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Report Session for the seminar Governing the Technosphere
Campus: The Technosphere Issue
2016, Apr 14, Thu — 2016, Apr 22, Fr
Reportsession for the seminar: "Governing the Technosphere" - Rapporteur: Kai Bosworth
How is the technosphere governed? And how could it be governed otherwise? One way to tackle these issues is by looking at cybernetic finance—showing how a complex system can be overtaken by an excess of self-reference.
To answer the questions posed above we turn to the city of Chicago. Here, the feedback loops of the world’s largest derivatives exchanges have definitively split off from the goods and services whose invention, production, and distribution they continue to coordinate at a distance. Yet this is a common condition. Cybernetic finance has become the archetype of global governance. Finance has a double, contradictory nature. On the one hand, it is fundamentally autopoetic, meaning that it sustains itself on its own dynamics, prioritizing the creation of its own instruments, networks, urban environments, and educated subjects. On the other hand, it is allopoetic, meaning that it is dependent on the continuous acceleration of underlying streams of production, which it constantly measures, scrutinizes, evaluates, and supports with investment capital. In finance, the autopoetic function has intensified to an extreme, with disfiguring consequences on nature, industry, culture, and human beings. To understand Anthropocene civilization one must grapple with its specific contradictions. Using philosophical concepts, literary narratives, photographic imagery, and social theory, we want to provoke a discussion about the hypertrophy of the autopoetic function, which participants will recognize in their own cities, in the current transformation of familiar institutions and technologies, and in the most recent trends of social psychology. What are the results of this excess of self-reference in our own lives? Participants should emerge from the seminar with new capacities to theatricalize concrete experience.
Anthropocene Curriculum | Campus: The Technosphere Issue, 100 Years of Now 2016
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