Betti Marenko – The Nonhumanity of Planetary Computation


The proliferation of media technologies at all scales – smart algorithmic environments evolving in real time, colonization of daily life by social networks, data tsunami, googlification of knowledge – is creating new ecologies of humans and technologies. It seems urgent to rethink human-machine interaction not only on the basis of their cohabitation and coevolution (Simondon), but also by addressing how planetary computation creates non-human, post-Turing landscapes (Bratton). Drawing on Luciana Parisi’s work on the autonomy of algorithmic thinking, my paper focuses on planetary computation and its material implications for the constitution of the human. It suggests that new concepts, images and speculations are needed to contemplate the new ecosystems of human-machine interaction where the human and the nonhuman are variously entangled with each other. It proposes to acknowledge the contiguity, strange porosity and immediacy between them, and to devise strategic, cunning, localized and metic types of knowledge inspired by, and working with, such terminal, radically contingent otherness.

Betti Marenko is Research Leader Product Ceramic & Industrial Design, and Contextual Studies Leader BA Product Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL