[The unconscious] is at work everywhere, functioning smoothly at times, at other times in fits and starts. It breathes, it heats, it eats. It shits and fucks. What a mistake to have ever said [the unconscious]. Everywhere it is machines—real ones, not figurative ones: machines driving other machines, machines being driven by other machines, with all the necessary couplings and connections… Everything is a machine. 
— Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, 1972.

How did the figure and idea of machine enter the history of art and philosophy? Reading the work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, the course discusses the notion of machine and automation in between the industrial revolution, the information revolution and the rise of Artificial Intelligence. In this excursus, the concept of machine will be criticised, stripped of its industrial legacy and transformed into a more complex ‘abstract machine’.

In fact, Continental philosophy and ‘machine art’ have been predominantly inspired by the thermodynamic engine of the industrial age and reluctantly (and much later than North-American cybernetics) acknowledged the role of information in its gearings. Especially French philosophy did not record in time the impact of the information revolution and, for sure, did not foresee the age of Artificial Intelligence, which finally demands our curriculum on ‘new media’ to switch its focus of inquiry from media of communication to media of cognition, or “thinking machines”.

For undergraduate students, the course can be taken as an introduction to Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari that posited the machine at the centre of their critique of psychoanalysis and political economy. The course will attempt to reconstruct all the references of Deleuze and Guattari’s machinic philosophy: Marx’s fragment on machines, Butler’s The Book of the Machines, Mumford’s megamachine, Carrouges’ Les Machines Célibataires, Simondon’s mechanology, etc. Deleuze and Guattari’s main works such as Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus will be read and discussed in class. Syllabus and all reading materials will be available via a Dropbox folder.

Prof. Dr. Matteo Pasquinelli

Academic assistant: Marco Schröder
Course assistant/HiWi: Lena Reitschuster.

Tuesdays 17:00:20:00 / Room: 115.
Wednesdays 14:00-17:00 / Room: 112.
Fortnightly, 14-täglich!  First class: 24 April 2018.