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CfH Lectures


This talk is introduced by Maria Hlavajova and Prof. Rosi Braidotti.

In its commitment, Marx’s humanism is not philosophical. The anthropocentric human of philosophy and of theology is transcendentally impoverished and reduced to a determination in the last instance which is fundamentally material: the human is determined by the real of its “species being.” The real is sensuous and physical” (Marx). Therefore, the opposition of body and mind is inoperative in its classical philosophical sense as both instances are ultimately determined by the real insofar as material or physical. Dovetailing Marx’s humanism with Donna Harway’s “project-of-the-cyborg”, Katerina Kolozova argues that the concept of the “cyborg” is fundamentally the product of a procedure of “dualysis” brought about by way of radicalizing the dyad constituted by technology and the organic. It is a philosophically non-standard procedure of rendering the two constituents irreducible to one another. Capitalism “behaves” as philosophy, it is the product of “decisionism” which then establishes a self-sufficient universe of speculation pretending to stipulate the real. Technological automation in capitalism mirrors the very logic of capitalism: it is based on the presupposition that it is a self-sufficient universe and that the physical serves its auto-perfection rather than the other way around. Machinic automation out of joint is endless chatter or endless noise in a schizophrenic split from the material in the last instance, i.e., the material which is always already there indifferent to any attempts of the signifying intentionality. Following Firestone’s and Haraway’s calls for feminist and socialist revolution through technology, let us not forget, one should also emancipate the body from the brutal exploitation by (Hegel’s) “Spirit.” Moreover, one should overcome the contradiction immanent to capitalism consisting in what Marx diagnoses as the split between “abstract activity and a belly.”

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht organizes the series of presentations, conversations, seminars, and workshops Posthuman Glossary. The series takes place in the form of intensive two-day gatherings with artists, scholars, and activists around the critical issues of posthumanity in present-day artistic and intellectual work. Posthuman Glossary is a part of BAK’s research program Future Vocabularies (2014–2016) and its chapter Human-Inhuman-Posthuman, which is developed in dialogue with BAK Research Fellow Professor Rosi Braidotti and organized in collaboration with the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University. The series leads to the publishing of the Posthuman Glossary in 2016, edited by Braidotti and BAK’s Artistic Director Maria Hlavajova.