Reading Group

reading group moderator creator theory practice event series program
cosmos citizenship future urban post-state ritual planetary era globalization architecture

Royal Holloway, University of London Media Arts Department - January 2018 to July 2019


This project has been awarded financial support from the Magna Carta - Leverhulme Trust, Humanities and Arts Research Institute, and the Media Arts Department, Royal Holloway University of London


Readings & Full Program: https://docs.google.com/document/d/17JwNvpFUHy_8Y7sQ-_wbqsAC1q5woh1B7J1jBJoPe9s/edit


Project Summary
Inspired by an era of the ‘planetary’ as the paradigm following globalization, I co-created and moderate a monthly public reading group series. Through readings and case studies, we investigate formulations of individuals, polities, their relationship(s), and constitutions in support of imagining a post-capitalist-nation-state planet. We engage with the term “cosmos-polises,” as a play on a future cosmopolitanism, as requiring a flexibility and agility in moving between and with different cosmos, as realities and worlds.
Readings and cases span architecture, urban planning, media, technology, philosophy, legal theory, economics, and international relations. We assume a post-nation-state scenario and address themes of the cosmopolis, citizenship, migration, alliance, kinship architectures, lineage, legal entities, inter-federation conflict, and economic mandates for planetary-stewardship.
Each session includes an invited guest participant, whose practice intersects with, challenges, and pushes the reading group's investigations. Guest participants include Jack Self, Victoria Ivanova, Emily Jones, Jaya Klara Brekke, and Ben Vickers.
I co-designed the program, created the session themes, and selected session readings, case studies, and guest participants. I handle the communciation and outreach, project management, and production.

Project Details
David Harvey argues in his text "Spaces of Hope" (2000) that while the phenomenon of globalisation has been around for centuries, the popularization of ‘globalisation’ into becoming “...one of the most hegemonic con- cepts for understanding the political economy of international capitalism... seems to have first acquired its prominence as American Express advertised the global reach of its credit card in the mid-1970s” (13).
In Reading Group we ask: what images are analogous with the phenomena of the becoming-planetary? What are the planetary’s existing cultural practices and structures, what are nascent, and what should be provoked?
At the centre of Reading Group is the notion of a world republic by way of
a modality of ‘pure gift’ acting as the dominant mode of socio-political ex- change, which Japanese theorist Kojin Karatani proposes in his book "The Structure of World History: From Modes of Production to Modes of Ex- change" (2014). In line with Karatani’s thinking, we assume a post-state scenario. We consider the genealogies of future world-orders and ‘cosmos-politanisms’ in the sessions.
My goal for Reading Group is to bring together individuals from different disciplines with a common interest, and investment in, the better formulations for a collective flourishing based on contemporary mutations of social organization.

Project Program
🝏 Session 1, Architecture & Lineage of the Cosmospolis with Jack Self (23 January 2019)
🝏 Session 2, Future/Post-state Kin- ship pt.1: Legal Units, Heritage and Inheritance, with Victoria Ivanova (26 February 2019)
🝏 Session 3, Legal Entities, Federa- tions, and Cosmospolis Zones with Emily Jones (29 April 2019)
🝏 Session 4 Gifts & Trade, Rituals & Value, with Jaya Klara Brekke (28 May 2019)
🝏 Session 5, Future/Post-state Kinship pt.2: The Commune & Inter-federation Conflict, with Ben Vickers (2 July 2019)
🝏 Closing Event: We will close Reading Group by putting into praxis our investigations through a LARP workshop series that will help us experience and test recurring themes from Reading Group discussions: (post-)citizenship, community systems, and movement of individuals, as studies in viscosity, collaborative design. This workshop will also serve as the first investigation into experimental material-based documentation as "imprints" of the social constitutions and individual-becomings that occur in LARP process. (Autumn 2019)🝏