Luciana Parisi - Contagious Architecture: Computation, Aesthetics and Space - MIT Press, Usa, April 2013

In Contagious Architecture, Luciana Parisi offers a philosophical inquiry into the status of the algorithm in architectural and interaction design. Her thesis is that algorithmic computation is not simply an abstract mathematical tool but constitutes a mode of thought in its own right, in that its operation extends into forms of abstraction that lie beyond direct human cognition and control. These include modes of infinity, contingency, and indeterminacy, as well as incomputable quantities underlying the iterative process of algorithmic processing. The main philosophical source for the project is Alfred North Whitehead, whose process philosophy is specifically designed to provide a vocabulary for "modes of thought" exhibiting various degrees of autonomy from human agency even as they are mobilized by it. Because algorithmic processing lies at the heart of the design practices now reshaping our world -- from the physical spaces of our built environment to the networked spaces of digital culture -- the nature of algorithmic thought is a topic of pressing importance that reraises questions of control and, ultimately, power. Contagious Architecture revisits cybernetic theories of control and information theory's notion of the incomputable in light of this rethinking of the role of algorithmic thought. Informed by recent debates in political and cultural theory around the changing landscape of power, it links the nature of abstraction to a new theory of power adequate to the complexities of the digital world.

Luciana Parisi is a Senior Lecturer and runs the MA program in Interactive Media: Critical Theory and Practice at the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths University of London.
The thrill of this volume lies in its sustained pursuit of the problem of chance, randomness, and noncomputability as core dynamics in digital media. Its brilliantly heterodox take on computation allows Contagious Architecture to develop a groundbreaking account of algorithms and software, an account that puts debates about prediction and control in computational cultures on a much more exciting footing.”
Adrian Mackenzie, Lancaster University; author of Wirelessness: Radical Empiricism in Network Cultures
“In Contagious Architecture, Luciana Parisi gives us a sense of space beyond spatiality, showing us an architecture in which the fixed is fluidan evocative and rigorous study whose scope exceeds traditional disciplinary boundaries.”
Eugene Thacker, School of Media Studies, The New School; author of The Global Genome
Contagious Architecture is the antidote to the cyclical trend of Auguste Comte’s neopositivistic ‘order of discourse.’ By restoring the whole spectrum of languages, the multiple whispering in computation’s Tower of Babel, Luciana Parisi introduces contingencies, the ‘one thousand plateaus,’ as a factor of knowledgerid of its deterministic and intrinsic nature of controlto release its consequences as well as its presuppositions.”
François Roche, architect
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Dr Luciana Parisi’s research looks at the asymmetric relationship between science and philosophy, aesthetics and culture, technology and politics to investigate potential conditions for ontological and epistemological change.  Her work on cybernetics and information theories, evolutionary theories, genetic coding and viral transmission has informed her analysis of culture and politics, the critique of capitalism, power and control. During the late 90s she worked with the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit at Warwick and has since been writing with Steve Goodman (aka kode 9). In 2004, she published Abstract Sex: Philosophy, Biotechnology and the Mutations of Desire (Continuum Press), where she departed from the critical impasse between notions of the body, sexuality, gender on the one hand, and studies of science and technologies on the other. Her work engaged with ontological and epistemological transformations entangled to the technocapitalist development of biotechnologies, which un-intentionally re-articulated models of evolutions, questioning dominant conceptions of sex, femininity and desire.  Since the publication of Abstract Sex, she has also written on the bionic transformation of the perceptive sensorium triggered by new media, on the advancement of new techno-ecologies of control, and on the nanoengineering of matter.  She has published articles about the relation between cybernetic machines, memory and perception in the context of a non-phenomenological critique of computational media and in relation to emerging strategies of branding and marketing. Her interest in interactive media has also led her research to engage more closely with computation, cognition, and algorithmic aesthetics. She is currently writing on architectural modeling and completing a monograph: Contagious Architecture. Computation, Aesthetics and the Control of Space  (MIT Press, April 2013).