26 November–10 December, 2020


Mathematics is a Generator of Diversity

Three-part seminar

Venue: Online


The world is out of joint. Techno-fascism perpetuates the violence of modernity that continues to exploit body and mind as if they were “information farms” as Stanisław Lem conceptualized the nature-science-continuum, yet, from a former communist world. Today, pandemic capitalism only amplifies the transaction of digital in/action — love or hate — into information-cum-data-cum-capital. Those who refuse the categorical imperatives go all the way to the end of this world, because there is neither a parallel nor an alternative world within the existing one. How can we abolish this world? How can we rehearse a shared practice of presencing, despite everything, as Fred Moten proposed? Because abolition is neither withdrawal nor absence but refusing what has been refused by power.

In this spirit, the seminar engages with the chapter “The Creation of Worlds” of Lem’s Summa Technologiae (1964). Written during the cyber-race of the global Cold War, the Polish-communist futurologist argues in his philosophical treatise against “cognitive greed.” He advances the idea that “we have to learn how to regulate scientific progress” towards Artificial Life — which Lem calls “imitology” — following nature. The seminar problematizes what Lem considers the split between mathematics and “empirical research, ” or, calculus and imagination, in relation to the electric dreams of world-making. The seminar, organized by Kodwo Eshun and Doreen Mende in conversation with Bogna Konior and McKenzie Wark, is a work-meeting over three days. It will introduce texts, art-research work and concepts for discussion. Furthermore, it will invite the participants to engage with online exercises of creating forms of un/making such as texts, poems, drawings, navigational images, memes, sound-sets, edits, etc.

The seminar is hosted by e-flux in collaboration with New Center For Research & Practice as well as supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw and it takes place in collaboration with the trans-disciplinary scientific research study Decolonizing Socialism. Entangled Internationalism (Swiss Science Foundation, 2019-2024).

Research Terms