The work aims to diagram the conjunctive power of planetary-scale computation, commodification, and climate change, and begins with the following voice-over:
“Dispersed across the surface of Earth, computer clusters electronically hum in vast air-conditioned rooms.
One models sea level rises, precipitation rates, temperature increases, and property values in coastal metropolises
over the coming thousand years. Another runs simulations of various military strategies designed to respond to
the ensemble of armed insurgencies and mass migrations that are predicted to accompany expanding droughts
and crop failures. This cluster runs affect recognition algorithms on videos streamed from malls, schools, bridges,
beaches, cafes, prisons, subway cars, and stadiums in order to forecast the spatial distribution of criminal activity
in a bustling financial district. That cluster hosts a seemingly endless grid of lush virtual gardens that users
digitally water by periodically tapping on their phones while commuting to work. These clusters compete with one
another to mine cryptocurrencies while quantitatively speculating in weather derivatives markets. All of this silicone
only senses, analyzes, and simulates the planet in order to grow as a more total power over it.”
Over the duration of the ~30 minute project, a détourned montage of YouTube videos including data visualizations, drone recordings, defense industry promotions, corporate advertisements, news reports, Silicon Valley product demonstrations, protest documentary, and machine learning research is swiped through in order to visually survey the technical, political, and aesthetic dimensions that compose our disastrous present. Voice-over narration is algorithmically performed by the synthetic voices of Google’s WaveNet deep neural network, and a soundtrack is streamed on an Amazon Alexa.
Inspired and informed by diverse revolts, militant research, and contemporary anarchist and communist thought, the project aims to explicate the entangled operations of climate, capitalism, and control as well as to speculatively propose methods of bringing about their eventual undoing. In addition to its formalization as a video essay, “Climate, Capitalism, Control”
is also presented
as a standalone
text which can be r
ead as well as downloaded
as a pdf here: https://www.ianalanpaul.com/climate-capitalism-control-text/
Following its online release, I will also be organizing exhibitions and screenings of the work in the year ahead. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you are interested in showing “Climate, Capitalism, Control” or if you know of potential events, venues, or curators that you think I should reach out to. Thank you for taking the time to read this far, and I hope that you find the project meaningful and worthwhile.
All of the best,
~Ian Alan Paul
Bartosz Gonczarek at “Everything Explained” has put together a wonderful visual whiteboard of great quotes from Theory of the Image that I think hit some very important summary highlights from the book, especially Part III on the digital image.
View it here.
This book looks absolutely essential. My only resource on this important term for the last decade has been Emmanuel Laroche, Histoire de la racine nem- en grec ancien (nemō, nemesis, nomos, nomizō) (1949).
Delves into the history of the ancient Greek word nomos (and related words) to reveal the interdisciplinary depth of this term beyond its later meaning of ‘law’ or ‘law-making’
This is a highly original, interdisciplinary study of the archaic Greek word nomos and its family of words. Thanos Zartaloudis draws out the richness of this fundamental term by exploring its many uses over the centuries.
The Birth of Nomos includes extracts from a wide range of ancient sources, in both the original and English translation, including material from legal history, philosophy, philology, linguistics, ancient history, poetry, archaeology, ancient musicology and anthropology. Through a thorough analysis of these extracts, we gain a new understanding of nomos and its foundational place in the Western legal tradition.
Assembles a genealogical history of the ancient Greek work nomos, showing how it contains a richness that is not reflected in its classical and modern usage as simply ‘law’ or ‘law-making’
Draws on works by ancient Greek philosophers, poets and tragedians including Homer, Hesiod, Alcman, Pindar, Archilochos, Theognis, Heraclitus, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Plato
Includes extracts from ancient primary sources, in both the original and in English translation, to analyse how nomos has been used in the literary evidence and in context
Considers how nomos has been used by contemporary philosophers, including Agamben, Foucault, Heidegger, Schmitt, Deleuze and Axelos, and re-examines their interpretations
Thanos Zartaloudis, The Birth of Nomos – Edinburgh University Press, November 2018
This is looks like a great collection, but the hardback price is $80!
Maps materiality’s importance in the emergent posthuman future of architecture
This book gathers 14 architects, designers, performing artists, film makers, media theorists, philosophers, mathematicians and programmers. They all argue that matter in contemporary posthuman times has to be rethought in its rich internal dynamism and its multifaceted context. By transversally crossing disciplinary boundaries, new and profound insights into contemporary thinking and creating architecture emerge.
Combining the dynamism of materiality and the capacities of nonhuman machines towards prototyping spatiotemporal designs and constructs leads to alternative conceptions of the human, of ethics, aesthetics and politics in this world yet-to-come.
Architectural Materialisms: Nonhuman Creativity
- Causality and Meaning in the New Materialism
- Tangible versus Intangible Materiality: Interpreting Gaudí and the Colliding Forces of Traditional and Innovative Construction
- Internalising Continuous Variation
- Paramateriality: Novel Biodigital Manifolds
- A Vital, Architectural Materialism; a House-person’s Escape from the Anthropocentric
- Performing Bitumen, Materialising Desiré
Julieanna Preston and Jen Archer-Martin
- Machine-oriented Architecture: Oikos and Ecology
Levi R. Bryant
- The Compass of Beauty: A Search for the Middle
- Architectures of Air: Media Ecologies of Smart Cities and Pollution
- The Intelligence of Computational Design
- Grothendieck Toposes: Architectural and Plastic Imagination beyond Material Number and Space
- Vicarious Architectonics, Strange Objects: Chance-bound: Michel Serres’ Exodus from Methodical Reason
Notes on Contributors
Oxman’s design takes seriously the ecology and movement of matter.
Designer and architect Neri Oxman is leading the search for ways in which digital fabrication technologies can interact with the biological world. Working at the intersection of computational design, additive manufacturing, materials engineering and synthetic biology, her lab is pioneering a new age of symbiosis between microorganisms, our bodies, our products and even our buildings.