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The workshop will be divided into three parts.
In the first part, I will address the genealogy of the concept of info-power. Here we explore transitions in thinking about information itself, from its early development in thermodynamics and cybernetics and later in more recent posthumanism and network-theory discourses where information is linked to philosophies of agency, materialism, and biotechnology in new ways. Topics include: key concepts and conceptual background, information theory, digitalization and machine ontology.
In the second part, I will discuss what it means to actually live in an age of info-power. First, borrowing from Colin Koopman’s book by the same name, we’ll stage a narrative of just ‘how we became our data’ and talk about what consequences this has for what we, as subjects, can and cannot do. We will think about the status of the legal subject and dangers to privacy rights, of the undocumented by contrast, about data collection, algorithms and prediction products, and behavior modification efforts such as we see by data and advertisement firms. Topics include: big data, surveillance, formatting and inscription, theories of right, and cognition.
In the third part, I will speculate on the way in which info-power is cashed out in the global political economy by viewing the concrete ways in which info-power is instantiated in large-scale distributions of labor and resources, production and commerce, and the organization of infrastructure effecting the core-periphery relations which drive capital accumulation, the evolving regimes of capital accumulation, and the anthropology of technology in our contemporary situation. We end by prognosticating about the future trajectories of the system, both our subjectivity and what form of society we see on the horizon. Topics include: disciplinary and bio-power, Marxism and actor-network theory, capital accumulation, social design, and economic unequal exchange theory.
Robert Drury King is a visiting instructor at Purdue University. He is a former member of the Institute for Research on World-Systems (IROWS) at the University of California, Riverside; visiting scholar at Duke University’s Center for the History of Political Economy; and University of Copenhagen’s Saxo Institute, Humanities Division. His doctoral dissertation, “System Individuation in Differential and Dialectical Ontology: Deleuze, Hegel, and Systematic Thought,” received the 2011 College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Dissertation Award at Purdue University where he received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Purdue’s dual-Ph.D. program in Philosophy and Literature. He publishes in the fields of philosophy, systems theory, and political economy as well as their intersections. He studied in the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University; the Collegium Phaenomenologicum in Città di Castello, Italy; within the Unseld Lecture Series at the University of Tübingen, Germany; as a visiting fellow of the World Congress Summer School in Glasgow, Scotland with the Association for Social Economics; twice in The Ohio State University’s Project Narrative Summer Institute; as a visiting scholar under the National Endowment for the Humanities’ 2012 Summer Institute in Experimental Philosophy at the University of Arizona, and in the National Humanities Center’s Summer Institutes in Literary Studies at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. He received The American Philosophical Society’s Franklin Research Grant to study the Norbert Wiener Papers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is an inaugural member of the London Graduate School’s Summer Academy in Critical Humanities.
Meeting: Saturday, 2 December 2023, 18.00 – 21.00 (Greece time) – Online (MS Teams)
Workshop Fee: €15
Number of Participants: 20 (maximum)
A certificate of attendance will be provided upon request after completion of the workshop.