Incredible Machines – Talk and Discussion

1 Oct., 2022

Talk on “The Model as Mediator” for Incredible Machines 2022: The Model is the Message. A 2-day online symposium 1 Oct-2 Oct, 2022. The event will be followed up with the publication of a volume on the topic by the conference guests. Panel and short talk during session two, day one between 11:10-12:40 ET.

Abstract: In this talk we’ll examine the interplay between two distinct pictures of models: the model as epistemological mediator (Margaret Morrison), and the model as performative driver (Donald MacKenzie). In combining these two model picturings, we can come to understand the function of models as a form of cognitive interference, that is, as an enabling thought-prosthetic mingling the activities of discovery and manipulation. This framework allows us to better understand Alain Badiou’s premise that models induce ‘participation’, where participation is understood as a mixture of the sensible and the intelligible.