In 1962 the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan published his groundbreaking media study The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man about the effects of mass media, especially printing, on European culture and human consciousness. In it he argued that technological inventions are not simply conceived and utilized by the human mind but that they, in turn, reshape the human mind itself. The invention of the printing press, that heralded a general cultural reorientation towards a visually-centered culture, was in McLuhan’s view a prerequisite for nationalism, rationalism, automatisation, standardisation of culture and the alienation of the individual.
Since the late 19th century, more pronounced during and in the aftermath of World War II, a new culture has been emerging that could be called the Turing Galaxy (referring to Alan Turing, one of the founding fathers of our computerized world). Again it has not just been a thorough technological transformation of the world through computing and networking. It is also a ongoing mental transformation, reshaping the way that the human conciousness perceives and interprets the world. It has provided new methods and metaphors for science, philosophy, art and culture.
This website is an attempt to provide the visitor with basic historical information, key documents and inspiring reflections required to understand the roots, deeper connections and cultural repercussions of the Turing Galaxy. One focus of the project is on creative applications of computing, networking and artificial intelligence in fields such as literature, visual arts and music.