Die Materie der Kybernetik: Über Kommunikation in organisch-mechanischen Verbindungen

Athanasios Karafillidis


The article contends that cybernetics has a material concept of communication, which is pertinent to construe and model organic-mechanical relations. Construction and design of the latter traditionally dwells in the domains of Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer-Interaction. Somewhat removed the real utopia of cyborgs emerged simultaneously, then quickly lost its technical significance and was later rediscovered as a concept for reflecting upon hybrid couplings in the social sciences. These three empirical forms of devising and considering organic-mechanical relations ultimately originate in cybernetics, its intimate connection to communication and its specific relation to matter. However, cybernetics has been criticized to be a mere control regime and an immaterial science of regulation. The Agential Realism of Karen Barad is thus deployed to render these reductions unwarranted and to display the lost material and subversive dimension of cybernetics. The cybernetic concept of communication then turns out to be the discursive-material event per se. Finally, a methodology is sketched that frames organic-mechanical hybrids as support relations within communication processes.



DOI: https://doi.org/10.6094/behemoth.2017.10.1.947