Summa Technologiae online conference

Summa Technologiae online conference

Summa Technologiae (The Lem Seminars)
Summa Technologiae online conference
December 17, 2021, 8am–12pm

Summa Technologiae—titled after a collection of philosophical essays by Stanisłav Lem—is a pedagogical project that took place in 2020 and 2021, consisting of six online seminars that looked at the impact of impact of Lem’s work across disciplines: from literature to film, to philosophy, art, architecture, technological innovation, and computer science.

As the seminars come to a close, we are hosting an online conference to discuss the project, and the outcomes of the seminars as they have unfolded over the past two years.

Conference schedule
December 17
, 2–6pm CET

2pm: Summa Technologia introduction, project presentation
Julieta Aranda

2:30pm: “The Untranslatable: Miracle, Oblivion, Affect”
Ed Keller / Carla Leitão

In this presentation, Ed Keller and Carla Leitão—following the concerns that Lem has in important parts of his work—broach the key question of translation as an ontological foundation—not only of relations between humans and the alien, but also human to human, and broadly speaking, as translatability constitutes universal system-to-system information and energy flow.

3pm: “Constructing Time, Reinventing Nature”
Lou Cantor / Jason Mohaghegh

Lou Cantor and Jason Mohaghegh will discuss their approach to Stanisław Lem’s Summa Technologiae as a text that places human societies at the crucial intersection of the four categories of past, future, nature, and technology.

3:30pm: “Chemosociality”
Eben Kirksey

Eben Kirksey departs from the unstable reality imagined by Lem to trace the material, toxicological, and neurological valences of molecular dreamworlds, of growing pharmaceutical markets, and of landscapes haunted by industrial capitalism. We are all living in chemosocial worlds, as both participants and observers. If biosociality involves social relationships that emerge from biological conditions, then chemosociality involves novel, altered, attenuated, or augmented relationships that emerge from shared and shifting chemical ecologies.

4pm: Panel discussion
Ed Keller, Eben Kirksey, Carla Leitao, Jason Mohaghegh, Julieta Aranda, Lou Cantor

Followed by a Q & A (open to the public).

Technology, Philosophy

Summa Technologiae seminars are organized by Julieta Aranda, as a cooperation between e-flux and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

Julieta Aranda is an artist and an editor of e-flux journal.

Lou Cantor is a Lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts In Łódź and member of a Berlin-based artist collective whose main scope of interest is grounded in intersubjectivity and interpersonal communication.

Ed Keller is a designer, professor, writer, musician, multimedia artist, and independent scholar.

Eben Kirksey is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oxford. He has published three books: Freedom in Entangled Worlds (2012), Emergent Ecologies (2015), and The Mutant Project (2020).

Carla Leitao is an architect, professor, and writer.

Jason Mohaghegh is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Babson College and Programmer of Transdisciplinary Studies at The New Centre for Research & Practice.

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