After watching Hyperstition, a friend writes, “Is Accelerationism an iteration of Futurism?”
“Good question,” I reply. “You’re right: the two are certainly conceptually aligned. I suppose I’d imagine it in reverse, though: Futurism as an early iteration of Accelerationism. The former served as an experimental first attempt at living ‘hyperstitiously,’ oriented toward a desired future.”
“If we accept Hyperstition’s distinction between Right-Accelerationism and Left-Accelerationism,” I add, “then Italian Futurism would be an early iteration of Right-Accelerationism, and Russian Futurism an early iteration of Left-Accelerationism.”
“But,” I conclude, “I haven’t read enough to know the degree of reflexivity among participants. I hope to read a bit more along these lines this summer.”
The friend also inquires about what he refers to as the film’s “ethnic homogeneity.” By that I imagine he means that the thinkers featured in Hyperstition tend to be British, European, and American, with few exceptions. “It could just be,” I reply, “that filmmaker Christopher Roth is based in Berlin and lacked the budget to survey the movement’s manifestations elsewhere.”
The friend also wonders if use of concepts like “recursion” among Accelerationist philosophers signals some need among humanities intellectuals to cannibalize concepts from the sciences in order to remain relevant.
“To me,” I tell him, “the situation is the opposite. Recursion isn’t just a concept with some currency today among computer scientists; it was already used a century ago by philosophers in the Humanities. If anything, the Comp Sci folks are the ones cannibalizing the American pragmatist philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce.”
“At best,” I add, “it’s a cybernetic feedback loop: concepts evolving through exchange both ways.”