Hypernormal Hybrids

World-Information Institute in cooperation with Volkstheater Wien:

Thursday 10.05. 2018,  19:30h  Rote Bar, Arthur-Schnitzler-Platz 1, A-1070

Summary: A Report on Living in Algorithmic Worlds (EN) Ein Bericht über Leben in algorithmischen Welten (DE)

Video: Hypernormal Hybrids at Volkstheater (13’33”)

Video: Lydia L. Liu “The Coming of Freudian Robots” ( 34′)


Lydia H. Liu with Thomas Macho on Freudian Robots

Marc Elsberg with Felix Stalder on Fiction and Models

Algolounge Algorithmic Soundperformance: burn_those_idle_cycles





Lydia H. Liu:  The Coming of Freudian Robots

Call it a cyborg, android, or humanoid. In a time when many of us are infatuated with our robots, loving them, hating them, or allowing them to dominate our dreams and social life, we are essentially caught in a narcissistic loop of human-machine simulacra. The issue that ought to concern us here is not that “the distinction between us and robots is going to disappear” as proclaimed by Rodney Brook some years ago, but something more profound and uncanny, namely, are human beings evolving into some type of Freudian robots even as AI engineers design their robots to resemble humans more and more closely? In short, is the Uncanny Valley becoming a two-way street? To begin investigating these human-machine simulacra, we need to move beyond the sociological diagnosis of social media or familiar cultural criticisms.  I reexamine the entanglements between psychoanalysis (Freud) and cybernetics at the foundation of AI technology (Minsky, et al) in order to address the following question: what is the psychic life of intelligent machines?



































Lydia H. Liu is a theorist of media and translation and a professor of comparative literature, Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University and the Director of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. Her research centers on cross-cultural exchange, and global transformation, the movement of words, theories, and artifacts across national boundaries and on the evolution of writing, textuality, and media technology. Her many books include The Freudian Robot: Digital Media and the Future of the Unconscious (2010)

Thomas Macho is a cultural scientist and philosopher, director of the IFK International Research Center for Cultural Studies in Vienna. He studied philosophy, musicology, and education. His research areas cover the history of chronology, cultural history of the relation of man, animal and machine; death and death –cults, religion in modernity and history of rituals as well as science and fiction.

Marc Elsberg, a former creative director in advertising, his debut thriller “Blackout” is a frighteningly plausible drama of a week-long international blackout caused by a hacker attack on power grids. “Blackout” became an international bestseller and has been translated worldwide; the follow-up ZERO is becoming equally successful. Blackout and ZERO became both “Scientific Book of the Year”.


burn_those_idle_cycles is a network of musicians and machines in constantly changing cast. Since the early 2000s, they have been exploring the boundaries between sound spaces and improvisation with code using pieces of computer music, club culture and field recordings. With: Theresia Meindl, Catarina Pratter, Christoph Kummerer, Martin Stepanek


World-Information Institute in cooperation with springerin and WERK X:

Friday 10.11. 2017,  Petersplatz 1, A-1010, Vienna

Lectures, Discussion, Screenings, Performance  18h – 24h

Video: Hypernormal Hybrids 10.11.17  (14 min.)
Summary: A Report on Hybrid Systems (EN)  Ein Bericht über Hybride Systeme (DE)

Boundaries between humans and machines are blurring. Complex assemblages from biological agents, communicating objects, technical protocols, and automated decision-making processes become “hypernormal hybrids”. In the mechanical logic of this augmented reality, however, the dimension of the social is not to be grasped. Between super-empowered individuals and the “obsolescence of man” this results in unpredictable turbulences. How to identify the fault lines of these hybrid systems and what options of human action remain?

18:00 – 19:00
Prisoners of Reason: S. M. Amadae  (Full Video)

Moderator: Christian Hoeller

19:30 – 21:00
Animal & Machine Intelligence: Stefan Woltran,Susana Monsó

Moderator: Felix Stalder

21:00 – 24:00
Screening/Performance: Napalm Tree, ca.tter & mstep, Boris Kopeinig, Plak, u.a.

Videoinstallation: Painted by Numbers

Hosted by Konrad Becker and Felix Stalder

Susana Monsó: Animal Intelligences / Non-human problem solving or the limits of species superiority. Text for Hypernormal Hybrids November 2017 in collaboration with springerin magazine: springerin 1/2018





































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S. M. Amadae is a research fellow with the Academy of Finland’s Center of Excellence in the Philosophy of Social Science in the University of Helsinki’s Dept. of Political and Economic science, and a research affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Amadae’s new book, Prisoners of Reason: Game Theory and Neoliberal Political Economy (2016), relates neoliberal economics to neoliberalism in international relations. Amadae’s first book, Rationalizing Capitalist Democracy: The Cold War Origins of Rational Choice Liberalism (2003), was awarded the American Political Science Association’s J. David Greenstone book award for History and Politics in 2004. http://amadae.com/

Susana Monsó holds a post-doctoral position at the Messerli Research Instituteof the  University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, where her research focuses on the moral  and cognitive capacities of nonhuman animals and the ethical implications that follow from them. She studied Philosophy at the Complutense University of Madrid,

completed a Master of Arts degree in Global Ethics and Human Values at King’s College London, specializing in animal ethics, and wrote her PhD thesis on the relation between mindreading abilities and moral capacities in nonhuman animals. https://www.vetmeduni.ac.at/de/messerli/forschung/forschung-ethik/mitarbeiterinnen/susana-monso/

Stefan Woltran is professor for Formal Foundations of Artificial Intelligence at the Institute of Information Systems Database and Artificial Intelligence Group of the Technical University Vienna. With a PhD in Computer Science his research concentrates on problems in the areas of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning and has published numerous articles on complexity analysis in AI, Logic Programming, and the Semantic Web.

Mark Coeckelbergh is canceled – Professor of Philosophy of Media and Technology at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Vienna and President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology.


Co-host Christian Hoeller, editor and co-publisher of springerin–Hefte für Gegenwartskunst, writes extensively on art, cultural theory and new media. Hoeller lives and works in Vienna. https://www.springerin.at/

Napalm Tree the female duo is notorious for powerful live-performances. They started playing live at exhibitions and small clubs around Vienna. Their voice based digital approach is unpredictable and fresh, unexpected hybrids of harsh beats and oriental textures, approaching noise in soulful ways. https://soundcloud.com/napalmtree666

Boris Kopeinig is an electronic media artist and DJ, working in the areas of techno, electronic music, video and internet art. His DJ sets are driven by technoid rhythms and synthetic frequencies, exploring zones of sound experimentation and dance floor celebration. For him electronic dance music is a futuristic take on ancient rituals that affect the consistency of body and perception. http://boris.kopeinig.net/

ca.tter also known as “55.rnd”and Catarina Pratter, devoted herself to the production of electronic music since 1996 with numerous releases and live appearances. She found an ideal partner for her project in Martin Stepanek, mstep,  and their mutual project is called 55orondy. https://www.discogs.com/artist/1263495-Catter

Plak legendary DJ of bass music, pioneering Garage, Grime, Dubstep and Juke in Vienna and introducing many important trends in club music through the years. https://www.play.fm/plak-1


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