Critical Theory

Postcapitalist Desire: The Final Lectures

Contributors Mark Fisher, Matt Colquhoun
Edited and with an introduction by Matt Colquhoun, this collection of lecture notes and transcriptions reveals acclaimed writer and blogger Mark Fisher in his element — the classroom — outlining a project that Fisher’s death left so bittersweetly unfinished. Beginning with that most fundamental of questions — “Do we really want what we say we want?” — Fisher explores the relationship between desire and capitalism, and wonders what new forms of desire we might still excavate from the past, present, and future. From the emergence and failure of the counterculture in the 1970s to the continued development of his left-accelerationist line ...

Agorafobia

Contributor Rosalyn Deutsche
Rosalyn Deutsche is a professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, Feminist Theory, and Urban Theory at Barnard College (New York). Her analytical materia prima are the concept of the public sphere, discrepancies in development, and models of public art (public art criticism), such as that done by Krzysztof Wodiczko. One of her most important works is Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics (The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusets, 1996). This volume includes the essay Agoraphoobia, which we publish here in a new, revised version of the Spanish translation done by in a new, revised version of the Spanish translation by Jesús Carillo ...

Alleys of Your Mind: Augmented Intelligence and Its Traumas

What does thinking mean in the age of Artificial Intelligence? How is big-scale computation transforming the way our brains function? This collection discusses these pressing questions by looking beyond instrumental rationality. Exploring recent developments as well as examples from the history of cybernetics, the book uncovers the positive role played by errors and traumas in the construction of our contemporary technological minds. With texts by Benjamin Bratton, Orit Halpern, Adrian Lahoud, Jon Lindblom, Catherine Malabou, Reza Negarestani, Luciana Parisi, Matteo Pasquinelli, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Michael Wheeler, Charles Wolfe, and Ben Woodard.

Ancestors & Algorithms

Ancestors and Algorithms appears online in Fictional Journal issue #2, and in the PROPAGANDA pdf document. In 2000, Dan Greaney, the writer of The Simpson’s cartoon, imagined Donald Trump as the president of the United States in the episode Bart to the Future, and he admits that the idea “was pitched because it was consistent with a vision of America going insane”1. The show creates an unimaginable scene, the embodiment of its viewer’s worst nightmare and hilarious fantasy that has since become reality…

Apocryphal Technologies (continent. 8.1-2)

These past few years, the fairly ancient concept we call “truth” has been bandied about the place quite a bit. Our social trust barometers, for a long time calibrated with “politician” on one side and “scientist” at the other, have been thrust into stormy weather. People like Donald Trump and Richard Dawkins have buried the needle into extremes of rhetorical squall, political uproar and techno-scientific demand, operationalising belief and fact in excessive ways — destructive of both self and others. The rest of us, muddling through this other ancient concept we call “modern life”, try and poise ourselves somewhere in ...

Archives

Archives have become a nexus in the wake of the digital turn. This book sets out to show how expanded archival practices can challenge contemporary conceptions and inform the redistribution of power and resources. Calling for the necessity to reimagine the potentials of archives in practice, the three contributions ask: Can archives fulfill their paradoxical potential as utopian sites in which the analog and the digital, the past and future, and remembrance and forgetting commingle?

Bertolt Brecht

Contributor Philip Glahn
Playwright, poet and activist Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) was known for his theory of the Epic Theatre and his attempts to break down the division between high art and popular culture. The Threepenny Opera, his collaboration with composer Kurt Weill, was a milestone in musical theatre, and plays like Mother Courage and Galileo changed the course of modern drama and aesthetic theory. Framed by two world wars, the Weimar Republic and a global depression, Nazism and exile and East German socialism, Brecht’s own life became a project, illuminating and intervening in the ongoing crisis of modern experience, shaped by capitalism, nationalism and visions of social utopia. Brecht ...

Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?

Contributor Mark Fisher
It is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. After 1989, capitalism has successfully presented itself as the only realistic political-economic system – a situation that the bank crisis of 2008, far from ending, actually compounded. The book analyses the development and principal features of this capitalist realism as a lived ideological framework. Using examples from politics, film (Children Of Men, Jason Bourne, Supernanny), fiction (Le Guin and Kafka), work and education, it argues that capitalist realism colours all areas of contemporary experience, is anything but realistic and asks how capitalism and its inconsistencies ...

Catherine Malabou

Contributor Catherine Malabou
On life and her work.

DATA Browser 06: Executing Practices

This collection brings together artists, curators, programmers, theorists and heavy internet browsers whose practices make critical intervention into the broad concept of execution. It draws attention to their political strategies, asking: who and what is involved with those practices, and for whom or what are these practices performed, and how? From the contestable politics of emoji modifier mechanisms and micro-temporalities of computational processes to genomic exploitation and the curating of digital content, the chapters account for gendered, racialised, spatial, violent, erotic, artistic and other embedded forms of execution. Together they highlight a range of ways in which execution emerges and ...

Death of the PostHuman: Essays on Extinction, Vol. 1

Death of the PostHuman undertakes a series of critical encounters with the legacy of what had come to be known as ‘theory,’ and its contemporary supposedly post-human aftermath. There can be no redemptive post-human future in which the myopia and anthropocentrism of the species finds an exit and manages to emerge with ecology and life. At the same time, what has come to be known as the human – despite its normative intensity – can provide neither foundation nor critical lever in the Anthropocene epoch. Death of the PostHuman argues for a twenty-first century deconstruction of ecological and seemingly post-human ...

Deleuze

Volume 03_Deleuze includes: Minor Architects and Funambulists: A Shared Architectural Manifesto — Abécédaire — What Is It to Be “From the Left” — The Ritournelle (refrain) as a Territorial Song Invoking the Power of the Cosmos — The Body as a Desiring Machine — Minor Literature — What Remains from Francis Bacon — Transpierce the Mountains: Indian Medieval Art History (by Élie Faure) — Processes of Smoothing and Striation of Space in Urban Warfare — A Thousand Machines (by Gerald Raunig) — Foucault and the Society of Control — Control and Becoming: A Conversation Between Negri and Deleuze — “I ...

Discognition

What is consciousness? What is it like to feel pain, or to see the colour red? Do robots and computers really think? For that matter, do plants and amoebas think? If we ever meet intelligent aliens, will we be able to understand what they say to us? Philosophers and scientists are still unable to answer questions like these. Perhaps science fiction can help. In Discognition, Steven Shaviro looks at science fiction novels and stories that explore the extreme possibilities of human and alien sentience.

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