Lecture (31 May 2022): Special lecture of Tokyo University of the Arts – War and Machine

Introduction to Art and Culture in the Global Age
“War and Machine”


“Introduction to Art and Culture in the Global Age” is a series of special lectures organized by the Graduate school of Global Arts. In this course, we invite specialists from around the world to give lectures and workshops. This time we invite Dr. Yuk Hui.

Date and Time: May 31 (Tue), 2022, 19:00-20:30
Venue: Lecture Room 1, Senju Campus, Tokyo University of the Arts
Guest Lecturer: Dr. Yuk Hui (Associate Professor, City University of Hong Kong)
Chair: Yoshitaka Mori (Professor, Tokyo University of the Arts)
Discussant: Daisuke Harashima (Assistant Professor, Waseda University)
Interpreter: Kanoko Tamura

*Please register from the link below.
(There is a limit to the number of participants, and students are given priority for participation. You will be notified by email by May 27 whether or not you can participate.)


War and Machine

In 1914, when Henri Bergson addressed the outbreak of the First World War, he claimed that Germany’s turn towards industrialism and mechanism was accountable for the war, because instead of “spiritualization of matter,” it produced a “mechanization of spirit.” Later in The Two Sources of Morality and Religion (1932), Bergson further stated that wars of the modern time are bound up with industrial characters of the civilization. Bergson’s analysis has little to do with modern military machines, but rather it concerns the relation between human and technology, or in other words, war is the result of the “conflict of organs.” In 1948, Norbert Wiener in his Cybernetics, or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine responded to Bergson by claiming that the opposition between mechanism and vitalism belongs to a badly posed question because it is now overcome by cybernetics. Did this evolution of machines affect the critique of Bergson? How should we reconsider the relation between war and machine in light of the Russian-Ukrainian War? By answering these questions, I hope to elaborate on the concept of negative organology and contextualize it in today’s situation.

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