Lecture Drucken

Reza Negarestani

The Matheme of the Universal / Engineering through Navigation

9:00-17:00Haus der Kulturen der WeltJohn-Foster-Dulles-Allee 1010557 Berlin
Session one: The Matheme of the Universal (9:00-12:00)

This presentation aims to introduce some of the recent advances in mathematics and concept-analysis through an accessible conceptual history shaped by philosophical questions surrounding topics such as particularity, universality, analysis, synthesis, orientation, quantity, quality and theory of extension. By answering these questions it would be possible to reinvent the dialectic between
particularity and universality as the transition from the local to the global,
therefore moving from a theory of universality to a theory of connections(Levi-Civita, Cartan, et al.) where stepwise local constructions can be coupled with a global orientation. While the transition to local-global connections resolves certain antagonisms between the local and the universal, it creates a productive space of tension through which the local can be explored beyond its immediate ambit. It is this exploratory vector that opens the local-global passage as a rule-based landscape of navigation.

Session two: Engineering through Navigation (14:00-17:00)

Why are functions important, especially in the study of complex phenomena or
hierarchical and multi-layered systems where complexity arises not because of the size or the number of components or processes involved but because of the
particularity of the mode of organization that orchestrates the activities and
operations of various structural and functional hierarchies? One answer to this
question would be because any account of change - whether in the context of
evolution or in the context of normative modification, intervention, rectification and reorganization - is ultimately the change in function. Even when we change the structure, we do that with the aim of inducing a change in function i.e. what a thing does and how it can be improved or replaced by a different set of activities. But the change of function is far from easy since we need to locate the exact function we are referring to within a much wider functional organization, within an environment and in accordance with existing structural constraints. What a complex system appears to be doing is hardly ever what it actually does. In order to implement a change in function, first we should identify what a system does, how it does it, how its functions are organized and how the activity in question is orchestrated through this complex organization. In other words, we must have the knowledge of 'what a system does' in order to change a function and alter a system's or a phenomenon's behavior. This presentation extends the 'navigational paradigm' to questions regarding construction and modification of complex systems through the lens of mechanistic explanation and multi-level analysis of functional organization.