Spring 2021 Events

Session 1 - Art and the Scientific Image: the Clash and Confluence of Natural and Mathematical Languages Friday, April 23, 2021  |  10 am–1 pm PST  Panelists: Bassam El Baroni, Fernando Zalamea, & Luciana Parisi Moderator: Martin E....

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This presentation explores the development of modal concepts and vocabularies throughout the history of philosophy. Specifically, I trace the way in which the distinction between different kinds of modal determinations and discourse becomes central to the problem of how thinking represents a...

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Previously, Rosenberg has described how jazz musicians (1945-60) learned to exploit cognitive bifurcations in melody, harmony, harmonic rhythm and percussive rhythm, which proved central to Be Bop's accelerating improvisational and compositional complexity. These bifurcations...

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Fall 2020 Event Series

Reading Seminar: Danielle Macbeth’s 'Writing Reason'

Thursday, Oct. 1 – 4-6:30pm

Please read the text before coming to the seminar: Danielle Macbeth, 'Writing Reason,' Logique & Analyse 221 (2013), 25-44.

Invited Speaker: Danielle Macbeth - Seminar on Estrangements and Constructions: Adventures of Language and Reality

Thursday, Oct. 29 - 4-6:30pm

What role do different languages and different disciplines play in this adventure? Do our models of this world in which we live, author and struggle to know, permit us to invent, transform and even revolutionize the world as we (don’t) know it?

At this historical juncture, powerful forces – from big data capitalism and climate change to the disorienting rootlessness of contemporary politics – can seem to overwhelm us. This estrangement has challenged us to think about the roles of the human and the world again... and again, calling us to redefine how we perceive the world and live in it together.

Our explanations, stories, poems, images and discussions about the ‘yet to be known’, ‘the future’, ‘what is possible’, and even ‘the limits of the thinkable’ have been pivotal to the imagining of ‘other worlds’ across artistic, mathematical, scientific, political and philosophical work. Our focus in this panel is not on far off fantasies but is directed at and located within the very systems we have invented and maintain, dealing with the relations between the actual, the possible and the impossible.

Danielle Macbeth is T. Wistar Brown Professor of Philosophy at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, USA. She is the author of Frege’s Logic (Harvard UP, 2005) and Realizing Reason: A Narrative of Truth and Knowing (Oxford UP, 2014), as well as many essays in the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, and the history and philosophy of mathematics. She was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto in 2002 – 3, and has been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Burkhardt Fellowship and a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). 

Reading Seminar: Artefactual Perspectives on Logic and Thought

Thursday, Dec. 10 – 4-6:30 pm

Please read the text before coming to the seminar: “On the Relations between Bodies and Deductive Thinking: An Artefactual Perspective,” Christine Wertheim, in Construction Sites for Possible Worlds, Urbanomic Media, 2020.  

Can structures of thought, specifically the structures of deductive logic, be related to the movement of bodies in space?  The reading explores this question, looking at logic and thought from perspectives articulated in the 19th century, largely forgotten in the 20th, and finally being resurrected in the 21st, where notions of embodiment, and its consequences for formalization are being reassessed.

Spring 2020 Event Series

Reading and Discussion by Joshua Johnson and Keith Tilford

Thursday, March 5, 4:30 pm. Artists and theorists Joshua Johnson and Keith Tilford lead a group discussion around two texts, “Habermas and Lyotard on Post-Modernity” and “Peirce’s “Diagrammatic Reasoning as a Solution of the Learning Paradox.” This meeting furthers our investigation of the tools required to produce new possibilities of thought and action capable of altering reality, and reformatting the structure of the human itself.


Joshua Johnson is an artist and writer whose work has been shown widely, including at Cuchifritos Gallery, Project Space, and Outlet Gallery. He has contributed writings to Cold World, Cold War (Urbanomic, 2017) and The Third Rail, and he edited Dark Trajectories: Politics of the Outside ([NAME] Publications, 2013), a compilation of recent philosophy.

Keith Tilford is an artist and theorist whose current projects focus on the intersection of comics and artistic modernism in relation to diagrammatics, worldbuilding, abstraction, and technics. He is co-creator with Reza Negarestani of the graphic novel Chronosis (Urbanomic, 2020), and recently contributed drawings to Eugene Thacker's Cosmic Pessimism (Univocal, 2015).

Fall 2019 Event Series

Reading Discussion on Radical Otherness and the Construction of Worlds

Thursday, Nov. 21, 5 pm. The session will be led by philosopher Anna Longo and cultural theorist Inigo Wilkins, who will introduce the readings and begin our discussion. The meeting initiates our new themes of Radical Otherness and Possible Worlds, which asks how theories of radical otherness can intensify advanced modes of traction on reality, both temporal and spatial. Can ideas of different worlds reveal themselves as possibilities of emergence, and of the future in our world? Do we need history, maps, a beginning… or do we need to suspend history altogether for the sake of a future, or other world?

Spring 2019 Event Series

Reading Seminar on Modality, Normativity Intentionality by Robert Brandom, 2001

Thursday, March 14

The session will be lead by Daniel Sacilotto, who will introduce the essay and begin our discussion. This meeting is in part designed to further our investigation of Language and Its Possible Worlds, and as a prelude to both Brandom's new book A Spirit of Trust.

Download the text.

Daniel Sacilotto is a philosopher and an instructor in the CULB Comparative Literature program. His research focuses on the reconciliation of rationalism with materialism, and the pursuit of revisionary naturalism in the work of Wilfrid Sellars, Alain Badiou, Lorenz Puntel, Jay Rosenberg, and Ray Brassier. He is currently preparing a monograph in which he develops a functionalist theory of cognition and realist theory of knowledge, chiefly inspired by the works of Wilfrid Sellars. His essays include: Puncturing the Circle of Correlation (2017); A Thought Disincarnate: What Does it Mean to Think? (2018); & Realism and Representation: On the Ontological Turn (2012).

Fall 2018 Event Series

Language and its Possible Worlds

Chair: James Wiltgen
Speakers: Amanda Beech, Anna Longo, Daniel Sacilotto, Inigo Wilkins

Thursday, Nov. 8, 4:30 pm
Open to the Institute

This panel discussion brings together four speakers from the fields of philosophy, aesthetics, music and art to discuss some of the mechanisms by which possible worlds could be imagined, constructed and instantiated.

Given the highly coercive and heavily surveilled dynamics of the present moment, the question of construction, what we construct and its orientation to our future is ever present, and perhaps ever more urgent. More Information

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Elaborating a Computationalist Account of Normative-Linguistic Reason

Reading by Inigo Wilkins

Thursday, Nov. 1, 4:15 pm

Inigo Wilkins took his masters in Sonic Culture at the University of East London, and completed his doctorate in Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths in 2016. The title of his thesis was ‘Irreversible Noise', which is the basis for a forthcoming publication by Urbanomic. He is co-director of the online arts journal and research platform Glass Bead (http://glass-bead.org/).

The History of Philosophy as a Philosophical Problem

Written by Martial Gueroult
Reading by Anna Longo

Thursday, Oct. 18th

Longo has a Ph.D. in aesthetics from Université Paris 1, where she has been teaching and researching. She is currently working on Deleuze's mathematical differential ontogenesis and Fichte's aesthetics, and is currently editing two books: Retour de l'objet, retour de l'ontologie? (2019), Le paradoxe de la finitude (2019). She has also edited the volumes: La genèse du transcendantal (2017), Breaking the Spell: Speculative realism under discussion (2015), Time without Becoming (2014), and Il Divenire della Conoscenza (2013).

Allography and the Strange Agency of the Objectile

Speaker: Matthew Poole
Respondent: Jeremy Lecomte

Thursday, Sept. 27

Poole is a professor at California State University San Bernardino, where he is also Chair of the Department of Art. His work includes curating exhibitions, producing and collaborating with artists on projects, as well as writing on contemporary art, museology, and digital design. More on his recent work can be found at www.kynastonmcshine.org.uk

Lecomte is a researcher and theoretician working between political philosophy, art, architecture and urban studies. This fall, 2018, he has been invited to lecture at SCI-arc, Los Angeles. He is the co-founder and co-director of Glass Bead, an art journal and research platform dedicated to the relations between art and other domains of thought, and to their political ramifications: (http://glass-bead.org/).