The Romantic Machine

Tonight at the New York Public Library, John Tresch, a teacher in department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses his new book, The Romantic Machine , with philosopher Simon Critchley, a Professor of Philosophy at The New School, where he teaches courses on continental philosophy, phenomenology, the ethical and the political.

“With The Romantic Machine, John Tresch fulfills the goal of most recent history of science: to show that when you follow scientific achievements you end up describing a whole culture, including its literature and arts”.  Bruno Latour Sciences, Po Paris

John Tresch | The Romantic Machine, Utopian Science and Technology after Napoleon

“Tresch looks at how new conceptions of energy, instrumentality, and association fueled such diverse developments as fantastic literature, popular astronomy, grand opera, positivism, utopian socialism, and the Revolution of 1848.”

“Previous scholars have viewed romanticism and industrialization in opposition, but in this groundbreaking volume John Tresch reveals how thoroughly entwined science and the arts were in early nineteenth-century France and how they worked together to unite a fractured society.”

As the fields of science and arts continue to converge in our modern culture, what’s your take on John Tresch’s new research and philosophy on the history of the subjects’ interplay?

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Physical World

If you haven’t considered human gender and sexuality on a philosophical level lately, take a second to let artist Del LaGrace Volcano navigate you through the complicated, impassioned geography using photography. Volcano’s portraits are not necessarily beautiful, but lead viewers to come to their own notion of beauty, race, culture, heart and necessity, and ultimately the weight of clarifications of gender, through incisive and thoughtful sentiments stated clearly, some with heartbreaking quip, bold but not unnerving. More appreciative and quizzically unintrusive, their simplicity allows their manifestos to feel like a given, at least momentarily. The sweeping sentiment is a spirituality one may prescribe to.

“Del LaGrace Volcano’s art consistently refuses “either/or” categories in favor of “both/and.” His/her art asks the kinds of questions that make their answers provisional and even irrelevant, because the truth is in the asking.”

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