Peter Weibel: Holon – a Brief Philosophy of Biophilia


»The best of all worlds is always only in the now!«  –

This conviction gains its plausibility from a perpetual intellectual graving for new models and a creative vocabulary, which Peter Weibel satisfies by attentively following the latest insights from the fields of art, science, and technology. From his approaching a poly-structured field of discourse, the necessities and opportunities to reshape our world towards a better future appear to be constantly proven anew.

In his video lecture, Peter Weibel continues to pursue his artistic and media-scientific program of biophilia. Key to this is the history of ideas of the holon [Greek holos (whole) and -on (part)]. A holon, according to Arthur Koestler (1967), is something that has integrity and identity while at the same time being part of a larger system, which in turn is a subsystem of a larger system. This systemic structure, which emerged from scientific considerations, seems promising to Weibel not only as a descriptive category of biological relations, but also in its application to posthumanistic man-machine systems and other self-organizing holarchic open systems (SOHO). The concept of the holon clearly shows that the relationship of part and whole anchored in the mechanistic worldview has long been one that needs to be corrected.

The talk, intended as a contribution to conceptual art (Art&Language) and itself committed to the holistic paradigm, organizes thoughts from natural philosophy with information theory, leads to the beginnings of holography, and ends in the here and now of a metaphorical virology. As part of a larger project, this lecture serves as an integral for Weibel to develop a theory of biomimetic media art based on the alliance of media theory and the natural sciences.

Read more about the exhibition »HOLOBIONT. LIVE IS OTHER«


David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980
Dennis Gabor, Inventing the Future, 1963
Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine, 1967
Adolf Meyer-Abich, Der Ursprung des Lebens oder die Entstehung des Anorgischen, 1945 (Origins of Life or the Origins of the Anorgian)
Adolf Meyer-Abich, Geistesgeschichtliche Grundlagen der Biologie, 1963  (Foundations of the History of Ideas of Biology)
Adolf Meyer-Abich, Naturphilosophie auf neuen Wegen, 1948 (New Ways in Philosophy of Nature)