The Burst of Surprise: Indeterminacy and the Viral politics of Covid-19

Btihaj Ajana is running a virtual workshop and delivering a talk as part of the Future of Indeterminacy events at Dundee University.

Workshop description: The global crisis ushered by the spread of coronavirus has induced a rupture in the neoliberal order. Covid 19 is emblematic of how nature can act as a sovereign disturbing the world order and erupting into radical unknowability. The situation, no doubt, forces a rethinking of knowledge and of the political nature of the future and its indeterminacy. For so long the dominant articulation of politics has been the ‘techno-economical organization’ or ‘making operational’ of our world (Nancy). Yet ‘events’ like Covid-19 challenge the workability of neoliberal politics, creating a space for re-imagining the political as open futurity. In the workshop we will examine the technosocial operations that have been put to work as a response to Covid-19: tracking apps and facial recognition techniques that have been mobilised to ‘determine’ the indeterminacy of the disease, critically reflecting on their design and the ethical questions they raise. We will also explore alternative ways of thinking and imagining a post-Covid-19 world and the role of in(determinacy) in shaping such imaginary. The workshop is limited to 30 participants.

More details can be found on: