18 episodes

What does it mean to be human in an age where experience and behavior are mediated and regulated by algorithms? The Disintegrator Podcast is a limited series exploring how Artificial Intelligence affects who we are and how we express ourselves.

Join Roberto Alonso and Marek Poliks, as they speak to the artists, philosophers, scientists, and social theorists at the forefront of human-AI relations. In-depth contributions from these visionary thinkers will be released in a book entitled Choreomata: Performance and Performativity After AI, out on CRC / Taylor and Francis in December 2023.

Disintegrator Marek Poliks, Roberto Alonso

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

What does it mean to be human in an age where experience and behavior are mediated and regulated by algorithms? The Disintegrator Podcast is a limited series exploring how Artificial Intelligence affects who we are and how we express ourselves.

Join Roberto Alonso and Marek Poliks, as they speak to the artists, philosophers, scientists, and social theorists at the forefront of human-AI relations. In-depth contributions from these visionary thinkers will be released in a book entitled Choreomata: Performance and Performativity After AI, out on CRC / Taylor and Francis in December 2023.

    SCALE 1: Systems (w/ Georgina Voss)

    SCALE 1: Systems (w/ Georgina Voss)

    In this episode, Georgina Voss helps Roberto and Marek kick off on a journey to think about the relationship between human agency and political scale, specifically how that relationship is mediated by technology. The next few episodes will stick to this theme.
    Georgina's work spans the arts, anthropology, policy, technology, cultural theory -- and, critical to this episode's scope: systems theory. Her new book Systems Ultra is a GREAT read, beginning with a kind of xenoanthropology of one of the tech sector's most... extra... events: the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). 
    Georgina's work further referenced here includes:
    Supra Systems Studio, specifically the exhibition "Everything Happens So Much" (ref. Horse E-Books) with Eva Verhoeven and Tobias RevellSituated Systems (artistic work with Ingrid Burrington, Deb Chachra, and Sherri Wasserman)Stigma and the Shaping of the Pornography Industry


    Talking to an extremely practiced and principled researcher like Georgina means aggregating a ton of very real, tangible references to existing work, including:
    Donna Haraway's Situated KnowledgeJames Bridle's New Dark AgeTega Brain's magnificent The Environment is Not a SystemDonella Meadows' Thinking in SystemsJames C. Scott's Seeing Like a StateClifford Siskin's System: A History Ideas of the Idea of SystemValerie Olson's Into the ExtremeMy newest obsession and one of the more mindblowing things I've read recently (thanks Georgina!) is Marilyn Strathern's Kinship as a RelationSilvio Lorusso making me rethink some of my recent terminology choices in Against ComplexityTimothy Morton's Hyperobjects (which we're now calling the OMG theory of climate change)Rachel Coldicutt's work in and out of Careful Trouble, e.g. Tech for Today and for Tomorrow or this (awesome) essay.Dan Lockton's work, e.g. Lockton, D. (2021), ‘Metaphors and Systems’, Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD10) 2021 Symposium, Delft, The Netherlands: 2–6 Nov. 2021.Maya Indira Ganesh's work, e.g. Ganesh, M....

    • 54 min
    [Hyperlecture] Marek & Roberto: Non-Player Dynamics: Agency Fetish in Game-World

    [Hyperlecture] Marek & Roberto: Non-Player Dynamics: Agency Fetish in Game-World

    Youtube for the full experience + Q&A. In the pod, I say to just listen to the audio, but honestly the video is really really fire.

    Lecture given to our friends at Foreign Objekt, now ON POD.

    Programmer and Organizer: Sepideh Majidi
    Moderator: Maure Coise
    Video Edit: Shaum Mehra

    Tons of references here from all over the place, but definitely strongly in debt to the work of many many people. See the YT video for a more complete accounting, but a first pass definitely should call out Suhail Malik (on finance), Benjamin Bratton (on the entanglement between computation and geopolitics), Bogna Konior (on the aesthetic category of the human), Catherine Malabou (especially the later work on anarchism), Brad Troemel + Joshua Citarella + New Models + Interdependence (especially on internet culture), Nick Srnicek (on the platform), Luciana Parisi and Beatrice Fazi (on computational autonomy), Anil Bawa-Cavia (on the computability of the social), Keith Tilford and Andreas Reckwitz (on creativity), and of course 3 3 Reza Negarestani (on horizons of possibility, on the inhuman, and on Nick Land).

    It's such a beast definitely definitely hit us up, we love this one.

    • 1 hr 43 min
    14. Deathcare for the End of the World (w/ Patricia MacCormack)

    14. Deathcare for the End of the World (w/ Patricia MacCormack)

    This one is deep so see tons of explanatory resources below. The philosophy talk turns to political talk (easier to grok) after about 15 minutes, but the philosophical context adds a lot of richness to the latter conversation.
     
    Patricia MacCormack is driving productive tension between philosophy and political action. Her Ahuman Manifesto is strongly recommended, even to those who may take issue with it in principle (anti-natalism! anti-idpol! anti-human!), because it makes a forceful argument for a politics based in empathy and care as applied to everyone and every thing.
     
    Core concepts you might not be familiar with:Posthumanism — if you recall, a kind of running theme of the podcast is "posthumanism is kinda sus.” As a philosophical stance, it means an expansion of categories of agency and vitality, thought and creativity, to forces beyond the mere human. Rosi Braidotti (Patricia MacCormack’s PhD advisor) was one of the first major forces in this field, and Patricia has written extensively on it as well (see her Posthuman Ethics). In practice, of course, posthumanism gets confused pretty quickly — Reza kicks off the first episode of the pod with a brutal critique that Patricia sustains here: many people tend to use posthumanism to advance a kind of hard anthropocentrism applied to everything, a way of accidentally inflating the human all the way out to the cosmic level. It’s likely good to critique anthropocentrism at all scales, but it is a very challenging thing to do in practice without carrying out what Reza calls “inflation”, assigning anthropogenic models to everything from fish to stones to electromagnetism. E.g. "my politics include this rock" turns pretty quickly to "this rock has some vital characteristics I'm imposing upon it through my own human gaze."Transhumanism — kind of reversal of the posthuman project. Think Neuralink, human cloning, or dramatic surgical alterations. Transhumanism is humanism transcended, the human project continues but with greater veracity, constructed to conquer the future. A nice quote, per the Xenofeminist Manifesto (not quite a transhumanist project but also not not one) is "if nature is unjust, change nature." If the human as presently understood is insufficiently capable to handle its futures, change the human, make it live longer, act more efficiently, move faster.Asemiosis — the absence or breakdown of traditional semiotic processes, where signs cease to function within the established systems of meaning. This is what happens when we operate within a superabundance of signs and references on massive scales. Don’t worry about this one too much.Potestas to Potentia — lmao ok. Potestas in Spinoza refers to the word “power” as we most often understand it, authority, domination, or control. Power OVER. Potentia, on the other hand, refers to power as an intrinsic capacity or potential within an individual or entity. The, uh, power within… so to speak. (Michel Serres concept of “grace”, that MacCormack refers to occasionally, is similar to potential). It's a nice way to think about power without the coercive connotations.Irigaray “letting be” / Serres “stepping aside” — many people have theorized political inaction as a type of action. Check out Bifo Berardi’s latest interview on Acid Horizon where he talks about “defection" so sickkkk. This doesn't mean doing nothing, but rather not doing (opting out).Knowledge — this isn’t as hard as it comes across. Patricia is basically attacking the need for us to know each other to help each other, to understand each other in order to have empathy for each other. Why? Well, understanding requires communication, which means that information is moving through protocols (e.g. language, digitization, facial expressions, etc…) that are always already encoded with...

    • 54 min
    13. Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Creative Production (Marek Solo Ep.)

    13. Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Creative Production (Marek Solo Ep.)

    Creativity = sus.

    • 25 min
    12. Piles (w/ Alex Reisner)

    12. Piles (w/ Alex Reisner)

    Alex Reisner's writing in the Atlantic is some of the best investigative coverage of Large Language Models out there. In this episode, we talk through the mind-bogglingly vast archives of random pirated material that provide every major commercial LLMs with their linguistic faculty. 

    Definitely check out his writing on https://www.theatlantic.com/author/alex-reisner/, especially the phenomenal January 11 piece on "memorization."

    ALSO -- if you haven't -- submit to our call for papers on AI interfaces: link! We'd love to have you.

    • 40 min
    11. Reinventing the Surface (w/ Refik Anadol)

    11. Reinventing the Surface (w/ Refik Anadol)

    Refik Anadol, and by extension Refik Anadol Studio, is one of the most visible, if not the most visible, artists working with large models today. His work is everywhere, from MoMa to the Biennale Venezia, from the very first Las Vegas Exosphere art display to the front of Walt Disney Concert Hall.

    We’re delighted to have had him on the pod to talk through his artistic philosophy, touching specifically on media, light, AI, and his new incredibly large-scope Nature Model project announced back in January (approximately the same time we had our conversation with him — yes, the backlog is real).

    We're also accompanied in the virtual studio with Pelin Kivrak, who writes as apart of Refik Anadol Studio.

    • 36 min

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