i thought i would mention, with respect to the discussion on critical
making that colette tron and nina czgledy started last year
I thought I would mention three books I happen to be reading that
provide some context for matt ratto's original term 'critical making'
1) Seb Franklin's " Control: Digitality as Cultural Logic"
which sees control systems as one that are continuous along the centuries and
the evolution of technologies from language to writing to print to
analog to digital-
with key concepts such as the 18th idea of the centrifugal governor on
the steam engine
and the 2oth centuries ideas on cybernetics- this theoretical frame then
posited to provide reshaped concepts of labor, subjectivity and collectivity
( and hence a role for critical making)
2) Bernard Stiegler and Victor Petit's :Pharmacologie du Front national: suivi
du vocabulaire d'ars indistrualis
Which expands on the core ideas of Ars Industrialis, which colette has
already expanded on.
Among the many key arguments are to separate 'individualisation' from
( where the unit of labor is no longer the individual worker) (eg
through the 'uberisation' or
the extremes of the 'quantified self' movement' _= Stiegler is an
ardent advocate of reshaping
through active , participative, intervention and actions.-
this'pharmacology' is detailed in this book.
3) Peter Sloterdijk's " You must change your life"
Which provides a very rich context for rethinking about the current
social and philosophical
movements and particularly ( as also discussed by Steigler) the re
appearance of the appeal
of mass movements based on religious ideologies- Sloterdijk argues
that ' we must change our
lives" in an optimistic appeal to transformational actions:
"In truth, philosophy is the mode of thought shaped by the most
radical form of prejudice: the passion of being-in-the-world. With the
sole exception of specialists in the field, virtually everyone senses
that anything which offers less than this passion play remains
philosophically trivial. Cultural anthropologists suggest the
appealing term 'deep play' for the comprehensively absorbing
preoccupations of human beings. From the perspective of a theory of
the practising life we would add: the deep plays are those which are
moved by the heights."
Critical Making , can then be seen as individual and group practices
which are cumulatively transformative-
in a continuum with the theoretical basis for 'open' systems and
higher order cybernetics=
at this time of strange return to medieval battles around religious
three authors are wonderfully optimistic and convinced that we can go
beyond the agenda defined for us, to an agenda
where by understanding the systems of control ( not in a foucautlian
sense) we can intervene and leap frog over the return
to old obscurantisms
as you can gather i share this optimism- and happy new year and look
forward to 'making" a saner world
i look forward to hearing from yasminers what other framing
theoretical and philosophical ideas are relevant
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