Applied Virtuality book series – Printed Physics, Metalithikum I


Printed Physics is the first volume documenting the Metalithikum Klausuren which we organize in collaboration with Werner Oechslin Foundation Library in Einsiedeln, Switzerland, since 2010. It begins with the discussion of recent developments in information technology that make (1) the physical behavior of matter technologically programmable, (2) allow for the fabrication of programmed materials through printing, (3) and this on the level of industrial production, (4) according to the contingent determination by symbols.

With contributions by Hans-Dieter Bahr, Vera Bühlmann, Helmut Geisert, Ludger Hovestadt, Hans Poser, Klaus Wassermann.

The Metalithikum Klausuren

Technology is not simply technology, it changes character over time. We suggest there is a twin story to it. We call it metalithicum and postulate that it has always accompanied the story of technology since the Neolithic era. It concerns the symbolics of the forms and schemes humans are applying for accommodating themselves within their environment. We assume that the protagonists of this twin story, the symbolics of those forms and schemes, are also not simply what they are but change character over time. Through the Metalithicum Klausuren, we seek to engender a theoretical perspective on one of the central areas of today’s social dynamic, namely the link between information technology on the one side, and architecture, urbanism and the city as a life form on the other.

We hope to be granted, in the face of the authority of all the many specific and highly sophisticated expertise, a certain degree of carnival license for attempting such an abstract discourse across disciplines. We are aware that in doing so, we are calling on what might appear to be a somewhat presumptuous capacity for integration. However, we see the importance of holding on to an architectonic scope to thought as a precondition for gaining a proper understanding of todays technics and symbolics.

Twice a year, we invite people from contexts across many domains and disciplines: architects, engineers, mathematicians, programmers, literature and culture studies, media science and economics, among others, for two and a half days to the Werner Oechslin Foundation Library in Einsiedeln, Switzerland. The lectures, as well as edited excerpts from the discussions, are made available to an international audience in the Applied Virtuality Book Series, edited by Ludger Hovestadt and Vera Bühlmann, published in English by ambra (Vienna, Austria).

By now we have hosted four Metalithikum Klausuren which have dealt, from different angles, with aspects of this dimension of the symbolic in our current technics, and in the societal practices it engenders.

Audio files of the lectures are available online.

The book is available via amazon.