News | Year: 2012

17 Dec 2012

Reissued editions of Collapse volumes 1-4 are now available, and all advance orders have been shipped.

06 Dec 2012

Urbanomic is republishing all of the out-of-print Collapse volumes in a new Reissued Edition.
Volumes I – IV are now available for advance order at our online store, with volumes V, VI and VII to follow shortly.
Also now available for advance order are Fernando Zalamea\’s Synthetic Philosophy of Contemporary Mathematics and François Laruelle\s From Decision to Heresy.
We confidently expect delivery of all of these titles in time for advance orders to reach at least UK and European customers before Xmas (although we can\’t guarantee this, contingency being what it is).

23 Nov 2012

Here is brief and perfunctory summary of the overall trajectory of the recent NYC talk until the critique of ultra-normativity and an introduction to acceleration as an epistemico-performative vector (the first half of the talk as I recall). Ben Woodard at Speculative Heresy has already made an extensive post, so this is just to complement his:

The talk started within the context of an introduction to a disenthralled account of the modern system of knowledge. Then the idea that we need to understand acceleration’s penchant for metis, catastrophic rearrangement of parameters responsible for the behavior of the system, manipulative action, etc. within the modern system of knowledge and a terminalized trajectory of theoretical reason. If I remember correctly I suggested that when I frequently invoke references to the project of rationalism as the center of my emphasis, a couple of things need to be taken into account first: That for me a terminalized trajectory of reason does not have any necessity to coincide with that of the reasonable. Nor does my prejudice for the modern system of knowledge need to be understood within an analytical regime of knowledge. We are in a moment in history where we should prevent, at all costs, thought from becoming a vicious analytical attack dog that confuses its short leash with rational fidelity and precision. In fact, once we unbind the scope of the rationalism project and terminalize the transcendental asymptocity of knowledge, we realize that the ambition of rationalism is to sever the purported alliance between reason and human and to accelerate the dislocating and renegotiating power of the modern system of knowledge by which the human is humiliated at each and every turn.

Then I gave a summary of the structure of the talk. Rather than moving from one point to another in a sequential manner, we began to examine a number of seemingly dissociated thought pieces. These thought pieces were presented as the elements of my introduction to the modern system of knowledge and the possibility of a genuine project of inhumanism. The goal was to integrate these thought pieces into a coherent multi-frontal introduction throughout the talk:

1. Knowledge has an object but it asymptotically approaches its object via concepts. Understanding the so-called deep or universal ecology of the concept, that is, what is conception (both the conditioning of the concept by the concept-less space/exteriority and conceiving information into qualitatively well-organized spaces, i.e. global-to-local and local-to-global adjoints of conception), how does the theoretical reason approach the domain of the concept, what is the concept-space constituted of, how are concepts stabilized in a dynamic fashion, etc. To answer these questions, I talked about the ontology of the concept which coincides with the epistemology of it. We do not ask what the concept X looks like, or what it is (the classical ontological approach). Instead we ask how the concept X is conceived which basically leads us to another question, where is the concept X or where does the concept X subsist. To answer this question, we approached the concept as a locus (a local horizon) immersed within a generic medium (the extension of the concept that ramifies into the global structure of knowledge). So the ultimate question following Mazzola is ‘where is the topos of the concept?’ Again in order to tackle this question, we briefly examined how the topos of the concept is parametrized by its generic medium or concept-less space and how a topos-oriented analysis of the concept leads to what we call a ramified path structure: The concept can be identified (i.e. it can be conceived) via different alternative addresses or paths. This understanding of the concept and the process of conception leads to a new interpretation of knowledge as a navigation system of concept-spaces endowed with universal orientation (i.e. all global-local paths, structures, levels of organization and layers of the concept should be navigated, the eleventh commandment: “if it (navigation) is possible, then it is mandatory”). With all this, we started to talk about the local and global structures of the modern system of knowledge. So the first thought piece was to understand the valencies and imports of the modern system of knowledge through an examination of the genesis of the concept (via gestures through which the concept-less space condition the stability of the concept), its deep or universal ecology and how various modes of epistemic mediation and inference are identified by the overall methods or ways they navigate the global-local topology of the concept.

2. Mobilizing a trifurcating line of assault against (a) Land’s idea of machinic efficacy and a technological singularity or philosophy of inhumanism conditioned by this machinic efficacy (via Longo), (b) ultra-normative understanding of epistemology and variants of rigidified accounts of epistemic methodologies and processes of inference (Brandom and Brassier as possible examples); (c) axiomatic decelerationists or variants of classical Marxism that I charged with local myopia (I really didn’t talk about this third category that much as we were short on time. That was unfortunate!).

3. Explaining Oresmean accelerationism as a classical example of how manipulative epistemology, catastrophic change of the parameters responsible for the behavior of the system, designated action by way of focalized destabilizing disequilibrium (which creates spaces of reason through dialectical disequilibrium and disjunction), etc. produces a horizon of epistemic mediation and a new methodology for navigating the deep or universal ecology of the concept-space. (This we didn’t really talk about).

4. Understanding acceleration as a vector of epistemic mediation or global navigation of concept-spaces which is basically operates as an alternative to ultra-normative approaches to epistemology. A form of metisocratic production of knowledge and manipulative abductive inference.

5. Rediscovering inhumanism as not only conditioned by but also the veritable expression of the modern system of knowledge and the local-global navigation of its concept-spaces.

Land and machinic efficacy: We started to work on the genesis of the machinic efficacy by way of examining its deep roots in certain forms of metaphysics and revolutions in mathematics and logics, namely, Fregean logicism (derived from a Newtonian metaphysics of the absolute normativity) and Hilbertian formalism (derived from Laplacian classical determinism and his famous conjecture). Both of these constitute the foundations of the works of Shannon and Turing. We examined how digitalization is a form of classical determinism via the idea of approximation-perservation or digital rounding (a form of perturbation-preserving system) that makes the machine effective. Then we also discussed how the classical normativity — what preserves the so-called reasonable core of reason — as an absolute and super-ideal form of occurrence of the norm with regard to the variable or the locus of information (the concept) in the Fregean system does not change the variable according to a contingent trajectory but merely relocates it within a specific hence absolute space of norm over and over again. Then we moved to show what it means to be a digital machine and to be effective and mechanizable in that sense. This we did by way of three key objections:

1. Iteration fetishizes finitude and vice versa. The faster the iteration, the faster the machine. Showing that iteration loop is simply a form of determinism that is not able to unfold genuine epistemic encounters with different non-finite and contingent conceptions of time (it does not produce intelligibility from a contingent universe). The so-called deterritorializing speed of the machine is the outcome of its restricted ambit. Nothing is deterritorializing nor special about the speed of a digital machine insofar as it merely repeats the regularities of a finite conception of time. And that we have to seek alternatives for producing intelligibility not through computational iteration but by way of developing new conceptual frameworks for a non-iterative recursive theory. Finally, iteration constitutes the strongly metaphysical conceptual regime of computational algorithms. The new paradigm of the next machine should be furnished with epistemic encounters with interweavings and ramification of continuity and contingency (non-finite conceptions of time).

2. Discretization regime as the causal regime of computational algorithms. The regime of the discrete violates the first law of knowledge which is the conservation of information principle. The geodetic principles of the physical universe (namely, that of the continuum and Lagranian optimality) are sensitive to encoding. All information regarding geodetic continuities (the law of the least action) of the physical domain and symmetry breakings / extended criticalities of the biological domain are lost in discretization (following Longo). Also the discrete cannot approach the universal space or deep ecology of the concept insofar as the discrete does not use the information regarding the generic space which parametrizes information and the topos of the concept. The discrete (causal) and the iterative (conceptual) regimes of the computational dynamics are responsible for the machinic efficacy but this efficacy mutilates the intelligible and prevents genuine conditions for the mobilization of the inhumanist drive of knowledge, namely, encounters with different conceptions of time and space, normative improvisation, processing of information on the basis of the generic space that parametrizes them, contingent epistemic mediations and understanding of the landscape of knowledge as interweavings of continuity and contingency. All of these effectuate as irreversible renegotiations and dislocations of the human sphere. Capitalism investment on the so-called machinic efficacy and global digitalization, in this sense, is completely in line with its axiomatic preservation of the local ambit of thought and restricted knowledge generation (to degenerate the true scope of the global further and further).

Universe as a computer is a cheap metaphor at best, and at worst steps backward in the project of knowledge. The idea that the limits of computation (and accordingly, machinic efficacy) demarcate the limits of knowledge (and hence, a project of inhumanism conditioned by the modern system of knowledge) is the epitome of myopia.

3. If we understand the import of any epistemic vector as a response to two poles of not knowing (ignorance) and knowing not (falsity), we come across the third flaw of the computational algorithm and machinic efficacy. If ignorance is the drive of knowledge, we cannot use forms of producing intelligibility that don’t have any place for ignorance. Algorithms cannot work with falsity outside of an a-priori set of frameworks. Their operation in this regard is the little game of ‘I know you know that I know that you know ad infinitum‘. The algorithm can only present falsity (knowing not) according to given and ideal instances of truth-values. It does not give us the procedural proof of falsity. Nor can the algorithm operate with ignorance. You ask an algorithm ‘is X the case?’, if the answer is positive then Yes and if it is not then No but if it doesn’t know then it cannot remain silent, it has to yield an answer. The undecidability of Turing’s halting problem tells us that there is no algorithmic way to say ‘I am ignorant’ or ‘I don’t know’. Computational algorithms work with the truth-perservation kernel of classical logic. But the transcendental asymptocity of knowledge is simultaneously ignorance-perserving and ignorance-mitigating. In fact, ignorance-perservation is the warrant of the infinite task of reason, it maintains reason’s asymptotic trajectory. Because if there was a canonical truth already posited, the infinite task of reason would come to an end and its asymptotic trajectory would be disrupted (as in the case of mysticism). So this calls for new forms of reasoning and non-classical modes of inference and epistemic mediation which are capable of preserving as well as mitigating ignorance. Acceleration, abductive manipulation and epistemico-performative expriments are examples of these non-classical modes.

So in a nutshell, computational machines cannot embrace the global structure of knowledge and develop a navigation with universal orientation. Sophisticated computational methods like quantum computation, cellular automata can produce — or more precisely, simulate — contingencies, critical states, etc. but only according to their own highly modified and ideologically consolidated causal and conceptual regimes which have nothing to do with the physical universe and its principles of continuity and contingency. In this sense, computation does not render the universe intelligible, it produces a different form of intelligibility and even objectivity strictly corresponding to its own causal regime. With that said, I remember I said that the effectivity of computation should be defended as a useful approach on a local level: we do something that actually works, then the next iterative loop we do it better and again better, …. This is how we can refine our local procedures. But we should avoid blowing this out of proportion as something that has actually a global valence for thought or knowledge. Otherwise, we are simply cloning the image of the local onto the global.

The second line of assault focused on deficiencies of rigidified accounts of normativity and classical modes of epistemic mediation. The goal was to subsequently find an alternative, but having in mind that we absolutely need these standard and perhaps rigidified modes on the local level of navigation of the concept-space. Accelerative navigation of the concept-space (as a non-standard form of epistemic mediation) is more of a methodology that navigates the global ramifications of the concept-space and universally broadens the scope of knowledge beyond its local ambits. In order to do embark on this critique, we introduced acceleration as a particular form of gesture (cf. Chatelet), a designated action capable of introducing focalized violent instability and disequilibrium within a certain rate and through a certain synthetic procedure. Also at the same time, warning against metaphysically inflating the gestural constitution of acceleration as a mode of epistemic mediation into a vapid form of enactivism.

To be continued soon.

19 Oct 2012

Grotesque miscarriage of justice as politically-motivated sentence is handed down in the service of protecting the arcane rituals of a tiny, self-serving coterie of vain plutocrats:

16 Oct 2012

We are delighted to announce a very exciting forthcoming event in New York, a live performance by Florian Hecker and Reza Negarestani.
Further details here.

November 15, 2012, 7.30pm

Abrons\’ Playhouse, 466 Grand Street, New York

Urbanomic / Sequence Press in collaboration with Issue Project Room and Primary Information

Chimeras are integrated bodies that synthesize incompatible modalities, surpassing their respective particularities without fusing them, finding a common ground, or reducing one to the other. Chimerization, a recent work by Florian Hecker, uses psychoacoustics to compose such creatures from readings of a libretto penned by philosopher and novelist, Reza Negarestani.

Expanding on this work, Hecker and Negarestani come together in a live experiment – less a collaboration between philosophy and sound than a synthesis of the two. In this abstract performance, recalling Artaud\’s theatre of cruelty as much as Beckett\’s minimalist narratives, the \’players\’\’ respective fields will be chimerized, and their true guises revealed.

16 Oct 2012

I will be in New York City for two upcoming events on November 15 and 18. The first one, a live collaboration with Florian Hecker. More of an abstract performance aimed at creating a synesthesiac experience of philosophy than a traditional philosophy lecture, The Non-trivial Goat and the Cliffs of the Universal is a topological fable on the universalist philosophy of navigation and synthesis narrated in the style of Beckett. The first event also serves as an oblique introduction to the second event Abducting the Outside: Modernity and the Culture of Acceleration which will be a lecture focused on the possibility of a genuinely modern philosophy of the inhuman in the wake of an accelerated and disenthralled system of knowledge. The lecture is drawn on the works of Giuseppe Longo, Lorenzo Magnani, Gilles Chatelet and Alain Berthoz in cognitive sciences, mathematics especially the recent geometrical turn and physics accompanied with introductory commentaries on the exciting works of Gabriel Catren on anarchic constructivism and Benedict Singleton on metis intelligence.
Details and press release as follows:
The Non-Trivial Goat and the Cliffs of the Universal:
A Topological Fable on Navigation and Synthesis

Date: Thursday, November 15th, 2012
Time: 7:30 PM
Locations: Abrons Playhouse, 466 Grand Street, New York (at Pitt Street)
Chimeras are integrated bodies that synthesize incompatible modalities, surpassing their respective particularities without fusing them, finding a common ground, or reducing one to the other. Chimerization, a recent work by Florian Hecker, uses psychoacoustics to compose such creatures from readings of a libretto penned by philosopher and novelist, Reza Negarestani.
Expanding on this work, Hecker and Negarestani come together in a live experiment — less a collaboration between philosophy and sound than a synthesis of the two. In this abstract performance, recalling Artaud’s theatre of cruelty as much as Beckett’s minimalist narratives, the participating elements will be chimerized through their mutual immersion in the abyss of the universal, and thereby revealed, in turn, as nothing other than local guises of this abyssal continuum.
The performance opens (Part 1: Descent) with a theory-fiction-mathematics manifesto that introduces the dramatis personae and abruptly drops the goat of philosophy into the abyss. This prologue of a mangled philo-fiction or ‘philosophy on acid’ is followed (Part 2: Navigation) by a performative gluing of philosophy and sound in which the auditors become the goats, each completing the chimera according to their localization and navigation of the space. In the final movement (Part 3: Alienation) this personal experience of local synthesis is replaced by an estranging immersion into the impersonal experience of the global, synthetic environment as the intensifying, sonic chimerization moves beyond the sphere of the knowable.
An exercise in deregulation of the senses, this unique performance brings together two ambitious thinkers and practitioners in an experimental surgery that opens up their respective fields onto unexplored grounds.
Doors open at 7pm. Seating is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information please contact Sequence Press, located within:
Miguel Abreu Gallery
36 Orchard Street (between Canal & Hester), New York, NY 10002
Tel 212.995.1774
Issue Project Room’s Littoral Series is made possible, in part, through generous support from The Casement Fund, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Event 2:
Abducting the Outside: Modernity and The Culture of Acceleration
Sunday, November 18th, 7:30PM
Miguel Abreu Gallery, 36 Orchard Street, New York

10 Oct 2012

Gabriel Catren is interviewed at IFVERSO about an exciting new project with Reza Negarestani, to be published by Sequence/Urbanomic in 2014: link

01 Oct 2012

There was, I think, a conflict—perhaps a productive one—at the heart of this enormous multidisciplinary show, and it can be located exactly in the tension between those two words. On the one hand, many of the artworks and the stories they told circled around collective traumas: those of Nazi Germany and, much more recently, those of Afghanistan or the countries involved in the Arab Spring. Indeed, Christov-Bakargiev’s focus on what she calls “collapse and recovery” is so familiar from recent cultural theory that it is almost a cliché to speak of a traumatic temporality at the very core of all avant-garde artistic developments. But on the other hand, such psychoanalytic language here collides with the idiom of a new, object-oriented philosophy that wants to liberate us once and for all from anthropocentrism and consider instead what the catalogue calls the “inanimate makers of the world.” In fact, Christov-Bakargiev’s project is in many ways perfectly in tune with the approaches today discussed as “speculative realism,” with its ambition to rid our thinking of the obsession with that historically overemphasized relationship between a perceiving subject and a known object. Instead, the argument goes, we should look into other equally exciting and productive relationships in the world, consisting of so many human and nonhuman actors, or “actants,” as Bruno Latour would put it. Philosopher Graham Harman goes so far as to claim: “Atoms and molecules are actants, as are children, raindrops, bullet trains, politicians, and numerals. All entities are on exactly the same ontological footing.” One can go further still: To quote from an interview with Christov-Bakargiev, “The question is not whether we give dogs or strawberries permission to vote, but how a strawberry can assert its political intention.”

09 Sep 2012

Michael Day asserts that “Cardinal Martini caused controversy in his final days after refusing artificial feeding, contravening church policy on end-of-life issues” (4 September). This oversimplifies Catholic teaching.

According to Pope John Paul II, the administration of food and water should be understood as part of “the normal care due to the sick” and thus as “in principle” obligatory. A later statement by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith took a similar approach.

However, if a person is imminently dying, and if artificial feeding would neither extend life nor bring relief from symptoms, then it is not obligatory, as both these statements in effect recognised. Catholics are not obliged to receive care or treatment that has become genuinely futile, though their aim in refusing it should not be to hasten death.

Prof David Albert Jones
Director, The Anscombe Bioethics Centre, Oxford

—— Letters to the Editor, The Independent, 2012-09-08. p. 40

27 Jun 2012

Latin American correspondent Pootle Escobar has drawn my attention to Professor Harman’s forthcoming appearances at conferences all entitled ‘The Secret Life of Objects’ in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Forteleza [sic].

25 Jun 2012

Critical Plant Studies: Philosophy, Literature, Culture
ISSN: 2213-0659
E-ISSN: 2213-0667
Series Editor:
Michael Marder (IKERBASQUE / The University of the Basque Country, Vitoria)
The goal of the Critical Plant Studies, a new book series at Rodopi Press, is to initiate an interdisciplinary dialogue, whereby philosophy and literature would learn from each other to think about, imagine, and describe, vegetal life with critical awareness, conceptual rigor, and ethical sensitivity. Literary works featuring plant imagery may be analyzed with reference to philosophical frameworks, while philosophical discussions of the meanings of vegetal life may be enriched and supported with the tools of literary criticism. Another dialogic dimension of the series entails a sustained engagement between Western and non-Western philosophies and religious traditions, representative of the human attitudes to plants. This “cross-pollination” of different fields of knowledge and experience will become possible thanks to the fundamental role plants play in human life, regardless of their backgrounding or neglect.
Ethically stated, the aim of the book series is to encourage an incremental shift of cultural attitudes from a purely instrumental to a respectful approach to vegetal beings. This is particularly important at the current time of the global environmental crisis, when massive de-forestation, seed patenting, and profit-driven agriculture threaten the very future of life on the planet. Not only will works included in the series shed light on the being of plants, but they will also assist us in critically thinking through the crucial issues and challenges of the contemporary world. Bioethics and genetic engineering, of which plants were the first examples; the role of spirituality and holism in the techno-scientific age; the reliance of our imagination and creativity on elements of the “natural” world; global food shortages and sustainable agricultural practices; the roots of our thinking and writing in other-than-human, vegetal processes, such as growth and decay, germination and branching out, fecundation and fruition—books included in Critical Plant Studies will, in one way or another, touch upon these and related themes central to the philosophy, literature, and culture of the twenty-first century.
Thus, we are looking to publish a mix of specialized manuscripts and introductory texts on the theory, literary criticism, and religious or aesthetic appreciation of plant life. Each title in the series will combine at least two of the disciplines listed above, with preference given to cutting-edge methodologies in comparative literature, comparative philosophy, comparative religious studies, etc., and trans-disciplinary approaches. Analyses of plant-related writings and artworks from any historical period and geographical area will be welcome.
Please, forward all queries and proposals to

20 Apr 2012

Here is the press release for the closing event of Yves Metller’s installation accompanied with a conversation on geophilosophy and art via video conference:

On April 26th, 8pm, Yves Mettler and Reza Negarestani will have a public conversation via video-conference at the Mus?�e cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne. The conversation will focus on how our most intimate corporeal and psychological constitutions have vertiginous proximities with the Earth’s cosmological history, and how we are bound through backdoor narratives and subtle complicities to the most liveless materials.

In addition, here you can find an excerpt of the text jointly written for the installation. Part a socio-culture satire, part a tabloid psychological thriller and part a geophilosophical self-help 101, the text “Arnex-1: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Asphalt” takes genre experimentations to new levels and reveals subtle webs of transfers and translations between art, the planet and a modern conception of geophilosophy whose topos of thought is a true-to-the-universe earth. The entire text will be available in the near future.

10 Apr 2012

William Bennett, who previously worked with Urbanomic on The Real Thing at Tate Britain, has very generously donated a very desirable lot of signed CD and vinyl from his new Cut Hands project to Urbanomic. Proceeds of the auction will go to support Collapse. Ebay link here

10 Apr 2012

Freie Universität Berlin is hosting a series of Speculative Philosophy events over the next month, featuring all the original four \’Speculative Realists\’ (Robin Mackay will be responding to Meillassoux\’s presentation on 20 April): More Information.
And François Laruelle will be expanding upon his Concept of Non-Photography in a talk at Goldsmiths University of London on 10th May, also with Robin responding. The talk is entitled Photo-fiction: An Exercise in Non-Standard Aesthetics. More details.
Thursday 10th May 2012
Room: New Academic Building
LG01 Goldsmiths
New Cross London
For further info please contact Luciana Parisi

06 Apr 2012

Two new event announcements:

(1) Quentin Meillassoux will be speaking in New York on Sunday May 6th, exploring the thesis of his new book The Number and the Siren, published by Urbanomic and Sequence Press.More details.

(2) Urbanomic are hosting a panel discussion as a part of The Penzance Convention on May 20th. Participants include John Gerrard, Esther Leslie, Allen Buckley and Shaun Lewin. More details.

03 Apr 2012

In continuation of the lecture series on universalism after Peirce and Kant and a modern conception of speculative thought, this Thursday and Saturday via video-conference:
Thursday, April 5 (11.00 – 14.00):
Seminar 6: The Continuous and the Contingent
– The labyrinth of the Universal and geometry of the Absolute (a summary on the synthetic environment of the Universal)
– Systematic navigation and inferring topoi of knowledge
Saturday, April 7:
Seminar 7: Accelerate Out of This World
– Mathesis of acceleration (Aristotle, Ibn al-Haytham, Oresme, Ch?�telet, Zalamea)
– Perception of acceleration, neurobiological underpinnings (Gould, Berthoz, Longo)
– Acceleration as a full-fledged epistemological program (Magnani)
– Culture of acceleration, an epistemological vanishing point
– Transmodern navigation and global synthesis of intensities
– The universe of “creativity without brake”
Transcription of the whole universalism series will be available at some point.
15, rue haute
02820 St Erme Outre et Ramecourt

21 Mar 2012

We are delighted to announce that Urbanomic and Sequence Press will publish Quentin Meillassoux's new book The Number and the Siren. The title will be published late April/Early May, and pre-ordering will be available on this site shortly.
A meticulous literary study, a detective story à la Edgar Allen Poe, a treasure-hunt worthy of an adventure novel – such is the register in which can be deciphered the hidden secrets of a poem like no other. Quentin Meillassoux, author of After Finitude, continues his philosophical interrogation of the concepts of chance, contingency, infinity and eternity through a concentrated study of Mallarmé's poem Un Coup de Dés, patiently deciphering its enigmatic meaning on the basis of a dazzlingly simple and lucid insight with regard to that 'unique Number that cannot be any other'.

Un Coup de Dés jamais n\’abolira le Hasard constitutes perhaps the most radical break in the history of modern poetry: the fractured lines spanning the double page, the typographical play borrowed from the poster form, the multiplication of interpolations disrupting reading. But the intrigue of this poem is still stranger, always resistant to full elucidation. We encounter a shipwreck, and a Master, himself almost submerged, who clasps in his hand the dice that, confronted by the furious waves, he hesitates to throw. The hero expects this throw, if it takes place, to be extraordinarily important: a Number said to be 'unique' and which 'cannot be any other'.

The decisive point of the investigation proposed by Meillassoux comes with a discovery, unsettling and yet as simple as a child's game. All the dimensions of the Number, understood progressively, articulate between them but one sole condition: that this Number should ultimately be delivered to us by a secret code, hidden in the Coup de dés like a key that finally unlocks every one of its poetic devices. Thus is also unveiled the meaning of that siren, emerging for a lightning-flash amongst the debris of the shipwreck: as the living heart of a drama that is still unfolding.

With this bold new interpretation of Mallarmé's work, The Number and the Siren offers brilliant insights into modernity, poetics, secularism and religion, and opens a new chapter in Meillassoux's philosophy of radical contingency.

09 Feb 2012

This is an announcement for the opening of Yves Mettler’s installation Drilling Rig from Arnex, 1929 originally made for the festival Les Urbaines and now moved to the Mus?�e Cantonal des Beaux-Arts where it has been meticulously deconstructed by the artist. Mettler’s installation dramatizes and magnifies subtle relations between cosmology, geological time and mobilization of capital on the planet. The installation will also be accompanied by a collaboration between Mettler and I that will gradually develop throughout the course of the exhibition:

On April 26th, a performance / lecture will be held by Yves Mettler and Reza Negarestani (via video-conference) as the closing event for their writing collaboration. Written as a serial publication since the beginning of Mettler’s installation, the text ‘Arnex-1: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Asphalt‘ unfolds a psychoanalytical dialogue between the analyst Rig and the mysterious Patient O. Over seven psychoanalytical sessions schematizing the seven circles of hell, the dialogue unravels an aetiological examination of the memory of geological time as the twisted sum of traumatic scars left by the cosmological shock and contingent mobilization of capital. Art’s meticulous attention to the surface (landscape) parallels psychoanalysis’ dedicated focus on superficial phenomena as a means of dramatically bringing into focus transversal dynamics of depths otherwise invisible to the keenest of eyes.

Opening date: Thursday, February 9, 2012, 6:30pm.
Address: Mus?�e cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Palais de Rumine, place de la Riponne 6


03 Feb 2012

Internet contingencies allowing, I will be giving a short talk via skype on Decay Modernism for SPECTRAL: Festival for Adventurous Music & Related Arts hosted by The Wire (Berlin, February 4, 17:00pm). Anyone who is in Berlin and interested in attending, can download the slides here:

In his recent book Passages of Proteus written in 2011, Colombian mathematician Fernando Zalamea identifies the process of decay as an expression of a profound continuity in nature through which “creativity expands without brake”. The emphasis of this talk will be on a non-romantic conception of decay as a building process whose chemico-mathematical truth constitutes the very kernel of the dialectic of the abstract and the concrete in art and a formalism based not on obstruction (i.e. various modes of singularity such as the novel, the ideal and the sublime) but on acceleration, or ‘creativity without brake’. The underlying logic of decay is presented as a mode of synchronization or modernization of the living with and according to the dead. Far from moderating the tension between the living and the dead by embarking upon a speculative justice program (Meillassoux) or overcoming such tension through a quasi-mystic anti-modernist impulse, Decay Modernism brings about the possibility of thinking the dead outside of the culture of reconciliation and understanding culture as an epistemological vanishing point of different parallel orientations of nature for the modern subject.

Address and reservation information here.

26 Jan 2012