MANUAL OVERRIDE: THE SABOTAGE OF CAPITAL
4 Lectures by Evan Calder Williams LECTURE 4: THE SABOTAGE OF LIFE
MAY 14th, the ‘GLASS CORNER’, room E206, 25 East 13th Street, 7.00 PM – 10PM
The last in the series, this lecture tackles the last aspect of sabotage responsible for the century’s worth of attacks on it: its negation of the centrality of “life” as an ideal to organize around and in defense of. Contrary to many of its most recent advocates, sabotage does not suggest the surge of an irrepressible human vital urge against “deathly” mechanisms of capital and state. Instead, it produces a crack in the assumed bond of human-life-work, insists on dangerous collaborations with mechanisms both inhuman and “against life,” and reminds us that only those who insist on the primacy of life itself could support one so unlivable.
Topics include: the birth strike, Neo-Malthusian and otherwise; hostile objects; material feminist urban design; slapstick; unwaged time.
Williams will be in conversation by theorist and artist Hannah Black.
Free and open to the public. Seating is limited, please register on Eventbrite.
MANUAL OVERRIDE: THE SABOTAGE OF CAPITAL
4 Lectures by Evan Calder Williams LECTURE 3: THE SABOTAGE OF SPACE
APRIL 28, the ‘GLASS CORNER’, room E206, 25 East 13th Street, 7.00 PM – 10PM
The qualities that made sabotage one of the twentieth century’s bad words – its cunning, conspiracy with complex apparatuses, invisibility, and “time-release” effect – are not qualities it invented. Rather, they are found in the basic coordinates of that century’s spatial system. If, as the previous talk explored, the history of sabotage is one of drift and diffusion, moving from a specific practice in wage-centered struggles through legal and military codification to a general concept of subterfuge and hostility, it is so only as an index of real changes happening to and through the material networks of capital. This talk considers those networks and changes through the lens of sabotage, focusing in particular on two histories: the Metropolis, both as the large city and as the process of expansion that dissolves the coherence of the city/country divide, and pollution, as an idea giving the West nightmares for a good two millennia and now showing itself inseparable from daily life. Topics include: Kiev’s ice barricades; Doreen Massey’s feminist geography; miasma, blocked signals, and the birds of Antigone; recent digital animation; Deepwater Horizon and the burning ocean; floods of work and water; Piranesi’s serpents; Günther Anders and Massimo Cacciari; the earth’s crust.
The talk will be followed by a response by, and conversation with, Sabu Kohso, a theorist and translator currently researching and writing on the aftermath of Fukushima.
Encoded Matter, Ezio Blasetti March 17, 6.30 PM
Klein Conference room , 66 W 12th St, New York, NY
This lecture will reflect upon computational craft that creates consistency and precision within formal explorations. Material constraints can be consciously redefined through pattern and code, which incubate a search for progressive manufacturing methods. Pure algorithmic design encapsulates the potential for new patterns, which manifest around generative procedures and scripted logic. This abstract material logic embodiment enables an engagement with the complexities of organizational space. ‘Encoded matter’ attempts to draw a parallel between material behavior, emergence in simple software and spatial narratives.
Ezio Blasetti, registered architect TEE-TCG, is the co-founder of maeta design (2011), ahylo studio (2009), apomechanes (2009) and algorithmicdesign.net (2008). Ezio’s recent collaborations include new-territories, biothing, acconci studio, a|Um studio and serge studio. He has taught generative design studios and seminars by means of computational geometry at Pratt Institute, the Architectural Association, Sciarc, RPI, UTS, PennDesign and Columbia University. In 2004 he co-founded otn studio, a young design-build practice and completed several projects in Greece. His work has been exhibited and published internationally and is part of the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou.
Function: Decomposition, Localization, Abstraction
Speakers: Ray Brassier, Reza Negarestani
March 25, 2014, 6:30pm
Although principally associated with a thesis in the philosophy of mind, functionalism has wide-ranging ramifications. The concept of “functional role” or “functional organization” ties together a metaphysical problem about the basis of the distinction between matter and form, an epistemic problem about how to distinguish semantic content from physical information, and an engineering problem about the relation between structural and functional properties.
This workshop will try to unravel the metaphysical, epistemic, and engineering aspects of functionalism by developing themes from the work of philosophers including William Bechtel, Robert Brandom, Wilfrid Sellars, and William Wimsatt.
Date and Time: March 25, 2014, 6:30pm Location: Wollman Hall, The New School
66 West 12th Street New York, NY 10011
This is a free event and open to the public.
Seating is limited: please order tickets via Eventbrite.
This lecture examines one of sabotage’s central qualities and a primary cause of its frequent demonization throughout the last century: its peculiar timescale. This is a mode of time fundamentally opposed to the identity of subject and act that underpins any representational politics, be it voting or street protests. In place of that, sabotage suggests making use of the very paths and delays of circulation. By the time the damage is discovered, no one source can be found, because the commodity, technique, or idea has already routed through the world in the name of capitalizing on uneven zones of wealth and resource. It is a failure without an author. Running counter to the very idea that one should stand up and be counted, sabotage hijacks the time of circulation and arms it against itself. Topics considered include: friction, feedback, and hoards; Veblen on competition and dog-owning; Castoriadis, Simondon, and Stiegler on technical time; steamship ruins in the Bermejo River; supply chains; Ballard; cunning and speed; pipes that go nowhere.