November 26th – 27th 2014 | Wirtschaft Neumarkt – Cabaret Voltaire | Zurich


Video Lectures

Terence Blake
From Inversion to Many Versions: Feyerabend’s Philosophy of Nature

Paul Feyerabend is often associated with a destructive criticism leading to an anarchism that flouts every rule and a relativism that treats all opinions as equal. This negative stereotype is based on ignorance and rumour rather than on any real engagement with his texts. Feyerabend’s work from beginning to end turns around problems of ontology and realism, culminating in the outlines of a sophisticated form of pluralist realism. This largely unknown ontological turn taken by Feyerabend in the last decade of his life was based on four strands of argument: historical considerations, cosmological criticism, complementarity, and the primacy of democracy.


Vera Bühlmann
The Creative Conservativeness of Computability


Felicity Colman
Transmission: Materialist Informatics and Regimes of Entropy

For this seminar I explore some of the core elements for a practice of creative speculation: the concepts of energy, matter, transmission, and entropy. The practice model is that of the American artist Robert Smithson. In 1971 Smithson proposed that we should compile all the different entropies. This would provide a study of ‘entropology’ (after Claude Levi-Straus described of a post-anthropology). Smithson joked about how ‘wreckage’ is more interesting than ‘structure’ and he proposes the sun and its associated entropic regimes as a methodological process, one that is productive of material systems. As any system is itself subject to change through shifts in informational matter, any computation of a system must take into account the transmission factor, and is thus always subject to not only the entropy of its materiality but the entropic language of its sense as a description. Smithson proposes that between the absurdity of language structure and the virtuality of the 4th dimension ‘a device for unlimited speculation’ is located.

Ref: Felicity Colman. 2006. “Affective entropy.” Angelaki (11, 1)


Ludger Hovestadt
Continuing the Modernist Legacy by Reverse Engineering


Jorge Orozco
How the PageRank Algorithm Operates Technically


Matteo Pasquinelli
The Computation of Cognitive Capital

Since the times of Smith, Ricardo and Marx, capital is clearly a form of computation. The apparatuses of capital describe by themselves a complex mathematical system. After WWII the numeric dimension of capital has been coupled with the numeric dimension of cybernetics and computing machines, then gradually subsuming also upcoming forms of augmented intelligence. Capital, as a form of accounting, as a form of exterior mnemonic technique, is in itself a form of trans-human intelligence. Cognitive capitalism, specifically, on the basis of all its numeric procedures, from layman’s accounting to sophisticated algotrading, from immaterial labour to scientific research, is an institution of computation. (Unfortunately, there is no video available for this lecture).


Johannes Paul Raether
Augmented Embodiments and Identitecture in Capitalist Society

Through the filter of his multiple Potential Identities, the Identitect Johannes Paul Raether will give an introduction to his shizzo-realist avatars and psycho-active institutions that have been crystalizing in evolving experimental framework they call Identitecture. Appearances of figures such as Protektorama, the SmartphoneSangoma and WorldWideWitch as well as Transformella, ReproRevolutionary of the Ovulo-factories, will be presented and reflected, while instances, sites and practices within these Appearances will be discussed for their respective terms and methods. The aim of self-made conceptualisations of proto-academic terms such as ‘Beautified Intervention’, ‘Immersive socio-real Environment’ and ‘Augmented Embodiments’ will be to continuously construct a partial and situated, yet evolving planetary model of identity production. The lecture aims to show vectors of how to dissect from the genre of political art and attempt to travel towards a potential framing of what psycho-realist artistic practice in a capitalist society could entail.


David Schildberger
The Principle of Artificial Photosynthesis Generalized

For most of us it seems to be clear – as we missed the tempting opportunity to live in a lap of luxury, a paradisiacal state, we agrounded and assented to have only one nature to live in, therefore we necessarily should take care of it as its resources are finite and an escape seemed not to be worth considering yet. In General Photosynthesis supplies all of the organic compounds and most of the energy necessary for life within nature. This is a fact. A function. One dimension. But new pathways might offer opportunities for further speculations. As a chemical process photosynthesis is in principal electrical – flows of energy – affections of photons and electrons. Semiconductors offer the possibility to act as catalysts and allow to hack and dope existing systems – working on all kind of atomic substrates hence forming molecular compounds (e.g. carbohydrates). Intellectual ability as its fundamental source – opening up new worlds of food and energy flows – starters which make us eager to do more with it – from necessity to luxury. Play around. Imagine. Taste. Affections for our senses – accompanied by evoked shifts of how food is administered and its impacts on the current cosmopolitical civil engineering.


Erin K Stapleton
Digital Images, Heterogeneity, Expenditure, Destruction


Elias Zafiris
Natural Computation as Cryptography: A Spectrum View on Number Theory

Natural computation is based on the simulation of natural processes making use of natural materials, for example the use of synthesized macromolecules as computational units in DNA nanotechnology. I will explore the idea that the formation of these computational units requires an encoding-decoding procedure, which can be described in general as a two-way mapping from the molecular scale to the macroscopic scale. Considering these computational units as codes we need algorithms to operate with them. In turn, this can be described as an enciphering-deciphering procedure operating by means of a key. This brings us to the domain of natural cryptogrpahy. In this context, I will discuss the role of number theory in unraveling natural keys for computation. (Unfortunately, there is no video available of this lecture).


ETH Zurich | Faculty of Architecture | Institute of Technology in Architecture | Computer Aided Architectural Design CAAD