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Extra resources for AGS Experiments [1994-1996]

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A unity is defined. The description, invention and manipulation of unities is at the base of all scientific inquiry. Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, “Autopoiesis: the Organization of the Living” 36,7 Life itself, a kind of technoscientific deity, may be what is virtually pregnant. 40 In this respect, Maturana and Varela are placed firmly within an Aristotelian tradition that saw organisms as wholes mobilized by their purpose or “telos,” but with a difference: the “purpose” of an organism is autonomy itself.

Rhetorics of “localization” suggest Representing Life for a Living B O U N D S O F O U T Abducted by Silicon If artificial life creatures, as actualizations of information, enjoy the burdens and benefits of vitality, they do so through the operation of what Charles Sanders Peirce T H E O R Y that some particular organism “in” or “on” the computer is “alive,” thereby occluding the complex ecology of brains, flesh, code, and electric grids that alife thrives on and enabling the usual habits of narrative—an actor moving serially through a world—to flourish, as a more recognizable and perhaps seductive understanding of an organism as “agent” survives.

Donna Haraway, in “The Virtual Speculum in the New World Order,” highlights the particularly odd status of such a distinct fetus at a moment when life has been dislocated. Haraway offers multiple readings of a cartoon that she dubs “Virtual Speculum,” which features 40,1 this demand as a “referential panic, a need for realist images” that would render the strange new tangles of technoscience and “life” consumable and narratable. And yet this panic is not confined to the work of representation— alife’s power emerges not out of the barrel of a gun, but from the gestures of mouse and pixel, signifying and asignifying grapples with the machinic phylum.

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