Cyber-Nietzsche: Tunnels, Tightropes, Net-&-Meshworks
Entire video of the conference now featured at Figure/Ground
Center for Transformative Media (CTM) at Parsons: The New School for Design, 66 West 12th Street (NYC) [Room 404]
abstract: Nietzsche Workshop, April 2013
The Will to Obsolescence: Nietzsche and the Digital Present
This presentation traces the anxiety surrounding the figure of obsolescence in contemporary digital culture: on the one hand, panic over the finite dead-ends of digital objects, and on the other, fear of the apocalyptic power of digital media; a formative power that promises to make the human obsolete. To expand on this double bind to digital obsolescence at present, I return to obsolescence in the context of biology and individuation (the vestigial -- or virtual -- trace). Out of this alternative obsolescence, I consider how Nietzsche's will to power is itself an obsolete (historical?) figure of individuation that, perhaps even more so than recent appropriations of the work of Simondon, Stiegler, or Latour within current digital critical studies, manifests a stain on the formless invisibility of the digital present.
A brief glance at two marks that have emerged at (the very few) intersections between media and digital studies/art and Nietzsche: -- "the Turin Horse" and the Hansen Writing Ball -- serve as examples of how Nietzsche may function ironically as a symptom of the abuse of the digital present.