Perpetual Peace Project

We are delighted to invite you to the conference Perpetual Peace Project which will take place in Warsaw, 9th November 2022.

The Perpetual Peace Project has never been a traditional acade-
mic philosophical debate about, for or against, Kant’s political philosophy. Instead, over the past fourteen years and three major international curatorial initiatives, we have employed the preliminary and definitive articles from Kant’s 1795 treatise Toward Perpetual Peace (Zum ewigen Frieden) to stage several major interventions between philosophers, diplomats, and artists to challenge our institutional knowledges around the idea of peace. Consequently, the firstprinciple of the 2008 initiative with the United Nations was: “The Perpetual Peace Project is predicated on the belief that no one institution or individual can clearly claim or guarantee a mastery of the concept of peace” (See Principles). Because the first event in this new phase, reinstated to address the idea of perpetual peace in the immediate context of the war in the Ukraine, is a gathering of mostly academic philosophers and theorists, we have asked our main speakers today to respond to the following provocation:

If, as Deleuze says, philosophy and only philosophy can lay claim to concepts, can philosophy today lay any claim to the concept of peace? Or has this concept or idea been relegated to what Foucault described as the “military-diplomatic apparatus” (dispositif) that belongs to the biopolitical mechanisms of “security”? Moreover, given the fact that most of the disciplinary and technical knowledges that deal with issues of global and regional security do not belong to academic philosophy, but are mostly located within the periphery of the state apparatus itself, the question of contemporary philosophy’s relation to idea of “perpetual peace” needs to be re-examined, especially in light of the war in Ukraine.

Click here to view the conference program

Wondering about Materialism

The fifth event of the Technology and Socialization Project — the conference Wondering about Materialism will take place in Warsaw, 7-8 November 2022.

The question – what is materialism today? – seems to be extremely important because we do not have any uniform concept of matter and we do not have a uniform concept of materialism. During the conference, the question about matter will be asked from three perspectives. First, from a historical perspective, we ask: what does it mean to be a “historical materialist”? Is historical materialism possible at all? Perhaps historical materialism is doomed to an alternative: it is either materialism or historicism? What does it mean that “matter” has historical form? Second, what is the relation between matter and information? The physicist John Archibald Wheeler proposed the radical it from bit (all from bit) hypothesis, according to which information underlies all matter, and every “it,” that is, every particle or energy field, is an organization of differences and therefore information. Are we ready to accept this hypothesis? Finally, we ask about the subject in the world of “intelligent matter”. What does it mean that matter is capable for self-organization? What does it mean to be a subject in the word of intelligent matter?

We hope to find answers to these and similar questions or at least clarify them during this conference.

Confirmed keynote speakers included Gregg LambertAdam J. Nocek, Nick Nesbitt, Dominic PettmanAlex Taek-Gwang Lee, Tom Tyler

Click here to view the conference program, call for papers and information about the organisers.

The conference is organized by the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” at the University of Warsaw (Poland) in collaboration with the Center for Philosophical Technologies at Arizona State University.

CFP: Wondering about Materialism

Papers and panels are invited for an interdisciplinary conference ‘Wondering about Materialism’, which will take place in Warsaw, 7-8 November 2022. The conference is organized by the Faculty of Artes Liberales at the University of Warsaw (Poland) and is a part of the project Technology and Socialization.

The question – what is materialism today? – seems to be extremely important because we do not have any uniform concept of matter and we do not have a uniform concept of materialism. During the conference, the question about matter will be asked from three perspectives. First, from a historical perspective, we ask: what does it mean to be a “historical materialist”? Is historical materialism possible at all? Perhaps historical materialism is doomed to an alternative: it is either materialism or historicism? What does it mean that “matter” has historical form? Second, what is the relation between matter and information? The physicist John Archibald Wheeler proposed the radical it from bit (all from bit) hypothesis, according to which information underlies all matter, and every „it,” that is, every particle or energy field, is an organization of differences and therefore information. Are we ready to accept this hypothesis? Finally, we ask about the subject in the world of “intelligent matter”. What does it mean that matter is capable for self-organization? What does it mean to be a subject in the word of intelligent matter?

We hope to find answers to these and similar questions or at least clarify them during this conference.

Proposals are welcome on, but not limited to, the following topics:

– Recent constellations of materialist – actor-network theory, new materialisms, speculative realism, and object-oriented ontology – have begun to call into question the continued relevance of cultural materialism. However, is the difference between cultural materialism (holds that subjects are by-products of their respective cultural milieus) and new materialism (emphasizing the moment of being entangled in strictly material conditions of action) politically well-motivated and intellectually credible?

New materialists understand matter as possessing its own modes of self-transformation and self-organization, which means that matter is no longer a passive, opaque entity but is recognized as constantly forming and reforming in unexpected ways. We most often formulate this diagnosis in the form of the statement that „matter becomes” rather than „matter is”. But what does this mean? And what kind of interpretation should be given to this statement about the becoming of matter?

– If we accept that cultural materialism is an „anti-realist” position (constructivism), the question is: what kind of realism does the new materialism offer us? We would like to rethink the problem of the relationship between materialism and realism. Does being a materialist imply a realistic obligation regarding the existence of objects independent of the will and consciousness of the knowing subject?

– Prior to Kant one of the principal problems of philosophy was to think “substance”, following Kant philosophy has primarily consisted of trying to think “subject”. We ask the question: is the task of philosophy today to link “substance” and “subject”, i.e. to empower substance (Hegel), but also to desubstantialise the subject (Freud)? What is the place of the subject in the new materialism?

Slavoj Žižek reading Hegel claims that, from the dialectical materialist standpoint, the true formula of materialism is that “material reality is non-all. But what does it mean? Does it mean not only accepting the incoherent vision of reality, but also the reality which in some sense is always unfinished?

– What kind of materialism do we need? Do we need very consistent, rough, radical materialism without ideas, without rest, but full of fear of mystification, occultism, fear of falling into immaterialism, as it “principle enemy”. Or do we need materialism corrected by something that constantly eludes it, materialism that is uncertain of its status, uncertain of multiple types of being, allowing many forms of being, materialism ready to write such entities into the register of existence?

Presentations are expected to be between 20 and 30 minutes.

Please send abstracts of up to 300 words, attached in a word-document,
with a short bio, to 
technologyandsocialization@gmail.com by 31 August 2022.

Should you need any further information, do not hesitate to contact us at the same e-mail address. All information related to the conference and the Technology and Socialization project and can be found here. We are looking forward to your participation and to hosting you in Warsaw.

Organizing Committee:
Professor Szymon Wróbel
Dr Krzysztof Skonieczny
Dr Katarzyna Szafranowska
Mgr Adam Cichoń

Images Between Series and Stream – Rethinking Seriality and Streaming

The conference Images Between Series and Stream – Rethinking Seriality and Streaming will be held online 18 and 19 November 2021.

The starting point of the conference was a fact that watching TV series has become a distinct socio-cultural phenomenon in last decades. The increasing rise of streaming media services has profoundly changed the accessibility standards of TV series but also the way of watching them. However, the domestication of our life in pandemic, made us realize that streaming series and films should become more important objects of our interest than ever before. In some sense, we live in-series and on-stream platforms. New technological situations, such as the presence of videoconferences in our life, presents us not only with new problems but a new reorganisation of sensibile as Jacques Ranciere might say. Video-technology enters into our private sphere and in some sense it calls us to be constantly available – to be on-stream but also to live in series of accessibilities. The re-organisation of our life is obvious, but the role of images in this “re-” or “de-” organisation still requires some reflection. We are in constant tension between being-in-series and being-on-stream. We perceive ourselves as moving-images on screen. It affects our relationships and our perception.

We want to rethink seriality and streaming not only as certain phenomenon, but also as a notion itself. Consequently, what does series and streaming mean? How do they work? How do they shape our life, habitual processes and behavior? How do they change our thinking and orient us toward objects such as works of art? Last but not least – what does it mean to be inside of the series or what does it mean to be outside of the series? What does it mean to be between series and streaming? We hoped to find answers to this and similar questions or at least clarify them during this event.

Confirmed keynote speakers include Adam J. Nocek, Alex Taek-Gwang Lee, Adam Lipszyc, Jakub Momro, Szymon Wróbel

Link:https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82961559186?pwd=NUY5aEpRdmptaUZRcVlIYTZaTEtkQT09
Passcode: Seriality

Here you could view the conference program and book of abstracts ,  call for papers and information about the organisers.

Many Regimes of the Capital in the Postdigital Age

The fourth event of the Technology and Socialization Project — the conference Many Regimes of the Capital in the Postdigital Age will be held online from 20 to 22 October 2021.

The starting point of the conference was a fact that capitalism today is gaining new meaning and looking for a new name, new theorethical and practical approaches: from cognitive, affective, and neoliberal capitalism to computational, surveillance, necro-, and anarcho-capitalism. These are just several of the ways to name an era marked by the capitalization of nearly everything—work, attention, affect, and even life itself.  This conference wishes to address not only the varieties of capitalist production today but also whether and to what extent the different manifestations of capitalism are only different types of capital. In other words, is mental and emotional health a commodity in the same sense as the products of our hands and brains are commodities? Does capital therefore have an essence with many different appearancesAnd if capitalism does have an essence, then is it reducible to the permanent expansion of economic transactions to every domain of human and nonhuman activity? We hope to find answers to these and similar questions during this conference.

Here you could view the conference program, book of abstracts,  call for papers and information about the organisers.

CFP: Images Between Series and Stream – Rethinking Seriality and Streaming

The Techno-Humanities Lab and The Film Lab are delighted to invite you to the Interdisciplinary Conference “Images Between Series and Stream – Rethinking Seriality and Streaming” which will take place on 18-19 November 2021. Conference will be held online. 

Confirmed keynote speakers include:

ADAM NOCEK (Professor in the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering and the Design School, Arizona State University)
ALEX TAEK-GWANG LEE (Professor of British and American Cultural Studies, Kyung Hee University)
ADAM LIPSZYC (Professor of Philosophy in the Insitute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Science)
JAKUB MOMRO (Professor at the Department of Polish Studies, Jagiellonian University)

CALL FOR PAPERS

In the last few years watching TV series has become a distinct socio-cultural phenomenon. The increasing rise of streaming media services has profoundly changed the accessibility standards of TV series but also the way of watching them. However, the domestication of our life in pandemic, made us realize that streaming series and films should become more important objects of our interest than ever before. In some sense, we live in-series and on-stream platforms. New technological situations, such as the presence of videoconferences in our life, presents us not only with new problems but a new reorganisation of sensibile as Jacques Ranciere might say. Video-technology enters into our private sphere and in some sense it calls us to be constantly available – to be on-stream but also to live in series of accessibilities. The re-organisation of our life is obvious, but the role of images in this “re-” or “de-” organisation still requires some reflection. We are in constant tension between being-in-series and being-on-stream. We perceive ourselves as moving-images on screen. It affects our relationships and our perception. The collaboration of the Techno-Humanities Lab and Film Lab encourages us to ask questions on two different planesphilosophical and cinematic one. Thus, we ask what happens with the pieces of the film art when they become just “tiles” on a streaming platform — a series of „bricks in the wall”? But also what happens with us when we become just tiles on video conference meetings?

We want to rethink seriality and streaming not only as certain phenomenon, but also as a notion itself We should look at them from a slightly wider perspective. All doubts lead us to the question “what do series do”? In particular, philosophers and culture researchers have paid attention to this problem and seriality itself. Umberto Eco classified the series as a kind of repetition which responds to our infantile need of always hearing the same story and being consoled by the “return of the Identical”. Other approaches were offered by Deleuze (quite opposite to Eco) and Sartre who tried to rethink series as a mode of our everyday life and experience. This encourages us to discuss the issue of seriality also from a more philosophical perspective. But what about streaming? How is it connected with seriality? How does it affect our perception? What changes in our lives and work?

Consequently, what doseries and streaming mean? How do they work? How do they shape our life, habitual processes and behavior? How do they change our thinking and orient us toward objects such as works of art? Last but not least – what does it mean to be inside of the series or what does it mean to be outside of the series? What does it mean to be between series and streaming?

Proposals are welcome, but not limited to the following topics:

  • What do series do? How are series changing our thinking? How are they shaping our everyday experience and habitual processes?

  • How does the streaming technique affect our life? Does video-technology become an evocative object (Sherry Turkle’s notion)? How does usage of video-technology for communication affect our relationships? What happens when video-technology enters into our private sphere?

  • Seriality of time or time of the series – what does it mean that somebody is in this or in another season of the given show? What does it mean to be in series or be outside of it? Or on-stream and off-stream? Are these different modes of being or different experiences of time? How do we experience time in the series?

  • How does streaming platforms and video conferences affect the process of filmmaking? New conceptions of montage, movies made through video conference platforms, usage of “tiles” in movies etc.

  • Presence of seriality in cinema – directors who made different movies about the same characters (e.g. Michael Haneke) but also movie directors who directed TV series (David Lynch and Twin Peaks). What is the difference between making series and making a movie? Are these two completely different types of perception or two types of thinking? How is thinking through series present in cinema?

  • Does popularity of TV series and stream platforms lead to the end of cinema? What is the difference between watching a movie in cinema and watching the same movie on a streaming platform? How does it change our perception of images?

  • Videoconference fatigue”. How did usage of video-technology changed our work, our thinking and everyday experience? Is it not pushing us to our limits and to being in a constant arousal?

  • How are series and streaming media services changing the cinema? Does it mean that phenomena such as cinematographic art canon or cinephilia are disappearing?

  • Subjectivity of the experience of time in series’ viewers: binge watching, commute watching, repeated viewings, communal watching, instant reactions to episodes in the social media.

Presentations are expected to be between 20 and 30 minutes long.

Please send abstracts of max 300 words, attached in a word-document, with a short bio, to technologyandsocialization@gmail.com by 26 September 2021.

Should you need any further information, do not hesitate to contact us at the same email address. Allinformation related to the conference can be found at th.al.uw.edu.pl

The Organizing Committee,
Professor Szymon Wróbel
Dr Michał Oleszczyk
Dr Krzysztof Skonieczny
Dr Bolesław Racięski
Dr Katarzyna Szafranowska
Mgr Adam Cichoń

CFP

„Psychoanalysis and Politics. Facist Imaginaries” conference in Berlin

„Psychoanalysis and Politics. Facist Imaginaries” conference will take place on 1-3 October in Berlin. Professor Szymon Wróbel – director of Laboratorium Techno-Humanistyki UW • Techno-Humanities Lab UW will participate in conference with his paper entitled „Facism as a symptom, function and ideological scheme”

CFP is still open. We encourage you to submit your abstracts. All details and the full Call for Papers can be found on website of conference https://www.psa-pol.org/fascist-imaginaries/.

W dniach 1-3 października w Berlinie odbędzie się konferencja „Psychoanalysis and Politics. Fascist Imaginaries”. Weźmie w niej udział prof. Szymon Wróbel – kierownik Laboratorium Techno-Humanistyki UW • Techno-Humanities Lab UW. Tematem jego wystąpienia będzie faszyzm jako symptom („Fascism as a symptom, function and ideological scheme”)

CFP do konferencji jest wciąż otwarte. Zachęcamy do zainteresowania się wydarzeniem, a także do wysyłania swoich zgłoszeń! Więcej informacji znajdziecie na stronie konferencji https://www.psa-pol.org/fascist-imaginaries/.

Program konferencji „Ateizm po polsku”

Na stronie internetowej organizowanej przez Laboratorium konferencji „Ateizm po polsku” prezentujemy abstrakty zaplanowanych wystąpień.

Przypominamy też, że w trakcie konferencji odbędzie się także dyskusja na temat książki Michaela Ruse pt. Ateizm. Co każdy powinien wiedzieć, która ukazała się nakładem Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego w roku 2016.

Wezmą w niej udział prof. Szymon Wróbel (Laboratorium Techno-Humanistyki), prof. Jan Woleński (UJ), dr Tomasz Sieczkowski (UŁ, tłumacz książki), dr Joanna Klimczyk (IFiS PAN), prof. Konrad Talmont-Kamoiński (WSFiZ). Dyskusję poprowadzi dr Sebastian Szymański (Laboratorium Techno-Humanistyki).

Siła niemocy – rozmowa z prof. Szymonem Wróblem w kwietniowej „Odrze”

W kwietniowym numerze miesięcznika „Odra” znaleźć można rozmowę pt. Siła niemocy, którą z kierownikiem Laboratorium, prof. Szymonem Wróblem, przeprowadziła Jola Workowska.

"Odra", kwiecień 2017, rozmowa z prof. Szymonem Wróblem

Rozmowa dotyczy książki prof. Wróbla zatytułowanej Polska pozycja depresyjna: od Gombrowicza do Mrożka i z powrotem wydanej nakładem wydawnictwa Universitas.