Machinic visualization of DECOSO Data Modelling Ontology in collaboration with Data and Service Center for the Humanities DaSCH.Swiss, courtesy vinit agarwal for DECOSO, screenshot, 2021.

Thu 25 February, 2021 | 13.00-15.30 (CET)

work meeting

#1 Decoso Meeting:

Decolonizing Socialism X Cybernetics

Venue: Online


The Decoso Meeting is a seminar-like series that seeks to discuss cybernetic practices and aesthetics for probing the epistemological condition and historical legacy of cybernetic thinking that underpin contemporary concerns about big tech and the rise of digital feudalism.

The framework of the Decoso Meeting series is the transdisciplinary study Decolonizing Socialism Entangled Internationalism (decoso), funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The case-based studies spark academic and para-academic methodologies in order to mobilize specific historic practices in the field of the arts, architecture, technology and cybernetics from former socialist geographies of Eastern Europe always in entanglement with actors, agents and partners in Africa, Asia and/or Latin-America. Our specific focus are cybernetics in an expanded sense in the context of world-communist politics or socialist internationalism between 1949 and 1990 in the conflicting conditions of the Global Cold War: Not as a historic-archival find alone, but as a trajectory to problematize techno-politics such as “planetary computation” (Benjamin Bratton) or “planetary automation” (Luciana Parisi) within the present. Committed to study micro-political engagements, we aim to move below the macro-political narrative that the Cold War’s binarism imposed by means of unearthing the potentialities of art and technology towards a communist worldmaking that aimed to create societies across borders, yet, united by “anti-imperialist politics” (Angela Y. Davis) or “anticipatory politics” (Marion von Osten). We consider art-research’s experimental forms of research as highly necessary in such a transdisciplinary / transnational investigation towards decolonial times.

Each Decoso Meeting consists of workshop-like work meetings with invited international scholars and/or artists. The interlocutors offer a theoretical proposition (15-20min). Invited respondents as well as members of the decoso-research shall respond to the presented proposition by thinking through and extending the proposition while relating it to their personal project and perspective. This shall spark an exchange including also students and young researchers. Each session shall be protocolled, transcribed and archived for future research. The Decoso Meeting shall end with a collective review of the session. Key points of the proposition and discussion will be collected and fed into a conceptual map. The visual documentation will be helpful to create dotted lines between fields and concepts, show intersections and dichotomies, and create a point of orientation during and after the discussion.

We are inviting scholars and artists and friends to discuss and speculate about cybernetic logics and its possible reinventions.

#1 Decoso Meeting: Decolonizing Socialism X Cybernetics  addressed in particular the intersection of decolonization and decoloniality in relation to calculus and mathematics. How and in what way do we situate mathematics and algorithms in relation to socialism and socialist internationalism? In this context, it remains pertinent to understand socialism, both, as a political project of modernity and as a philosophy of worldmaking to fight imperialism, colonialism and fascism.



  • 13:00
  • 13:20
    Proposition by C.K. Raju
  • 13:50
    Short break
  • 14:00
    Conversational responses by Aarti Sunder and Ramon Amaro
  • 14:20
    Deepening with further questions from the participants
  • 15:00
    Intervention by Ghalas Charara with students
  • 15:15
  • 15:30

Contributor Biographies

  • C.K. Raju

    Prof. C.K. Raju is a computer scientist, mathematician, educator, physicist and polymath researcher. He received the Telesio Galilei Academy Award in 2010 for defining “a product of Schwartz distributions”, for proposing “an interpretation of quantum mechanics, dubbed the structured-time interpretation, and a model of physical time evolution”, and for proposing the use of functional differential equations in physics. Prof. Raju was a key contributor to the first Indian supercomputer, PARAM (1988–91), he has also done considerable historical research, most notably claiming infinitesimal calculus was transmitted to Europe from India. He has authored 12 books and dozens of articles, mainly on the subjects of physics, mathematics, and the history and philosophy of science. Website

  • Ramon Amaro

    Dr. Ramon Amaro is a lecturer in Art and Visual Cultures of the Global South, Department of History of Art, UCL. Dr. Ramon Amaro’s writing, research and practice emerge at the intersections of Black Study, psychopathology, digital culture, and the critique of computation reason. Dr. Ramon Amaro draws on Frantz Fanon’s theory of sociogenic alienation to problematize the de-localisation of the Black psyché in contemporary computational systems, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. Dr. Ramon Amaro’s research pulls away from notions of psychic negation, as set forth by the Fanonian model of representation, to investigate alternative modes of relation between race and technology. Dr. Ramon Amaro’s ultimate aim is to develop new methodologies for the study of race and digital culture. Dr. Ramon Amaro completed his Ph.D. in Philosophy at Goldsmiths, while holding a Masters degree in Sociological Research from the University of Essex and a BEng in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Ramon Amaro has worked as Assistant Editor for the SAGE open access journal Big Data & Society; quality design engineer at General Motors; and programmes manager for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). sambarhino.com

  • Aarti Sunder

    Aarti Sunder is an artist and researcher who is interested in ideas that create the subject: the infrastructure of technology, economy, and experience; how we relate to these ideas and how they make us. Aarti Sunder uses video, performance, writing and drawings as tools of her research and practice. She graduated from the Dutch Art Institute, was a fellow at Ashkal Alwan’s Home Workspace Programme in 2016–2017, Art Dubai in 2017–2018, and resident artist at Alserkal in 2019 as well as member of the Sommerakademie Paul Klee for 2019–2020. Aarti is currently enrolled at MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology. Website

  • Ghalas Charara

    Ghalas Charara works with the scrambling of narrative codes, silent mysteries and vocal ambiguities. In her written or performed texts, she travels towards the ambivalent figure of an obsessive detective, where we no longer know if she will be the one helping us solve the crime or become its perpetrator. Ghalas has scoured the musical and artistic scenes of Beirut, going from assistant sound engineer, to boom-operator, to technical manager, to then finally obtain a BA in visual arts studies at ECAV and then the research-based MA at CCC at HEAD-Genève.

Related Study Material

  • Decoso Meeting #1: Video documentation


  • The artist-researcher Ghalas Charara  rehearsed with students Balam Simon, Basile Collet, Garance Bonard, Lorelei Regamey, Matthias Paulus, Phoebe-Lin Elnan, Yasemin Imre, a transcription of the work session from an artistic perspective: how to transcribe, record, trace and make palpable, yet, remaining undercover the absence of language, sonic glitches, corrupted transmission, transcodings, human non-semantic enunciations, the ahh and ohhs and sighs and silences and cracks and failures that move below the faculties of communicative capitalism?

Research Terms