Archive for September, 2013

Bruno Latour interviewed by Andrew Iliadis at Figure/Ground

30 September 2013

Donna Haraway with Rick Dolphijn

30 September 2013
He wrote a book entitled “New Materialism: Interviews and Cartographies” published with Open Humanities Press in the series New Metaphysics (ed by Bruno Latour and Graham Harman) together with his colleague dr. Iris van der Tuin in which they systematically set out how the “new tradition” called new materialism is situated in philosophy, in the sciences and in the arts. He is finishing a book which is more experimental and which deals with the urgency of this new form of thinking, entitled (for now) “Matter of Life: earth culture health”.

Review of the ‘two Princes’

29 September 2013

Nigel Clark’s review of Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics and The Prince and the Wolf: Latour and Harman at the LSE in the August 2013 issue of Contemporary Political Theory [PDF].

Clockwork Dreams with Simon Schaffer

29 September 2013

Documentary presented by Professor Simon Schaffer which charts the amazing and untold story of automata – extraordinary clockwork machines designed hundreds of years ago to mimic and recreate life.
The film brings the past to life in vivid detail as we see how and why these masterpieces were built. Travelling around Europe, Simon uncovers the history of these machines and shows us some of the most spectacular examples, from an entire working automaton city to a small boy who can be programmed to write and even a device that can play chess. All the machines Simon visits show a level of technical sophistication and ambition that still amazes today.
As well as the automata, Simon explains in great detail the world in which they were made – the hardship of the workers who built them, their role in global trade and the industrial revolution and the eccentric designers who dreamt them up. Finally, Simon reveals that to us that these long-forgotten marriages of art and engineering are actually the ancestors of many of our most loved modern technologies, from recorded music to the cinema and much of the digital world.

Arendt debating Social Science, Kieran Bonner

28 September 2013

synthetic zerØ

“Sociologists say the best way to describe human interaction in society is through the concept of role. In everyday life we play roles as student, teacher, parent, child, male female, employee, manager, etc. Arendt, on the other hand argues that humans have a unique capacity to act, which for her means to begin something new, like Occupy Wall Street, where people abandon their past roles and start over. Sociologists argue that if many humans acted in the way described by Arendt, it would ultimately mean the breakdown of society. Who is right in this argument? How do we decide? Do we use scientific verification procedures? Is this a matter of describing and reporting the facts or of reflexive analysis? Are there any ethical issues involved?”

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Robotic Kill Decisions, Dan Suarez

27 September 2013

Unmanned weaponized drones already exist—they’re widely used by America in our war efforts in the Middle East. In Kill Decision, bestselling author Daniel Suarez takes that fact and the real science behind it one step further, with frightening results.

No Collective Phenomena: Latour @CHI2013

26 September 2013

No Collective Phenomena, Bruno Latour @CHI2013

via elzabrown Bruno Latour’s talk at CHI2030 see slides here:…2157635499921204/

Ethnographies from the Future: What can ethnographers learn from science fiction and speculative design?

26 September 2013

Ethnography Matters essay, the editor notes that:
“Laura Forlano (@laura4lano) is a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Design at the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology and a Visiting Scholar in the Comparative Media Studies program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research is on emergent forms of organizing and urbanism enabled by mobile, wireless and ubiquitous computing technologies with an emphasis on the socio-technical practices and spaces of innovation.”
also worth checking out from this EM blog is:

Descent Into the Ordinary with Veena Das

25 September 2013

“Prof. Veena Das, a Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology and Professor of Humanities at the Johns Hopkins University is an eminent scholar who has worked on the themes of social suffering, violence and subjectivity and remaking everyday life after traumatic violence. ”

Brian Massumi’s Anti-Utopian Hopes

24 September 2013

synthetic zerØ

Brian Massumi’s Anti-Utopian Hopes

Interview by Mary Zournazi, thanks to Yukiko for sharing this with us:

Brian Massumi: From my own point of view, the way that a concept like hope can be made useful is when it is not connected to an expected success – when it starts to be something different from optimism – because when you start trying to think ahead into the future from the present point, rationally there really isn’t much room for hope. Globally it’s a very pessimistic affair, with economic inequalities increasing year by year, with health and sanitation levels steadily decreasing in many regions, with the global effects of environmental deterioration already being felt, with conflicts among nations and peoples apparently only getting more intractable, leading to mass displacements of workers and refugees … It seems such a mess that I think it can be paralysing. If hope is the opposite of…

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