On Globes, the Earth and the Cybernetics of Grace

Technoetic Arts 19 (1):29-47 (2021)
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Following the traces of Margaret Mead’s statement that emphasized that the first photographic images of the Earth from space presented notions of fragility, the article contextualizes the recent critique of the dominant representation of the Earth as a globe that emerged in conjunction with the discourse on the Anthropocene. It analyses the globe as an image and the sentiments that accompanied it since the first photographs of our planet from space were published in 1968. The article outlines how the cultural meaning of the whole Earth representation changed in parallel with the appropriation of the image by the large technological enterprises that emerged from America’s counterculture. It returns to the possibility of a coexistence of ‘views from within’ and ‘views from without’ following a detour with Gregory Bateson via Bali and proposes a Cybernetics of Grace as a practice of resistance against pure exteriority. The article concludes by linking the Cybernetics of Grace with the second-order conversations of Gordon Pask.

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Claudia Westermann
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, China

Citations of this work

Cybernetic Musings on Open Form(s): Learning to float.Claudia Westermann - 2022 - Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (Rsd11) Symposium.

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