New Interfaces// Václav Janoščík: Trauma and ontology: Survival genre in gaming and philosophy

We cordially invite you to a lecture by pedagogue, theoretician and curator Václav Janoščík, which will take place in the MEDIUM Gallery.

MEDIUM Gallery, Hviezdoslavovo námestie 18, Bratislava

In a popular computer game with a succinct title the Raft one continually recovers items and material from the ocean and tinkers makeshift vessel into unseen dimensions. Like in many other games survival turns out into casual and funny gameplay. In a desperate isolation one gets flooded with stuff, so like in current consumerist capitalism. This can be taken not only as a symptom of the current atmosphere of dystopian realism and mainstreaming of the survival genre but also as a productive hint or allegory for philosophy. Seemingly inhuman and desolate ocean is full of things and potential. Potential that should of course be extended beyond the primitive accumulation of the Raft. Because survival is not only in popculture and gaming, we can find it in contemporary philosophy in as much a high amount. We can even categorize the poetic survivalism of new materialist thinkers (Donna Haraway, Rosi Braidotti), explicitly tragist position of philosophers of technology (Bernard Stiegler, Yuk Hui), (cosmic) pessimism of other speculative thinkers (Quentin Meillassoux, Ray Brassier, Eugene Thacker) or even the pop catastrophism of some ooo proponents (Timothy Morton). In gaming as well as in contemporary thinking the demand to address the dystopian contours of our time are demands for ontology. Rather than delivering criticism of these games and theories, we can frame them within such an economy and demand of ontology.


Václav Janoščík is a pedagogue, theoretician and curator, currently teaching at Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He edited multiple publications about contemporary thinking issues such as new materialism, speculative realism, accelerationism. futures studies and media theories.


The lecture is a part of the New Interfaces series, which is dramaturgically covered by the head of the MEDIUM Gallery, Miroslava Urbanová. The New Interfaces are a series of interdisciplinary lectures led by experts in various fields - literature, psychology, social sciences, aesthetics and game theory and art. They deal with topics that resonate in the work of the youngest artists working within the post-media environment. The cycle will focus primarily on topics related to our cognitive conditions in the interfaces of constantly evolving technologies and in contrast to the desire for authentic, visceral experience escaping out here-and-now. These themes appear in art with increasing urgency, both in the overproduction of performative works or works thematizing these new interfaces. The lectures also reflect the themes that appear in the dramaturgy of the exhibition plan of the MEDIUM gallery and its reading club for students What´s the Point?

Supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council.