Master Seminar: Living With the Algorithmic Condition

The omnipresence of algorithmic media invites us to describe today’s culture with the term algorithmic condition. This term, coming from the H2020 research project Ethics of Coding, stimulates reflection on the role of ICTs in research and society, following Jean-François Lyotard’s The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge from 1979. The algorithmic condition also exposes the socio-technological processes that precede research in the dynamic archives that are accessed and accessible via the Internet of algorithmic media. Most research projects today begin and end in these dynamic archives. What does this observation mean for philosophical research? Philosophers, theorists and scholars today construct their bibliographies in dynamic archives. The processes of on-line searching have an impact on the texts we write. In this talk, I discuss the case study of stumbling upon the British philosopher, Eva Louise Young, who published the monograph A Philosophy of Reality in 1930. I was not looking for her, which is why I argue and unpack in this paper how she found me on-line and 77 years after her death. Under what conditions could the long dead philosopher grab my attention for a forward citation? In the talk I reverse engineer how Young surfaced in the thick of the non-exhaustive workings of the 21st century philosophical apparatus afforded by the Internet of algorithmic media. By means of the event of Eva Louise Young suddenly appearing in the genealogy of ‘new materialism,’ which happens to be my field of expertise, I also reflect upon the confining and liberating sides of the algorithmic condition.

Datum: Maandag 12 november
Tijd: 19:45 – 21:00
Zaal: DZ 008
Spreker: Prof. dr. Iris van der Tuin