Alien Time – Goldsmith’s Lecture

23 May, 2018

Organised by Bridget Crone and Henriette Gunkel, Friday 23 May, 2018. Session runs from 10:30-19:30, London, UK. Talk on ‘Optimist Realism and the Otherworld’

Abstract: ‘Retrospective Causation’, as noted by sociologist of finance Elena Esposito, is the defining temporality of finance capitalism. It is where the future precedes the present. In classical capitalism, sacrifices were made in the present to increase future returns, whereas now, future (anticipated) money is spent in the present to actualize itself, from the perspective of futurity. Can this powerful operationalizing of anticipation function outside the logic of finance capital? Can it be put to towards the service of planetary flourishing, rather than against (most of) us? This talk looks at reclaiming the functional temporality of anticipation as a project for optimist realism – that is a mode of optimism responsive to the conditions of existing, situational givenness, and not sheer idealisms, with a view to developing a causal pragmatics from the perspective of the (as yet) inexistent otherworld.