Accelerating Capitalism, Lecture by Stephen Zepke

Stephen Zepke gives a lecture at V2_ on Accelerationism and its sources: 'Accelerating Capitalism from Then till Now.' The Event is organised by CAP - Center for Art and Philosophy based at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, in collaboration with V2_.

Apr 2015
18:00 to 19:30
location: V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media Eendrachtsstraat 10, 3012 XL, Rotterdam

Stephen Zepke is an independent researcher and philosopher living in Vienna. He is the author of Sublime Art; Towards an Aesthetics of the Future (Edinburgh University Press, 2013) and Art as Abstract Machine; Ontology and Aesthetics in Deleuze and Guattari (Routledge, 2005). The evening is organized by CAP (Centre for Art and Philosophy, an interdisciplinary research platform based at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Erasmus University Rotterdam) in collaboration with V2_ and Leesmagazijn. Zepke will give a lecture on accelerationism: What, if anything, might accelerating Capitalism actually mean?

At this occasion, Frank Keizer of Dutch publisher Leesmagazijn will present their translation of the Accelerationism anthology.


Accelerationism claims Lyotard, Deleuze and Guattari and Camatte as predecessors for its own position regarding Capitalism, but what are we to make of these claims? In the first two cases Accelerationism claims early positions of philosophers whose later work repudiates (in Lyotard's case) or complicates (in Deleuze and Guattari's) their earlier claims, and in the other case seems to fly in the face of Camatte's actual claims. This problematic relationship to predecessors would seem to be symptomatic of Accelerationism's difficulty with capitalism, which it needs to fund the promethean acceleration of technology it sees as liberatory, while at the same time offering a kind of social democratic 'critique' of capitalist processes. What, if anything, might accelerating Capitalism actually mean?

See also www.caponline.org/accelerating-capitalism-then-till-now-accelerationism-and-its-sources

The current 'buzz' around accelerationism is created by Alex Williams's and Srnicek's '#Accelerate: Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics' (2013), online here: criticallegalthinking.com/2013/05/14/accelerate-manifesto-for-an-accelerationist-politics/.

It is fueled also by the publication of Fanged Noumena, a collection of Nick Land's scattered writing from 1987 till 2007: www.urbanomic.com/pub_fangednoumena.php

In 2014 Armen Avanessian edited a large anthology which defines accelerationism as '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.' it is published by Urbanomic and Merve: www.urbanomic.com/pub_accelerate.php

Leesmagazijn has recently published a Dutch translation of pieces from Armen Avanessian's Accelerationism anthology: leesmagazijn.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/acceleratie-armen-avanessian-ed/

And there's a insightful Dutch review by Thomas Decreus at De Reactor: www.dereactor.org/home/detail/de_toekomst_is_aan_ons/

The text of Zepke's talk can be read here.

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