Psychedelia and Computing: How to Bifurcate Cybernetics?

Poster of the Symposium
“Psychedelia and Computing: How to Bifurcate Cybernetics?”


In parallel with the current collapse of the cinema industry, we are now witnessing the emergence of new recreational dream bio-industries that aim to renew and artificially provoke dreams: the industry of psychedelic experiences produced by micro-doses. This colloquium will consist, first of all, in understanding the psychological, economic, and technological (or organological) forces that explain the dazzling success of these new industries. We will put forward the hypothesis that these psychedelic industries are developing as a counterpoint to the technological processes of general automation (which is also the automation of the mind), which are increasingly affecting our ways of living and thinking. Now, rather than generating a non-dialectical intermittency of the automation processes of the mind through psychedelic experiences, we propose to carry out a critique of the theoretical foundations of computer science that are at the origin of general automation: cybernetics and computational theory. Against a computationalist conception of reason implemented in our new artificial intelligences, the stake of this critique will be to discuss the bases of a new psychedelic computer theory that reintegrates the possibility of the dream experience and the determination of the unconscious within our interactions with machines. It will therefore be a question of conceiving the psychedelic experience as a cognitive bifurcation operator, whose challenge is to anticipate its occurrence within computer theory; that is to say, within our interactions with new artificial intelligences, which are still completely incapable to dream.

This event is produced by the NEST program and the Noödesign association, in collaboration with the department of Rhetoric and the department of Anthropology of the University of Berkeley. It is hosted by the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society (CSTMS) of Berkeley University.
The event will take place in person and online. So you can follow the symposium remotely if you wish by registering on the form present in the general presentation link of the symposium :