Schirmacher (R)evolution in Saas-Fee: The Badiouan EVENT Takes For(u)m with Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Graham Harman and Geert Lovink

09/09/2014 05:09 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Alain Badiou: AN EVENT IS A SURPRISE; IF IT IS NOT A SURPRISE, IT IS NOT AN EVENT.

Like the proverbial fall of dominos or throwing of the Deleuzian dice, the black and white of the ever-domino(ant) continential philosophy text is blending into a distinct shade of grey...


Badiou's diagram of the EVENT, from its epicenter locality: European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland (August 2012).

...illuminating the third path of the Homo Generator...


Dr. Wolfgang Schirmacher, founder and director of the alpine laboratory, the Media and Communications Division of the European Graduate School.

A radical change is required for the human species to survive, and if we want to prevent our destruction, we must learn a "bodily" langauge which precedes the division into subject and object, and admit the individual into a successful enterprise that needs no planning. --Dr. Wolfgang Schirmacher "The End of Metaphysics" 1983

One luminary after another...


Boris Groys in Saas-Fee in August 2013 to conduct a seminar on the Gesamtkunstwerk (the Total Work of Art)

...climbing the Steinmattenweg...


...to deliver their requisite evening lecture. Each revealing what has been there, and yet unacknowledged, as the world transitions into the Schirmacher prophecy.

The Saas Fee 2014 countdown to 3.0 began with Alain Badiou....


...the world-renowned French philosopher rose to fame in his own country with a series of television interviews setting up the French philosophers for the EVENT that would become known as"1968". (Badiou in the EGS Steinmatte, August 2014)


Badiou's 2014 EGS seminar stressed the crucial importance of locality in the "Event that is an arrow in the direction of the world..."


The Badiouian Movement: The philosopher with the director of the EGS student performance of "Ahmed the Philosopher: Thirty-Four Short Plays for Children and Everyone Else".

Next came Michael Hardt whose...


...was belied by his multilingual August 18 seminar on the common with Antonio Negri in the lower elevation of Stalden. (Negri, center in blue shirt, and Hardt, kneeling on right, with their seminar students).

What was unspoken, but hovering on the edge of consciousness, was the triumph of a new form of leadership, a "third entity" which Hardt described to his seminar the previous day as his collaborative for(u)m with Negri.


Hardt & Negri: "Two faces of the common: we produce together; we can't produce alone."

There is indeed hope for the future when men can create in realm beyond the separting human ego to resolve pressing world problems. This resonant "third entity" called for "rich subjecitivties that have no fear, expand in joy, develop desires and cast off death to have an adequate relationship between bodies and life."

The quantum leap into the philosophically diminished "subject(ive)" was then writ into theory via the "Third Table" by Graham Harman whose 2014 seminar topic was Black Holes.


Harman is at the forefront of the Speculative Realists, whose focus on the object has made the philosopher/physicist an influential figure in international art.


Harman's evening lecture was a tour de force in which he called on philosophy to be reanimated by science and declared the artist as the model for the Third Table, the "real" beyond the Two Tables of Sir Arthur Eddington.

Whereas continental philosophy has gotten lost in the binary of the all-important text and American philosophy has been stimied by signage between disciplines marked "do not cross," Speculative Realism has attracted global attention for its focus on the object, which brings art and science from quantum uncertainty into entanglement, "the putative source of the arrow of time."

Finally, Geert Lovink, the pioneering Dutch/Australian media theorist, envisions "technological embodiment" via the shift to Web 3.0..."where visible and invisible meet."


Lovink sounds warning signals about the Web 2.0 neo-Liberalism "Like" binary ego preferences as cover for amassing personal data for global domination.


"We cannot just say that the Third is a retroactive movement going back. Absolutely not. If there is an in-between space, that for me implies the New. It is a birth ground for something that is becoming. It is not a compromise. It is not a synthesis in the easy way we have two opposites and let's just do a dialectical trick and create a third option. It has to be a birthing option," said Lovink, above left, with a student at the Allalin, the host hotel in Saas-Fee.

The arrow pointing to the Baldiouian subject, forever changed by the EVENT that took place from 02-23 August, 2014 at EGS, was a successful teleport laboratory experiment published in the 29 April issue of Science, reported by the New York Times.


The radical embodiment of "Revolutionary Consciousness": Antonio Negri has lived up to his name in semiotext, the (alchemical) negri(do) as the initial step to the philosopher's stone.

The Saas Fee EGS laboratory has established a much-anticipated equlibrium due to the


"The world is where Being is localized and where Being exists. The Event is an arrow in the direction of the world; from this point we have the process of the Truth--the subjective world of the Event," stated Alain Badiou, pictured here with his partner, professor Judith Balso, and Wolfgang Schirmacher on August 4, 2014.

This EVENT realizes Schirmacher's 1983 call for a successful enterprise based in Uncertainty "which precedes the division into subject and object", thereby catalyzing a new cycle of Modernism, the object(ive) of this (R)EVOLUTION series since its inception in the fall of 2010.


The primordial energy long-repressed in continential philosophy is an object(ive) presence in the Steinmatte auditorrium of the European Graduate School of Saas-Fee. The mask was carved by the patriarch of the host family, Zurbriggen.

Lisa Paul Streitfeld is a philosopher and critic based in Berlin. Her thesis "Hermeneutics of New Modernism" about the Saas Fee experiment is being published next month by Atropos Press.

The photos in this posting were taken were taken in Saas-Fee by Lisa Paul Streitfeld in August 2014, with the exception of Groys (August 2013).

For video highlights of the Nigri/Hardt seminar and other EGS lectures, go to to http://www.egs.edu