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Jeremy Wade / Kerstin Stakemeier

Moi Machine Moi

The DRAWNONWARD Reading Group

John Erik Jordan, Kerstin Stakemeier and Jeremy Wade invite you to participate in a free reading group in five parts at the Hebbel am Ufer called Moi Machine Moi, beginning March 20, 2015, 5pm. The reading group, hosted by Stakemeier, will occur in tandem and in service to the creation of a new performance by Wade and young American sci-fi writer John Erik Jordan titled Drawnonward, thereby extending the research process of the piece to the public.

"Drawnonward," will examine a pre-apocalyptic Earth from the perspective of a curious figure deep in a utopic future. The piece will premiere in HAU October 2015. The phrase “Drawnonward” is a palindrome; it is the same whether read forwards or backwards, suggesting infinity as much as circularity (drawnonwardrawnonwardrawnonward). This malleability of time is a recurring theme in science fiction and thus the project will step up to the task of talking about the present via the future, the end as just a beginning, the planet's inevitable death as yet another example of the nature of change. What lies onward can only be imagined.

Despite popular belief, science fiction is not a prognostic tool. It is a diagnostic tool. Think of it as the radioactive dye used to scan a body's inner space and bring the invisible into sharp and terrifying focus. It exploits fiction's special capability—to tell the truth with lies—to warp time, scale and perspective until we arrive at a strange vantage point. Science fiction functions as a thought experiment, allowing us to renegotiate the familiar on apocalyptic terms, to see the present day monstrously accelerated. We will look at how science fiction machinates realities from the ground up, we will find sci-fi in multiple disciplines / materialities, and we will delve into the machines themselves so as to understand various engines of possible and multiple futures. It is through the machines that the different present tenses become material and thus can be opened up towards the future – to hypothesize possible embodied thought machines.

So, for now, we welcome you to Moi Machine Moi, the Drawnonward Reading Group hosted by Kerstin Stakemeier with Jeremy Wade and John Erik Jordan.

We will be looking into becoming our own science fictions. The relationship between humans and automatons, robots, cyborgs, networks and algorithms has been at the core of sci-fi since its beginnings in the late 19th century, when it emanated from the capitalist reconfigurations of life through machinery, and more precisely from the human alienation that entailed. In the 1950s French philosopher Gilbert Simondon entitled this twisted relation our “psychophysiological alienation”, and like Simondon, like Donna Haraway, like Sadie Plant, like N. Katherine Hayles, like Alexander Galloway, like Jasbir K. Puar, like Lydia H.Liu, we want to put machines first and see ourselves through their circuits. It will be from our alienation that we commence. We will create sub-circuits and seek out those who have created them before us, the orgon accumulators, occultures, prosthetics, dildos, darknets, etc. Technical objects that produce queer, instead of straight times. With the texts of these and other authors, with films and sounds, we want to unearth the psychophysiological sci-fi's from our machines. We will read early contestations of machinery, like Haldern, Russell and Merton and more contemporary ones like those mentioned above, seeking out individuation from within the technical objects we created: hoping for snippets of speculation bypassing value, for bodies thriving for sex beyond gender and for machines creating their own use. The reading group will discuss historical and present day possibility machines to unearth their inherent science fiction. Let's read into the machines and out of the machines. Let's reconfigure them together, building one that is Drawnonward!

Please register for Moi Machine Moi at drawnonwardreadgroup@hebbel-am-ufer.de and you will be provided with a reader one week before the first meeting. Participation is free but places are limited.

Past dates
March 2015, April 2015, May 2015, June 2015
ca. 2-3 h

Dates: March 20, April 10, May 5 + 22, June 26 2015.