6 March 2014

Somatechnics 4.1, Special Issue on the Somatechnics of Movement

http://www.euppublishing.com/journal/somaThe folks at BiM are brimming over with excitement as we announce the launch of Somatechnics 4.1, a special issue on the Somatechnics of Movement. A long time coming, we're finally able to bring into print a selection of authors who may be familiar to some as participants at our Bodies in Movement conference in 2011. The line-up includes: an evocative extension by Michael O'Rourke of his original keynote with response; ghostly musings by Line Henriksen; Peta Hinton on cyberfeminist politics; Rebecca Coleman discussing 5:2 urge; Karin Sellberg's meditations on "the gap"; Gavin MacDonald charting affectively; Johanna Hällsten's situated sound-spaces, and interval and creativity by Anne Douglas and Kathleen Coessens.
We would like to thank all the contributors for making this possible, right from the very beginning in a few conference rooms in Edinburgh almost three years ago right through to now. Thanks for the wonderful support and patience - and we hope that everyone enjoys reading the journal as much as we enjoyed working on it.

24 February 2014

Conference: Philosophy after Nature, 3-5 September, Utrecht


Fresh off the presses, and with the digital ink still wet (or non-existent) on their new website, comes a ridiculously exciting joint Annual Conference of the Society for European Philosophy and Forum for European Philosophy, held at Utrecht on 3-5 September and entitled "Philosophy after Nature". While the call for papers remains wide, encompassing "all areas of contemporary European philosophy"), conference organisers are keen for contributions and panels which address the titular theme of the event - "Philosophy after Nature",
"in the sense of being in pursuit of nature's consequences. We invite perspectives on critique, science, ecology, technology and subjectivity as bound up with conceptions of nature and experiments with various positions in contemporary thought."
Confirmed plenary speakers currently include eminent figures Françoise Balibar, Rahel Jaeggi, Mark B. N. Hansen and (most enviably for this reporter) Michel Serres. Abstracts are due by 17 May 2014, which leaves plenty of time to produce presentation and panel proposals. The conference website currently lacks content, but the CFP can be found at the Society for European Philosophy website. Academics, graduate students and independent scholars are all welcome to submit.

19 February 2014

Conference: Authority & Political Technologies 2014, 2-3 June, Warwick

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/sociology/rsw/authorityandpoliticaltechnologies/apt2014/Recently announced conference event "Authority & Political Technologies 2014: Power in a World of Becoming, Entanglement & Attachment" is aiming for a reinvigoration of post-structuralist theory at its intersection with the social sciences in early June this year at the University of Warwick. The Institute for Advanced Study gives this intriguing statement of intention:
"the issues that post-structuralist theory placed on the critical social science agenda have become more vital than ever - be that the concern for the complex and dispersed nature of power and agency; the imbrication of power and economics with knowledge and science; rethinking the relation between equality and difference; the political/contested/changing nature of embodiment, biology and ecology; or the efforts of states and others to establish and exercise power over life itself. We maintain that now is the time, not to reject post-structuralist perspectives, but to reinvigorate and transform those traditions through empirical and political work that is creatively engaged with current problems."

No less ambitiously, the conference promises a thrillingly line-up of excellent keynote speakers - Louise Armoore, William Connolly, Christian Borch, Costas Douzinas, Amade M'charek, Luciana Parisi and AbdouMaliq Simone - which guarantees provocative discussion on the conference topics from diverse academic perspectives within the humanities.

Abstract submission is open until 10 March, with suggested themes raging from biopolitics and religion to necropolitics and authority. Further information can be found on the conference website along with the online abstract submission form.

9 February 2014

Article: Tyler Coburn, "Charter Citizen"


A new edition of e-flux, hot off the digital presses, hits us with some juicy morsels this month, including this text by Tyler Coburn, "Charter Citizen". Coburn tests the temperature of a recently ended radical libertarian venture - the establishment of autonomous cities within host country Honduras' borders - in order to reconceive capitalism anew.

"Charter Cities", Coburn explains, build off economist Paul Romer's theory that sets of carefully considered rules encourages economic growth, investment and innovation; and that introducing such "good rules" into a zone with weaker ones would encourage further economic and financial advancement within the host state, in investment, labour force and civil and political structures. But Coburn notes that the dominant and fundamental mode of political engagement at the grassroots level becomes movement - voluntary migration (both in and out) becomes political, democracy conditional and citizenship privatised; at an international level it becomes dependent on tenuously balanced comity and contract.
"Whether floating in international waters or sprouting on foreign territory, these proposed cities are the proving grounds for the technolibertarians’ foray into governance. In fact, they already demonstrate a concrete link between technology and geopolitics: venture capitalist Peter Thiel donated the same amount of startup funds to [charter city venture] the Seasteading Institute as to Facebook."
Also in this month's edition of e-flux online, available to non-subscribers, is a recent instalment by Reza Negarestani, whose work "Differential Cruelty" we spotlighted on BiM. Find these articles on the e-flux journal online.

30 January 2014

Book: Luke Bennett and Katja Hock, Scree


In the tail end of 2013, Luke Bennett and Katja Hock released their collaborative effort Scree, currently available for download from Bennett's blog. Launching from an enquiry into an ordinary house brick sheltered in his garage, the pursuit to take it "back to the place of its birth" carry Bennett to peculiar wasteland places layered together in an accumulating escarpment: landfill, abandoned skiers' dry slope, forgotten gas works, ghost town and more.
"When I started out on this project I thought I'd be writing about the absence of the excavated matter, but the more I have searched for and peered into these 'holes' the more I have realised that what has happened here is the moving around of matter - across local space, across form and through time. Nothing has disappeared, it has just changed state or location."
Written in a self-identified psychogeographic style, Bennet and Hock's piece reads like a memoir replete with haunting images of space and memory. It includes, in the last handful of pages, a back-and-forth Q&A-style dialogue between Bennett and Hock ruminating on their different styles of approach to the project. The "'coffee-table' art book" can be downloaded as a pdf from here.

23 January 2014

Conference & Exhibition: London Conference in Critical Thought 2014, 27-8 June, London / Simon Fugiwara, Rebekkah (Display), 29 January - 28 March, London

It's been a bit of a hectic, crazy end of year, signalled by a disappearance of updates for over a whopping two months. Having settled down a little now, Ky is happy to report that we're back in action (hopefully) and mean to bring you more constant updates of all things to do with corporeality, movement and theory in the coming 2014 year. For our watermark first post for 2014, the Bodies in Movement crowd happily present a couple of conference and art-related treasures.
It's time again for the London Conference in Critical Thought for 2014, taking place this time at Goldsmiths, University of London. In its reliable fashion, the LCCT has aligned its stream areas to topics identified as carrying particular currency in the contemporary climate of critical theoretical engagement. The political and legal seem prominent this year, along with various strains of critical pedagogy. A full stream listing can be found on their website.
Stream proposals are now closed, but their call for papers stays open for submissions until 10 March 2014. Participation is completely free, which offers a nice incentive, but registration is mandatory.
http://www.contemporaryartsociety.org/event/displays-simon-fujiwara/Also in London, 59 Central Street Displays run by the Contemporary Art Society will feature Simon Fujiwara's Rebekkah, featuring 100 terracotta female soldiers modelled after a 16 year old girl from Hackney (predictably named Rebekkah) who was arrested for her participation in the 2011 London Riots. Rebekkah is the material product of a social experiment involving Rebekkah and Fujiwara, of which more can be read here. 
"Up to 100 figures were created in [an] assembly line technique, shifting Rebekkah to a new position: a representative of a new breed of British-born warrior and a soldier for social change."
Fujiwara will be at the Contemporary Art Society at 7pm on 30 January to talk about his piece. The event is sold out but they are accepting names to their waiting list. Further information can be found here.

20 November 2013

Conference: Accelerationism: A Symposium on Tendencies in Capitalism, 14 December, Berlin

"Though encaged within cognitive capitalism, we call for an epistemic acceleration. The symposium convenes to refresh the cartography of the keywords employed in the last centuries to describe economy and the political response to it: development, progress, growth, accumulation, peak, degrowth, revolution, speculation, entropy, singularity, sustainability and so on. Today it is time to anticipate and accelerate, for sure, time for anastrophism and not catastrophism."

With the publication of Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams' #Accelerate Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics kicking up a Twitter storm halfway through this year (and with international beauty brand Aesop marking the arrival of their seasonal gift kits branded "A Futurist Assembly" with a new interpretation of the Futurists' manifesto), who could resist this compelling call to arms announced on the site for Accelerationism: A Symposium on Tendencies in Capitalism?

The event, which takes place in Berlin on 14 December of this year, features a host of names familiar to conversations on accelerationism - Ray Brassier, Josephine Berry Slater, Benjamin Noys, Elisabeth von Samsonow, Srnicek and Williams. Participation is free for those able to attend but the conference organisers require an RSVP via Facebook. With almost 300 registered, Accelerationism is bound to be a highly populated event.