McKenzie Wark – chair of Culture and Media at Eugene Lang College and Liberal Studies at The New School for Social Research (NSSR) – returns to Virtual Futures for the first time since 1995 to present his guide to the thinkers and ideas that will shape the future. He will be joined by Prof. Steve Fuller (University of Warwick) to dicuss the topics outlined in his new book General Intellects (Verso Books, 2017).
In order to combat overfluxes of information in an increasingly complicating and confusing world, Wark argues in General Intellects, that different disciplines must “work out how different kinds of knowledge of different parts of the [intellectual] metabolism might cooperate, other than via the commodification of knowledge as intellectual property […] sticking our heads above our little cubicles and figuring out how to cooperate with others who understand different parts of the labour process.”
It is in this time more than ever that we need general ideas and intellects to help us navigate, quantify and traverse our world of neon shadows, carousels of images and monstrosities of information; as A.C Grayling posits, ‘Ideas are the cogs that drive history, and understanding them is half way to being aboard that powerful juggernaut rather than under its wheels.’
McKenzie Wark’s distinctive readings are appreciations, but are nonetheless critical of how neoliberal universities militate against cooperative intellectual work that endeavors to understand and also change the world.