A sad and lonely constellation: Navigating the Antinomies of Technological Hope
Caffè Letterario, MACAO, 03/05/19, 3–8pm
This conference attempts to navigate through the thick swarm of hopes surrounding the body of Artificial Intelligence as it accelerates towards us. The hope for the collapse deflation of politics into techne; the desire to attenuate the anxiety of hermeneutics through a mechanised literature freed from the debilitating excesses of subjectivity; the aspiration for novel sapient artificial entities which, by demanding and asking for reasons, can go beyond ‘thinking’ by association.
The event is free and all are welcome. The talks will also be live-streamed by the New Centre for Research and Practice. Please check ASALC’s Facebook page and the ‘discussion’ section of this event for the weblinks of the broadcast.
The first panel ’"If I Foresee that I Will Write a Book about Hegel, Then I will Write a Book about Hegel": the Autonomisation of Reason and Philosophical Systematisation’, chaired by Andrea G. Ragno, will examine inferentialist and functionalist frameworks and account for their role in determining the way that ’artificial intelligence’ is considered.
Anna Longo (University of Paris 1) is currently working on Deleuze’s mathematical differential ontogenesis and Fichte’s aesthetics, and is currently editing two books: Retour de l’objet, retour de l’ontologie? (2019) and Le paradoxe de la finitude (2019).
Ben Woodard (Leuphana University) is Post-doctoral Researcher at the Institute for Philosophy and Art Theory (IPK) in Luneburg, Germany. His research focuses on the relationship between naturalism and idealism, especially during the long 19th Century. His text Schelling’s Naturalism was just released with Edinburgh University Press.
Daniel Sacilotto (California State University Long Beach) is currently preparing a monograph in which he develops a functionalist theory of cognition and realist theory of knowledge, chiefly inspired by the works of Wilfrid Sellars.
Enrico Monacelli (University of Milan) is a philosopher. His main research interests are C. S. Peirce’s pragmatism, the politics of negation and pessimism, accelerationism and the ethics of posthumanity.
The second panel ‘Concrete Politics and A Swarm of Technological Hopes’, chaired by Richard Hames, considers how radical politics can reckon with a technological moment in which dazzling utopian thoughts of possible worlds dance excitedly ahead, while politico-economic forces drag deliberately behind these wider social transformations. Here, contemporary thinkers are invited to engage with the transformations in political action emanating from the recent Italian translation of the #Accelerate Manifesto:
Chiara Di Leone (Goldsmiths University) student in Urban Design, will present her written and visual research ‘Utopian Conspiracy as Method’, which proposes conspiracy as a political design strategy, both from an organisational and a material perspective. In particular, she will discuss the possibility of conspiracy and secrecy as alternative organisational tools that point towards rising above oppressive power structures, rather than fighting against them.
David Roden (Open University) has worked for the Open University as a lecturer and associate lecturer. His published work has addressed the relationship between deconstruction and analytic philosophy, philosophical naturalism, the metaphysics of sound and posthumanism.
Michael Eby (Goldsmiths University) will introduce his paper ‘Brute Force and the Incomputable’, in which he disarms critiques of machine translation from Chomskyan linguistics and offers a view of computation that exceeds the reduction of the real into discrete mathematical–symbolic operations. In doing this, he challenges the assumptions made by critical theorists who regard these systems as entirely subsumed to the imperatives of technocapitalism.
The third panel ‘“It Was the Best of Times, It was the Blurst of Times”: Vagaries of the Algo-Literary’, chaired by George MacBeth, will consider ’Algo-literature’ and the potential for contemporary poetry to critically respond to, and/or creatively incorporate current developments in AI, natural language processing (NLP), artificial neural networks ( RNNs, KNNS, GANs, etc), and natural language generation (NLG).
Peli Grietzer (Harvard University), is a literary critic. His ‘theory of vibe’ borrows mathematical forms from deep learning theory (autoencoders) to model the ontology of ‘ambient’ phenomena like moods, vibes, styles, and ‘structures of feeling,’ and goes on to deductively derive a potential modernist poetics from this premise.
Sam Riviere (Durham University), is a poet and Assistant Professor of English Studies. His collections Standard Twin Fantasy and Kim Kardashian’s Wedding, as well as his ‘ambient novel’ Safe Mode, have foregrounded ‘post-Flarf’ methods of algorithmic composition and presented a model for a ’post-internet’ poetics.
Chris Rodley (University of Sydney), is a PhD candidate in Digital Cultures within the Department of Media and Communications. His doctoral research focuses on the impact of social data on digital writing. He co-developed the ‘Magic Realism Bot’ on Twitter.
Brian Kim Stefans (University of California, Los Angeles) is a poet and Professor of English (contemporary poetry and new media). His most recent poetry collection is Viva Miscegenation (MakeNow Press, 2013). He is also the author of several seminal studies of e-literature, including Fashionable Noise: On Digital Poetics (Atelos, 2003) and more recently Word Toys: Poetry and Technics (2017).
This conference is sponsored by Goldsmiths Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies, The New Centre for Research and Practice, and the Institute for Hames Studies.
Light refreshments will be provided.
More info on speakers and their contributions can be found below: