Speculative Realism, with Reza Negarestani

Mychoreography present
Speculative Realism – Reza Negarestani

Five days public seminar with Reza Negarestani direct from Kuala Lumpur 17 – 22 November.

Reza Negarestani has since the publication of his debut book “Cyclonopedia” caused serious turbulence in the field of philosophy and critical theory. The text is a tornado of thought where fiction overlaps fiction, becomes philosophy falling through an underlying archeology of politics or perhaps rather a politics of archeology. In Cyclonopedia, Negarestani does not reinvent philosophy but the practice of philosophizing as a comprehensive search for alternative modes of thinking and synthesis of knowledge.

Endless attempts have been made to localize Negarestani’s writing, a writing that on the level of form has more in common with Gertrude Stein than Hegel, and with respect to the content, it seems to resonate more with Lovecraft than Freud, with cosmos rather than consciousness.

This five-day long seminar with the Iranian philosopher who is based in Malaysia is the first comprehensive introduction of him and his work in Europe. As he is unable to leave Malaysia, the talks will be broadcast live over video link, exclusively for the audience in Stockholm.

In this seminar Reza Negarestani will take a systematic approach to the modern landscape of thought where reason and speculation, earth and cosmos, regional and universal resources of thought intermingle and synthesize so as to deliver us – remorselessly – into the open. Beginning with a geocosmic reappropriation of Freud’s and Ferenczi’s theories of trauma and a universal reinstatement of Darwin’s evolutionary thesis characterized by Peirce as a major trajectory of speculative thought, Negarestani outlines a modern landscape of thought fully in accord with the revolutionary imports of Darwin’s assault on Aristotelian essentialism and Freud’s transcendental evacuation of human conscious experience. By navigating this modern landscape and highlighting its terrains and boundaries via figures such as Darwin, Freud, Ferenczi, Reich, Peirce, Zalamea, Magnani and Catren, Negarestani develops an asymptotic thought of the open – a universalist mode of thought at last cut loose from the overgrown lineage of planetary myopias.

Reza Negarestani is an Iranian philosopher and writer who has pioneered the genre of ‘theory-fiction’ with his expansive Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (2008). He has written widely online and in print on contemporary philosophy and art notably in journals like Collapse and CTheory. He is currently working on the second installment in his theory-fiction series entitled The Mortiloquist and a monograph on geophilosophy and modern universalism.

See below the fold for more information…

Dates and Times

17 Nov 10.00 – 13.30

Introduction to seminar and Reza Negarestani by Mårten Spångberg

Reza Negarestani Seminar 1: The Map and the Compass

– Outlining the modern landscape of thought (a schema)
– Sketching a speculative philosophy for navigating the modern landscape (a scheme)
– Introducing alternative speculative schemes

18 Nov 10.00 – 12.30

Reza Negarestani Seminar 2: The Pit and the Pendulum

– Universal continuum and a modern conception of the Earth
– Toward a geophilosophical realism, or a systematically focused universalist philosophy

19 Nov 10.00 – 12.30

Reza Negarestani Seminar 3: The Universal and the Regional

– Universalizing tensions and syntheses of the modern landscape (a geocosmic deepening of trauma)
– A traumatic rehabilitation of the terrestrial horizon of thought

21 Nov 10.00 – 12.30

Reza Negarestani Seminar 4: The Earthman and the Open (150 mins)

– Traumatic syntheses and the open
– A non-trivial conception of openness and its revolutionary import

22 Nov 10.00 – 13.00

Reza Negarestani Seminar 4: The Trans-and-Absolutely Modern Man (180 mins)

– Logic of alternatives and developing the asymptotic thought of the open
– Modern man, or the enforcer of openness

Closing discussion and final notes with Mårten Spångberg


2 thoughts on “Speculative Realism, with Reza Negarestani

  1. Where music traditionally aims to mimetically ascend to hyper-central divine truth through the harmony of the celestial spheres, black metal’s noisy anti-modern sonic drive coordinately plunges into the depths only to release and radically fly upon the infinite centrifugal power or negative cosmic wind of sound itself.

    What’s going on here? Has the author listened to any “traditional” music of the 20th century?

    I wonder if the good old “religious need” or rather the need for a simplistic mythological world view that touches the soul immediately creeps into those texts but mostly in disguise, mediated by an abstract language that remains the master after all and is always in danger to punish the author by better insights. So turning dark or bleak may keep it on distance for a moment: “Look I’m black and mad and extreme and depressive and living in the land of dead already. You can’t do anything to me anymore!” Of course it can. The punishment of the subject will be loosened by turning of the crappy music after a while.

    Anecdotal evidence that all of this BM theory comes late and isn’t true. An Egon Schiele exhibition back in the 1990s in Hamburg/Germany. All of those gray-brown-green, distorted bodies on the canvas and then the young woman in the exhibition hall with their rosy taint, their dresses and costumes, who correctly cared for their education and took all of Schieles art very seriously and walked around like living contradictions. A non-intellectual, sensual contradiction as if the visual art belonged to Schiele but reality to Renoir. This can’t be speculated away.

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