McKenzie Wark

Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene

Molecular Red_webPublic Lecture

Concordia University, Montreal
1515 St. Catherine St. West,
EV 1.605

6pm, Friday, March 6, 2015


One of the pioneers of systems theory was Alexander Bogdanov. He was once Lenin’s rival for leadership of the Bolshevik party. After his ouster, he devoted himself to working on four great projects: his utopian fiction set on a socialist Mars, his empirio-monism, or theory of knowledge, his tektology, or practice for the reorganization of knowledge, and the proletkult, or the culture of self-organization of the proletariat. The latter at least was not without influence, and in the early days of the Russian revolution it became a mass movement with 400,000 members, and was a potential rival to the party and the trade unions. In this presentation I trace the outline of Bogdanov’s work, fate in the Soviet Union, and some more recent American work that unknowingly reinvents his critical-Marxist approach to systems-thinking. Such a project just might be a way to proceed with the reorganization of knowledge to confront the pressing effects of the Anthropocene. 

warkDr. McKenzie Wark, Professor of Culture and Media Studies, The New School, New York

McKenzie Wark is a theorist of media and new media with interests in new media technology, intellectual property, computer games, and new media art and culture. He is the author of Telesthesia: Communication, Culture and Class (2012), The Beach Beneath the Street (2011), A Hacker Manifesto (2004), Gamer Theory (2007), and other works. Most recently he authored Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene, to be published by Verso Books in April 2015. Wark teaches at Eugene Lang College and The New School for Social Research in New York City.


This event supported by the Concordia University Department of Art History, the Art History Graduate Student Association, the Networked Art Histories research group, and Chateau Versailles.