2016, Sun, May 01

The Paradigm of Incomputability

With Antonia Majaca (art historian, curator) and Luciana Parisi (media philosopher)

As our data-driven culture has replaced thinking with the image of networked communication, the political horizon has become subjected to data performance. In this new regime, real consequences and actions do not respond to the logic of truth by way of deduction. Instead, in this perpetual ars combinatoria of random data only an error seems to be imbued with the capacity of re-directing the program towards new ends.

And yet, one needs to remain cautious of the political potential of inconsistency, as it seems to grant to the system the capacity to seamlessly counteract itself. At the same time, subjectivity enters into a dialectic of paradoxical ‘asymmetric symmetry’ when it comes to regimes of self-regulation, control and transparency. Through ever more complex forms of voluntary servitude, the subject is made completely transparent and thus rendered absolutely visible, while, on the other hand the system becomes translucent and thus completely invisible. What would a politically meaningful intervention into this paradoxical exchange be? The talk will point towards a ficto-theory of subjectivity, together with its (xenogeneic) logic and technology.

Antonia Majaca is a researcher and curator and the Visiting Professor at the IZK Institute for Contemporary Art at the Graz University of Technology, where her work focuses on the art-based transdisciplinary investigation and the epistemology of art in the age of algorithmic governmentality.
Her three-year research and publishing project The Incomputable, funded by FWF - Austrian Science Fund, is currently being developed through an international platform involving Graz University of Technology, Goldsmiths University of London and the Department of Human and Social Sciences at the University of Naples. She recently curated Knowledge Forms and Forming Knowledge - Limits and Horizons of Transdisciplinary Art-Based Research (with Patricia Reed and Mohammad Salemy) at the Halle für Kunst & Medien, Graz and Memorial For(u)ms – Histories of Possibility for DAAD and HAU, Berlin.

Luciana Parisi is Reader in Cultural Theory, Chair of the PhD programme at the Centre for Cultural Studies, and co-director of the Digital Culture Unit, Goldsmiths University of London. Her research is a philosophical investigation of the ontological and epistemological functions of technology in culture, aesthetics and politics. She is interested in cybernetics, information theory and computation, complexity and evolutionary theories and in the technocapitalist investment in artificial intelligence, biotechnology, nanotechnology. In 2004, she published Abstract Sex: Philosophy, Biotechnology and the Mutations of Desire. In 2013, she published Contagious Architecture. Computation, Aesthetics and Space. She is currently researching the history of automation and the philosophical consequences of logical thinking in machines.