Tag Archive: Nonhuman Turn


With just enough distance to sense that I miss it already (in a brain-body hangover kind of way), but not enough for this to be taken too seriously, I offer some morning-after thoughts on the Nonhuman Turn conference.

1. It was a tremendous gathering of forces, of people doing valuable work with ideas, with knowledge-building practices and critical interpretive and reframing strategies (some of them novel and experimental, some of them simply variations on what academics do). For all that was said (at the end) about how washed-out the academic conference format is, this one was actually a very well-scaled meeting, making possible the kinds of conversations and connections that a larger conference would preclude. It was well run, technically savvy, and enjoyable. Remarkable in many ways.

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Bogost’s talk not being streamed (by his request).

Ian Bogost, “The Aesthetics of Philosophical Carpentry”

A talk about philosophy and the objects of which it’s made, in 12 parts (first 11 are pretend)

I. Enjoying This Presentation

II. The Things We Do: Airport tarmac. Philosophers in a lecture hall not unlike an aircraft approaching the runway. Multiple dancer airport performances. Air traffic controllers and graduate students. We do the things we do. Questions, comments. Thank you for flying.

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Mark Hansen, “Against Clairvoyance: The Future of 21st Century Media”

Both the future of and the future according to… The status of the future in relation to media. 21st century media.

Book on Whitehead’s philosophy as resource for thinking about 21st century media. Offering a different entry into Whitehead than most of the work that’s been done. Less interested in Deleuze-Whitehead than in W’s interest in quantification, data (datum), speculation (speculative account). Drawing on Jorge Nobo (extensive continuum), Judith Jones (intensity). In the service of a bringing of Whitehead together with phenomenology and theme of ‘sensibility.’

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Wendy Chun, “Imagined networks”

I will read quickly and show you more than I read. (Warning to readers: so this trans/re/scription will not be adequate.)

Threat that internet will be turned to a series of gated communities. Spam is another way to say I love you. This danger can be attenuated not through more security but through a wary embrace of the vulnerability that is networking.

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NT7: Beatnik brothers…

For what it’s worth, here’s the Power Point that went along with my talk. I changed the title to “Beatnik Brothers? Harman’s Objects and the Becoming-Whiteheadian of Deleuze.” I meant “of Deleuzians” (some of whom were in the audience: Manning, Shaviro, Massumi and Hansen I think). The first two slides are the original title (slide) and the revised one.

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Tim Morton, “They are here”

Talking Heads video “Crosseyed and painless” (dir. Toni Basil, featured the Elecric Boogaloos). Is the non-national anthem of global anxiety. The sound of the end of the world and beginning of history. The first moonwalk is here (not Michael Jackson). The Levinasian “il y-a”, environmental creepiness, but we don’t know what yet. The dancers are suspended in claustrophobic white space, in their world.

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I took a break from live-blogging [added later: I had originally written "love-bloggin" LOL. I won't correct other typos, but there're probably many of them here] during the break-out sessions, taking advantage of the time to work a bit more on my own paper, to be given this afternoon. I’m picking things up now with Steven Shaviro’s plenary. Since Steven regularly blogs his work (at The Pinocchio Theory), and since I’m getting a little worn out keeping up with our great speakers, this may be a little less detailed. 

Steven Shaviro, “Consequences of Panpsychism”

Opening caveats: We should resist conflating Speculative Realism with OOO; it’s like conflating animals with cats. Also, use of “human” better as an adjective than as a noun.

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Our morning plenarist is Jane Bennett, whose work has been discussed extensively on this blog before (e.g., here).

Introduction by Kennan Ferguson: will Jane B. be throwing down a gauntlet?

Jane Bennett: “Systems & Things: a materialist and an object-oriented philosopher walk into a bar…”

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Day 2 at The Nonhuman Turn.

Richard Grusin: Why Nonhuman? Why Now?

The CFP for this conference elicited lively comments and concerns on Facebook walls (Ken Wark’s and Alex Galloway’s): expression of “turn fatigue” (:-) [ai: my first proposal was about just that], and a concern that this would ipso facto be a conference of speculative realism or OOO.The CFP reactivated debates from third New York OOO symposium.

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NT2: Erin Manning

Plenary #2: Erin Manning, “Another Regard”

Discussion of Nathaniel Stern’s art installation.

Epigraph from Dawn Prince (anthropologist, worked with gorillas, written memoirs on her autistic experience with gorillas)

1st movement: Are you a gorilla?

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