Xindi Li's Lecture at the Kontora Parokhodstva Center

11 october 2022

On October 17 at 19:00 join us for Xindi Li's open lecture called "Addicted Machine". The lecture will take place at the Kontora Parokhodstva multicenter.

Here is an abstract from the lecture, as described by the author:

The Addicted Machine

Resilience in recent years has both become a mandate to how to live individual and political life under uncertainty (“be more resilient to survive x crisis”), as well as a description of an epoch of modernity under crisis. This talk will explore the interaction between ideas of resilience, pathology, and addiction beyond their traditional registers in the social sciences and as a 'theory of the self.' I will instead take up cybernetics giant Gregory Bateson’s idea of an "addicted machine" as the internalization of a substance that changes the system’s very social organization in the pathological milieu. Here I draw parallels between Bateson’s argument for an addicted machine as analogous to an addicted human, and philosopher of science Georges Canguilhem’s thinking. The latter posits that the normal is the ability to set new biological norms (the organism is constantly adapting itself), and the pathological is also the setting of norms—but in an orientation that is contrary to the organism’s life, an inability of the organism to adapt sufficiently to its milieu while still setting norms. Pathology thus is another account of the organism’s capacity to survive, rather than simply ‘bad health.’ To that end, I will primarily track the cybernetic analogy that holds together the machine and organism—in which the setting of new pathological norms is also an orientation towards death as a means of propping up life.

The lecture will take place at the Minor Hall of the Kontora, the address being: 25 Oktyabrya str., 23A/1.

The entry is free of charge. The lecture will be held in English with translation.