Consider the Problems and Possibilities of Cybernetics

This week’s Cybernetics Conference will examine the implications and possible applications of rapidly advancing cybernetic systems, from the ethical to the aesthetic.

(image via Giphy)
(image via Giphy)

Have you considered all the possible impacts and applications of the rapidly advancing field of cybernetics? And before you ask, no, watching the original Blade Runner in both its original theatrical and final cut versions does not count. However, this week’s Cybernetics Conference most certainly does! Whether you want to learn the ins and outs of setting up a cryptocurrency or are paranoid about the ethical issues surrounding military uses of cybernetics, this week’s lineup of workshops, lectures, and panels may not put all your fears to rest, but they’ll at least give you the tools to constructively engage with existing and forthcoming cybernetic systems.

The conference’s program for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday is a series of evening workshops intended to empower participants to engage with cryptocurrency trading, infrastructural systems, and to teach them how a CPU works by having them make dumplings. On Saturday, a full day of talks, performances, and round-tables (and more dumplings) awaits, from art historian Zabet Patterson discussing Nam June Paik’s first, extremely early foray into new media art, “Digital Experiment at Bell Labs” (ca 1966–67), to media theorist Shannon Mattern explaining how cybernetic systems can use data collected from users to control them, and a closing lecture and audio piece by Lars Holdhus.

When: November 15–18
Where: Prime Produce (424 West 54th Street, Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan)

More info here.

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