20190928

Cybernetics for the Twenty-First Century: An Interview with Philosopher Yuk Hui (2019) Geert Lovink. Hui sees the technological dominance of the Global West coming to an end and turns to models found in Chinese philosophy that aren’t rooted on a binary division between nature/culture.

We live in an age of neo-mechanism, in which technical objects are becoming organic. […] Being mechanistic doesn’t necessarily mean being related to machines; rather, it refers to machines that are built on linear causality, for example clocks, or thermodynamic machines like the steam engine.

[…] evolution is creative, since it is fundamentally organological in the sense that evolution is also a process in which human beings are obliged to constantly create new organs (e.g., figures), while not being blinded by them, i.e., by not regarding them as the totality of reality. Mechanism wants to explain life, without realizing that it is only a
phase of life, e.g., a figure.

On the surface, transhumanism seems to want to get rid of the concept of the human. However, this gesture is only camouflage. Transhumanism is a quintessentially humanist approach to the world, since all is captured within a metaphysical gaze

Huis talk What Begins After the End of Enlightenment? (2018) for e-flux is great. He argues that accelerationism is an direct continuation of enlightenment philosophy and identifies recent AI hype as a desire for a sublime man-made intelligence, trough which (western) men hope to transcendent themselves. He looks at technology as philosophy, referencing Heidegger and wants to find an alternatives to the prevailing (western) ethno- and technofuturism from “cosmotechics”. To achieve this he asks us to identify the locality of our technological thought. I think he’s talking about crafts.

I’ve been reading The Question Concerning Technology in China (2019) Yuk Hui. It builds thoroughly articulated links between Chinese and Western philosophy. Almost like an anthology. Tim Ingold is mentioned frequently. Hui is the philosopher cited in Ural Industrial Biennial catalogue by curator Xiaoyu Weng. Works in the exhibition feel almost like illustrations to this book.

In Chinese cosmology, one finds a sense other than vision, hearing, and touch. It is called Ganying, literally meaning ‘feeling’ and ‘response’, and is often […] understood as ‘correlative thinking’. I prefer to call it resonance […] It yields a ‘moral sentiment’ and further, a ‘moral obligation’ (in social and political terms) which is not solely the product of subjective contemplation, but rather emerges from the resonance between the Heaven and the human, since the Heaven is the ground of the moral.

20190913

– What do you think about our factory?
– It’s the biggest factory I’ve seen. The size is magnificent. It took my breath away.
– People often talk about the health hazards, has your visit changed your opinions on asbestos?
– Well, I’m still afraid of it. It’s healthy to be scared of everything that comes from so deep beneath the soil. All things that come from the deep should be treated carefully.

A casual interview (for local news) between myself and a videographer working for Uralsbest mines and factories in the city of Asbest. Our trip was organized as a part of the biennial industrial excursions. We were offered nuggets of asbestos as gifts. The nuggets that we didn’t take were sold forwards. Apparently they are popular and yield a good price.

The day was very eventful. I got a really intensive and sensitive tour of the biennial main exhibition by an exhibition mediator. He walked with me trough the halls sharing his insights on different works and recollections of discussions with the main project curator Xiaoyu Weng, encounters with the artists and chats with other mediators. It was a psychogeographic mapping of the exhibition and the thoughts it provoked.

During the tour we identified “particles” or fragments of knowledge, which could be used to piece together forgotten (or removed) cultures. These “particles” were presented both as memories or stories and physical artifacts which worked like “keys” to inform our understanding.