Technology is not simply technology, it changes character over time. We suggest there is a twin story to it. We call it metalithicum and postulate that it has always accompanied the story of technology since the Neolithic era. It concerns the symbolics of the forms and schemes humans are applying for accommodating themselves within their environment. We assume that the protagonists of this twin story, the symbolics of those forms and schemes, are also not simply what they are but change character over time. Through the Metalithicum Colloquies, we seek to engender a theoretical perspective on one of the central areas of today’s social dynamic, namely the link between information technology on the one side, and architecture, urbanism and the city as a life form on the other.
We hope to be granted, in the face of the authority of all the many specific and highly sophisticated expertise, a certain degree of carnival license for attempting such an abstract discourse across disciplines. We are aware that in doing so, we are calling on what might appear to be a somewhat presumptuous capacity for integration. However, we see the importance of holding on to an architectonic scope to thought as a precondition for gaining a proper understanding of todays technics and symbolics.
Once a year (roughly), we invite people from contexts across many domains and disciplines: architects, engineers, mathematicians, programmers, literature and culture studies, media science and economics, among others, for two and a half days to the Werner Oechslin Foundation Library in Einsiedeln, Switzerland. The lectures, as well as edited excerpts from the discussions, are made available to an international audience in the Applied Virtuality Book Series, edited by Ludger Hovestadt and Vera Bühlmann, published in English by ambra, Vienna/New York.