From Epiphylogenesis to General Organology




Epiphylogenesis is a neologism coined under Stiegler’s anthropotechnical theorisation of the co-evolution of brains and tools. In line with feminist and decolonial theorists like Claire Colebrook and Kathryn Yusoff, it foregrounds that there has never been such a thing as ‘the human’. There are only differentiation processes that historically make humans who they are, and do so in different ways. As such, it has gained some currency in a stream of neo-materialist theories that have revisited anthropogenesis, or the quasi-causality of becoming human, that operates by way of progressively differentiating environments and technics. In addition to primary memory as the genetic information expressed in DNA and secondary memory acquired epigenetically through a complex nervous system, there is also tertiary memory, which Stiegler named ‘epiphylogenetic’. It is the accumulation and retention of historical epigenetic differentiations within the spatio-temporal organisation of material environments. Specifically, the formation of organisational technics includes writing, art, clothing, tools, and machines, but also architecture and urban planning. This outsourcing of memory from the organic changes the conditions for further phylogenetic becomings, given that evolutions continue to be extrinsically organised (‘ex-organised’) by associated technicised milieus.

Author Biographies

Robert Alexander Gorny

Robert Alexander Gorny is an architectural designer, educator, and theorist aiming to promote a more relational understanding of and approach to the ecologies of architecture. He is founder of relationalthought, a nomadic agency working on a wide range of architectural projects that aim at challenging the modes in which our built environment is composed. A graduate of State Academy of Arts, Stuttgart, Germany, and the Berlage Center for Advanced Studies, he is currently teaching at Delft University of Technology, at the Chair of Methods and Analysis, where he defended his doctoral studies on "Flat Theory / A Genealogy of Apartments" as our present form of urban togetherness.

Andrej Radman, Delft University of Technology

Andrej Radman has been teaching design and theory courses at the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture since 2004. A graduate of the Zagreb School of Architecture in Croatia, he is a licensed architect and recipient of the Croatian Architects Association Annual Award for Housing Architecture in 2002. Radman received his master’s and doctoral degrees from TU Delft and joined the Architecture Philosophy and Theory group as assistant professor in 2008. His research focuses on new-materialist ecologies and radical empiricism. Radman’s latest publication is Ecologies of Architecture: Essays on Territorialisation (EUP, 2021).


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