because algorithms are not able to include themselves in their predictions, they become blind-spots)—an anthropocentric blindness precluded by occluding incorporations.ibid
Can we listen to this economics? The key to our synthesis is ungrounding. Synthetic-ness is the eventual accumulation of solidity once removed, hollowed-out, and corroded from the cheap luxuries of “original” positionality. In other words, the key to our synthesis comes whence “extinction is vitalizing.Eshun, conversation with the author and others.
Synthetic-ness can de-sediment (unearth) the folk layers while creating the sense of a pan-generic world. {Limbo time in shadow assimilation} If our choice were a matter of a moral dilemma, choice would be easy. But since white patriarchal engineering leads to no-choice economic scenarios (the victory of materialism over self-determination), the dilemma becomes tragic. In return, cosmic pessimism (whence listened to) is meant to change the world—a world meant to be diasporic and beautifully difficult.
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Esnvelopment through incorporation means supporting each other. Indeed, the incorporated community, given an identity, was a precursor for capitalism. The corporate body is a mere shell sof incorporation, a dramatization of the envelopment. Rather than having a real interest in what envelopment through incorporation is, it has only interest in the dramatization of its existential assertions. The corporate body occludes responsibility for personhood in its dramatization of incorporation (it dramatizes legal eternalities and immortalities through assertions). From the corporate body we discover that the enemy of humankind is money (an allegory for early modern human’s magical thinking). We fantasize disincorporation, making an escape from the group: freedom against the group logic. Indeed, the failed subject is a paradox, for can we escape from the history of freedom? We are chained to the walls of freedom; chained for freedom. The contradiction is that the freedom fighter is subjected to the will of the group, becoming an allegory for freedom itself, militating against the pathos of the reading. Sacred disincorporation is the prerequisite for a rising future. Today, the shell incorporation translates into the blindness of algorithms, blind in predicting present-futures rather than future-presents (forecasting not being the same as prediction, as variously discussed by the theorist Elena Esposito; because algorithms are not able to include themselves in their predictions, they become blind-spots)—an anthropocentric blindness precluded by occluding incorporations. Can we listen to this economics? The key to our synthesis is ungrounding. Synthetic-ness is the eventual accumulation of solidity once removed, hollowed-out, and corroded from the cheap luxuries of “original” positionality. In other words, “extinction is vitalizing.” Synthetic-ness can de-sediment the folk layers while creating the sense of a pan-generic world. {Limbo time in shadow assimilation} If our choice on this were the matter of a moral dilemma, choice would be easy. But since white-patriarchal economic engineering leads to no-choice scenarios (the victory of materialism over self-determination), the dilemma becomes tragic. Cosmic pessimism is meant to change the world—a world meant to be diasporic and beautifully difficult.
II
Let us begin again, with Agnès Gayraud’s proposal for “transcendental pop.” When you apply philosophy to an art form, it becomes aesthetics; it is the “transcendental” that is supposed to break the “genres.” Yet, how can one define the limits of the artwork, when artworks exist in the middle of various interpretations? There are artworks with distinct sounds (like acousmatic or concrete music) making explicit codifications between what you hear and/or what you see; there are artworks with detailed attention to immanence and ordinary life. Conversely, centrifugal dialectics of popular music spiral around the utopic ideal of “reconciliation,” where there can be a possible “universal mediation” through sensible means for all audiences. The basic ideals in popularity are democracy, however, as we know, corruption within the politics of voting leads to dystopia. For Theodor W. Adorno, the political analysis of popular music stands at the crux of this disgust (dystopia). He identified this faulty reconciliation in music: that the utopia of popularity becomes a dystopia of popularity. Indeed, he invented the term “cultural industry” by refusing to think that the artworks from the masses were acceptable, since culture ought to become the realm of work and spirit, not something to be standardized. Thinking as a good German Idealist, Adorno believed artworks should be made from unique expressions of nature that feed civilizations. Otherwise, culture becomes a factory for works of art that are no longer artworks. We can see Immanuel Kant’s definition of the genius at work here. For Kant, the genius was given by nature, brought forth by nature, born into the artwork itself. Whereas, through which nature is nature giving its rules of art to the genius? We must question this.
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Cultural industry transforms artworks into stereotypes of nature, force-feeding industrial techniques with these representations. {The Genius surrenders} In turn, white patriarchic economic powers steal the force of reconciliation from the artwork, which transforms into a structural domination of form. Thus the totality of the artwork becomes a fake reconciliation, that is, it pretends to be universal. We can probably thank Adorno for pointing out this problem, but instead cultural industry and the particularities of personalities in history (like Edgard Varèse, Iannis Xenakis, et al.) gave birth to a new norm: a community of anti-Pop aesthetics, another new “genre” to contradict itself. In a negative dialectics of popular music, there is always a f(l)ight for authenticity. “Authentic” music is supposed to be that which really deals with its material conditions. The authentic is really, actually, decaying someplace else, as it ought to—it is even more plastic than the processes, changes, or progressions involved in music-making—from what’s at stake for a complex sociopolitical landscape to the depths of lucid-trance involved in composition. Authenticity, as the mark of the patriarch in avant-garde music, becomes the decay of musical material—authenticity: as much a rigid notion as it is entirely capitalist. In distinction from the patriarchal rules of art and genius is the great attractor which questions: from which nature? This Thing dips in and out of itself (it dips in and out of me), entered into by a hormone-thought unto an anonymous “we.” This “we” of the artists of zeroes do not create for the purpose of art at all, since they are too busy challenging the violence of representations, by restructuring justice and generational time. The proof is in its shared movement.
III
Feminists are situated within the thriving pit of capitalism’s decay, eating up the surround with every means until it ends. “I am the pitch that burns the assailant’s heads,” writes Monique Wittig.Monique Wittig, The Lesbian Body, trans. David Le Vay. New York: William Morrow, 1975, p. 16.
“The smell that escapes from m/e is noisome.Wittig, The Lesbian Body, p. 20.
For feminists creating computer music, our first act is to shred the myths that self-colonize and uphold music technology and computer music composing to patriarchal power. Only then can we firmly acknowledge the imprecision of our traumas through our music to revitalize our future corporeality with its neuro-sympathetic overdrives and physiologies.
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One form of empowerment we can still draw upon is described by the French mystic Marguerite Porete, who was burned at the stake by Inquisitors in 1310 and left behind a manuscript entitled Le Miroir des âmes simples et anéanties (written in 1295).Marguerite Porete, Le Miroir des Âmes Simples et Anéanties: et qui seulement demeurent en vouloir et désir d’amour. Paris: Éditions Albin Michel, 2011.
She documents how through activating certain levels of corporeal experience one can enact a virtual practice to evaporate the soul, nullifying the soul’s dependency on meaning-based structural violence and concepts of misrepresentation. She was marked a heretic. Her method describes a self relating to a self not tied completely to its historical contingencies; “self” proposes the idea of the will that can be enacted for what “needs” to be done. Thought (like hormone) is embodied, she recognizes, it is an action empowered through the will, and it does something alienating. In what she calls “The Stage of the Night,” the soul annihilates itself through the body’s immediacy: an erotic union to act upon the frames of contingency. On par with Simone Weil, who wrote on God so as to annihilate her soul in its relationship to itself, mystic philosophers have always shown how normative tensions can be challenged through alienating philosophical enterprises. They stood at the crossroads of nonconventional conceptual articulations, between the traffic of society’s misgivings. We can see them reaching to something beyond their lives to things forgotten—artists at blurring and merging their semantic frames of reference into multi-perspectival (and chronopolitical) objects. Of course for the philosopher, mysticism obfuscates the very roads to the articulation and understanding of wisdom and reason, achieved through a dedication to rigorous categories of judgment. For the mystic, however, it is only through a messy coupling of the senses with a will to change an unjust “natural order” that one can be initiated onto a philosophical path not already corrupted by its own contemporaneity.
Endnotes Section I: I am indebted to the lectures of and discussions with Kodwo Eshun at the Performing Arts Forum (PS: Stubbornness of the Empirical 3, Summer, 2016) Saint-Erme-Outre-et-Ramecourt, France, whose philosophical analyses of Afrofuturism in Hyenas (1992), Moten, Ellison and Glissant were the main sources of thought in Section I. Section II: I am indebted to the lectures of and discussions with Agnès Gayraud at the Performing Arts Forum (PS: Stubbornness of the Empirical 3), whose concept of “transcendental pop” and her philosophical analyses of Adorno were the main sources of thought in Section II. Section III: I am indebted to the lectures of and discussions with Louis Morelle at the Performing Arts Forum, whose philosophical analyses and excavations of Porete were a source of reflection in Section III. All images courtesy of Yoneda Lemma