Dr. Christina Vagt
Visiting Professor for the History of Culture and Knowledge
Field of research: media and globality within the history of cybernetics
Global Design. Buckminster Fuller’s Planning Tools and the City
In this talk I will revisit the late 1960ies and early 1970ies, when the US space program and the first moon landing as well as a second wave of cybernetics with its focus on structures, organisms and organization enters the field of urban planning. Focusing on Buckminster Fuller’s environmental design and its embeddedness in general systems theory and cybernetics, I will trace the beginning of global design from the micro perspective of cultural techniques that construct world as a computational model.
Christina Vagt is currently visiting professor for the history of culture and knowledge at Humboldt-University in Berlin. She also teaches history and theory of culture and media at the Institute of Philosophy, History of Science and Technology and Literature at Berlin Institute of Technology. She received her PhD at Bauhaus University in Weimar for a book on the relation between technical media and modern physics in the late philosophy of Martin Heidegger. In 2013 she was visiting professor for media history and media theory at Bauhaus University Weimar, and in 2012 she was visiting fellow and Fulbright scholar at the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford University. Her current research focuses on the relation of media and globality within the history of cybernetics and design in the 1960s and 1970s. She is the author of Geschickte Sprünge. Physik und Medium bei Martin Heidegger (Berlin-Zürich: Diaphanes, 2012) and of numerous essays on cultural technologies, media, and aesthetics, among them “All Things Are Vectors. Kosmologie und Synergetik bei Richard Buckminster Fuller und Alfred North-Whitehead”, in: Tatjana Petzer and Stephan Steiner (Ed.), Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturfoschung, Berlin: Wissensgeschichte der Synergie (forthcoming); “Neighborhood Design. Buckminster Fuller’s Planning Tools and the City”, in: Tobias Harks, Sebastian Vehlken (Ed.), Neighborhood Technologies. Media and Mathematics of Dynamic Networks, M.I.T. Press, Boston 2015, p. 81-97; „Ventilated Prose“, in: Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Hg.), Textures of the Anthropocene: Grain Vapor Ray, M.I.T. Press, Boston 2014, S. 134-154.“Im Äther. Einstein, Bergson und die Uhren der Mikrobe”, in: Eva Johach and Diethard Sawicki (Ed.), Übertragungsräume. Medienarchäologische Perspektiven auf die Raumvorstellungen der Moderne, Wiesbaden: Reichert, 2013, p. 133-144. She is the editor of the first German edition of Henri Bergson’s book on Einstein’s theory of relativity: Henri Bergson, Dauer und Gleichzeitigkeit (Hamburg: Philo Fine Arts, forthcoming), and together with Florian Sprenger, she is the co-editor of: “The Afterlives of Systems”, Communication+1, Vol.3, 2014 (www.communication+1.com).