Reza Negarestani

Reza Negarestani is an Iranian philosopher best known for pioneering the genre of "theory-fiction" with his book Cyclonopedia. (Urbanomic/Sequence Press).

  • Chronosis

    Chronosis

    Reza Negarestani and Keith Tilford

    A unique fusion of comics culture and philosophical cogitation takes readers on a ride through time, space, and thought.

    Approaching the comic medium as a supercollider for achieving maximum abstraction, in Chronosis artist Keith Tilford and philosopher Reza Negarestani create a graphically stunning and conceptually explosive universe in which the worlds of pop culture, modern art, philosophy, science fiction, and theoretical physics crash into one another.

    Taking place after the catastrophic advent of the birth of time, Chronosis narrates the story of a sprawling multiverse at the center of which monazzeins, the monks of an esoteric time-cult, attempt to build bridges between the many fragmented tribes and histories of multiple possible worlds. Across a series of dizzying overlapping stories we glimpse worlds where time flows backward, where the universe can be recreated every five minutes, or where rigid facts are washed away by the tides of an infinite ocean of possibility.

    A unique fusion of comics culture and philosophical cogitation, this conceptually and visually mind-expanding tale takes the reader on a dizzying rollercoaster ride through time, space, and thought.

    This volume contains the entire Chronosis series in full color, along with additional background materials including early sketches, script notes, and alternative covers.

    • Paperback $16.95 £13.99
  • Abducting the Outside

    Abducting the Outside

    Collected Writings 2003–2018

    Reza Negarestani

    From decay to geotrauma to universalism to rationalist inhumanism, a collection that charts the evolution of a uniquely radical thinker.

    A collection of Reza Negarestani's writings from 2003–2018, Abducting the Outside begins with texts in which horror, decay, cruelty, and barbarism assail the solidity of thought. It goes on to chart the sustained development of a “geophilosophical realism” in which the Nietzschean/DeleuzoGuattarian inquiry into human thought's relation to its contingent material origins is pushed beyond the localist obsession with the planet: geotraumatic thought descends to the core of the earth, only to expand outward according to other (physical, chemical, topological) modes of distribution.

    Negarestani's “universalism” refuses all allegiance to the planet or its solar hegemon, dissipates all parochial territories into an unbound “Outside,” and yields increasingly sophisticated formalisms to account for the universal's self-differentiation via incomplete traumatic cuts. Pledged to the powers of reason and the universal, but never losing the disconcerting edge of its idiosyncratic strangeness, its last dizzying acceleration takes us from a “true-to-the-universe thought” to the rationalist inhumanism developed in Negarestani's recent major work Intelligence and Spirit.

    Each time a conclusion seems to come into view, Negarestani moves on to new gestures and more powerful models that render the line of thought unrecognizable once again. Allowing the reader to experience this original and unique trajectory in one collection, Abducting the Outside presents an encyclopedic view of what it means to depart from the human, to descend into the abyss, and to see thinking as an infinite drift outside of our established habitats and perspectives.

    • Paperback $34.95 £27.00
  • Intelligence and Spirit

    Intelligence and Spirit

    Reza Negarestani

    A critique of both classical humanism and dominant trends in posthumanism that formulates the ultimate form of intelligence as a theoretical and practical thought unfettered by the temporal order of things.

    In Intelligence and Spirit Reza Negarestani formulates the ultimate form of intelligence as a theoretical and practical thought unfettered by the temporal order of things, a real movement capable of overcoming any state of affairs that, from the perspective of the present, may appear to be the complete totality of history. Intelligence pierces through what seems to be the totality or the inevitable outcome of its history, be it the manifest portrait of the human or technocapitalism as the alleged pilot of history.

    Building on Hegel's account of Geist as a multiagent conception of mind and on Kant's transcendental psychology as a functional analysis of the conditions of possibility of mind, Negarestani provides a critique of both classical humanism and dominant trends in posthumanism. The assumptions of the former are exposed by way of a critique of the transcendental structure of experience as a tissue of subjective or psychological dogmas; the claims of the latter regarding the ubiquity of mind or the inevitable advent of an unconstrained superintelligence are challenged as no more than ideological fixations which do not stand the test of systematic scrutiny.

    This remarkable fusion of continental philosophy in the form of a renewal of the speculative ambitions of German Idealism and analytic philosophy in the form of extended thought-experiments and a philosophy of artificial languages opens up new perspectives on the meaning of human intelligence and explores the real potential of posthuman intelligence and what it means for us to live in its prehistory.

    • Paperback $34.95 £27.00
  • Torture Concrete

    Torture Concrete

    Jean-Luc Moulène and the Protocol of Abstraction

    Reza Negarestani

    Essay inspired by conversations with the artist Jean-Luc Moulène addressing abstraction as a multifaceted project in the general domain of thought, and as a specific process of artistic experimentation.

    The fruit of numerous conversations with the artist Jean-Luc Moulène, Reza Negarestani's essay addresses abstraction as a multi-faceted project in the general domain of thought, and as a specific process of artistic experimentation.

    How can abstraction be so apparently ubiquitous in contemporary art, and yet so nebulously defined? “We have all heard of abstraction, but no one has ever seen one….” In Moulène's work, Negarestani discovers a renewal of the constitutive gesture of abstraction, rooted in the dialectic between form (mathematics) and sensible matter (physics). At once sensory, cognitive, and political, the disturbing force of the work compels us to reconnect the parochial art-historical notion of abstraction to a more comprehensive understanding of the term. Perhaps such a “formal cruelty of thought” is capable of “reactivating abstraction as a vector of disjunction and unity of art, philosophy, and science.”

    Published by Sequence Press on the occasion of Jean-Luc Moulène's exhibition Torture Concrete, September 7–October 26, 2014, at Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York.

    • Paperback $8.00 £6.99
  • Collapse, Volume 7

    Culinary Materialism

    Reza Negarestani and Robin Mackay

    Examination of the cultural, industrial, physiological, alchemical, and even cosmic dimensions of cookery, drawing anthropology, chemistry, hermetic alchemy and contemporary mathematics.

    Cookery has never been so high on the agenda of Western popular culture. And yet the endlessly-multiplying TV shows, the obsessive interest in the provenance of ingredients, and the celebration of “radical” experiments in gastronomy tell us little about the nature of the culinary. Is it possible to maintain that cookery has a philosophical pertinence without merely appending philosophy to our burgeoning gastroculture? How might the everyday sense of the culinary be expanded into a philosophy of “culinary materialism” wherein synthesis, experimentation, and operations of mixing and blending take precedence over analysis, subtraction, and axiomatisation?

    Drawing on resources ranging from anthropology to chemistry, from hermetic alchemy to contemporary mathematics, the seventh volume of Collapse undertakes a trans-modal experiment in culinary thinking. A wide range of contributors including philosophers, chefs, artists, historians, and synaesthetes examine the cultural, industrial, physiological, alchemical, and even cosmic dimensions of cookery, and propose new models of culinary thought for the future.

    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00

Contributor

  • Atlas Europe Square

    Atlas Europe Square

    Yves Mettler

    An artist examines the plethora of Europe Squares, Europa Places, Places de l'Europe, and Europaplatzes and what they tell us about the ideality of “Europe.”

    If the built environment is a record of our modes of organization and the compromises we make in order to live together, then what are we to make of the plethora of Europe Squares, Europa Places, Places de l'Europe, and Europaplatzes? Public spaces that connect numerous disparate towns and cities through a “supersite” called Europe, they may appear as avatars of an idea in crisis, as “eurocentric values” and the concept of Europe as a unified political space are attacked and eroded from all sides.

    Atlas Europe Square documents a body of work by Swiss artist Yves Mettler who, since 2003, has engaged in an ongoing mapping and documentation of these sites, along with a series of projects triangulating between particular squares, interrogating their differing architectural, environmental, and public functions, and what they tell us about the ideality of “Europe” and the (im)possibility of its concrete instantiation.Here this work is extended into reflections on the relationship between art and public space, site-specificity, and the artist's own implication in the imaginary of Europe as he becomes enmeshed in a network of projects, funds, and public bodies that seek to promote "European culture" through art.Alongside extensive photographic documentation, Atlas Europe Square contains texts by the artist alongside essays by Reza Negarestani, Teresa Pullano, Laurent Thévenot, and Stephen Zepke, discussing Mettler's work.

    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00
  • #Accelerate

    #Accelerate

    The Accelerationist Reader

    Robin Mackay and Armen Avanessian

    An apparently contradictory yet radically urgent collection of texts tracing the genealogy of a controversial current in contemporary philosophy.

    Accelerationism is the name of a contemporary political heresy: the insistence that the only radical political response to capitalism is not to protest, disrupt, critique, or détourne it, but to accelerate and exacerbate its uprooting, alienating, decoding, abstractive tendencies.

    #Accelerate presents a genealogy of accelerationism, tracking the impulse through 90s UK darkside cyberculture and the theory-fictions of Nick Land, Sadie Plant, Iain Grant, and CCRU, across the cultural underground of the 80s (rave, acid house, SF cinema) and back to its sources in delirious post-68 ferment, in texts whose searing nihilistic jouissance would later be disavowed by their authors and the marxist and academic establishment alike.

    On either side of this central sequence, the book includes texts by Marx that call attention to his own “Prometheanism,” and key works from recent years document the recent extraordinary emergence of new accelerationisms steeled against the onslaughts of neoliberal capitalist realism, and retooled for the twenty-first century.

    At the forefront of the energetic contemporary debate around this disputed, problematic term, #Accelerate activates a historical conversation about futurality, technology, politics, enjoyment, and capital. This is a legacy shot through with contradictions, yet urgently galvanized today by the poverty of “reasonable” contemporary political alternatives.

    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00
  • The Medium of Contingency

    The Medium of Contingency

    Robin Mackay

    An unprecedented meeting of philosophical thought, financial markets, and the art world.

    Why has the concept of contingency taken on a marked importance both in contemporary philosophy and in contemporary art practice? And if this simultaneity derives from parallel problems met within the two different fields, what are their common roots?

    Beyond acknowledging the contingent nature of tradition, institutions, and practices, recent speculative philosophies of “absolute contingency” demand a radical revision of the ways in which we conceive of our interaction with unknowable materialities, and pose a challenge to both probabilistic management and process-driven affirmation of contingency.

    In an unprecedented meeting of philosophical thought, financial markets, and the art world, The Medium of Contingency explores how works of art write contingency into the present, and are in turn written by the contingency of their materials, and how these exchanges interact with other markets.

    From the mathematical instruments used to value financial derivatives to the nature of literary creation, from the market-making role of the curator to the “chemistry of openness,” the contributors to this lively discussion draw out the startling consequences of a new figure of thought.

    • Paperback $12.95 £9.99
  • When Site Lost the Plot

    When Site Lost the Plot

    Robin Mackay

    This collection charts some of the ways in which site continues to be a concern for contemporary practice, and introduces the concept of “plot” as an alternative.

    The critical concept of site-specificity once seemed to harbour the potential for disruption. But site-specific work has become increasingly assimilated into the capitalist logic of regeneration and value creation. The materialist critique of the art object has been shortcircuited by the franchised idiosyncrasies of international nomad flâneurs. And on a planet whose entire surface is mapped and apped, the concept of “site” itself becomes ever more problematic.

    How can we do justice to the particularity of local sites while unearthing their material conditions? What do a contemporary “geo-philosophy” and the historical legacy of site-specific art have to offer each other? Can we develop methods for the controlled unpacking of the local into the global, avoiding trivial reconciliations between local sites and their global conditions? When Site Lost the Plot charts some of the ways in which site continues to be a concern for contemporary practice; and introduces the concept of “plot” as an alternative approach.

    Alongside artists discussing their practice and their approach to site and plot, contributors from various disciplines introduce concepts from cartography, mathematics, film, fiction, design, and philosophy.

    • Paperback $19.95 £14.99
  • Collapse, Volume 6

    Geo/Philosophy

    Robin Mackay

    Philosophers, theorists, eco-critics, leading scientific experts in climate change, and artists assess the present state of “planetary thought.”

    Is there an enduring bond between philosophical thought and the earth, or is philosophy's task to escape the planetary horizon? And what is the connection between the empirical earth, the contingent material support of human thinking, and the abstract “world” that is the condition for a “whole” of thought?

    Real and imaginary geographies and cartographies have played a dual role in philosophy, serving both as governing metaphor and as ultimate grounding for philosophical thought; but urgent contemporary concerns introduce new problems for geophilosophy: planetary political, technological, military, and financial mutations have scrambled territorial formations, and scientific predictions now present us with the apocalyptic scenario of a planet without human thought.

    The sixth volume of Collapse brings together philosophers, theorists, eco-critics, leading scientific experts in climate change, and artists whose work interrogates the link between philosophical thought, geography and cartography, in order to create a portrait of the present state of “planetary thought.”

    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00
  • Collapse, Volume 4

    Concept-Horror

    Robin Mackay

    Investigations into the existential, aesthetic, theological, and political dimensions of horror, its peculiar affinity with philosophical thought, and what lies in wait for those who pursue rational thought beyond the bounds of the reasonable.

    The fourth volume of Collapse features a series of investigations by philosophers, writers and artists into Concept Horror. Contributors address the existential, aesthetic, theological and political dimensions of horror, interrogate its peculiar affinity with philosophical thought, and uncover the horrors that may lie in wait for those who pursue rational thought beyond the bounds of the reasonable.

    This unique volume continues Collapse's pursuit of indisciplinary miscegenation, the wide-ranging contributions interacting to produce common themes and suggestive connections. In the process a rich and compelling case emerges for the intimate bond between horror and philosophical thought.

    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00
  • Collapse, Volume 2

    Speculative Realism

    Robin Mackay

    The first published work to explore the new philosophy of speculative realism through a fresh reappropriation of the philosophical tradition and an openness to its outside.

    The first published work to explore the new philosophical field of speculative realism, the second volume of Collapse features a selection of speculative essays by some of the foremost young philosophers at work today, together with new work from artists and filmmakers, and searching interviews with leading scientists. Comprising subjects from probability theory to theology, from quantum theory to neuroscience, from astrophysics to necrology, it involves them in unforeseen and productive syntheses.

    Against the tide of institutional balkanisation and specialisation, this volume testifies to a defiant reanimation of the most radical philosophical problematics—the status of the scientific object, metaphysics and its “end,” the prospects for a revival of speculative realism, the possibility of phenomenology, transcendence and the divine, the nature of causation, the necessity of contingency—both through a fresh reappropriation of the philosophical tradition and through an openness to its outside. The breadth of philosophical thought in this volume is matched by the surprising and revealing thematic connections that emerge between the philosophers and scientists who have contributed.

    • Paperback $18.95 £14.99
  • Collapse, Volume 1

    Numerical Materialism

    Robin Mackay

    An investigation of the nature and philosophical uses of number.

    The first volume of Collapse investigates the nature and philosophical uses of number. The volume includes an interview with Alain Badiou on the relation between philosophy, mathematics, and science, an in-depth interview with mathematician Matthew Watkins on the strange connections between physics and the distribution of prime numbers, and contributions that demonstrate the many ways in which number intersects with philosophical thought—from the mathematics of intensity to terrorism, from occultism to information theory, and graphical works of multiplicity.

    • Paperback $18.95 £14.99