The Biomorphic Horror of Everyday Life

This paper has been written for the Philosophy, Art and Society: Body as Medium event in the Watershed Media Center, Bristol June 16 2018 It explores the idea of the ‘biomorph’ as a perverse ‘non-philosophical’ solution to the aporias of speculative posthumanism through the work of J G Ballard, Hans Bellmer and Gary J Shipley. […]

Bellmer in Doll Space: A Note

Perversion defers all conceptual or affective satisfaction; proliferating desire in ways that cannot answer to any settled ecology or ethics. Hans Bellmer’s dolls afford a kind of plastic algorithm for this infinite potentiation  – in particular his celebrated second doll, equipped with its articulating ball joint. In one of the texts from his 1934 book […]

Framing and the Ontology of the Art Work: Kendall Walton and Jacques Derrida

In his 1977 paper “Categories of Art” Kendall Walton argues that aesthetic categories like “piano music” or “bust” determine how an audience ascribes aesthetic significance to the non-aesthetic properties of the work such as their shape, matter or sound. Walton calls the perceptible properties that determine whether it belongs to a given category of artwork […]

Claire Colebrook on Art and Catastrophe

Here, one of my favourite critical theorists/philosophers Claire Colebrook talks about the role of art in thinking and imagining the end of the world. The bottom line, for her, is that only a certain idea of art as decoupled from our immediate practices and functions, that which always relates to other worlds, allows us to […]

Blade Runner 2049 – first thoughts

I’m still cobbling together thoughts about Blade Runner 2049. At a cinematic level, I appreciated its measured pace. It has an understated melancholy that one often projects onto characters in Dick’s novels. Its architecture of ruination provided a formal theatrical, even operatic, counterpoint to the isolation and brokenness of its protagonists. There were performances to […]