2021/09/23: The Future of Death. Algorithmic Anxieties and Programmable Destruction

Throughout this presentation, I enquire into what forms of being are brought forth—and, inevitably, disavowed and denied—when the act of “perceiving” and defining life is devolved to algorithms. I propose that established ontological frames of reference, which have to date substantiated—albeit ineffectually—human rights legislation and international law regarding air-bound technologies, are being surreptitiously usurped by an algorithmic calculus of pre-emption and violence.  Quantifiable definitions of biopolitical forms of life are, in turn, determining—and in some cases pre-determining—whose life is expendable under the exceptional terms of contemporary military engagement. The over-arching challenge here becomes one of how we can, if at all, productively interject—legally, philosophically, creatively, and politically—into algorithmic rationalisations of life and death.

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