Claus Pias at Stanford: On the History and Epistemology of Regulated Eco-systemsadmin
POSTED IN: LECTURE
Guest speaker: Claus Pias, Professor of Media History and Media Theory at Leuphana University, Lüneburg
From its very beginning limnology, the science of stagnant waters, was linked to political and economic metaphors. It describes forms of organization that can ensure change in “stability” — which is also the definition of the nature of the State in its pre-modern political definition (seen from the angle of a specific philosophy of history). Due to the emergence of cybernetics as a science of “machines à gouverner” and of governance through an intended loss of human control, the knowledge of limnology was fundamentally reformulated in the 1950s. To a certain extent, standing waters became a model for cybernetic knowledge of government that operated analytically as well as synthetically in the creation of artificial, self-regulating worlds. On this techno-epistemological level of governmental knowledge various ideologies and projects now converged — although they had first appeared to be incompatible: from science to pop, from studies of the spread of radioactive contamination in atolls to the projections of the “Club of Rome,” from dreams of self-sufficient communities of counter culture to the drafts of NASA for space colonization. The lecture tries to re-assign different concepts of ecological equilibrium to their primary techno-historical ground and to trace their historical and philosophical utopia.
Pigott Hall (Building 260), Room 252 at 6pm