Armen Avanessian

Armen Avanessian is an Austrian philosopher, literary theorist, and political theorist.

  • Logistics

    Logistics

    Critical Theory of Flows and Cosmography

    Armen Avanessian, Werner Boschmann, and Karen Sarkisov

    An introductory primer to the field of logistics.

    In a globalized economy, new strategies, architectures, and technologies organizing flows of resources, goods, persons, and services have been developed, resulting in the development of a new market logic and even a new science. Logistics hasn't just altered our infrastructure and our landscapes, but also standardized labour laws and politics all over the globe. It has grown obvious that the word "logistics" covers more than the mere articulation of production and consumption. This is why it has become more urgent than ever to understand the history and logic that has driven this new force that has so deeply impacted our daily lives and reshaped our planet. How do the concepts of space, movement, agency, governance, and calculation shift in this regard? Presenting new insights and key classic views on the genealogy, theory, and critique of logistics, this volume explores alternative narratives in the historiography of infrastructure and globalization--and even mankind itself in the era of the Anthropocene.

    Edited in dialogue with Laurent de Sutter

    Copublished with the V-A-C Foundation

    Contributors

    Peter Klaus/Stefanie Müller, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Chermaine Chua, Jesse LeCavalier, Deborah Cowen, Keller Easterling, Vladimir Prebilic

    • Paperback $19.95
  • Climate Engineering

    Climate Engineering

    Armen Avanessian, Werner Boschmann, and Karen Sarkisov

    An examination of schemes for large-scale interventions in Earth's natural systems—oceans, soils and atmosphere—to reduce the adverse effects of climate change.

    Geoengineering refers to large-scale schemes for intervention in Earth's natural systems—oceans, soils, and atmosphere—in an attempt to reduce the adverse effects of climate change, be it through solar radiation management, carbon dioxide removal or otherwise. Some critics consider this approach problematic as it is oriented towards technological solutions for global heating without reconsidering dominant economic and political structures, mitigation and restoration being understood merely in terms of such innovative fixes as injecting aerosols into the stratosphere. Its advocates argue that there actually is a way to build “a good Anthropocene,” one that would allow for a socially and ecologically desirable future. In this case human action fulfills the role of Plato's proverbial pharmakon—both the poison and the cure.

    Edited in dialogue with Holly Buck

    Copublished with the V-A-C Foundation

    Contributors

    Kate Dooley, Sabine Fuss, Peter Irvine, Kate Dooley, William H. Kellogg, Bruno Latour, Timothy Lenton, James Meadowcroft, Stephen H. Schneider, Naomi Vaughan

    • Paperback $19.95
  • Microbiome

    Microbiome

    Armen Avanessian, Werner Boschmann, Karen Sarkisov, and Klaus Spiess

    The microbiome and the coming micro-biopolitics.

    Over the past two decades, scientists have discussed a new scientific subject that reevaluates the human condition and requires a completely new scientific methodology—the microbiome. Thousands of different bacteria, fungi, archaea, and viruses form a microbial flora that coexist in our gut, and fulfill important functions in our intestines, mouths, and on our skin. Understanding microbiota alters and challenges our concepts of immunology, metabolism, an the relation between nutrition and mental health, and creates new shapes on pathogenesis. It even shapes our biological definition of living creatures at all levels of life, up to the largest structures created by living organisms.

    Every biological system is governed by bacteria and wherever its diversity is put in danger (for example, poor hygienic practices, the development, production, and administration of antibiotics, etc.) the consequence is an increase in diseases (including diabetes and Alzheimer's). Studying and understanding the microbiome not only sheds new light on the relation between humankind and nature but also underscores the foreign within us. We are facing a new micro-biopolitics.

    Edited in dialogue with Klaus Spiess

    Copublished with the V-A-C Foundation

    Contributors

    Augusto J. Montiel-Castro, Rina Maria González-Cervantes, Gabriela Bravo-Ruiseco, Gustavo Pacheco-López, M. N. Frissen, Scott Gilbert, P. F. de Groot, Nicolien de Clercq and Max Nieuwdorp, Jamie Lorimer, Vitor Cabral, Sway Chen, Krithivasan Sankaranarayanan, Stephanie Schnorr, Nicola Segatta, Ravi Sheth, Alfred I. Tauber, Harris Wang, Cecil Lewis Jr. and Christina Warinner

    • Paperback $19.95
  • Oceanography

    Oceanography

    Marine Monitoring, Microbiology, and Materiality

    Armen Avanessian, Werner Boschmann, and Karen Sarkisov

    New approaches to the ocean enabled by the new field of (microbial) oceanography.

    In recent years, a new field of scientific research has been put forward, the so-called (microbial) oceanography, which offers a new mapping of the ocean from its shiny surfaces to lightless sea floors. Oceanography combines techniques of molecular biology, gene sequencing, bioinformatics, and remote sensing, among others. Oceans are a crucial factor in global climate and necessary condition for human survival on earth, and findings from oceanography can help people better understand life (and survival) in the Anthropocene.

    Not only are all life forms of marine origin, but the oceans also host extremophiles—that is, microbial life forms living under extreme conditions of heat, cold, lack of light—which are integral to understanding what possible alternative life forms might look like. It may be that such mainly anthropogenic forces as overfishing, pollution, deep-sea mining, and acidification suggest that a new concept of the ocean—Anthropocean—needs to be discussed. New approaches in cultural studies as well as in the history of sciences are shifting our vision of the ocean, considering the previous realm of immeasurable broad and depth as a fundamental contrast to a human history and culture in order to rewrite it.

    Edited in dialogue with Stefan Helmreich

    Copublished with the V-A-C Foundation

    • Paperback $19.95
  • Perhaps It Is High Time for a Xeno-Architecture to Match

    Perhaps It Is High Time for a Xeno-Architecture to Match

    Armen Avanessian, Lietje Bauwens, Wouter De Raeve, Alice Haddad, and Markus Miessen

    A conversation that seeks to apply the prefix "Xeno-" in philosophical discourse to the discourse of architecture.

    “Xeno” speaks to the turn away from “what is” toward “what could be”: the (as yet) unknown, the alien—having been employed in recent years through such speculative-political approaches as xenofeminism and xenopoetics. Perhaps It Is Time for a Xeno-architecture to Match documents a conversation series from January to March 2017 that explored what an intervention of the xeno might bring to bear on contemporary and future (infra)structure.

    This book aims to unpack the prefix, probing what it entails—not merely rhetorically but also as a means of practice, in an attempt to bring the ideas it contains more concretely into the domain of architecture. It proposes to link the more philosophical discussions on the notion of xeno with questions of instrumentalization and governance that are necessarily involved in the praxis of architecture. And it relates the significance of legal architecture and technologically driven transformation in the metaphysics of law back to the agenda of xeno-architecture. By researching how architects, artists, thinkers, and activists operating in the spatial field might endorse a process of “alienation” to confront global issues, this project attempts to re-radicalize spatial practice.

    Contributors Armen Avanessian, Benjamin H. Bratton, Kathleen Ditzig, Daniel Falb, Anke Henning, Victoria Ivanova, Markus Miessen, Luciana Parisi, Patricia Reed

    • Paperback $19.95
  • Miamification

    Miamification

    Armen Avanessian

    Strange how many déjà vus you have here.

    How might we conceive of comradeship with a present that is increasingly predetermined by algorithms and governed by techno-politics? Armen Avanessian chronicles his stay in Miami as an experiment in writing about our times of individual optimization and digitization. An inventory of the self in the second person—and a philosopher's reflections in the infinity pool of the art world—this book reckons with a new time complex as well as the aesthetics and infrastructures of the contemporary. Can we advance from conditions of financial feudalism and climate change to a progressive poetics of the digital? The city of tropical noir becomes a case study for a geopolitics and economics of the future—Miami vision, Miami vacation, Miami fiction, Miamification.

    • Paperback $25.00
  • Overwrite

    Overwrite

    Ethics of Knowledge—Poetics of Existence

    Armen Avanessian

    Since the early 1800s, the institution of the university has promoted creativity, critical thinking, and independent research. The more it has yielded to the pressures of the economy, however, the more it has betrayed its ideals. This, in short, is the common critique of the plight of the academy. But the inverse might be true: the depression, feelings of insufficiency, and permanent pressure to innovate experienced by academics might be symptoms of these original ideals, which, along with artistic production and the regime of aesthetics, has shaped the spirit of neoliberal capitalism.

    Philosopher and political theorist Armen Avanessian argues that the ethical dimension of knowledge can produce a new reality. Can the speculative poetics of collaborative writing, he asks, free us from the dominant regime of the academy and, by extension, the art world? And how does this independence differ from the principle of self-fulfillment on which the ideal of the university and current conceptions of artistic research are based?

    Overwrite: Ethics of Knowledge—Poetics of Existence is about the desire to write differently to situate oneself in the world differently. It is a book about the truth that is produced when a subject takes responsibility for its thinking, its experiences, its conflicts; when a subject rewrites and overwrites itself to become an other, and transforms the world in the process.

    • Paperback $24.95
  • #Accelerate

    #Accelerate

    The Accelerationist Reader

    Robin Mackay and Armen Avanessian

    An apparently contradictory yet radically urgent collection of texts tracing the genealogy of a controversial current in contemporary philosophy.

    Accelerationism is the name of a contemporary political heresy: the insistence that the only radical political response to capitalism is not to protest, disrupt, critique, or détourne it, but to accelerate and exacerbate its uprooting, alienating, decoding, abstractive tendencies.

    #Accelerate presents a genealogy of accelerationism, tracking the impulse through 90s UK darkside cyberculture and the theory-fictions of Nick Land, Sadie Plant, Iain Grant, and CCRU, across the cultural underground of the 80s (rave, acid house, SF cinema) and back to its sources in delirious post-68 ferment, in texts whose searing nihilistic jouissance would later be disavowed by their authors and the marxist and academic establishment alike.

    On either side of this central sequence, the book includes texts by Marx that call attention to his own “Prometheanism,” and key works from recent years document the recent extraordinary emergence of new accelerationisms steeled against the onslaughts of neoliberal capitalist realism, and retooled for the twenty-first century.

    At the forefront of the energetic contemporary debate around this disputed, problematic term, #Accelerate activates a historical conversation about futurality, technology, politics, enjoyment, and capital. This is a legacy shot through with contradictions, yet urgently galvanized today by the poverty of “reasonable” contemporary political alternatives.

    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00
  • Aesthetics and Contemporary Art

    Aesthetics and Contemporary Art

    Armen Avanessian and Luke Skrebowski

    Torn between a revival of aesthetics and the persistence of conceptualism, critical writing about contemporary art has once again come to focus on differing views of its aesthetic dimension. The context and character of these debates has, however, shifted markedly since the 1960s, with changes in art practices, institutions, political contexts, and theoretical paradigms—and in particular, with the global extension of the Western art world since 1989. This inter- and transdisciplinary collection of essays by philosophers, artists, critics, and art historians, reconsiders the place of the aesthetic in contemporary art, with reference to four main themes: aesthetics as “sensate thinking”; the dissolution of artistic limits; post-autonomous practices; and exhibition-values in a global artworld.

    The essays originate in talks given on the occasion of an international conference on “Aesthetics and Contemporary Art” (2008), organized by the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP), Middlesex University, London, in cooperation with the Collaborative Research Centre “Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits” (SfB 626), Free University Berlin.

    Contributors Éric Alliez, Armen Avanessian, Art & Language, Luis Camnitzer, Sebastian Egenhofer, Dorothea von Hantelmann, Brian Holmes, Pamela M. Lee, Stewart Martin, Christoph Menke, Peter Osborne, John Rajchman, Juliane Rebentisch

    • Paperback $26.00

Contributor

  • The Wild Book of Inventions

    The Wild Book of Inventions

    Chus Martínez

    In essays, poems, sketches, and photographs, twenty authors challenge the exclusive human claim to intelligence.

    Can contemporary art's practitioners change the way we perceive nature? Employing a variety of forms including speculative essays, poems, pencil sketches, and photo essays, in The Wild Book of Inventions twenty authors challenge the exclusive human claim to intelligence by pointing to, or inventing, new forms of coexistence for all life-forms. Far more complex than the necessary and continuous exercise of critique, these contributions introduce new ways to experience culture.

    Contributors

    Nabil Ahmed, Armen Avanessian, Hannah Black, Kristina Buch, Tyler Coburn, Ann Cotten, Paul Feigelfeld, Fernando García-Dory, Kenneth Goldsmith, Anke Hennig, Ingela Ihrman, Tiphanie Kim Mall, Chus Martínez, Momus, Ingo Niermann, Trevor Paglen, Filipa Ramos, Lin May Saeed, Emily Segal, Johannes Willi

    • Paperback $25.95