Prof. Dr. Alexander Galloway

Alexander R. Galloway is a writer and computer programer working on issues in philosophy, technology, and theories of mediation. Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, he is author of several books on digital media and critical theory, including «The Interface Effect» (Polity, 2012). His collaboration with Eugene Thacker and McKenzie Wark, «Excommunication: Three Inquiries in Media and Mediation», was recently published by the University of Chicago Press. Galloway's newest project is a monograph on the work of François Laruelle, published in October 2014.



The Computational Decision

My current research activity concerns the history of computation and cybernetics, both to plumb the past and to assess its affect on the present. Using historical investigations into the work of Albert Londe, John von Neumann, Nils Aall Barricelli, and Guy Debord, I examine the conditions of possibility for cybernetic society. Of particular interest is the formation of systems containing discrete entities, the organization of entities into systems, and the regularization of difference within the system overall. The particular focus at MECS will be on cellular and agent-based systems. Two forces are most important in this regard, the distribution of agency and the abbreviation of authority (also known as a «local scope»). Taken together these two forces constitute the great compromise of agent culture, that is, the delegation of powers within a curtailed scope. We exhume and identify these historical trends not to naturalize digital society but, on the contrary, to explore the possibility of what a non-digital society might look like.