Track 11
The Ecosystem Analogy:
Machinery of Nature, Borrowed landscapes, Anthropology of the near.

Track chairs Thomas Patrick Pringle (Brown University), Tarek Mourad (International University of Beirut), Theo Lepage-Richer (Brwon University).

In 1981, Eugene Odum and Bernard Patten argued that “ecosystems are cybernetic.”

Cybernetics—the informational control of energy—afforded the universal logic of systemic self-regulation that allegedly spanned nature and machines: “Analogy” between biophysical processes and informationally governed technological systems, “and the willingness to accept [analogy], are the keys to identifying the cybernetic machinery of the ecosystem” (888).

Papers under this track would explore the historical strategies shaping the willingness to accept the organic/technical analogy afforded by cybernetic universalism, as strategies of analogy permit epistemological equivalence in analyzing the functions of nature and machines. Whether analogy takes the form of violence in the radiation-as-information concept produced during the Odums’s early ecosystem experiments during the American nuclear tests at the Enewetak Atoll (Martin, 2018); the historical influence of resilient ecosystem complexity upon Friedrich Hayek’s neoliberal economics (Cooper and Walker, 2011); or the legitimation of James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis as “the second Copernican revolution” in the “geocybernetic” earth system sciences (Schellnhuber, 1999); this track follows these studies and asks: What are the epistemological politics of analogy underpinning the hybrid histories of the cybernetic ecosystem?

POM Beirut Tracks

(based on the call for topics)

Based on the first call for topics, the call is now open for individual submissions within the following tracks:

01.Track: Arab revolutions: Refugees, Communication technology, Mobile connectivity.
02.Track: Terrorism machines: Art production, Sociopolitical implications.
03.Track: Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0): Art, Cyberphysics, Automated creativity.
04.Track: The Battlefield of Vision: Perceptions of War and Wars on Perception.
05.Track: Internet of things: Dystopian Artificial Intelligence, Black Boxes.
06.Track: Living machines: Wars within living organisms.
07.Track: Artificial intelligence for art AIA: Computational creativity, Neural networks, Simulating human activity.
08.Track: Permanent Telesurveillance: Privacy, data protection, panopticon.
09.Track: The Politics of Evidence: Refugees, Frictions, Sound-representation.
10.Track: Body-politics of the machines: Troubles WITH/IN/OUT art, body, perception, politics, and technology.
11.Track: The Ecosystem Analogy: Machinery of Nature, Borrowed landscapes, Anthropology of the near.

Submission information

last updated January 8th, 2019

Notification of acceptance will be announced by the end of March 2019.

Individual proposals should consist of a 300-word abstract.

All submissions will be reviewed, according to the highest international academic standards.

Submitters should also upload a short bio file, no longer than a ½ page per person.

Please note that there will be a conference fee payable by all participants and delegates of the conference (Fees and packages will be announced in January 2019).

POM Beirut 2019 committees

last updated January 8th, 2019

POM Series executive committee
Dr. Morten SØNDERGAARD and Dr. Laura BELOFF.

POM Beirut 2019 Steering Committee
Dr. Morten SØNDERGAARD, Dr. Laura BELOFF, Dr. Hassan CHOUBASSI, Mr. Joe ELIAS, and Mrs. Sahar CHARARA.

POM Beirut 2019 Organizing Committee
Dr. Hassan CHOUBASSI, Mr. Joe ELIAS, Mrs. Sahar CHARARA, Dr. Fadi YAMMOUT, Dr. Walid RAAD, Ms. Fatima ABOU NASSIF, and Mr. Tarek Mourad.