Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Medienwissenschaft

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Institut für Musik­wissen­schaft und Medien­wissen­schaft | Medienwissenschaft |  ↳ Medientheorien | Kolloquium | Diego Gomez-Venegas: Stafford Beer’s Marxist Techno-diagram of Capitalism (Vortrag)

Diego Gomez-Venegas: Stafford Beer’s Marxist Techno-diagram of Capitalism (Vortrag)

  • Wann 24.11.2021 von 18:00 bis 20:00
  • Wo Medientheater, Raum 0.01, Georgenstraße 47, 10117 Berlin
  • Name des Kontakts
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This presentation aims to introduce and initially discuss one of the lesser known, and somehow so far overlooked, aspects of the cybernetic system and information network that, commissioned by the socialist government of Salvador Allende in 1971, Stafford Beer and his team developed to manage Chile’s industrial economy (project Cybersyn).

On his last visit to Chile in June 1973, Beer remained secluded in a small village by the Pacific coast, over 100 kilometers away from the capital, Santiago. Given both the domestic and international pressures on Allende’s government – which had the country on the brink of a political collapse – the local Cybersyn team decided, in order to protect the project from these tensions, that Beer’s presence in the country should this time remain as unnoticed as possible.

In Las Cruces, the name of this coastal village, Beer wrote a manuscript that may well become a vessel that connects Cybersyn’s techno-epistemic scope with our present, and even with the near future. Entitled A Cybernetic Model of Contemporary Capitalism – and later called just Status Quo (Medina 2011, 198-201) –, the document is a device where cybernetic principles are contrasted, and at the same time intertwined with Marxism in order to develop both a method of analysis of (the then) contemporary societies, and a machinic strategy to operate in and with them.

Structured as a techno-diagrammatic endeavor, a copy of the full manuscript has been preserved for almost fifty years by Raul Espejo; Cybersyn’s former operational director. It is from that copy that this presentation will attempt to explain its own modes of operation, as well as to sketch its techno-epistemic potential.


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