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Annual ETHU Seminar 2019-2020 – Objects, Technology, Existence: Engaging with Graham Harman’s OOO

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* CORONA VIRUS UPDATE, March 12th, 2020 *

In light of the most recent emergency measures around the Corona (COVID-19) virus, this symposium is cancelled.


The Centre for Ethics and Humanism (ETHU) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) kindly invites you to its Annual ETHU Seminar, edition 2019-2020:

Objects, Technology, Existence: Engaging with Graham Harman’s OOO.

Graham Harman’s object-oriented ontology (OOO) has in the past decade become an unavoidable approach—not in the least due to Harman’s prolific writing and speaking on topics as diverse as art, architecture, media and politics. Those themes invariably take on a new (and fresh) light when viewed through the lens of his unique perspective. At the same time, Harman has continued to sculpt and finetune his central framework throughout these discussions. This way, OOO has grown into a potent, and established, tool for creative thinking on the most diverse matters.

At this one-day symposium we engage with Harman himself and with his work. Specifically, we want to zoom in on matters of technology and existence—this symposium being part of an ongoing research project at the Centre for Ethics and Humanism on “Existential Ethics of AI.” We are living in “algorithmic times,” in which many mechanisms that steer and affect our everyday life go hiding behind the scenes: machine learning, “smart” systems, technical infrastructures, that imperceptibly shape our existence. We may use OOO, with its notion of an ever-withdrawing “real object,” to gain a fresh perspective on our predicament. What conceptual instruments and insights can OOO offer us for coping in our contemporary, intensely digitally mediated environment? In dialogue with Harman, the speakers at the seminar will approach these issues, each in their own way engaging with OOO.

Speakers: Prof. dr. Graham Harman (SCI-Arc), Lisa Doeland (Radboud University Nijmegen), Dr. Arjen Kleinherenbrink (Radboud University Nijmegen), Niki Young (University of Malta), Prof. dr. Hans Alma (VUB), Dr. Yoni Van Den Eede (VUB)

Registration: participation is free of charge, but registration by March 16th is required. Attention: the number of participants is limited. Register here.

Location: U-residence, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels

Organizers: Dr. Yoni Van Den Eede (ETHU – VUB), Laureano Ralón (Universidad de San Nicolás de Hidalgo; ETHU – VUB), Prof. dr. Karl Verstrynge (ETHU – VUB)

PROGRAM: pdf fileAnnual ETHU Seminar 19-20 program (274 KB)

ABSTRACTS & BIOS: pdf fileAnnual ETHU Seminar 2020 abstracts & bios (328 KB)

Info: contact event coordinator Yoni Van Den Eede.

With kind thanks to Kaaitheater. The night before, on March 23rd, Graham Harman gives a talk there, open to everyone: