Berlin, 27 Apr. Four regimes of entropy: seminar at Humboldt University

April 22nd, 2011

MEDIA SOUP is an open colloquium of the Institute for Media Theories at Humboldt University Berlin, hosted by Paul Feigelfeld and Jussi Parikka.

27 April 2011 / 18- 20:00 hrs
Institut für Medienwissenschaft
Venue: Medientheater
Sophienstraße 22a, Mitte – Berlin
Open seminar, RSVP here if you like or whatever, join us:

→ Download PDF here

This seminar conversation approaches the definition of media ecology from two opposite perspectives. On one hand, it tests the homogeneity of the biomimetic continuum, which supposes the mediascape as an extension of the biological realm. On the other, it sounds the biodigital continuum, which takes the digital code as a universal grammar for the genetic code. To what extent can biological models be employed to describe the mediascape as a new sort of ecosystem? This question has relevance for political debate too, as biomimetic figures inspired by digital networks begin to be applied to new political concepts: see, for instance, the figure of the swarm applied to the postmodern notion of the multitude (Hardt and Negri, 2004, and also Parikka, 2008; Thacker, 2004). Conversely, a second question addresses the biological from the point of view of the digital. If ‘code’ is the universal semiotic form that is common to human language, computers and DNA, to what extent can cybernetic and digital models be applied to the biological? The history of bioinformatics started shortly after the discovery of DNA in the 1950s, accommodating quite a strict reductionism between ‘digital code’ and ‘genetic code.’ What are the consequences of a computer-based understanding of cellular reproduction for the sphere of ecology and biodiversity? Schematically, the question is how to apply the forms of the bios to the techne? And conversely, how to apply the forms of the techne to the bios?

The talk relates to a text just published on Fibreculture #17: Matteo Pasquinelli, “Four Regimes of Entropy: For an Ecology of Genetics and Biomorphic Media Theory”, Fibreculture #17: Unnatural ecologies, special issues on media ecology. 2011. +WEB +PDF

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