Boris Groys (ed.): Russian Cosmism (2018)

19 March 2018, dusan

“Cosmism emerged in Russia before the October Revolution and developed through the 1920s and 1930s; like Marxism and the European avant-garde, two other movements that shared this intellectual moment, Russian Cosmism rejected the contemplative for the transformative, aiming to create not merely new art or philosophy but a new world. Cosmism went the furthest in its visions of transformation, calling for the end of death, the resuscitation of the dead, and free movement in cosmic space. This volume collects crucial texts, many available in English for the first time, by the radical biopolitical utopianists of Russian Cosmism.

Cosmism was developed by the Russian philosopher Nikolai Fedorov in the late nineteenth century; he believed that humans had an ethical obligation not only to care for the sick but to cure death using science and technology; outer space was the territory of both immortal life and infinite resources. After the revolution, a new generation pursued Fedorov’s vision. Cosmist ideas inspired visual artists, poets, filmmakers, theater directors, novelists (Tolstoy and Dostoevsky read Fedorov’s writings), architects, and composers, and influenced Soviet politics and technology. In the 1930s, Stalin quashed Cosmism, jailing or executing many members of the movement. Today, when the philosophical imagination has again become entangled with scientific and technological imagination, the works of the Russian Cosmists seem newly relevant.”

With texts by Alexander Bogdanov, Alexander Chizhevsky, Nikolai Fedorov, Boris Groys, Valerian Muravyev, Alexander Svyatogor, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Anton Vidokle, and Brian Kuan Wood.

Publisher e-flux, New York, and MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2018
ISBN 9780262037433, 0262037432
ix+249 pages



Rosi Braidotti, Maria Hlavajova (eds.): Posthuman Glossary (2018)

8 March 2018, dusan

“If art, science, and the humanities have shared one thing, it was their common engagement with constructions and representations of the human. Under the pressure of new contemporary concerns, however, we are experiencing a “posthuman condition”; the combination of new developments–such as the neoliberal economics of global capitalism, migration, technological advances, environmental destruction on a mass scale, the perpetual war on terror and extensive security systems–with a troublesome reiteration of old, unresolved problems that mean the concept of the human as we had previously known it has undergone dramatic transformations.

The Posthuman Glossary> is a volume providing an outline of the critical terms of posthumanity in present-day artistic and intellectual work. It builds on the broad thematic topics of Anthropocene/Capitalocene, eco-sophies, digital activism, algorithmic cultures and security and the inhuman. It outlines potential artistic, intellectual, and activist itineraries of working through the complex reality of the ‘posthuman condition’, and creates an understanding of the altered meanings of art vis-à-vis critical present-day developments. It bridges missing links across disciplines, terminologies, constituencies and critical communities. This original work will unlock the terms of the posthuman for students and researchers alike.”

Publisher Bloomsbury Academic, 2018
Theory series
ISBN 1350030252, 9781350030251
xxxii+538 pages



Nathan Brown: The Limits of Fabrication: Materials Science, Materialist Poetics (2017)

13 December 2017, dusan

“Poetry, or poiēsis, has long been understood as a practice of making. But how are experiments in the making of poetic forms related to formal making in science and engineering? The Limits of Fabrication takes up this question in the context of recent developments in nanoscale materials science, investigating concepts and ideologies of form at stake in new approaches to material construction. Tracing the direct pertinence of fields crucial to the new materials science (nanotechnology, biotechnology, crystallography, and geodesic design) in the work of Shanxing Wang, Caroline Bergvall, Christian Bök, and Ronald Johnson back to the midcentury development of Charles Olson’s ‘objectist’ poetics, Nathan Brown carves out a tradition of constructivist, nonorganic poetics that has developed in conversation with science and engineering.

While proposing a new approach to the relation of technē (craft, skill) and poiēsis (making, forming), this book also intervenes in philosophical debates concerning the concept of the object, the distinction between organic and inorganic matter, theories of self-organization, and the relation between ‘design’ and ‘nature’. Engaging with Heidegger, Agamben, Whitehead, Stiegler, and Nancy, Brown shows that materials science and materialist poetics offer crucial resources for thinking through the direction of contemporary materialist philosophy.”

Publisher Fordham University Press, New York, 2017
ISBN 9780823272990, 0823272990
xi+296 pages
via Memory of the World

Review: Tom Eyers (boundary2, 2017).


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