Inclinations #12: The Pigeon in the Machine

June 10, 2014

Or Gallery Berlin is pleased to present Ana Teixeira Pinto in The Pigeon in the Machine, for the twelfth in our speaker series Inclinations hosted by Patricia Reed.


Cybernetics, much like behaviourism is predicated on input-output analyses. Behaviourism is also based on a recursive (feed-back) model –known in biology as reinforcement. Skinner’s description of operant behaviour as a repertoire of emitted acts from which one is selected by reinforcement runs parallel to Wiener’s description of informational loops. But behaviourism and cybernetics, often shared more than an uncanny affinity. During World War II both Norbert Wiener and B. F. Skinner worked on parallel research projects for the US military. Whilst Wiener together with engineer Julian Bigelow, was attempting to develop his Anti-Aircraft Predictor (AA-Predictor), a machine, which was supposed to anticipate the trajectory of an enemy plane, Skinner was trying to develop a pigeon-guided missile.


A monthly speaker series at Or Gallery Berlin, hosting philosophers, artists, curators, and…


The presentation of work revolves around the posing of a question that is the thrust of a guest’s activities. It goes without saying that questions may not be answered, but are grappled with in their unresolvability. An inclination is the force of attraction to a question (without a straightforward response), yet also to each other, as a community who partakes in a common quest(ion).
Hosted by Patricia Reed.


# Arriving at a question is already a departure.
# Questions are a declaration of departure.
# Arriving at a question in thought or activity is also the creation of a trajectory, of inclining oneself towards an unknown goal, yet not without direction.
# A question inclines a departure in a particular way, but a question itself is generic – it propels all modes of seeking some thing. Questions possess the force of bending and swerving ideas/action.
# A question is the confrontation and departure from a lack. To arrive at a question is to arrive at a gap in knowledge, action and speech – a gap that cannot be immediately filled in without the inclination towards something other.
# A question is indisciplinary; the inclining magnetism of a question knows no disciplinary bounds.


In Kooperation mit der Botschaft von Kanada/In collaboration with the Embassy of Canada

Participant Bios

Ana Teixeira Pinto is a writer from Lisbon, currently living in Berlin. She is PhD candidate and occasional lecturer at the Humboldt University, and a contributor to E-Flux Journal, Art-Agenda, Mousse, Frieze/de and Domus.