Philosophy

Multispecies Intra-Actions: A Round Table with Karen Barad

This post comes to you from Cultura21

On the 17th November from 10:45AM to 12:30 PM (PST) at theSOMArts centre in San Francisco the public is invited to participate in a roundtable discussion with Karen Barad, currently Professor of Feminist Studies, Philosophy, and History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a diverse panel of researchers ranging from ethnographers to artist.

Barad’s seminal 1996 essay, where she coined the term “intra-action,” will serve as a theoretical charter for the roundtable.

“Boundaries do not sit still, it is through specific intra-actions that a differential sense of being is enacted in the ongoing ebb and flow of agency…Agential intra-actions are specific causal material enactments that may or may not involve ‘humans.’ Indeed, it is through such practices that the differential boundaries between “humans” and ‘nonhumans,’ ‘culture’ and ‘nature,’ the ‘social’ and the ‘scientific’ are constituted”

Members of the roundtable will each give short “provocations” (3-5 minutes), bringing Barad into conversation with empirical matters and concepts from their own assorted texts on the table. Audience members are also invited to participate in the discussion and become provocateurs.

Following the roundtable, Karin Bolender of the Rural Alchemy Workshop will be performing “Gut Sounds Lullaby” at 2:00PM in the same space.

For more information: http://www.somarts.org/multispecies/

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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Ethics and Aesthetics of Architecture and the Environment

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

The International Society for the Philosophy of Architecture‘s conference in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, addresses the subject Ethics and Aesthetics of Architecture and the Environment.  There is a call for papers and posters.

 

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.

Go to EcoArtScotland

Climate denialism and Žižek’s fear of the future


Slavoj Žižek by Hendrik Speck

If there is a star philosophy turn, it’s  Slavoj Žižek. Last night he spoke at the RSA to a packed Great Room and justified his star status with constantly dazzling performance, which will beonline here soon. As Nigel Warburton, the event’s chair, remarked, what’s thrilling about listening to him talk publicly is the way he develops ideas in mid-sentence. Asides suddenly become new ideas, and even his asides seem to have asides.

One of his asides was a meditation on who would be the figures of the current era who would still be having statues built to them in 100 years time.

Žižek suggested Lee Kuan Yew, the reforming but authoritarian leader of Singapore,  who turned the island city-state into one of the wealthiest economies in the world. And who more importantly provided the model for Deng Xiaoping’s modernisation of Communist China.

Why? Here he took an easy kick at Fukuyama’s idea that liberal captitalist democracy was the last word in history, pointing out that the winners in capitalism’s latest race appear to be not the liberal capitalist states, but the authoritarian ones like China. And (I’m writing from memory here) his real fear is that this is the successful model that we’re all heading towards. More authoritarian capitalist states, not fewer.

Every now and again I try and take on a climate denialist. It’s a fairly stupid, self-destructive thing to do, and leads to really, really, really silly arguments about whose scientists have bigger graphs, and talk of hockey sticks and mad petitions, but occasionally I think it’s worth doing to discover if you have any common ground at all, and to try and understand how the thinking behind this weird group of misfits with such extraordinary political power.

One thing that’s obvious. Denialists like James Delingpole and Nigel Lawson really aren’t interested in science. You can’t be interested in science if your method is to seek out the few dozen science names who put up serious arguments against the thousands and thousands who stand behind the conclusions of the 2007 IPCC report.

What denialists are really afraid of is the self-righteous authoritarianism that global warming brings. They are fundamentally libertarians. We may think they’re delusional libertarians, but what really concerns them is a fear of a future that actually looks much like Žižek’s.

Anthony Giddens in The Politics of Climate Change sees it as inevitable that the green-left’s dream of grass roots localisation is not up to the task of reform. Likewise he sees that broad international agreements of the kind that COP15 seek are too easy to fracture. That leaves nation states as the main actors in climate change – and the levers they have are inevitably based around carbon taxes. In Gidden’s world, (though he wouldn’t put it like this) the state will inevitably meddle in our lives more not less in the future.

Žižek’s fears, Gidden’s rationalism, and denialists’ libertarianism all find their way to the same place. So is there an alternative? One that will calm the fears of the less-mad denialists? Does climate change inevitably lead to a more authoritarian state?

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Rachel Rosenthal Teaches The DbD Experience Workshop

The DbD Experience is a 32-hour intensive weekend created and taught by interdisciplinary artist Rachel Rosenthal.  Ms. Rosenthal developed the method applied to the DbDX during the 12 years of training people for her Instant Theatre Company active between the 50’s and 70’s in Los Angeles.  “Doing by Doing” is the underlying philosophy of the workshop, providing participants with a thorough hands-on experience covering all aspects of theatrical performance (body, voice, sound, music, movement, lights, sets and costumes), approached through exercises, processes and improvisations of solos, duets and group work.  The nuts and bolts aspect of the work is technical and professional. All levels of experience welcome.
 
Beginning Friday July 10th 6 pm to Midnight 
Saturday and Sunday July 11th and 12th from 10 am to  Midnight
 
Enrollment is limited to 14 participants.
 
Fee: $500.00
 
For more information call 310.839.0661