Cite as: Urs Stäheli, Undoing 
Networks, lecture, ICI Berlin, 13 June 2022, video recording, mp4, 42:41 <>
13 Jun 2022


By Urs Stäheli

Contemporary societies are often described in terms of network metaphors and theories informed by an ‘ethos of connectivity’. Many contemporary social theories (from Luhmann’s systems theory to Deleuze/Guattari’s rhizome analysis to Actor Network Theory) operate with a normative bias toward networking. In recent years, however, diagnoses of over-networking (hyperconnectivity) have increased alongside the search for, and experimentation with, practices and infrastructures of de-networking. The lecture will present some exemplary cases of these phenomena and inquire into the social and media-theoretical relevance of disconnection. What conceptual challenges might be associated with thinking in terms of de-networking? Putting problems of passivity, inactivity, and withdrawal at the centre of theoretical interest, the lecture aims to conceive de-networking not as a romanticizing exit from the network, but rather as a paradoxical operation at the boundary of networking processes.

Urs Stäheli is Professor of Sociological Theory at the University of Hamburg. His research areas include poststructuralist and neo-materialist social theory, the sociology of the list, cultural economy, and digital cultures. Publications include: Soziologie der Entnetzung (2021); Spectacular Speculation (2013).


ICI Berlin
(Click for further documentation)

Organized by

ICI Berlin

Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:42:41
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin