Preliminary Remarks on the Study of What Is Not There

lecture performance by Irina Gheorghe


KUNCI Cultural Studies Centre

Preliminary Remarks on the Study of What Is Not There lays the foundations for the study of what is not there. What is there, which is not there? What are its categories and what methods are appropriate to approach it? The research brings together philosophy, science and art in search of things which are not there but were, things which never were, but might be, or things which never were, and never will be.

In trying to answer core questions on the nature of reality, philosophical investigation shares a common ground with the natural sciences, but starts to sound like a B-series sci-fi. Questions like “What is (out) there?” “What is it like?” are starting points of a trip in which philosophers, scientists and artists try to engage with a world beyond the senses. They try to smuggle the invisible and find a form of mediation for a reality which is utterly alien. Self-erasure brings together the realist philosopher, the scientist as a ‘modest witness’ and the practitioner of the occult, all trying to channel ‘the beyond’ through their imperceptible presence. At the other end of this xeno-race lies the interventionist idea of knowledge, the active endeavour of tampering with the environment of the magician-technologist, with a whole toolbox of manipulating devices at hand.