Benjamin Bratton

Augmented Intelligence and Its Traumas What does thinking mean in the age of Artificial Intelligence? How is big-scale computation transforming the way our brains function? This collection discusses these pressing questions by looking beyond instrumental rationality. Exploring recent developments as well as examples from the history of cybernetics, the book uncovers the positive role played by errors and traumas in the construction of our contemporary technological minds. With texts by Benjamin Bratton, Orit Halpern, Adrian Lahoud, Jon Lindblom, Catherine Malabou, Reza Negarestani, Luciana Parisi, Matteo Pasquinelli, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Michael Wheeler, Charles Wolfe, and Ben Woodard.

Read More

,
Equal parts Borges, Burroughs, Baudrillard, and Black Ops, Dispute Plan to Prevent Future Luxury Constitution charts a treacherous landscape filled with paranoid master plans, failed schemes, and dubious histories. Benjamin H. Bratton’s kaleidoscopic theory-fiction links the utopian fantasies of political violence with the equally utopian programs of security and control. Both rely on all manner of doubles, models, gimmicks, ruses, prototypes, and shock-and-awe campaigns to realize their propagandas of the deed, threat, and image. Blurring reality and delusion, they collaborate on a literally psychotic politics of architecture. The cast of characters in this ensemble drama of righteous desperation and tactical trickery shuttle ...

Read More

Where did the critical tradition of art go? Maybe that’s the wrong question. Because we know the answer. It went into spectacle. It went into finance. It got privatized, democratized, scrutinized, defunded, bureaucratized, then professionalized. The critical stick became a seductive carrot. But maybe we don’t have to see this only in terms of a fall from grace. Maybe this is the time for a long-overdue realism that an art field still in the thrall of modernist humanism struggles to avoid recognizing. Isn’t it strange how we are subjected to the most extreme aspects of this new order and yet ...

Read More

One common explanation for why intellectual property makes no sense in an era of file-sharing uses the example of what happens when you copy a file on a computer. Copy-Paste: a second file has been produced, but the original is unaltered. Now it has a sibling, a partner, a twin. And if they keep reproducing themselves in this way, no problem. Which is to say that, at least in the digital domain, the entire calculus of scarcity is very different from the material domain. The difference between a single entity, two entities, or a billion is almost nil. Under these ...

Read More

,
“Anything can happen for some weird reason; yet also, without any reason, nothing at all can happen.” — Reza Negarestani, Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials Essays, articles, artworks, and documents taken from and inspired by the symposium on Reza Negarestani’s Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials, which took place on 11 March 2011 at The New School. Hailed by novelists, philosophers, artists, cinematographers, and designers, Cyclonopedia is a key work in the emerging domains of speculative realism and theory-fiction. The text has attracted a wide-ranging and interdisciplinary audience, provoking vital debate around the relationship between philosophy, geopolitics, geophysics, and art. At once a ...

Read More

Advocacy is the act of arguing on behalf of a particular cause, idea or person, and addresses issues including self-advocacy, environmental protection, the rights of women, youth and minorities, social justice, the re-structured digital divide and political reform. This pamphlet considers how situated technologies have been—or might be—mobilized toward changing and/or influencing social or political policies, practices, and beliefs. What new forms of advocacy are enabled by contemporary location-based or context-aware media and information systems? How might they lend tactical support to the process of managing information flows and disseminating strategic knowledge that influences individual behavior or opinion, corporate conduct or ...

Read More

,
The Sprawl (Propaganda About Propaganda) Two unknown men speak on the phone. They discuss their involvements in military operations in eastern Ukraine, accompanied by images of a chaotic stroll through a nightly, Russian forest.A plane passes through the moonlit night sky, and a voice recites a poem by Anna Akhmatova, while a woman, in near darkness, looks at herself in the black mirror of her computer screen. Then, she looks at us. Enter the strange and deceptive world of “The Sprawl,” Metahaven’s feature debut film.Silent sword fighters stare at us. Silent actors look at us. They gaze at their screens, and at ...

Read More

,
Time is changing. Human agency and experience lose their primacy in the complexity and scale of social organization today. The leading actors are instead complex systems, infrastructures and networks in which the future replaces the present as the structuring condition of time. As the political Left and Right struggle to deal with this new situation, we are increasingly wholly pre-empted and post-everything. The contributions in The Time Complex. Post-Contemporary re-localize the present as part of a changed, speculative time complex and draw a precise diagnosis of the situation in order to negotiate speculative predictions of a future presence.

Read More