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11.12.2012 / 18h
Yuk Hui (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg / IRI, Paris)
Towards a Philosophy of Post-Facebook Social Networks –
With Special Attention to Jacob Moreno and Gilbert Simondon

Despite their increasing ubiquity, there is no fundamental philosophical theory of social networking, and I believe this has limited the technical development of social networks to very limited use-cases. In this seminar I will propose to develop a theoretical discourse on the new generation of social networks based on the 'social web' project that I have been developing in the Institut de Recherche et d'Innovation of Centre Pompidou. The project centers on two questions: 1. What is social after Facebook? 2. What is collective intelligence after Crowdsourcing? Current social networking websites and network-science are based on individuals as the basic analytic unit, with social relationships as simple "ties" between individuals. At the same time, crowd sourcing totally changed the idea of work and imposes an aggressive form of exploitation. In contrast, this project wants to approach even individual humans as fundamentally shaped by their collective social relationships, building from a comparative study of Jacob Moreno's sociometry and Gilbert Simondon's insight of the psychic and collective individuation. I hope by creating such a foundation will enable new kinds of social imagination and social structure through redesigning the concept of the 'social' in the time of Facebook.


Yuk Hui is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, before he was a research fellow at the Institut de Recherche et d'Innovation (IRI) du Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Hui holds a PhD in philosophy and a MA in Cultural Studies both from Goldsmiths, University of London, and a bachelor degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Hong Kong. His PhD thesis was titled On the Existence of Digital Objects (forthcoming), which proposes a new philosophical understand of data and experience. Hui has been working on different research projects exploring the possibilities of new media technologies on arts and social engagements with cultural institutes such as Tate Gallery (Culture Mining Project).


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