From biased robots to race as technology

Ranking search results, filtering spam e-mails, recommending movies and books, evaluating credit card fraud, diagnosing malignant cells in cancer research, selecting job applicants – more and more tasks are being carried out by new media technologies such as machine learning algorithms. Their logic does not only simplify our daily approach to large masses of information but also applies at a higher level in the observation and regulation of population flows.

Standby: Organizing modes of in|activity

Standby refers to an operating state in which energy continues to flow despite an apparent shutdown, thus allowing for sudden reactivation. This special issue mobilizes the notion of standby to understand its capacities and conditions as a mode of organizing sociomaterial lifeworlds.

19 Sep 2018 to 22 Sep 2018


Conference organizers: the Centre for Digital Cultures (CDC), Leuphana University of Lüneburg, and the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS), Western Sydney University, as part of the Knowledge/Culture Series.

The advent and ubiquity of digital media technologies precipitate a profound transformation of the spheres of knowledge and circuits of culture. Simultaneously, the background operation of digital systems in... more

The state of things

Today we live in a vastly transformed state of things: the artifice of artefacts is evident all around us. A parliament of communicationtechnologies, from RFIDS to Bluetooth devices, constantly exchange information and network all around and through us. Wireless networks of communication, control, and cooperation proliferate in mysterious ways, all speaking an infra-language of organization, inscribing new techniques of governance.

Vorsprung durch Technik?

According to Heidegger the modern world is an image, a Gebild, a structured perception, which is put and held in place by the Gestell – TV and computer screens, stock-exchanges, business schools and automobiles, which enframe or emplace the world for us. The goings-on, the hustle, of this emplacement as well as its perception is technology, or maybe better, technics, as Heidegger suggests in his essay ‘Die Frage nach der Technik’ (‘The Question Concerning Technology’, or, ‘Questing After Technics’).

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