Inhuman Solidarity (without sameness) Talk

25 Sep., 2018

Talk at University of Gothenburg (remote) on 25 Sept. 2018 @15:00, at the Department of Arts and Crafts.

This Cold World condition, I would argue, points to the scope of cosmological transformation our world models and human self-understanding underwent with Copernicanism, so I don’t think it’s an expression of generational narcissism to say we are living in the prehistory of a radically otherworld. On the self-understanding side, this is, in part, one of the reasons why the question of what it means to be human, of what humanity means today, has resurged in the last decades, as you may have already sensed through the proliferation of discourses around post-humanism, transhumanism, and inhumanism. The question is, what direction and provisional models will be conceived to orient and shape this otherworld from the perspective of a newly situated humanity, which is in other words, a question concerning futurity, a question of politics. This otherworld, of course, brings with it both incredible possibilities and great risk, yet while these changes abound our sense of purposefulness in it, currently remains rigidly locked to ideals of economic growth as glory, as well earthly partitioning and modes of belonging bound to 17th century templates of nation-state, territorial enclosures. These factors weigh heavily on political reactions to our condition that imagine the existing economic structures that in-part delivered us into catastrophe, can also lead us out of it – thereby maintaining the status quo – what we could call green capitalism; and / or a reinforcing of state-based ideals to the disavowal of actual interconnectedness, via policies of isolationism or blatant nationalism, thereby enacting anachronistic of ideals for a ‘making great again’ that never was. The other reaction we see as a rejection of this complexity, quite dominantly in the art world for instance, is also the insistence on guarding against any infringements on the “authenticity of the lived experience” as a producer of (particular and not universal) truths.[1] All that to say, is that we’re facing questions of a cosmological magnitude, where our existing conceptual structures that serve as the driving force behind our meta-organizational, geopolitical models are dramatically, even violently out of sync with complex reality.

[1] Reza Negarestani, “Antinomies of Experience and the Question of the Transcendental Struggle”.