Do Lovers Dream of Electric Cars?
Location: Het Huis Main Stage
Keynote and conversation with Dan Hassler-Forest //
In this keynote conversation, Srećko Horvat takes you on a philosophical and visual journey through the early 21st century using a selection of video fragments, from science fiction movies to video-commercials.
When others were naively celebrating “the end of history,” in 1989 the French philosopher and psychotherapist Félix Guattari published a book called The Three Ecologies. He argued that we need to extend the definition of ecology to encompass not only the environmental sphere but also social relations and human subjectivity. Three decades later, we find ourselves in a historic moment in which the prevailing response to the ever-accelerating planetary crisis is ‘green capitalism’, which basically means more of the same, but now lithium powered. The response to the social crisis is more austerity and surveillance, and response to the subjective crisis comes with even more commodification of social relations and emotions. This last response manifests itself most prominently in the field of dating and digitalisation of human interactions. While, on the one hand, the ongoing pandemic led to social isolation and loneliness, on the other, it accelerated the process of turning love, desire and social interaction into commodities and capital.
So what do lovers have in common with electric cars? More than you think. What if the processes behind ‘green capitalism’ and contemporary commodification of love rely on the very same logic of planetary capitalism that has not only colonised all the planet’s surfaces but also human subjectivity? And what if it is precisely love – and an emancipatory transformation of social relations – that can cure us of the postapocalyptic melancholy and provide a way beyond the current catastrophe?
Srećko Horvat― Speaker
Srećko Horvat, born in 1983 in former Yugoslavia (now Croatia), is a philosopher and author of dozen of books translated in more than 15 languages, including The Radicality of Love, Poetry from the Future, What Does Europe Want? (with Slavoj Žižek), and most recently After the Apocalypse. He was the program director of the famous Subversive Festival in Zagreb and has been active in various social movements, most notably with DiEM25, co-founded with Yanis Varoufakis in 2016, and the Progressive International. His articles have been published by The New York Times, The Guardian, Newsweek, Spiegel and other leading media. Besides teaching and organizing across continents, he has been directing the Philosophical Theater at the Croatian National Theatre and cooperating with various theaters across Europe.