Marek Kultys


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Marek Kultys

Marek Kultys, M.A., is Designer at Science Practice — a design and research company in London, specializing in interdisciplinary work that bridges the gap between scientific and cultural systems. His interests and practice span a number of disciplines and a range of media, but always pivot around the central problem of visual communication. Kultys has worked on research and design projects focusing on creation and practical use of visual communication in a variety of applications and for a wide range of audiences (e.g.: collaborations with the European Bioinformatics Institute, Polish Ministry of Finance, Immunocore Ltd. or IEEE VIS conferences).

Graduated with a M.A. in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, Kultys also serves as the Chief Design Officer at bento•bioworks, where he oversees the development of the first personal laboratory for collaborative biosciences. He publishes, speaks and exhibits internationally.


Lingua Extraterrestris

The purpose of this paper is to explore how theoretical underpinnings and practical endeavors in communication with extraterrestrial intelligence (CETI) can inform our general understanding of the process of communication, and vice versa — how the theory and practice of communication can inform CETI developments.

The framework and methods used in this exploration are based on the following premises:

  1. We propose a working model of communication customized specifically for CETI discourse. The model integrates relevant elements of the Jakobson model of general communication (i.e., Contact, Context, Code) with relevant components of the Shannon-Weaver model of communication (i.e., Channel). The problem of message contents (i.e., subject matter) remains beyond the scope of this model.
  2. We treat historical attempts in CETI and fictional depictions of CETI as analogues. Scientific CETI endeavors have not succeeded in establishing any contact thus far. Therefore their suitability to serve as viable case studies in interstellar communication is considered equal to the suitability of diverse examples provided by science fiction. A vast pool of CETI cases is thereby available for analysis within the proposed framework.

As a result of this exploration a possibility for elaborating on the fc factor of the Drake Equation is identified, and its sub-division into four constituent parts suggested (Channel + Contact + Context + Code). Furthermore, the suggested framework opens CETI discourse to a wider critique and enables CETI developments to be informed by new cross-disciplinary expertise.