On re-discovering the Analytic-Continental Divide

I’m currently in London following a three-day deep dive into continental philosophy at the Society of European Philosophy/Forum of European Philosophy Joint conference at Royal Holloway University in Egham (The text of my paper is available here). The quality of both panels and keynotes was extremely high, with some particularly impeccable scholarship on display. Adrian […]

Transgression as Erotic Technology

Over on Facebook my friend Chaim Mendel posted up a disarmingly good question about the relationship between desire and transgression which has been nagging me a lot recently: Why is the forbidden so erotic? what is it about transgression that is so central to the nature of desire? Transgression or perversion isn’t only an erotic […]

Subtractive-Catastrophic Xenophilia

    Introduction Subtractive ontologies – like those of Alain Badiou or Quentin Meillassoux – hold that Being is inaccessible to thought or experience. Rather, Being is indexed for thought by a hole in thought; an opening onto an Outside uncorrelated with thought or subjectivity. I will argue that posthumanist ontologies are, likewise, subtractive operations […]

Posthumanism and Subtraction

In Being and Event Badiou proposes to unbind Being from Leibniz’s dictum that ‘What is not a being is not a being’ (2006, 53). Where traditional thought sees beings as wholes, Badiou argues that the whole is derived from an operation, a ‘count’ applied to an inconsistent (non-unitary) multiplicity that cannot be described by ontology […]

Cronenberg’s Videodrome: the Catastrophe of Desire

My first viewing of David Cronenberg’s Videodrome (1983) was shattering. I was upended by its dislocated narrative rather than the body horror of its denouement, – where image extrudes into reality and bodies develop erogenous control surfaces or explode into cancerous larvae. I could not see how this unreality emerged from the film it initially […]

Note on Machine Phenomenology and the Politics of Sounds

The ontological question: What is sound? is typically inflected in a Platonic fashion. It asks after the unitary nature of audibilia. Main Kinds of Auditory Ontology Proximal – sounds are private, non-representational sensations or qualia Medial – ‘sounds are compressive waves in an elastic medium’ (Locke) Locative – sounds are ‘found where they are heard’ […]