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CfH Lectures


This lecture is introduced by Prof. Rosi Braidotti.

Automated cognition is central to today’s capitalism. From the rationalization of labour and social relations to the financial sector, algorithms are grounding a new mode of thought and control. Within the context of this all-machine phase transition of digital capitalism, it is no longer sufficient to side with the critical theory that accuses computation to be reducing human thought to mere mechanical operations. As information theorist Gregory Chaitin has demonstrated, incomputability and randomness are to be conceived as very condition of computation. If technocapitalism is infected by computational randomness and chaos, therefore also the traditional critique of instrumental rationality has to be put into question: the incomputable cannot be simply understood as being opposed to reason.

Luciana Parisi gave this lecture as part of the Algorithmic Cultures and Security event organized by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht within the series of presentations, conversations, seminars, and workshops Posthuman Glossary. The series takes place in the form of intensive two-day gatherings with artists, scholars, and activists around the critical issues of posthumanity in present-day artistic and intellectual work. Posthuman Glossary is a part of BAK’s research program Future Vocabularies (2014–2016) and its chapter Human-Inhuman-Posthuman, which is developed in dialogue with BAK Research Fellow Professor Rosi Braidotti and organized in collaboration with the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University. The series leads to the publishing of the Posthuman Glossary in 2016, edited by Braidotti and BAK’s Artistic Director Maria Hlavajova.