Transmission in Motion


28 February 2019
15:00 - 17:00
Parnassus Bar, Kruisstraat 201

“Designing the Dispositif: Between the Art and Reason of Government” – Dr. Adam Nocek (Arizona State University)

*Please note that this talk will take place at the Parnassus Bar, Kruisstraat 201*

This talk situates Michel Foucault’s reflections on the dispositif, often translated into English as “apparatus,” in terms of the design of human practices in the rapidly emerging discourse of design philosophy. The lecture explores how the notion of design is implicit in Foucault’s characterization of the dispositif as a strategic coordination of heterogeneities and proposes to examine the apparatus as if it were the outcome of a governmental design strategy. With this reframing not only does design become the conceptual bridge between the “art” and “rationality” of government—the “design” of government—but it also becomes central to understanding how contemporary technologies of governance shape human and nonhuman practices at various scales through its design of apparatuses. The talk concludes by showing how the proposition of governmental design responds to the need within the discourse of “ontological design” to account for how the “human” is produced or designed through its designs (Fry, Willis, Flores, Winograd), as well to the various attempts to generate a decolonial frame for design after (modern) design (Escobar, Fry).

Adam Nocek is an assistant professor in the philosophy of technology and science and technology studies in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU). He is also the founding director of the Center for Philosophical Technologies at ASU. Nocek has published widely on the philosophy of media and science, speculative philosophy (especially Whitehead), design philosophy, and on critical and speculative theories of computational media. Nocek is the co-editor of The Lure of Whitehead and has just completed a manuscript titled, Molecular Capture: Biology, Animation, and Governance. Nocek is currently working on two book projects: the first project addresses computational governance and the emergence of new regimes of design expertise; and the second project reimagines the role of mythology within speculative design philosophy. Nocek is also the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) Visiting Professor for 2019.