Workshops and Conferences

"Short report from the workshop: between primary and secondary information: Gilbert Simondon and the question of complexity and control."

CCP held a one-day workshop on May 15, 2019 on the relation between the concepts of information in the works of Gilbert Simondon and different stages of cybernetic theory up to some strands of complexity theory.

The guiding intuition for the day was to understand Simondonian concepts as tools that could bridge gaps between paradigms of control and paradigms of complexity.

The two invited guests are experts in the ontogenetic philosophy of Gilbert Simondon: Andrea Bardin from Oxford Brookes University recently published a very precise monograph using the complete works of Simondon plus unpublished archive material to demonstrate a Simondonian political philosophy of individuation. By way of rich historiographic descriptions, he situated Simondon and portrayed his intellectual milieu. Pablo Rodriguez from Uni­ver­si­dad de Bue­nos Ai­res is a Spanish translator of Simondon and has written on aspects of communication and organization in Simondon.

The well visited workshop was divided into two parts: we started in the morning with a close reading and lively discussions of selected passages from L'individuation à la lumière des notions de forme et d'information and from Communication et information.

In the second part, the invited guests gave short presentations on the topics of historical epistemology in Hobbes and Simondon, on concepts of information in cybernetics, on the development of key concepts in cybernetics from Norbert Wiener to Heinz von Förster.

The workshop concluded with a session on biopolitical implications in different 20th century theories and the productive role of control concepts therein.

 

"Between primary and secondary information: Gilbert Simondon and the question of complexity and control."

In­ter­na­tio­na­ler Work­shop von  „Com­ple­xi­ty of Con­trol? Pa­ra­digms for Sustainable De­ve­lop­ment“ (CCP) gefördert von der Volks­wa­gen­Stif­tung und dem Nie­dersäch­si­schen Mi­nis­te­ri­um für Wis­sen­schaft und Kul­tur (MWK). https://complexitycontrol.org  

15.05.2019, 10 - 18 Uhr. Cam­pus Leu­pha­na Uni­ver­sität C14.103.

Or­ga­ni­siert von Erich Hörl und Oli­ver Leis­tert (Leu­pha­na).

 

Gäste: 

An­drea Bar­din (Ox­ford Broo­kes Uni­ver­si­ty)

Pa­blo Ro­d­ri­guez (Uni­ver­si­dad de Bue­nos Ai­res)

The con­cepts of in­for­ma­ti­on have been con­tested, and are even con­tra­dic­to­ry, sin­ce their in­cep­ti­on in the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry. The ten­si­ons be­ca­me al­re­a­dy ap­pa­rent bet­ween Shan­non'’s en­tro­pic and Wie­ner’s ne­gen­tro­pic con­cept of in­for­ma­ti­on. When Ba­te­son gave it a de­fi­ni­ti­on as »a dif­fe­rence that ma­kes a dif­fe­rence«, it be­ca­me cle­ar that in­for­ma­ti­on had qua­li­fied as a key con­cept in con­tem­pora­ry in­ter­di­sci­pli­na­ry thought. Much of the still on­go­ing de­ba­tes re­main cen­te­red around the ques­ti­on how to re­la­te in­for­ma­ti­on, mea­ning, en­er­gy and mat­ter. Gil­bert Si­mon­don, a cri­ti­cal ob­ser­ver of the ear­ly cy­ber­ne­tic thin­king, pro­vi­ded al­re­a­dy in the 1950s a con­cep­tu­al pro­po­si­ti­on for in­for­ma­ti­on that would be able to na­vi­ga­te con­tra­dic­tions. He dif­fe­ren­tia­ted bet­ween pri­ma­ry and se­con­da­ry in­for­ma­ti­on. Pri­ma­ry in­for­ma­ti­on be­ca­me his key con­cept for the re­so­lu­ti­on of ten­si­ons bet­ween ma­te­ri­al and en­er­ge­tic or­ders of dif­fe­rent agni­tu­des that are in­com­pa­ti­ble with each other, whi­le as se­con­da­ry in­for­ma­ti­on he un­ders­tood pro­ces­ses wi­t­hin or­ders of the same ma­gni­tu­de. Pri­ma­ry in­for­ma­ti­on can be un­ders­tood as the va­ria­bi­li­ty of form, a qua­li­ta­ti­ve con­cept, re­s­pon­si­ble for the ope­ra­tio­nal mo­des at work in the pro­ces­ses of in­di­vi­dua­ti­on. Such an open de­fi­ni­ti­on of in­for­ma­ti­on high­lights Si­mon­don’s sys­te­ma­tic care for the pro­ces­ses of be­co­m­ing and the de­ve­lop­ment of or­ga­nisms or hu­man collec­tives ali­ke. His­to­ri­ci­ty had al­ways al­re­a­dy been de­eply in­te­gra­ted into his on­to­lo­gy of pro­ces­ses. This work­shop wants to dis­cuss Si­mon­don’s con­cept of pri­ma­ry in­for­ma­ti­on in con­trast to its con­tem­pora­neous pro­po­sals, such as in­for­ma­ti­on as a pro­blem of dif­fe­rence, its de­ve­lop­ment in sys­tems theo­ry, up to to­day's com­ple­xi­ty theo­ries' ope­ra­tio­nal as­sump­ti­ons about what in­for­ma­ti­on is.

In ad­di­ti­on to the broa­der his­to­ri­cal and sys­te­ma­ti­cal con­textua­liza­t­i­on of Si­mon­don’s con­cep­tu­al po­li­tics that is as­so­cia­ted with his re­thin­king of in­for­ma­ti­on, our in­te­rest also con­cerns the ques­ti­on whe­ther Si­mon­don’s con­cepts of in­for­ma­ti­on can be con­side­red an ear­ly pro­po­sal to me­dia­te the ten­si­ons bet­ween con­trol and com­ple­xi­ty as it is part of our re­se­arch pro­gram. In that sen­se, his con­cept of se­con­da­ry in­for­ma­ti­on can be seen as a re­si­due of an ahis­to­ri­cal con­trol thin­king of sys­tems nested in a thin­king of his­to­ri­ci­ty and be­co­m­ing of com­plex sys­tems.

Fi­nal­ly we would like to work through the re­la­ti­on of Si­mon­don’s con­cept of pri­ma­ry in­for­ma­ti­on to his on­to­ge­ne­tic re­con­side­ra­ti­on of what is a pro­blem and which on­to­e­pis­te­mic sta­tus we might ascri­be to the pro­ble­ma­tic.

If you are in­te­rested to par­ti­ciap­te, plea­se con­tact Oli­ver Leis­tert (leis­tert@leu­pha­na.de).

"Zeitdimensionen der Nachhaltigkeit"

26. und 27. Februar 2019

 

Bereits 1989 hat Helga Nowotny konstatiert, dass die „Umweltschleifen menschlichen Handelns zu Zeitschleifen werden, die auf die Gegenwart zurückwirken“. Das war am Ende des Kalten Krieges bzw. an der Schwelle einer Auflösung der Dreiteilung des Globus in eine Erste, Zweite und Dritte Welt. In diesen Übergängen formiert sich auch die Idee der „nachhaltigen Entwicklung“, markiert durch den Brundtland-Bericht Unsere gemeinsame Zukunft (1987). Inzwischen werden Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft unter dem Begriff Anthropozän ins Verhältnis gesetzt und bekommen infolge des Narrativs der great acceleration einen historischen Index, der von der normativen Ausrichtung an Klima- oder Entwicklungszielen gesetzt wird. 
Im Lichte der Erkenntnisse des International Geosphere Biosphere Programme und des Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change haben inzwischen vor allem Naturwissenschaftler ein neues Geschichtsbild formuliert, das die Gegenwart in eine solche Zeitschleife einwickelt. Danach ist die Gegenwart die Folge von geologisch oder atmosphärisch sedimentierten Handlungen, die wiederum mittels Computersimulationen in die Zukunft fortgeschrieben werden, um auf diese Weise in der Gegenwart zu Handlungsempfehlungen zu führen und damit die Zeitschleife zu schließen. Planetary boundaries, limitierte carrying capacities und erschöpfte carbon budgets prognostizieren eine kulturell bereits vielfältig antizipierte Endlichkeit, die im radikalen Widerspruch zur einst unabsehbar offenen Zukunft der Moderne steht und an Motive aus der Apokalyptik erinnern. Andererseits mobilisieren Nachhaltigkeitsdiskurse gegenwärtig auch utopische Potenziale einer ganz anderen Zukunft, die teilweise auch auf ältere Zukunftsbezüge und –modellierungen rekurrieren. Vielfältige Akteure auf dem Feld versuchen leverage points zu identifizieren, die tiefgreifende Systemveränderungen triggern sollen. Nachhaltigkeitsdiskurse eröffnen insofern neue Fragefelder, die die Zeitgeschichte und Philosophie in besonderer Weise herausfordern. Die Annahme dieser Herausforderung kann zu Erkenntniskategorien führen, die Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft in neuer Weise miteinander in Beziehung setzen und Zukünfte bedenken können, die sowohl erwartbar erscheinen als auch anders sein sollen. 
In diesem Sinne untersucht der Workshop Zeitregime, Zukunftsbezüge und die Bedeutung von Geschichte überhaupt im Kontext der Nachhaltigkeitsdiskurse der letzten Jahrzehnte und fragt, inwiefern an diesen Denkformen und Praktiken eine Verschiebung der „Zeitlichkeit der Geschichte” (Reinhart Koselleck), neue Zeitlichkeiten bzw. eine Epistemologie der Historizität beobachtet werden kann. Uns interessiert die epistemologische Herausforderung und komplexe Rekonfiguration von Zeitlichkeit in der Gegenwart als Aufgabe des theoretischen und methodischen Umgangs mit Geschichte in den Geschichtswissenschaften. Zugleich sehen wir in dieser epistemologischen Herausforderung ein Grundlagenproblem der Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften aufgrund ihrer reflexiven Normativität und der in sie eingelassenen pragmatischen Zukunftsbezüge.
Der Workshop in Lübeck geht diesen Fragen im Format einer interdisziplinären Roundtable-Diskussion nach.

Programm

Roundtable Diskussion mit Christian Geulen, Rüdiger Graf, Andreas Folkers, Stefan Aykut, Manfred Laubichler, Martina Heßler, Frank Uekötter, Baldassare Scolari, Werner Krauß, Sabine Hofmeister, Oliver Leistert, Stefan Willer, Daniel Lang, Lisa Cronjäger, Esther Meyer, Maria de Eguia Huerta.

Organisiert von Cornelius Borck, Christoph Rehmann-Sutter, Christina Schües (Institut für Medizingeschichte und Wissenschaftsforschung IMGWF, Universität zu Lübeck), Gregor Schmieg und Isabell Schrickel (Center for Global Sustainability and Cultural Transformation, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg).

Die Veranstaltung beginnt am 26.2.2019 um 14 Uhr und endet am 27.2. um 14 Uhr. 

Der Workshop ist öffentlich. Aus Platzgründen wird um Anmeldung gebeten (schrickel@leuphana.de).

"Workshop on the Intricacies of Planning, Governance, and Finance with Érik Bordeleau (senselab/ECSA)"

On the 4th of February 2019, CCP‘s cultural theory wing had organized a small workshop on the intricacies of planning, governance and finance. Consultant Érik Bordeleau, member of the Berlin-based Start-Up ECSA (Economic Space Agency) and the Montréal-based research consortium sense lab (senselab.ca) introduced the participants to his recent research into the social logic of finance, governance and planning with a deep dive into cultural theory, blockchain parlance, speculative philosophy and economics.

The workshop entitled „50 Shades of a Network Derivative“ introduced the participants to the complex relations of time, finance and risk.

Taking crypto-economics as a starting point, it became evident that programability has returned as a hot topic in planning and governance. But this time the return of fantasies of control encloses sovereignties of small kingdoms, such as cryptocurrencies. „We can now all program our own small kingdoms“ says Bordeleau. The invention of value as a parameter of programming introduced a missing link into the networked cultures of today.

During the workshop the participants, comprised of CCP members and students from Leuphana, discussed theoretical statements and quotes taken from a large variety of literature that Bordeleau had pooled before.

The workshop was organized by the project ‘Complexity or Control? Paradigms for Sustainable Development (CCP)’, Leuphana University Lüneburg and Arizona State University, which is funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung and the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur.

"First International Agenda Setting Workshop on Sustainability, Transdisciplinarity, and Interculturality organized at Leuphana University Luneburg by CCP"

September 11th, 12th and 13th 2018

From the evening of the 11th September 2018 to 13th September 2018 the Agenda Setting Workshop – Transdisciplinary Research and Sustainability within an Intercultural Orientation took place at the Leuphana University Lüneburg. The workshop was organized by the project ‘Complexity or Control? Paradigms for Sustainable Development (CCP)’, Leuphana University Lüneburg and Arizona State University, which is funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung and the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur.

The workshop aimed at creating a space for joint exploration of ways of understanding and transforming transdisciplinary research and sustainability. The rationale behind this event was to challenge a westernized perspective of researchers and policy makers. Therefore, a very heterogenous group of people in terms of knowledge(s) area(s), methodologies, (work-) cultures and place of origin(s), amongst others, was invited to jointly explore concepts, perspectives and methodologies as well as possible forms of collaborative research work in the future. 

The 22 participants came from 12 countries, including Mexico, Bolivia, Zimbabwe, Nepal or Kenia. The workshop benefited from the Td Summer School 2018 [link], which took part the previous week and which offered 15 scholarships for participants from the Global South. Some of them took part in the workshop as a side event of the Td Summer School. 

Beyond sharing and developing a culturally sensitive look to transdiciplinarity research and sustainability, the workshop ended with concrete agreements on working steps for the formed working groups. These will conceptually and methodologically explore transdisciplinarity, sustainability and interculturality in established collaborative formations that shall be further strengthened and accompanied by CCP the coming months.

"Workshop on td research and sustainability within an intercultural orientation & Td Summer School 2018"

September 2-11, 2018

Leuphana University of Lüneburg is pleased to invite you to the 6th Td Summer School in Lüneburg, Germany in September. As a follow up of the ITD Conference 2017 (www.leuphana.de/itd-conference-2017) this year’s Td Summer School is focussing on transdisciplinary research at the science | society inteface within an intercultural orientation. It takes place at Leuphana University from September 2-11, 2018 (Td Training Module: Sep 2-7, Special Training Module: Sep 10-11).   

As a side event we will run a workshop in transdisciplinary research and sustainability from Sep 11-13. The aim is to develop an agenda for continuous collaborative research between different world regions to further develop epistemological and methodological foundations and practices of transdisciplinary research and sustainability.

For more information see: www.leuphana.de/td-training

"International Transdisciplinarity Conference 2017"

Transdisciplinary Research and Education – Intercultural Endeavours

September, 11th - 15th 2017, Leuphana University Lüneburg

The International Transdisciplinarity Conference in 2017 is co-organized by Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany and the Network for Transdisciplinary Research (td-net) of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. The overall objective of the conference is to strengthen communities of transdisciplinary research and education, and to create visibility for theoretical, empirical and transformative advances/results. The focus of the conference is on interculturality. Participants will explore transdisciplinary research and education as intercultural endeavours concerning epistemologies, world-views, practices, and place-based differences. With this emphasis we will bring together representatives of different world regions, institutions, cultures, and communities. We envisage a space for taking a culturally sensitive look at transdiciplinarity. By doing so we will also explore interfaces and foster the potential of transdisciplinarity to deal with heterogeneity and difference. more

For a retrospective view, please click here.

Please click here for more information regarding the role of the CCP-Team:
CCP as co-organizer of ITD-Conference 2017

 

"Thinking the Problematic"

June, 22nd - 23rd 2017, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Campus Building 14


Hosted by
Complexity or Control? Paradigms for Sustainable Development
https://complexitycontrol.org/

Organized byErich Hörl, Oliver Leistert and Martin Savransky

The figure of the problematic continues to resurface and to haunt both epistemologies and ontologies. From its inception in French historical epistemology it transverses any distinctive division of thoughts and concepts. Our workshop engages in a two day discussion on the contemporary presence of the figure of the problematic and asks how to accept the obligations its decentering forces offer. more