International Festival
of Computer Arts

Project

The Cost of Existence

Author Zoë Hitzig
The Cost of Existence

In her lecture The Cost of Existence Zoë Hitzig highlights the ever more important techno-political dimension of the political decisions taken nowadays. At a time of increasingly sophisticated and intrusive technologies, it is only through studying the technological apparatus that all normative presuppositions and concretisations of different political and economic theories and beliefs can most clearly be exposed. In her video, Hitzig highlights the genealogy of linear programming, which is largely a product of the capitalist tendency for continuous optimisation of whoever and whatever, regardless of how these premises are linked to the real-life situations of individuals or how such a way of thinking affects well-being in general. As an expert in microeconomics, Hitzig shows that the main goal of the so-called dietary program was to calculate the most energetically efficient and least economically wasteful diet for US soldiers, which she then uses as an allegory for the capitalist way of thinking in general. It is this very mindset that has brought us to the point where efficiency is knocking on the door of extinction.