[csaa-forum] Wednesday, July 4, 4pm, UNSW: Patrick Crogan talk: Attention, technics, and the digital: Bernard Stiegler’s Post-Grammatology

Andrew Murphie a.murphie at unsw.edu.au
Wed Jun 27 13:43:39 CST 2012

[feel free to distribute]

"Attention, technics, and the digital: Bernard Stiegler’s Post-Grammatology"
a talk by Patrick Crogan, Digital Cultures Research Centre, University of
West England

School of the Arts and Media, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
University of New South Wales

Date: Wednesday, July 4
Time: 4-5:30pm
Venue: Webster Theatre A, Robert Webster Building, UNSW, Kensington Campus
Maps here:

All welcome.

"Attention, technics, and the digital: Bernard Stiegler’s Post-Grammatology"

This paper will situate Stiegler’s critical diagnosis of digital media
technoculture in relation to his post-Derridean philosophy of technology.
Elaborated in recent works as a ‘pharmacological’ account of the emergence
of the prevailing digital technoculture, this diagnosis identifies the
threat posed by the increasing ‘grammatisation’ of experience produced by
the ‘short termism’ of commercial design and marketing logics dedicated to
the coordination of consumption with the needs of industrial production.
Contributing to the critique of the ‘attention economy’ and ‘experience
design’ notions popular in the promotion of e-commerce and digital media
marketing, Stiegler identifies the channelling and impoverishment of forms
of ‘attention’ as a central topos for the waging of a ‘battle for
criticality’ to rescue a properly cultural and intersubjective notion of
attention as a taught and learnt technique of individual calibration with
the collective.

Stiegler recalls that Derrida offered his account of the deconstruction of
the ‘logos’ in a context in which a cybernetic ‘deconstruction’ of language
was already well in train. Derrida proposed his ‘grammatology’ in an ironic
but serious, strategically hypothetical gesture to cite and respond to the
ambition of a ‘science’ of the logic and function of communication
operating across the history of Western metaphysics as much as in its
culmination, as Heidegger said, in something like cybernetics. Stiegler,
for his part, develops an account of the material history of
grammatisations in order to better apprehend the digital transformation of
the media milieu. The cybernetic procedures of information flow and
realtime communications, and the audiovisual forms of cinema, the phonogram
and their derivatives combine in the digital. The mediated milieu is, he
says, the ‘and’ in the phrase ‘individual and collective’.

Drawing on Gilbert Simondon’s notion of individuation—something which
Stiegler argues is a telling absence from Derrida’s project—Stiegler argues
that human individual and collective becoming is always mediated, always
co-constituted with and in technical milieux, and is always contingent, or
‘metastable’ (somewhat stable, but also therefore somewhat unstable).
‘Anthropogenesis’ is always composed with a ‘technogenesis’. Or, at least,
it *has* always been. The political stakes and motivations of Stiegler’s
philosophical response to Derrida’s gesture toward a grammatology become
apparent from this perspective. The pharmacological account of the digital
milieu’s conditions is an attempt to think its potential (as much as its
threat) to a continuing becoming-human, or becoming-not-inhuman (as
Stiegler would have it), something whose nature, legitimacy, or value have
absolutely no essential basis or inevitable future. If any particular
articulation of what ‘human being’ states or projects is deconstructible,
then for Stiegler this articulation and this deconstruction are
technically, and historically conditioned, and open up the question of
their political ramifications.


Patrick Crogan teaches film and media at the University of the West of
England, Bristol. His book, Gameplay Mode: Between War, Simulation and
Technoculture (University of Minessota Press, 2011) explores the complex
technocultural legacy of military technoscientific research and development
readable in the exemplary entertainment form of computer culture,
videogames. He is working on a project with Routledge whose provisional
title is ‘Post-cinematic media’. He guest edited the special issue of
Cultural Politics on Bernard Stiegler. He has published on film, animation,
video games and digital media forms.


"A traveller, who has lost his way, should not ask, Where am I? What he
really wants to know is, Where are the other places" - Alfred North

Andrew Murphie - Associate Professor
School of the Arts and Media,
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, 2052

UNSW is CRICOS Provider code number 00098G

Editor - The Fibreculture Journal http://fibreculturejournal.org/>
web: http://www.andrewmurphie.org/  <http://dynamicmedianetwork.org/>

fax:612 93856812 tlf:612 93855548
room 311H, Robert Webster Building

"Those who use the expression 'unrealistic' are claiming an authority about
the nature and assessment of realism not necessarily granted to them by
others." (Edith Berry in Frank Moorhouse's *Cold Light*:657)
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