Publications

Maze-Solving Machine. Diagram. 1952. Claude E. Shannon. From the Macy Conferences on Cybernetics.

Select published essays, proofs, media projects, and preprints, are linked in the post below, a few with brief explanatory notes following the citation. Please consult the source journals or books for the corrected and definitive final texts. 

 

Dissertation

"The Cybernetic Apparatus: Media, Liberalism, and the Reform of the Human Sciences." Northwestern University and Bauhaus University of Weimar. 2012.

 

Peer Reviewed Essays and Book Chapters

“The Family as Machine: Film, Infrastructure, and Cybernetic Kinship in Suburban America.” Grey Room 66 (Winter 2017). In press.

“What Bound the Double-Bind?” Grey Room 66 (Winter 2017). In press.

Claude Lévi-Strauss et les Communications.” In Les Résonances Des Structuralismes, edited by Jean-François Bert and Jérôme Lamy, 113–19. Paris: éditions des archives contemporaines, 2016.

Information.” In Digital Keywords: A Vocabulary of Information Society & Culture, edited by Benjamin Peters, 173–83. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.

The Spirit of Media: An Introduction.” Critical Inquiry 42, no. 4 (Summer 2016): 809–14.

Mind the Gap: Spiritualism and the Infrastructural Uncanny.Critical Inquiry 42, no. 4 (Summer 2016): 899–922.

Friedrich A. Kittler, Professor” (with Christian Kassung as second author). Critical Inquiry 42, no. 4 (Summer 2016): 963–77.

Ecologies of Disclosure: On Aesthetic Compositions of Technics and Life.” Spheres 2 (December 2015). 

Occult Communications: On Instrumentation, Esotericism, and Epistemology.” Communication +1 14, no. 1 (2015). 

Visionäre Informatik: Notizen über Vorführungen von Automaten und Computern, 1769-1962 [Visionary Informatics: Notes on the Exhibitions of Automata and Computers, 1769-1962].” Jahrbuch Für Historische Bildungsforschung, 2015, 177–98.

In Memoriam: Friedrich A. Kittler, 1943-2011.” Critical Inquiry 41, no. 2 (Winter 2015): 484–88.

Cybernetics” (with Benjamin Peters). In The Johns Hopkins Guide to the Digital Humanities, edited by Lori Emerson, Benjamin Robertson, and Ryan Marie-Laure, 109–12. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.

After Kittler: On the Cultural Techniques of Recent German Media Theory.” Theory, Culture & Society 30, no. 6 (November 2013): 66–82.

Catching up with Simondon” (with as first author Mark Hayward). SubStance 41, no. 3 (2012): 3–15.

La Cybernétique « américaine » au sein du Structuralisme « français » [The American Cybernetics within ‘French’ Structuralism].” La Revue d’Anthropologie Des Connaissances 6, no. 3 (2012): 335–51.

From Information Theory to French Theory: Jakobson, Lévi-Strauss, and the Cybernetic Apparatus.” Critical Inquiry 38, no. 1 (2011): 96–126.

Agents of History: Autonomous Agents and Crypto-Intelligence.” Interaction Studies 9, no. 3 (2008): 403–14.

The Historiographic Conception of Information: A Critical Survey.” The IEEE Annals on the History of Computing 30, no. 1 (2008): 66–81.

 

Encyclopedia Entries and Brief Texts

“The Dura-Europos Roman shields.” In Artwork as Screen, edited by Francesco Casetti, Bernard Geoghegan and Karl Regina. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016.

Claude Lévi-Strauss” (with Erhard Schüttpelz as second author). In The International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy, edited by Klaus Bruhn Jensen, Jefferson D. Pooley, Robert T. Craig, and Eric W. Rothenbuhler. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.

Cybernetics” (with Benjamin Peters). In The International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy, edited by Klaus Bruhn Jensen, Jefferson D. Pooley, Robert T. Craig, and Eric W. Rothenbuhler. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.

 

White Papers

 “The Technosphere: Signal/Noise Ratios” (with Katrin Klingan and Christoph Rosol). Berlin: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2015.

 “Brand America and the New Model of Leadership” (with Marc Gobé). New York: d/g*, 2005.

 

Book Reviews

Toward Liberal Histories of Computing: Fred Turner, The Democratic Surround.” Technology and Culture 56, no. 3 (July 2015): 745–48.

Untimely Mediations: On Two Recent Contributions to ‘German Media Theory.’” Paragraph 37, no. 3 (2014): 419–25. Of my various lectures and texts touching on emerging questions in so-called German media theory, this is my favorite. It's short and to the point and, stylistically, it captures something germane and even intrinsic to the subject matter it treats.​

 

Translations

Kittler, Friedrich. “Farewell to Sophienstraße.” Translated by Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan and Christian Kassung. Critical Inquiry 42, no. 2 (Summer 2016): 959-62.

Stiegler, Bernard. “The Tongue of the Eye: What ‘Art History’ Means.” In Releasing the Image: From Literature to New Media, edited by Jacques Khalip and Robert Mitchell, translated by Thangam Ravindranathan with Bernard Geoghegan, 222–35. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011.

 

Popular Work

“Wie der Code in die Welt Kam. Eine Spurensuche.” Interview and commentary for Kulturwelle Radio, September 2015.

“On Kulturtechniken.” Interview and commentary for Oklahoma Public Radio, April 2012.

 

Edited Collections

Bateson Dossier. Special Dossier of Grey Room 66 (Winter 2017). In press.

Artwork as Screen [exhibition guide], edited by Francesco Casetti, Bernard Geoghegan, and Regina Karl, Yale University Art Gallery, 2016.

The Spirit of Media. Special Dossier of Critical Inquiry 42, no. 4 (Summer 2016).

Friedrich Kittler. Special Dossier of Critical Inquiry 42, no. 4 (Summer 2016).

Occult Communications: Instrumentation, Esotericism, and Epistemology in the Nineteenth-Century. Special Issue of Communication +1 14, no. 1 (2015).

On Gilbert Simondon: Individuation and Technics. Special Issue of SubStance 41, no. 3 (2012). Co-edited with Mark Hayward.

 

Curation

1948 (with Katrin Klingan and Nicholas Hood). Berlin: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2017.

Artwork as Screen (with Francesco Casetti and Regina Karl). Yale University Art Gallery, 2016.

The Technosphere: Signal-Noise Ratios (with Katrin Klingan and Christoph Rosol). Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2015-2018.

 

Audio-Visual Media

2012-   “Cultural Technologies: Dialogues on Media, Art and Science.” Online at www.cultural-technologies.com. Podcast. Host, producer, editor.

2007    “La Modernité sans la Modernisation.” Digital video with online distribution platform. Directed by Bernard Stiegler and produced by the Institute for Research and Innovation (Pompidou Center). Produced and edited interviews featuring Bernard Stiegler, André Green, Jean-Luc Nancy, Kevin McLaughlin, Dominique Lecourt and others.

Abstract: World War II research into cryptography and computing produced methods, instruments and research communities that informed early research into artificial intelligence (AI) and semi-autonomous computing. Alan Turing and Claude Shannon in particular adapted this research into early theories and demonstrations of AI based on computers’ abilities to track, predict and compete with opponents. This formed a loosely bound collection of techniques, paradigms, and practices I call crypto-intelligence. Subsequent researchers such as Joseph Weizenbaum adapted crypto-intelligence but also reproduced aspects of its antagonistic precepts. This was particularly true in the design and testing of chat bots. Here the ability to trick, fool, and deceive human and machine opponents was a premium, and practices of agent abuse were admired and rewarded. Recognizing the historical genesis of this particular variety of abuse can help researchers develop less antagonistic methodologies.

Commentary: This essay was an early attempt to consider how cultural, historical, technical, and linguistic fields intersect within the history of computing, and an early attempt to think through the development of concepts of "code" within computer science. As with the Historiographic essay, it was also an attempt to enter into dialogue with practitioners in computer science. It's based on another paper I presented and published in connection to an international conference on human-computer interaction. In the intervening years I've been intermittently working on a short book monograph entitled "Human-Computer Iteration," and this paper is an early ancestor of that project.

Abstract: The historical pedigree and meaning of ‘‘information’’ has been hotly contested since its scientific definition in the 1940s. Scientists have authored very different explanations for the origins of informational research, the scope of information theory, and the historical significance of its findings. This survey classifies the historical literature into genres, offering a view into the changing environment of computer research.

 

Commentary: This essay is a few years old now, and in retrospect I realize that much of its agenda is implicit, so perhaps a few marginal comments are helpful. The main goal of this essay was to prepare a literature review of the historiographical literature on scientific definitions of information, mostly in relationship to information theory and cybernetics. In this regard, the essay is a critical, historiographical, and somewhat reflexive update (homage, even) to William Aspray’s 1985 essay "The Scientific Conceptualization of Information." In particular, I was interested in some of the ways research in the science studies, literary studies, and media studies had, in the intervening years, began to develop broader accounts of the cultural and political dimensions of scientific conceptions of information.  At the time I was also quite taken with essays by the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche, Walter Benjamin, and Michel Foucault, which argued that historiography -- the writing of history -- plays a role in constituting power and shaping history, and that part of the task of historiography is to strategically position the writing of history in relationship to the present. With that in mind, I was interested in trying to examine how an ever-shifting historical present organized and re-organized historiographic accounts of "information." In particular, I wanted to see how even "scientific" accounts of "information" had a certain politics of knowledge inscribed within them. Finally, the IEEE Annals is one of the few academic journals with contributions from historians and practitioners of computing, so I tried to present this research and questions in a style that didn't scream "poststructural theorist" or "constructionism," and which could engage readers audiences who, under other circumstances, might have been skeptical of critical or cultural historiography.