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Cybernetics in Late Soviet Culture

Workshop | 17.06.2019 | Freie Universität Berlin

Andrej Ershov | Bildquelle: A. Ershov Archive (http://ershov.iis.nsk.su)

Andrej Ershov | Bildquelle: A. Ershov Archive (http://ershov.iis.nsk.su)

The discourse on cybernetics is one of the most inspiring and thought-provoking intellectual currents in post-war science. As a truly interdisciplinary approach linking physics, psychology, computer science, sociology, philosophy and many disciplines more, its influence is topical in current epistemological understandings of “systemic” thinking. Although the history of cybernetics has been studied for the Western and Latin American context, cybernetics in the East European context has been brought to our fore only to some extent. Our workshop aims to address cybernetics from an interdisciplinary point of view, linking historical and philosophical approaches with insights from literary and cultural studies. It is centered on the period from the early 1950s to the late 1970s and wants to draw attention to the peculiarities of Soviet and Socialist cybernetic thinking.

The Workhop will take place on June 17, 2019 in Room JK 32/121, Habelschwertder Allee 45, Freie Universität Berlin.

Program (detailed) 

13:00-13:00 Adress: Willi Reinecke

Panel 1 Chair: Ekaterina Tewes

13:30-14:15 Maxim Waldstein (Amsterdam): Soviet Cybernetics and the Structuralist Sturm und Drang: 1955-1963

14:15-15:00 Giulia Rispoli (Berlin): Cybernetics as a Universal Theory of Nature: The Work of Axel Berg

Panel 2 Chair: Georg Witte

15:30-16:15 Clemens Günther (Berlin): Engineers of the Society: 'Social Cybernetics' in Dissident Discourse

16:15-17:00 Diana Kurkovsky West (Evanston): Analog Cybernetics': Did Second-Order Thinking Exist in the Soviet Union?

17:15-18:00 Benjamin Peters (Tusla): The Soviet Internet: Beyond the Vook

18:30-20:00 Matthias Senkel (Berlin): Dark Numbers (Reading in KL 29/208)

Zeit & Ort


Freie Universität Berlin
Room JK 32/121, Habelschwertder Allee 45
14195 Berlin

Weitere Informationen


  • Berlin
  • computer science
  • cultural
  • culture
  • cybernetics
  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Kultur
  • Kybernetik
  • Late Soviet Culture
  • Osteuropa
  • philosophy
  • physics
  • psychology
  • sociology
  • soviet
  • Soviet Union
  • studies