Keith Woodward has organized two panels on Speculative Realism, Object-Oriented Ontology and Geography at this years meeting of the Association for American Geographies (AAG) in Seattle (April 12 – 16). I’m presenting the following paper:
Tangled Geographies: Object-Oriented Ontology and Topological Space-Times
Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO) argues that being, at its most fundamental level, is composed of discrete objects or units, whether these units be natural or cultural. Insofar as substances, whether cultural or natural, constitute the ground of being, it follows that they cannot be contained in a more fundamental milieu such as space or time. Rather, OOO, following Bruno Latour, argues for a conception of space and time arising from and out of objects. In light of this ontological constraint, this paper develops a topological account of space-time based on real relations between substances. Because space-time cannot be thought as a container of substances, relations such as proximity in common sense space and time cannot be treated as establishing genuine space-time relations. For example, while the person in the office next to me might be very close in ordinary space, it does not follow that they are closer to me in space-time than Graham Harman in Cairo, Egypt. This conception of topological space-time leads to a rethinking of cartography and geography that maps real material space-time relations are forged at a variety of interacting scales despite apparent spatio-temporal distances in apparent metric space.
I’m looking forward to this tremendously.
On December 1st I’ll be presenting a paper entitled Ontotheology and Withdrawal: Sexuation and the New Metaphysics, at the Hello Everything: Speculative Realism and Object-Oriented Ontology symposium hosted by UCLA’s Program in Experimental Critical Theory.
From there, I turn around and head off to Claremont Graduate School to present at the Metaphysics & Things: New Forms of Speculative Thought symposium (December 2 – 4), where I’ll be giving a talk entitled The Time of the Object: Towards the Ontological Grounds of Withdrawal. This paper attempts to make a case for withdrawal drawing on Derrida’s account of differance, the trace, and iterability. With any luck it should also come out in article form in the next issue of Speculations
In other news, Joe Hughes, Jeff Bell and I are beginning to draw up a plan for a book on political philosophy and ontology that would attempt to square the circle by simultaneously thinking the role of context (social fields, texts, culture, economics, technology, “nature”, language, biology, etc.) and how self-directing agencies or subject-groups are possible. This won’t happen for about three years, but we’re at least beginning to formulate the issue. Think of something along the lines of Negri & Hardt, Marx, Latour, McLuhan, Deleuze, DeLanda, Spinoza, etc., meet Badiou, Zizek, Kant (of the Second Critique), and later Sartre.