September 2023

  • Language  english       Pages  204
  • Publishing Year  2023
  •  978-3-95796-216-4 (print)
  •  978-3-95796-217-1 (PDF)
  • DOI:
  •  10.14619/2164
  • Available as Print, PDF


Inquiries into Cybernetic Thinking and Its Attempts towards Mate[real]ization

Frictions is a collective invitation to embrace the space of difference that both connects and separates techno-scientific discourses from their actual implementations—or even, from their non-implementations. Through a series of case studies focused on cybernetics, systems research, and some of their more contemporary inheritors, this book argues that such a middle space, the topology of frictions, offers significant insights to assess the historical and epistemological relevance of these interconnected fields. Characterized here as cybernetic thinking, this broad area of theoretical and applied projects would conceal, precisely within its frictions, the operational principles of our present.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Cybernetic Thinking and Its Frictions 7
Diego Gómez-Venegas

[ 1 ] From Delphi to ORAKEL: A Brief Media History of Computer Democracy 19
Eva Schauerte

[ 2 ] From Cybernetics to Sustainability: Negotiating the World Problematic at IIASA (1972–1989) 37
Isabell Schrickel

[ 3 ] Social Supercolliders: On the Promises and Pitfalls of Grand-Scale Participatory ICT Projects 61
Sebastian Vehlken

[ 4 ] Encoding from/to the Real: On Cybersyn’s Symbolic Politics of Transmission 91
Diego Gómez-Venegas

[ 5 ] On the Notion of Cybernetic Frictions and its Role in Radical Media Archaeology 119
Wolfgang Ernst

[ 6 ] Teaching Machines: Learning as Subjective Technique and Feedback Loop 133
Stefan Höltgen and Rolf F. Nohr

[ 7 ] The Ashby Box: A Contextualization and Speculative Remake 163
Thomas Fischer and Andrei Cretu

Epilogue: The Cybernetic Revolution 195
Hans-Christian von Herrmann

Authors 203