Escape Velocities: Symposium at e-flux

Escape Velocities: Symposium at e-flux

Please join us on November 13 and 14 for Escape Velocities, a two-day symposium presented by Gean Moreno, guest editor of e-flux journal issue 46: Accelerationist Aesthetics (June 2013) and hosted by e-flux journal editors Julieta Aranda and Brian Kuan Wood.

What constitutes an accelerationist aesthetics? Is it possible? Why would it matter? What should its scope be? And whose interest would it serve? Does such an aesthetics, if possible or desirable, have anything to offer an art production exhausted with sober formalisms and critique-based models that increasingly spin in place, taking ineffective aim at the very protocols and institutions that allow them to exist in the first place and that provide the infrastructure for their sustainability?

The notion of an accelerationist aesthetics remains an open problem, suggestively bubbling with, on the one hand, the potential to provoke innovative cartographic exercises that probe unprecedented social complexity and look for new liberatory programs that live up to it, and on the other hand, dark intimations that this aesthetics is indissoluble from the drive to deliberately exacerbate nihilistic meltdowns as the only response to being dragged by the vertiginous speeds of a runaway capitalism. It is working through the impasse between these two extremes—and, more often than not, assuming the first at the expense of the second—that fuels a number of texts in issue 46 of e-flux journal and its launch. 

Please join us on November 13 and 14 for a two-day symposium on accelerationist aesthetics to mark the launch of e-flux journal issue 46. Both events will be presented by Gean Moreno.

Benjamin H. Bratton is a theorist whose work spans philosophy, art and design. He is Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Director of D:GP, The Center for Design and Geopolitics at the University of California, San Diego. His research is situated at the intersections of contemporary social and political theory, computational media and infrastructure, architectural and urban design problems, and the politics of synthetic ecologies and biologies. His current work focuses on the political geography of cloud computing, massively-granular universal addressing systems, and alternate models of ecological governance. His next book, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, is forthcoming.

Keller Easterling is an architect and writer from New York City and a professor at Yale University. Her book, Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and its Political Masquerades (MIT, 2005), researches familiar spatial products that have landed in difficult or hyperbolic political situations around the world. A previous book, Organization Space: Landscapes, Highways and Houses in America, applies network theory to a discussion of American infrastructure and development formats. A forthcoming book, Extrastatecraft: Global Infrastructure and Political Arts, examines global infrastructure networks as a medium of polity. Easterling has lectured and published widely in the United States and internationally. Her research and design work has been most recently exhibited at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, the Rotterdam Biennale, and the Architectural League. She has also published web installations including: Extrastatecraft, Wildcards: a Game of Orgman, and Highline: Plotting NYC.

Metahaven (Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden) is a studio for design and research. Metahaven’s work—both commissioned and self-directed—reflects political and social issues in provocative graphic design objects. Metahaven released Uncorporate Identity (Lars Müller, 2010). Solo exhibitions include Affiche Frontière (CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, 2008), Stadtstaat (Künstlerhaus Stuttgart/Casco, 2009), Islands in the Cloud (MoMA PS1, New York, 2013) and Black Transparency (Bureau Europa, Maastricht, 2013). Group exhibitions include Forms of Inquiry (AA London, 2007), Manifesta 8 (Murcia, 2010), the Gwangju Design Biennale 2011 (Gwangju, Korea), Graphic Design: Now In Production (Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2011), and The New Public (Museion, Bolzano, 2013). Metahaven was selected by Rolling Stone Italia as one of the world’s 20 most promising design studios in 2011. The studio was a finalist of the Dutch Design Awards 2012 and awarded bi-annual Cobra Art Prize in 2013.

Reza Negarestani is a philosopher. He has contributed extensively to journals and anthologies and lectured at numerous international universities and institutes. His current philosophical project is focused on rationalist universalism beginning with the evolution of the modern system of knowledge and advancing toward contemporary philosophies of rationalism, their procedures as well as their demands for special forms of human conduct.

Gean Moreno is an artist and writer based in Miami. His work has been exhibited at the North Miami MoCA, Kunsthaus Palais Thurn und Taxis in Bregenz, Institute of Visual Arts in Milwaukee, Haifa Museum in Israel, Arndt & Partner in Zürich, and Invisible-Exports in New York. He has contributed texts to various magazines and catalogues. In 2008, he founded [NAME] Publications.

Steven Shaviro is the DeRoy Professor of English at Wayne State University. He is the author of Connected, Or, What It Means To Live in the Network Society (2003), Without Criteria: Kant, Whitehead, Deleuze, and Aesthetics (2009), Post-Cinematic Affect (2010), and The Universe of Things: On Whitehead and Speculative Realism (forthcoming, 2014). His work in progress involves post-continuity styles in contemporary cinema and music videos, and depictions of consciousness and cognition in recent science fiction and horror fiction. He blogs at The Pinocchio Theory.

McKenzie Wark is the author of A Hacker Manifesto, Gamer Theory, 50 Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International and The Beach Beneath the Street, among other books. He teaches at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College in New York City.

Both events are free, no rsvp required. For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

Accelerationism, Infrastructure
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