Affective Automata: Postcolonial Algorithms of Affective Computing,
Pratt Institute, November 18 ,2014

I am invited to present my recent work on affective computing at Graduate Program in Media Studies at Pratt Institute, NY on November 18. In this project I aim to investigate new forms of affective computing in relation to the history of regulating social affect as part of the genealogy of the techniques categorizations of human subjects, or “making-up people” as Ian Hacking calls in relation to the role of the official statistics of the nineteenth century, through which different kinds of human beings and human actions came into being hand-in-hand with the invention of categories for labeling people and their behaviors. Within that genealogy my research highlights how the coevolution of techniques of categorization and social regulation of affect is interwoven with figures of European “others”, Jews, Muslims, and natives from the colonies in order to legitimize media techniques used for extracting typologies for creating penal, medical and moral norms.

Intelligent Machines: On the Boundary between the Human and the Nonhuman,
UC Santa Barbara, Center for Digital Humanities and New Media, March 15, 2013

I presented my work at UCSB’s Transcriptions Center for Digital Humanities and New Media faculty colloquium, Mediating the Nonhuman, organized by Scott Selisker and James Pulizzi. The keynote speaker was N. Katherine Hayles.

Here is the description from the program:

“Mediating the Nonhuman” takes up questions of how media and narrative frames shape how we understand and interact with events and processes that take place on nonhuman scales—ecological time, high-frequency stock trades, nonhuman cognition, nanotechnology, big data, and more.


Mechanical Turk: “Oriental” Automata and the Mechanization of the Mind,
UC San Diego, November 15, 2012

I gave a talk as part of the presentation series organized by UCSD Middle East Studies Program. Here is the link to the announcement:  Lecture: Ayhan Aytes, Mechanical Turk: “Oriental” Automata and the Mechanization of the Mind

Crowdsourcing, Mechanical Turk, and the Cultural History of Cognitive Labour Apparatus,
UC Santa Barbara, February 4, 2010

This will be my second visit to the beautiful UCSB campus three years after our Transliteracies workshop in 2007. Here is the link to the event announcement at UCSB Department of English: Lecture: Ayhan Aytes, “Crowdsourcing, Mechanical Turk and the Cultural History of Cognitive Labor Apparatus”

The Internet as Playground and Factory,
The New School, NY, Nov 12-14, 2009

This digital labor conference focuses on play and work in the networked economy. There is also a cluster of study on Amazon’s digital labor market, Mechanical Turk in which I will present on the relationship between the cultural history of human machine assemblages and the emerging networked subjectivities.

The elephant clock in a manuscript by Al-Jazari (1206 AD) from The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices.

History of Automata: Simulations of Time and Life in al-Jazari’s Automata

I will give a talk at University of Minnesota, Institute for Advanced Study, titled: “Simulations of Time and Life in al-Jazari’s Automata: Islamic Symbolism, Teleological Mechanisms, and Ontological Difference.” The event is organized by Institute for Advanced Study and Medieval Studies Program at the University of Minnesota which will also be a part of G-MAP workshop. Here is the program announcement of this talk:

“Ayhan Aytes’s research focuses on a series of examples from al-Jazari’s Book of Ingenious Mechanical Devices written in 1206. By using media archeology, his study addresses the symbolic depiction of the concept of time such as in al-Jazari’s Elephant Clock, as it simulates a unique mechanistic conception of the universe. Because of the highly syncretic nature of the symbolic system to which these machines refer, al-Jazari’s works are also a subject to the discussion of knowledge transmission of medieval technology. Ayhan Aytes is a graduate researcher in the Department of Communication at the University of California, San Diego. This event is also part of the University Symposium on Time.”
For further info…