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Symposium and Workshop: Posthumanism and Worldbuilding

Updated: Aug 1, 2022


This symposium is part of Foreign Objekt's Psthuman Lab, which began last year. The Lab includes workshops and study groups taught by David Roden, Francesca Ferrando, and Ray Brassier, along with participation and contributions from many artists and researchers.


โ— Workshops and Conversations:

October 10th-- 10 am PST

๐†๐จ๐จ๐๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐–๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐ ๐๐ž๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐’๐œ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ

The philosopher Nelson Goodman makes two controversial philosophical claims. Firstly, Pluriworldism: There is not one true world but many worlds, each answering to different and often conflicting โ€˜world versionsโ€™ (e.g., Newtonโ€™s vs Aristotleโ€™s Physics, Phenomenalism (or sense-data theory) vs Realism about middle sized objects of sensory experience, Cezanne vs the World of 19th Century Academic Painting.) Different world versions are true of different worlds, but there is no one shared world according to Pluriworldism. Secondly, Worldmaking: the claim that these worlds are constituted, in some way, by our world-making practices. In this talk, I have two goals. Firstly, to set out both the Pluriworldism and the Worldmaking thesis clearly and systematically. Second to consider whether either is supportable by examining a range of objections leveled against Goodman by authors ranging from Donald Davison to Tim Button. Does the very idea of worldmaking presuppose a world-behind-the-scenes that belongs to no world? Does the production of worlds (world making) presuppose a kind of identity or repetition that is non-world dependent in a way that violates pluriworldism, as I have argued. Can we make sense of comparisons or translations between worlds and world versions without a single common world as a background condition? Is pluriworldism vulnerable to anti-correlationist arguments in the work of speculative realists like Ray Brassier or Quentin Meillassoux? I hope this critical engagement will increase our understanding of Goodmanโ€™s epistemology and aesthetics.

โ—Reading Group and Workshop: "Ways of Worldmaking" by Nelson Goodman (past event)

โ—๐’๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐Ÿ. Reading Group: September 25-- 10 am PST

โ—๐’๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐Ÿ Workshop: September 26-- 10 am PST

Instructors for the workshop: Cรกssia Siqueira and Sepideh

Readings and Chapters:

๐Š๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž ๐š๐ฌ ๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง

Main Reading:

โ€œWords, Works, Worldsโ€. Nelson Goodman, Ways of Worldmaking, Ch. 1

๐‚๐ฅ๐š๐ฌ๐ก ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ƒ๐ฒ๐ง๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐œ๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ฐ๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐–๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐๐ฌ

Main Reading:

โ€œOn Rightness of Renderingโ€. Nelson Goodman, Ways of Worldmaking, Ch. 7

Download PDF โ€ข 15.87MB

๐€๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐ข๐ฉ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž๐ฅ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ๐จ๐ฉ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ข๐๐ž๐š๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐ฐ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š๐ง๐ ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ญ๐ž๐ฑ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐› ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐๐›๐š๐œ๐ค.

๐ƒ๐ž๐ฌ๐œ๐ซ๐ข๐ฉ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง: Text: Cรกssia Siqueira

What do worlds consist of? In precisely what sense can we make worlds and what kinds of worlds can be made? Where do the motivations which drive the realization of the task of building new worlds arise from? These are some of the problems approached by Nelson Goodman in his most known work 'Ways of Worldmaking'.

In this book, Goodman describes the foundations of what he calls "a radical relativism under rigorous restraints". We can understand this claim as the expression of an attitude towards what we usually call 'the world': conceived here as an untotalizable whole that comprises the multiplicity of worlds and world-versions we make. In other words, Goodmanโ€™s irrealist philosophy can be interpreted as a means to map and describe the structure of exogenous and endogenous transformations that occur in our use of the conceptual schemata, frames of reference, and points of view upon which we depend in order to have experience of things. But this is only achieved once we can devise rigorous and systematic ways of assessment to the symbols and symbol systems โ€“ whether in art, science, perception, and any field of experience constituted through language โ€“ that figure as the very infrastructure of the worlds we make, inherit and inhabit.

In our meetings we will therefore investigate, following Goodman, the intrinsic and constitutive relations between perception, cognition and recognition, and the dynamics established by the coexistent multiplicity of worlds, as well as its central symbolic character.More...

โ— Artist Presentation/Performance Series and Panels:

Link to join Webinar

October 2nd | 9am - 4pm PST

๐Ž๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐š๐ข๐ฃ๐š ๐‡๐š๐ค๐š๐ฅ๐š: Ants โ€“ more than human languages

๐Œ๐š๐ ๐๐š ๐•๐ข๐œ๐ข๐ง๐ข: The time fragmentation/unification/relativization

๐Œ๐š๐Ÿ๐ž ๐ˆ๐ณ๐š๐ ๐ฎ๐ข๐ซ๐ซ๐ž: Hybrid Spiritual Systems: Self-Hacking and Cognitive Alteration.

๐€๐ง๐š ๐‘๐ฎ๐ข๐ณ ๐•๐š๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ข๐š: Sounding the continuum

๐ƒ. ๐๐ซ๐ข๐ฒ๐š๐ง๐ค๐š: Book of Lainika @blue print of reality

๐‘๐จ๐๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐จ ๐†๐ฎ๐ญ๐ขรฉ๐ซ๐ซ๐ž๐ณ: Agents of Multisensory Experience

๐๐š๐ข๐ ๐ž ๐„๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ: Ritual for the Fluidity of Endurance

๐’๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐ซ๐ญ๐ก๐จ ๐‘๐จ๐ฒ: The Creator in the Creation: Fractured Selves in a Liminal Space, Seen Through a Meta-textual Lens of World-building

๐๐ฎ๐ค๐ž๐ญ ๐˜๐ž๐ง๐ข๐๐จ๐ ๐š๐ง: Experience as Post-Dualistic World-ing

๐’๐ฆ๐ข๐ง ๐€๐ณ๐š๐ซ๐๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ: Composer and the World

๐‡๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐จ: Sanctum Cyborgia

๐“๐ข๐ง๐ฒ ๐ƒ๐จ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐จ๐ฌ: Hybrid Togetherness: Reconnecting With the Living and the Mineral

๐“๐š๐ซ๐š ๐Œ๐ฎ๐ค๐ฎ๐ง๐: -

October 9th -- 10 am PST

๐๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐–๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐๐ข๐ง๐ 

In the first series of workshops Francesca Ferrando discussed with us, 'The Art of Posthuman Existence', consisting of "The Composite Landscape of the Posthuman", "From the Anthropocene to Human Enhancement", and "Posthuman Healing".

In the upcoming workshop, She is looking into Posthumanism and Worldbuilding.

Francesca will also open up a dialogue around topics such as:

- ethical food

- climate change-aware ways of living

- self-sustainability

- post-consumerism

The workshop participants are welcome to write a short response to these topics.

Symposium and Workshop: Posthumanism and Worldbuilding:

More Details about the program and workshops

The idea of Posthumanism and Worldbuilding has at least three facets:

  1. Renegotiation of our positions with regard to future intelligence, and looking at the critical and ethical concerns of posthumanism and methods of world building.

  2. The ability to make a different world than the one that has already been given to us, and in which we already live.

  3. An understanding of the posthuman location and its function in the context of a broader environment, or world.

Here we are starting with a forensic approach to our world-building: How should we build this world? This is ultimately predicated on the kind of detective work we do in regards to the fabric that surrounds us within the context--it might be scientific, political, or it might be social, etc. But here, for us, the context is simply our world. How can we talk about the world coherently without relapsing back onto the Anthropocentric image?

Here we need models--computational models, mathematical models, etc. However, when we get into scientific theorization we notice that things get messier as we move forward. As we explicate our concepts, we are refining the ways in which we distinguish an aspect of reality. We move toward more fine-grain snapshots of reality, but not only do they get more refined, they actually change their shape.

Our notions by which we organize our perception of reality can also be changed--space and time, forms of intuitions. We can no longer see space and time as psychological, rather we see them in the physical sense, in the history of science or ..., So this project is a kind of reframing of a narrative of what enlightenment is about.

We are starting by looking into the world. How can we do it? Looking into the world is not by any means an easy task.

In the workshop we can go through a series of studies, combined with some writings--optional--but at the same time, this can be in conjunction with the presentation and further development of your personal project, through the lens of world-building.


Nelson Goodman: Ways of Worldmaking

Reza Negarestani: Future of Intelligence in the Age of Intellectual Scarcity

Programmer and Organizer:

Sepideh Majidi


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