Workshop: The Perspectivism of Platforms | Zé Antonio Magalhães, J.P. Caron, and Lukáš Likavčan

Updated: Nov 20, 2021

Session 2: Sat., Nov. 13, at 10 am PST

Zé Antonio and guest Lukáš Likavčan

Users and interfaces: Animals and Spirits


Webinar Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86858606094


Link to Readings: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1pNiFOuWP8PrKoqTc_s18WtXXqg0UAT6q?usp=sharing


Session 1: Sat., Nov. 6, at 10 am PST

Zé Antonio and guest J-P Caron

Functional Abstraction and Differences of Visibility

In this workshop, we will experiment with the hypothesis that cosmological perspectivism, as anthropologically reconstructed by Eduardo Viveiros de Castro or expressed in Davi Kopenawa's shamanic discourse, can produce invaluable insight about the contemporary phenomenon we call platformization. The premise, in consonance with Yuk Hui's concept of cosmotechnics, is that perspectivist cosmologies aren't parochial, archaic relics to be merely preserved, but a contemporary intellectual force in the navigation of planetary platformization, artificial intelligence and ecological crisis. We will define platforming as the production of a difference of levels or planes of existence. Two aspects will be particularly relevant to us: difference of plane of agency, and difference of visibility. We will then mobilize a basic perspectivist framework to account for the ontology of contemporary platforms. This simple framework will be formed by the animal/person/spirit triad and the prey/predator dyad. We will ask, for example: May a more platformed entity appear to us as a spirit, i.e., as invisible (or only visible in particular circumstances), but capable of perceiving us in ways we can't imagine? Or as acting on scales we can't grasp, while our actions cannot reach it? Conversely, may a relatively unplatformed entity appear to a more platformed one as a prey animal, in the sense of a being which is relevant in terms of its substance and usable energy, but not of its sociality, intellect or rights?


Session 1: Sat., Nov. 6, at 10 am PST

Zé Antonio and guest J-P Caron

Functional Abstraction and Differences of Visibility