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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

The Cybernetic Hypothesis Event

16:00 - 17:00
15 May 2012
Winchester School of Art Seminar Room 8-9 Graphics Building

Event details

Winchester Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media Global Futures Seminar

Speaker: Alex Galloway

In an essay from 2001, the French collective Tiqqun speaks of what they call the cybernetic hypothesis: "[A]t the end of the twentieth century the image of steering, that is to say management, has become the primary metaphor to describe not only politics but all of human activity as well." The cybernetic hypothesis is a vast experiment beginning in the overdeveloped nations after World War II and eventually spreading to swallow the planet in an impervious logic of administration and interconnectivity. What are the origins of the cybernetic hypothesis, and what are its futures? This workshop offers a media archeology of cybernetics through an exploration of nineteenth-century chronophotography, the history of the pixel, developments in computer modeling, bit arrays and grid systems, and that most enigmatic cybernetic device, the black box. Instead of contributing to the many heroic histories of cybernetics that already populate the cultural imagination, this workshop aims to uncover an alternative history of digital systems via an examination of the aesthetics and politics of control.

Alexander R. Galloway (NYU) is a writer and computer programmer working on issues in philosophy, technology, and theories of mediation. He is author or co-author of three books on media and cultural theory, and his new book, The Interface Effect, will be published this fall by Polity.

The talk will be chaired by Dr Jussi Parikka, Senior Fellow at the Winchester Centre for Global Futures in Art, Design & Media

This talk will be of special interest to students or staff with interests in visual culture, new media, IT, and cyberculture.

For further information, please see the Centre for Global Futures website at:

Twitter: @WSAGlobalFutures


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