Benjamin H. Bratton‘s work spans Philosophy, Art, Design and Computer Science. He is Professor of Visual Arts and Director of the Center for Design and Geopolitics at the University of California, San Diego. He recently founded the school’s new Speculative Design undergraduate major. He is also a Professor of Digital Design at The European Graduate School; Visiting Faculty at SCI_Arc (The Southern California Institute of Architecture); and, for 2016-18, Program Director at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow.
In The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty (MIT Press, 2016. 503 pages) Bratton outlines a new theory for the age of global computation and algorithmic governance. He proposes that different genres of planetary scale computation—smart grids, cloud platforms, mobile apps, smart cities, the Internet of Things, automation—can be seen not as so many species evolving on their own, but as forming a coherent whole: an accidental megastructure that is both a computational infrastructure and a new governing architecture. The book plots an expansive interdisciplinary design brief for The Stack-to-Come.
Dispute Plan to Prevent Future Luxury Constitution (e-flux/ Sternberg Press, 2015. 196 pages) is a collection of short fictions on architecture and political violence. The book weaves fact and fiction to dramatize the symmetries and complicities between designed violence and the violence of design: their plots, schemes, utopias and dystopias.
His current research project, Theory and Design in the Age of Machine Intelligence, is on the unexpected and uncomfortable design challenges posed by A.I in various guises: from machine vision to synthetic cognition and sensation, and the macroeconomics of robotics to everyday geoengineering.
Dis Magazine, Machine Vision: Benjamin Bratton in conversation with Mike Pepi and Marvin Jordan
Garden of Machines, The Stack and the Post-human User: an Interview with Benjamin Bratton