“Deleuze and Computers” – Alexander R. Galloway

“Deleuze and Computers” – a lecture by Alexander R. Galloway at the WEB Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on December 2nd, 2011. Abstract for the talk: Could it be? Could it be that Deleuze’s most lasting legacy will lie in his “Postscript on Control Societies,” a mere 2300 word essay from 1990? Such a strange little text, it bears not the same Deleuzean voice so familiar from his other writings. Cynics will grumble it falls short of the great books of ’68-’69 or the radical collaborations with Félix Guattari during the 1970s. In the “Postscript” he indicts capitalism by name. He raises his wrath against corporations and television shows. Yet his frame includes the culture at large, not just the mode of production. He talks about snakes and surfers and other features of the dawning millennium. He references such figures as Roberto Rossellini, Paul Virilio, Franz Kafka, and most importantly Michel Foucault. He tells us exactly what is wrong with the business sector, as well as with the prisons, schools, and hospitals. It reads almost like a manifesto, the “Manifesto on Control Societies.” In this talk we will investigate the last few years of Deleuze’s life, a period in which he elaborates, however faintly, an image of what it means to live in the information age. Presented by communication +1 www.communicationplusone.org | scholarworks.umass.edu/cpo This talk was made possible by the UMass Graduate School, the University Libraries, UMass Free
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27 Responses to ““Deleuze and Computers” – Alexander R. Galloway”

  • corsarioriddim:

    The virtual in Deleuze has absolutely nothing to do with virtual reality. Non- starter boss!

  • RedFlagSaid:

    I don’t know about you, I tend to be ill informed when it comes to the speed at which these developments are taking place. I said “next decade” only approximately. Do you have an opinion on what I was asking in the previous comment? Sure, Deleuze didn’t get to see and assess the importance of the Web 1.0, and Web 2.0 but I don’t think that reneders his writings completely useless for us.

  • OnceUponASpace:

    Wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for AI machines and other new forms of life. I reckon we’re certainly centuries away from such developments, if we ever make it that far.

  • Brett Sanders:

    Ah, thanks for the clarification:)… Would the term Critical Theorists just refer to that group of thinkers, who are philosophers doing philosophy, or is there some aspect of the type of philosophy the Frankfurt School was doing that would differentiate it from philosophy and connect it to the term “Critical Theory” … my prior understanding of the term was that it denoted a politicized form of philosophy in general, which concerns itself more with culture than other types of philosophy.

  • Brett Sanders:

    I would agree that some technology doesn’t change that fast in terms of larger concepts, but in terms of trying to keep pace as a web developer, things move very quickly. I’m not quite sure what the definition of “Critical theorist” is, but I find most people studying the thinkers under those course labels study Deleuze.

  • RedFlagSaid:

    But how have things evolved so far as to render Deleuze’s concepts e.g. of the super-fold obsolete? I find this and other concepts presented / interpreted by Galloway as vital for critical thinking today – and probably in the next decade (until we start massively using AI machines and other new forms of life). Could be more precise, and give a few examples?

  • Deleuzeshammerflow:

    That’s the thing, like iphones I bring up. Technology has been integrated as a biopolitical mechanism because it has been so normalized.

  • Brett Sanders:

    I used to be into Critical Theory and now study computer programming, The logic of actually working with computers seems completely foreign and outside the realm of Critical Theory. I like Deleuze’s strange metaphors for things, but how would he have any insights into our computer age, especially today? Things change so fast, especially how people actually use technology. For example, the iPhone was so exciting just a couple years ago, now it’s normalized and people see it for its function

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  • Edward Kench:

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