A Diagrammatic Lecture @Sugar, Toronto
3 Apr. 2020
To speak or think of a better world, is to speak or think of a world that does not yet exist in the concrete here and now. A better world is always located in the somewhere and somewhen of an otherworld. By ‘world,’ what is meant here, is simply a space of co-existence, a site of inhabitation. Worlds are composed of specific frames of reference, making them historically and regionally distinct; while these frames of reference set perspectival conditions for worlds, orienting forms of life practiced within them.
Frames of reference not only set the conditions of experience of a world, but condition the meaning of that experience. If the urgent demands of today force us to construct an exit from current histories of globalization (where many place hopes on the ‘planetary turn’ as a shifted index), it is a demand that equally compels the reconfiguration of frames of reference. While arriving at ‘planetarity’ is an epistemic achievement, it does not on its own, provide guidance as to how to co-exist anew, as a consequence of that knowledge. Which is to say, the planetary has yet to be worlded. The question of this talk in the wake of planetarity, is how can we come to witness the conditions of unknown, non-concretized, otherworlds in this world?
How can art participate in the creation of experience of such otherworlds – ones where the reconfiguration of frames of reference deliver other forms of life as a result? If to witness is not only to see, but to testify, how can one learn to become a witness to that which does not yet exist, and through what perspectival frames of reference can one come to perceive of it?