A series of presentations and a conversation on what might new strands of thought in eliminative materialism, speculative realism and object oriented ontology mean when they interface with the idea of activism and questions of labour.
Of late there has been an increase of interest in more ‘pure’ philosophy through the emergence of ‘speculative realism’, taking its name from a 2007 conference bringing together Ray Brassier, Ian Hamilton Grant, Graham Harman and Quentin Meillassoux. In the intervening 6 years there has been a significant increase in interest in this but still there is no adequate definition for the term. In very broad strokes it is concerned with the critique of correlationism, the dominant mode of thought since Kant that suggests the world is entirely relational to human thought. The term has quickly gained hold in the art world, possibly due to the slipperiness of its meaning, being used as an easy justification for the return of object based practices.
Post-marxist discourse has long held the hegemony on discourse within a sphere of political and critically engaged cultural and activist practices. From this perspective it would be easy to dismiss this move as at best a passing fad with nothing to say for practice and at worst an act of academic navel gazing. With this event it is intended to instead face it and open a partial conversation.
To potentially address some of these questions:
What does it tell us about the world that feminism, marxism, post-colonialism and other discourses grounded in an idea of emancipation?
How does a non human conception of the world show the deficiencies of these ideas?
If we are to adopt a position of rational nihilism then where does it leave us in the conversation on immaterial labour?
Does it negate what we have learnt from these other discourse?
How can we make use of/ weaponise this knowledge?