Fictional Worlds/Possible Futures: PhiloFiction at DMS Dec 1, 7pm

Nov 20th 2015



Hosted by The Department of Media Study, SUNY at Buffalo with The New Centre for Research & Practice

This two-part event explores fictional worlds and possible futures with François Laruelle’s philo-fiction as a method of practice and theory.

Part I: Talk & Discussion by Ben Woodard & Tony Yanick (New Centre for Research and Practice). Dec 1st, 7PM @ SUNY Buffalo, Department of Media Study, Room: CFA 112 (with Livestream/ Digital Participation hosted by the New Centre for Research & Practice).

Part II: Philo-Fiction Performance lab by Yvette Granata & Shane Farrell (SUNY Buffalo). Dec 2, 6PM @ Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, (email to sign up as a participant)

TALK: Dec 1, 7pm – Worlds of What Could Have Been: Philo-Fiction as Method, the Archive, and Conceptual Invention‘ 

Ben Woodard & Tony Yanick

“Obviously, one can judge that all philosophy is already strongly but clumsily fictional, a shameful fiction. We try to draw a radical fiction from this object as a function of certain of its properties” – Francois Laruelle, Non-Standard Philosophy: Generic, Quantum, Philo-Fiction

“… there is no fiction more original — in terms of schizophrenia, collectivity of writers, movements of different plots, composition. rich inauthenticity and jargons — than the Earth itself, the Earth composed of dust particles and fluxes.“ – Reza Negarestani, Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials

“… the past is still very much in the present: the present is the merely the past which has survived the algorithms natural selection. Whilst the tree-story ascends in complexity, the ancient horizontal base is here and now. The hyperstitional ‘call to the old ones’ is surely an attempt to establish a communicative link with this base, or to rehijack the immense cunning and plasticity of the base …As far as I see it, hyperstition is obsessed with the impact of virtual futures on the psycho-techno-capitalist infrastructure of the present, whether those futures take the shape of utopian goals or nightmarish catastrophes … History is crucial because it is littered with the wreckage of failed hyperstitional projects (e.g. communism), and because any success or ‘fitness’ in the present emerged from the projection of goals in the past – tracking these projections is essential for understanding where the process could be going.” — Nick Land, Hyperstition Laboratory


Do philosophers just make shit up? Philosophy has always flirted with fictional terrains, possible worlds, utopias, metaphysical entities, and the like, but it has always raised itself above the fabric of the fictional in the last instance. Since Reza Negarestani’s theory-fictional Cyclonopedia, and the subsequent exhumation of the fictional/hyperstitional entities of the C.C.R.U., fiction has fought against the fangs of its parasite philosophy. In a different way, Francois Laruelle has claimed that philosophy overly distances itself from the material it claims to understand. Laruelle’s philo-fiction, rather than abandoning the fictional, recasts it as hyperspeculation. This self-referencing or looping method constructs a radical fiction according to its material, rather than of its material.

In addressing the role of fiction and philosophy, and following two semesters of coursework on hyperstition and science-fiction, this talk will examine the question of ‘what could have been?’ across a spectrum of conceptual worlds: hauntological (Marxism never lived but is now dead), possible (what could be that is as real as the actual), impossible (what could never be logically and materially), and hyperstitional (making fictional entities real).

Our wager is that the radically new cannot escape archives fictional or impossible if invention and creation necessarily follows from the actual. In addressing the more specific question of archives and conceptual invention, we will address how the past is philo-fictionally treated as material across these conceptual worlds, examining how the creation of worlds theoretically and fictionally lend themselves to the interconnection of ethics, politics, and time (eg. how the past is reactivated or not).

PHILO-FICTION PERFORMANCE LAB: Dec 2, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center
Yvette Granata (Dept of Media Study, SUNY) & Shane Farrell (Dept of Art, SUNY)

In this philo-fiction lab, we will introduce a framework for the practice of possible worlds through the collective creation of crypto-personas and invite participants to perform radical fictions with us. While non-philosophy is a practice that uses philosophy as a material, and becomes thought-in-action, in this workshop our material will be the found strangeness of cryptopersonas of the deeb web. We will operationalize non-philosophy’s method as a collective art practice of crypto-persona proliferation. After an introduction to our collection of cryptopersona material, we will collectively identify elements that will become our material for the exploration of the cryptopersona through public thinking/movement. Our aim is to perform a collective radical strangeness as a way of exploring political and conceptual possibles.