dOCUMENTA, Karen Barad, Object Oriented Ontology, Performativity, Quantum theory, Quentin Meillassoux, Speculative Realism

099: Karen Barad (dOCUMENTA)

While visting dOCUMENTA in Kassel, Germany this weekend I came across this beautifully published essay by Karen Barad – author of Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. The essay is entitled ‘What is the measure of nothingness? Infinity, Virtuality, Justice’ and consists of an attempt to emphasize and conceptualize the importance of (the Copenhagen interpretation of) quantum theory – related to notions such as measurements as ‘intra-actions’, indeterminacy, vacuum fluctuations, Bohr’s principle of complementarity – for a speculative philosophy that, interestingly, positions itself somewhere between OOO and SR. Being concerned with ‘the very nature of nature’ (p. 6) Barad defines objects or phenomena as ‘contingent configurations of mattering’ (p. 7) – which indicates that she is concerned with developing an ontology of becoming, or one that makes the insight that ‘there are no pre-existing individual objects with determinate boundaries that precede some interaction’ (p. 6) into its primordial commitment.
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Quentin Meillassoux, The Number and the Siren

The Number and the Siren [update]

Missed this one…Quentin Meillassoux’s second book – a ‘philosophical detective story’ in the form of an analysis of Mallarmé’s famous poem Un Coup de Dés – is forthcoming in May (Urbanomic). As Deleuze once remarked ‘a book of philosophy should be in part a very particular species of detective fiction, in part a kind of science fiction’. Hopefully, that is exactly what Meillassoux offers in his further interrogation of chance, contingency and a true philosophy of the future.

For details click here.

UPDATE: Anthony Paul Smith (an und für sich) has written a terrific review of Meillassoux’s book.