Skip to main content Deutsch

16. November 2023
19:30 PM - 22:30 PM

Georg-Coch-Platz 2
AIL - Angewandte Interdisziplinäres Labor
Hybrid / Vienna, 9 1010

Making Souls – Making Bodies: Amerindian Cosmologies, AI, and the Microbiome (Signoids Part 2)

What can the global North learn from Amerindian ontologies/cosmologies for the coexistence of a diversity of (non-human) intelligences such as AI or microbiomes to counter the modern myth of the accelerated transformation of the animals we ‘were’ into machines we ‘will be’?

The opposing reinterpretation is organised around the question of a potential body as the guarantor of an affective and intentional perspective on (possible) world(s), with which a series of destabilisations of occidental habits of thought are associated.

While the question for AI is whether and how it could manage intentionality without a body, the microbiome in its subjective self-revelation poses specific challenges to Western epistemata. As a ‘non-human within’, the microbiome functions as a kind of multistable object for science.

But if we continue to consider the microbiome as a subject: ‘Who does the microbiome think it is?’, while from an indigenous Amerindian perspective the answer is: ‘a human being’, then the follow-up question ‘Who and how many am I then?’ shapes itself into a complicated core element of Amerindian cosmology.

What epistemic or ontological shifts do we arrive at when we interweave the two actors from opposite ends of a Western mythological narrative of progress into an expanded, sympoietic subject?

The evening’s contributors open up different perspectives on these questions, oscillating between Western anthropocentrism and Amerindian anthropomorphism. They neither allow themselves to be overwhelmed by non-human subjectivities, nor do they colonise them with a hegemonic concept of time and history.

Online registration via is external)