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Technoculture Research Workshop: Alexander R. Galloway, “No Deconstruction without Computers”: Learning to Code with Derrida and Kittler

March 31, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

The Technoculture Research Workshop welcomes Alexander R. Galloway.

What are the machines that determine thinking? We may approach the question in a number of ways. The typical approach is to consider (or perhaps even craft) a philosophy of media. This comes under the name of media studies or media theory, where media artifacts are taken as the objects of thinking. Yet there is also an alternate approach, the media of philosophy, where the a priori conditions of philosophy themselves take center stage, engulfing thought as a kind of object. For if “media determine our situation,” as Friedrich Kittler once notoriously put it, is it not also true that philosophies shift according to the changing conditions of media technology? In this lecture we will explore the history of philosopher’s devices drawn from the domain of machines and computers, while focusing attention on two of them: Jacques Derrida’s Macintosh Plus and Friedrich Kittler’s MS-DOS machine (he migrated later to Gentoo Linux). This will serve as a backdrop for a different kind of inquiry, not simply that our writing instruments contribute to our thoughts, but also that our thoughts themselves are instruments.

Image Credit: Sebastian Döring and Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag, Tieranatomisches Theater, Berlin, Germany, 2017.

Alexander R. Galloway is a writer and computer programmer. He is author of several books on digital media and critical theory, including most recently Uncomputable: Play and Politics in the Long Digital Age (Verso, 2021). Since 2001 he has worked with RSG on Carnivore, Kriegspiel and other software projects.

Zoom link available here. (UB account required.)


March 31, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


Technoculture Research Workshop