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Publication: Nervous Systems | Table of contents and introduction

A Publication for the exhibition "NervousSystems". Editors: Anselm Franke, Stephanie Hankey, Marek Tuszynski

With contributions by Grégoire Chamayou, Avery F. Gordon, Orit Halpern, Ben Hayes, Tung-Hui Hu, Lawrence Liang, Noortje Marres, Matteo Pasquinelli, Nishant Shah, Mushon Zer-Aviv and others

Beyond contemporary disclosures about mass surveillance by intelligence services, the promises inherent in “big data” determine discourses about future innovations and systems of classification in government and industry, which aim to increasingly transform political and systemic questions into those of technological management. The promises of participation and “digital democracy” stand in contrast to new forms of cybernetic control and modulation of social behavior on an unprecedented scale. The countless sensors of ubiquitous digital and technological infrastructures have united the state, industry, body and technology into ever more complex “nervous systems.” This nervousness is revealed in particular where relationships of power and participation come to the fore, namely in the “social question.”

These highly topical issues are pursued by the exhibition Nervous Systems at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, with artistic works and contextualizing materials which illustrate these very of state, industry, body and technology in its genealogy as well as its topicality. The publication, which appears in conjunction with the exhibition, assembles a combination of contemporary art – complemented by contributions by experts, theorists and researchers, presenting contextualized historical documents, artefacts and further objects. The volume is edited by Anselm Franke together with Stephanie Hankey and Marek Tuszynski from the Tactical Technology Collective. Worldwide Tactical Tech has supported thousands of activists to creatively employ information and communication in their work towards social and political change.

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