Antikythera is a research and development organization reorienting planetary computation as a philosophical, technological, and geopolitical force. Directed by Philosopher of Technology, Benjamin Bratton, and incubated by the Berggruen Institute, Antikythera produces new philosophies of technology through design studios, salons, and productions that orbit around five core research themes–Synthetic Intelligence, Recursive Simulation, Synthetic Catallaxy, Hemispherical Stacks, and Planetary Sapience.
Antikythera takes its name from the Antikythera mechanism, among the earliest known computers, dated to about 200 BC. Discovered at the Greek island of Antikythera in 1901, the mechanism combined calculation, orientation, and cosmology, demonstrating that computation is also about navigation, regulation, and re-organization. Antikythera builds on this legacy of a computer as a compass not a slot machine, investigating how computational technologies disclose and accelerate conditions of planetary intelligence.
Technology today has outpaced theory, and we need a philosophy that catches up to the present. All too often the response to complex challenges is to superimpose inherited ideas about ethics, scale, governance, and meaning onto technologies that generate a different framework altogether. A proper response to the condition of planetary computation means repositioning artificiality in the first instance, taking seriously the biogeochemical compositions of the materiality of the cloud and evolution of technologies as strategies for actualization.
Antikythera’s design research and development operates on a two-year cycle. During the first year (2023) Antikythera operated an intensive design studio, developed in partnership with One Project, that prolifically explored responses to this condition through design research in Los Angeles, Mexico City, Beijing, and London. In the second year (2024), short studios, retreats, and productions will deepen and share investigations of the most salient possibilities with academic, industry, and government partners. Throughout the two-year cycles, salons assemble the best minds in the field to think through plans, projects, and proposals. Outputs include writing, cinema, vaporware, and design projects that transform counterintuitive propositions into hyperrational approaches for rerouting the accidental megastructure inaugurated by humans into the intentional infrastructures required for a viable planetarity.
A call for applications for the 2025 cycle will open in early 2024, to learn more about the program and be notified when applications open, sign-up for the Antikythera newsletter.
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