Archive for March, 2014

Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science & Philosophy

31 March 2014

Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science & Philosophy

Research regarding the significance and consequence of anthropogenic transformations of the earth’s land, oceans, biosphere and climate have demonstrated that, from a wide variety of perspectives, it is very likely that humans have initiated a new geological epoch, their own. First labeled the Anthropocene by the chemist Paul Crutzen, the consideration of the merits of the Anthropocene thesis by the International Commission on Stratigraphy and the International Union of Geological Sciences has also garnered the attention of philosophers, historians, and legal scholars, as well as an increasing number of researchers from a range of scientific backgrounds. Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy intensifies the potential of this multidisciplinary discourse by bringing together essays, conversations, and design proposals that respond to the “geological imperative” for contemporary architecture scholarship and practice. Contributors include Nabil Ahmed, Meghan Archer, Adam Bobbette, Emily Cheng, Heather Davis, Sara Dean, Seth Denizen, Mark Dorrian, Elizabeth Grosz, Lisa Hirmer, Jane Hutton, Eleanor Kaufman, Amy Catania Kulper, Clinton Langevin, Michael C.C. Lin, Amy Norris, John Palmesino, Chester Rennie, François Roche, Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, Isabelle Stengers, Paulo Tavares, Etienne Turpin, Eyal Weizman, Jane Wolff, Guy Zimmerman.

Tim Cresswell On Turbulence

29 March 2014

Abstract: This paper considers the importance of the notion of turbulence for the theorisation of mobility. Turbulence is the product of friction between different kinds of flow. It can be contrasted with smooth ‘laminar’ flow — where everything is moving ‘correctly’. This paper borrows from physics and mathematics as well as the philosophies of Michel Serres and Manuel Delanda to think about turbulence as a process which makes visible the orderings of infrastructural mobilities. The issue of turbulence — incorrect and unpredictable mobilities — will be at the heart of the paper which will form a discussion of
turbulent mobilities in a number of different instances, illustrated by examples from the vagrants of medieval Europe to the shipping of containers and the infrastructure of the Internet. I will contrast the smooth operation of infrastructural mobilities that are supposed to remain silent and invisible with the dramatic and very visible instances of turbulence, that no system can ever predict or make disappear, which provides an entry point into the ordering of a mobile world.

Fred Turner on The Democratic Surround

28 March 2014

Open Standards in the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks

27 March 2014

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Open Standards in the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks

via We tend to take for granted that much of the innovation in the technology that we use today, in particular the communication technology, is made possible because of standards. In his book Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Dr. Andrew L. Russell examines standards and the standardization process in technology with an emphasis on standards in information networks. In particular, Russell examines the interdisciplinary historical foundations of openness and open standards by exploring the movement toward standardization in engineering, as well as the communication industry. Paying careful attention to the politics of standardization, Russell’s book considers the ideological foundations of openness, as well as the rhetoric surrounding this ideology. Notable also is the consideration of standardization as a critique of previous ideology and a rejection of centralized control.

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Presentation and Roundtable: Jan-Hendrik Passoth and Nicholas Rowland on “The Possibility & Contours of State Multiplicity: Preliminary Findings”

26 March 2014

Installing (Social) Order


Jan and I recently gave a talk at the School for International Affairs in the Law School at The Pennsylvania State University, which is available HERE.

The presentation, “The Possibilities and Contours of State Multiplicity: Preliminary Findings”, featured Jan-Hendrik Passoth (Technische Universität Berlin), Nicholas Rowland (Penn State University) presenting their latest research work on state theory, and Larry Catá Backer (Penn State) as discussant.  The conference was recorded and all are welcome to watch and comment, engage.

Description of the talk:

For at least 100 years, scholars in law, political science, philosophy, international relations, and various branches of sociology have asked: What is the state? And, for at least as long, answers to that question have commonly taken the form of a petty and seemingly endless game of conceptual one-upsmanship. An alternative direction exists from the small world of science and technology studies. State multiplicity. The shift…

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Haraway’s String Figures, Multispecies Muddles, Staying with the Trouble

25 March 2014

Haraway’s String Figures, Multispecies Muddles, Staying with the Trouble

via link to livestream video

Latour’s On sociology of law, an alternative approach.

22 March 2014

Latour’s On sociology of law, an alternative approach.

via and from the International congress of Sociology of Law, Toulouse, September 2013.

Unpredictability & Chance in Science & Technology, John Meurig Thomas

21 March 2014

In chemical science as well as in most branches of natural philosophy, expert practitioners of their subject — judging by past experience — are often no better than members of the general public in foreseeing the scientific and technological future. The veracity of this statement will be illustrated (in terms that will also be intelligible to non-experts), and the reasons why this is so will be elaborated by reference to specific discoveries, advances and developments in chemistry, physics, medicine, molecular biology and astronomy.

Latour & AIME at CBS Public-Private Platform

20 March 2014

Bruno was accompanied by the five AIME members Pierre-Laurent Boulanger, Christophe Leclercq, Patrice Maniglier, Donato Ricci and Pierre Jullian de la Fuente

Latour – The Whole is Always Smaller than the Parts

18 March 2014

What Digital Media do to Social Theory:
The digital availability of profiles deeply modifies the definition of what it an individual agent and, reciprocally, what is a structure because of the new ways in which researchers navigate database. This is true not only for human actors but for any agent on which individualizing items are accessible (ants, baboons, as well as bacteria or scientific papers). Building on actor-network theory, physics of complex systems and the visualizing work of Sciences Po médialab, the paper resuscitates the notion of monads that Gabriel Tarde had brought forward and that had disappeared through lack of efficient data tracing tools.