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 narratives had become historical artifacts. And yet, mythology has not disappeared. It has only changed its appearance, becoming one of the most important cultural forms of the 20th century. As stated by Ernst Cassirer in The Technique of Modern Political Myths, 1946, the modern myth is created through the intertwinement of traditional mythological elements with technology and government authority. Modernity has formed a new cosmogony, in which our everyday lives exist.
The NEW NOW program will commence with a discussion on what contemporary mythmaking is and whether mythological thinking can resist the disintegration of reality on a global scale and on the level of day-to-day actions. How can radical mythology help us adapt to climate change, decrease inequality, and promote a feminist agenda? And what cultural “traces” will we leave behind for the generations to come?
The discussion will be held online. Meeting will be in English with simultaneous interpretation into Russian. You can find more information on the speakers and register to participate in the discussion here.
Federico Campagna is an Italian philosopher based in London. His most recent books are Prophetic Culture (Bloomsbury, 2021), Technic and Magic: The Reconstruction of Reality (Bloomsbury, 2018), and The Last Night (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. He has contributed extensively to journals and anthologies and lectured at numerous international universities and institutes. His current philosophical project is focused on rationalist universalism beginning with the evolution of the modern system of knowledge and advancing toward contemporary philosophies of rationalism, their procedures as well as their demands for special forms of human conduct. He is the author of Cyclonopedia (re.press, 2008).
Event moderated by Alexander Vileykis, philosopher, social science researcher, employee of Tyumen State University, guest expert at Synopsis.group, curator of the "Education" panel of the All-Russian Civic Forum.