The Smartness Mandate

Orit Halpern

3 November 2022
19:15 — 20:30

Location: Het Huis Main Stage

We appear to live in a catastrophic age. Our lives are caught between climate change, pandemics, wars, market crashes, the collapse of biodiversity and the disruption of supply chains. The response to such disruption is increasingly to be found in ubiquitous computing and techno-utopianism. Today digital systems sustain virtually every aspect of a functioning society, from supply chains, security, labour, vaccine development, public health and virtually every manner of social life. Nowhere has this link become more powerful than at the intersection of statistics, ecology, artificial intelligence and finance. Orit Halpern labels this condition the “smartness mandate”, an ideological figuration that has political and ethical implications for our present time, underpinning reactionary politics and increased economic precarity. In her keynote, Halpern disentangles the historical roots of this mandate and helps us to see the many ways in which smartness has come to dominate contemporary life. By doing so, she cuts to the heart of The Curse of Smooth Operations: the drive towards ever better functionality that permeates our society leaves it in a state of utter dysfunction.

Single ticket

What else is on Thursday?

Check the timetable to visit more programmes with your Festival Pass (5-days) or Day Pass (1-day). With the passes you can also visit the festival exhibition The Curse of Smooth Operations at the IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] and Steenweg 26.

Thursday day pass 5-day festival pass Online festival pass

For more information on the festival tickets please see here

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