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18 september 2021
Neomythologies and the Disintegration of Reality
"New worlds require new cosmogonies. New cosmogonies, as narrative artefacts, require new mythopoetic creations to emerge. At a time when the old world appears to be dying, and the new one is still struggling to be born, the creation of mythical narratives that might be capable of crossing the boundaries between worlds takes on a crucial importance." (Federico Campagna)

As Max Weber pointed out (Science as a Vocation, 1917), the Industrial Revolution's purpose was to disenchant the world. Mythological thinking was doomed in the reality of steam engines, factories, and looms. Technocratic European rationality seemed to have triumphed — the world had changed, and old-fashioned tales of monsters had become historical artifacts. And yet myth has never gone away. It has only changed its appearance, becoming one of the most important cultural forms of the 20th century. In Ernst Cassirer’s The Technique of Modern Political Myths, 1946, modern myth is a chimera born from the cross-breeding of the traditional elements of myth with technology and the public authorities. Modernity has formed a new cosmogony, inside of which exists our everyday lives.

NEW NOW programme will be launched with a discussion on what is contemporary mythmaking and can mythological thinking resist the disintegration of reality on a global level and on the level of everyday actions? How can radical mythology help us to adapt to global climate change, decrease inequality, and promote a feminist agenda? And what cultural “traces” we will be leaving behind for the generations that come after us?
18.09.2021, 20:00
A conversation between Federico Campagna, Reza Negarestani and Sarah Shin; moderated by Alexander Vileykis
The event is part of the international UK–Russia Creative Bridge programme 2021–2022 supported by the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Moscow
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Federico Campagna
Is a philosopher and writer. He spent over twenty years in Milan, where he was active in the anarchist/autonomist networks and co-founded the street-poetry collective Eveline. In 2007 he moved to London, where he lives. In 2009 he started a long-term collaboration with the Italian Autonomia philosopher Franco Berardi 'Bifo'. In that same year, he co-founded the (now defunct) multilingual platform for critical theory Through Europe.
 His most recent books are Prophetic Culture (London: Bloomsbury, 2021), Technic and Magic: The Reconstruction of Reality (London: Bloomsbury, 2018), and The Last Night (Alresford: Zero Books, 2013). He works as a lecturer in philosophy KABK in The Hague and as rights director at Verso Books.
Sarah Shin
Is a publisher, editor, writer and curator. She is also among the co-founders of Silver Press, a feminist publisher, and Ignota Books, an experimental platform exploring technology, myth-making and magic. She is the founder of New Suns, a curation and storytelling project, which began as a literary festival at the Barbican Centre and includes projects at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and Somerset House Studios in London.
Reza Negarestani
Is a philosopher and writer. Since the early 2000s, he has contributed extensively to journals and anthologies and lectured at numerous international universities and institutes. Negarestani’s writings have been translated into more than twelve languages, including Russian. His latest philosophical work, Intelligence and Spirit (Urbanomic/Sequence Press/MIT, 2018), is an inquiry into the meaning of intelligence at the intersection of artificial intelligence, philosophy of mind, theory of computation, and the philosophy of German Idealism. Negarestani’s most recent project focuses on worldmaking and the question of what it means to inhabit a world as what Wittgenstein would have called a lifeform.
Alexander Vileykis
Event moderated by Alexander Vileykis, philosopher, social science researcher, employee of Tyumen State University, guest expert at, curator of the "Education" panel of the All-Russian Civic Forum.
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