Robin Mackay

Robin Mackay is a philosopher, Director of the UK arts organization Urbanomic, and Associate Researcher at Goldsmiths University of London.

  • Hydroplutonic Kernow

    Hydroplutonic Kernow

    Robin Mackay

    A geophilosophical odyssey through the remains of Cornwall's industrial past offers a historical portrait of geotrauma in action.

    This unique document provides a pioneering case study in post-“site-specific” geophilosophy. Based on a weird field trip into Cornwall's mining heartlands with geologists, philosophers, and ecologists as guides, Hydroplutonic Kernow drills down through nature, industry, and cultural capital to site the local within the global, unfolding the telluric plots that manipulated populations and devastated the landscape during the industrial age. In doing so, it provides a historical portrait of geotrauma in action.

    This geophilosophical odyssey takes us through the remains of the region's industrial past, reading them through the twisted prism of the geocosmic theory of trauma espoused by legendary “cryptographer” Dr. Daniel Barker and further developed by Iranian philosopher Reza Negarestani, and uncovering the deep plot of the Hydroplutonic Conspiracy, the collusion between water and the depths of the earth.

    Along with full documentation of the trip, the book also contains exegetical materials including an essay by Reza Negarestani, a poem by Jake Chapman, a preface by Caitlin DeSilvey, and an in-depth interview with Mining Engineer Steve Tarrant.

    • Paperback $19.95 £15.99
  • Construction Site for Possible Worlds

    Construction Site for Possible Worlds

    Amanda Beech, Robin Mackay, and James Wiltgen

    Perspectives from philosophy, aesthetics, and art on how to envisage the construction site of possible worlds.

    Given the highly coercive and heavily surveilled dynamics of the present moment, when the tremendous pressures exerted by capital on contemporary life produces an aggressively normative “official reality,” the question of the construction of other possible worlds is crucial and perhaps more urgent than ever.

    This collection brings together different perspectives from the fields of philosophy, aesthetics, and art to discuss the mechanisms through which possible worlds are thought, constructed, and instantiated, forcefully seeking to overcome the contemporary moment's deficit of conceptualizing alternate realities—its apparent fear of imagining possible new and compelling futures—to begin the arduous task of producing the political dynamics necessary for actual construction.

    Implicit in this dynamic between the imaginary and the possible is the question of how thinking intertwines with both rationality and the inherited contingencies and structures of the world. With no ascertainable ground on which to build, with no confidence in any given that could guarantee our labors, how do we even envisage the construction site(s) of possible worlds, and with what kind of diagrams, tools, and languages can we bring them into being?

    • Paperback $17.95 £14.99
  • Collapse, Volume 8

    Collapse, Volume 8

    Casino Real

    Robin Mackay

    An assembly of perspectives on risk, contingency, and chance—at the gaming table, in the markets, and in life.

    A transdisciplinary survey of practices that produce, analyse, and exploit risk and uncertainty, the eighth volume of Collapse uncovers the conceptual underpinnings of methods designed to extract value from contingency—at the gaming table, in the markets, and in life. The indictment of “casino capitalism” and the centrality of risk to contemporary society are traced back to a ubiquitous image of thought that originated in games of chance, but which is no longer adequate to address a world whose realities are now shaped by risk models and trading in speculative futures.

    To challenge the “casino” model, this volume brings together philosophers who extend the thinking of contingency beyond statistical modelling, professional traders and gamblers whose lifelong experience has shaped their understanding of chance, researchers analysing the perception and treatment of risk and uncertainty in diverse arenas including derivatives trading, quantum physics, insurance, sonic experimentation, literature, futurology, mathematics, and machine gambling, and artists whose work addresses both the desire to confront chance and the need to tame it by bringing it to order.

    • Paperback $31.95 £26.00
  • Cold War/Cold World

    Cold War/Cold World

    Knowledge, Representation, and the Outside in Cold War Culture and Contemporary Art

    Robin Mackay, Amanda Beech, and James Wiltgen

    A multidisciplinary collection of essays reflecting on Cold War cultural tropes in film, fiction, and contemporary art, and the models of knowledge that they imply.

    If the term “Cold World” describes a world of infinite complexity, algorithmic capital, and the technological sublime, in many ways the dread experienced during the Cold War, when clear oppositions were laid out between nation states, is echoed in the hall of mirrors of Cold World globalization, where our collective consciousness is overtaken by a flood of difference, uncertainty, and the dread of the incomputability of this alien yet constructed world.

    But what is the crime scene of the Cold World? How is it to be decrypted? Where are its discontinuities, what is the nature of its violence? This is to say, what is our place in this alien world and how do we even compute the “we” that we describe ourselves to be?

    Given the existential uncertainty unleashed for those who lived through the Cold War, but whose repercussions are in many ways amplified, relayed, and replayed in a new form for those who must now survive what has been called the “Cold World”—that of technological subjectivation, political malaise, cultural dysphoria, and ecological crisis—this terrain comprises an experiential and experimental horizon that prompts many to pose, and to stage in myriad forms, a fundamental question: “What will we of make of ourselves?”

    Cold War/Cold World documents a research project in progress that attempts to evaluate and respond to this fundamental shock to the system, examining attempts to render knowable, representable, or figurable the looming threats of both Cold War and Cold World—the common denominator being a distressed attempt to inquire into the dynamics of a real that seems in excess over understanding and the means of politics traditionally conceived; and a concomitant temptation to abandon any intelligent collective engagement in favour of a pragmatics that limits itself to wrestling with local contingencies, or an aesthetics mesmerised by a global sublime.

    • Paperback $12.95 £10.99
  • 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 £10.99
  • Simulation, Exercise, Operations

    Simulation, Exercise, Operations

    Robin Mackay

    Collection of interventions on the status of the moving image in an age of advanced simulation, exploring the contemporary links between power, simulation, and warfare.

    This collection of wide-ranging interventions and discussions on the status of the moving image in an age of advanced simulation explores the contemporary links between power, simulation, and warfare.

    Today, technological simulation has become an integral part of military training and operations; and at the same time, media spectacle—often enabled by the same technologies—has become integrated with military power. Trained in virtual environments, army personnel are increasingly enhanced by augmented reality technologies that bring combat into conformity with its simulation. Equally, the seductions of media and entertainment have become crucial weapons for “information dominance.” At the same time as the infosphere demands that war takes on the properties of a game, hyper-realistic videogames evolved from military technology become a kind of virtual distributed training camp, as the lines between simulation and action, combatant and civilian, become blurred.

    Based on a round table discussion prompted by the work of artist John Gerrard, Simulation, Exercise, Operations assembles thinkers from philosophy, media, and military theory to examine the powers of simulation in the contemporary world.

    • Paperback $12.95 £10.99
  • 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 £15.99
  • #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
  • Speculative Aesthetics

    Speculative Aesthetics

    Robin Mackay, James Trafford, and Luke Pendrell

    An examination of the new technological mediations between the human sensorium and the planetary media network and of the aesthetic as an enabler of new modes of knowledge.

    This series of interventions on the ramifications of Speculative Realism for aesthetics ranges from contemporary art's relation to the aesthetic, to accelerationism and abstraction, logic and design.

    From varied perspectives of philosophy, art, and design, participants examine the new technological mediations between the human sensorium and the massive planetary media network within which it now exists and consider how the aesthetic enables new modes of knowledge by processing sensory data through symbolic formalisms and technological devices.

    Speculative Aesthetics anticipates the possibility of a theory and practice no longer invested in the otherworldly promise of the aesthetic, but acknowledging the real force and traction of images in the world today, experimentally employing techniques of modelling, formalisation, and presentation so as to simultaneously engineer new domains of experience and map them through a reconfigured aesthetics that is inseparable from its sociotechnical conditions.

    • Paperback $12.95 £10.99
  • 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
  • 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 3

    Collapse, Volume 3

    Unknown Deleuze

    Robin Mackay

    Explorations of Deleuze's work by pioneering thinkers from philosophy, aesthetics, music, and architecture.

    A collection of explorations of the work of Gilles Deleuze by pioneering thinkers in the fields of philosophy, aesthetics, music, and architecture. The volume also includes a previously untranslated early text by Deleuze and a short interview, along with a fascinating piece of vintage science fiction from one of his more obscure influences.

    The contributors to this volume aim to clarify, from a variety of perspectives, Deleuze's contribution to philosophy: in what does his philosophical originality lie; what does he appropriate from other philosophers and how does he transform it? And how can the apparently disparate threads of his work to be “integrated”—What is the precise nature of the constellation of the aesthetic, the conceptual and the political proposed by Gilles Deleuze, and what are the overarching problems in which the numerous philosophical concepts “signed Deleuze” converge?

    As an annex to the second volume of Collapse, this volume also include a full transcript of the workshop on “Speculative Realism” held in London in 2007.

    • 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 £15.99
  • 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 £15.99

Contributor

  • Duchamp Looked At (From the Other Side)

    Duchamp Looked At (From the Other Side)

    (Undoing the Image 3)

    Éric Alliez

    A detailed examination of the motivations and precise coordinates of Duchamp's break from painting into the field of the linguistic sign.

    Matisse and Duchamp seem to incarnate ideal poles of the tension internal to modern art as it plunged into crisis the idea of the image—a polemical operation that opened the way to contemporary art's auto-problematization of experimental constructivism. Where Matisse subverted the aesthetic regime by bringing painting out of itself to invest its environment in a Bergsonian energetics of color, Duchamp cuts it off from the plastic arts through a reversal of Bergson's in-the-making. The readymade captures a literalized signifier of this perspective. Duchamp Looked At is an extraordinarily rich philosophical study that offers a startling new account of the dis/continuity between the problems of contemporary art and the new articulations Duchamp fabricated between image and idea, science and art, painting and language.

    Alliez and Bonne's meticulous archaeological survey rediscovers the real problems and motivations of “Duchamp-thought” through a close analysis of his entire oeuvre: from the Nudes in which the problem of representing movement is gradually displaced into the realm of the virtual, the image disqualified in favor of the diagram, to the pataphysical sciences of chance and the particular, the readymades, the Large Glass and Étant donnés—and beyond, as the artist carbonizes the gallery with 1200 Sacks of Coal and ties it up with Miles of String, in installations that take Duchamp beyond Duchamp.

    • Paperback $35.95 £30.00
  • 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
  • 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 $17.95 £14.99
  • Enchantment of the Virtual

    Enchantment of the Virtual

    Mathematics, Phhysics, Philosophy

    Gilles Châtelet

    Collected essays, interviews, and reviews by the late French philosopher and mathematician.

    This rich collection brings together a set of newly translated essays, dialogues, and reviews by Gilles Châtelet (1944–1999). Châtelet was not only a philosopher, political theorist, theorist of individuation and of the magnification of human freedoms, but also a talented mathematician and an original theorist of the virtual, the diagram, and the gesture.

    With their characteristic ebullience and speculative agility in transporting concepts between different fields, Châtelet's polymath interrogations were an acknowledged inspiration to his fellow philosophers, including Gilles Deleuze and Alain Badiou.

    In the essays collected in this volume, Châtelet explores the articulation between mathematics and physical reality, algebra and geometry, romanticism and science, finite beings and the infinite manifestations of nature, and gesture and abstraction. The book also offers interviews with Châtelet and review articles in which he reckons with contemporaries including Badiou, Deleuze, Roger Penrose, and René Thom.

    The extensive introduction by Châtelet's former colleague Charles Alunni outlines the life and career of this “last romantic philosopher” and the continuing importance of his work for our understanding of the relationships between the mathematical and the physical, the abstract and the concrete, and scientific thinking and the politics of liberation.

    • Paperback $29.95 £25.00
  • After Death

    After Death

    François J. Bonnet

    A disturbing portrait of a society deliriously dreaming itself as eternal, instantaneous, and infinite.

    At least for the time being, we humans are still finite and mortal—but death isn't what it used to be. As the body is technologically extended in space and time, we are split between our finitude and our doubled presence in a limitless web of signs, an “immortal” world of information.

    After Death offers a penetrating philosophical diagnosis of our contemporary condition, describing not only an anesthesia, but an amnesia in which the compulsions of a hyper-present colonize both past and future, prevailing over any sense of duration, becoming, or appreciation of the “thickness of the real.”

    Are we living in a kind of counterfeit eternity in which we are effectively already dead? Against the anxiety of the constant present, how can we hope to return to the experience of being in time and facing death?

    After Death is a disturbing portrait of a society deliriously dreaming itself as eternal, instantaneous, and infinite.

    • Paperback $15.95 £12.99
  • ContraContemporary

    ContraContemporary

    Modernity's Unknown Future

    Suhail Malik

    An incisive analysis of neoliberalism's intensely futural composition of time—the pretermodern, a condition of overwhelmed modernity. 

    The modern vision was characterized by a future that had the potential to transform the present through human foresight and planning. With the depletion of modernity, however, the institutions and operations of the “contemporary” offer new configurations of time-sequencing and history. Theses such as “posthistory,” “presentism,” or the “cancellation of the future” diagnose our postmodern condition as that of a progressless contemporaneity haunted by the ghosts of futures past.

    In this incisive intervention, Suhail Malik contends that such claims fatally misidentify the rigorously postmodern time-innovations of neoliberalism, which instead enable a torrent of futures, a condition of superfluous and multitudinous newness in which futures are continually enacted upon and factored into a “speculative present”.

    In ContraContemporary, Malik seeks to describe this intensely futural composition of time, which is at once true to the premises of modernity yet far outstrips its anthropometric limitations—a condition of overwhelmed modernity that Malik calls the pretermodern. Malik demonstrates how the fate of the avant-garde and its successors in contemporary art indicates the shifting registers of futurity and the new, confronts the violent colonial origins of global modernity and their transmutation into postmodern racisms, and radicalizes the analysis of “risk societies.” He contests the widespread image of a postmodernity deserted by the future, presenting instead a trenchant vision of the task of constructing an art and a politics adequate to the speculative present. When the future is happening now. Everywhere. All the time.

    • Paperback $12.95 £10.99
  • Irreversible Noise

    Irreversible Noise

    Inigo Wilkins

    A detailed critical examination of the concept of noise, its significance in scientific disciplines, and its use and misuse in the humanities and sonic arts.

    In this wide-ranging inquiry, Inigo Wilkins elaborates the theoretical and practical significance of the concept of noise with regard to current debates concerning realism, materialism, and rationality. Drawing on contemporary scientific thinking, Wilkins develops a multilevel analysis of noise, exploring the associated notions of randomness and unpredictability across different disciplinary contexts.

    Wilkins articulates noise within a functionalist-computationalist philosophical framework that follows Wilfrid Sellars's inferentialist account of reason through his commentaries on Hume and Kant. Outlining the significance of noise to information theory and cybernetics, its relation to thermodynamics, dynamic systems theory, evolutionary biology, and complexity theory, and to recent theories in cognitive science and AI, he goes on to examine how randomness and noise are pertinent to political economy and contemporary finance. Finally, Wilkins explores noise in its specifically sonic guise, looking in particular at the phenomenology of listening and neurophenomenological models of auditory cognition, and situating the use of noise in experimental and popular music within a deep historical account of its evolutionary development.

    The central aim of this pioneering critical work is to demystify noise—to counter the neoliberal politics of self-organizing systems and the tendency to fetishize indeterminacy in contemporary art—by showing how constrained randomness is intrinsic to the functional organization of complex hierarchically nested systems, including higher cognition, and how the navigation of noise is a necessary condition of reason and consequently of freedom.

    • Paperback $19.95 £15.99
  • On Logic and the Theory of Science

    On Logic and the Theory of Science

    Jean Cavaillès

    A new translation of the final work of French philosopher Jean Cavaillès.

    In this short, dense essay, Jean Cavaillès evaluates philosophical efforts to determine the origin—logical or ontological—of scientific thought, arguing that, rather than seeking to found science in original intentional acts, a priori meanings, or foundational logical relations, any adequate theory must involve a history of the concept.

    Cavaillès insists on a historical epistemology that is conceptual rather than phenomenological, and a logic that is dialectical rather than transcendental. His famous call (cited by Foucault) to abandon "a philosophy of consciousness" for "a philosophy of the concept" was crucial in displacing the focus of philosophical enquiry from aprioristic foundations toward structural historical shifts in the conceptual fabric.This new translation of Cavaillès's final work, written in 1942 during his imprisonment for Resistance activities, presents an opportunity to reencounter an original and lucid thinker. Cavaillès's subtle adjudication between positivistic claims that science has no need of philosophy, and philosophers' obstinate disregard for actual scientific events, speaks to a dilemma that remains pertinent for us today. His affirmation of the authority of scientific thinking combined with his commitment to conceptual creation yields a radical defense of the freedom of thought and the possibility of the new.

    • Paperback $16.95 £12.99
  • Dialectic of Pop

    Dialectic of Pop

    Agnès Gayraud

    A philosophical exploration of pop music that reveals a rich, self-reflexive art form with unsuspected depths.

    In the first major philosophical treatise on the subject, Agnès Gayraud explores all the paradoxes of pop—its inauthentic authenticity, its mass production of emotion and personal resonance, its repetitive novelty, its precision engineering of seduction—and calls for pop (in its broadest sense, encompassing all genres of popular recorded music) to be recognized as a modern, technologically mediated art form to rank alongside cinema and photography.

    In a thoroughgoing engagement with Adorno's fierce critique of "standardized light popular music," Dialectic of Pop tracks the transformations of the pop form and its audience over the course of the twentieth century, from Hillbilly to Beyoncé, from Lead Belly to Drake.

    Inseparable from the materiality of its technical media, indifferent and intractable to the perspectives of high culture, pop subverts notions of authenticity and inauthenticity, original and copy, aura and commodity, medium and message. Gayraud demonstrates that, far from being the artless and trivial mass-produced pabulum denigrated by Adorno, pop is a rich, self-reflexive artform that recognises its own contradictions, incorporates its own productive negativity, and often flourishes by thinking "against itself."

    Dialectic of Pop sings the praises of pop as a constitutively impure form resulting from the encounter between industrial production and the human predilection for song, and diagnoses the prospects for twenty-first century pop as it continues to adapt to ever-changing technological mediations.

    • Paperback $29.95 £25.00
  • Spinal Catastrophism

    Spinal Catastrophism

    A Secret History

    Thomas Moynihan

    The historical continuity of spinal catastrophism, traced across multiform encounters between philosophy, psychology, biology, and geology.

    Drawing on cryptic intimations in the work of J. G. Ballard, Georges Bataille, William Burroughs, André Leroi-Gourhan, Elaine Morgan, and Friedrich Nietzsche, in the late twentieth century Daniel Barker formulated the axioms of spinal catastrophism: If human morphology, upright posture, and the possibility of language are the ramified accidents of natural history, then psychic ailments are ultimately afflictions of the spine, which itself is a scale model of biogenetic trauma, a portable map of the catastrophic events that shaped that atrocity exhibition of evolutionary traumata, the sick orthograde talking mammal.

    Tracing its provenance through the biological notions of phylogeny and “organic memory” that fueled early psychoanalysis, back into idealism, nature philosophy, and romanticism, and across multiform encounters between philosophy, psychology, biology, and geology, Thomas Moynihan reveals the historical continuity of spinal catastrophism. From psychoanalysis and myth to geology and neuroanatomy, from bioanalysis to chronopathy, from spinal colonies of proto-minds to the retroparasitism of the CNS, from “railway spine” to Elizabeth Taylor's lost gill-slits, this extravagantly comprehensive philosophical adventure uses the spinal cord as a guiding thread to rediscover forgotten pathways in modern thought. Moynihan demonstrates that, far from being an fanciful notion rendered obsolete by advances in biology, spinal catastrophism dramatizes fundamental philosophical problematics of time, identity, continuity, and the transcendental that remain central to any attempt to reconcile human experience with natural history.

    • Paperback $17.95 £14.99
  • Object-Oriented Philosophy

    Object-Oriented Philosophy

    The Noumenon's New Clothes

    Peter Wolfendale

    A remarkably clear explication of the tenets of Object-Oriented Philosophy and an acute critique of the movement's ramifications for philosophy today.

    How does the patience and rigour of philosophical explanation fare when confronted with an irrepressible desire to commune with the object and to escape the subjective perplexities of reference, meaning, and sense?

    Moving beyond the hype and the inflated claims made for “Object-Oriented” thought, Peter Wolfendale considers its emergence in the light of the intertwined legacies of twentieth-century analytic and Continental traditions.

    Both a remarkably clear explication of the tenets of OOP and an acute critique of the movement's ramifications for philosophy today, Object-Oriented Philosophy is a major engagement with one of the most prevalent trends in recent philosophy.

    • Paperback $24.95 £14.99
  • Matter and Form, Self-Evidence and Surprise

    Matter and Form, Self-Evidence and Surprise

    On Jean-Luc Moulène's Objects

    Alain Badiou

    The eminent French philosopher “dialecticizes” five of the artist Jean-Luc Moulène's objects with five conceptual formations from the history of Western philosophy.

    In this unique essay, first delivered as a lecture during a panel discussion with the artist and philosopher Reza Negarestani, Alain Badiou identifies and “dialecticizes” five of the artist Jean-Luc Moulène's objects with five conceptual formations from the history of Western philosophy. Aristotle's complex of matter and form is called to mind to describe the inner logic of a hard foam sculpture. A bronze statue with holes activates Plato's notion of participation of the concrete world in the “injured Idea of the Beautiful.” A small metallic and incomplete “angel” engages Leibniz's affirmation that “everything that exists is composed of an infinity of things.” Badiou's musings go on to pair a broken and repaired plastic chair with Victor Hugo; a terrible hand made of concrete with the Freudian unconscious; and a large-scale “red and blue monster” with rudimentary mechanisms of the Cartesian cogito, the famous “I think, therefore I am,” with unexpected inversions and variations.

    Badiou refrains, of course, from claiming that Moulène thinks about any of these philosophers when making his specific works. What he points to, however, in this richly illustrated bilingual volume, is that the artist and his art are “on the side of philosophy.”

    • Hardcover $20.00 £15.99
  • XYZT

    XYZT

    Kristen Alvanson

    Genre-defying fiction that accelerates "cross-cultural dialogue" into a kaleidoscopic rush of sensory estrangements, fairy tales, and alien encounters.

    "There's really no difference between us and them, so we're told…."

    Based on the author's experiences of living as an American in Iran, Kristen Alvanson's XYZT is a wildly imaginative dramatization of the idea of a "dialogue of civilizations" and its potentially outlandish ramifications.

    As part of an advanced technological test program, volunteers are shuttled back and forth between the US and Iran, hidden from the watchful eyes of immigration police and state bureaucracies. Each is given a single opportunity to be received by a local host and to have a brief authentic experience of what it means to live as “them” before being transported back home.

    But far from heralding the bliss of mutual recognition, the experiment unleashes a series of displacements so disorienting that the fabric of reality begins to fray. Ordinary people become entangled in extraordinary situations, and everyday life bleeds into mythological encounters, alternate universes and dark psychedelic journeys in alien lands where the real and the imaginary are indistinguishable.

    A treasury of tales told from multiple perspectives and in a multiplicity of styles, XYZT is an audacious cross-genre experiment, a firsthand memoir of what it means to see what "they" see, and a science-fictional, nonstandard engagement with anthropology in which cross-cultural encounters take on all the unpredictable features of a contemporary fairy tale.

    • Paperback $22.95 £18.99
  • AUDINT—Unsound:Undead

    AUDINT—Unsound:Undead

    Steve Goodman, Toby Heys, and Eleni Ikoniadou

    Tracing the the potential of sound, infrasound, and ultrasound to access anomalous zones of transmission between the realms of the living and the dead.

    For as long as recording and communications technologies have existed, operators have evoked the potential of sound, infrasound, and ultrasound to access anomalous zones of transmission between the realms of the living and the dead. In Unsound:Undead, contributors from a variety of disciplines chart these undead zones, mapping out a nonlinear timeline populated by sonic events stretching from the 8th century BC (the song of the Sirens), to 2013 (acoustic levitation), with a speculative extension into 2057 (the emergence of holographic and holosonic phenomena).

    For the past seven years the AUDINT group has been researching peripheral sonic perception (unsound) and the ways in which frequencies are utilized to modulate our understanding of presence/non-presence, entertainment/torture, and ultimately life/death. Concurrently, themes of hauntology have inflected the musical zeitgeist, resonating with the notion of a general cultural malaise and a reinvestment in traces of lost futures inhabiting the present.

    This undead culture has already spawned a Lazarus economy in which Tupac, ODB, and Eazy-E are digitally revivified as laser-lit holograms. The obscure otherworldly dimensions of sound have also been explored in the sonic fictions produced by the likes of Drexciya, Sun Ra, and Underground Resistance, where hauntology is virtually extended: the future appears in the cracks of the present.

    The contributions to this volume reveal how the sonic nurtures new dimensions in which the real and the imagined (fictional, hyperstitional, speculative) bleed into one another, where actual sonic events collide with spatiotemporal anomalies and time-travelling entities, and where the unsound serves to summon the undead.

    Contributors Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Lendl Barcelos, Charlie Blake, Lisa Blanning, Brooker Buckingham, Al Cameron, Erik Davis, Kodwo Eshun, Matthew Fuller, Kristen Gallerneaux, Lee Gamble, Agnès Gayraud, Steve Goodman, Anna Greenspan, Olga Gurionova, S. Ayesha Hameed, Tim Hecker, Julian Henriques, Toby Heys, Eleni Ikoniadou, Amy Ireland, Nicola Masciandaro, Ramona Naddaff, Anthony Nine, The Occulture, Luciana Parisi, Alina Popa, Paul Purgas, Georgina Rochefort, Steven Shaviro, Jonathan Sterne, Jenna Sutela, Eugene Thacker, Dave Tompkins, Shelley Trower, and Souzana Zamfe.

    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00
  • Becoming-Matisse

    Becoming-Matisse

    Between Painting and Architecture (Undoing the Image 2)

    Éric Alliez

    A reevaluation of Matisse that reveals the complex function of his work and thought in contemporary art's escape from the image, from traditional forms of art, and even from the art form itself.

    Accused by his contemporaries of both arid overtheorisation and a hedonistic abandon to the pleasures of color, decried for a preoccupation with the merely decorative, retrospectively consigned to a subsidiary role in an official History of Art that sees the liberation of color from iconic conventions and symbolic associations as the inevitable precursor to the purified color of modernist formalis, Matisse, with his untimely singularity, his break with the History of Art, and the part he played in undoing the image is ripe for the reevaluation undertaken here with great panache by Éric Alliez and Jean-Claude Bonne, who with this volume restore Matisse to his place within the prehistory of contemporary art, while continuing to transform our understanding of the latter.

    It was Matisse who, with his understanding of the construction of colours as a means of vital expression, continued to exacerbate the fauves' decisive break with Form; in doing so, he also opened up painting to its outside, by cutting out color, and releasing it onto the walls and into architecture by way of a decorativity virtually generalized to the whole environment.

    With a series of detailed and compelling extended analyses of Matisse's works, we learn how “Matisse-thought” arrived at the magic formula expression=construction=decoration. This volume, the second “case study” in Alliez and Bonne's Undoing the Image, gives us a new Matisse extracted from clichés and stereotypes both popular and learned, revealing the complex function of his work and thought in contemporary art's escape from the image, from traditional forms of art, and even from the art form itself.

    • Paperback $31.95 £26.00
  • Applied Ballardianism

    Applied Ballardianism

    Memoir from a Parallel Universe

    Simon Sellars

    An existential odyssey weaving together lived experience and theoretical insight, this startling autobiographical hyperfiction surveys and dissects a world where everything connects and global technological delirium is the norm.

    The mediascapes of late capitalism reconfigure erotic responses and trigger primal aggression; under constant surveillance, we occupy simulations of ourselves, private estates on a hyperconnected globe; fictions reprogram reality, memories are rewritten by the future…

    Fleeing the excesses of 1990s cyberculture, a young researcher sets out to systematically analyse the obsessively reiterated themes of a writer who prophesied the disorienting future we now inhabit. The story of his failure is as disturbingly psychotropic as those of his magus—J.G. Ballard, prophet of the post-postmodern, voluptuary of the car crash, surgeon of the pathological virtualities pulsing beneath the surface of reality.

    Plagued by obsessive fears, defeated by the tedium of academia, yet still certain that everything connects to Ballard, his academic thesis collapses into a series of delirious travelogues, deranged speculations and tormented meditations on time, memory, and loss. Abandoning literary interpretation and renouncing all scholarly distance, he finally accepts the deep assignment that has run throughout his entire life, and embarks on a rogue fieldwork project: Applied Ballardianism, a new discipline and a new ideal for living. Only the darkest impulses, the most morbid obsessions, and the most apocalyptic paranoia can uncover the technological mutations of inner space.

    An existential odyssey inextricably weaving together lived experience and theoretical insight, this startling autobiographical hyperfiction surveys and dissects a world where everything connects and global technological delirium is the norm—a world become unmistakably Ballardian.

    • Paperback $22.95 £18.99
  • Body without Organs, Body without Image

    Body without Organs, Body without Image

    Ernesto Neto's Anti-Leviathan (Undoing the Image 1)

    Éric Alliez

    A close analysis of the work of Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto reveals the fundamental stakes of a contemporary art in the process of undoing the image-form.

    The first volume of Éric Alliez and Jean-Claude Bonne's major work on contemporary art begins by outlining their exploratory and speculative project: not so much to produce a new “philosophy of art” as to enter into a space in-between philosophy and art—between a contemporary philosophy of contemporary art and an art contemporary with contemporary philosophy.

    But what exactly is the “contemporary”? And how can we make ourselves, philosophically, the contemporaries of works whose problematic nature no longer sits well under the categories of the “aesthetic,” inherited from romanticism?

    In these case-studies of an art-thought that is inseparable from the continued construction of the very concept of a “contemporary art,” philosophical analysis is continually displaced by the forces of works and practices of creation and reception that herald a new—processual and post-conceptual—configuration of art, with Matisse and Duchamp—Matisse-thought and Duchamp-thought—establishing a tension that, since the 1960s, has been “recharged” by the micropolitical options which have given rise to the critical and clinical problematisation of art.

    Moving through and beyond the thought of Deleuze and Guattari, the discovery of a diagrammatic regime of the contemporary synonymous with an undoing of the image of the aesthetic regime of art begins here with the work of Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto, as a close analysis of the diagrammatic forces at work in Leviathan Thot, Neto's major 2006 intervention in the Panthéon de la république, reveals the fundamental stakes of a contemporary art in the process of undoing the image-form.

    Neto's “anarchitectural denunciation” takes on the (Hobbesian) metaphysical enunciation of the Leviathan-state, which his monstrous “counter-installation” recalls and reproblematizes by placing all of the Panthéon's physical and metaphysical coordinates into and under tension. Grappling with this foreign body both critically and clinically, Alliez and Bonne reveal how the “Neto Operation” engages with nothing less than the image of power in its relation to the power of the image that animates it and endows it with a discursive existence.

    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00
  • The Infra-World

    The Infra-World

    François J. Bonnet

    Traversing philosophy and the human sciences, literature, cinema, and the visual arts, this book maps out a history where all is chaos, maelstrom, and fog.

    If perception and language objectivate the world, if imagination structures it, if knowledge orders it, then how can we describe, name, or even apprehend that which comes to pass when language is absent, when perception vacillates, and when knowledge eludes us? How can we say, show, or make known that which undermines and refutes the order of things, the supposedly immutable real, and the administration of the sensible?

    This book takes us on a quest that traverses philosophy and the human sciences, but also literature, cinema, and the visual arts. Not content with analysing the ordering power of our representations, in The Infra-World François J. Bonnet also interrogates the works of artists who have experienced and experimented with those moments when they crack open, giving way to anguish and vertigo.

    If perception is a sieve, what can be said of that which slips through its net, how does one speak of what escapes? What remains of unqualified perceptions, of vanishing sensations? Where do the indescribable, nocturnal fears hide, the horrors lurking behind closed eyes? What of the world beneath language and objectivated sensation? What of the infra-world?

    • Paperback $12.95 £10.99
  • The Question Concerning Technology in China

    The Question Concerning Technology in China

    An Essay in Cosmotechnics

    Yuk Hui

    A systematic historical survey of Chinese thought is followed by an investigation of the historical-metaphysical questions of modern technology, asking how Chinese thought might contribute to a renewed questioning of globalized technics.

    Heidegger's critique of modern technology and its relation to metaphysics has been widely accepted in the East. Yet the conception that there is only one—originally Greek—type of technics has been an obstacle to any original critical thinking of technology in modern Chinese thought.

    Yuk Hui argues for the urgency of imagining a specifically Chinese philosophy of technology capable of responding to Heidegger's challenge, while problematizing the affirmation of technics and technologies as anthropologically universal.

    This investigation of the historical-metaphysical question of technology, drawing on Lyotard, Simondon, and Stiegler, and introducing a history of modern Eastern philosophical thinking largely unknown to Western readers, including philosophers such as Feng Youlan, Mou Zongsan, and Keiji Nishitani, sheds new light on the obscurity of the question of technology in China. Why was technics never thematized in Chinese thought? Why has time never been a real question for Chinese philosophy? How was the traditional concept of Qi transformed in its relation to Dao as China welcomed technological modernity and westernization?

    In The Question Concerning Technology in China, a systematic historical survey of the major concepts of traditional Chinese thinking is followed by a startlingly original investigation of these questions, in order to ask how Chinese thought might today contribute to a renewed, cosmotechnical questioning of globalized technics.

    • Paperback $19.95 £15.99
  • The Order of Sounds

    The Order of Sounds

    A Sonorous Archipelago

    François J. Bonnet

    This study of the subtlety, complexity, and variety of modes of hearing maps out a “sonorous archipelago”—a heterogeneous set of shifting sonic territories shaped by the vicissitudes of desire and discourse.

    Profoundly intimate yet immediately giving onto distant spaces, both an “organ of fear” and an echo chamber of anticipated pleasures, an uncontrollable flow subject to unconscious selection and augmentation, the subtlety, complexity, and variety of modes of hearing has meant that sound has rarely received the same philosophical attention as the visual.

    In The Order of Sounds, François J. Bonnet makes a compelling case for the irreducible heterogeneity of “sound,” navigating between the physical models constructed by psychophysics and refined through recording technologies, and the synthetic production of what is heard. From primitive vigilance and sonic mythologies to digital sampling and sound installations, he examines the ways in which we make sound speak to us, in an analysis of listening as a plurivocal phenomenon drawing on Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Barthes, Nancy, Adorno, and de Certeau, and experimental pioneers such as Tesla, Bell, and Raudive. Stringent critiques of the “soundscape” and “reduced listening” demonstrate that univocal ontologies of sound are always partial and politicized; for listening is always a selective fetishism, a hallucination of sound filtered by desire and convention, territorialized by discourse and its authorities.

    Bonnet proposes neither a disciplined listening that targets sound “itself,” nor an “ocean of sound” in which we might lose ourselves, but instead maps out a sonorous archipelago—a heterogeneous set of shifting sonic territories shaped and aggregated by the vicissitudes of desire and discourse.

    • Paperback $19.95 £15.99
  • Writing and Unwriting (Media) Art History

    Writing and Unwriting (Media) Art History

    Erkki Kurenniemi in 2048

    Joasia Krysa and Jussi Parikka

    A critical mapping of the multiplicities of Finnish artist and technology pioneer Erkki Kurenniemi—composer of electronic music, experimental filmmaker, inventor, collector, futurologist.

    Over the past forty years, Finnish artist and technology pioneer Erkki Kurenniemi (b. 1941) has been a composer of electronic music, experimental filmmaker, computer animator, roboticist, inventor, and futurologist. Kurenniemi is a hybrid—a scientist-humanist-artist. Relatively unknown outside Nordic countries until his 2012 Documenta 13 exhibition, ”In 2048,” Kurenniemi may at last be achieving international recognition. This book offers an excavation, a critical mapping, and an elaboration of Kurenniemi's multiplicities.

    The contributors describe Kurenniemi's enthusiastic, and rather obsessive, recording of everyday life and how this archiving was part of his process; his exploratory artistic practice, with productive failure an inherent part of his method; his relationship to scientific and technological developments in media culture; and his work in electronic and digital music, including his development of automated composition systems and his “video-organ,” DIMI-O. A “Visual Archive,” a section of interviews with the artist, and a selection of his original writings (translated and published for the first time) further document Kurenniemi's achievements. But the book is not just about one artist in his time; it is about emerging media arts, interfaces, and archival fever in creative practices, read through the lens of Kurenniemi.

    • Hardcover $50.00 £40.00
  • To Live and Think Like Pigs

    To Live and Think Like Pigs

    The Incitement of Envy and Boredom in Market Democracies

    Gilles Châtelet

    A startlingly prescient treatise on the cybernetic automation of society and a burlesque satire of its middle-class celebrants.

    An uproarious portrait of the evils of the market and a technical manual for its innermost ideological workings, this is the story of how the perverted legacy of liberalism sought to knead Marx's “free peasant” into a statistical “average man”—pliant raw material for the sausage-machine of postmodernity.

    Combining the incandescent wrath of the betrayed comrade with the acute discrimination of the mathematician-physicist, Châtelet scrutinizes the pseudoscientific alibis employed to naturalize “market democracy” and the “triple alliance” between politics, economics, and cybernetics.

    A bestseller in France on its publication in 1998, this book remains crucial reading for any future politics that wants to replace individualism with individuation and libertarianism with liberation, this new translation constitutes a major contribution to contemporary debate on neoliberalism, economics, and capitalist subjectivation.

    • Paperback $19.95 £12.99
  • From Decision to Heresy

    From Decision to Heresy

    Experiments in Non-Standard Thought

    François Laruelle

    Introductory collection of writings by a creative and subversive thinker, ranging from the origins of “non-philosophy” to its evolution into what Laruelle now calls “non-standard philosophy.”

    The question “What is non-philosophy?” must be replaced by the question about what it can and cannot do. To ask what it can do is already to acknowledge that its capacities are not unlimited. This question is partly Spinozist: no-one knows what a body can do. It is partly Kantian: circumscribe philosophy's illusory power, the power of reason or the faculties, and do not extend its sufficiency in the shape of by way of another philosophy. It is also partly Marxist: how much of philosophy can be transformed through practice, how much of it can be withdrawn from its “ideological” use? And finally, it is also partly Wittgensteinian: how can one limit philosophical language through its proper use?

    This introductory collection of writings by creative and subversive thinker François Laruelle opens with an introduction based upon an in-depth interview that traces the abiding concerns of his prolific output. The eleven newly translated essays that follow, dating from 1985 to the present, range from the origins of “non-philosophy” to its evolution into what Laruelle now calls “non-standard philosophy.” Two appendices present a number of Laruelle's experimental texts, which have not previously appeared in English translation, and a transcript of an early intervention and discussion on his “transvaluation” of Kant's transcendental method.

    • Paperback $27.95 £17.99
  • The Number and the Siren

    The Number and the Siren

    Quentin Meillassoux

    A philosophical interrogation of the concepts of chance, contingency, and eternity through a concentrated study of Mallarmé's poem “Un Coup de Dés.”

    A meticulous literary study, a detective story à la Edgar Allan Poe, a treasure-hunt worthy of an adventure novel—such is the register in which can be deciphered the hidden secrets of a poem like no other. Quentin Meillassoux, author of After Finitude, continues his philosophical interrogation of the concepts of chance, contingency, infinity, and eternity through a concentrated study of Mallarmé's poem “Un Coup de Dés,” patiently deciphering its enigmatic meaning on the basis of a dazzlingly simple and lucid insight with regard to Mallarmé's “unique Number.”

    The decisive point of the investigation proposed by Meillassoux comes with a discovery, unsettling and yet as simple as a child's game. The Number that “can be no other” can only be revealed to us via a secret code, hidden in the “Coup de dés” like a key that finally unlocks every one of its poetic devices. Thus is also unveiled the meaning of that siren, emerging for a lightning-flash amongst the debris of the shipwreck: as the living heart of a drama that is still unfolding.

    With this bold new interpretation of Mallarmé's work, Meillassoux offers brilliant insights into modernity, poetics, secularism, and religion, and opens a new chapter in his philosophy of radical contingency.

    The volume contains the entire text of the “Coup de dés” and three other poems, with new English translations.

    • Paperback $25.95 £16.99
  • The Concept of Non-Photography

    The Concept of Non-Photography

    François Laruelle

    A rigorous new thinking of the photograph in its relation to science, philosophy, and art, so as to discover an essence of photography that precedes its historical, technological, and aesthetic conditions.

    If philosophy has always understood its relation to the world according to the model of the instantaneous flash of a photographic shot, how can there be a “philosophy of photography” that is not viciously self-reflexive?

    Challenging the assumptions made by any theory of photography that leaves its own “onto-photo-logical” conditions uninterrogated, Laruelle thinks the photograph non-philosophically, so as to discover an essence of photography that precedes its historical, technological and aesthetic conditions.

    The Concept of Non-Photography develops a rigorous new thinking of the photograph in its relation to science, philosophy, and art, and introduces the reader to all of the key concepts of Laruelle's “non-philosophy.”

    • Paperback $21.95 £14.99
  • Fanged Noumena

    Fanged Noumena

    Collected Writings 1987–2007

    Nick Land

    A dizzying trip through the mind(s) of the provocative and influential thinker Nick Land.

    During the 1990s British philosopher Nick Land's unique work, variously described as “rabid nihilism,” “mad black deleuzianism,” and “cybergothic,” developed perhaps the only rigorous and culturally-engaged escape route out of the malaise of “continental philosophy” —a route that was implacably blocked by the academy. However, Land's work has continued to exert an influence, both through the British “speculative realist” philosophers who studied with him, and through the many cultural producers—writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers—who have been invigorated by his uncompromising and abrasive philosophical vision.

    Beginning with Land's early radical rereadings of Heidegger, Nietzsche, Kant and Bataille, the volume collects together the papers, talks and articles of the mid-90s—long the subject of rumour and vague legend (including some work which has never previously appeared in print)—in which Land developed his futuristic theory-fiction of cybercapitalism gone amok; and ends with his enigmatic later writings in which Ballardian fictions, poetics, cryptography, anthropology, grammatology and the occult are smeared into unrecognisable hybrids.

    Fanged Noumena gives a dizzying perspective on the entire trajectory of this provocative and influential thinker's work, and has introduced his unique voice to a new generation of readers.

    • Paperback $29.95 £25.00
  • Collapse, Volume 5

    The Copernican Imperative

    Damian Veal

    Addresses the “deanthropomorphization” of reality initiated by the Copernican Revolution and the enduring chasm between the spontaneous image of reality bequeathed to us by evolution and that revealed by the sciences in the wake of Copernicus.

    Ever since Nicolaus Copernicus unmoored the Earth from its anchorage at the centre of the Universe and set it hurtling around the Sun, science has progressively uncovered the lineaments of an objective reality to which human experience stands as only the most superficial and attenuated of abstractions.

    The fifth volume of Collapse brings together some of the most intellectually-challenging contemporary work devoted to exploring the philosophical implications of this ever-widening gulf between the real and the intuitable from a variety of overlapping and complementary standpoints.

    With articles by groundbreaking philosophers and scientists, in-depth interviews with prominent thinkers, and new work from contemporary artists, this volume addresses the issues of the “deanthropomorphization” of reality initiated by the Copernican Revolution and the enduring chasm between the spontaneous image of reality bequeathed to us by evolution and that revealed by the sciences in the wake of Copernicus.

    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00