The Ancients saw the world as a cosmos, that is to say as a harmoniously arranged whole, it seems that the Moderns rather detected a set of organizations in it. (…) The organization was first the fruit of the reflection of the founders of modern biology, then the elaboration of cyberneticians, who coupled it with information in the feedback loop. (Baptiste Rappin)
Das Spiegel: And what takes the place of philosophy today? Martin Heidegger: Cybernetics.
Alexandre Gilbert: Can we say that Entropy is the Gestell, the essence of technique, according to Heidegger? Bernard Stiegler: So that’s a very good question. What Heidegger describes is not only entropy but the increase of entropy by calculation and by what he calls cybernetics.
French cybernetics are considered in the Anglo-Saxon world and more particularly in Oxford, in the field of French studies, as the New Scientific Enlightenment, new encyclopaedists, demystifying technology, considering the early French reception of cybernetics as a period of incubation in post-war France. Peter Sloterdjik qualified the cybernetico-biotechnical complex as the 4th narcissistic wound of man, after Copernicus, Darwin and Freud, abolishing the difference between birth and fabrication (6). Like Heidegger, Sloterdijk refers to Cézanne, whose studio Nicolas Schöffer occupied in Montmartre. Cybernetics in the steps of Modern art.
It was between the release of Fahrenheit 451, in 1962, by François Truffaut and La Jetée by Chris Marker, in 1966, that Nicolas Schöffer invented Cybernetic Art. He is working on a Serge Gainsbourg clip with Brigitte Bardot: Contact! and plans to build a Light Tower, higher than the Eiffel Tower at La Défense.
He then created the Lumino (Philips) a TV that broadcasts chromatic shapes hypnotizing the viewer for a television program, Preparation for Sleep, whose strobe effects would soothe the eye (which Folon did with flying characters) (1),
(Editor’s note: the first credits of Folon are that of Italiques, the literary program of Marc Gilbert, then of the television news of Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, of the Grand Échiquier of Jacques Chancel and of the opening and closing of the programs of Antenne 2) .
Marc Gilbert, former journalist for the Nouvel Observateur, Planète, Selection of the Reader’s Digest, LIFE, translator of The Human sexual response by Masters & Johnson and Year 2000 by Hermann Kahn dealt extensively with the cybernetic question in Eureka (1968-1971) and Volume (1970-1972), the first french transdisciplinary television programs with eclectic interviews such as: Bernard Spindel, Alberto Ponce, Jacques Bergier, Gilbert Montagné, Fernando Arrabal, Just Jaeckin, Jean-Michel Charlier, Joseph Gillain, Moebius, Philippe Druillet, Jacques Kerchache, Franquin or Jean Graton. Influenced by Joseph S. Nye and the cyberneticist, Karl Deutsch, Marc Gilbert also co-founded the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), of which Folon designs the poster, with Thierry de Montbrial, Dominique Moïsi and a young trainee – scholarship holder, Pierre Lellouche.
In May 68, the “cybernetics quarrel” broke out in Strasbourg, as in the 1930s, the “machinery quarrel” which it prolongs – and today, the quarrel over “big data” or transhumanism”.( 2) Member of the Center for Radio-Television Studies, gathered around Pierre Schaeffer, creator of concrete music, Abraham Moles president of the French Society of Cybernetics and the “cyberneticians” Edgar Morin and Alain Touraine are attacked by the situationist Guy Debord. (3)
LA MASTERCLASS DE MORIN. "Ce qui me fait horreur, c’est l’arrogance de celui qui est sûr d’avoir le point de vue universel et objectif. Celui qui prétend que la science, que l’humanité, que le prolétariat parle par sa bouche".
Rencontre avec Edgar Morin, l'érudit tout-terrain. pic.twitter.com/x6V1my2EXI
— INA.fr (@Inafr_officiel) February 16, 2021
Père de la sociologie française moderne et spécialiste de l'action sociale, Alain Touraine est décédé à l'âge de 97 ans. Retour en 1973, lorsqu'il revenait sur les récentes mobilisations de la jeunesse.#cultureprime pic.twitter.com/d2gBO6pEg9
— INA.fr (@Inafr_officiel) June 9, 2023
— INA.fr (@Inafr_officiel) August 23, 2016
“In reality, France could not benefit from the war effort which considerably amplified research leading to cybernetics in Anglo-Saxon countries. (…) The traditional structures that take the place of obstacles are Auguste Comte’s positivism, the purism represented by Bourbaki and the fracture between science and literature brought about in particular by the University. Wounded patriotism causes almost systematic reappropriations of the reference to cybernetics by de-Americanizing its intellectual origins to link them to Claude Bernard, Descartes or Ampère.”
Celebrating Ampère who forged the concept of Cybernetics illustrates what Slavoj Zizek, calls interpassivity and Catherine Malabou, cyber-anarchism, a philosophical theft of anarchist anarchy”. For Jean-Michel Jarre, all artists are sponges and thieves. He quotes Picasso: “talent copies and genius steals”, Michel Serres: “we depend on what depends on us” and René Char:”our inheritance is preceded by no will“. Jarre seeks to weave a link between Concrete music and French touch, in his album, Oxymore, harshly criticized as a baffling “imposture”, by Le Monde.
LANCEUR D'ALERTE – "On peut savoir tout ce que l'on veut sur une personne" ????
1972, le propos visionnaire du mathématicien et économiste Oskar Morgenstern, qui parle déjà des "banques de données" et qui alerte sur les menaces qui pèsent sur notre vie privée #BigBrother #1984 pic.twitter.com/DUNv0Wk47w
— INA.fr (@Inafr_officiel) January 21, 2020
Finally, religion also plays a role: the reformists of Vatican II take a close interest in cybernetics, in a logic of assimilation of the latest technical and scientific references to the doctrine of the Church, the latter needing this reconciliation to offer a message as globalizing as, and opposed to, that of Marxism. »
“The French “cybernetician” thus seems to remain an untraceable figure, fantasized by the speculative bubble of philosophers and popularizers, at least a rare and necessarily atypical bird. It was not until at least a new wave of interdisciplinarity in the early 1970s that the figure of the modeller gained recognition. In the meantime, for lack of institutional support, the few works that can be linked to cybernetics have been confined to transit or utility regimes, not benefiting from a dynamic that would have allowed them to become autonomous in a transversal regime. » (4)
"Nous sommes des accidents dans l'univers" ????
Il naissait le 9 février 1910 : rencontre avec Jacques Monod ("Le hasard et la nécessité") en 1970. pic.twitter.com/yUlpMxuqqx
— INA.fr (@Inafr_officiel) February 9, 2019
These regimes, François Cusset describes them via “the concepts of American cybernetics (which) found zealous relays in France, from the systemic system of Joël de Rosnay to the “complexity” of Edgar Morin, (Editor’s note: founders of the Group of the ten with Michel Serres, Henri Laborit, Michel Rocard and Jacques Attali) from State experts Simon Nora and Alain Minc (with their 1978 report on “the computerization of society”) to collective advisors Philippe Quéau or Pierre Lévy, and expert and duly prescriptive “notes” from the former Saint-Simon Foundation or the CFDT to the networks of the École Polytechnique or the Mines, where the flame of a French techno-rationalism from the executives is kept alive. d’Uriage as well as the rational mystics of Teilhard de Chardin or Saint-Yves d’Alveydre. A nebula, or a convergence, to which it is difficult to imagine in any case that Foucauldian militants, exegetes of Deleuze, critical analysts of the Lyotardian postmodern or even Derridians as atypical, and duly repoliticized, as Bernard Stiegler in France or Gayatri could join. Chakravorty Spivak in the United States. What is revealed, at the end of Céline Lafontaine’s article, by the involuntary admission of its author: praising “the French exception” with accents that Daniel Toscan du Plantier would not have denied, she is pleased that France has barred the way both to American cybernetics and to the pernicious French Foucaldo-Deleuzism, a double resistance which, according to her, completes the demonstration of the existence of a close link between the two discourses. » (5) On June 26th, 2023, the 102 years old philosopher, Edgar Morin declared:
At the time there were people like Michel Rocard, men who thought a little, but today all that has disappeared, at the time there were intellectuals who denounced this void, now that has disappeared, I am a dinosaur in this story. The conditions have worsened because of the political vacuum more than the huge development of computers, artificial intelligence and other things that are ambiguous instruments, like everything that is technical and can be at the service of humanity as they can enslave humanity . Already the industrial machine had enslaved the OS workers of the pre-war era. Today we are instead enslaved by things that can free us. For the moment I do not see that a conscious and organized political force does not arise, I do not see what is the hope if not the unexpected.