.1.3 Katerina Kolozova: Automaton, Philosophy, and Capitalism: Technology, Animality, Women
Katerina Kolozova's talk engaged Marx with Francois Laruelle's non-philosophy, and began by addressing the former's humanism, asking how he understands it and what its structures and boundaries are. In a move which will be echoed in some ways by Reza Negarestani's talk on Thursday, she dedicates this inquiry to a reclamation of the "human in the last instance", structured non-philosophically in reference to radical foreclosure by the real of the overdetermination of the (concept of the) human, conceptualized by Katerina as "physical or real rather than material", as that which is tangible or can produce tangible effects, continuously prior to (its) scientific reimaging in the Sellarsian sense. This both brings the question of the human back to the reality of suffering as central to the problem of oppression, and sets it up for engagement with the tendencies of technical science within the horizon of capitalism, as well obviously as allying it to the Laruellean project of non-Marxism.
This project identifies a procedure of "transcendental impoverishment" whereby the body has already changed, becoming masochistic, and desires its own exploitation. This transcendental impoverishment enables the non-Marxist project of thought as conceived by Katerina to depart from a non-philosophical khora in which differences and relations of class, gender, species, and vitality are reduced to an occasional continuum of material (as with Donna Haraway's implementation of the 'cyber-') by the radical dyad of the Real and the World's suspension of the split subjectivity of capital. This khora analogizes contingency in philosophy, except its occasion is neither essence nor substance but rather Identity-in-the-last-instance. The Alien-in-itself of capitalism is self-exploitative; one is never one's own labor, and exploitation is never exterior to the bourgeois subject.
There are strong resonances here both with Amy Ireland's deployment of Sadie Plant and invocation of the autoproductive and -dissimulating continuity of woman, machine, and AGI as well as with Reza Negarestani's call to transcendental alienation of the human-in-itself; how these connections may work is likely illuminated by a central portion of Katerina's presentation - on the priority of tekhne in relation to philosophy and the ontology of technology - that we lacked the time to hear, and I'm very excited to have the opportunity in the near future to read her full argument.