Fellowship

Fellow 2018/2019

Lukáš Likavčan performing The Thread and the Gap with Patricia Kaersenhout during Propositions #8: I Wanna Be Adored (the Non-Fascist Remix) on 22 June 2019 at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, photo: Tom Janssen

Lukáš Likavčan

Lukáš Likavčan is a researcher and theorist. Originally trained as a philosopher, he elaborates on topics of philosophy of technology, political ecology, and media theory. Oscillating between academic practice and a broad zone in between art and design, he focuses on infrastructural conditions of subjectivity, abstraction, and imagination. Likavčan studied philosophy and environmental humanities at Masaryk University, Brno, and sociology at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. As a researcher, he was based at Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, and Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, Moscow. He has also engaged in several artistic and design collaborations, such as agent-based simulation alt’ai, http://altai.id, and he is a member of Collective for Ending Human Overspecialization.

Lukáš Likavčan

Lukáš Likavčan is a researcher and theorist. Originally trained as a philosopher, he elaborates on topics of philosophy of technology, political ecology, and media theory. Oscillating between academic practice and a broad zone in between art and design, he focuses on infrastructural conditions of subjectivity, abstraction, and imagination. Likavčan studied philosophy and environmental humanities at Masaryk University, Brno, and sociology at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. As a researcher, he was based at Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, and Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, Moscow. He has also engaged in several artistic and design collaborations, such as agent-based simulation alt’ai, http://altai.id, and he is a member of Collective for Ending Human Overspecialization.

Fellowship Research Trajectory

The project A Color of the Abstract is situated in a larger research field about technologies of abstraction, meaning an investigation into the infrastructures that facilitate regimes of abstraction in socio-economic history. The philosophical rationale of this project lies in fundamental propositions about essential sociality of subjectivity and reason. Drawing on philosopher Karl Marx, it is possible to identify historical, spatial, and material constraints of subjectivity. Material embeddedness of rational processes turns abstraction into a political problem since technologies of abstraction shape material reality and thus influence the scope of possible political interventions.

Since the fossil fuel industry is one of the most obvious drivers of ecological emergency in the Anthropocene, to trace the beginnings of this long process of abstraction is crucial to understanding how to manoeuver space for transitions to post-capitalist future(s). This research thinks about technologies of abstraction qua fossil fuels through the story of synthetic dyes. New colors have been invented, never occurred before in nature, and in the form of toxic waste associated with production of chemical substances, humans have also colored rivers in the gradients of red, green, and blue. They stand as arch-metaphors of capitalist abstraction enabled by fossil fuels.

Lukáš Likavčan Presents Fellowship Research at Sonic Acts

BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Lukáš Likavčan presents his new book Introduction to Comparative Planetology (2019, read an excerpt at Strelka Press here) at Sonic Acts Festival, Amsterdam, 2020. Research and writing for the book was done during Likavčan’s Fellowship.  Listen to his Sonic Acts podcast here and watch his presentation here.

Introduction to Comparative Planetology

BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Lukáš Likavčan’s publication  Introduction to Comparative Planetology (2019, Strelka Press) is the culmination of long term research, including his research as a BAK Fellow. The book-essay, according to  Likavčan, “presents an intertwined analysis of visual cultures of imagining the Earth and geopolitics of climate emergency. It compares different “figures” of the planet […]

May BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Intensive: Models, Timelines, Scale, and Guest Ramon Amaro

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Haseeb Ahmed and Lukáš Likavčan co-convene, along with BAK, the April Fellows Intensive focusing on modelling, timelining, scale, and the social and political aspects that shape and inform these. Along with presentations, screenings, and experiments in pedagogy and workshops curated and conducted by these Fellows, machine learning researcher and designer Ramon Amaro […]

Civilization at the Crossroad: Co-Curated by Lukáš Likavčan

Lukáš Likavčan and Pavel Sterec curate Civilization at the Crossroad: Engineers of Scientific-Technical Revolution at FUTURA gallery, Prague (4 December 2018–17 February 2019), reflecting on research done by philosopher Radovan Richta and his team in the 1960s and “a new Czechoslovakian socialism.” In addition to historical documents and media, the exhibition includes works by artists: […]

Related content

Archival Propositions

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Jessica de Abreu and Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh present at Propositions #7/6: Archive, the final iteration of the public series Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods. The event also features Ariel Caine (Forensic Architecture, London) and takes place at BAK in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice (18 October 2018–27 January 2019). This program is […]

Seminar with Andrea Phillips

As part of a session convened by 2017/2018 BAK Fellow Otobong Nkanga, educator and political organizer in the arts Andrea Phillips gave a seminar on her current research focus: reorienting contemporary art’s ecology toward producing more emancipatory forms of sharing—not simply about spatial sharing and inclusivity, but also at the level of wage labor.   […]

Collective Dictionary: Political

In April 2016, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, brought to life the Here We Are Academy: a spirited temporary recomposition of a refugee-initiated platform for learning called We Are Here Academy. Established in Amsterdam in 2012, We Are Here is the first large-scale organization of refugees living in limbo in the Netherlands. Through projects organized […]

Latitude On Air – Unsettling Power Relations

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Diana McCarty works with Goethe-Institut and her project reboot.fm, both Berlin, to co-create a multi-day long experimental radio program Latitude On Air – Unsettling Power Relations (2020), and exploring ideas of locality, being together, and social justice and legacies of colonialism. As part of the program, co-Fellow David Muñoz Alcántara is commissioned […]