The universe is awash with self-organizing and always forming systems. They challenge common ideas about agency, autonomy, conscious intention, and how to determine what constitutes life. This mutability complicates the understanding of the human role within the technosphere and the many systems that constitute it. After all, how can humans negotiate or form alliances with forms of organization that are indifferent to human command or reasoning?
In a performance-lecture with sound and video, sociologist Bronislaw Szerszynski explores the self-organizing properties of planetary rings to creatively stretch people’s ideas about the nature of consciousness and intelligence.