Wednesday, 30 June
The Revenge of the Real: Politics for a Post-Pandemic World - Benjamin Bratton in conversation with Nick Srnicek [online event]
Even when separated, we are still enmeshed. Can the world govern itself differently?
COVID-19 exposed the pre-existing conditions of the current global crisis. Many Western states failed to protect their populations, while others were able to suppress the virus only with sweeping social restrictions. In contrast, many Asian countries were able to make much more precise interventions. Everywhere, lockdown transformed everyday life, introducing an epidemiological view of society based on sensing, modeling, and filtering. What lessons are to be learned?
The Revenge of the Real envisions a new positive biopolitics that recognizes that governance is literally a matter of life and death. We are grappling with multiple interconnected dilemmas—climate change, pandemics, the tensions between the individual and society—all of which have to be addressed on a planetary scale.
Bratton argues that instead of thinking of biotechnologies as something imposed on society, we must see them as essential to a politics of infrastructure, knowledge, and direct intervention. In this way, we can build a society based on a new rationality of inclusion, care, and prevention.
Benjamin Bratton is Professor of Visual Arts the University of California, San Diego. He is Program Director of The Terraforming think-tank at Strelka Institute of Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow. He is the author of several books, including The Stack, which develops a comprehensive political philosophy of planetary-scale computation. See bratton.info.
Nick Srnicek is a Lecturer in Digital Economy at King’s College London. He is the author of Platform Capitalism (Polity, 2016), Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work (Verso, 2015 with Alex Williams). With Helen Hester, he is currently writing After Work: The Fight for Free Time (Verso, 2022).
HOW TO ACCESS THIS ONLINE EVENT
An invitation to this online event will be emailed to you on the day of the event. We will use the email address used to register for this event. Confirmation emails and invitation links sometimes end up in spam folders, so please check there before emailing the shop. Thank you.
There are three available tickets for this event: if you’d like a copy of the book then choose the book plus entry ticket. If you’d like to support Housmans then please consider buying a solidarity ticket at £3. There’s also a free access ticket for students, low income and unwaged comrades.
Book plus event entry £11.99