Walter Benjamin, Heliopolitics…

Mosaic, 54.3 is a special author issue featuring the work of Frédéric Neyrat and including essays by Naomi Mandell, Sue Lovell, Gi Taek Ryoo, and Andrew Haas. Alongside two essays by Neyrat, you will find an interview focussing on the philosopher’s book, The Unconstructable Earth (2019), and you will encounter Arne De Boever’s introduction to Neyrat’s wider project via what he describes as “philosophy’s ins—and especially its outs.”


On Frédéric Neyrat’s Critical Thought

Arne De Boever


Crossings: A Conversation with Frédéric Neyrat

Frédéric Neyrat and Shepherd Steiner

The following interview with Frédéric Neyrat was conducted electronically in 2020. Mosaic is pleased to publish the interview here.


Heliopolitics (Or How to Cure an Amnesiac Sun?)

Frédéric Neyrat

After the end of the grand narrative of coal (associated with the working class and collective struggles), and then the end of the grand narrative of oil (which fueled individualistic dreams), this essay instigates a solar grand narrative from which to rethink the relation between ecology, technology, and politics: the Heliopolis to come will be an unstable dwelling, a civic bivouac spinning endlessly, sailing across an expanding universe.


Walter Benjamin’s Cosmos: Correspondence, Aura, and the Cosmo-Geological Subject

Frédéric Neyrat

In the interpretation of Walter Benjamin’s philosophy, his thinking is commonly divided into two distinct blocks: the culture-language-aesthetics block, where language functions as a mediation between the critique of culture and the analysis of technology at work in art, and the politics-history-theology block, where history mediates between Benjamin’s (quasi-)Marxist politics and his heterodox messianism. I propose to question this conventional interpretation by exploring Benjamin’s cosmology, his thinking of the universe and the Earth, the way this thinking determines the concept of aura, and the new type of subjectivity that this philosophy induces. Benjamin’s cosmos is neither an ordered and hierarchical space, nor a totality of celestial objects, but rather the occasion of a lightning experience, an improbable “constellation” where the most distant in space and time fleetingly encounter the here and now.

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