Tag Archives: Alex Galloway

Alex Galloway ‘In the Aftermath of the Cybernetic Hypothesis’

On the 16th of May I attended the workshop ‘In the Aftermath of the Cybernetic Hypothesis’, organised by the Digital and Social Media Research Theme at the University of Sussex. Guest speaker Alexander R. Galloway (New York University) proposed a way of thinking about the history of information and the emergence of computational systems which is interesting. Here is the abstract disseminated before the workshop:

“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 talk 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 talk aims to uncover
an alternative history of digital systems via an examination of the aesthetics and politics of control”. Continue reading