Thursday, October 21
Join us in conversation with design theorist Benjamin Bratton and Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang about Bratton’s new book: The Revenge of the Real.
COVID-19 exposed the pre-existing conditions of the current global crisis. Many Western states failed to protect their populations, while others were able to suppress the virus only with sweeping social restrictions. In contrast, many Asian countries were able to make much more precise interventions. Everywhere, lockdown transformed everyday life, introducing an epidemiological view of society based on sensing, modeling, and filtering.
The Revenge of the Real envisions new positive biopolitics that recognizes governance as a matter of life and death. As we grapple with multiple interconnected dilemmas—climate change, pandemics, the tensions between the individual and society—all of which have to be addressed on a planetary scale. Even when separated, we are still enmeshed. Can the world govern itself differently? What models and philosophies are needed? Together our speakers share their perspectives on ways we can build an integrated society based on a new rationality of inclusion, care, and prevention.
Audrey Tang (Chinese: 唐鳳; pinyin: Táng Fèng; b. 1981) is a Taiwanese free software programmer and Digital Minister of Taiwan, who has been described as one of the “ten greatest Taiwanese computing personalities”. In August 2016, Tang was invited to join Taiwan’s Executive Yuan as a minister without portfolio, making her the first transgender and the first non-binary official in the top executive cabinet. Tang has identified as “post-gender” and accepts “whatever pronoun people want to describe me with online.” Tang is a community leader of Haskell and Perl and the core member of G0v.
Benjamin Bratton’s work spans Philosophy, Architecture, Computer Science and Geopolitics. He is Professor of Visual Arts at University of California, San Diego. He is Program Director of The Terraforming program at the Strelka Institute. He is also a Professor of Digital Design at The European Graduate School and Visiting Professor at SCI_Arc (The Southern California Institute of Architecture) and NYU Shanghai. He is the author of numerous books, including The Revenge of The Real: Politics for a Post-Pandemic World (Verso, 2021), The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty (MIT Press, 2016), and Dispute Plan to Prevent Future Luxury Constitution (e-flux/Sternberg Press, 2015).