You can read his thoughts HERE.

Concerning the fate of Oslo’s historic buildings, HERE.

Sorry to post this the day after the debate took place, but I didn’t know about it until today.

I’ll be in my city of future employment for a couple of days, primarily to give a lecture at Otis College of Art and Design, which is located roughly in Marina Del Rey not far from LAX Airport.

The details are HERE.

By Elliott Mickelburgh, HERE.

 

Immaterialism has arrived

April 18, 2016

Today I received my first copy of Immaterialism, the first of at least two books with Polity (the forthcoming Art and Objects will be the second). It’s tied for my shortest book at 25,000 words, as the series format required, and that made it very easy to read through the whole thing again. Though Amazon inexplicably lists the publication date as June 27, I suspect that anyone should be able to order it in May.

Reading a book by oneself is among the strangest experiences it is possible to have. One issue is that there are always things that sound like something one would write though one has no memory at all of having written them.

Another frequent experience… reading one of your own arguments, and cringing and saying “but that can easily be defeated by counterargument X,” but then you see yourself making that very counterargument in the ensuing paragraph.

My main objection to the book is that it is, unavoidably, too short. It ends with 15 main ideas for a OOO social theory. I’m happy with those ideas upon rereading them, but will need a wider mandate to draw them out in full. But this book will be enjoyable to many as is.

 

He reports on his blog HERE that he is accepting a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Johannesburg. Speaking from long experience in Cairo, it can be extremely productive to work in what McLuhan calls an “anti-environment”: a place that is physically removed from the traditional centers of Western academia but is not out of contact with those centers. My guess would be that Wolfendale will find his stay in South Africa to be a turning point in his career, and I also hope and expect that he will find it personally rejuvenating.

As for the rest of his post, I don’t have much good to say. Wolfendale’s delayed shots at Jon Cogburn are unjustified, and Cogburn’s valid questions about Urbanomic’s production, advertising, and rhetorical strategies are as amusing and accurate today as they were a couple of years ago. The fact remains that Wolfendale chose to launch his authorial career with a book against me, and Urbanomic is more in danger than ever of pigeonholing itself as an anti-OOO press, since not enough positive doctrine is emanating from that press other than a nice translation of Meillassoux’s wonderful Mallarmé book. There is also the arguable exception of “accelerationism,” launched with a disorganized manifesto that merely capitalizes on a general public receptivity to anti-capitalist themes rather than having anything fresh or surprising to say about “neo-liberalism.” It is an open secret that Urbanomic’s publisher has never been very politically inclined himself, so I view this primarily as a clever marketing strategy on his part. Strike while the iron is hot!

In any case, the continued remarks against OOO’s supposed nefarious influence on the art world are odd, since Wolfendale seems to care as little about art as anyone I’ve met in academia, and obviously doesn’t give the central role to aesthetics that I do. His attempts to link me with Duchamp do not even live up to what I have already published on art, let alone what I will be publishing on the topic. But here again, it is always possible to attract a certain degree of applause simply by affixing a minus-sign to my name, no matter how bizarre the accompanying argumentation. That comes with the territory, and will only increase during the coming academic year as the impact of OOO on art and especially architecture becomes even more prominent through several public events and a couple of new books. I realize that Urbanomic is cooking up another book on art, but to claim that art’s destiny is to serve as the handmaid of accelerationist politics does not sound like a viable program; Socialist Realism had the Soviet state behind it and still did not go very far in aesthetic terms.

OOO is the most widely popular brand of Speculative Realism at this point because OOO has simply outworked people. Its leading authors are all prolific and write well. Bogost and Morton would be widely read even if they had never heard of OOO, are already widely read quite apart from any connection with OOO, and some people are clearly bothered by this; I omit Bryant, another outstanding writer, only because he has become uncomfortable with the OOO label. I was reading a German-language history of the Frankfurt School last night that made the point that not just the political content but also the readability and interdisciplinarity of Adorno and Benjamin, not to mention Fromm, Marcuse,  and others, is one of the keys to that School’s ongoing appeal. By contrast, rancid declamations about the epistemology of human worthlessness are doomed to remain within a relatively limited circle of personal acquaintances and, yes, a small coterie of “brainwashed dubstep rationalist mind-slaves.” 

 

I got this from the ZKM Twitter feed.

Along with seeing Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel as expected, I was surprised to run into Siegfried Zielinski, who has just taken over as Rektor of the ZKM from Peter Sloterdijk (I hadn’t heard this).

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