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Cybernetic Revolutionaries

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Cybernetic Revolutionaries

Cybernetic Revolutionaries Book
Author : Eden Medina
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2014-01-10
ISBN : 0262525968
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

A historical study of Chile's twin experiments with cybernetics and socialism, and what they tell us about the relationship of technology and politics. In Cybernetic Revolutionaries, Eden Medina tells the history of two intersecting utopian visions, one political and one technological. The first was Chile's experiment with peaceful socialist change under Salvador Allende; the second was the simultaneous attempt to build a computer system that would manage Chile's economy. Neither vision was fully realized—Allende's government ended with a violent military coup; the system, known as Project Cybersyn, was never completely implemented—but they hold lessons for today about the relationship between technology and politics. Drawing on extensive archival material and interviews, Medina examines the cybernetic system envisioned by the Chilean government—which was to feature holistic system design, decentralized management, human-computer interaction, a national telex network, near real-time control of the growing industrial sector, and modeling the behavior of dynamic systems. She also describes, and documents with photographs, the network's Star Trek-like operations room, which featured swivel chairs with armrest control panels, a wall of screens displaying data, and flashing red lights to indicate economic emergencies. Studying project Cybersyn today helps us understand not only the technological ambitions of a government in the midst of political change but also the limitations of the Chilean revolution. This history further shows how human attempts to combine the political and the technological with the goal of creating a more just society can open new technological, intellectual, and political possibilities. Technologies, Medina writes, are historical texts; when we read them we are reading history.

Designing Freedom

Designing Freedom Book
Author : Stafford Beer
Publisher : House of Anansi
Release : 1993-11-18
ISBN : 0887848559
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Distinguished cyberneticist Stafford Beer states the case for a new science of systems theory and cybernetics. His essays examine such issues as The Real Threat to All We Hold Most Dear, The Discarded Tools of Modern Man, A Liberty Machine in Prototype, Science in the Service of Man, The Future That Can Be Demanded Now, The Free Man in a Cybernetic World. Designing Freedom ponders the possibilities of liberty in a cybernetic world.

Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine Reissue of the 1961 second edition

Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine  Reissue of the 1961 second edition Book
Author : Norbert Wiener
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2019-10-08
ISBN : 0262537842
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

A classic and influential work that laid the theoretical foundations for information theory and a timely text for contemporary informations theorists and practitioners. With the influential book Cybernetics, first published in 1948, Norbert Wiener laid the theoretical foundations for the multidisciplinary field of cybernetics, the study of controlling the flow of information in systems with feedback loops, be they biological, mechanical, cognitive, or social. At the core of Wiener's theory is the message (information), sent and responded to (feedback); the functionality of a machine, organism, or society depends on the quality of messages. Information corrupted by noise prevents homeostasis, or equilibrium. And yet Cybernetics is as philosophical as it is technical, with the first chapter devoted to Newtonian and Bergsonian time and the philosophical mixed with the technical throughout. This book brings the 1961 second edition back into print, with new forewords by Doug Hill and Sanjoy Mitter. Contemporary readers of Cybernetics will marvel at Wiener's prescience—his warnings against “noise,” his disdain for “hucksters” and “gadget worshipers,” and his view of the mass media as the single greatest anti-homeostatic force in society. This edition of Cybernetics gives a new generation access to a classic text.

Architectural Intelligence

Architectural Intelligence Book
Author : Molly Wright Steenson
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2017-12-22
ISBN : 0262037068
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Architects who engaged with cybernetics, artificial intelligence, and other technologies poured the foundation for digital interactivity. In Architectural Intelligence, Molly Wright Steenson explores the work of four architects in the 1960s and 1970s who incorporated elements of interactivity into their work. Christopher Alexander, Richard Saul Wurman, Cedric Price, and Nicholas Negroponte and the MIT Architecture Machine Group all incorporated technologies—including cybernetics and artificial intelligence—into their work and influenced digital design practices from the late 1980s to the present day. Alexander, long before his famous 1977 book A Pattern Language, used computation and structure to visualize design problems; Wurman popularized the notion of “information architecture”; Price designed some of the first intelligent buildings; and Negroponte experimented with the ways people experience artificial intelligence, even at architectural scale. Steenson investigates how these architects pushed the boundaries of architecture—and how their technological experiments pushed the boundaries of technology. What did computational, cybernetic, and artificial intelligence researchers have to gain by engaging with architects and architectural problems? And what was this new space that emerged within these collaborations? At times, Steenson writes, the architects in this book characterized themselves as anti-architects and their work as anti-architecture. The projects Steenson examines mostly did not result in constructed buildings, but rather in design processes and tools, computer programs, interfaces, digital environments. Alexander, Wurman, Price, and Negroponte laid the foundation for many of our contemporary interactive practices, from information architecture to interaction design, from machine learning to smart cities.

Programmed Inequality

Programmed Inequality Book
Author : Mar Hicks
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2018-02-23
ISBN : 0262535181
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

How Britain lost its early dominance in computing by systematically discriminating against its most qualified workers: women. In 1944, Britain led the world in electronic computing. By 1974, the British computer industry was all but extinct. What happened in the intervening thirty years holds lessons for all postindustrial superpowers. As Britain struggled to use technology to retain its global power, the nation's inability to manage its technical labor force hobbled its transition into the information age. In Programmed Inequality, Mar Hicks explores the story of labor feminization and gendered technocracy that undercut British efforts to computerize. That failure sprang from the government's systematic neglect of its largest trained technical workforce simply because they were women. Women were a hidden engine of growth in high technology from World War II to the 1960s. As computing experienced a gender flip, becoming male-identified in the 1960s and 1970s, labor problems grew into structural ones and gender discrimination caused the nation's largest computer user—the civil service and sprawling public sector—to make decisions that were disastrous for the British computer industry and the nation as a whole. Drawing on recently opened government files, personal interviews, and the archives of major British computer companies, Programmed Inequality takes aim at the fiction of technological meritocracy. Hicks explains why, even today, possessing technical skill is not enough to ensure that women will rise to the top in science and technology fields. Programmed Inequality shows how the disappearance of women from the field had grave macroeconomic consequences for Britain, and why the United States risks repeating those errors in the twenty-first century.

The Cybernetics Moment

The Cybernetics Moment Book
Author : Ronald R. Kline
Publisher : JHU Press
Release : 2015-06-04
ISBN : 1421416719
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Cybernetics—the science of communication and control as it applies to machines and to humans—originates from efforts during World War II to build automatic anti-aircraft systems. Following the war, this science extended beyond military needs to examine all systems that rely on information and feedback, from the level of the cell to that of society. In The Cybernetics Moment, Ronald R. Kline, a senior historian of technology, examines the intellectual and cultural history of cybernetics and information theory, whose language of "information," "feedback," and "control" transformed the idiom of the sciences, hastened the development of information technologies, and laid the conceptual foundation for what we now call the Information Age. Kline argues that, for about twenty years after 1950, the growth of cybernetics and information theory and ever-more-powerful computers produced a utopian information narrative—an enthusiasm for information science that influenced natural scientists, social scientists, engineers, humanists, policymakers, public intellectuals, and journalists, all of whom struggled to come to grips with new relationships between humans and intelligent machines. Kline traces the relationship between the invention of computers and communication systems and the rise, decline, and transformation of cybernetics by analyzing the lives and work of such notables as Norbert Wiener, Claude Shannon, Warren McCulloch, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, and Herbert Simon. Ultimately, he reveals the crucial role played by the cybernetics moment—when cybernetics and information theory were seen as universal sciences—in setting the stage for our current preoccupation with information technologies.

Open Access

Open Access Book
Author : Peter Suber
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2012-07-20
ISBN : 0262517639
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

A concise introduction to the basics of open access, describing what it is (and isn't) and showing that it is easy, fast, inexpensive, legal, and beneficial. The Internet lets us share perfect copies of our work with a worldwide audience at virtually no cost. We take advantage of this revolutionary opportunity when we make our work “open access”: digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. Open access is made possible by the Internet and copyright-holder consent, and many authors, musicians, filmmakers, and other creators who depend on royalties are understandably unwilling to give their consent. But for 350 years, scholars have written peer-reviewed journal articles for impact, not for money, and are free to consent to open access without losing revenue. In this concise introduction, Peter Suber tells us what open access is and isn't, how it benefits authors and readers of research, how we pay for it, how it avoids copyright problems, how it has moved from the periphery to the mainstream, and what its future may hold. Distilling a decade of Suber's influential writing and thinking about open access, this is the indispensable book on the subject for researchers, librarians, administrators, funders, publishers, and policy makers.

Science and Environment in Chile

Science and Environment in Chile Book
Author : Javiera Barandiaran
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2018-07-31
ISBN : 0262347423
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

The politics of scientific advice across four environmental conflicts in Chile, when the state acted as a “neutral broker” rather than protecting the common good. In Science and Environment in Chile, Javiera Barandiarán examines the consequences for environmental governance when the state lacks the capacity to produce an authoritative body of knowledge. Focusing on the experience of Chile after it transitioned from dictatorship to democracy, she examines a series of environmental conflicts in which the state tried to act as a “neutral broker” rather than the protector of the common good. She argues that this shift in the role of the state—occurring in other countries as well—is driven in part by the political ideology of neoliberalism, which favors market mechanisms and private initiatives over the actions of state agencies. Chile has not invested in environmental science labs, state agencies with in-house capacities, or an ancillary network of trusted scientific advisers—despite the growing complexity of environmental problems and increasing popular demand for more active environmental stewardship. Unlike a high modernist “empire” state with the scientific and technical capacity to undertake large-scale projects, Chile's model has been that of an “umpire” state that purchases scientific advice from markets. After describing the evolution of Chilean regulatory and scientific institutions during the transition, Barandiarán describes four environmental crises that shook citizens' trust in government: the near-collapse of the farmed salmon industry when an epidemic killed millions of fish; pollution from a paper and pulp mill that killed off or forced out thousands of black-neck swans; a gold mine that threatened three glaciers; and five controversial mega-dams in Patagonia.

Beyond Imported Magic

Beyond Imported Magic Book
Author : Eden Medina,Ivan da Costa Marques,Marcos Cueto,Christina Holmes
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2014-08-15
ISBN : 0262526204
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

The essays in this volume study the creation, adaptation, and use of science and technology in Latin America. They challenge the view that scientific ideas and technology travel unchanged from the global North to the global South -- the view of technology as "imported magic." They describe not only alternate pathways for innovation, invention, and discovery but also how ideas and technologies circulate in Latin American contexts and transnationally. The contributors' explorations of these issues, and their examination of specific Latin American experiences with science and technology, offer a broader, more nuanced understanding of how science, technology, politics, and power interact in the past and present.The essays in this book use methods from history and the social sciences to investigate forms of local creation and use of technologies; the circulation of ideas, people, and artifacts in local and global networks; and hybrid technologies and forms of knowledge production. They address such topics as the work of female forensic geneticists in Colombia; the pioneering Argentinean use of fingerprinting technology in the late nineteenth century; the design, use, and meaning of the XO Laptops created and distributed by the One Laptop per Child Program; and the development of nuclear energy in Argentina, Mexico, and Chile.ContributorsPedro Ignacio Alonso, Morgan G. Ames, Javiera Barandiarán, João Biehl, Anita Say Chan, Amy Cox Hall, Henrique Cukierman, Ana Delgado, Rafael Dias, Adriana Díaz del Castillo H., Mariano Fressoli, Jonathan Hagood, Christina Holmes, Matthieu Hubert, Noela Invernizzi, Michael Lemon, Ivan da Costa Marques, Gisela Mateos, Eden Medina, María Fernanda Olarte Sierra, Hugo Palmarola, Tania Pérez-Bustos, Julia Rodriguez, Israel Rodríguez-Giralt, Edna Suárez Díaz, Hernán Thomas, Manuel Tironi, Dominique Vinck

The Cybernetic Brain

The Cybernetic Brain Book
Author : Andrew Pickering
Publisher : University of Chicago Press
Release : 2010-04-15
ISBN : 9780226667928
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Cybernetics is often thought of as a grim military or industrial science of control. But as Andrew Pickering reveals in this beguiling book, a much more lively and experimental strain of cybernetics can be traced from the 1940s to the present. The Cybernetic Brain explores a largely forgotten group of British thinkers, including Grey Walter, Ross Ashby, Gregory Bateson, R. D. Laing, Stafford Beer, and Gordon Pask, and their singular work in a dazzling array of fields. Psychiatry, engineering, management, politics, music, architecture, education, tantric yoga, the Beats, and the sixties counterculture all come into play as Pickering follows the history of cybernetics’ impact on the world, from contemporary robotics and complexity theory to the Chilean economy under Salvador Allende. What underpins this fascinating history, Pickering contends, is a shared but unconventional vision of the world as ultimately unknowable, a place where genuine novelty is always emerging. And thus, Pickering avers, the history of cybernetics provides us with an imaginative model of open-ended experimentation in stark opposition to the modern urge to achieve domination over nature and each other.

The Cybernetic Hypothesis

The Cybernetic Hypothesis Book
Author : Tiqqun
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2020-04-14
ISBN : 1635900921
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

An early text from Tiqqun that views cybernetics as a fable of late capitalism, and offers tools for the resistance. The cybernetician's mission is to combat the general entropy that threatens living beings, machines, societies—that is, to create the experimental conditions for a continuous revitalization, to constantly restore the integrity of the whole. —from The Cybernetic Hypothesis This early Tiqqun text has lost none of its pertinence. The Cybernetic Hypothesis presents a genealogy of our “technical” present that doesn't point out the political and ethical dilemmas embedded in it as if they were puzzles to be solved, but rather unmasks an enemy force to be engaged and defeated. Cybernetics in this context is the teknê of threat reduction, which unfortunately has required the reduction of a disturbing humanity to packets of manageable information. Not so easily done. Not smooth. A matter of civil war, in fact. According to the authors, cybernetics is the latest master fable, welcomed at a certain crisis juncture in late capitalism. And now the interesting question is: Has the guest in the house become the master of the house? The “cybernetic hypothesis” is strategic. Readers of this little book are not likely to be naive. They may be already looking, at least in their heads, for a weapon, for a counter-strategy. Tiqqun here imagines an unbearable disturbance to a System that can take only so much: only so much desertion, only so much destituent gesture, only so much guerilla attack, only so much wickedness and joy.

From Newspeak to Cyberspeak

From Newspeak to Cyberspeak Book
Author : Slava Gerovitch
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2004-09-17
ISBN : 9780262572255
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

In this book, Slava Gerovitch argues that Soviet cybernetics was not just an intellectual trend but a social movement for radical reform in science and society as a whole. Followers of cybernetics viewed computer simulation as a universal method of problem solving and the language of cybernetics as a language of objectivity and truth. With this new objectivity, they challenged the existing order of things in economics and politics as well as in science. The history of Soviet cybernetics followed a curious arc. In the 1950s it was labeled a reactionary pseudoscience and a weapon of imperialist ideology. With the arrival of Khrushchev's political "thaw," however, it was seen as an innocent victim of political oppression, and it evolved into a movement for radical reform of the Stalinist system of science. In the early 1960s it was hailed as "science in the service of communism," but by the end of the decade it had turned into a shallow fashionable trend. Using extensive new archival materials, Gerovitch argues that these fluctuating attitudes reflected profound changes in scientific language and research methodology across disciplines, in power relations within the scientific community, and in the political role of scientists and engineers in Soviet society. His detailed analysis of scientific discourse shows how the Newspeak of the late Stalinist period and the Cyberspeak that challenged it eventually blended into "CyberNewspeak."

Red Plenty

Red Plenty Book
Author : Francis Spufford
Publisher : Faber & Faber
Release : 2010-08-19
ISBN : 0571269478
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

The Soviet Union was founded on a fairytale. It was built on 20th-century magic called 'the planned economy', which was going to gush forth an abundance of good things that the penny-pinching lands of capitalism could never match. And just for a little while, in the heady years of the late fifties, the magic seemed to be working. Red Plenty is about that moment in history, and how it came and went away; about the brief era when, under the rash leadership of Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Union looked forward to a future of rich communists and envious capitalists, when Moscow would out-glitter Manhattan, every Lada would be better engineered than a Porsche and sputniks would lead the way to the stars. It's about the scientists who did their best to make the dream come true, to give the tyranny its happy ending.

The Mobile Workshop

The Mobile Workshop Book
Author : Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2018-06-01
ISBN : 0262345862
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

How the presence of the tsetse fly turned the African forest into an open laboratory where African knowledge formed the basis of colonial tsetse control policies. The tsetse fly is a pan-African insect that bites an infective forest animal and ingests blood filled with invisible parasites, which it carries and transmits into cattle and people as it bites them, leading to n'gana (animal trypanosomiasis) and sleeping sickness. In The Mobile Workshop, Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga examines how the presence of the tsetse fly turned the forests of Zimbabwe and southern Africa into an open laboratory where African knowledge formed the basis of colonial tsetse control policies. He traces the pestiferous work that an indefatigable, mobile insect does through its movements, and the work done by humans to control it. Mavhunga's account restores the central role not just of African labor but of African intellect in the production of knowledge about the tsetse fly. He describes how European colonizers built on and beyond this knowledge toward destructive and toxic methods, including cutting down entire forests, forced “prophylactic” resettlement, massive destruction of wild animals, and extensive spraying of organochlorine pesticides. Throughout, Mavhunga uses African terms to describe the African experience, taking vernacular concepts as starting points in writing a narrative of ruzivo (knowledge) rather than viewing Africa through foreign keywords. The tsetse fly became a site of knowledge production—a mobile workshop of pestilence.

Knowledge Unbound

Knowledge Unbound Book
Author : Peter Suber,Robert Darnton
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2016-03-25
ISBN : 0262528495
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Influential writings make the case for open access to research, explore its implications, and document the early struggles and successes of the open access movement.

How Not to Network a Nation

How Not to Network a Nation Book
Author : Benjamin Peters
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2016-03-25
ISBN : 0262034182
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

How, despite thirty years of effort, Soviet attempts to build a national computer network were undone by socialists who seemed to behave like capitalists.

Platform for Change

Platform for Change Book
Author : Stafford Beer
Publisher : Wiley
Release : 1995-04-24
ISBN : 9780471948407
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

"Stafford Beer is undoubtedly among the world's most provocative, creative, and profound thinkers on the subject of management, and he records his thinking with a flair that is unmatched. His writing is as much art as it is science. He is the most viable system I know." —Dr Russell L Ackoff, The Institute for Interactive Management, Pennsylvania. USA This is a highly original book both in content and format. It presents thirteen 'arguments for change', these are linked by a personal commentary, and by a deeper, 'metalinguistic', commentary. Platform for Change is completely self-contained, does not deal at all with the nature of viable systems, but is directed towards the hope that our planet may yet remain viable--and the human race survive.

Networking Peripheries

Networking Peripheries Book
Author : Anita Say Chan
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2014-01-31
ISBN : 0262319535
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

An exploration of the diverse experiments in digital futures as they advance far from the celebrated centers of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. In Networking Peripheries, Anita Chan shows how digital cultures flourish beyond Silicon Valley and other celebrated centers of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. The evolving digital cultures in the Global South vividly demonstrate that there are more ways than one to imagine what digital practice and global connection could look like. To explore these alternative developments, Chan investigates the diverse initiatives being undertaken to “network” the nation in contemporary Peru, from attempts to promote the intellectual property of indigenous artisans to the national distribution of digital education technologies to open technology activism in rural and urban zones. Drawing on ethnographic accounts from government planners, regional free-software advocates, traditional artisans, rural educators, and others, Chan demonstrates how such developments unsettle dominant conceptions of information classes and innovations zones. Government efforts to turn rural artisans into a new creative class progress alongside technology activists' efforts to promote indigenous rights through information tactics; plans pressing for the state wide adoption of open source–based technologies advance while the One Laptop Per Child initiative aims to network rural classrooms by distributing laptops. As these cases show, the digital cultures and network politics emerging on the periphery do more than replicate the technological future imagined as universal from the center.

Rise of the Red Hand

Rise of the Red Hand Book
Author : Olivia Chadha
Publisher : Erewhon
Release : 2021-02-02
ISBN : 164566015X
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

A rare, searing portrayal of the future of climate change in South Asia. A streetrat turned revolutionary and the disillusioned hacker son of a politician try to take down a ruthlessly technocratic government that sacrifices its poorest citizens to build its utopia.

Dematerialization

Dematerialization Book
Author : Karen Benezra
Publisher : University of California Press
Release : 2020-03-03
ISBN : 0520307062
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Dematerialization examines the intertwined experimental practices and critical discourses of art and industrial design in Argentina, Mexico, and Chile in the 1960s and 1970s. Provocative in nature, this book investigates the way that artists, critics, and designers considered the relationship between the crisis of the modernist concept of artistic medium and the radical social transformation brought about by the accelerated capitalist development of the preceding decades. Beginning with Oscar Masotta’s sui generis definition of the term, Karen Benezra proposes dematerialization as a concept that allows us to see how disputes over the materiality of the art and design object functioned in order to address questions concerning the role of appearance, myth, and ideology in the dynamic logic structuring social relations in contemporary discussions of aesthetics, artistic collectivism, and industrial design. Dematerialization brings new insights to the fields of contemporary art history, critical theory, and Latin American cultural studies.