INITIATIVES:
Cybernetics for the 21st Century
Lectures and Symposium

ONLINE
2022 – ONGOING

With the support of the M Art Foundation, this two-year public research program of the Times Museum Media Lab in Guangzhou titled Cybernetics for the 21st Century becomes a reality.

Curated by Yuk Kui and Jianru Wu, the program aims to reconstruct the history of cybernetics, considering different geographical locations, political projects, and philosophical reflections. Additionally, it seeks to inquire into the contribution of the cybernetic movement to the new form of thinking urgently needed to understand and reorient our digital earth.

The first edition of the program, which took place online throughout 2022, consisted of eight lectures and two symposiums featuring presentations by philosophers, historians of science, and sociologists, including Andrew Pickering, Katherine Hayles, Brunella Antomarini, Slava Gerovitch, David Maulén de los Reyes, Michal Krzykawski, Mathieu Triclot, and Daisuke Harashima.

“Today cybernetics has already been absorbed in almost all engineering disciplines as well as in art and humanities, and realized what it has promised as a universal method. The significance of cybernetics remains to be questioned and taken beyond what has been characterized as control and surveillance. More than ever, we are living in an epoch of cybernetics, however, we still fall prey to the dichotomy of nature and culture without understanding the significance and the limits of cybernetics. Cybernetics brought forward a digital earth, where one finds the end of nature and the beginning of ecology. We, moderns, are alcoholics, who failed

to get out of the positive feedback of progress, like what Nietzsche describes in the Gay Science, the pursuit of the infinite leads to the realization that nothing is more frightening than the infinite. A new recursive epistemology in the sense of Gregory Bateson, which inherits cybernetic thinking while seeking to overcome its intoxication, is needed for the program of re-orientation.”

– Text from the Times Museum, Guangzhou, China

Time: October 28th – December 16th, 2022

Host: Media Lab of Guangdong Times Museum, Research Network for Philosophy and Technology

Co-Organizer: Hanart Forum

The launch of the program is made possible by the support of M Art Foundation

Supported Networks: Research Center for Science and Human Imagination, Southern University of Science and Technology; CUHK (Shen Zhen) University Arts Centre; Shenzhen Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics for Society (AIRS)

Supported Media: thepaper.cn,The Thinker, LEAP

Supported by Guangdong Times Museum

Special thanks to Times China

 


 

About the Organizers

 

Media Lab

Initiated in 2019 and officially established in December 2021, the Media Lab of Guangdong Times Museum is dedicated to contemplating and exploring the languages and traditions of art from the perspective of media and technology in an era of accelerated technological development. It aims to deliver a new vision of art and technology by experimenting with the ways in which digital media build new social relationships and foster cultural imagination through rehearsals and speculations.

 

Research Network for Philosophy and Technology

The Research Network for Philosophy and Technology was established in 2014 as a project to rethink the relation between philosophy and technology, and the future of this relation from global and historical perspectives. It is first of all an attempt to address the varieties of technological thought, in comparison with and also beyond the dominant Promethean discourses. It also wants to elaborate on and develop further the relevance between non-modern thoughts and modern technologies. These questions are often undermined and ignored in the established academic disciplines on technology and philosophy; this is also the reason for which this network hopes to bring together different points of views and new thinking, based on solid historical research, philosophical speculations and experiments.

 

About the Program Host and Discussant

 

Yuk HUI

Yuk HUI (Prof. Dr. phil. habil.) studied computer engineering at the University of Hong Kong and philosophy at Goldsmiths College in London where he wrote his doctoral thesis under the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler (1952-2020). He obtained his Habilitation (venia legendi for philosophy of technology) from Leuphana University Lüneburg. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institut de Recherche et d’Innovation of the Centre Pompidou Paris and a visiting scientist at the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories in Berlin. Since 2010, he has been teaching in various institutes including Goldsmiths College London, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Bauhaus University Weimar, Strelka Institute Moscow, Chinese Academy of Art Hangzhou and currently as professor at the City University of Hong Kong. Hui is a juror of the Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture since 2020, and convenor of the Research Network for Philosophy and Technology  since 2014.

Hui published on philosophy and technology in periodicals such as Research in Phenomenology, Philosophy Today, Metaphilosophy, Theory Culture and Society, Angelaki, Parrhesia, Cahiers Simondon, Deleuze Studies, Derrida Today, Techné, Jahrbuch Technikphilosophie, Implications Philosophiques, Krisis, Intellectica. He is series editor of “Philosophy of Media and Technology” of Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences Press. He is co-editor of 30 Years after Les Immatériaux: Art, Science and Theory (Meson, 2015), Cosmotechnics: For a Renewed Concept of Technology in the Anthropocene (Routledge, 2021); and author of  On the Existence of Digital Objects (prefaced by Bernard Stiegler, University of Minnesota Press, 2016), The Question Concerning Technology in China -An Essay in Cosmotechnics (Urbanomic, 2016), Recursivity and Contingency (R&LI, 2019)  and Art and Cosmotechnics (University of Minnesota Press, 2021). His books have been reviewed and endorsed by The Philosophical Quarterly, Radical Philosophy, Jahrbuch Technikphilosophie, Theory Culture and Society, Issue in Science and Technology, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Folha de Sao Paulo among others; and have been translated into a dozen languages including German, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish and Portuguese.

 

About the Program Curator

 

Jianru Wu

Jianru Wu is a writer and curator, currently works as the Media Lab Director at Guangdong Times Museum, her research interests lie at the intersection of feminism, the philosophy of technology nontraditional kinships, and creative institutional practice. She joined the Times Museum and founded the Media Lab in 2019, which is designed within the framework of institutional critique to respond to the current ossification of art institutions.

As a writer and editor, she edited books, publication for artists and museums. In 2017-2018, she is an editor for “One Hand Clapping” exhibition publication at Guggenheim Museum, New York. She worked as the senior editor of LEAP magazine from 2012 to 2017; Her writings have appeared on Artforum China, Ocula, The Art Newspaper China, among others. Jianru Wu received Asian Cultural Council fellowship in 2017, and Jane Farver Arts Foundation curator fellowship at International Studio & Curatorial Program (New York) in 2019. She is a member of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Advisory Board since 2020.