>Texts can be found here, on academia.edu page. For full academic record, please go to the CV section.
Having received her training in Film Studies (Theory & Practice) from Queen Mary, University of London and Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam, Bogna's research initially revolved around the ethical and political underpinnings of films, with a focus on international art-house cinema and film-philosophy.
Since 2015 her research has moved towards a broader exploration of media cultures and technologies in relation to large-scale changes, often perceived as catastrophic, such as climate change or the geo-social phenomena of "the Anthropocene." These "crisis" situations provoke the formation of new political subjectivities, often at the intersection of sweeping environmental, technological and social change, which re-configure both the relation between media and the environment, and between political subjects and their newly global yet already collapsing culture. She is especially interested in analysing media cultures in the Anthropocene alongside contemporary critical thought.
Keywords: media studies, technology, digital culture, animal studies, anthropocene, extinction, climate change, contemporary philosophy (realism, non-philosophy, feminism, ontological turn)
Piotr Szczęsny set himself on fire in protest of the Polish government in October 2017. Charged with political orientation, his self- immolation posed a challenge to the news media, forcing it deep into the gutter the suicide archive, where commentators debated appropriate aestheticsofprotest in a country whose imagery is predominately thanatic; in a nation-state that has been resurrected after its many occupations yet still remains within a sacrificial grave, with death as the cornerstone of community. In this article, I situate Szczęsny’s death within the nightmare-bound post-Soviet political scene through historically contextualizing the debate around his suicide, where the act itself was criticized on the basis of its inappropriate aesthetics of irrational self-harm. I argue that such binding of a/political catastrophe in a bundle of representations corresponds to what François Laruelle calls media intellectualism, a form of engaging suffering that relies on its mediation. Seeking an alternative discourse of engaging the a/political act, I look to Katerina Kolozova’s non-standard politics of pain and to Oxana Timofeeva’s work on “the catastrophe.” These positions, which I call stances of the unsubject, offer us differ- ent starting points for creating solidarity in spaces of void, pain and depression. For the unsubject, pain is the prerequisite for forming the political, albeit in a non-standard manner, where politics cannot oscillate around representations, ideologies or identities. Rather than mediate self-immolation, I ask whether the way that we define “the political” could benefit from a subtraction of mediation, from a catastrophic thinking in parallel with the brutality of the real, rather than the repetition of (national) trauma.
The recently published Xenofeminist Manifesto re-fashions accelerationist politics into radical feminism. Arguing for a universalist xenopolitics borne out of alienation, xenofeminists see in nature an arch-enemy,aligning with the algorithmical intelligence of technology instead, celebrating artifice and strangeness as the foundation of revolutionary politics to come. In this paper, I argue that nature is but a phantom limb tied to the decaying body of post-Enlightenment modernity. Following the ontological turn in anthropology, I argue that by legitimizing constructed dualisms of nature and technology, xenofeminism fuels the very logic that it seeks to overrun. Enlisting only with nonhumans that it perceives as technological, xenofeminism excludes a number of allies, such as nonhuman animals.
Passing beyond the limits of this nature/culture dualism could open xenofeminism up to a full spectrum of nonhuman confederates and lay foundation for speculative aesthetics for all alien subjects
Cyberfeminism is an occult form of warfare. It understands about ‘cyber- space’ what Cixin Liu’s ‘dark forest’ theory understands about the cosmos: all existence is determined by hostility and so the highest form of intelligence lies in occluding one’s coordinates. The hypothesis explains why the universe, statistically full of life, is dead silent. It is not because, as is commonly thought, life has not found a way to communicate, but because it understands that silence is the most advanced form of intelligence. Our physical and virtual spaces, which are increasingly inseparable, are alike a dark forest, where every step must be taken with care, as revealing one’s existence portends annihilation. The most desirable skill, the most coveted trick, and the most longed for disposition can only be this—a fluency in the trading of secrets. The skills we need to strategically deploy concealment, de-concealment and re-concealment.
Click herefor my translation of the Xenofeminist Manifesto by Laboria Cuboniks into Polish (with Aleksandra Paszkowska). And herefor a pdf.
Moving back and forth, spinning around and adding more threads, the spider strengthens its web, creating a pattern. We are told that spiders are born with the knowledge of how to spin, that the turning of the web is encoded into the motion of their limbs rather than emerging from that dubious receptacle of will. In the last two decades, critical theory has had its fair share of turns: anthropologists, boldly marching into the territory of philosophy, speak of the ontological turn, instructing us that there are many worlds, rather than many worldviews. Rolling out on the waves of the worn-out élan vital is the (new) materialist turn, supplementing the post-structuralist focus on language and discourse with an attentiveness to matter itself. The nonhuman turn, where the non is taken as a modiﬁer of the“human” or a reaching beyond it, is the common thread underpinning the diverse interests of the Anglo-Saxon intellectual circles in the early 2000s. With the publication of The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism (2011), which famously included only one female contributor, the focus on existence beyond the faulty correlation of ontology and epistemology asserted itself as the focal point of philosophical inquiry. When the spider spins its web, it weaves some of the lines from the center outward—these are called radial. Threads that go around are called orb lines. To the speculative turn, feminism is not a radial line, something that extends from within the centre, but an orb. It is an act of enclosure as revealing: those who proclaimed speculation were too busy weaving their webs to see that they already lived inside an insect colony
How could we reconcile these two ethical and political projects: on the one hand, a desire to seek a politics beyond the existing history of humanism, on the other, a precaution to not fall in line with the violent history that dehumanisation had already amassed? In the Anthropocene, art is often charged with the task of “fictionalising” nature beyond the known and the human; yet in this paper, I propose that it could also produce a science-fiction or a philo-fiction of humanity itself. Looking at various examples of Natalie Jeremijenko's work, I argue that she approximates a politics that does not yet exist: a practice of “generic humanity” in times of interspecies environmental vulnerability. Theorising her work at the intersection of animism and non-philosophy, I label it a non-standard animism, a modelling of governance through non-standard personalisation, which provides cross-species, biometric tools.
A threshold is a movable and mutable point that resists representation, especially the kind of representation that perceives itself as sufficient. It is not the job of wild epistemology to reflect on anything or to represent anything. As places of refuge, thresholds protect human and nonhuman persons from the representations that seek to speak in their name. There are no stable subjects under wild epistemology, only wild populations thriving on unsettled thresholds. These subjects themselves mutate knowledge instead of being captured in its representational web. Wild thresholds are places of refuge protect their inhabitants from any attempts at mapping, delineation, analysis, or interpretation. No such borders will be placed around wild thresholds and those whom it hosts.
A small part of the human brain is devoted to snakes, the first and most persistent predators of the early mammals. Primate vision, these eyes that perceive the light of reason, evolved in order to see snakes better. Snakes were such a critical threat that they shaped the emergence of some of our most pertinent evolutionary traits. Philosophy and theology, here understood as engines of knowledge, the regimes that outline what there is to know and the methods of knowing, likewise use the serpent as the anchor for thought. The female and the serpent have been framed as toxic to knowledge, their very presence a threat to the purity of humanity and reason. From Plato to Spinoza and throughout Judeo-Christian narratives, we have been told that femininity can only possess a feral reason, a thought contaminated externally by the very receptacle in which it is nested: the female body. This knowledge is forbidden and worthless, because - take it from God himself - the serpent knowledge is the one that took immortality from us. We are thus born dead into the world and dead we depart.
Perhaps thinking of animals as artists requires that we flatten our thought instead of deepening it. Co-presence can be more valuable than mutual understanding. Humans can seem a little obsessed with depth: we tend to think that truth is buried deep within, that you cannot love someone until you’ve learnt their deepest secrets, that knowledge requires dwelling, that depth is what distinguishes creativity from skill. With inter-species art, we learn that it takes a much larger effort to resist this impulse, to stay on the surface with the banal, the a-signifying, seemingly without purpose or worth but that of staging an occluded encounter. To grasp an alien kind of creativity, we need to learn how to stay on the surface.