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June 11, 2015

After Accelerationism: The Xenofeminist Manifesto

The Laboria Cuboniks collective have just released their widely-anticipated “Xenofeminism: A Politics for Alienation”.

Already, it is being lauded by such cultural critics as Mark Fisher for “definitively grasp[ing] feminism back from the… hands of the moralising-spiteful petit-bourgeoisie,” and indicating that “a new counterculture is emerging from the shadows.” Rejecting originary authenticity, affirming technological alienation, and firmly regrounding accelerationism in its cyberfeminist antecedents, the xenofeminist call-to-arms has unleashed an alien storm system from which terrestrial subjectivity will not emerge unaltered.

May 29, 2015

Transcript of Marshall McLuhan on ‘Our World’ (Global Satellite Broadcast on June 24th, 1967)

Time & Televisual Intersubjectivity, McLuhan’s idea of globalized presence as the prehistory of telecomputation. The 1960s was the decade in which satellite technology was introduced to the television world via a series of live broadcasts. However, with the active participation of 46 stations, BBC’s Our World (1967) was undoubtedly the most globally far reaching of them all. Conceived around Marshall McLuhan’s concept of the communicative global village, the special program took full advantage of satellites to both reach a truly global audience and use the occasion to announce the dawn of globalization and what living in a small and thoroughly connected world would mean for its inhabitants. Prominent in the broadcast was the program’s Canadian segment, which aired right after the introduction and included Marshal McLuhan interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and broadcast from their studio in Toronto.

May 23, 2015

Speculation, Acceleration, and the In-Between

. . . the #Accelerate Manifesto, both in form and content, is also indicative of the limited utility philosophy might have in a crisis situation like that of 2008 and on, hence, the need for a full-fledged turn away from speculative philosophy towards proper political economy. However, it is important to note that this political turn was filtered mostly through speculative realism, on the positive side, because of their shared emphasis on materiality & the place of technology, and on the negative, through SR’s spectacular failure in offering a new epistemology and the accelerationist demand for one. And yet, SR did offer a way out of Continental theory loops, via the works of Ray Brassier and Reza Negarestani, mostly through their defense of the idea of Enlightenment and reason or what later was called neorationalism . . . their brand of realism offers a new way of thinking about the political that is not overdetermined and therefore limited by Western anarcho-Marxist cynicism towards government institutions and social planning, or the dominant discursive politics of poststructuralism or the Latourian hegemonic hyper-relativism that insists everything is a network.

May 4, 2015

Ex Machina. Machinic Utterances and Aesthetic Self-Reclamation

So, how do we move beyond the past? How do we move past the phallocratic traditions and its subjective invariants? In the aftermath of emancipatory politics and within a current age of media deliriums, where we are all allowed to scream and cry our outrage and become the users and producers of media and the illusions and dreams of detournements of Debord have been given to us all within the virtual-actual spaces of social networks; or at least, keeps us chained to a Freudian unconscious (a Freudian Robot). The question, Ex Machina then brings to the forefront, is more than a simple question of Feminist emancipatory politics, it’s a position outside of striving perhaps to take on the compulsion of consumption today: the consumption and compulsion to Identify, to share Identification, and to consume Identity. Then, how can we begin to grasp a capacity to think within the ever-changing landscape today in a manner where we take up a mode of consumption that would be akin to a capacity and novel mode of thinking within our current landscape of post-digital culture?

May 3, 2015

Ex Machina. Between Novelty, Self-Belonging, and Art

The philosopher Gilbert Simondon states in his work that the machine or robot in relation to its human creator, takes on a position that in the past was granted to the slave or foreigner or stranger. That is, the machine takes on a position whereby humans try to not identify completely with it, and seek a distancing from technologies they have created. Simondon, however also thinks that monikers and conceptions of technology that refer to machines as separate from human, that is, as autonomous robots and the like, are an erroneous way to envision them. For Simondon, machines are extensions of the human. If Ex Machina had another chapter, perhaps Ava, if she followed the hopes Simondon strives to set forth in his book, On the Modes of Existence of Technical Objects (see part one or this in-progress translation for English versions), would recognize her position as an extension of the human, as a care-giving machine and a negentropic, stabilizing part of humanity.

February 9, 2015

The Philosophical Origins of Digitality

I think that photography is digital – if you understand photography in the classical sense – and that it has always been digital. Such a position only holds if we accept the previous definition of the digital, which has to do with subscribing to a fundamental rivenness of the world. Photography must reflect on or orient itself toward an object or toward the world. The viewer (or the camera as a ‘viewer proxy’) is already divided, or apart, or opposite from its subject. The viewer is inside the world of course, but the structure of immanence is not in effect. Rather, a structure of distance, difference, relationality predominates. If the dominant structure is distance, difference, relation, etc., it’s digital as far as I’m concerned. But that might not be a very satisfying answer!

February 8, 2015

Grégoire Chamayou – War is Becoming a Telecommuting Job for Office Workers

The drone appears as the weapon of choice of the coward, he who refuses to show himself. It requires no courage; it deactivates combat. This provokes deep crises in terms of military values. But the military needs justifications.

January 16, 2015

Étienne Balibar – Three words for the dead and for the living

Were the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists reckless? Yes, but this word has two meanings, that are more or less easy to disentangle (and, of course, some subjectivity on my part enters the picture here). Contempt for danger, hunger for risk, some would say heroism. But also indifferent to the potentially disastrous consequences of a healthy provocation – in this case the humiliation of millions of people who are already stigmatized, making them vulnerable to the manipulation of organized fanatics.

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Moscow, January 1st, 2019

Written in 2013 for the blog Communists In Situ, “Moscow January 1st, 2019” charts the dystopian future of global capitalism, unwittingly painting an accurate picture of the crumbling US empire in the post-Trump era while pointing to the radical dangers embedded in the neoreactionary nightmare of state secession and techno cosmopolitanism.   KADASHEVSKAYA HOTEL 26 Kadashevskaya […]

Against Curating

NOTE: Against Curating was first published by the German Daily Zeit in German language. The English version on &&& Platform matches the original in all but the title, which the Zeit editors had decided to change to “Get Rid of Curators.” Curating is undemocratic, authoritarian, opaque and corruptible. Without giving reasons, without discussion, curators choose […]

#AltWoke Companion

What Is #AltWoke? #AltWoke is: The Catalytic Left. Post-Landian Left-Accelerationism. Team Reza Negarestani. ‘The Dark Insurrection.’ Direct action hacktivism. Free market socialism. Apocalyptic communism. Intersectional xenofeminism. Environmentally conscientious nihilism. Libidinal Marxism. Platform stacktivism. IoT urban policy. High post-post-structuralism. The Corporate Undercommons. Gratuitous neologism and nomenclature trolling. Lifestyle branding as political ideology & vice versa. AltWoke™: […]

The Persian Empire & the Question of Democracy in Herodotus’s Histories

Political debates surrounding the question of democracy versus elite despotism has an interesting history. As a Persian, I find the passages 80-87 from Herodotus’ Histories demonstrating how these debates predate modern Europe and are rooted, at least in written text, in the struggle between Persia and Greece for civilizational hegemony: 80. And now when five […]

Nick Land & Accelerationism

This is Nick Land, one of the most important philosophers of the last 20 years, and one the most innovative thinkers on the subjects of cybernetics and late capitalism. He is also one of the theorists of NRx, and is one of accelerationism’s primary figureheads. Nick Land didn’t always belong to the Right. Initially, he […]