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Affirmations of the Apocalypse

‘Becoming Ahuman’ in the Works of Patricia MacCormack and the CCRU

Felix Hüttemann, Fynn-Adrian Richter


Pages 211 - 230



Abstract: Our contribution discusses the idea of ‘becoming ahuman’ in the works of Patricia MacCormack and the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU). In particular, we investigate how the concept of ‘becoming ahuman’ is understood as an affirmative stance towards human extinction. In MacCormack’s view, humankind is something to be actively overcome, the human apocalypse something to be welcomed. Ultimately, this is meant as a form of liberation, as an empowerment of ‘the other’, mainly of nonhuman life. The apocalypse envisioned by the CCRU inevitably amounts to a technically accelerated replacement or extinction of the human species by a technological singularity. Whereas MacCormack outlines a productive and life-affirming path for activism beyond anthropocentrism, the CCRU’s affirmation of the apocalypse is rooted in a nihilistic-hedonistic attitude in face of a catastrophe yet to come, a view that is still anthropocentric. As will be shown, these two versions of apocalyptic thinking share similarities in style and form, but the conclusions drawn from MacCormack’s and the CCRU’s visions of human extinction could not be more opposed.

Keywords: accelerationism, Anthropocene, apocalypse, extinction, nihilism

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