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Holistic Cybernetics
Research and practice

Where it all began

In 1948, Norbert Wiener published "Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine". This was the first public usage of the term "cybernetics". It referred to a newly-born field of study with the goal of bringing together a most diverse group of organised studies from different disciplines. The cybernetics conferences (part of the Macy Conferences) originated breakthroughs in several fields of knowledge which include systems theory and what later became known as cognitive science.

Between approximately 1968 and 1975, Margaret Mead, Heinz von Foerster, and others developed the cybernetics of the "observing systems" which incorporated the observer through an iterative process. This new process-based Cybernetics included information about the observer into information about the object observed, and dealt with a quality of experience that exists in a temporal dimension and can only be accessed as a consequence of at least two experiences, two ideas, two examples, two languages, ...

Into an Expanded Meaning

In a world increasingly dependent on digital technology, it becomes more and more limiting to associate the word "cybernetics" only with machines. The BecomeBecome methodology is holistic because it reclaims the "animal" element in the original book of Norbert Wiener. We are continuing the research on process-based trajectories developed by pioneers like Gregory Bateson, Francisco Varela, Robert Axelrod, Ilya Prigogine, Douglas Hofstadter, Roy Ascott, Basarab Nicolescu, and many others who strived to expand the language of the Hard Sciences in order to incorporate or at least connect with insight available from experiences in everyday life as well as from the fields of Arts and Humanities. 

The BecomeBecome Approach to Cybernetics

...naturally includes an element that is transpersonal and provides a language to explore information about the individual that is only possible to access because of others.

It is transdisciplinary because it provides participants from different backgrounds a language to explore information that lies beyond the reach of any single disciplinary field of study while at the same time connecting all of them with information about the observer. The Becomebecome council of scientific researchers, artists, and educators is a syncretic community brought together by the idea that transdisciplinary projects include a quality of experience that goes beyond what is accessible through standard academic curricula aimed solely at any specific field of study.

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