This year we will continue our interdisciplinary investigation into the life of things by interrogating transformations in materiality, non-representationalism (Thrift), and computation spurred by the emergence of so-called “big data.” Speculative realist philosophy has strenuously insisted on recasting the critical gaze away from the human and towards the object. Central to this move is the question of what “the object” is. Data production and circulation have become constant, and decisional capacity is increasingly held by parametric and algorhythmic measures that sift “information” at densities and speeds that are humanly inconceivable. The thingness of the object therefore disperses into metrics of measurement which have become increasingly materialized and “object-like.” The emerging reality by turns appears spectral (Thacker), cataclysmic (Morton), and infinitely complex (Parisi).

Participants