Ballard and Bataille: topology of desire

When James has sex with the crippled social worker Gabrielle following a visit to the Earls Court motor show, it is not the authorised conjunctions of the gendered body which determines their erotic itinerary but the abrasions and indentations of flesh and leg-brace, the coincidence of the body and an intimate design technology. The wounds […]

Memories of the Body

Aesthetically, this sequence recalls an avant-garde cinema where speech floats; freed from an expository role. One thinks of the literary allusions in Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville (Kasdan 1976) or perhaps Chris Marker’s La Jetée: still images linked by a reflective narration. Reflection and momentum has been restored. The future has been put out of the loop, for now. As […]

New Substantivism in Philosophy of Technology

In the philosophy of technology, substantivism is a critical position opposed to the common sense philosophy of technology known as “instrumentalism”. Instrumentalists argue that tools have no agency of their own – only tool users. According to instrumentalism, technology is a mass of instruments whose existence has no special normative implications. Substantivists like Martin Heidegger and Jacques […]

Armen Avanessian & Suhail Malik on Speculative Time

Just out: a taster for the forthcoming Dis collection on the post-contemporary, which will include contributions from myself, Benjamin Bratton, Elena Esposito, Victoria Ivanova, Laboria Cuboniks, Aihwa Ong, Nick Srnicek & Alex Williams. I haven’t had a the opportunity to read through the other contributions yet, but my sense is that it will be a fissiparous interrogation […]

Promethean and Posthuman Freedom: Brassier on Improvisation and Time

  This is the full text of my presentation at the improvisation panel at The Society of European Philosophy-Forum of European Philosophy joint conference in Dundee, 2015. ************************************************************ 1) Introduction: Improvisation and the Politics of Technology   Ray Brassier’s “Unfree Improvisation/Compulsive Freedom” (written for the 2013 collaboration with Basque noise artist Mattin at Glasgow’s Tramway) […]

Posthuman Life: The Galapagos Objection

Since Philperc’s Posthuman Life reading group got into gear a month ago, I’ve been dealing with numerous objections to the theses in Posthuman Life. But I’ve not been beset in quite the way I had expected. In my simplicity, I had assumed that the epistemological claims for unbounded posthumanism developed in Chapters 3 and 4 (and in later work […]