Internationaler Workshop von „Complexity of Control? Paradigms for Sustainable Development“ (CCP) gefördert von der VolkswagenStiftung und dem Niedersächsischen Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur (MWK). https://complexitycontrol.org
15.05.2019, 10 – 18 Uhr. Campus Leuphana Universität C14.103.
Organisiert von Erich Hörl und Oliver Leistert (Leuphana).
Andrea Bardin (Oxford Brookes University)
Pablo Rodriguez (Universidad de Buenos Aires)
The concepts of information have been contested, and are even contradictory, since their inception in the early 20th century. The tensions became already apparent between Shannon’’s entropic and Wiener’s negentropic concept of information. When Bateson gave it a definition as »a difference that makes a difference«, it became clear that information had qualified as a key concept in contemporary interdisciplinary thought. Much of the still ongoing debates remain centered around the question how to relate information, meaning, energy and matter. Gilbert Simondon, a critical observer of the early cybernetic thinking, provided already in the 1950s a conceptual proposition for information that would be able to navigate contradictions. He differentiated between primary and secondary information. Primary information became his key concept for the resolution of tensions between material and energetic orders of different agnitudes that are incompatible with each other, while as secondary information he understood processes within orders of the same magnitude. Primary information can be understood as the variability of form, a qualitative concept, responsible for the operational modes at work in the processes of individuation. Such an open definition of information highlights Simondon’s systematic care for the processes of becoming and the development of organisms or human collectives alike. Historicity had always already been deeply integrated into his ontology of processes. This workshop wants to discuss Simondon’s concept of primary information in contrast to its contemporaneous proposals, such as information as a problem of difference, its development in systems theory, up to today’s complexity theories‘ operational assumptions about what information is.
In addition to the broader historical and systematical contextualization of Simondon’s conceptual politics that is associated with his rethinking of information, our interest also concerns the question whether Simondon’s concepts of information can be considered an early proposal to mediate the tensions between control and complexity as it is part of our research program. In that sense, his concept of secondary information can be seen as a residue of an ahistorical control thinking of systems nested in a thinking of historicity and becoming of complex systems.
Finally we would like to work through the relation of Simondon’s concept of primary information to his ontogenetic reconsideration of what is a problem and which ontoepistemic status we might ascribe to the problematic.
If you are interested to particiapte, please contact Oliver Leistert (firstname.lastname@example.org).