Authority and Political Technology workshop – keynote audio recordings

9 June 2014 by

Progressive Geographies

apt_2014_3Recordings from the recent Authority and Political Technologies workshop are now available at the Warwick website – Christian Borch, Luciana Parisi, Amade M’Charek, Louise Amoore, Costas Douzinas and AbdouMaliq Simone.

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Performing Welfare, Producing Bodies & Faking Identity

8 June 2014 by

India’s identity project is the the world’s largest biometric database — currently consisting of almost 600 million enrolled. By locating this techno-utopian vision within the larger surveillance state that a unique identifier facilitates, Malavika Jayaram — lawyer, Berkman Fellow, and Fellow at the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore — describes the ‘welfare industrial complex’ that imagines the poor as the next emerging market. She highlights the risks of the body as password, of implementing e-governance in a legal vacuum, and of digitization reinforcing existing inequalities. By offering a perspective that is somewhat different from the traditional western focus of privacy, she hopes to generate a more inclusive discourse about what it means to be autonomous and empowered in the face of paternalistic development projects.

William Connolly on Latour’s Gifford Lectures; Pluralist conflux

7 June 2014 by

William Connolly on Latour’s Gifford Lectures; Pluralist conflux

Philip Conway (see link above) gives us his take on:


Paul Rabinow on Foucault & the Contemporary

7 June 2014 by

synthetic zero

Paul Rabinow on Foucault & the Contemporary


– the host is a bit lacking but Rabinow is probably the most important intellectual of our time…

Paul Rabinow is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California (Berkeley), Director of the Anthropology of the Contemporary Research Collaboratory (ARC), and former Director of Human Practices for the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC). He is perhaps most famous for his widely influential commentary and expertise on the French philosopher Michel Foucault. He was a close interlocutor of Michel Foucault, and has edited and interpreted Foucault’s work as well as ramifying it in new directions.

Rabinow is known for his development of an “anthropology of reason”. If anthropology is understood as being composed of anthropos + logos, then anthropology can be taken up as a practice of studying how the mutually productive relations of knowledge, thought, and care are given form within…

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Aarhus Research on the Anthropocene

6 June 2014 by

03:20: Bjarke Paarup, Head of Department of Culture and Society.
09:40: Anna Tsing, Aarhus University & University of California.
30:01: Marianne Lien, University of Oslo.
01:13:20: Jens-Christian Svenning, Aarhus University.
02:05:44: Kirsten Hastrup, University of Copenhagen

Favela Digital: The Other Side of Technology, David Nemer

5 June 2014 by

Favela Digital: The Other Side of Technology, David Nemer

In his book Favela Digital: The Other Side of Technology (GSA Editora e Grafica, 2013), David Nemer, a doctoral candidate in Social Informatics at Indiana University, analyzes the ways in which the people of the slums in Brazil are using technology. Using photography as the dominant medium, Nemer explores the questions of whether, and how technology is a tool for both empowerment and disempowerment.


Process Ontologies, Anna Tsing

5 June 2014 by

Capital–whence and whither: some Pacific Rim ontologies
this talk considers how inter-Asian developments shape global processes. How might the basic elements of contemporary globalization depend on Asian histories? This talk addresses this question from the perspective of matsutake, aromatic wild mushrooms valued in Japan and picked in forests around the Pacific Rim. The talk introduces Japanese supply chains and the forms of globalization they sponsor, and thus the entanglement of Japanese, Southeast Asian, and U.S. wars, people, and forests in the global trade in forest products. Such historical entanglements sponsor “process ontologies” for global capitalism.

Andre Brodyk @ Intra-action: Multispecies becomings in the Anthropocene

4 June 2014 by

Australian bio-art painter Andre Brodyk talks in depth with curator Madeleine Boyd about his artwork ‘The Transposon’
Considering this work as a painting, genetic material as ‘ready-made’ and the intra-action of the inanimate and animate, Andre provides groundbreaking insights about art making in a posthuman world. Contemporary new (feminist) materialism physicist and philosopher Karen Barad’s work is also discussed as a context for this curated exhibition.
For more information and links go to

Transcorporeality & Agency in the Anthropocene with Stacy Alaimo

2 June 2014 by

Stacy Alaimo, Eileen Joy, Karl Steel, Ashby Kinch, Brandon Jones, Ali Sperling, Ada Smailbegovic, and Angela Bennett Segler discuss Alaimo’s work and Latour’s new essay in New Literary History, “Agency at the Time of the Anthropocene.”!hangouts/ctze

Apocalyptic Harbinger or impetus for a new cosmopolitics? Latour & Beck

1 June 2014 by

Apocalyptic Harbinger or impetus for a new cosmopolitics? Latour & Beck

Ulrich Beck und Bruno Latour zur Klimakatastrophe

Googled translation of intro:

They are in two points agreed: the catastrophic consequences of global warming are well documented, yet little is happening politically. We are faced with global problems, but do not have a global public and politicians. What is politically at stake?

Bruno Latour: One of the reasons why we feel so powerless, has to do with the large gap between the extent of the phenomenon and the ways of thinking and behavioral changes that are necessary to deal with this crisis. Is there a way to bridge the gap between this huge phenomenon and our tiny world in which we, as a rigid fish in the aquarium, to the announced catastrophes? How should we act rationally when it is nowhere a ground station, to which we can the radio saying “Houston, we have a problem” Send? Especially since it yes, is exactly like in the movie “Gravity”, no more Houston.

Ulrich Beck: I agree. But I want to reverse the perspective and ask what does global warming for us? Then we in fact see that the world has changed dramatically solely by the expectation of global warming. For example there is no longer such a thing as a purely natural weather event. No matter what kind of weather we have today, it is a coproduct of nature and society. We live in a nature-society-compound or, as they say, more recently, in the “Anthropocene”. You, Bruno, described nest co-produced this climate, this other paradigm of “human nature awareness” as “Gaia”. Even “climate change” is ultimately a zombie concept. To use it to individual natural disasters like the hurricane “Katrina” is tricky. We have the climate as a whole consider, as a result of human intervention in nature. At the same time, it is important how we respond to climate risks.

If you want to bridge the gap between global warming and global politics, then you have the “we” can imagine, that makes people feel the responsibility for the Anthropocene. Who is this “we” in climate policy?

Latour: For all those who want to bridge this gap, there is no way in politics. It’s pointless when eco-activists to the man on the street to persuade a guilty conscience, because he does not think enough globally. No one sees the earth on a global scale, and nobody looks at the ecosystem from a standpoint of nowhere, the scientists just as the citizens, the farmer just as the earthworm. Nature is not what you expect from a distant point of view in their entirety, but rather an accumulation of contradictory organisms. If we want serious policy, we need to talk about war and peace, revolution and revelation (“Apocalypse” means nothing else). Although it may be inappropriate to speak of doom – even more bizarre it would be to not take the theme of “We are living in apocalyptic times” seriously. Who does not feel that the world is in danger, is not likely to feel very much alive.