Open Humanities Press

after.video realizes the world through moving images and reassembles theory after video. Extending the formats of ‘theory’, it reflects a new situation in which world and video have grown together. This is an edited collection of assembled and annotated video essays living in two instantiations: an online version – located on the web at http://after.video/assemblages, and an offline version – stored on a server inside a VHS (Video Home System) case. This is both a digital and analog object: manifested, in a scholarly gesture, as a ‘video book’.
Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy, edited by Etienne Turpin, brings together a provocative series of essays, conversations, and design proposals that attempt to intensify the potential of the multidisciplinary discourse developing in response to the Anthropocene thesis for contemporary architecture scholarship and practice. Research regarding the significance and consequence of anthropogenic transformations of the earth’s land, oceans, biosphere and climate have demonstrated that, from a wide variety of perspectives, it is almost certain that humans have initiated a new geological epoch, their own. First labeled the Anthropocene by the chemist Paul Crutzen, the consideration ...
Taking as its premise that the proposed epoch of the Anthropocene is necessarily an aesthetic event, this collection explores the relationship between contemporary art and knowledge production in an era of ecological crisis. Art in the Anthropocene brings together a multitude of disciplinary conversations, drawing together artists, curators, scientists, theorists and activists to address the geological reformation of the human species. With contributions by Amy Balkin, Ursula Biemann, Amanda Boetzkes, Lindsay Bremner, Joshua Clover & Juliana Spahr, Heather Davis, Sara Dean, Elizabeth Ellsworth & Jamie Kruse (smudge studio), Irmgard Emmelhainz, Anselm Franke, Peter Galison, Fabien Giraud, & Ida Soulard, Laurent ...
This is a book on the metaphysics of contingency. It looks at what could be otherwise, at what lacks the weight of necessity, at what is up for grabs. Aristotle maintained that there could be no knowledge of the impermanent. Since then, metaphysics has endeavored to find out what really is permanent, non-accidental and resilient – substances that endure, substrata underneath different qualities, fixed principles, necessary connections. In contrast, Bensusan draws on the growing philosophical attention to the contingent. It explores how we can counter Aristotle and develop a metaphysics of what ain’t necessarily so. The endeavor renegotiates the accepted ...
Capital at the Brink reveals the pervasiveness, destructiveness, and dominance of neoliberalism within American society and culture. The contributors to this collection also offer points of resistance to an ideology wherein, to borrow Henry Giroux’s comment, “everything either is for sale or is plundered for profit.” The first step in fighting neoliberalism is to make it visible. By discussing various inroads that it has made into political, popular, and literary culture, Capital at the Brink is taking this first step and joining a global resistance that works against neoliberalism by revealing the variety of ways in which it dominates and ...
The DATA browser book series explores new thinking and practice at the intersection of contemporary art, digital culture and politics. The series takes theory or criticism not as a fixed set of tools or practices, but rather as an evolving chain of ideas that recognise the conditions of their own making. The term “browser” is useful in pointing to the framing device through which data is delivered over information networks and processed by algorithms. Whereas a conventional understanding of browsing suggests surface readings and cursory engagement with the material, the series celebrates the potential of browsing for dynamic rearrangement and ...
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 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 ...
There is no doubt that we live in exciting times: Ours is the age of many ‘silent revolutions’ triggered by startups and research labs of big IT companies; revolutions that quietly and profoundly alter the world we live in. Another ten or five years, and self-tracking will be as normal and inevitable as having a Facebook account or a mobile phone. Our bodies, hooked to wearable devices sitting directly at or beneath the skin, will constantly transmit data to the big aggregation in the cloud. Permanent recording and automatic sharing will provide unabridged memory, both shareable and analyzable. The digitization ...
Digital Light brings together artists, curators, technologists and media archaeologists to study the historical evolution of digital light-based technologies. Digital Light provides a critical account of the capacities and limitations of contemporary digital light-based technologies and techniques by tracing their genealogies and comparing them with their predecessor media. As digital light remediates multiple historical forms (photography, print, film, video, projection, paint), the collection draws from all of these histories, connecting them to the digital present and placing them in dialogue with one another.
The noise factor is the ratio of signal to noise of an input signal to that of the output signal. Noise can block or interfere with the meaning of a message in both human and electronic communication. But in Information Theory, noise is still considered to be information. By refining the definition of noise as that which addresses us outside of our preferred comfort zone, Joseph Nechvatal’s Immersion Into Noise investigates multiple aspects of cultural noise by applying the audio understanding of noise to the visual, architectural and cognitive domains. Nechvatal expands and extends our understanding of the function of cultural ...
This book is addressed to everyone who is struggling and experimenting today, to everyone who is a true contemporary of what Stengers dares to call “the intrusion of Gaia,” this “nature” that has left behind its traditional role and now has the power to question us all. In Catastrophic Times is neither a book of prophecy nor a survival guide. Here, Stengers reminds us that it falls to us to experiment with the apparatuses that make us capable of surviving without sinking into barbarism, to create what nourishes trust where panicked impotence threatens.
Life typically becomes an object of reflection when it is seen to be under threat. In particular, humans have a tendency to engage in thinking about life (instead of just continuing to live it) when being confronted with the prospect of death: be it the death of individuals due to illness, accident or old age; the death of whole ethnic or national groups in wars and other forms of armed conflict; but also of whole populations, be they human or nonhuman. Even though Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene is first and foremost concerned with life—understood as both a biological and ...
This book is the first monograph on the theme of “new materialism,” an emerging trend in 21st century thought that has already left its mark in such fields as philosophy, cultural theory, feminism, science studies, and the arts. The first part of the book contains elaborate interviews with some of the most prominent new materialist scholars of today: Rosi Braidotti, Manuel DeLanda, Karen Barad, and Quentin Meillassoux. The second part situates the new materialist tradition in contemporary thought by singling out its transversal methodology, its position on sexual differing, and by developing the ethical and political consequences of new materialism.  
Nocturnal Fabulations is an essay in intercessing. This is not a book that is simply ‘about’ Apichatpong Weerasethakul, though it does engage his work in detail. It is a book that deeply questions what else might be at stake in setting up the conditions for collaboration across two genres: cinema and writing. This collective project is animated by a shared curiosity in the pragmatics of fabulation and its speculative gesture of bringing forth a people to come. In an encounter with Apichatpong’s cinematic dreamscape, the concepts of ecology, vitality and opacity emerge to articulate an ethos of fabulation that deframes experience, recomposes ...
The term Occupy represents a belief in the transformation of the capitalist system through a new heterogenic world of protest and activism that cannot be conceived in terms of liberal democracy, parliamentary systems, class war or vanguard politics. These conceptualisations do not articulate where power is held, nor from where transformation may issue. This collection of essays by world-leading scholars of Deleuze and Guattari examines how capitalism can be understood as a global abstract machine whose effects pervade all of life and how Occupy can be framed as a response to this as a heterogenic movement based on new tactics, ...
In Ontological Catastrophe, Joseph Carew takes up the central question guiding Slavoj Žižek’s philosophy: How could something like phenomenal reality emerge out of the meaninglessness of the Real? Carefully reconstructing and expanding upon his controversial reactualization of German Idealism, Carew argues that Žižek offers us an original, but perhaps terrifying, response: experience is possible only if we presuppose a prior moment of breakdown as the ontogenetic basis of subjectivity. Drawing upon resources found in Žižek, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and post-Kantian philosophy, Carew thus develops a new critical metaphysics—a metaphysics which is a variation upon the late German Idealist theme of balancing ...
Photomediations: A Reader offers a radically different way of understanding photography. The concept of photomediations that unites the twenty scholarly and curatorial essays collected here cuts across the traditional classification of photography as suspended between art and social practice in order to capture the dynamism of the photographic medium today. It also explores photography’s kinship with other media – and with us, humans, as media. The term ‘photomediations’ brings together the hybrid ontology of ‘photomedia’ and the fluid dynamism of ‘mediation’. The framework of photomediations adopts a process- and time-based approach to images by tracing the technological, biological, cultural, social and political ...
In Plankton Dreams, Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay crafts a proud, satiric style: the special ed student as literary troublemaker. ‘Mother had always taught me to learn from circumstance,’ he writes. ‘Here, the circumstance was humiliation, a particularly instructive teacher.’ ‘But I’m not complaining,’ he continues. ‘Humiliation, after all, made me a philosopher.’ For all of its comic effects, the book alerts readers to an alternative understanding of autism, an understanding that autistics themselves have been promoting for years. Frustrated by how most scientists investigate autism, Mukhopadhyay decides to investigate neurotypicality, treating his research subjects the way he himself was treated. Why shouldn’t ...
Sensation is a concept with a conflicted philosophical history. It has found as many allies as enemies in nearly every camp from empiricism to poststructuralism. Polyvalent, with an uncertain referent, and often overshadowed by intuition, perception, or cognition, sensation invites as much metaphysical speculation as it does dismissive criticism. The promise of sensation has certainly not been lost on the phenomenologists who have sought to ‘rehabilitate’ the concept. In Plastic Bodies, Tom Sparrow argues that the phenomenologists have not gone far enough, however. Alongside close readings of Merleau-Ponty and Levinas, he digs into an array of ancient, modern, and contemporary texts ...
Object-oriented ontology offers a startlingly fresh way to think about causality that takes into account developments in physics since 1900. Causality, argues, Object Oriented Ontology (OOO), is aesthetic. In this book, Timothy Morton explores what it means to say that a thing has come into being, that it is persisting, and that it has ended. Drawing from examples in physics, biology, ecology, art, literature and music, Morton demonstrates the counterintuitive yet elegant explanatory power of OOO for thinking causality.
Sex After Life aims to consider the various ways in which the concept of life has provided normative and moralizing ballast for queer, feminist and critical theories. Arguing against a notion of the queer as counter-normative, Sex After Life appeals to the concept of life as a philosophical problem. Life is neither a material ground nor a generative principle, but can nevertheless offer itself for new forms of problem formation that exceed the all too human logics of survival.
This book argues that climate change has a devastating effect on how we think about the future. Once several positive feedback loops in Earth’s dynamic systems, such as the melting of the Arctic icecap or the drying of the Amazon, cross the point of no return, the biosphere is likely to undergo severe and irreversible warming. Nearly everything we do is premised on the assumption that the world we know will endure into the future and provide a sustaining context for our activities. But today the future of a viable biosphere, and thus the purpose of our present activities, is put ...
This volume gathers notable critics and philosophers to engage the predominant impasse of an emerging era of climate change and ecocatastrophic acceleration: that is, how conceptual and critical practices inherited from 20th century master-thinkers—who took no account of these emergences and logics—alter, adapt, mutate, or undergo translation at the current moment. Rather than assume that the humanities and philosophic practices of the past routed in the rethinking of language and power are suspended as irrelevant before mutations of the biosphere itself, Telemorphosis asks how, in fact, the latter have always been imbricated in these cognitive and linguistic practices and remain ...
The events of September 11, 2001, have had a strong impact on theory and the humanities. They call for a new philosophy, as the old philosophy is inadequate to account for them. They also call for reflection on theory, philosophy, and the humanities in general. While the recent location and killing of Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, in Pakistan on May 2, 2011—almost ten years after he and his confederates carried out the 9/11 attacks—may have ended the “war on terror,” it has not ended the journey to understand what it means to be a theorist in the ...

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