Tony D. Sampson’s response

It was just recently that I found out that Tony D. Sampson, the author of Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks, has written a response to my review of the book – as it appeared in the previous issue of Parallax. The response is surely interesting and thought-provoking. In a brief reaction to the criticism it puts forward, I would like to emphasize that if it accuses me of mis-reading the book, the whole point of my review was that, as a reader of the book, I was (too) easily led to mis-read it. Be that as it may, I was honored to read Sampson’s response and I will try to come to grasps with his comments.


Gilbert Simondon


After several months of complete silence – finally an update…

I have been very busy during the last few months (take notice of the ‘recent articles’ section), but now fully determined to get back into the realm of blog-o-sphere-existence. Because I’m currently working on an essay-review of two books on Simondon – the re-issue of Pascal Chabot’s The Philosophy of Simondon and the (great!) Gilbert Simondon: Being and Technology (edited by Arne de Boever et.al.) – my first aim is to re-re-update the list of on-line translations of his articles. Ever since I first started this list somewhere between the end of 2012 and early 2013 a truly (read; non-electronic) Simondon revival has taken place – which, of course, can only be applauded!


The Anthropocene Project

This sounds interesting: the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin is organizing an event called ‘The Anthropocene Project’ which takes as its core statement the ‘Anthropocene thesis, announcing a paradigm shift in the natural sciences as well as providing new thought models for culture, politics and everyday life [..] The basis for the Anthropocene as our current geological epoch rests on the claim that humankind is the driving power behind planetary transformation’.

Speakers include artists, theoreticians etc. such as Rem Koolhaas, Lorraine Daston and John Law.

More on the event here.

Peter Osborne, Radical Philosophy, Zizek

More than everything / less than nothing

Today I came across Peter Osborne’s brave review of Slavoj Zizek’s heavy-weight magnus-opus Less Than Nothing in Radical Philosophy. The review reads like a true ‘Everything you were always uncomfortable about in Zizek (but were afraid to proclaim)’ with numerous passages like the following:

‘That said, Less Than Nothing is carefully, if some­what gauchely structured, as the story of a seduction. It begins with ‘The Drink Before’ (Part I): some emblematic, fast-forward philosophical prehistory -Plato, Christianity, Fichte. It progresses to ‘The Thing Itself, in two parts: Hegel and Lacan. And it ends with ‘The Cigarette After’ (Part IV), during which smoke is puffed in the faces of some competing philosophical positions: Badiou, Heidegger and ‘The Ontology of Quantum Physics”.

‘The Conclusion – presumably ‘A Quick Exit’, before things get complicated – is a restatement of Žižek’s own version of Lacanian politics (‘The Political Suspension of the Ethical’) with various other bits and pieces thrown in along the way’.


Latour video on The Modes of Existence project

A video of Bruno Latour elaborating on his new ‘An Inquiry Into Modes of Existence’.


“The Modes of Existence project: an exercise in collective inquiry and digital humanities” – by Bruno Latour, 6 November 2012.

Understanding Society Lecture Series, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge

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Bernard Stiegler, Bruno Latour, Materialism, Noortje Marres, Ontological Politics, Open: Cahier on Art and the Public Domain, Performativity

Open: Cahier on Art and the Public Domain. No 24: Politics of Things (What Art & Design Do In Politics)

From the website of SKOR/Foundation of Art and Public Domain:

In 2005, in the book and the exhibition Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy (see here), Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel asked themselves how democratic politics could function better and what the role of things, objects, issues and art might be within that.  Open24 investigates the current state of affairs in the theory and practice of the ‘Politics of Things’. What does a thing like ‘art’ do in democracy, how does art make publics, how does a thing interact with other things and people, and how does it influence them?

Jeroen Boomgaard shows how the politics of things offers purchase for actual practice, while Sher Doruff urges more abstract and philosophical reflections. Peter-Paul Verbeek demonstrates how art can examine the political role of things. Noortje Marres uses the example of the teapot to analyse the political role of technology, things and issues. Bernard Stiegler philosophizes on the technical condition under hyper-capitalism. His essay is introduced by Pieter Lemmens. Pascal Gielen proposes that the ‘Art Thing’ can encourage a democratic autonomy. Peter Peters and Ruth Benschop reconsider the public work of art Tilted Arc by Richard Serra. Fiona Candlin investigates the public significance of the Vintage Wireless Museum in London. Mariska van den Berg examines how the relation between citizens and the government can be reinterpreted by art. Plus, a visual contribution by Yvonne Dröge Wendel and her Object Research Lab, with a dialogue by Sher Doruff and Maartje Hoogsteyns.

Editors: Jorinde Seijdel, Liesbeth Melis
Guest editors: Jeroen Boomgaard, Peter Peters, Sher Doruff, Yvonne Dröge Wendel

Open 24: Politics of Things. What Art & Design do in Democracy
English edition ISBN 978-94-6208-030-0 | Paperback | 128 p | 17 x 24 cm | Illustrated