The Cosmopolitical Gesture


“The Cosmopolitical Gesture: Adab, The Demanding Memory ”

Ed Keller [2017-19]: video remixes, with soundscapes improvised live on solo electric guitar
For ALIENOCENE, we present three film/sound excerpts:

Two complete audio recordings of Adab, The Demanding Memory – one a live performance, and one a rehearsal recording – can be heard at

Adab, The Demanding Memory:
Crystalline and Plasmic sonics are constellations of complex life unto themselves, self aware sentiences produced as millions of layers of sound action yield onto cognition. Much of the information flow passing through us – whether endogenous and internal, somatically and microbially local, or exogenous and linked to the homeorhetic landscapes within which we operate – is unobservable. But the filters of perception which sandbox us [our bodies, our minds] from this massive flow of information, what Michel Serres describes as a thermal howl, might indeed be flexible, allowing us to open linkages and render accessible and tangible the lifeworlds of this quasi-living, acousti-geological, cosmopolitical information stream.Is there a kind of slow moving sense-mind produced in sonic action- non human and/yet really capable of cognition, perhaps even across millenia?  How can thought think the self to the point where the thought-self nears annihilation – yet is not destroyed, but is reinvented in sound?
The Cosmopolitical Gesture:
The project asks: what new modes of individual and collective sovereignty rise from the post planetary scapes increasingly invoked in texts by Barad, Cixin Liu, Laboria Cuboniks, Shaviro, Hayles, Haraway, et al, or films such as Under the Skin, Arrival, Her, 2001?  What might constitute a ‘cosmic commons’ and what alternate cognitive frameworks might we need to map it? Is there a point of balance between mutual aid and mutually assured destruction?  Does anything human make it out of the near future? Taken together these documents attempt to sketch a manifesto of what is at stake for a viable, post planetary politics in the face of ubiquitous technology & artificial intelligence, with a focus on radically non-human ecologies and the possibility of alternate forms of collectivity and compassion: ‘cosmopolitics’.
The project emerges from some years of work on the post planetary, which includes seminars taught at The New School; two CTM conferences I have organized [Post Planetary Capital and Post Planetary Futures]; various lectures, panel appearances & performances I have given developing these ideas in conferences [including Border Sessions, Apps and Affect, Transmediale, etc], and other conferences and symposia I have convened around these themes.
  – Ed Keller