culture and technics: the politics of simondon's du mode

On 13th-15th September 2018 (and the months preceding), I had the privilege of co-organising a conference with Dr Iain MacKenzie and Arshita Nandan entitled Culture and Technics: The Politics of Simondon’s Du Mode, under the auspices of the Centre for Critical Thought and the Department of Politics & International Relations, for which we received funding from the University of Kent Faculty Research Fund and received invaluable support from professional services staff in the organisational process.

The conference emerged following the recent (and long awaited) translation of Gilbert Simondon’s Du mode d’existence des objets techniques [1958] (On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects) which, among other things (and to put it lightly) made foundational and innovative contributions to the philosophy of technology, to the questions on the relationship between culture and technology, to process philosophy, philosophical anthropology, and ontology. This text would become crucial, for example, in the work of Gilles Deleuze and his approach to “individuation” (a Simondonian term), and is of course foundational in the work of Bernard Stiegler, whose “organological” approach is grounded (at least in part) by Simondon’s philosophy of technics.

We were delighted to welcome, among others, Cecile Malaspina, Yuk Hui, and Simon Mills (as keynotes), Bernard Stiegler (virtually - as an e-keynote), Anne Sauvagnargues, Daniela Voss, Ashley Woodward, and many others across all stages of research for a truly exciting and enriching set of discussions.

Incase any one might be interested, we have begun to upload the roundtables, keynotes, and panel sessions to the Centre for Critical Thought’s YouTube channel, all of which are being progressively organised into this playlist. Subscribe to the channel to stay tuned. I here embed the second roundtable session, a discussion between Anne Sauvagnargues and Yuk Hui, chaired by myself.