Haastattelu: Future of Capitalism and the movie called Speed

23.3.2017

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There was interesting times happening in McDonalds, Forum in Finland one Sunday in February; Fulbright –scholars visiting Finland were habitating the place with their performance and wanted to tell us and the readers of Sosiologi more about The World Speed Project and the possible situationist future in the era when capitalism has come to it´s end. As we all know – sociology as a discipline has originated from philosophy, so we went deep down to the unknown and discussed also about the future of the both fields in between cheeseburgers, McFlurries and Coca-Cola.

 

E & O:
You have started the World Speed Project. Would you like to tell us and the readers of Sosiologi something about this project?

R & The World Speed Project:
Wow. The World Speed Project seeks to obtain every single VHS copy of the 1994 smash hit movie Speed featuring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock and to amass as many of these copies as possible since 2007. The point is that there is no point. We just want to collect every copy of the movie Speed and attain the maximum velocity. Because by putting our money for something completely useless and by striving for useless goal where the essence is overthrowing the idea of strife. To expect that there is a meaning out of your actions limits the possibilities of your actions and that is not what we are here to do.

To give The World Speed Project a purpose is to give it a capitalistic goal and the goal is to overthrow capitalism. To get every single VHS copy of the movie Speed in existence and to achieve maximum velocity. And store them in a van and, I don´t know after that maybe go to space or swim around in the copies and have all those faces of Keanu around your body while you drive. Uuh! The details are irrelevant and the possibilities are truly endless. The World Speed Project has numerous goals and everyone is a part of it, you giving this interview makes you automatically part of The World Speed Project and all the teenagers in this restaurant are part of it. Thank you! Kiitos!

E & O:
What are you thinking about the fact that McDonalds is in almost every country in the world?

R & The Word Speed Project:
McDonalds provides sustenance to many people, but I really don´t know. I don´t typically eat in McDonalds that´s why I went to Starbucks today to get this coffee.

McDonalds can also be seen as an inverted form of The World Speed Project because we are trying to collect all the copies in single location where McDonalds is trying to expand over the whole globe, we are sort of doing the opposite, by pulling the copies of Speed out of the market economy that way they have no more value and cannot be anymore subjected to the logic of the market. So we don´t collect them for profit, we collect them for all the possibilities you could undertake with thousands of copies of Speed.

I just like the cheeseburgers and they taste nice! McDonalds is great, they got
cheeseburgers, they got everything.

E & O:
Is there anything more that sociology students in Finland should know about The World Speed Project?

R & The World Speed Project:
They should send us the VHS copies of their Speed movies if they have them, from what we understand the Finnish name for the movie Speed is Kuoleman kyydissä. Capitalism is a ride with Death and everybody knows that – The World Speed Project have some slight marxist undertones, but we are not marxist, we are situationist and what you should tell the sociology students is that the situationist future is only viable future for humanity and that is what The World Speed Project is working toward.

For situationist the point of life is not work, the point of life is play. In their future city called New Babylon robots will do all day-to-day labor the people don´t want to do and we will spend our time exploring the creative possibilities of existence because deliberating possibility is true work of existence. Maybe what sociology students in Finland might find useful is that The World Speed Project is a Social art project and it can´t be classified as pretty much anything else.

E & O:
Are you sure you will collect all the copies of The Speed movie from the World?

R & The World Speed Project:
That doesn´t matter. First, even if people keep the copies from us they going to die one day and then we will get the copies. Two, he is a neuroscientist and he´s working on ways of keeping us alive long enough to collect all the copies and three, all the copies already exist. We try to accelerate the end of capitalism so that we can break into the New Age where robots will do all the labor and you will be required to go to the pottery class and you can´t be late from pottery class. They are going to be really good at making clay pots there. And you might also sleep a lot or you could walk around town, or not. Or you can watch The Speed movie and experience Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, but you don´t have to. You can also bounce a basketball for 478 days straight, you could do anything. All the copies of Speed are in the possession of our World, so we don´t need to physically have them present to achieve the goals of the project, but people like the idea of piling and seeing the tapes together and swim around in them. At the moment we master 300 copies in a van in Speed ranch in Idaho.

E & O:
You are visiting Finland as Fulbright –scholars and you have focused especially on continental philosophy and notions that German philosopher Martin Heidegger and French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty have made about body, society, philosophy and architecture and also discussed about the contributions these thinkers have made in architecture and philosophy. What kind of conclusions have you made by this point?

R & The World Speed Project:
We all are Fulbright –scholars but would like to outline that our views doesn´t represent Fulbright any way because they would only get mad at us. I´m a composer and do research on music while R is studying philosophy and D is studying neuroscience; at the moment I´m composing World Speed Space Symphony so when R is going to the galaxies as a techno-dolphin he has a soundtrack, I have already written 17 records but he needs more, I´m not important, thank you ma´am.

Let´s do it this way – do you know Marsilio Ficino, he´s a renessaince humanist. He said that the only point of mankind is to explore all the possibilities of being, so that´s basically the only essence of humanity I am willing to take, which is kind of what Karl Marx were talking about, because Marx said that our species being is our innate being and both Marx and Heidegger are talking about that in terms of creative capacity. Heidegger liked to use all these fancy Greek words like poesis and poetry and what not. But the whole idea is that there is way more possibilities that we could engage in than we do and capitalism attempts to reduce those in a single global logic which is functionality and profitability. So, basically anywhere I can see any kind of logic that can be applied to reduce bodies to some kind of functional element that serves some kind of overall reductive interest, I´m immediately going to intervene. So, that´s why I´m against essentialist and foundationalist interpretations of the body in the research. I have studied several other things also, this is not the only one although the paper is the most widely read in Academia.edu at the moment.

E & O:
Maurice Merleau-Ponty has discussed about phenomenology of the body in Phenomenology of Perception. Do you think there should be more notions on body in architecture, philosophy and sociology?

R & The World Speed Project:
What the current study of architecture, Merleau-Ponty and the architectural phenomenology does 100 % right is that it points out that we have sort of superficial relation to architecture at least within the area of practice. In architectural studies in undergraduate level for example, the most succesful kids are the ones who can run the 3D-rendering software the best, it doesn´t matter how much you think about what you´re doing in architecture, how much you are try to understand what could be good for people or maybe undermine certain pernicious social structures we have. The only thing that matters is being able to render photorealistic building that looks exciting and cool. Many architecture student are thinking they are building the future although they reaffirming the same capitalistic future we already have. I luckily had good architecture professors while I was undergraduate. I also try to translate between the people who do theoretical research and people who only want to do architecture in some of the research.

Quantitative analysis of the bodies isn´t a good thing and it is a part of biopower take-over of the current knowledge era that we live in and this is the problem in sociology and other fields of studies alike, problem is; people want to calculate perfectly the exact amount of freedom that a body has the right to and reduce it to a numerical value and then to give that for the government that they can govern peoples bodies more effeciently. By doing this, one is just trying to find a numerical sweetspot of perfectly calculating what bodies are allowed and not allowed to do. This is what we know from Michel Foulcault.

So, you are thinking that quantitative data will tell us everything we need to know about bodies and how we should live and there is often just of assumed sort of like daily liberal morality, ”people are deserved to live a happy life”, but there are no concept what a happy life means or whether or not the data they are collecting is actually serve to reinforce the present social structures. So, in my view, the point of philosophy is to open up possibilities, not make the government more efficient at managing bodies. We are living the scientific age where only numbers can apparently provide truth which is impoverished notion what the truth is. From panopticon we have moved towards the age of govern mentality where we are now perfectly regulating how much govern mentality needs to applied to the bodies so they can work most effectively for the State. Don´t go to that knowledge paradigm.

E & O:
How sociology could be better as a scientific discipline in the future?

R & The World Speed Project:
I don´t think there needs to be a field called Sociology, I am really pro-interdisciplinary studies. Even philosophy being a department is stupid to me everywhere in the World, although U.S. is the worst though. General belief that you can reduce the world to mathematical or logical explanations of everything is just an attempt to get outside the problems of the world. There are many problems in the World people can deal with and I don´t just understand why we think we have to subdivide the fields in so many ways. Plenty of people who have studied sociology and teorethical foundations of sociology are always telling me that they use scientific method. What does that mean? It would be great if there would be more interdisciplinarity and the fact that philosophy is relegated in one department and mostly dealing with logic isn´t that good either. More people needs to be educated more broadly in variety of areas.

In renessaince era the reason why universities were called universities because there were universal education considering philosophy, mathematics, the natural sciences and all these things to see how they worked together – you didn´t just learned how to do a quantitative analysis inside of an excel sheet and said that you are a scientist. Education system nowadays works to reinforce the division of individuals down to a single speciality function.

If in the future sociology and philosophy would work together and if science, arts and music would work together, more people should be in my opinion educated in metaphysics, not because we could achieve metaphysical picture of reality that would give us final knowledge on things but I think that metaphysics after 1960s poststructuralism has led to anti-reductivism and emphazising complexity and how the things work together without attempting to get some kind of universal structure how things are always going to work. Michel Serres for example says that the noise is the only metaphysical object.

Complexity theory and philosophy should be studied also if you want to have really universal education. There isn´t a domain in which philosophy doesn´t operate in and it is the only field which have the freedom to move between domains and see how they talk to one another. It is a way of thinking. More people need also to be educated to critically evaluate how philosophical conceptions underpin the way we think about things.

The learning is necessary only until the capitalism ends and situationist future starts. We have to un-become capitalist bodies, so that we can open up all sorts of other bodies that we could become. Capitalism isn´t a natural law and it´s relatively new in history; before capitalism existed there had different ways people were relating with each other and there are still places in the world where people don´t engage with capitalism. Logic of market isn´t everywhere and especially situationism will give positive conception how life can be outside of capitalist system.

E & O:
Great! What kind of architecture there would be in situationist future?

R & The World Speed Project:
There are architects who work with situationist and one thing that I like about what they are doing that they had this idea that cities must be made out of modular systems that can be repurposed for any given situation and you didn´t owned anything in the city, you didn´t owned property, different parts of the city were build up for different functions so you can go for food part of the city, set up for food purposes for people who like to cook – otherwise robots will do the cooking, there is also sleep part of the city and Sex and the City.

They can see the architecture as a community effort, not even a effort, just like an activity constantly restructuring spaces for different purposes so no part of the city was ever the same, like you don´t go to same parts of the city. And I´m not saying that architecture should just be one that is fundamentally constantly changing or something like that. But as I said earlier; lot of times structures of the cities are usually build so that they reinforce certain forms of life and get rid of others.

E & O:
What do you think that heritage of European philosophy could contribute to the current philosophical discussion in United States?

R & The World Speed Project:
I think that most conversations that there are in American academy already have their own histories. I like to be called philosopher or pluralist, not a continental philosopher of Europe. There has to be people working in theoretical logic and things like that. But I don´t think that any one style of philosophy should reign because that would assume that there would be a method to do philosophy that could explain the rest.

The philosophy inside the academy in the U.S. still burdened by the McCarthy era were everybody who wasn´t capitalist was an communist and marxist and were forced out of universities and focused the studies of philosophy in logic, not to a marxist or social philosophy because it was seen as a form of communism. Philosophical heritage in the U.S. was one manufactured by the government this time. Of course philosophers don´t think about social problems or if they do they would think how to make democracy better, because the democracy is the solution and they try to figure out the most effective logic to defend democracy. But this isn´t the case with everyone, there are lot of good thinking also in academic field.

Most students still think the only philosopher from Europe was Plato and that it´s childrens philosophy. One of my favourite stories is how Bertnardt Russell decides he doesn´t like hegelians because he thinks you can know the concept in itself irregardless of it´s relation to other concepts. So, he´s like no, I can´t discover the logical atoms of reality and concepts can be understood in their own terms, we don´t have to make references to other concepts and he was rejecting the mass-hegelianism which there was at the time and the one generation later in analytic metaphysics W. O. Kline made big discovery on how we have to study how concepts relate to one another and that was the big moment of analytic metaphysics of the recent history. So all that happened was that Bertnardt Russell was a baby and didn´t like hegelians and tried to ground mathematics in logic just to discover it wasn´t possible and the next generation was wait, we should relate concepts to other concepts in order to understand them better. So, they rejected Hegel for one generation and then came back to Hegel.

The lack of historical understanding on some of this very complicated and recent European philosophy, especially French and German, shows just how British and lot of American philosophers have thought that they are cutting edge when they are just often times going back for the solutions that has already been talked about in history, so I am a big proponent of studying history so that you can realize how strange you are and so that you can realize that there were plenty of other ways of living and that the way live now wasn´t somehow always the right way to live and slow mark today where everything is social progressive and nice and one day we would go there. There are plenty of analytic philosophy and people who use analytic methodology which is good in U.S. but anyone who thinks that world can be reduced in numbers are first to go in the situationist future.

E & O:
How about Nordic and Finnish philosophy especially?

R & The World Speed Project:
Johanna Oksala is amazing and extremely good and Jussi Backman is great. It seems that everyone studying philosophy in Finland are really well read across the spectrum. I don´t think that lot of people here understands what it would be like to study philosophy in the U.S. Just because the way social philosophy done here is done only by few English departments in U.S. Few students I have met seems very intelligent and less convinced that capitalism and democracy are great things compared to students in U.S. and in general all the humanities in America does terrible work at for example representing women – there are lot of hostile arguing and it´s not the only way to do philosophy.

E & O:
What do you think that heritage of American philosophy could contribute to the current philosophical discussion in Europe and Nordic Countries?

R & The World Speed Project:
That is already happened also, because American pragmatist are really influental. We have american philosophers now who are widely red in European circels. Obviously America and Finland are not the same and the structures of academic institutions don´t work excactly the same, but even Finnish architectural theory is just interested in French philosophy and even sociology and history in America is just interested in French philosophy. So, It´s kind of funny to me to ask to what´s going the other way other than a lot of European scholars in order to see legitimate in eyes of American schools become analytics so they can get in to the programs there which only reinforces one approach. So I don´t know what contributes to what but I don´t think philosophy has ever been associated to it´s social origins for sure. It seems that French philosophy has contributed way more to everyone doing philosophy in the West than American philosophy, but I´m not an expert in American philosophy so I don´t know the degree which it is influental.

E & O:
What do you think philosophers all over the World should do more?

R & The World Speed Project:
Oh man, study other fields. Buy Speed tapes and send them to us and several other things; study more cultural antrophology because most philosophers are universalists about what they think about natural moral attitudes that even introductory survey to cross-cultural antrophology will show you it isn´t the case. They should probably study also sociology more and vice versa. They should come to my music classes and his science classes. I think that more philosophers should be forced to learn musical instruments. We are starting a liberal art school and we have cookies, it´s open every Tuesday at 6 pm.

E & O:
Have you enjoyed in Finland and what would you like to do while you are here?

R & The World Speed Project:
I would like to have a sex-change that your government pays for and become a dolphin. I have thoroughly enjoyed the Finnish healthcare because I haven´t had health insurance until I moved to Finland. People in the U.S. thinks that in socialist countries, like Finland, you have to wait in line forever but this is not true. I even got to the doctor faster in Finland than I needed to. Finland has been really kind to us.

E & O:
Is there any knowledge or thoughts you would like to share with sociology students in Finland?

R & The World Speed Project:
Send The World Speed Project The Speed tapes. Don´t complain about the healthy student lunch you have here almost for free, if you do, go to U.S. and see the situation of the school lunch in there. There are people in America who are so mentally broken because of the system they live in, so they spend their days collecting the copies of Speed movie and pretend that it makes the difference. Polytheism is as equally philosophical attenable than monotheism, many people don´t seem to realize that, this is what Plato said. And remember, as Thales said, everything is full of Gods and as Procleus said, all things are full of Gods.

 

Get more knowledge about The World Speed Project

by liking the Facebook page ” The World Speed Project ”

and send your Speed VHS tapes to Grand High Chairman Ryan William Beitz and The World Speed Project:

The World Speed Project
Antti Korpin tie 4 B16 A
00600
Helsinki, Finland (Suomi)

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