Infrastructure and Aesthetics

Infrastructure and Aesthetics

October 17, 2023
Harraway’s Cyborg Manifesto
Infrastructure and Aesthetics

Today’s Objective

Week 8 takes an interdisciplinary turn, exploring the relationship between AI's technological infrastructure and aesthetic principles. Students will study AI-driven art and design, bridging the gap between technology and creativity.

Lecture Notes

Key Concepts used in Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto

  • Power/Knowledge: Foucault linked the production of knowledge directly to systems of power, implying that what we often consider to be 'truth' is a construction of power dynamics.
  • Textuality: In post-structuralism, 'text' doesn't refer only to written words but to the fabric of meaning that constructs reality itself.
  • Contingency: Rejects the notion of universal or natural laws governing culture, language, and the human psyche, focusing instead on the contingencies that shape them.

To Read (Before Class)


A Cyborg Manifesto

Supplementarity Reading

Read the introduction (or more!) to Aesthetic Programming

To Watch

Harraway re-works her original essay in this presentation. It’s always good to hear from the actual author.

Student Facilitation Reading

"Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World" by Meredith Broussard (Section 1)

Summary: Broussard’s work critically examines the limitations of AI in understanding the world, providing an important perspective on AI's aesthetics and technological infrastructure.

Critical Questions:

  1. What are the main limitations of AI, as outlined in "Artificial Unintelligence"?
  2. How does Broussard's work intersect with the idea of AI as both a tool and canvas for creative expression?
  3. What implications does this reading have for AI-driven art and design?
  4. How does Broussard challenge common perceptions of AI's capabilities?
  5. In what ways can the limitations of AI be addressed or embraced in artistic practices?

To Watch

In Class Assignment

To Do In Class


To Turn In by Friday

Read today’s materials before class & take notes on your reading
Come to class and participate in the readings and activities
‼️ Write a one page (~300 words) journal prompt on: Turn three of the prompts you will use in your prototype along with key quotes from the this week’s readings. Once you’ve got both of those things on paper, write two or three critical reflection sentences on how they might be connected. (
Final (35%)
Be sure to use the readings as background and include at least one quote or key passage from the reading.
Turn in all your assignments on Friday on eLearning