Inclinations #20: Post-Natural Politics

October 3, 2015

Or Gallery Berlin is pleased to present Post-Natural Politics, with guests Helen Hester, Matteo Pasquinelli, Rory Rowan & Nick Srnicek for our lecture series Inclinations, hosted by Patricia Reed.


This 20th session brings together four thinkers whose work addresses (post-catastrophic) horizons of futurity conditioned by geo-social complexity. Weaving together an array of issues, ranging from labour, sex and macro-economics; to affective will, machinic intelligence and planetary geography – the aim is to plot continuums across these disciplines, and how they may be leveraged towards better modes of collective life. How can a politics commensurate with our post-natural situation be articulated that avows scalar complexity, without falling into (hubristic) ‘futurist’ traps of historical amnesia? What role does modeling play, in both cognitive and pragmatic senses, in our ability to conceptualize future(s) (beyond extinction), and how does art operate in the co-formation of these new perspectives?


The framework for the session was largely inspired by the text Extinction as Usual?: Geo-Social Futures and Left Optimism (2015) by Rory Rowan.

The event will begin with presentations from each participant, followed by a group discussion.

A monthly speaker series at Or Gallery Berlin, hosting philosophers, artists, curators, and…


The presentation of work revolves around the posing of a question that is the thrust of a guest’s activities. It goes without saying that questions may not be answered, but are grappled with in their unresolvability. An inclination is the force of attraction to a question (without a straightforward response), yet also to each other, as a community who partakes in a common quest(ion).
Hosted by Patricia Reed.


# Arriving at a question is already a departure.
# Questions are a declaration of departure.
# Arriving at a question in thought or activity is also the creation of a trajectory, of inclining oneself towards an unknown goal, yet not without direction.
# A question inclines a departure in a particular way, but a question itself is generic – it propels all modes of seeking some thing. Questions possess the force of bending and swerving ideas/action.
# A question is the confrontation and departure from a lack. To arrive at a question is to arrive at a gap in knowledge, action and speech – a gap that cannot be immediately filled in without the inclination towards something other.
# A question is indisciplinary; the inclining magnetism of a question knows no disciplinary bounds.


In Kooperation mit der Botschaft von Kanada/In collaboration with the Embassy of Canada.

Participant Bios

Helen Hester is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of West London. Her research interests include technofeminism, sexuality studies, and theories of social reproduction, and she is a member of the international feminist collective Laboria Cuboniks. She is the author of _Beyond Explicit: Pornography and the Displacement of Sex (SUNY Press, 2014) and the co-editor of the collections Fat Sex: New Directions in Theory and Activism (Ashgate, 2015) and Dea ex Machina (Merve, 2015). She is also the editor of Ashgate’s Sexualities in Society book series.

After Work: What’s Left and Who Cares?

Matteo Pasquinelli is a philosopher and visiting Assistant Professor in Media Studies at Pratt Institute, New York. He wrote the book Animal Spirits: A Bestiary of the Commons (2008) and edited the anthologies Gli algoritmi del capitale (2014) and Alleys of Your Mind: Augmented Intelligence and its Traumas (forthcoming 2015) among others. He lectures frequently at the intersection of political philosophy, media theory and cognitive sciences in universities and art institutions.

Rory Rowan is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Zurich’s Political Geography Research Unit, where his current research focuses on the geopolitical and philosophical dimensions of the Anthropocene and earth systems governance. His work crosses the fields of geography, political theory, philosophy and the environmental humanities. He is co-author with Claudio Minca of On Schmitt and Space and has contributed writing on politics, philosophy, art and cultural criticism to a number of publications including e-Flux, Mute, Political Geography, Progress in Human Geography and Society & Space. He also works collaboratively with artists and his writing has appeared in exhibitions in London, Milan, New York, Porto and São Paulo as well as part of the online platform Opening Times Art Commission.

How can we think about organizing political movements towards a better future (more just, more free) in light of the Anthropocene, and the non-analogous planetary environmental conditions it indicates, without slipping into the ideological frameworks offered by ‘ecomodernism’ or assuming that human power is unlimited with regard to nature?

Nick Srnicek is the author of Inventing the Future (Verso, 2015 with Alex Williams) and Postcapitalist Technologies (Polity, 2016). He is currently researching the epistemology of economic models, post-work futures, and repertoires of contention in social movements.

How to build a post-work future in the shadow of the Anthropocene?