In our everyday live we communicate with and through digital machines. Algorithms guide us on shopping sites, social networks and dating platforms. They predict our desires from collected data, recommend products, partners and political leanings. Meanwhile in the bio, neuro and nano sciences, digital machinery is used to decipher the structures of matter itself and enable the design and fabrication of hybrid structures and synthetic life forms.
Research from the histories of media and science suggest that the implementation of a new model of reality, modes of knowledge and imagination in the peak of cybernetics which can be dated from the 1950s well into the 1970s continue to have effects today (vgl. Hagner/Hörl 2008:7). This can be traced to techniques of anticipation and control of possibilities. Today a wide range of approaches has been established to interpret present developments. This includes a renewed interest in ecology that encompass media and affects (Durham Peter, Morton, Fuller, Angerer), hybrid networks and modes of existence (Latour) as well as recent feminist approaches on materialism and posthumanism (Barad, Parisi, Braidotti).
The workshop conceives contemporary technologization as a transversal transformation: It affects everyday life, politics, knowledge, nature, culture, art and technics as well as their modes of description, reflection and critique. The public discussion on digitalization is led by politics and economics. In the workshop, we aim to collect a broad range of perspectives from the humanities and cultural studies – to discuss expertises of the technological that go beyond the visions of the tech industry.
The following questions and topics are of particular interest (but not limited to these):
Besides discussing different theoretical approaches we also aim to address these questions via concrete and exemplary topics, particularly from a perspective of literary, cultural and media studies.
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin