Manuel De Landa is an internationally renowned theorist and educator in the field of contemporary culture. Using the theories of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) as a frame of reference, De Landa's research spans a wide range of contemporary science, art and technology, from self-organizing matter, artificial life and artificial intelligence to nonlinear dynamics and cellular automata. He is the author of many influential publications, including War in the Age of Intelligent Machines (1991), A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History (1997), Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy (2002), A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity (2006) and Philosophy and Simulation: The Emergence of Synthetic Reason (2011).
Mexican-born and now based in New York, De Landa began his career as an experimental filmmaker. He went on to become a computer artist, programmer and software designer before emerging as a leading exponent of contemporary critical theory and philosophy of electronic culture. A former adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, NYC, he is currently the Gilles Deleuze Chair of Contemporary Philosophy and Science at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, and adjunct professor of philosophy in the Department of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.
De Landa's keynote address looks at how morphogenesis — the birth of form — has become a central theme in many scientific disciplines. It can be entirely spontaneous, as in the genesis of geological, meteorological or biological forms, or it can involve human beings as agents. In his talk, De Landa will focus on natural morphogenesis, arguing that a deeper knowledge of its secrets can be of great help to artists and designers, opening up a new reservoir of expressive resources.
This talk is presented in association with MOCCA.
"Assemblage Theory and Human History"
In this informal seminar, De Landa speaks on his groundbreaking application of assemblage theory, as a theory of society suggesting that all entities are constituted from heterogeneous subcomponents that do not meld into a seamless whole.