News | Author: urbanomic

22 Jun 2020

We are disappointed to learn of a recent decision by UWE to close their undergraduate level philosophy courses after the current intake.

The philosophy department at the University of the West of England has a strong research and teaching profile and is extremely distinctive – it is one of the few in the UK to offer a wide range of teaching in continental philosophy, along with a strong interest in social and political philosophy, feminism, and ethics of technology.

This decision by the UWE executive is representative of a general trend toward dismantling the academic humanities, and making philosophy a subject that is unavailable at undergraduate level, with ramifications on postgraduate level study.

But in particular it threatens the eventual closure of a unique department which a group of dedicated staff—including long-time Urbanomic friend and author Iain Hamilton Grant—have devoted a great deal of energy and time nurturing, and which is irreplaceable. UWE’s depreciation of philosophy shows a disdain for the work of these staff, the students who have benefitted from their teaching, and those who could have done so in the future.

This is part of a now familiar process in UK universities to move toward the removal of philosophy from the curriculum. Something that should be a matter of concern for all who believe that philosophy has a role to play in contemporary society, that it should be available to those entering higher education, and that the research and teaching at UWE is exemplary of committed and engaged philosophical thinking.

To voice your support for the continuation of UWE Philosophy as a programme, and to register your disagreement with this decision, you can email:

Professor Steve West, Vice Chancellor of UWE: vicechancellor@uwe.ac.uk
Dr Marc Griffiths, Pro-Vice Chancellor & Executive Dean: Marc.Griffiths@uwe.ac.uk
Professor Amanda Coffey, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost: Amanda.Coffey@uwe.ac.uk

There is also a petition on change.org initiated by students at the department.
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http://www.uwephilosophy.org.uk

10 Nov 2019

Agnès Gayraud’s Dialectic of Pop is out now, and The Quietus has just published an interview with her on the book, the process of writing, and the book’s relationship with her musical alter ego La Féline, the release of whose new album Vie Future coincides with the publication of the book. Read the interview here.

23 May 2019

E-flux has published a tremendous text by Liam Gillick on the enduring power and relevance of Gilles Châtelet’s polemical To Live and Think Like Pigs: read it here.

23 May 2019

Arebyte Gallery in London open an Audint Unsound:Undead exhibition in London this Friday, featuring a number of installations and exhibits by the sonic research cell. The show runs until 15 June. More details here.

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19 Feb 2019

February’s e-flux journal features some excerpts from Kristen Alvanson’s forthcoming XYZT.

21 Nov 2018

As we say a final Excelsior! to Stan Lee, e-flux have just published Reza Negarestani and Keith Tilford’s superb Chronosis: Exordium, as part of their Wonderflux celebration of a decade of e-flux.

This stunning new pulp-philosophy synthesis of concept and comic comes in advance of an extended Kilford+Blades project to be published by Urbanomic in 2019.

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08 Oct 2018

Reza Negarestani will be giving a seminar as part of the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami’s art+research program for Fall 2018, ‘Disrobing the Human: Three Lesson in the Pre-history of Machine Intelligence’, exploring the questions of logic, intelligence, and the human addressed in his Intelligence and Spirit. The programme includes a public lecture on Thursday October 25 – see the website for details.

18 Sep 2018

We are delighted to announce that from October 2018, all Urbanomic and Urbanomic/Sequence Press books will be distributed worldwide by The MIT Press.

This is a great move for us: we’re excited to be under the same umbrella as great pioneering publishers such as Semiotext(e) and Zone Books, and to join other recent additions on MIT’s distribution list, including Strange Attractor Press, Goldsmiths Press, and Afterall.

For readers this will mean much greater availability of our titles, especially outside of Europe. You should see Urbanomic and Urbanomic/Sequence books in many more bookstores worldwide. Mail orders will be operated through MIT Press’s website.

For us it means being certain that books are being promoted by people who understand them, in the right places, and are getting to readers. It means letting go of some logistical and marketing aspects of the business so that we can spend time on the things we do best: editorial, design and production, working with authors, events and special projects, and making sure Urbanomic continues to scan new fields of thought and build new audiences.

Needless to say, this in no way alters Urbanomic’s cultural and intellectual outlook. We carefully select titles for their exploratory innovation and conceptual interconnections, and each title matters to us. With no one agenda or point of view, but sometimes wildly different positions and approaches across different publications, we will continue to try to provide a map of the tensions and faultlines that constitute the field of contemporary thought (and where possible, to exacerbate them).

The move does also mean that we say a regretful farewell to Central Books, who have been indispensable partners for Urbanomic since 2013. Central are highly recommended, their service has always been superb, and we’re sorry to leave them. However, consolidation of our distribution with Sequence Press in the US has meant that this move makes perfect sense for us now.

Since 2010 our relationship with Sequence Press has already enabled us to reach new audiences, to explore new fields of theory and practice, and to sustain and grow Urbanomic—it’s no exaggeration to say that, if it weren’t for Sequence, Urbanomic would not be where it is today. So we’re thrilled to be taking this next step together with them. Along with Urbanomic and our combined titles, Sequence Press’s own list of publications will also be available via MIT’s distribution network.

In the short term, this move means that, during the transition period over the next few months, there may be disruption in availability of Urbanomic titles through all channels. The web store here at urbanomic.com will be offline, and elsewhere our accounts with third party vendors will be transitioning. Please bear with us while the process is underway.

05 Sep 2018

'Collapse volume 5: The Copernican Imperative', published by Urbanomic

It is with great sorrow that we learn of the death of Damian Veal, who had worked with Urbanomic co-editing several volumes of Collapse. In particular, Damian was the chief editor and driving force behind The Copernican Imperative, a collection into which he put a superhuman amount of energy, and of which he remained rightly proud.

Damian’s companionship during our assembly of those volumes, and the high seriousness and low humour we shared in the process, often on the verge of sleep-deprived delirium, is memorable; as is his attention to detail, and the way he gleefully grasped the opportunity to subject some of the most prominent figures in their respective disciplines to intense scrutiny in the interviews he conducted. (Readers remarked that they learnt at least as much from his questions, sometimes several pages long, as from the responses.)

Damian was a talented, independent thinker with an impressive grasp of philosophy and science both historically and in their most recent developments. His ongoing research into questions of naturalism and philosophy of mind continually expanded and shifted its boundaries. With the sensitivity innate to his character, he had a feel for both the historical depth of a philosophical problem, its current significance, and the breadth of its connections to other matters; he would always unhesitatingly open up another Pandora’s box of nuance and complexity where others would have opted to set it aside.

Chronically scrupulous in his studies, yet unduly hesitant about the potential contribution he could make to academia and public debate, Damian was intensely vigilant and conscientious in everything he did. Hence (despite the continual entreaties of friends and colleagues) the regrettably few publications that appeared in his name, among which we are proud to count The Copernican Imperative, but which also included a groundbreaking volume of Angelaki on ‘Continental Philosophy and the Sciences’—one of several areas where he sought to correct and complicate a dogmatic image of the divide between supposed ‘schools of thought’.

In his personal life, for many years Damian had kept up a brave and tenacious struggle against the most crippling depression. He was always lucid, calm, and reflective, never self-pitying, in his confrontation with the condition. Indeed, his sober, unromanticised view of it could be a tonic to others, as I can attest. At times, in conversation, always very circumspectly, he would address the relation between depression and the discipline of philosophy, the broadest questions of meaning, life and death, intellectual distance, mind and body, pessimism and nihilism. In these heartfelt, searching conversations I felt myself drawn as close as possible to the intersection of the intimate sufferings of a human life and the collective endeavour of rational thought, and hence (arguably—and he would have argued, no doubt) to the core of philosophy ‘itself’.

Although Damian never wavered in his belief in science’s ability to shed light on even the most obscure mysteries of the universe, he also took seriously the human spirit’s vulnerability to the ensuing disenchantment of the world. But then, with him, discussions of the most dismal prospects would often effectively transform disillusionment back into active questioning and excitement at the possibilities of thought—qualities that reflected what was (with due apologies for the ‘vitalism’, Damian) most alive in him; the spark which, unjustly, he had to defend at every turn against the ferocity of an encroaching darkness.

The other side of Damian’s critical vigilance and his unwillingness to ‘let go’ of his own writings was that, over the years, he ended up playing a largely unvaunted role behind the scenes at Urbanomic and elsewhere, sometimes in an editorial capacity, but more importantly as one of the most earnest, knowledgeable, and probing interlocutors one could hope for. A unique character, formidably intelligent and well-read, vehement and sometimes prickly in philosophical argument, occasionally cantankerous but invariably ready for a laugh, in person Damian was a gentle, considerate and generous man held in the highest esteem not only as someone to think and work with, but as a friend. In both respects, he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family in their loss.

Robin Mackay

20 Jun 2018

SIMON-SELLARS-PRIMARY

Read Brendan Gillott’s superb review article on Simon Sellars’s Applied Ballardianism, genre, and theory-fiction, at Minor Literatures.

Applied Ballardianism is a work which grapples with and is submerged by […] fluidities, of genre, of subject, of person. Precisely in its pseudo-autobiographical qualities, it tries to live its insights and obsessions, to find exemplary failure in the blindnesses that accompany them.

[…] This is a book of critical epistemology, of questioning what it is we know, what it is we can know, about and through literary texts. The refracted fluorescence of our own critical passions and compulsions visits us outlandishly, like lights in the sky.

16 Jan 2017

Grieving is a bleak business. But how do you grieve for someone who made it his life’s work to face up to the bleakest realities and yet to recognise joy where it existed and to forge hope for the future? A writer who himself grieved the passing of cultural and political possibilities, portrayed an utterly dismaying world populated by malign forces that reached into the very soul, but used writing to understand them, to resist them, and to project new virtual futures?

I first met Mark Fisher at Warwick University in the 90s, where his overpowering enthusiasm and determination to ‘produce’ (not just ‘think about’! he would insist) within and across multiple cultural forms and disciplines—and to produce cyberpunk-style, using whatever came to hand, experimenting with high-tech, low-tech, or no-tech, without needing to seek approval from any institutional authority—was inspirational. Mark was instrumental in the formation of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit, which quickly became an official nonentity (but a productive one). He submerged himself in its collective endeavours, which resulted in a body of work I still find immensely compelling and intriguing, culminating in the coining of the term ‘hyperstition’ (cultural processes which make themselves real (of which the CCRU was one (or several))), the creation of the occultural Numogram, and the revelation of a pantheon of numerically-coded demons. This masterpiece of pulp theology combines a gleeful comic-book grandiosity with a diligent mapping of the space of human affect and an understanding of the human psyche as a mere switching-station for warring demonic currents. All of which continued to work beneath Mark’s writings, I think: he saw the world in terms of abstract forces and Spinozan struggles, and sought to name (demonise?) the cybernetic complexes of affect and power from which the circuitry of so-called reality is constructed; his writings continued to be populated by Katak and Uttunul, among others, as well as new conceptual personae such as the ‘gray vampire’ and malign apparatuses such as ‘business ontology’.

Mark also relished CCRU’s enterprise of collaboration and collective production, keenly anticipating the emergence of ‘microcultures’ that would spring up in-between, unassignable and unattributable to any one author. This search for new modes of collectivity was something he never let go of.

Yet the CCRU work also unmistakably bore the imprint of Mark’s zeal for supercharging theory with pop culture. Refusing all received cultural hierarchy, he always championed the conceptual and formal achievements of pop music, comics, fiction, TV, and film, aiming both to map and contribute to what he described as ‘pulp modernism’.

Beneath all of this simmered his intense class-consciousness and sensitivity to the invisible barriers, insider codes, traps and tricks that protect high culture and academic thought from those not already endowed with cultural capital and bulletproof confidence. He was never embittered by these barriers, but made it his business to expose and diagnose them, and to openly share his own frustrations, minor triumphs, and defeats as he was dashed against them. And his refusal of the assumption that mass-consumed pop culture is necessarily of a lesser conceptual density was just as uncompromising.

As well as being fascinated by the expression of the collective unconscious in even the ‘lowest’ forms of entertainment, he celebrated the cultural achievements of those who came from outside the media establishment, had got in before its rules had been set down, or had autonomously nurtured their own microcultures, and were thus able to realise singular, subversive visions of modernity untroubled by culture cops and homogenizing ‘managerialism’. Ever more deeply captivated by the resonances of the oddball canon he had assembled since childhood, he delighted in propagating both its pulp modernist obscurities and its poptastic gems to others; many a cultural itinerary has been sent off in an unexpected direction by contact with Mark Fisher’s work.

While there is a sense in which, for Mark, everything was personal, since he always gained theoretical purchase by connecting theory to his own experience, he also relentlessly attacked the very notion of the ‘person’ or ‘individual’. For many years Mark wrote about his struggle with depression; but his question was never ‘What is wrong with me?’ but ‘What is wrong with the world that it should produce such a suffering, closed-off subject?’ This conviction that ‘mental health’ is not adequately addressed as a merely personal condition, nor as a purely medical issue, led him to challenge all quick fixes that aim merely to restore the social (consumer-worker) functionality of the ‘unwell’…and entailed frustrated encounters with exasperated ‘mental health professionals’ who got more than they bargained for.

He multiplied his burden by believing that he could only heal himself by reconfiguring the world, or at least by seeding a social collectivity capable, against all prevailing forces, of breaking out of the prison-house of capitalist subjectivity. That’s because he was for real, ‘theory’ was not a game for Mark. And he was right in his belief that personal affect is a tributary of social, cultural, class, and economic forces. He was also right in his unflagging faith in cultural production as a source of energising joy, insight, and understanding, and a vector for emancipation; and in his belief that writing and theorizing about culture need not mean ‘critical’ dessication, but can in fact transform and intensify its effects and propel them beyond mere aesthetics, unlocking their political charge—something he proved to readers time and time again.

At a distance of twenty years, for me the Warwick era is lost in a general blur of intensity (and people talking intensely about intensity). But one trivial episode reminds me of qualities I loved in Mark: Having unexpectedly had an abstract for a joint conference paper accepted, and following a lengthy train journey, Mark and I began writing our paper the morning before the conference (of course), and a state of panic swiftly morphed into a sleep-deprived, hysterical flow state. It was hugely enjoyable, because Mark was never happier than when swept up in working on something that seemed to be building itself, soliciting further input, coalescing into some unexpected entity before his eyes, suggesting new double-meanings, puns, unexpected connections between the abstract and the empirical, Marvel Comics-style names for as-yet unnamed forces, concepts for unrecognised processes. Then the self-doubt would disappear, the anxiety would dissipate (even if the paper had to be given in a few hours!) and he would be in his element: that outside element, something beyond the strictures of the personal, that fuels enthusiasm and enthralled fascination with what is being ‘channelled’.
The paper was delivered. It was messy, it was truculent, it was sarcastic, it was a bit punk. Everyone hated it. Nevertheless, relieved of our duties, we later slunk into the posh conference reception held in a grand Victorian museum, where high-flying postmodern academics chatted politely with local dignitaries. Immediately we both knew this was not ‘for us’, and there was mutual relief in realising we shared the feeling that we were not supposed to be there. For a short while before we ran away, we skulked around in corners giggling at the professors’ fruity voices, sarcastically clinking our champagne flutes, and cracking up at being served canapés from a tray—like street urchins who had sneaked themselves into a palace.

And to me, that was Mark: the accidental interloper at High Table, the punk in the museum. Even when his work was acclaimed and he was appointed to a ‘real job’ at Goldsmiths, I think he always feared he was an impostor, just one who had decoded the scam and learned how to ‘pass’. But whether or not you agreed with him, whether or not you shared his passion for John Foxx or Sapphire and Steel, whatever your opinion on the philosophical rigour of his Schwarzenegger/Kant mash-ups, he was as close to the real thing as it gets: always in earnest (sometimes dangerously unfiltered), always keen to share his excitement and to respond to engagement, synthetic and eclectic in his sources but obsessional in pursuing the themes that he knew mattered, modest in person but passionate, ambitious, and vehement in thought. It felt good to know that he had finally ‘made it’, that he fought through, unable and unwilling to adapt his work to the requirements of academic tedium. Following the publication of Capitalist Realism, it was heartening to see his unique style and aptitude for rendering ideas dynamic, accessible, and connected to pop culture finally break through and create its own audience.

The path from anger and sadness to collective joy has taken a terribly wrong turn here—we have lost someone who painstakingly sought to construct and communicate hope, for himself and for others. There are many who can attest to his innate passion for thinking and creating, his positive influence, and his unaffected, sincere, and generous character. Realising at this moment that I assumed he would always be there, it’s hugely painful to think that he is no longer among us.

06 Dec 2016

Unfortunately owing to delays in printing, Yuk Hui’s The Question Concerning Technology in China won’t be arriving until around 23 December. We will try to fulfil all orders immediately, and apologise for the delay. Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered, it really does help us.

04 Dec 2016

Listen back here to Radio 3’s Hear and Now show from last night, the BBC’s first live binaural broadcast, featuring a programme of electronic music selected by Florian Hecker, and the première of his new commissioned piece Inspection—Maida Vale Project with libretto by Robin Mackay, featuring the BBC’s own EMS 5000 vocoder.

24 Nov 2016

We are pleased to share news of the publication of Formulations (Koenig Books [London]/Culturgest [Porto]/MMK [Frankfurt am Main]), a volume of essays on the work of Florian Hecker published to coincide with the opening, on 26 November, of the exhibition of the same name at MMK Frankfurt am Main, following its original version at Culturgest, Porto in Autumn 2015.

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This transdisciplinary volume brings together writers many of whom will be familiar to Urbanomic readers: contributions come from Diedrich Diederichsen, François J. Bonnet, Reza Negarestani, Michael Newman, Gabriel Catren, Fernando Zalamea, Éric Alliez, Robin Mackay, Ina Blom, Christopher Haworth, and Sarat Maharaj.

Editor Robin Mackay has also used Formulations as an opportunity to experimentally extend the editorial model developed in Collapse with a ‘gluing’ procedure inspired by Zalamea’s conceptual championing of mathematical local-global transfers, by the history of the cut-up, and by Hecker’s procedures of macro- and micro-sonic formulation and reformulation—creating an interference between texts that explicitly opens up each separate contribution to the global space of the book. As explained in the ‘Operating Instructions’:

The material presented as output was post-processed using a new implementation of content vector interpolation synthesis which allows samples at coarse resolution drawn from multiple source signals to be ‘glued’ into their counterparts at specified points (a form of bidirectional subset interpolation). Detected conformances between local semantic patterns are realised as supplementary semantic vectors, effectively constructing a higher-dimensional global surface across which initially disparate content vectors are seen to exhibit like behaviour. The resulting global projection, in turn, is used to modulate each of the local signals from which it has been synthesized. In this case the operation was carried out using the currently available deep neural network software implementation (‘editor’). […]

The technique originated in the protocols of early textual machines constructed during the 1960s and 70s, when it was discovered that the (then manual) cutting and gluing of source signals afforded otherwise unobtainable effects. Where these early stochastically-inclined experiments disregarded semantic constraints, however, our (arguably more conservative) approach factors them in at the interpolation stage, and uses a normalising heuristic global model as an initial filter for fragment selection.

With semantic sample conformance detection limited by the memory constraints and discriminatory threshold of the editing module, even repeated iterations rarely yield a ‘smooth’ result: the interpolations remain discernible, their perceptual effects ranging from a sometimes rewarding conspicuous splitting of semantic streams and conceptual themata to the incidence of unpleasant, abnormal, or jarring artefacts in otherwise sound concatenations of semantic units. Nevertheless the suggestive synthetic, perspectival, and even hallucinatory effects obtained here by means of subset interpolation are positive indications for the use of CVI synthesis in the assembly of diverse textual reformulations.

07 Sep 2016

FAVN

Robin Mackay

FAVN_Web_A4

FAVN
Florian Hecker
Libretto by Robin Mackay
5 October 2016
20:00

Großer Saal
Alte Oper
Opernplatz
60313 Frankfurt

more information and tickets here

19 Aug 2016

Sept-16-OFC-01
Drew Daniels reviews François J. Bonnet’s The Order of Sounds, together with Peter Szendy’s Phantom Limbs: On Musical Bodies, in the September issue of The Wire:

Operating at high theoretical altitude, in The Order of Sounds, François Bonnet sets himself a Herculean task: nothing less than the retheorisation of sound as such. […] what makes these books pulse is the rapidity with which new ideas are named into existence […] attest[ing] to the power of the well chosen example to incarnate and extend thought.

10 Jul 2016

Announcement

Robin Mackay

I’m pleased to announce that I have been appointed as Visiting Research Fellow at Goldsmiths Department of Visual Cultures for three years. Very much welcome the opportunity to working with the staff and students of this excellent department, and looking forward to it!

29 Jun 2016

EUurb

Etienne Balibar on Brexit as inverse Grexit, in Libération: link to original article.

Brexit—The Anti-Grexit

A weak Athens was ostracised from within the frontiers of the European Union. There is every reason to believe that this process will be reversed for the British: the geometry of the European system will adapt itself to reintegrate them by the back door.

Although not at all seeking to minimise the dramatic character of the consequences that will follow the United Kingdom’s vote, both for the British and for Europe, I am struck by the way in which the headlines of the French and overseas press are presenting the situation: ‘After Brexit…’. With few exceptions, they all seem to take it as given that the divorce has taken place. But in reality, we are certainly entering into a turbulent phase whose outcome is not at all clear. It is this uncertainty that I would like to try and discuss and interpret here. As we know, comparison is not rational argument; yet how could we not recall at this moment that, in the recent history of European politics, the results of national and transnational referendums have never succeeded in being implemented? This was the case in 2005 and in 2008 for the ‘European Constitution’ and the Lisbon treaty—and even more so, even more obviously, in 2015 for the Memorandum of Understanding on Greece. The same will probably apply this time. The British ruling class, beyond the personal conflicts that have tactically divided them, are manoeuvring to avert disaster and to best negotiate the terms of the ‘exit’. Certain governments (with the French at the helm), as well as the Commission’s spokesman, continue to bluster (‘leave means leave’). But Germany doesn’t see it that way, and any unanimity between the European nations is only a facade.

Most likely, following a period of tension, whose outcome will be determined not so much by public opinion as by the fluctuations of the financial markets, we will end up with the fabrication of a new geometry of the ‘system’ of European states, in which lack of formal membership of the European Union will always be compensated for by other structures: the Eurozone, but also NATO, the border security system that will succeed Schengen, and a ‘free exchange zone’ that will be defined as a function of relations of economic forces. From this point of view, also, the comparison between Grexit and Brexit may prove instructive: the weakness of Greece, abandoned by all those who, logically, should have stood up for it and supported its claims, has led to a regime of internal exclusion; the relative strength of the United Kingdom (which can count on solid support in the EU) will doubtless lead to a yet more accentuated form of external inclusion. Does this mean that nothing will have really happened? Obviously not. Let’s briefly examine the ‘English side’ and the ‘European side’, before stating why they are not separable from each other, but represent two sides of the same coin.

It is obvious that the particular history of Great Britain, its imperial past, its social history consisting in brutal reversals, must be taken into account in order to explain the emergence of a hegemonic ‘anti-European’ feeling. The analyses that have been put forward show that this general feeling stems from extraordinarily diverse motives, divided by factors of class, generation, nationality, and ethnicity. Potentially, they are in contradiction with each other, and it is this contradiction which has been smoothed over by the discourse of ‘sovereignty’ manipulately used by the Brexit camp. One might ask how long it will be able to mask the fact that, in particular, the economic and social havoc of which a growing proportion of the ‘new poor’ of the UK will be the victims are due to the cumulative effects of neoliberal politics, which have not been imposed on the UK by the EU alone—on the contrary, since the Thatcher epoch, and through the period of New Labour, the EU has been one of the most active supporters of Europe as a whole. In itself, Brexit—however it plays out—will provide no corrective for this situation. Except, of course, if an alternative politics were to gain a majority. But in order for this to happen—and this is not the least paradox of the situation—it would have to find a counterpart on the continent, for the law of competition between ‘territories’ will be asserted ever more powerfully after Brexit.

Which brings us to the ‘European’ side. All specificities taken into account, none of the problems facing the United Kingdom are absent from the other European nations Which shows what truth there is in the ‘populist’ propaganda (‘neither right nor left’) which has now been unleashed throughout the EU, calling for referendums on the English model. Already, in 2005, Chancellor Schmidt observed that, without exception, consultations on the French and Dutch model had everywhere yielded negative results. The crisis of legitimacy, the return to nationalism, the tendency to project social and cultural malaise onto an ‘internal enemy’ targeted by xenophobic and islamophobic parties, have developed everywhere. The Greek crisis has been used by governments won over by social austerity to make public debt into a taxpayers’ phantasm. The refugee crisis has been conflated with questions of security. Clearly, what is manifesting itself in the UK as ‘separatism’ is happening everywhere in Europe, as a tendency toward the fragmentation of societies, the aggravation of their internal and external faultlines.
A better way to say this would be to say that we have crossed a threshold in the process of the disaggregation of the European edifice, not because of the British vote, but as a result of what it has revealed about the polarising tendencies in Europe as a whole, and about a political crisis which is also a moral crisis. Not only do we find ourselves, as I have written before, in an ‘interregnum’; we are seeing a destituting process which, at the moment, has no constituting counterpart.

Are we powerless, then? That is the question. In the short term, I am very pessimistic, because discourses of the ‘refoundation’ of Europe are in the hands of a political and technocratic class which has no interest in transforming the orientation that guarantees it the benevolence of occult power (that of financial markets), and has no wish to deeply reform the system of power from which it draws its monopoly of representation. And by way of consequence, the responsibility of challenging this political class is assumed by parties and ideologues who tend to destroy the links between European peoples (or more generally, those resident in Europe). A very long march will be necessary in order to come together and to clarify in the eyes of a majority of citizens, across borders, the close interdependence between shared sovereignty, transnational democracy, alter-globalization, the co-development of regions and nations, and translation between cultures. We have not reached that point, and time is running out…. Which is one more reason—if we believe in Europe—to tirelessly pursue an understanding of this situation.

23 Apr 2016

Upcoming Talks

Robin Mackay

I’ll be speaking at the École des Mines in Paris next week on ‘Alliances Expedient and Theoeretical Between Philosophy and Contemporary Art’ – details here [[addendum: for a more glamorous alternative catch Nick Srnicek at the Odeon]] – and will also give the keynote, on ‘Approaching the Contemporary Object’, at the Humanities and Beyond: Exploring the Frontiers of Disciplinarity conference at the University of York at the end of May – details here.

05 Apr 2016

We hope that you’re enjoying the new Urbanomic site—we are of course happy to receive any feedback. Huge thanks to Leaky Studio for their amazing work on the site (going way beyond the call of duty to please a difficult client!); and to Artur Tixiliski for his photographic work for the book pages—he did a perfect job of visually communicating our belief in and commitment to the book as a material form.

Building the site has meant something of a hiatus in terms of organising events and getting new publications out, but rest assured that will be remedied over the remainder of 2016 (after a brief pause for breath)—starting with the publication next month of François J. Bonnet’s The Order of Sounds. There are several other books, and also a new volume of Collapse on the way, more details to come soon.

It was obviously necessary to replace the old, very much outdated, site; but in doing so we wanted to make something that was more than a shop window, and gradually this developed into a ‘pathologically comprehensive’ approach, realisation of which took a lot longer than expected….

The new site has been carefully engineered and designed to allow readers to explore the rich interconnections between conceptual themes, contributors, publications, and events that Urbanomic has developed since Collapse I was published—almost 10 years ago now (celebrations in September!)

What’s happened since then is that our cohort of contributors has grown, many of them returning and contributing across different publications and events, a new and enthusiastic audience has grown with us, new conceptual spaces have developed, and we’ve continued to try and bring together people and ideas from very different disciplines and points of view.

But what’s always been paramount is that Urbanomic is not interested in stocking a cabinet of curiosities, creating a miscellany or a whimsical collection of eclectic materials; nor are we interested in advocating one single philosophical agenda or point of view. The aim has always been to produce and refine an ‘editorial machine’ that would operate to select heterogeneous materials with a view to operating new syntheses, overlaps, montages, connections that allow passage between these materials, stitching them together in new ways and activating new conceptual circuits—and that’s what we wanted to try and reflect on the site. (Another consequence of the development process has been to lead me to repeatedly return to and recalibrate the statement of what is at the core of Urbanomic’s work).

So, the site offers a comprehensive overview of existing work (complete with the excavation of some archive materials that have been lying dormant in the filing cabinet for years!—more of that to come); but more importantly it provides a platform where readers can navigate this material, creating their own path through it (tracking particular concepts through tags, looking at the work of particular contributors, following links between documents, events, books, and posts, and even chapters—yes, the site contains a page for every chapter of every book we’ve ever published…). And, of course, we’ve also made it easier for ourselves to regularly add new online content, so the site will hopefully become rather more of a live destination than the previous one (which was very much moribund if not entirely defunct). It’s a new way for us to extend further our commitment to transdisciplinary thinking, bringing together theorists and practitioners from many different fields, in search of new conceptual movements and montages.

Once again, we’re really happy to receive feedback and suggestions for the site, format and content-wise.

And I’d like to thank everyone who’s supported us over the years and enabled Urbanomic to survive. The construction of what I hope is a unique space of thinking is in no way separable from the emergence of a new audience, many of whom have in their turn become contributors to new publications and projects. This is what fuels the ‘editorial machine’ and keeps it running (although of course, like any desiring-machine it ‘only works when it breaks down’ 🙂 ). It’s your support that has allowed it to develop into something whose existence, although I did indeed vaguely imagine it back in 2006, is a constant source of amazement.

Finally many thanks to Sequence Press, whose support and collaboration has been absolutely crucial for Urbanomic since we began our partnership in 2011. Look out for announcement of some exciting new Urbanomic/Sequence titles coming up for 2016, too….

05 Apr 2016

Accélération, a new French-language collection on accelerationism, is out from PUF, no less, on 20 April—including contributions from the usual suspects, including Srnicek and Williams, Land, Brassier, Fisher, Avanessian, Negarestani, and also Laboria Cuboniks’ manifesto, plus a chapter on accelerated ecology from Yves Citton. Details here.

9782130736509_v100

21 Oct 2015

Announcing the final lectures in Fernando Zalamea's month-long seminar, Grothendieck and a Theory of Contemporary Transgression, hosted by the Graduate Program in Media Studies at Pratt Institute.

The seminar is organized around the work of Alexander Grothendieck, who was considered the greatest pure mathematician of the second half of the 20th century. Zalamea traces Grothendieck's revolutionary work in relation to the work of C.S. Peirce, Novalis and P. Valéry, theories of topoi and sheaves, networks, art and music, and guides it towards a generalized theory of transgression for mathematics, philosophy and contemporary culture.

Fernando Zalamea is a professor of Mathematics at the National University of Colombia in Bogotá. He is the author of several books, including Synthetic Philosophy of Contemporary Mathematics; Peirce's Logic of Continuity: A Mathematical and Conceptual Approach; Razón de la Frontera y Fronteras de la razón: Pensamiento de los límites en Peirce, Florenski, Marey, y limitantes de la expression en Lispector, Vieira da Silva, Tarkovski; América, una trama integral: Transversalidad, bordes y abismos en la cultura Americana, siglos xix y xx; and Ariadna y Penélope: Redes y mixturas en el mundo contemporáneo. He is also editor and translator of the Spanish edition of the works of Albert Lautman, Ensayos sobre la dialéctica, estructrura y unidad de las matemáticas modernas.

All events will be held at:

Pratt Institute, Manhattan Campus

144 West 14th Street, between 6th and 7th Ave.

Room 213

New York, NY 10011

Topos and a Gestural Space Theory
Lecture
Wednesday, October 21st
6:30 – 8:30pm

Motives and a Diagrammatic Synthesis Theory
Lecture
Thursday, October 22nd
6:30 – 8:30pm

Contemporary Transgression
Round Table
with Olivia Lucca Fraser, Fabien Giraud, Trent Knebel, Robin Mackay, Guerino Mazzola, Reza Negarestani and Christopher Vitale
Saturday, October 24th
6:00 – 9:00pm

For more information, or to contact the event organizers, visit:
https://zalameaseminarnyc.wordpress.com

20 Oct 2015

Performance of Florian Hecker piece A Script for Machine Synthesis, with libretto by Reza Negarestani, voice by Charlotte Rampling, Synthetic Voice by Rob Clark, perfume by Carlos Benaim and Frederic Malle — Paris, FIAC, 24 October at 1800.

19 Sep 2015

The criticism that consumption society deserves is that there are not enough things: we need more gadgets, and things and stuff, that we can box into other things, all this crap, a whole sexuality of gadgets. (more…)

14 May 2015

Urbanomic will be at Offprint London in the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, 22-25 May – see you there!

06 May 2015


All of the CCRU writings congealed into one clot. A major event for readers intrigued by Fanged Noumena and the CCRU writings included in #Accelerate: Time Spiral Press have just published a comprehensive collection of CCRU output from 1997-2003, available as an e-book here.

16 Mar 2015

We are putting together a new catalogue and would like to invite readers to send photos of Urbanomic books in their natural environment. Email them to office@urbanomic.com.
Please no bookshelves this time though, unless they are exceptionally interesting bookshelves.

03 Mar 2015

A reminder that this event is happening tonight in London, with speakers Matthew Fuller, Adam Kleinman, Jay Owens, Benedict Singleton. The event will also be streamed live on youtube here.

25 Feb 2015

Neurolivestock certainly enjoy an existence more comfortable than serfs or millworkers, but they do not easily escape their destiny as the self-regulating raw material of a market as predictable and as homogeneous as a perfect gas, a matter counted in atoms of distress, stripped of all powers of negotiation, renting out their mental space, brain by brain.

– Gilles Châtelet, To Live and Think Like Pigs

You are invited to join us next Tuesday in London for a roundtable discussion convened by Urbanomic:

Tuesday 3 March 2015, 7-8.30 pm

at Thomas Dane Gallery,

3 Duke Street St. James's,

London SW1Y 6BN

Participants:

Robin Mackay, Director of Urbanomic, translator of To Live and Think Like Pigs

Jay Owens, researcher in social media at global strategic insight agency FACE

Benedict Singleton, design strategist

Adam Kleinman, writer and curator

Matthew Fuller, Director of the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths University of London

— in the context of the exhibition of JOHN GERRARD: FARM

In early 2014, following his denial of access by Google Inc., artist John Gerrard hired a helicopter and produced a detailed photographic survey of one the key physical sites of the internet – a Google data farm in Oklahoma. This survey was the starting point of his new work entitled Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma), 2015.

The work features a simulated 'twin' of the squat building flanked by diesel generators and powerful cooling towers.

This new work is currently showing at Thomas Dane Gallery, London.

What dislocations of the subject, what disruptions of the process of individuation are administered by a global system of 'self-organization' piloted from blank, inaccessible facilities such as the one modelled in Farm? What new species of virtual subject is being reared in massive data centres whose processes operate well below the threshold of human perception?

Setting out from Gilles Châtelet's prescient dystopian tract To Live and Think Like Pigs, this discussion seeks to understand the relation between cognitive and spatial dislocation in the contemporary digital-cognitive control system,and the algorithmic channelling of desire that binds us to the invisible processing centres of a 'future neurocracy'; and to ask, in the wake of 'post-internet art': What does the Internet look like?

NB: Space is limited. Please email saskia[at]thomasdane.com to register for the event.

11 Feb 2015

yarncast-small.jpg
Have you listened to Yarncast, the series of podcasts from our The Ultimate Yarnwork project in Bergen? Artists, Architects, Philosophers, Strategists, Litigation Consultants, Crime Writers, Historians of Early Modernity, talk in depth about plots and plotting.

27 Jan 2015

In early 2014, following his denial of access by Google Inc., artist John Gerrard hired a helicopter and produced a detailed photographic survey of one the key physical sites of the internet – a Google data farm in Oklahoma. This survey was the starting point of his new work entitled Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma), 2015. It features a simulated 'twin' of the squat building flanked by diesel generators and powerful cooling towers.
This new work will be showing alongside Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada), 2014, at Thomas Dane Gallery, London, from February 7.
On March 3rd, Urbanomic present a roundtable discussion, Here Come the Cybercattle, at Thomas Dane Gallery.
More details on the show here.

Private View
John Gerrard: Farm
3 & 11 Duke Street St. James's, SW1
Friday 6 February
6:30-8:30 pm.

18 Dec 2014

We are delighted to announce the publication of Collapse Volume VIII: Casino Real.

Please visit our web store to purchase. A PDF preview of the editorial introduction to the volume is also available here.
Contributors: Sean Ashton and Nigel Cooke, Elie Ayache, Amanda Beech, Michel Bitbol, Jean Cavaillès, Milan Cirkovic, John M. Coates, Mark Gurnell and Zoltan Sarnyai, Steve Forte, GegenSichKollektiv, Nick Land, Jaspar Joseph-Lester, Sam Lewitt, Suhail Malik, Quentin Meillassoux, Jean-Luc Moulène, Anders Kristian Munk, Jon Roffe, Natasha Dow Schüll, Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams, David Walsh, Fernando Zalamea.
Collapse VIII examines a pervasive image of thought drawn from games of chance. In order to survey those practices in which intellectual resources are most acutely concentrated on the production and exploitation of risk, and to uncover the conceptual underpinnings of methods developed to extract value from contingency – in the casino, in the markets, in life – the volume brings together contributors who extend the philosophical thinking of contingency beyond the 'casino' model, gamblers whose experience gives them the authority to considerably refine our understanding of what it means to master chance, researchers who analyse the operation and experience of risk in diverse arenas, and artists whose work addresses both the desire to confront chance and the desire to tame it by bringing it to order.
Contents of Volume VIII are as follows:
– The volume opens with Jean Cavaillès's 1940 survey of the state of the art in probability theory in the first half of the twentieth century. Through a technical dissection of the core concepts of a nascent probability calculus, he extracts some fundamental problematics that act as a guiding thread throughout the volume.
– One of the most intriguing ways to encounter the disparity between idealised models and actual instances of games of chance is from the point of view of those who attempt to pry open the gap between the two. Game protection expert Steve Forte granted Collapse a very rare interview to discuss his career as a player and as a consultant at the world's top casinos. Detailing a choice selection of exploits, Forte gives us an insight both into the skill and dedication necessary to beat the house, and that called for on the other side of the table to detect scams.
– In 'Engineering Chance', Natasha Dow Schüll describes a casino environment where automation and player control seem to be almost total, and where the very desire to win has itself morphed into something new and disturbing. Her research into the world of machine gambling reveals an industry specialising in the engineering of 'the zone'–a state of continuous, immobile narcolepsy–a case study in what Deleuze called the 'control society'.
Jaspar Joseph-Lester's photo-essay focuses on the Wedding district of Berlin, remarkable for its concentration of small casinos, documenting the situation and formal characteristics of these deracinated spaces for zoned-out gamblers.
– In an interview with David Walsh, whose sports betting syndicate The Bank Roll is one of the most successful in the world, he affords us some insights into his own system and reflects upon his career and his latter day role as art collector and director of the underground 'unmuseum' MONA, emphasising the vicissitudes of chance in life, and how selection effects colour our perceptions of fortune, success, and failure.
– With an overview of statistical flood modelling, Anders Kristian Munk brings us into the heart of the contemporary manufacture of risk enabled by such models. Here risk models emerge as a particular form of science-fiction, wherein the 'fictitious' capacities of physical modelling are cultivated and activated by the application of the probability framework.
Nick Land addresses the ascendancy of risk as a mode of thinking, and its seismic historical effects, in a grand synthesis that 'transcendentalises' the notion of 'casino capitalism': the inherence of risk to modernity makes of capitalism the system for which, at the (immanent) limit, the casino has become the stake, fully unleashing the disruptive capacity of the pursuit of risk via its effective commodification and unveiling a horizon of existential risk.
– In 'The Greatest Gamble in History', Milan Cirkovic also meditates on existential risk, from the point of view not of terrestrial singularity but of extraterrestrial diaspora, examining the prospect of what might seem like a 'reckless gamble' on the part of a beleaguered species — namely, a decisive collective investment in extraplanetary migration: Do we may stand more chance of surviving to take another turn if we risk stepping out of the planetary 'cradle'?
– Understanding risktaking behaviour in terms of our evolutionary inheritance, John M. Coates, Mark Gurnell and Zoltan Sarnyai provide a scientific context for 'irrational exuberance' in which it becomes evident that the mechanisms that drive these 'violations of rational choice theory' may be functional and optimizing in risk situations. Their experimental data reveals correlations between biochemical shifts in the bodies of traders and their performance in the market, and they invoke a 'neuroeconomics' that would provide the link between economic events and brain processes.
– Yet one might wonder for how long humans will play any role at all, considering the supercession of traders by various species of algorithmic 'black boxes', and the rise of high frequency trading. This increasingly inhuman ecosystem, an environment in which 'technology redefines the risk landscape itself' and 'the earth itself becomes an impediment', is explored by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams in an examination of the relations between intelligence, speed, and accelerationism.
Sam Lewitt visits the Mahwah high-speed trading datacentre, a 'disappearing monument' to a globalised automated financial network of abstraction. Taking the measure of the almost total withdrawal of finance from representation, his text reflects on the accelerated abstraction of the value-form and the forces that are mustered to defend its remaining physical outposts.
– The mathematical instruments used to price derivatives–classically, the Black-Scholes-Merton formula–are underwritten by a model that ostensibly consists in assigning numerical probabilities to future events. The work of Elie Ayache, who has spent many years dealing first-hand with the complexities of the speculative options and futures markets, presents us with a new thinking of the market entirely outside the terms of probability and prediction. In our extensive interview Ayache not only avails us of his expert knowledge of derivatives pricing technology, but clarifies and extends his critique of Taleb's 'Black Swan' model, and gives the most in-depth account yet of his pursuit of a 'philosophy of the market'.
Jon Roffe's review of the overall movement of Ayache's thought reiterates its movement 'from depth to surface, or from thought to writing', setting out the axioms of an immanent 'philosophy of the market', and taking issue with the expulsion of CDOs from the 'generalised surface of the market' it posits.
Suhail Malik's 'Ontology of Finance' supplements Ayache's understanding of the fundamental logic of derivatives with Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler's account of capital as power, drawing Ayache's thinking into the domain of the political by reading price as the medium of political order. Turning from the intrinsic logic of the market to the shifts in global power dynamics implied by the sheer volume and financial magnitude of derivatives trading, Malik seeks to combine the philosophical understanding of the nature and logic of the derivatives market with an analysis of the novel mode of capitalist power it expresses.
Quentin Meillassoux makes a welcome return to the pages of Collapse, opening a sequence of contributions that relate to the role of chance in the work of art by contextualising his recent work on Mallarmé, The Number and the Siren, in terms of his general materialist orientation, and positioning Mallarmé's Coup de dés as a materialist gesture that presents a unique solution to the predicament of the artist following the crisis of the withdrawal of all divine warrant.
Sean Ashton's short story continues the Meillassouxian theme, recounting the strange fate of a man who decides to 'put his body in the service of a philosophical notion'. This weird tale, illustrated by Nigel Cooke, describes a singular experiment that wavers undecidably between philosophy, art, and performance.
– Proposing a more violent study in the activation of chance, GegenSichKollektiv address the demand that the work of art itself must involve a risk on the part of its audience. Drawing on the work of Ray Brassier, GegenSichKollektiv's diagnosis of the current predicament of 'noise' suggests that only a dialectical articulation of the sensory and the cognitive can draw noise out of its safety zone and bring back the possibility of true risk.
– Continuing this interrogation of the relation between art and contingency are two artists&#39 works that cut through the entire volume: Jean-Luc Moulène's edition, made especially for this volume, consisting of a series of interleaved images, and Amanda Beech's enactment of the order of coincidence in a montage sequence that continually interrupts the pages of the volume.
– Three different viewpoints on contingency and probability, in philosophy, in science, and in the market, close the volume. Fernando Zalamea reminds us that the concept of absolute chance was introduced into philosophy in the late nineteenth century by Charles Sanders Peirce, in the form of his 'tychism'. As Zalamea argues, this makes of Peirce&#39s philosophy an impressively complex and subtle instrument that particularly deserves to be revisited in the context of 'transmodernism'.
Michel Bitbol demonstrates how the most recent developments of quantum theory do not escape but only deepen its extension of probabilistic thinking, further developing a 'metacontextual predictive structure' that confirms the inseparability of detection instrument, milieu, and phenomena. Once we comprehend the structure of quantum theory in this metacontextual fashion, he argues, it becomes possible to understand the quantum theory as a 'generalised theory of probability' whose potential applications reach well beyond the sphere of physics.
– In Elie Ayache's closing text, 'A Formal Deduction of the Market', he adds further precision to his concept of the market. Utilising the recent work of Glenn Shafer and Vladimir Vovk, Ayache demonstrates how the probability formalism can be stripped of its relation to concepts of repetition, time, and propensity altogether, delivering on Cavaillès's presentiment that 'it is to a more profound reform of our ideas about the real that probability calculus invites us, a reform whose magnitude we should not underestimate'.

27 Nov 2014


To celebrate Collapse 8 finally going to press, we are offering copies of the ORIGINAL series of Collapse at an insane Black Friday price in our web store, from 00:00 GMT tomorrow.
We have been down into the Urbanomic cellar and are clearing the last remaining stock of the ORIGINAL printing of the previous volumes of Collapse. This is definitively your last ever chance to get hold of these limited editions. We have only a small number of copies of Collapse I, II, III, V, VI, and VII (not IV). We ALSO have a similarly limited number of copies of the first editions of Fanged Noumena and The Concept of Non-Photography.
Best of all, for this Friday only, for our Facebook and Twitter friends, all of these titles are available for only £5 each + shipping.
*note: these copies are sold as they are, from our last remaining stock. They may be any one of the following: unnumbered; marked; bent covers; cracked spine; missing insert (Collapse VII); cursed; radioactive. They are all readable! There are only limited numbers of each title, to be sold on a first come first served basis (no reservation in advance – please don't email!, sale begins 00:00 GMT on Friday 27 Nov).

27 Nov 2014


We're delighted to announce that the colossal (>1000 pages!) Collapse VIII: Casino Real has gone to press. You can read the editorial introduction here.
If all goes to plan, we expect to be able to get pre-orders to at least UK and EU customers in time for Christmas.
If you haven't reserved your copy yet, you can pre-order at our web store (remember it's a limited edition…!)

17 Nov 2014

For those on the other side of the pond … Sequence Press now has Gilles Châtelet's To Live and Think Like Pigs, Speculative Aesthetics, and Object-Oriented Philosophy: The Noumenon's New Clothes all in stock!

10 Nov 2014


Reminder: You are invited to a launch event for Speculative Aesthetics, this Wednesday, from 6pm at the Clore Gallery, Tate Britain. Discussion with some of the contributors to the book, and music/noise.
6pm DJ Starkton – sonic-cognitive abrasion set
6.45pm Introduction to Speculative Aesthetics, Discussion
7.30-8.30pm – DJ TT + drinks
All welcome, no booking required!
Speculative Aesthetics is now available in both paperback and e-book versions – More details here.

06 Nov 2014

We are delighted to announce that the long-awaited Collapse Volume VIII: Casino Real will be published on 15 December, and is now available for pre-order from our web store – for a limited time with free shipping. As well as an astonishing array of texts from philosophers, gamblers, casino security consultants, and more, the volume also includes meillasouxian short fiction, contributions from artists and designers, a recipe for extreme cognitive noise, and a beautiful edition of 10 prints by artist Jean-Luc Moulène (more details here). Your advance orders are much appreciated and help to support future projects! (Not to mention the fact that this volume of Collapse is, as always, a limited edition that is sure to sell out quickly).

05 Nov 2014

There has been a lot of #Accelerate-related action recently – here's a brief round-up:
– Bayern Radio recently broadcast a fantastic show on accelerationism, With Techno and Terminator against Capital, complete with music picked by editor Robin Mackay, including some CCRU productions.
– There is a forthcoming event, The Accelerationist Trial at the Pompidou Centre in Paris in December, scheduled to coincide with a forthcoming issue of Multitudes.
– Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek, authors of the Accelerationist Manifesto, are Interviewed in Libération.
– Over at 3AM magazine Alex Galloway
discusses Accelerationism with Benjamin Noys, whose new book Malign Velocities expands and elaborates his critical take on the idea.
– The Dark Ecologies blog continues its excellent series of readings of #Accelerate with a post on Benedict Singleton's take on Cosmism.
– CCBLAB have an Interview with Editor Robin Mackay.
– A call for papers for a Prague workshop on education and acceleration.
– Lastly, and most intriguing of all, Vice have a story on Health Goth, a fashion movement which is apparently aligned with Accelerationism.

21 Oct 2014


Après le récent entretien avec Alex Williams et Nick Srnicek dans Libération, les accélérationistes français (fraccélérationistes?) peuvent se réjouir … nous avons ici un certain nombre d'exemplaires de cette élégant brochure à tirage limitée Fission, produite par Forde et Wallriss avec la collaboration d'Urbanomic. Elle contient le texte essentiel de Nick Land, Fission (Meltdown) ainsi qu'un essai de Robin Mackay, 'Une expérience dans l&#39inhumanisme' sur l'histoire de Land et son travail à Warwick dans les ann&eacutees 90.

06 Oct 2014

Hello world!

Reza Negarestani

It is a matter of patiently assisting this Thing from outside as it extracts us unilaterally from spontaneity and decision; in extirpating once and for all what we might call the original spontaneous philosophical illusion – that which consists in the philosopher’s belief – the ‘oldest prejudice’ (more…)

02 Oct 2014

Three new publications on their way, three launch events for November:

On Nov 7th we launch Peter Wolfendale's Object-Oriented Philosophy at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts, Gateshead. More details here.

On Nov 12th we move on to Tate Britain for the launch of Speculative Aesthetics. More details here.

And on Nov 20th, at Spike Island, Bristol, we launch Châtelet's To Live and Think Like Pigs where Robin Mackay will discuss how Châtelet's polemic stands in relation to the perspective of Accelerationisms past and present.More details here.

22 Sep 2014

We now have copies of Reza Negarestani's essay Torture Concrete for sale in our web store.

Negarestani's essay is published in conjunction with Jean-Luc Moulène's exhibition, Torture Concrete, September 7 – October 26, 2014 at Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York. The text emerged out of a number of conversations between the writer and artist around the theme of abstraction both as a multi-faceted project in the general domain of thought and as a specific process of artistic experimentation. Negarestani sharply asserts abstraction's origins as the dialectic between form (mathematics) and sensible matter (physics) and its otherwise flat interpretation in art history, and presents us with the redemptive possibilities for its enrichment and diversification through the lens of artistic practice.

Negarestani calls into question the 'self-reflexive history of art' as having embezzled this singular definition of abstraction, so that one can no longer link it to its constitutive gesture or procedural coherence, and locates Moulène's work safely at the outer-edges of this 'impoverished' history. He asserts that for Moulène, 'the task of art is rediscovered not in its ostensible autonomy but in its singular power to rearrange and destabilize the configurational relations between parameters of thought, parameters of imagination and material constraints which parameterize the cognitive edifice.'

Moulène seeks to define new objectives for art and to further revise its task using his own working paradigm of topology and dynamic systems. Within the artist's work – the work of systematization of experimentation and producing tools for thinking – Negarestani finds a reassuring pursuit in practice, that of the unearthing of a buried dialectic, and a worthy response to his problematic: 'We've all heard of abstraction, but no one has ever seen one.'

Both men work in search of a means of emancipation from a tortured position (as writer, artist, human). For Moulène, making a change to the body, a change from within, works alongside the notion of thought making a difference in the world. But in order for thought to do this, as Negarestani suggests, 'first it must make a difference in itself–this is where abstraction finds its true vocation.'

19 Sep 2014


Also forthcoming for 2014-15 are several more in the Redactions series, including the long-awaited Hydroplutonic Kernow, documentation of a 2010\’s Geotraumatic bus tour of Cornwall, and When Site Lost the Plot, a transdisciplinary investigation into the remains of the concept of site-specificity.

April 2015 sees publication of Suhail Malik\’s important new work on On The Necessity of Art\’s Exit From Contemporary Art.
And of course, before that, the long long awaited Collapse 8: Casino Real will finally be published (apologies for the delay but, as you can see, we haven\’t been shirking…).
Also we have copies of Reza Negarestani\’s Torture Concrete coming in next week…

19 Sep 2014


Last, but not least, of our new books, published with Sequence Press and scheduled for November publication, is Gilles Châtelet\’s magnificent polemic against neoliberalism, To Live and Think Like Pigs.
In this fiery tract, Châtelet combines the incandescent wrath of the betrayed comrade with the acute discrimination of the mathematician-physicist, scrutinizing the pseudoscientific alibis employed to naturalize \’market democracy\’, and the \’triple alliance\’ between politics, economics, and cybernetics.
Alain Badiou contributes a preface in which he examines how the \’fulminating abstraction\’ at work in this book provides a clue to the link between Châtelet\’s work as a philosopher of science and mathematics and his insistence upon connecting thought to the body and to the question \’What is it to Live?\’

19 Sep 2014


Second of our new publications arriving next month is Speculative Aesthetics, the first of our new Redactions series (see Publications).
Redaction is the process of preparing source material for publication, implying both recall, distillation, and a settling of accounts (Redigere – to bring back, reduce down, call in)
Urbanomic\’s Redactions reprocess live dialogues, rewriting, reconstructing and reassembling archives of past events.
The original participants are invited to revisit, rethink and refine their contributions, which are occasionally supplemented by additional resources to further extend the discussion – a montage of collective research in progress.
This first publication in the series documents and extends the Speculative Aesthetics roundtable, discussing the ramifications of speculative thought for aesthetics, this discussion ranges from contemporary art\’s relation to the aesthetic, to accelerationism and abstraction, logic and design.
The introduction to the book is available to read on the book details page.

19 Sep 2014


Our first new publication is Peter Wolfendale\’s tour de force, Object-Oriented Philosophy: The Noumenon\’s New Clothes.
Both a remarkably clear explication of the tenets of OOP and an acute critique of the movement\’s ramifications for philosophy today, Object-Oriented Philosophy is a major engagement with one of the most prevalent trends in recent philosophy. Moving beyond the hype, Peter Wolfendale considers its emergence in the light of the intertwined legacies of twentieth-century analytic and Continental traditions.
Ray Brassier contributes a postscript that faces the legacy of Speculative Realism and OOO head-on, conducting a \’Speculative Autopsy\’ on a movement that was, as Wolfendale states, \’dead on arrival\’.

19 Sep 2014


We are very excited to announce a number of new Urbanomic publications for 2014-15. Please click on the link above for our new catalogue, which features some great photos from Urbanomic readers of our books in various exotic locations from Bogota to Tokyo, Iceland to Aruba!
More details on each of the new titles to follow… if you can\’t wait, check out the Publications page.

09 Sep 2014

We are about to send out our trade catalogue with new titles for 2014-15. Once again we invite you to recommend bookstores worldwide where you would like to see Urbanomic titles in stock. Please email bookstores@urbanomic.com with your suggestions. Thanks!

04 Sep 2014

In response to many requests, we have been preparing all the previous volumes of Collapse into ebook format; they will be published progressively, beginning with Collapse 1: Numerical Materialism later this month.
In rereading Collapse 1 (2006) it occurred to us that the first piece Urbanomic published by Reza Negarestani, The Militarization of Peace: Absence of Terror or Terror of Absence? deserves to be widely reread today, so we have made this article available as a preview epub: Download here.

08 Aug 2014

Let\’s make Urbanomic\’s 2014-15 catalogue look good. Send your photos to us at office@urbanomic.com. If your photo is used you get free copies of new 2014-15 publications! All resolutions considered!

07 Jul 2014

The introduction to #Accelerate: The Accelerationist Reader is now available to read online here.

13 May 2014

We have something of a backlog but all advance orders for #Accelerate should be sent out this week. Thanks for your patience. The e-book edition is coming as soon as we negotiate the hurdles erected by the itunes and Amazon monopolies.

02 May 2014

14 May @enclaveprojects: #Accelerate w/WORDS:@benedict @lemonbloodycola @deontologistics v-reza +NOISE:starkton @tomtrevatt frankiesolar

24 Apr 2014

Owing to technical hitches in printing, publication date for #Accelerate now May 8 – our apologies. Please feel free to comment wryly on irony of situation.

18 Mar 2014

in response to queries, yes there will be an ebook edn of #Accelerate published in parallel with print edn

18 Dec 2013

Some details on the contents of the long-awaited volume 8 of Collapse:
Collapse 8: Casino Real
Robin Mackay
Introduction
Amanda Beech
The Church The Bank The Art Gallery
Jean-Luc Moulène
Untitled
Jean Cavaillès
From Collective to Wager
Elie Ayache
A Formal Deduction of the Market
Quentin Meillassoux
Mallarmé's Materialist Divinization of the Hypothesis
Sean Ashton / Nigel Cooke
Mr Heggarty Goes Down
Steve Forte
Game Control (Interview)
Ilona Gaynor
Everything Ends in Chaos
Nick Land
Transcendental Risk
Milan Ćirković
The Greatest Gamble in History
Jaspar Joseph-Lester
A Guide to the Casino Architecture of Wedding
Fernando Zalamea
Peirce's Tychism: Absolute Contingency for our Transmodern World
Elie Ayache
From Trading Pit to Blank Swan (Interview)
Jon Roffe
From a Restricted to a General Pricing Surface
Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams
On Cunning Automata: Financial Acceleration at the Limits of the Dromological
Sam Lewitt
Notes from New Jersey
Natasha Schüll
Gambling in a Control Society
John Coates, Mark Gurnell, Zoltan Sarnyai
From Molecule to Market
David Walsh
The Professional Amateur (Interview)
Jonathan Nitzan & Shimshon Bichler
Systemic Fear (Interview)
Suhail Malik
The Ontology of Finance: Price, Power, and the Arkhé-Derivative
Michel Bitbol
Quantum Mechanics as Generalised Theory of Probabilities
GegensichKollectiv
CAUTION

11 Sep 2013

We are pleased to announce that Urbanomic titles are now distributed by Central Books. This is an exciting move forward for us, and we expect this new alliance to make Urbanomic and Urbanomic/Sequence titles more readily available through a variety of online outlets and in a real bookstore near you.

03 Jul 2013

Collapse Vols I-IV as delivered to NY customer by @USPS #WeCare

27 Jun 2013

Alex Williams on Nick Land and Accelerationism at E-Flux #accelerate

24 May 2013

Send bookstores@urbanomic.com your suggestions for cool local independent bookstores worldwide who should stock Urbanomic/Sequence!

11 Apr 2013

FIACS for cover FB 3.jpg
Exciting event from @00arika00 in Glasgow 18-21 Apr, with Ray Brassier among others – “a kind of festival or salon of experimental music, poetry, performance and discussions, variously concerned with notions of the performance of freedom.” Details

10 Apr 2013

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Ko::Labs 1997 w/ DJs Turbo (@kodenine)+Delta (@urbanomicdotcom) inc Delta/CCRU sub-bass materialist classic “Gray Matter”. On Soundcloud

08 Apr 2013

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Florian Hecker/Reza Negarestani – documentation+continuation+further chimerization of this major collaborative project, published by Primary Information – more details

13 Mar 2013


Reza Negarestani will be reading from his eagerly-anticipated The Mortiloquist, and speaking about 'Theory-Fiction as Philosophy's Minecraft', at the University of Pennsylvania (Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk Philadelphia, PA 19104), on 28 March, at 1800 hrs. Link to Venue.

22 Feb 2013

Althusser meets Miami Vice during CIA Powerpoint presentation in the Mojave Desert.
Amanda Beech: Final Machine
p84 red soil & circle.jpg
Launch event, panel discussion tomorrow afternoon at Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry. Details here.
The book Final Machine, featuring a foreword by Robin Mackay, texts by Bridget Crone and Reza Negarestani, along with the full script of the work and a retrospective of Beech's previous works, is released on monday and is available for pre-order at our web store now.

14 Feb 2013

Felicitaciones to Fernando Zalamea, who has been awarded the Premio Nacional de Ensayo Siglo XXI for his essay Pasajes de Proteo: More here.

11 Feb 2013

Details of the forthcoming Collapse Volume 8: Here

17 Jan 2013



Publication 25 February: Amanda Beech, Final Machine – with texts by Reza Negarestani, Bridget Crone, Robin Mackay.
A launch and discussion event for the book will be held at Lanchester Gallery Projects, Coventry, UK, on 23 February, 2-5pm.

14 Jan 2013

Join our e-mailing list for bulletins on Urbanomic publications and events: mail office@urbanomic.com with subject line 'subscribe'.

08 Jan 2013

dtoh.jpg
#nonphilosophy #nonstandardphilosophy Finally available: Urbanomic/Sequence Press's collection of philosophical essays and experimental texts by François Laruelle – from our online store and on Amazon.co.uk. All advance orders have been shipped (thanks for your patience).

05 Jan 2013

@pitchforkmedia Review of Florian Hecker and Reza Negarestani&#39s astonishing Chimerization project: Here

17 Dec 2012

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

06 Dec 2012

Untitled-1.jpg
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).

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.

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

10 Apr 2012

cuthands-sm.jpg
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
2-4pm
Room: New Academic Building
LG01 Goldsmiths
New Cross London
For further info please contact Luciana Parisi l.parisi@gold.ac.uk/
inigowilkins@yahoo.com

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.

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.

01 Nov 2011

We are pleased to announce that the entire contents of Collapse Volume II is now available online (here).
This groundbreaking volume from 2007 introduced the words \’Speculative Realism\’ into the lexicon, with the first published translation of work by Quentin Meillassoux (the essay \’Potentiality and Virtuality\’), Ray Brassier\’s commentary and critique of Meillassoux, and essays by Reza Negarestani and Graham Harman, along with fascinating interviews with theoretical cosmologist Roberto Trotta and Neurophilosopher Paul Churchland, and work by artist Kristen Alvanson and filmmakers Clémentine Duzer and Laura Gozlan.

02 Jul 2011

We are pleased to announce that Collapse VII: Culinary Materialism is now available.

Contributors to the volume include: AO&, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Gabriel Catren, John Cochran, Sean Day, Rick Dolphijn, FIELDCLUB, Michael A. Morris and John Gerrard, Carole Goodden, Iain Hamilton Grant, Manabrata Guha, Dorothée Legrand, Vanina Leschziner and Andrew Dakin, Dan and Nandita Mellamphy, Jeremy Millar, Eugene Thacker, Richard Wrangham, Fernando Zalamea.
There has never been a time when cookery was so high on the agenda of Western popular culture. And yet endlessly-multiplying TV shows, obsessive interest in the provenance of ingredients, and "radical" experiments in gastronomy, tell us little about the nature of the culinary.
Is it possible to develop the philosophical pertinence of the culinary without using philosophy as a support for this endlessly-expanding culture of gastronomy? How might cookery in the restricted sense connect to an extended philosophical sense of the culinary, in which synthesis, combination and experimentation take precedence over analysis, subtraction and axiomatisation?
Collapse VII: Culinary Materialism brings together work that explores, from many different perspectives, the multifaceted question of cookery and eating. In this volume, a range of contributors – philosophers, chefs, scientists, anthropologists, artists – explore the links between philosophy, chemistry, experimental practice and the culinary arts; chart the consequences of the contemporary return of cookery to scientific precision, in the rarefied world of haute cuisine as in the world of mass-manufactured confections; and explore the material, symbolic, and existential dimensions of food and its preparation. Along the way we discover that the question of a culinary materialism is bound up with some profound and enduring issues in the history of philosophy, and can also suggest new approaches to contemporary philosophical problems.

Contents of Volume VII are as follows:
– In The Chemical Paradigm, an interview with Iain Hamilton Grant, the philosopher discusses how chemistry can serve as a model for a renewed naturephilosophy that operates not simply through analysis but equally through synthesis. Developing a "chemophilosophical" point of view, he challenges the nomological model of knowledge and tests the limits of the culinary as metaphor and as principle for a thinking of nature.
Carol Goodden, who, with artist Gordon Matta-Clark founded the restaurant FOOD in New York in 1971, discusses with us the extent to which the FOOD project, and Matta-Clark's interest in disrupting and transforming structure, can be related to a more general concern with alchemical or culinary transformation, exemplified in early works such as his Agar pieces and "fried photographs". The interview is accompanied by an archive of Matta-Clark graphic works that exemplify his conception of "building materials as nature���s food": "build to feed the worms an organic eat-a-tecture".
– The "semi-nomadic collective" AO&'s practice offers an example of how the restricted practice of the culinary can provide a locus for the exploration of broader networks of production, communication and consumption. In our interview they describe their "perverse" endeavour to fully inhabit the problem of food production in contemporary society, through a painstaking "disclosure" that makes possible an enhanced perception or phenomenology of the act of cookery. AO&'s practice involves within the ambit of "food preparation" the personal sourcing and assembly of every ingredient, including cooking materials, the preparation of the site, and the forging of connections with a network of producers – thus they ask, Where is the Edge of the Pot?, preparing the way for a generalised culinarism.
– In his contribution to the volume, Manabrata Guha reports on recent efforts to "weaponize" the massively potent Bhut Jolokia chili pepper, observing that the military effort to harness its non-lethal power to incapacitate and disorient indicate a shift in strategy, a failed attempt to contend with a new "enemy of all". Examining the inadequacy of the state���s employment of the Bhut Jolokia as a means to enhance an ill-adapted military model, Guha turns to the traditional culinary usage of the chili to reveal more fundamental lessons for the transformation of the schema of battlespace and the rise of a new, vague and inherently synthetic, adversary.
Rick Dolphijn adopts another culinary approach to the contemporary "state of emergency", analysing how the changing alimentary regime of the military anticipated and accelerated the rise of biopolitical governance through continual intervention. According to Dolphijn, the militarization of the world���s diet and the territorialization implicit in dietary programs have resulted in the emergence of a new terrestrial dietary/military continuum whose synthetic elements are "terroristsoldiers".
– In Reason in the Roasting of Eggs, anthropologist Richard Wrangham deepens the notion that "cooking that makes us human", expanding on his thesis that the advent of cooked food is one of the major drivers behind the development of the human brain. Wrangham reveals how the human culture of cooking is a part of nature's chemical and physiological horizon; and for this reason, must be seen in the wider context of a culinary continuum that includes the contingencies that made possible the human as such.
– In Theorizing Cuisine from Medieval to Modern Times, examining the transition from medieval to modern epistemes of cookery, Vanina Leschziner and Andrew Dakin argue that prevailing gastrological norms (in particular, the separation of sweet from non-sweet) exist at an intersection of many influences, where sociological, institutional and epistemic conditions drive the exploration of alternative conceptual articulations of the "phase-space" of possibilities provided by chemical, physiological, nutritional, hedonic, and adaptive factors.
Sean Day introduces us to the fascinating world of synaesthetic cookery. Molecular Gastronomy has, famously, experimented with the integration of different senses (not only olfactory but visual and aural) into dishes. But the curious experiences of synaesthetes reported by Day move him to call for an expanded multi-sensory culinary practice that engages not only with the sciences that are able to analyse and synthesise its matter, but also more fully with the neuroscienctific research that could inform a more systematic approach to the interaction of different sensory modalities.
– In Whey to Go, artist collective FIELDCLUB offer an insight into the deranged machinations of capitalism's food laboratories, uncovering a plot that implicates humans, agriculturally-adapted animals and industrial processes in new culinary syntheses, as the "pig-function" is absorbed by the capitalist exigency to full exploitation of the earth.
– In Object Oriented Cookery, Chef John Cochran proposes a culinary practice that opens itself to non-human participants. Chefs, like philosophers, have "ontological commitments" determined by their praxis, and which distort the objects they work with. Cochran critiques the radical claims of contemporary food movements that claim to break out of normative models of cookery – Molecular Gastronomy and Slow Food – and asks what a "flat cookery" could be.
– Anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro examines the extreme point at which the culinary meets the symbolic, proposing that in cannibalism we discover a remarkable example of a developed and socially-functional perspectivism: "anthropophagy as anthropology". Refusing an account of cannibalistic "sacrifice" as divine expiation, Viveiros de Castro develops a rethinking of sacrifice by examining the ways in which the devouring of the enemy also amounts to an inhabiting of "the enemy's point of view" on the self.
Eugene Thacker, in Spiritual Meat, offers us another perspective on cannibalism, drawing out a parallel between Bataille's "religious horror", and the perplexing problem of thinking corporeal resurrection, as addressed by Athenagoras; discovering beyond the "dead life" and the "eaten life" – corpse and meat – an anonymous, unhuman "cooking" and a "desolate culinarism".
– In her contribution Ex-Nihilo: Forming a Body out of Nothing,, Doroth?�e Legrand introduces a move toward a deep (intra-subjective) phenomenology of consumption (in general) and eating disorders (in particular). As Legrand demonstrates, this relation between the diet and production is manifestly highlighted in anorexia, where "eating nothing" translates into a series of complex semiotic, phenomenological and cognitive procedures for the subject with regard to the production of identity; and a resistance against the anonymous dimensions of the self revealed in the act of eating.
John Gerrard and Michael A. Morris's Corn Bomb traces the implication of nitrogen in the industrial alimentary regime, and the way in which the "ingredients" for postwar human culture were prepared and "cooked" by war and petropolitics. This tangled story of military, agricultural and scientific developments, and their reterritorialisations of the earth, provide the backstory to Gerrard's realtime 3D portraits of desolate industrial facilities that act as batteries to fuel hungry cities.
Dan Mellamphy and Nandita Biswas Mellamphy develop a post-geophilosophical culinarism, rethinking "ecology" as an "ec[h]ology" wherein man is "translated back into nature", and the planet "feasts upon itself". Connecting the ourobouric or ovoid figure of such an autophagy to the Nietzschean will-to-power, they develop an ecology that peers into the al-chem, the black earth, as into a stomachos or "pit of blackness".
Fernando Zalamea pursues his mathematico-philosophical project committed to a de-rigidification of thought by providing "two trivial recipes" that dramatise the culinary dilemma of contemporary philosophy: Analytical Jelly and Transmodern Tatin.
– and the new "recipe" for philosophy offered by Gabriel Catren's On Philosophical Alchimery, Or Why All Chimeric Compositions are Philosophical Stones proposes that only a "consistent unheard of combination of heterogeneous ingredients" allows us to concoct a truly concrete "philosopher's stone".
The volume concludes with an Appendix compiled by the editors and including recipes from Darwin, Leibniz, Newton, and others.
Collapse VII: Culinary Materialism is also accompanied by Jeremy Millar's "Black Cake" – a print edition produced especially for this volume – based on a recipe passed on in a letter by Emily Dickinson.
Collapse VII: Culinary Materialism
July 2011
Eds. R. Negarestani, R. Mackay
631pp
Limited Edition 1000 Numbered Copies
ISBN 978-0-9553087-9-6
£12.99 – ADVANCE ORDERS £9.99

24 Jun 2011

Collapse editor Robin Mackay will be speaking at the AA School\’s FORMAT series, on Thursday 30 June in London: More information here.

13 Jun 2011

We are pleased to announce that Collapse VII: Culinary Materialism is now available for advance ordering, and will be published July 1st. A PDF preview of the editorial introduction to the volume is available here.
A launch event is planned, as a part of AO&'s residency with Outset in London. Editor Robin Mackay will discuss the new volume and the concept of culinary materialism, with Philipp Furtenbach of AO&, and Paul Chaney and Kenna Hernly of FIELDCLUB. Sunday 3rd July at 6.30pm, at Lincoln House, 33-34 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NN.

Contributors to the volume include: AO&, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Gabriel Catren, John Cochran, Sean Day, Rick Dolphijn, FIELDCLUB, Michael A. Morris and John Gerrard, Carole Goodden, Iain Hamilton Grant, Manabrata Guha, Dorothée Legrand, Vanina Leschziner and Andrew Dakin, Dan and Nandita Mellamphy, Jeremy Millar, Eugene Thacker, Richard Wrangham, Fernando Zalamea.
There has never been a time when cookery was so high on the agenda of Western popular culture. And yet endlessly-multiplying TV shows, obsessive interest in the provenance of ingredients, and "radical" experiments in gastronomy, tell us little about the nature of the culinary.
Is it possible to develop the philosophical pertinence of the culinary without using philosophy as a support for this endlessly-expanding culture of gastronomy? How might cookery in the restricted sense connect to an extended philosophical sense of the culinary, in which synthesis, combination and experimentation take precedence over analysis, subtraction and axiomatisation?
Collapse VII: Culinary Materialism brings together work that explores, from many different perspectives, the multifaceted question of cookery and eating. In this volume, a range of contributors – philosophers, chefs, scientists, anthropologists, artists – explore the links between philosophy, chemistry, experimental practice and the culinary arts; chart the consequences of the contemporary return of cookery to scientific precision, in the rarefied world of haute cuisine as in the world of mass-manufactured confections; and explore the material, symbolic, and existential dimensions of food and its preparation. Along the way we discover that the question of a culinary materialism is bound up with some profound and enduring issues in the history of philosophy, and can also suggest new approaches to contemporary philosophical problems.

Contents of Volume VII are as follows:
– In The Chemical Paradigm, an interview with Iain Hamilton Grant, the philosopher discusses how chemistry can serve as a model for a renewed naturephilosophy that operates not simply through analysis but equally through synthesis. Developing a "chemophilosophical" point of view, he challenges the nomological model of knowledge and tests the limits of the culinary as metaphor and as principle for a thinking of nature.
Carol Goodden, who, with artist Gordon Matta-Clark founded the restaurant FOOD in New York in 1971, discusses with us the extent to which the FOOD project, and Matta-Clark's interest in disrupting and transforming structure, can be related to a more general concern with alchemical or culinary transformation, exemplified in early works such as his Agar pieces and "fried photographs". The interview is accompanied by an archive of Matta-Clark graphic works that exemplify his conception of "building materials as nature���s food": "build to feed the worms an organic eat-a-tecture".
– The "semi-nomadic collective" AO&'s practice offers an example of how the restricted practice of the culinary can provide a locus for the exploration of broader networks of production, communication and consumption. In our interview they describe their "perverse" endeavour to fully inhabit the problem of food production in contemporary society, through a painstaking "disclosure" that makes possible an enhanced perception or phenomenology of the act of cookery. AO&'s practice involves within the ambit of "food preparation" the personal sourcing and assembly of every ingredient, including cooking materials, the preparation of the site, and the forging of connections with a network of producers – thus they ask, Where is the Edge of the Pot?, preparing the way for a generalised culinarism.
– In his contribution to the volume, Manabrata Guha reports on recent efforts to "weaponize" the massively potent Bhut Jolokia chili pepper, observing that the military effort to harness its non-lethal power to incapacitate and disorient indicate a shift in strategy, a failed attempt to contend with a new "enemy of all". Examining the inadequacy of the state���s employment of the Bhut Jolokia as a means to enhance an ill-adapted military model, Guha turns to the traditional culinary usage of the chili to reveal more fundamental lessons for the transformation of the schema of battlespace and the rise of a new, vague and inherently synthetic, adversary.
Rick Dolphijn adopts another culinary approach to the contemporary "state of emergency", analysing how the changing alimentary regime of the military anticipated and accelerated the rise of biopolitical governance through continual intervention. According to Dolphijn, the militarization of the world���s diet and the territorialization implicit in dietary programs have resulted in the emergence of a new terrestrial dietary/military continuum whose synthetic elements are "terroristsoldiers".
– In Reason in the Roasting of Eggs, anthropologist Richard Wrangham deepens the notion that "cooking that makes us human", expanding on his thesis that the advent of cooked food is one of the major drivers behind the development of the human brain. Wrangham reveals how the human culture of cooking is a part of nature's chemical and physiological horizon; and for this reason, must be seen in the wider context of a culinary continuum that includes the contingencies that made possible the human as such.
– In Theorizing Cuisine from Medieval to Modern Times, examining the transition from medieval to modern epistemes of cookery, Vanina Leschziner and Andrew Dakin argue that prevailing gastrological norms (in particular, the separation of sweet from non-sweet) exist at an intersection of many influences, where sociological, institutional and epistemic conditions drive the exploration of alternative conceptual articulations of the "phase-space" of possibilities provided by chemical, physiological, nutritional, hedonic, and adaptive factors.
Sean Day introduces us to the fascinating world of synaesthetic cookery. Molecular Gastronomy has, famously, experimented with the integration of different senses (not only olfactory but visual and aural) into dishes. But the curious experiences of synaesthetes reported by Day move him to call for an expanded multi-sensory culinary practice that engages not only with the sciences that are able to analyse and synthesise its matter, but also more fully with the neuroscienctific research that could inform a more systematic approach to the interaction of different sensory modalities.
– In Whey to Go, artist collective FIELDCLUB offer an insight into the deranged machinations of capitalism's food laboratories, uncovering a plot that implicates humans, agriculturally-adapted animals and industrial processes in new culinary syntheses, as the "pig-function" is absorbed by the capitalist exigency to full exploitation of the earth.
– In Object Oriented Cookery, Chef John Cochran proposes a culinary practice that opens itself to non-human participants. Chefs, like philosophers, have "ontological commitments" determined by their praxis, and which distort the objects they work with. Cochran critiques the radical claims of contemporary food movements that claim to break out of normative models of cookery – Molecular Gastronomy and Slow Food – and asks what a "flat cookery" could be.
– Anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro examines the extreme point at which the culinary meets the symbolic, proposing that in cannibalism we discover a remarkable example of a developed and socially-functional perspectivism: "anthropophagy as anthropology". Refusing an account of cannibalistic "sacrifice" as divine expiation, Viveiros de Castro develops a rethinking of sacrifice by examining the ways in which the devouring of the enemy also amounts to an inhabiting of "the enemy's point of view" on the self.
Eugene Thacker, in Spiritual Meat, offers us another perspective on cannibalism, drawing out a parallel between Bataille's "religious horror", and the perplexing problem of thinking corporeal resurrection, as addressed by Athenagoras; discovering beyond the "dead life" and the "eaten life" – corpse and meat – an anonymous, unhuman "cooking" and a "desolate culinarism".
– In her contribution Ex-Nihilo: Forming a Body out of Nothing,, Doroth?�e Legrand introduces a move toward a deep (intra-subjective) phenomenology of consumption (in general) and eating disorders (in particular). As Legrand demonstrates, this relation between the diet and production is manifestly highlighted in anorexia, where "eating nothing" translates into a series of complex semiotic, phenomenological and cognitive procedures for the subject with regard to the production of identity; and a resistance against the anonymous dimensions of the self revealed in the act of eating.
John Gerrard and Michael A. Morris's Corn Bomb traces the implication of nitrogen in the industrial alimentary regime, and the way in which the "ingredients" for postwar human culture were prepared and "cooked" by war and petropolitics. This tangled story of military, agricultural and scientific developments, and their reterritorialisations of the earth, provide the backstory to Gerrard's realtime 3D portraits of desolate industrial facilities that act as batteries to fuel hungry cities.
Dan Mellamphy and Nandita Biswas Mellamphy develop a post-geophilosophical culinarism, rethinking "ecology" as an "ec[h]ology" wherein man is "translated back into nature", and the planet "feasts upon itself". Connecting the ourobouric or ovoid figure of such an autophagy to the Nietzschean will-to-power, they develop an ecology that peers into the al-chem, the black earth, as into a stomachos or "pit of blackness".
Fernando Zalamea pursues his mathematico-philosophical project committed to a de-rigidification of thought by providing "two trivial recipes" that dramatise the culinary dilemma of contemporary philosophy: Analytical Jelly and Transmodern Tatin.
– and the new "recipe" for philosophy offered by Gabriel Catren's On Philosophical Alchimery, Or Why All Chimeric Compositions are Philosophical Stones proposes that only a "consistent unheard of combination of heterogeneous ingredients" allows us to concoct a truly concrete "philosopher's stone".
The volume concludes with an Appendix compiled by the editors and including recipes from Darwin, Leibniz, Newton, and others.
Collapse VII: Culinary Materialism is also accompanied by Jeremy Millar's "Black Cake" – a print edition produced especially for this volume – based on a recipe passed on in a letter by Emily Dickinson.
Please note: we have had to increase the price of this volume in order to cover costs – but advance orders can still take advantage of the old price.
US readers can purchase from Sequence Press.

Collapse VII: Culinary Materialism
July 2011
Eds. R. Negarestani, R. Mackay
631pp
Limited Edition 1000 Numbered Copies
ISBN 978-0-9553087-9-6
£12.99 – ADVANCE ORDERS £9.99

09 Jun 2011


Collapse VII: Culinary Materialism has gone to press, and the introduction by editors Robin Mackay and Reza Negarestani is available for PDF download here.

14 May 2011


Most of Urbanomic\’s publications are now available directly in the US through Sequence Press.
We\’d like to take this opportunity to thank readers in the US and elsewhere who have continued to order from Urbanomic over the years despite the extravagant shipping costs – Thanks for your support!

12 May 2011

Florian Hecker\’s Speculative Solution is here (on Editions Mego) … copies on sale in our store soon.
SpeculativeSolution2c_DSC5620-1.jpeg
SpeculativeSolution1_DSC5576-1.jpeg
Photography: Peter Derbsch
Cat. No.: eMEGO 118
Artist: Hecker
Title: Speculative Solution
Format: CD + Book
Barcode: 9120020387859
Release Date: May 23rd, 2011
Speculative Solution 1 32:00
Speculative Solution 2 2:57
Speculative Solution 2 2:55
Octave Chronics 19:10
Written and produced by Florian Hecker, March 2009 – November 2010
Book edited by Robin Mackay; featuring essays by Elie Ayache, Robin Mackay and Quentin Meillassoux.
Typesetting by Tina Frank, Elvira Stein
CD mastered by Rashad Becker

Editions Mego and Urbanomic are pleased to announce the release of Speculative Solution, a CD and book with contributions by Florian Hecker, Elie Ayache, Robin Mackay and Quentin Meillassoux.
Originally commissioned by Urbanomic and developed over the last year, this collaborative project brings together Hecker‘s sonic practice and psychoacoustic experimentation with philosopher Quentin Meillassoux\’s concept of ‘hyperchaos‘ – the absolute contingency of the laws of nature.
In an apparent departure from Hecker‘s previous release Acid in the Style of David Tudor (eMEGO 094, 2009), the four titles featured in Speculative Solution contain a series of micro-chronics and sequences of auditory contingencies, ranging from extreme stasis to the most dynamic intensities, crisp dramatisations of what Meillassoux calls in his text ‘extro-science worlds‘.
As Mackay states in his contribution to the book, Hecker‘s composition “participates in a circuit in which it, the accompanying texts, and diverse other objects, enter into a perpetual catalysis that must annihilate all priority, representation, reference, and even entity.”. Both “scripture and prescription”, Speculative Solution invites its users to integrate its sonic and textual components, as they enter into an accelerative cycle, becoming “truly ‘literalist‘ marks which have no reason to be as they are, and which could have been – and still could be, at every moment – otherwise”. With Speculative Solution Hecker proposes that the concepts of absolute contingency and hyperchaos offer a rigorous new alternative to the employment of chance and randomness in avant-garde composition.
It is recommended to listen to Speculative Solution on loudspeakers at high volume. Headphone use is not advised. Frequent recitation of the included texts is also indicated.
Speculative Solution is Hecker‘s 13th release with (Editions) Mego. It comes in an embossed, deluxe box with a bilingual (English / French) 160 page book and 5 metal balls (ø 3,969mm). Available only in this format.

05 Apr 2011

Laruelle\’s The Concept of Non-Photography has arrived – advance orders will be dispatched at the end of this week following the festivities in New York.

Readers in the US will be pleased to learn that the website and online store of Sequence Press will soon be ready to take orders for Collapse and other Urbanomic publications.

03 Apr 2011

Just a reminder of the series of events this week in New York. Video of the events should be available soon after.
Tuesday April 5th, 7pm
Urbanomic/Sequence Press Launch, with Dexter Sinister
Wednesday April 6th, 7pm
François Laruelle and Non-Philosophy Symposium
Thursday April 7th, 7.30pm
François Laruelle – The Concept of Non-Photography
more details

25 Mar 2011

SpecSol.jpg
Cat. No.: eMEGO 118
Artist: Hecker
Title: Speculative Solution
Format: CD + Book
Barcode: 9120020387859
Release Date: May 23rd, 2011
Speculative Solution 1 32:00
Speculative Solution 2 2:57
Speculative Solution 2 2:55
Octave Chronics 19:10
Written and produced by Florian Hecker, March 2009 – November 2010
Book edited by Robin Mackay; featuring essays by Elie Ayache, Robin Mackay and Quentin Meillassoux.
Typesetting by Tina Frank, Elvira Stein
CD mastered by Rashad Becker

Editions Mego and Urbanomic are pleased to announce the release of Speculative Solution, a CD and book with contributions by Florian Hecker, Elie Ayache, Robin Mackay and Quentin Meillassoux.
Originally commissioned by Urbanomic and developed over the last year, this collaborative project brings together Hecker‘s sonic practice and psychoacoustic experimentation with philosopher Quentin Meillassoux\’s concept of ‘hyperchaos‘ – the absolute contingency of the laws of nature.
In an apparent departure from Hecker‘s previous release Acid in the Style of David Tudor (eMEGO 094, 2009), the four titles featured in Speculative Solution contain a series of micro-chronics and sequences of auditory contingencies, ranging from extreme stasis to the most dynamic intensities, crisp dramatisations of what Meillassoux calls in his text ‘extro-science worlds‘.
As Mackay states in his contribution to the book, Hecker‘s composition “participates in a circuit in which it, the accompanying texts, and diverse other objects, enter into a perpetual catalysis that must annihilate all priority, representation, reference, and even entity.”. Both “scripture and prescription”, Speculative Solution invites its users to integrate its sonic and textual components, as they enter into an accelerative cycle, becoming “truly ‘literalist‘ marks which have no reason to be as they are, and which could have been – and still could be, at every moment – otherwise”. With Speculative Solution Hecker proposes that the concepts of absolute contingency and hyperchaos offer a rigorous new alternative to the employment of chance and randomness in avant-garde composition.
It is recommended to listen to Speculative Solution on loudspeakers at high volume. Headphone use is not advised. Frequent recitation of the included texts is also indicated.
Speculative Solution is Hecker‘s 13th release with (Editions) Mego. It comes in an embossed, deluxe box with a bilingual (English / French) 160 page book and 5 metal balls (ø 3,969mm). Available only in this format.

10 Mar 2011

Update on Fanged Noumena ETA : Friday 18th March. And that's a promise from the printer.
Meanwhile, Laruelle's The Concept of Non-Photography is next to press, and should be available at the beginning of April to coincide with a series of events with Laruelle in New York.

17 Feb 2011


The Medium of Contingency is now available.
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Also of note is Ivorypress\’s new book on the work of artist John Gerrard. Edited by Urbanomic director Robin Mackay, with texts by Mackay, Reza Negarestani, Yoani Sanchez and Ed Keller, the book provides a survey of Gerrard\’s work, focussing on the new Cuban School project currently showing at Ivorypress in Madrid. More details here.

And Robin is in conversation with artist Charles Avery in the first issue of a new journal Drawing Room confessions.

17 Dec 2010

We regret to announce that the Nick Land collection Fanged Noumena will no longer be published in December, we now hope to have the volume available by the end of Jan 2011 – thanks for your patience and for those who have made advance orders. We expect Collapse VI to appear February-March 2011.
We are pleased to announce some more publications forthcoming in 2011. The first two titles are the fruit of an alliance between Urbanomic and Sequence Press, a new imprint from Miguel Abreu Gallery. Urbanomic are very pleased to be collaborating with Sequence to realise these important translations, and further, to develop a more effective US distribution programme for Collapse and other Urbanomic publications. Further details to follow in January.
François Laruelle From Decision to Heresy (April 2011). A collection of newly-translated writings from throughout Laruelle\’s career, which should be an excellent introduction to this increasingly influential thinker\’s work.
François Laruelle The Concept of Non-Photography (April 2011). Sequence and Urbanomic are proud to announce the publication of this text by Laruelle for the first time, in a bilingual edition. More details to follow.
Fernando Zalamea Synthetic Philosophy of Contemporary Mathematics (September 2011). Zalamea\’s book provides a comprehensive review and discussion of philosophical engagements with contemporary mathematics that fall outside the traditional subdiscipline of \’philosophy of mathematics\’.

17 Dec 2010

From 18 Jan – 19 Feb 2011, Thomas Dane Gallery presents a show entitled New York to London and Back, organized by Miguel Abreu and Urbanomic, in association with Sutton Lane. The show features work by Kristen Alvanson, Hans Bellmer, Liz Deschenes, Thomas Eggerer, Rachel Harrison, Gareth James, Alison Knowles, Sam Lewitt, Scott Lyall, R. H. Quaytman, Eileen Quinlan, Raha Raissnia, Jimmy Raskin, Blake Rayne, Pamela Rosenkranz, Pieter Schoolwerth, Amy Sillman, and Cheyney Thompson.

A public discussion event on January 19th 2011, 6.30-8pm, will explore how works of art write contingency into the present, and are in turn written by the contingency of their materials, and how these exchanges interact with other markets – between capitals, and subtracted from all prevision and possibility.

In an unprecedented overlapping of the contexts of philosophical, financial, and art worlds, the event will bring together in discussion Robin Mackay (director of Urbanomic), Reza Negarestani (author of Cyclonopedia, Elie Ayache (author of The Blank Swan), and Matthew Poole (freelance curator, writer, and director of The Centre for Curatorial Studies at The University of Essex).

A publication will follow in February 2011, co-produced by Urbanomic and Ridinghouse, comprising an edited transcript of the discussion and further interventions by artists participating in the show.

More details.

17 Oct 2010

More news, from INSTAL, of an ambitious and unpredictable experiment to be conducted with Glasgow Open School, Mattin and Ray Brassier at the festival in Glasgow in November:
EVACUATION OF THE GREAT LEARNING
A SET OF RADICAL, COLLECTIVE PERFORMANCES MATTIN, RAY BRASSIER, GLASGOW OPEN SCHOOL, AND YOU
A major 3.5hr performance, developed from collective workshops. Put something at stake! Get involved!
Who
Ray: The most interesting radical philosopher in Europe?
Mattin: The most provocative noise improviser around? “John Cage meets Dan Graham” – Andrea Fraser.
Glasgow Open School: A radical fringe to INSTAL 10?
PLUS: (loads of ?) people from workshops held in the run up to this event: may include you.
What
Radical, collective “performances” to close the festival, by Mattin, Ray and a loads of people from Glasgow, born from a collective investigation of noise and improvisation in social and political terms. “Performances” worked up by all the people from the workshops.
Here\’s how we\’re going to do it:
Take Part: Workshop Series
Ray and Mattin will ask some questions that we will try to answer together before, during and after INSTAL with Glasgow Open School, other artists at the festival and (we hope) you.
GOS are already thinking about this, but join in at any time (limited spaces, see below) and attend GOS���s regular meetings. See gdiycommunity.wordpress.com for details.
During INSTAL, there will be three workshops where the questions will be interrogated together with Mattin and Ray.
Want to take part? It only works if you come to all three workshops, plus Sunday night.
Limited space for the FREE workshops. Interested or want to find out more? Email info@arika.org.uk.
Watch: Collective Performances 1.
These workshops will lead to “performances” by the people involved: improvising with the “festival” as a concert; taking the most radical ideas of improvisation and noise, and applying them together to our social interaction.
The last hours of INSTAL will be handed to this group: the material conditions (time, space, facilities, audience…) are the instruments, from there anything can happen.
This may be the riskiest, most open and collective performance at any INSTAL. Totally self-organised by the group. A festival within a festival.
A Non-Festival?
Why
Mattin and three other artists did a similar kind of thing at our Kill Your Timid Notion festival: it was one of the most exciting performances we have ever put on. Naturally: we want to try and go further.
It\’s the most radical thing we can do: a major experiment with the ideas of experimental music, music festivals and how they re- late to our situation. A collective “performance” developed by you? And however unlikely and un-musical the outcome might seem, (and maybe the last hours of INSTAL will be almost un- recognisable as noise, or as improvisation as we hear it today), if we take the ideas of improvisation and noise seriously, then whatever we do will be radically, immanently and exactly that; it will be a noise concert, it will be improvisation, and it will be music.
Workshop Series
Thursday 11: 19:30 – 23:00
Saturday 13: 10:00 – 13:30
Sunday 14: 10:00 – 13:30
Interested in taking part? Email info@arika.org.uk to register your interest and find out more.

28 Sep 2010

A new version of Florian Hecker\’s Urbanomic commissioned piece Speculative Solution (see details here) will be performed at INSTAL in Glasgow, Friday 12 – Sunday 14th November 2010.
The event will also feature a discussion between Hecker, Urbanomic director Robin Mackay, and Catherine Christer Hennix, who is also performing at INSTAL.
Full details here.
logo.png
INSTAL 10
Braver Newer Musics
Friday 12, Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 November 2010
Tramway, Glasgow
Full programme online at www.arika.org.uk
Book on 0845 330 3501 or at www.tramway.org
Day Pass £10 – Festival Pass £25 – Early Bird £20 (book before Fri 15 Oct)
Music is about more than just music.
In fact, any radical music has always been provoked by something from outside: by non-musical ideas, ideas from and about our situation. And it only stays radical if it keeps saying something back to that situation, if it tries to change it1.
An experimental festival of experimental music, INSTAL 10 addresses itself to these and subsequent concerns.

16 Sep 2010

Our thanks to all who attended the event The Real Thing at Tate Britain.
We are pleased to report that the Real and the Sublime parallel labels created by Urbanomic and collaborators for the event have been adopted by the Tate curators and will remain in Room 9 up until Sunday November 14th.
For those who did not make it to the event, or who were unable to get a seat in the auditorium for the panel discussion, we expect Tate to post a podcast of the discussion on their site soon – check here for updates.
More documentation to come on our event page for The Real Thing soon.

16 Sep 2010

A new book Event, Stream, Object, published by MMK, Frankfurt, documents Florian Hecker\’s commission at MMK. Containing essays by Urbanomic director Robin Mackay, and TJ Demos.

The connections explored in Mackay\’s essay These Broken Impressions were introduced in a talk given at Chisenhale Gallery earlier this year and now available to download.

20 Jul 2010

Urbanomic presents Late at Tate: THE REAL THING
Friday September 3rd 2010 1800-2200 hrs
Tate Britain, London
Urbanomic presents performance, film and other interventions exploring the emerging philosophical paradigm of Speculative Realism and its impact on contemporary art practice.
Full details here.

01 Jun 2010

updated 24 June 2010: Sorry…all gone
A limited number of copies of the sold out Collapse IV: Concept Horror are available; these are unnumbered review/hors-commerce copies. First come first served!
Available in the store.

27 May 2010

Urbanomic urge all to sign the petition for an academic boycott of Middlesex University, after the bizarre and unprecedented suspension of several students and members of staff for protesting against the ill-considered and unjustified decision to close the philosophy department. Find the full facts and latest news here.

28 Apr 2010

Some brutal news about the philosophy programme at Middlesex University: Despite the consistently excellent research produced in the subject, apparently the University executive has decided to close all Philosophy programmes: undergraduate, postgraduate and MPhil/PhD. According to inside sources, the Dean explained that the decision to terminate recruitment and close the programmes was “simply financial”; he acknowledged the excellent research reputation of Philosophy at Middlesex, but said that it made no “measurable” contribution to the University.
More here.

08 Apr 2010

rosnynavigators01.jpg
Black Coat Press are publishing a most welcome seven-volume series of translations of work by French SF pioneer J-H. Rosny (Collapse III). Information here. (thanks to Paul Wessels for the link)

06 Apr 2010



Documentation of the Urbanomic Studio residency project Secrets of Creation, which brought together artist Conrad Shawcross (Collapse V) and mathematician Matthew Watkins (Collapse I) – including full video footage of the Symposium which concluded the week – is now available on the Urbanomic Studio website.

29 Mar 2010

An illustrated essay by FIELDCLUB (Collapse VI), Whey to go: On the Hominid appropriation of the Pig Function appears in the latest issue of Antennae – Journal of Nature in Visual Culture.
The issue can be downloaded at: http://www.antennae.org.uk/.

04 Mar 2010

We are very pleased to offer for sale in our store Our Sun, a book published by Mousse Publishing, Milan and the Istituto Svizzero di Roma in Venice to accompany Pamela Rosencranz\’s show of the same name. The book contains new accompanying texts by Reza Negarestani (Solar Inferno and the Earthbound Abyss) and Salvatore Lacagnina (The Courage of the Surface), as well as full colour photography documenting the show, reproduced on high quality paper stock.

05 Feb 2010

(Please email us if you identify any other errata)
Page 428: after “infinitesimal subversion against God”, the limit formula should be reza-correction.jpg – i.e. “the limit of delta p over delta a as delta a approaches delta p”, not “as delta a approaches 0”.

31 Jan 2010

Collapse Volume VI: Geo/Philosophy is here!
collapse62.jpg
Advance orders and subscription copies will be shipped immediately.

20 Jan 2010

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Arnolfini, Bristol will be hosting an event jointly launching the Janek Simon show The End of Geography and Collapse VI: Geo/philosophy, with a discussion between editor Robin Mackay and Janek Simon on Saturday 30th January, 3pm.

Robin Mackay will present Collapse Volume VI and speak on “geo/philosophy” at the Swiss Institute of Rome in Venice, accompanying the Pamela Rosencranz show Our Sun on Tuesday 2 March, 6.30pm.

Details of Falmouth launch event to follow.

20 Jan 2010

Our good friends Divus have stepped in to take Collapse VI to press; we hope to be shipping the volume at the beginning of February.

15 Jan 2010

Unfortunately we have just discovered that our usual printers for Collapse have gone into administration, which means further delays for Collapse 6. Our thanks to all those readers who have made advance orders, which will help us to make sure this volume gets out since Urbanomic are left out of pocket by these events … More news soon.

17 Nov 2009

Cover-pre6.jpg
Further delays (completing extended interviews with very busy people!) have held up publication, but contents are finalized, and an announcement will be made here and on the e-mail list soon. We now anticipate publication in early December January 2010.

11 Sep 2009

As per tradition, Collapse VI‘s publication has been delayed – the probable publication date is now mid-November. Further news and contents of the volume to follow soon …

19 May 2009

With Florian Hecker and Sónia Matos, Collapse Editor Robin Mackay contributes a text to the programme for Hecker’s collaboration with Cerith Wyn Evans No night No day at Venice Biennale 2009 (more details).
Robin will also be speaking at Goldsmiths University London as part of the Visual Cultures Guest Lecture Series, on 11 June 5-7pm (more details).

31 Mar 2009

Please join us on 19 April from 2pm – 8pm for “playing practice” – a curatorial, collaborative event at Urbanomic Studio in Falmouth and online at the Department of Reading wiki and Skype .
playing practice
Sunday, 19 April 2009
Start 2pm (BST) – finish 8pm (BST)
Skype (contact: soenkeha or magdalenatc)
www.reading.department.cc
Urbanomic Studio,
The Old Lemonade Factory,
Off Windsor Terrace,
Falmouth TR11 3EX
Cornwall, UK
numap1.jpg

“playing practice” suggests a space where text becomes a matter of playing and playing a practice that allows for reading and writing to coincide. Sharing textual fragments as tools and toys, this collaborative session takes place at the Urbanomic Studio, Falmouth, and online with the use of Department of Reading wiki, Skype and Department of Reading internet system (DoRis). By proposing simple frameworks and rules with which to start this session, playing itself becomes a space of encounter, experimentation and intervention that you can join or leave at any time.
Of course, we can’t tell you how to play, since the aim of this session is to see what kind of play comes out of the activity. We wish, however, to suggest some introductory rules as the basis from which to start:

  • Bring your own toys, that is bring in quotations and excerpts on the subject of playing.
  • Share your toys by pasting your quotations to the Wiki of the Department of Reading. We will provide further instructions during the session.

We will also host an “offline” version of “playing practice” in the Urbanomic Studio. There will be repository of quotations to which you are welcome to add your own textual toys. We will use tools such as blue tack, magnets, papers, pens and scissors to create and display a physical version of the play.
To participate in the session join us on April 19 at the Department of Reading and on Skype, and/or at Urbanomic Studio, Falmouth, UK (bring your laptop, textual toys-printed out or digital, and whatever else you think you might need to play). See map for directions.
“playing practice” is part of the ongoing collaborative practice-led research project Virtual Networks Social Fabrics, initiated by Magda Tyzlik-Carver (New Models of Curating? at iRes) with Sönke Hallmann (Department of Reading) and Scott Rigby (Basekamp/Plausible Artworlds). The aim of this project is to consider models in which to share the knowledge and research gathered as a result of each of the projects: Plausible Artworlds, Department of Reading and New Models of Curating? as well as through the meetings in which these three projects come together.

28 Mar 2009

The edition of Collapse IV: Concept Horror is now sold out.
So as to ensure the continued availability of this volume for those unlucky enough to miss the print edition, we plan to publish an open-access electronic version of the volume in the near future.

28 Mar 2009

Cover_eMEGO094_higres.jpg
Due for release mid-April, the new CD by Florian Hecker (See Collapse III), Acid in the Style of David Tudor features an essay-length sleevenote, ‘Climate of Bass Hunter’ by Collapse editor Robin Mackay.
See Editions Mego for more details.

28 Feb 2009

Readers of Martin Schönfeld’s new translation of Kant’s ‘On Creation in the Infinite Extent of its Infinity in Both Space and Time’ in Collapse V will have spotted an editorial mistake that crops up in the very first paragraph: namely, that the second and third sentences of the text are two slightly different translations of the same sentence of the original. The first of these is Schönfeld’s own translation; the second is from Ian Johnston’s translation. The latter somehow found its way into the text after it was cited in editorial correspondence by way of suggesting that Einbildungskraft be rendered as ‘power of imagination’ (rather than ‘imagination’) and that Verstehen be rendered as ‘the understanding’ (rather than ‘the mind’). While the latter substitution was made, unfortunately the Johnston translation was also accidentally inserted, and we failed to catch this in the final proofs. We would like to extend our apologies to both Martin Schönfeld and our readers for this blunder. (The only other mistake the editors have come across is that the italics are missing on the first page of Martin Schönfeld’s own paper: apologies again, Martin!)