Lecture: New Materialism

Out of the Ruins

In my presentation I invite people to rethink some fundamental assumptions about reason and progress in the context of living and dying together on a damaged planet. I will introduce the emerging philosophy of New Materialism and the concept of situated knowledges. For example, amidst the buzz about a 'green tech revolution', smart cities and the pursuit of sustainability, we must keep asking the question, 'what is to be sustained and for whom'?

The popular narrative of salvation through technological innovation is comfortable because it doesn't confront the institutionalized inequalities, abuses, and violence endemic to modernity’s strategic relations of power and production. The dominant discourse assimilates the values and goals of sustainability with the mainstream economic paradigm of growth, and relies on technoscientific innovation to achieve these goals. Advocates for framing sustainability as a problem which can be described, confronted and resolved with technology and innovation argue that there is a need for a steady growth in consumption which can only be sustained by the drive of innovation. A key tenet of neoliberal economic theory is the push to privitize everything. The commons represent an increasingly contested site. It is our task to prevent the capture of the commons by private advantage both in material and digital spaces and corridors.


Day: 2017-11-04
Start time: 16:00
Duration: 00:45
Room: Smalltalk
Track: Changing society: Redefining social structures for resilience.
Language: en



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