Sven-Olov Wallenstein: Nihilism, Art, and Technology (2010)

7 September 2013, dusan

Beginning in an analysis of three paradigmatic instances of the encounter between art and technology in modernism—the invention of photography, the step beyond art in Futurism and Constructivism, and the interpretation of technology in debates on architectural theory in the 1920s and ’30s—this book analyzes three philosophical responses to the question of nihilism—those of Walter Benjamin, Ernst Jünger, and Martin Heidegger—all of which are characterized by an avant-garde sensibility that looks to art as a way to counter the crisis of modernity.

These responses are then brought to bear on the work of the architect Mies van der Rohe, whose “silence”—understood as a withdrawal of language, sense, and aesthetic perception—is analyzed as a key problem in the interpretation of the legacy of modernism. From this, a different understanding of nihilism, art, and technology emerges. These concepts form a field of constant modulation, which implies that the foundations of critical theory must be subjected to a historical analysis that acknowledges them as ongoing processes of construction, and that also accounts for the capacity of technologies and artistic practices to intervene in the formation of philosophical concepts.

Originally presented as a compilation thesis in theoretical philosophy, the work was published as a book by Axl Books in 2011.

Doctoral Thesis
Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University, 2010
ISBN 9789174470734
92 pages

Publisher (Thesis)
Publisher (Book)

PDF (Thesis; without images)

Nick Land: Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987-2007 (2011)

6 March 2013, dusan

Fanged Noumena brings together the writings of Nick Land for the first time. During the 1990s Land’s unique philosophical work, variously described as ‘rabid nihilism’, ‘mad black deleuzianism’ and ‘cybergothic’, developed perhaps the only rigorous and culturally-engaged escape route out of the malaise of ‘continental philosophy’ – a route which was implacably blocked by the academy. However, Land’s work has continued to exert an influence, both through the British ‘speculative realist’ philosophers who studied with him, and through the many cultural producers – artists, musicians, filmmakers, bloggers – who have been invigorated by his uncompromising and abrasive philosophical vision.

Beginning with Land’s early radical rereadings of Heidegger, Nietzsche, Kant and Bataille, the volume then collects together the papers, talks and articles of the mid-90s – long the subject of rumour and vague legend (including some work which has never previously appeared in print) – in which Land developed his futuristic theory-fiction of cybercapitalism gone amok; and ends with his enigmatic later writings in which Ballardian fictions, poetics, cryptography, anthropology, grammatology and the occult are smeared into unrecognisable hybrids.

Fanged Noumena allows a dizzying perspective on the entire trajectory of this provocative and influential thinker’s work, and will introduce his unique voice to a new generation of readers.”

Edited by Robin Mackay, Ray Brassier
Publisher Urbanomic, Falmouth/UK; with Sequence Press, New York, 2011
Second edition, 2012
ISBN 095530878X, 9780955308789
667 pages

Review: Mark Fisher.


PDF (removed on 2013-3-13 upon request of the publisher)

Roberto Esposito: Communitas: The Origin and Destiny of Community (1998/2003/2010) [Spanish/English]

17 November 2012, dusan

No theme has been more central to international philosophical debates than that of community: from American communitarianism to Habermas’s ethic of communication to the French deconstruction of community in the work of Derrida and Nancy. Nevertheless, in none of these cases has the concept been examined from the perspective of community’s original etymological meaning: cum munus. In Communitas: The Origin and Destiny of Community, Roberto Esposito does just that through an original counter-history of political philosophy that takes up not only readings of community by Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, Heidegger and Bataille, but also by Hölderlin, Nietzsche, Canetti, Arendt, and Sartre. The result of his extraordinary conceptual and lexical analysis is a radical overturning of contemporary interpretations of community. Community isn’t a property, nor is it a territory to be separated and defended against those who do not belong to it. Rather, it is a void, a debt, a gift to the other that also reminds us of our constitutive alterity with respect to ourselves.

Originally published in Italian as Communitas: Origine e destino della comunita, 1998, Giulio Einaudi Editore
Spanish edition: Communitas: Origen y destino de la comunidad
Translated by Carlo Rodolfo Molinaro Marotto
Publisher Amorrortu editores, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2003
Mutaciones series
ISBN 9505187149

English edition
Translated by Timothy C. Campbell
Publisher Stanford University Press, 2010
Cultural Memory in the Present Series
ISBN 0804746478, 9780804746472
175 pages

publisher [Spanish]
publisher [English]
google books [Spanish]
google books [English]

PDF [Spanish]
PDF [English]