The Reading Room #23 – Time in the Age of Algorithms (part 1)

March 4, 2018
Stroom Den Haag, Hogewal 1-9, The Hague
15:00 – 17:30

Guests: Yvonne Förster, Jaime del Val
Texts by: Mark Hansen, Erin Manning, Timothy Barker
Secondary texts by: Yvonne Förster, Jaime del Val

Please reserve a spot by sending an email to We will also provide you with a copy of the texts.

This is the first/second part of a two event cluster. The second session is on May 22, for more information click here.


The temporal structures of reality have become far more complex since digital technology has become present in everyday life. Clearly the notion of ‘human’ time perception cannot exist without the times also hidden within the tools and technologies that co-construct our lived experiences. Lived ‘human time’ is never a given, is multiple and idiosyncratic; however, the current algorithmic age is one dominated by universalizing models – normalized databases, lossy information encodings, and algorithms optimized for efficiency – leaving our diverse and plastic minds to brave a potential Cartesian jungle.

This cluster of The Reading Room looks to better understand the transformation of ‘human time’ in the age of algorithms – taking a broad range of examples from the arts, media, artificial intelligence and neuroscience. Besides considering the mechanisms by which the experience of time is co-created through digital technologies, and the socio-political ramifications of this construction, we will discuss how certain algorithmic representations of time and models of the mind, such as those based on recent neural-network based topologies, could potentially liberate digital systems from their efficiency dogmas towards more diverse and fluid temporalities.


We are very excited to begin a new year of discussions, ideas and inspirations with The Reading Room! For this first cluster we welcome an especially diverse group of guests from philosophy, performance, music and computational neuroscience to address questions about time that we have had bubbling in our minds for some time now.


The Reading Room is an event series dedicated to creating a community-oriented, public platform for encounters with contemporary ideas on art and society. At its core, the Reading Room series revolves around the reading of texts provided by invited guests – cultural theorists, philosophers and curators – who join our diverse community in an open discussion while providing insight, context and perspective on the topics at hand.

The series stems from a belief that keeping a close connection to historical and emerging theories on art and culture is invaluable to artists. Especially in the 21st century, where theory, practice and social engagement in the arts seem to merge ever more seamlessly.

The Reading Room’s curatorial and organizational team is Sissel Marie Tonn, Jonathan Reus and Flora Reznik. The program is produced by the Instrument Inventors Initiative and, since 2016, is hosted by Stroom Den Haag.

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Prof. Dr. Yvonne Förster is currently research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Cultural Sciences at University of Konstanz, Germany. Until 2016 she held a position as junior professor of philosophy of culture and art at Leuphana University Lüneburg, dept. of Philosophy and Art and was a senior research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies MECS (Media Cultures of Computer Simulation) at Leuphana University in 2017. She did her PhD in philosophy at Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena in 2009 and was appointed visiting professor of aesthetics at the Bauhaus University Weimar in 2009/10. Her research focuses on posthumanism, theories of embodiment, phenomenology, aesthetics and fashion theory.

Jaime del Val is meta-media artist, philosopher, activist, promoter of the Metabody Forum, project and Institute, and the non profit organisation Reverso. Since 2000 Jaime develops transdisciplinary projects in the transvergence of arts (dance, performance, architecture, visual and media arts, music), technologies, critical theory and activism proposing redefinitions of embodiment, perception and public space which have been presented with over 100 performances and installations in over 50 cities of 25 countries.

The recent evolution of these projects led to the European project Metabody with a network of 38 partners from 16 countries where Jaime has organised over 33 international Forums and coordinated over 60 research projects. Jaime’s philosophical work has been published in over 30 essays in journals such as  Performance Research – Routledge, Leonardo and others. Jaime has edited the Journals Reverso and Metabody, is member of the organizing committee of the Beyond Humanism Conference series, and has given over 100 lectures in Universities like U.C Berkeley, Stanford, MIT MediaLab, Duke University, Yale, Cambridge and others. As an activist Jaime has been active for the last 20 years in queer, environmental and Occupy movements and now promotes ontohacking politics in the Algoricene.