University of Virginia, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Alexander Galloway (NYU), "The Concept of the Digital"

March 18, 2019

What is the digital? The question is typically answered via reference to things -- things like Twitter, Playstation, or computers in general. Indeed, the definition of “digital” is often given through various descriptions of the latest commercial ventures and the industrial techniques that provide their footing. Yet the digital is not a description of a media artifact so much as it is a specific mode of thinking and being. In this lecture we will define the digital explicitly, not merely by reference to actually existing media technologies, but also, and perhaps more importantly, as a specific event within philosophy.


Alexander R. Galloway is a writer and computer programer working on issues in philosophy, technology, and theories of mediation. He is author of several books on digital media and critical theory, including The Interface Effect (Polity, 2012). His collaboration with Eugene Thacker and McKenzie Wark, Excommunication: Three Inquiries in Media and Mediation, has recently been published by the University of Chicago Press. With Jason E. Smith, Galloway co-translated the Tiqqun book Introduction to Civil War (Semiotext[e], 2010). For ten years he worked with RSG on CarnivoreKriegspiel and other software projects. Galloway's newest project is a monograph on the work of François Laruelle, published in October 2014.


Galloway has given over two hundred talks both across the U.S. and in ten countries around the world. His writings have been translated into eleven languages. He is recipient of a number of grants and awards including a Creative Capital grant (2006) and a Golden Nica in the 2002 Prix Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria). The New York Times has described his practice as "conceptually sharp, visually compelling and completely attuned to the political moment."


A member of the NYU faculty since 2002, Galloway has also held visiting posts at the University of Pennsylvania (Spring 2012) and Harvard University (Fall 2016).




Homer Statue
Wilson Hall 142
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm