Fellowship

Fellow 2018/2019

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.

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

Evolutionary Populations: Seeds of a World Waiting to Germinate

With the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011, agronomist and phyto-geneticist, Salvatore Ceccarelli was forced to end his 25-year research period in Syria where he had been working with local farmers experimenting with a revolutionary agricultural method that develops participatory plant breeding, a type of breeding done in collaboration with farmers to breed […]

To Dig A Hole That Collapses Again

A survey exhibition of Otobong Nkanga’s works is presented for the first time in the US. The exhibition titled To Dig A Hole That Collapses Again opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago from 31 March–9 September 2018.

Collective Dictionary: Inhabiting

Inhabiting is an outcome of the collaboration between Al Maeishah (Isshaq Al-Babrbary, Elena Isayev, and Diego Segatto) and the Office of Displaced Designers (ODD), who invited Al Maeishah to implement their research on The Alternative Atlas of Lesvos: An Island for the World. The atlas aims to intersect with those forcibly displaced, with the global web […]

Naomie Pieter: The Body in Black Women’s Activism

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Jessica de Abreu and Patricia Kaersenhout, along with BAK, convene the January 2019 Fellows Intensive, focusing on the body as an archive, as a form of resistance, and the colonial legacies embodied today. Activist and artist Naomie Pieter leads the Fellows in a workshop on the use of the body as a […]

More Fellows