Logic of Death
As we witness the Sixth Mass Extinction and the Fourth Industrial Revolution our planet is undergoing, it is time to put some serious question marks over our humanist heritage and the way this has dominated our thinking for at least the past 200 years. We need to develop a new culture that suits this new earth, as Michel Serres would put it. We begin by asking ourselves about the logic of death. Through two keynote lectures, by Rosi Braidotti and Rick Dolphijn, we try to radically rethink the idea of death. Firstly, by rephrasing it through posthuman knowledges, and, secondly, by asking ourselves how art works with an idea of dying. The following two conference sessions are moderated by Rick Dolphijn and Lucas van der Velden.
What does it mean to die within the posthuman convergence, which positions us – humans and non-humans – between the Fourth Industrial Age and the Sixth Extinction? This contemporary convergence results in the shifting of boundaries between bio-power and necro-politics, life and death, the government of the living and the practices of dying. I will refer to a neo-materialist philosophy of non-human life as 'Zoe' and argue that both the concept of life and that of death need to be approached with more complexity and more attention to power differences.
'The present… is what we are, and thereby, what already we are ceasing to be.' (Deleuze and Guattari)
In the first part of this talk, Rick Dolphijn will discuss the necropolitics of art. He will talk of the difficult relation that art has with the present and why the power of art is not ‘finite’ (not limited to any form of ‘extension’). Art shares this ‘infinity’ only with philosophy. This ‘infinity’ also shows that art does not run parallel to a human life, that it knows no beginning (birth) or end (death), but that it keeps on negotiating its relationship to the present. The second part of the talk claims that art therefore is, necessarily a philosophy of nature and that it envisions for us another world (which was always already there).