Upcoming Special Issue in Parallax

Noötechnics, Parallax, April 2017

This volume explores a central area of recent debate within critical studies: technique. It foregrounds a broader theoretical question: How is technique distributed across the nexus of politics, aesthetics, and society? Specifically, this special issue tackles the extent to which cultural practices are embedded in newly engendered technical systems that challenge both epistemological and ontological forms of critical production. Noötechnics focuses particularly on the means through which contemporary technological culture conditions processes of individuation. Bringing together theories of psychopower, governmentality, and critiques of technical systems, this collective work accounts for new modes of existence, wherein digital operations play a fundamental role in shaping the milieu is which minds, bodies, and techné co-evolve. By focusing on the relation between noos and teckné, it both assesses current debates concerning the rising modulation of the social milieu as well as the governing of individual and social experiences. In this vein, the articles in this issue demand the reevaluation of concepts such as ideology, the object, the sensible, race, and memory from the standpoint of our technical reality.

Crucial to tackling the political impact of the cybernetic and telematics constitution of society, these works are also valuable for addressing the shift in today’s modes of culture formation. Developing a socio-political perspective on the rise of algorithmic systems in social life, this edition is threefold. First, it accounts for the pervasive characteristics of digital technologies and highlights the computability of the sensible, in an era where technique is more than ever an extension and as well as an amputation of human faculties. In this volume, “sensibility is a battle field” (Baranzoni) from which to address notion of experience as well as our capacity to reach the world. In this vein, the computational turn asks for the reevaluation of notion of surveillance and racial discrimination from the standpoint of digital operations (Nony). Second, it interrogates “the algorithmic modulation of the psyche” (Vignola) and cross-examines notions of psychological memory, collective knowledge, and cultural archives with scientific conceptions of information. Anchored in the newly generated horizon of the big data economy (Wilson), this issue is also concerned with the plane of data and the scientific omniscience that proliferates in certain deterministic discourse. Here, more than ever, this issue aims to address the political challenges imposed by our hyperconnected and ubiquitous environment upon diverse forms of agency, including that established through relation to technical indifference (Scarlett). Third, the issue engages with such thinkers as Gilles Deleuze, Gilbert Simondon, and Bernard Stiegler to discuss the epistemological and ontological challenges imposed by new relational modes of digital operation (Hui). It does so primarily by arguing for a new critique of noology (Dillet) that aims to account for new technical operations and their impact on the production of critical thought. Ultimately, such lines of inquiries open new theoretical ways in the scholarship of digital studies.

Anaïs Nony, Editor.

Table of Contents


Introduction Ashley Scarlett and Anaïs Nony

For a Critique of Noology Benoît Dillet

Symptomatology of Collective Knowledge and The Social To Come Paolo Vignola

Digital Surveillance: Toward an Allagmatic of Race Anaïs Nony

Aesthesis and Nous: Technological Approaches Sara Baranzoni

Digital Objects and Eschatology Yuk Hui

On Abandonment and the Limit of Algorithmic Apprehension Ashley Scarlett

The Big Data Horizon and The Omniscient Observer Alexander Wilson