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Speculative Aesthetics and Philosophy

05.03.2013 | 20:30

Book Presentation with Armen Avanessian, Tom Lamberty (Merve), Robin Mackay (Collapse), Rita Vitorelli (Spike Art Journal)

There is good reason to assume that the new century, our present time, is in need of some new theories. Cracks have long begun to show in the framework of last century’s traditionally dominant philosophies. That applies even to the likes of the Frankfurt School, Marxism, Structuralism and Deconstruction, which have also shaped the politically ambitious art theories of recent decades.

Over the last couple of years, a new philosophical movement has been gaining increasing traction under the label of Speculative Realism. Taking a distinctly rational approach that does not shy away from metaphysical issues, with an explicit tendency towards realism and materialism in relation to ontologies, the hallmark of these new philosophers is their open embrace of the speculative. One general question then is whether new and different connections can be forged between philosophical thought and artistic production. Is there a necessity of also artistically overcoming the correlationist idea, that “we only ever have access to the correlation between thinking and being, and never to either term considered apart from the other” (Quentin Meillassoux)? And does calling into question the aesthetic paradigm with its focus on the perception (aisthesis) of objects, raise questions about the alternatives to that which Jacques Rancière famously described as the aesthetic regime of art?Both the book-series Spekulationen at Merve Verlag Berlin as well as the series Theories for the 21st Century in Spike Art Quarterly are dedicated to Speculative Philosophy in general and its relevance for new approaches in aesthetics. On the occasion both of the launch of the first comprehensive volume with german translations of the new speculative philosophers (Realismus Jetzt. Spekulative Philosophie und Metaphysik für das 21. Jahrhundert, Merve 2013) as well as the launch of the new issue of Spike (including a contribution by Quentin Meillassoux) there will statements by the participants followed by a discussion.

Participants: Armen Avanessian works at the SFB 626 and the Peter Szondi Institute for Comparative Literature at the Freie Universität Berlin and is founder of the research platform on Speculative Poetics. Among his recent book-publications are: ‘Phänomenologie ironischen Geistes. Ethik, Poetik und Politik der Moderne’ (Fink, 2010), ‘Aesthetics and Contemporary Art’ (Sternberg, 2011, ed. together with Luke Skrebowski), ‘Präsens. Poetik eines Tempus’ (Diaphanes, 2012, together with Anke Hennig). Robin Mackay is a philosopher and editor of the journal Collapse. He is a publisher who through Urbanomic and its collaborations with Sequence Press, was responsible for the first appearances of ‘Speculative Realism’. He is editor of Nick Land’s Fanged Noumena (Urbanomic/Sequence, 2010) and François Laruelle’s From Decision to Heresy (Urbanomic/Sequence, 2013). He also translated Alain Badiou's Number and Numbers (Polity, 2008), Laruelle's The Concept of Non-Photography (Urbanomic/Sequence Press, 2011) and Anti-Badiou (Continuum, 2013), and Quentin Meillassoux’s The Number and the Siren (Urbanomic/Sequence Press, 2011) Rita Vitorelli is an artist, co-editor and editor of Spike


Program including further events as (PDF)


Kontakt: Armen Avanessian

Zeit & Ort

05.03.2013 | 20:30

Pro qm, Almstadtstr. 48-50, 10119 Berlin