January 17, 9:00 PST, 12:00 EST, 18:00 CET

ASC Speaker series: Cybernetics and humans’ knowing

Recording (2h)

Background papers

Cybernetics and humans’ knowing

A present past toward a future


Jude Lombardi will facilitate a conversation with Patricia Ticineto Clough and Paul Pangaro, all three connected to cybernetics for decades. The session is an opportunity to introduce Pangaro as the new ASC President and who started in cybernetics with Lettvin and Pask in the 1970s, and to explore Clough’s history with the storied Biological Computer Lab from 1971-1976 with Heinz von Foerster, Humberto Maturana, Herbert Brün, Gotthard Günther, and others.

The conversation will explore how each became associated with cybernetics, who they knew and know as cybernetic thinkers influencing their work, how cybernetics has oriented their practice since those earlier days, and where the field may go. 

The first 50 minutes of this 90 minute session will be Lombardi in conversation with Pangaro and Clough, followed by 40 minutes of questions and comments from the audience. 

Participant bios 

Judith (jude) Lombardi is a social worker turned sociology professor turned video-ethnographer and “social” documentarian. In early 1990s her deep journey into cybernetic thinking occurred while working on a PhD in Human Relations and Cybernetics. In 1992, with video camera in hand, she attended her first ASC conference. During the past 29 years jude has recorded and edited a variety of ASC events into movies which she often shows at ASC conferences. In 2014 she was commissioned by the ASC to create the movie “Living in Cybernetics, Celebrating 50 years of the ASC.” Dr. Lombardi taught sociology at a university in Baltimore, Maryland and retired in 2011. From 2012 – 2014 she worked on a documentary movie, “The Gentrification (k)NOT Movie,” which she presents in various settings to provoke conversations about gentrification and how we might prevent it from happening during the revitalization of a neighborhood. She is currently working on a movie about the cybernetics of Annetta Pedretti, “turning objects into rhythms” and part iii of her trilogy about Ernst von Glasersfeld, his life, and his work. Jude is also a bee steward in Baltimore Maryland.

Patricia Ticineto Clough is a professor emerita of sociology and women studies at CUNY. She is the author of a number of publication, among them, Autoaffection: Unconscious Thought in the Age of Teletechnology, Feminist Thought, and most recently The User Unconscious: Affect, Media and Measure. She is editor of The Affective Turn; Theorizing the Social,  co-editor of Beyond Biopolitics Essays in the Government of Life and Death, and co-editor of Intimacies, A New World of Relational Life. She is a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City where she also teaches and is a member of the Training Committee at the Institute for  Contemporary Psychotherapy. 

Paul Pangaro is Professor of the Practice in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, and President of the American Society for Cybernetics. His career spans research, consulting, startups, and education. His presentations and publications explicate “designing for conversation” from which he derives principles for ethical interaction design. He was awarded a BSci from MIT in Computer Science and Humanities, and a PhD in Cybernetics from Brunel University, with Gordon Pask as his thesis advisor and with whom he worked for more than a decade. He collaborated with TJ McLeish as master fabricator to create a full-sized working replica of Pask’s Colloquy of Mobiles that was exhibited at Centre Pompidou in early 2020.

Comments are closed.