Material Culture Reading Group presents

Some Trace-Effects of the Post-Anthropocene

Accelerationist Geopolitical Aesthetics

a talk with

Benjamin Bratton
Visual Arts Associate Professor, UC San Diego

Wednesday, 15 May 2013, 6PM

UC San Diego, Structural and Materials Engineering Bldg #SME 206
9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, California 92093

Any conjunction between aesthetics and politics (for a political aesthetic, an aestheticized politics, a geopolitical aesthetic, a politics of aesthetics, etc.) is necessarily fraught by estranged agendas, and even more should we conceive of their inter-activation from a willfully ahumanist perspective. Aesthetics and/or politics of what and for what? If the term, Accelerationist, can refer to a reckoning with that post-Anthropocenic exteriority and its extant available clues, more than to the dromologic velocity of our auto-programmatic tiny machines, then is this an Accelerationist geopolitical aesthetic, and if so then toward what succulent absences? Computation as a style of thought, overdetermined by its economic instrumentality but always as open as the incompleteness of algorithmic indeterminacy, is less the reflection of a politics than its formal genesis. Its designs are not epiphenomenal envelopes for geopolitical thought, drawings on behalf of its potential development, they are geopolitical thought in is most direct, compressed expression. In this, we are brought to this Anthropocenic precipice not just by cosmic predicament but by the tempestuous, ambivalent violences of Capitalism, particularly now Algorithmic Capitalism. But do we contain it, or it us? After Nick Land, capitalism is seen at once as a compulsive eco-economics linked inextricably to our apex omnivore dominance and/or an alien entropy machine for the processing of terrestrial material, value, information into absolute speed, peeling the husk of human markets so as to finally suck dry the complicit mammalian diagram. To eat or to be eaten? In this talk I will consider the contours of an “Acclelerationist Geopolitcal Aesthetic in regards to four trace-effects: Epidermal Biopolitics and Nanoskin, Cloud Polis, Machinic Images, and Mereotopological Geopolitical Architectonics.”

Light refreshments will be served.

The Material Culture Reading Group is part of the UC San Diego Visual Arts Department.