Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Stengers on anthropocentrism and accelerationism

There's a load of really interesting stuff in this new book on Architecture in the Anthropocene (discovered courtesy of ANTHEM).  In particular the interview with Isabelle Stengers has some interesting moments.  I wrote a few weeks ago that there seems to be an ongoing competition among some academic-types to be ever more anti-anthropocentric than everyone else—i.e. anthropocentrism might be the new 'presence.'  Stengers says something similar:
The position of the critic will not get humans out of the trap. On the contrary, it will probably produce new ways of commenting on art, in a trendy race for the most radical manner of moving away from a human-centred view. This is exactly what I fear with the Anthropocene thesis; it proposes a “future perfect continuous” tense, which puts theorists into a very agreeable position. The mess can now be forgotten, swallowed in a continuity that can be theorized in a single shot. Abysmal aporia will flourish, happily confronted by theoreticians hunting down shades of anthropocentrism in other theoreticians’ writings—a beautiful prospect for generations of doctoral students and aesthetic ventures in the art world. (178)
Also, she has this to say in response to a question on the accelerationism of Nick Land, etc.:
I decline contrasting Cosmopolitics, whatever its shortcomings, with that trash—they are male chauvinist pigs, that’s all. I am only sorry for the memory of Félix Guattari, which they deface. (179)
I've heard tell of her capacity for brutal putdowns but that is quite something.  Ouch.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate her neo-pragmatist distinction between interventions and philosophy:
    "However, in writing, artificial gaps can very easily
    be created. Without even willing it, an author easily selects her readers. For example, a reference to a philosopher may be sufficient for some to feel that since they
    do not know him or her, the book is not for them. And those readers are precisely the ones you wish to touch, not the “happy few” who use the references in order to
    identify and situate you. In
    Au temps des catastrophes
    and Capitalist Sorcery
    , there are no author references; rather, there are references to situations and experiences
    that the readers these books address will likely be familiar with. This is the selection principle."
    sounds like prototypes/perspicuous-reminders to me!