Leper Creativity Report
First off I must admit to being a bit perplexed by the ‘Reza doesn’t exist’ thing – it was a side joke or comical current of the conference and is one of the silliest things to focus on…it was a small aesthetic choice of Robin’s piece for instance which did not in any way overshadow the interesting discussing of deep-time individuation (of a sort) via Freud’s geo-traumatics and Haeckle’s evolutionary theories.
While ostensibly being ‘about’ Cyclonopedia the symposium addressed several themes which have been getting attention in sr/sr-related circles and beyond. One stand-out theme was the relation of humans to non-human entities and forces. Two of the talks (Juan Azulay’s and Alisa Andrasek’s) took this inhumanness-humanness relation to the arts with the former creating a self-enclosed self regulating biosphere (Vivarium) and the latter doing work that uses complex mathematical models to mimic natural processes to then apply them to architectural design (biothing).
Saying too much seems silly as all the talks are online here and the visuals are needed for the two art-related talks. Besides Alex, Nicola, and Eugene’s panel I was particularly struck by (besides the two aforementioned talks) Zach Blas’ talk on queerness. Part of this is a matter of biography as I majored in women’s studies (one of the few fields I could do continental philosophy at my university) and hadn’t thought extensively about queer theory for some time. What was interesting was that most of the problems (and the texts mentioned) had been ones central to work I had done (Lee Edelman, Judith Jack Halberstam, Judith Butler, Elizabeth Grosz).
In many ways the frustration of a kind of Deleuzian exhaustion seems to have remained over the years as has the sticky problem of materiality (remember the notorious ‘what about the body judy?) and Reza’s work seems to diagonally adress issues in queer theory – the problem of a real yet politically open sense of materiality both more philosophical and yet more applicable. Tim Morton’s Queer Ecologies is clearly one of the central works involved.
As these developments are nascent I don’t have too much to say other than to suggest reading Michael O’Rourke’s pieces available here.
Filed under: Deleuze, Freud, Speculative Realism | 9 Comments
Tags: Cyclonopedia, queer theory, reza negarestani