A conversation with Emanuele Coccia, philosopher, professor at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Eben Kirksey, Ph.D. Associate Professor (Research), Alfred Deakin Institute, Julieta Aranda, artist, and Elizabeth Povinelli, Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies, Columbia University.
Are we becoming undead? Are the assemblages of technology and capital turning us into bodies without autonomy, into "less-than-human" shells? The meeting will address the theme of the undead - vampires, ghosts and zombies - as generative figures. Such figures will be used as metaphors to reflect different shades of the contemporary human condition. The ghost wants to turn back the clock and return to former glory. American campaign slogans such as "Make America Great Again" and "Build Back Better" actually represent only nostalgic dreams haunted by longing and lament. While modern mortuary practices aspire to preserve human flesh outside the food web, the zombie and the vampire remind us that people can become predators and prey, just like other animal species. Zombies foreshadow our shared fate in the afterlife, when we become food for microbes. Ideas about human exceptionalism assume that we live outside ecological connections and relationships, as eaters of others but never being eaten. As we are all forced to bargain for sharing with viruses, imperceptible parasites that feed on our constituent biochemical parts, an opportunity arises to reflect on our relationship with Gaia and the fertile soil.
A series of meetings that aim to introduce the themes of Unknown Unknowns, 23rd International Exhibition of Triennale Milano, through the contributions of philosophers, artists and critics and art historians called to address the themes of the unknown and the unknown. The event is realized with the support of Franklin Templeton.