Archive for February, 2009

Sloterdijk, philosopher of design

27 February 2009

Bruno Latour’s keynote speech at the Networks of Design conference in Cornwall last September provides a good summary of Sloterdijk’s approach, illuminating a number of concepts that were also discussed in the Harvard talk. Its full title is “A Cautious Prometheus? A Few Steps Toward a Philosophy of Design (with Special Attention to Peter Sloterdijk)” and it is available here (PDF).

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Heidegger at Harvard

26 February 2009

It was interesting to observe that Heidegger was very much present in both Sloterdijk and Latour’s talk during their recent joint appearance at Harvard. For Sloterdijk, it was a matter of building on Heidegger positively, by “explicitating” Heidegger’s notion of being-in. As Latour quipped, for Sloterdijk “Dasein is design,” and explicitation means rendering the material aspects of being human visible. Thus Sloterdijk shows that being-in for humans means living in bubbles, in a world that looks like foam — marvellously refreshing metaphors for facilitating a new way of imagining sociality. A host of biological and evolutionary themes were also evoked, often resulting in startling observations, such as describing women’s bodies as “architectural units” and “apartments” for “interiorising the egg.” Sloterdijk drew parallels between evolutionary biological processes and architecture, claiming that “humans are pets,” i.e. “the effects of the space they create.” He did have a few very funny lines, aided by his deadpan delivery.

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Video recording of Latour and Sloterdijk at Harvard

23 February 2009

The video recording of the “Networks and Spheres: Two Ways to Reinterpret Globalization” talk with Bruno Latour and Peter Sloterdijk at Harvard University on 17 February 2009 is available here (thanks to Archinet).

Update (12 May 2009): Photo via Object-Oriented Philosophy

Terror from the Air

17 February 2009

Apparently several translations of Peter Sloterdijk’s work into English are in the pipeline and are expected to be published over the next few years. The first one of these is going to be Terror from the Air, published by Semiotext(e), which will also be available from the MIT Press from May 2009.

Prince of Networks out in May 2009

17 February 2009

For your bookmarks: the page at the open access publisher re.press for Graham Harman‘s Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics is now live. The book is expected to be available in May 2009.

Sloterdijk’s global foams and Latour’s cosmopolitics

9 February 2009

Check out this fantastic special issue of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space: “The Worlds of Peter Sloterdijk,” guest-edited by Stuart Elden, Eduardo Mendieta, and Nigel Thrift. Besides the translations of three different pieces by Sloterdijk, it carries a number of very interesting essays, including one by Marie-Eve Morin entitled “Cohabitating in the Globalised World: Peter Sloterdijk’s Global Foams and Bruno Latour’s Cosmopolitics.” Morin shows how Sloterdijk develops Heidegger’s concept of spatiality, and she connects it with Latour’s thinking on politics. Just the thing to read before Latour and Sloterdijk’s joint talk at Harvard next week. And this is yet another ANT-Heidegger connection…

Latour and Sloterdijk at Harvard University

6 February 2009

Many thanks to Trevor Patt for alerting us that there is going to be a joint Latour-Sloterdijk event after all, on 17 February 2009, at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University (6:30pm – 8:00pm, Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall). It will be entitled “Networks and Spheres: Two Ways to Reinterpret Globalization.”

Remembering the Harman Review

6 February 2009

Many thanks to Graham Harman for reminding us of the first anniversary of the Harman Review symposium, and also for his gracious words. It was such an unusual and unlikely event; even in retrospect it is difficult to believe it actually had taken place. What are the chances of hosting a metaphysical debate between a Heideggerian philosopher and a sociologist known for his dislike of Heidegger on the grounds of a management school, organised by PhD students of an information systems department? (more…)