In this paper we attempt to induce a reaction between two traditions (continental and analytical philosophy) in order to investigate the agency (i.e. the ontology) of sound algorithms.

In her Contagious Architecture, Parisi proposes a model of algorithm in which prehension of incomputable data – and thus novelty – plays a crucial role. This model leads Parisi to two conclusions (one ontological and one epistemological): 1.1) the algorithm unfolds itself as speculative reason; 1.2) algorithm aesthetics play a special role in researching the nature of algorithms.

Following this line, we examine a text by Derrida (The Pit and the Pyramid) pertaining to the agency of speculative reason in Hegel, as this allows to assess the difference between Klang (a physical sound event) and Ton (a sound event producing feedback within an interiority, in other words, anadaptive sound algorithm). As Derrida remarks: 2.1) in Hegel thinking (i.e. agency) results from the elaboration of perceived (self-emitted) sounds as self-reflection; 2.2) in Hegel computing machines cannot think, as computing (Rechnen) is a sheer mechanical procedure (i.e. computing machines lack self-reflection).

Within such a framework, the challenges that sound computation poses to classical (Hegelian) ontology are enormous thus also disqualify any understanding of simulation as mìmēsis.

Michele Del Prete

The Supplement of Simulation. Klang, Ton, and the Agency of Sound Algorithms

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event: Simulation

author: Michele Del Prete