Sunday, February 11, 2007


Collapse II will be published at the beginning of March 2007. I have contributed a photo/diagrammatic essay on Middle Eastern graveyards to this issue. Please see Urbanomic's announcement below for more information on the other contributors and on how to order a copy of the journal.

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce that COLLAPSE Volume II will be published at the beginning of March 2007.

The second volume of Collapse resumes the construction of a conceptual space unbounded by any disciplinary constraints, comprising subjects from probability theory to theology, from quantum theory to neuroscience, from astrophysics to necrology, and involving them in unforeseen and productive syntheses.

Collapse Volume II features a selection of speculative essays by some of the foremost young philosophers at work today, together with new work from artists and cinéastes, and searching interviews with leading scientists. Against the tide of institutional balkanisation and specialisation, this volume testifies to a defiant reanimation of the most radical philosophical problematics – the status of the scientific object, metaphysics and its 'end', the prospects for a revival of speculative realism, the possibility of phenomenology, transcendence and the divine, the nature of causation, the necessity of contingency – both through a fresh reappropriation of the philosophical tradition and through an openness to its outside. The breadth of philosophical thought in this volume is matched by the surprising and revealing thematic connections that emerge between the philosophers and scientists who have contributed.

Ray Brassier (Middlesex University, author of the forthcoming Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction) gives the first full-length exposition and critical examination in English of Quentin Meillassoux's important book Après la Finitude, which mounts a radical critique of post-Kantian philosophy on the basis of its inability to account for the literal meaning of scientific statements concerning 'arche-fossils' existing anterior to the possibility of their phenomenal manifestation.
• Building upon his thesis in Après la Finitude, Quentin Meillassoux (ENS, Paris) proposes a reprisal of Hume's problem of causation from a radical ontological perspective. By affirming the absolute contingency of natural laws, Meillassoux argues for a revival of a realistic metaphysics which he calls ‘speculative materialism’ and brings to light a powerful new ontological concept of time.
• In an extended interview, Roberto Trotta (theoretical cosmologist, Lockyer Research Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society at the Astrophysics Department at Oxford University) describes in detail his work as a scientist engaged in surveying the 'arche-fossil', and discusses the ways in which the cross-disciplinary nature of the search for dark matter – an intense collaborative endeavour involving mathematics, astrophysics, theoretical modelling and statistics – anticipates the problematic status of its objects. The interview reveals how the process of determination of this field of research on the ‘outer edge’ of science, bounded equally by technological, probabilistic and logical constraints, raises questions as to the status of scientific thought and problematises its very conceptual foundations, thus emphasising its continuities with traditionally ‘philosophical’ concerns.
• In 'On Vicarious Causation' Graham Harman (American University in Cairo; author of Tool-Being and Guerilla Metaphysics) puts forward a new realist 'object-oriented' metaphysics which, refusing the primacy of human experience and in defiance of post-Kantian ‘philosophies of access’, seeks to speak for the abyssal depths of 'the objects themselves'.
• In an interview with Paul Churchland (U.Cal, San Diego) the brilliantly iconoclastic philosopher of mind and science reiterates his commitment to eliminative materialism, exploring its broad consequences for science and philosophy, and remarking key research outcomes and philosophical problems which have influenced its development.
Clémentine Duzer & Laura Gozlan present a series of stills taken from their film Nevertheless Empire, an expressionist science-fiction noir of pestilence, biopolitics and desire.
• Artist Kristen Alvanson's photo/diagrammatic essay on the ontotheology of the Middle-Eastern graveyard examines what differences in burial practices propose as to the philosophical thinking of space and of dwelling and examines the consequences for our image of thought.
• In a continuation of his unrivalled radical questioning of the ultimate bases of the 'clash of civilisations', Reza Negarestani details, through a searching analysis of Islamic and Western theologies, how the absolute exteriority of Allah in Islam results in a particular conception of temporality, different vectors for the propagation of faith, and an immanent apocalypse which cannot be reduced to a chronological moment or a possibility of unification.

Order or subscribe at :

Edited by Robin Mackay
March 2007.
Paperback 115x175mm 330pp
Limited Edition of 1000 numbered copies.
ISBN 0-9553087-1-2

The Enigma of Realism
Potentiality and Virtuality
Dark Matter: Facing the Arche-Fossil (Interview)
On Vicarious Causation
Demons Get Out! (Interview)
Nevertheless Empire
Islamic Exotericism: Apocalypse in the Wake of Refractory Impossibility
Elysian Space in the Middle East

Forthcoming Issues: Concept-Horror; Unknown Deleuze; Geophilosophy.

COLLAPSE is now available in the following fine bookstores: Vrin, Paris; ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) bookshop, London; Tate Modern bookshop, London; QI, Oxford; Blackwell, Oxford; Nikos Books (11th & 6th) and St. Mark's, New York; Floating World Comics, Portland OR; Gleebooks, Sydney, Australia.


Robin Mackay