Sophie Publig is a Senior Scientist and Doctoral Candidate at the Peter Weibel Research Institute for Digital Cultures at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. She is interested in the intertwinements of biology, ecology, and technology and the techno-bio-political implications thereof. Currently, she is writing her dissertation on a re-narration of the genealogy of cybernetics and artificial life. Following the evolution of the question “What is Life?”, the aim of the thesis is to re-negotiate the dichotomy of living and non-living beings from a systemic point of view.
Although her academic training at the University of Vienna, the Free University Berlin, and Uniwersytet Warszawski focused on Art History, frequent trips to other fields of study like Architecture, Anthropology, Mathematics, and Contemporary History proved to be essential. This multidisciplinary approach is also apparent in her practice that is heavily influenced by cultural activism and ranges from writing and teaching over co-editing a journal to organizing events as part of the cultural collective Contemporary Matters.
At the Critical Media Lab, Sophie is co-managing the Planetary Ecologies Discussion Group that connects researchers and interested parties from different backgrounds. Topics discussed include cybernetics, ecological and cosmological thinking, indigenous knowledge, the Anthropocene, philosophy of technology as well as decolonial and feminist practices of planetarity.