On Solar Databases and the Exogenesis of Light

June 4th, 2015

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Abstract. In a recent lecture Michel Serres, like other scientists since the 1970s, has described the cosmos as an infinite computer. Atoms are not just matter, they also continuously transmit, encode and store information: the medium of such a pancomputationalism (the idea that everything computes) would be light. Few decades ago Serres criticized Bataille’s vitalism as just another “subcult of the sun”. Light is also the medium of the solar system energy chain and terrestrial photosynthesis: unlike Bataille, though, Serres stressed the transformation of sun energy into the abstract flows of money, information and eventually “databanks”. Contemporary philosophy has been often influenced by the idea that life is just based on the metabolism of negative entropy, that is the accumulation of energy against chaos. A recent theory has proposed, on the contrary, that life emerged on this planet under the ‘pressure’ of sun light that pushed molecular structures to a higher level of complexity in order to irradiate energy more efficiently. Reversing the common vitalist stereotypes, we could envision also aesthetics and politics as a quest towards more complex architectures of light.

Cit. Matteo, Pasquinelli, “On Solar Databases and the Exogenesis of Light”,
e-flux, n. 65 (Politics of Shine/Supercommunity 56th Venice Biennale), 4 June 2015.

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