Thursday, 26 August 2010

Accelerationism Event

But which is the revolutionary path? Is there one? – To withdraw from the world market, as Samir Amin advises Third World Countries to do, in a curious revival of the fascist "economic solution"? Or might it be to go in the opposite direction? To go further still, that is, in the movement of the market, of decoding and deterritorialization? For perhaps the flows are not yet deterritorialized enough, not decoded enough, from the viewpoint of a theory and practice of a highly schizophrenic character. Not to withdraw from the process, but to go further, to "accelerate the process," as Nietzsche put it: in this matter, the truth is that we haven't seen anything yet
– Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus

The English unemployed did not have to become workers to survive, they – hang on tight and spit on me – enjoyed the hysterical, masochistic, whatever exhaustion it was of hanging on in the mines, in the foundries, in the factories, in hell, they enjoyed it, enjoyed the mad destruction of their organic body which was indeed imposed upon them, they enjoyed the decomposition of their personal identity, the identity that the peasant tradition had constructed for them, enjoyed the dissolutions of their families and villages, and enjoyed the new monstrous anonymity of the suburbs and the pubs in morning and evening.
– Jean-Francois Lyotard Libidinal Economy

Machinic revolution must therefore go in the opposite direction to socialistic regulation; pressing towards ever more uninhibited marketization of the pro­cesses that are tearing down the social field, “still further” with “the movement of the market, of decoding and deterritorialization” and “one can never go far enough in the direction of deterritori­alization: you haven’t seen anything yet”.
– Nick Land, “Machinic Desire”

In the early 1970s, post-68 French thinkers such as Deleuze and Guattari and Lyotard made the heretical suggestion that capital should not be resisted but accelerated. Deplored, repudiated then forgotten, this remarkable moment was returned to only in the UK during the 1990s, in the theory-fiction of Nick Land, Iain Hamilton Grant, Sadie Plant and the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit. Drawing upon Fernand Braudel, Manuel DeLanda, and cyber-theory, 90s accelerationism drew a distinction between markets (as bottom-up self-organising networks) and capital (an oligarchic and predatory system of control). Was accelerationism merely a new cybernetic mask for neoliberalism? Or does the call to “accelerate the process” mark out a political position that has never been properly developed, and which still has a potential to reinvigorate the left?

This one-day symposium will think through the implications of accelerationism in the light of the forthcoming publication of Nick Land’s Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987-2007 and Benjamin Noys’s The Persistence of the Negative.
Ray Brassier – co-editor with Robin Mackay of Nick Land's Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987-2007 (2010)

Mark Fisher – author of k-punk blog and a founder member of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit

Robin Mackay – philosopher, director of Urbanomic, editor of Collapse

Benjamin Noys – author of The Persistence of the Negative (2010), blogs at No Useless Leniency

Nick Srnicek – author of Speculative Heresy blog, PhD candidate at LSE, and is working with Alex Williams on a book critiquing folk politics

Alex Williams – working on a book on accelerationism, blogs at Splintering Bone Ashes
Room RHB 256

Friday, 20 August 2010

Urbanomic at the Tate


Amanda Beech Sanity Assassin (2010)
John Gerrard Lufkin (near Hugo, Colorado) (2009)
Mikko Canini The Black Sun Rise (2010)
Pamela Rosenkranz Bow Human (2009)

On 3rd September 2010, Urbanomic present Late at Tate: The Real Thing, an evening event at Tate Britain with contemporary sound, video and sculptural work, and other interventions exploring the emerging philosophical paradigm of Speculative Realism and its impact on contemporary art practice.

Featuring work by artists Amanda Beech, William Bennett, Mikko Canini, John Gerrard, Florian Hecker and Pamela Rosenkranz, the event will include:

Premieres of two new sound works commissioned by Urbanomic:

Speculative Solution by Florian Hecker, exploring conceptual themes from French philosopher Quentin Meillassoux's After Finitude, which argues for the absolute contingency of all laws of nature;

Extralinguistic Sequencing by William Bennett (Whitehouse) + Mimsy DeBlois, using processed voice recordings and disorienting language patterns to expose an extralinguistic reality operating beneath ‘meaning’.

Screenings of British artist Amanda Beech's Sanity Assassin (2009), a claustrophobic journey through exiled German philosopher Adorno's LA nightmares, and drawing on philosopher Ray Brassier's nihilist masterpiece Nihil Unbound, with its declaration that we are all ‘already dead’; and Canadian artist Mikko Canini’s The Black Sun Rise (2010), a darkly abstract survey of a depopulated London.

An invasion of one of the Tate’s sculpture galleries by work drawn from Swiss artist Pamela Rosenkranz's 2009 Venice Biennale show Our Sun. A speculative-realist interrogation of the classic Venetian aesthetic of ‘light and water’, Rosenkranz’s work opens a dialogue with Reza Negarestani's Cyclonopedia, a ‘theory-fiction’ that rethinks the relation between sun and earth.
A curatorial intervention rethinking the Tate Britain room Art and the Sublime as The Real and the Sublime, with a work by Irish artist John Gerrard, who uses advanced 3d technology to create uncannily ‘real’ virtual environments.

A panel discussion with Amanda Beech, Mikko Canini, Mark Fisher (K-Punk), Iain Hamilton Grant, Robin Mackay, and Pamela Rosenkranz.

Centred around the approaches of philosophers Quentin Meillassoux (Paris), Ray Brassier (American University in Beirut), Iain Hamilton Grant (Bristol UWE) and Graham Harman (American University in Cairo), and with the additional tangential influence of Iranian philosopher Reza Negarestani, Speculative Realism refuses to interrogate reality through human (linguistic, cultural or political) mediations of it, instead drawing upon objective discourses such as mathematics, geology, astrophysics and chemistry to explore the possibility of conceiving of a reality indifferent to humans – a universe that exists before, after, and despite its manifestation in human experience.

As well as generating tremendous interest in philosophical circles, Speculative Realism has also been taken up in cultural theory and contemporary art, suggesting that the paradigm of a human-indifferent universe strikes a chord with twenty-first century cultural preoccupations. Urbanomic’s journal Collapse was instrumental in bringing Speculative Realism to public attention, having published in 2007 (in Collapse III) the proceedings of the group’s inaugural conference at Goldsmiths, University of London, and having consistently featured original work by the members of the group.

Sackler Octagon
1800-1900 and 1930-2100 William Bennett + Mimsy De Blois Extralinguistic Sequencing
1900 and 2100 Florian Hecker Speculative Solution
Clore Auditorium
1800-1930 and 2100-2200 Amanda Beech Sanity Assassin (25 min., timed screenings)
1945 - 2045 Panel Discussion: The Real, Representation, and the In-Itself.
Manton Studio
Mikko Canini The Black Sun Rise (3.54., continuous screening)
Ongoing Interventions
Room 9
Urbanomic The Real and the Sublime
John Gerrard Lufkin (near Hugo, Colorado)
Room 13
Pamela Rosenkranz Our Sun
Pamela Rosenkranz’s work courtesy of Karma International, Zurich.
John Gerrard’s work courtesy of Thomas Dane, London.
Hecker commission supported by The Elephant Trust.
More information: Mahogany deWitt: +44 (0) 7854309897

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

New Journal / New Issue

The first issue of the new journal Speculations, already given wide coverage but worth looking at, especially if you are into OOP.

Also, the new issue of Filozofski Vestnik on 'life', with what looks like some fascinating articles.