Originally presented as a live event at Parson’s School for Design, Augmentation and Alienation: Between Emancipation and Control, attempted to situate and respond to conditions of alienation in complex social conditions. OfAC members Joshua Johnson and Patricia Reed provided lectures on the topic, while Keith Tilford offered a response.
Joshua Johnson’s lecture focused on the informational deficits between environmental and social complexity, and potential methods for orienting and steering within these environments. Patricia Reed proposed new perspectives on the condition of alienation, regarding it as a constructive constraint and site for creative renegotiation. Keith Tilford’s response queried both presenters’ distinct views on alienation, and complicated the recurring motifs of modelization, representation, and augmentation.
Since the consequences of attempting to understand any complex system will itself install the inquiry within a complex problem space, the notion of application does not inherently indicate the transposition of complexity science or the rhetoric surrounding complexity into a domain to which it does not belong.
It is unclear if complexity has a single straightforward definition, such that even the science of complexity is itself ‘complex’. Complexity is often regarded as relative concept, one that is dependent upon the limits of our existing models and methodologies.
There is some disagreement within the philosophy of science as to the status and compositional nature of models, which can be seen as fictions comparable to literary fictions (Roman Frigg), as semi-autonomous technologies of investigation which are partially constrained by both a set of abstract theoretical principles and the empirical world (Margaret Morrison)…
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