Cottage University II

From May 11-16, 2013, the fifth annual Department of Biological Flow spring workshop was held at a small cottage near Verona, Ontario. The theme of this second iteration of Cottage University was “Topology and Immanence”.

Alter-economies require a rethinking of energetics.

There was certainly a subtext to the event — both in terms of our locale and the legacy of last year’s focus on hospitality — that resonated around the concept of ecology. How do we consider the various topologies that form our ecological subjectivities, broadly understood in terms of a collective individuation and more materially in the move from urban infospheres to the remote quietude of the off-network retreat — from now to here? What concepts and practices of immanence can inform this ecological approach to our worlds and worlding? How might they in-form a micropolitics of presence and being present?

After an unexpected dwindling of participant numbers from 13 to 7 prior to the retreat, much of the formal program for Cottage University II was scrapped in favour of a more emergent machining workshop that would attempt to continually re-fold invented techniques in upon the notions of topology and immanence. Following a timed purchasing activity for activation objects and a pizza topology evening transducing ingredients from other contingent “homes”, the rest of the event was dedicated to propositioning, machining, dialoguing and otherwise co-creating. Types of machines biogrammed during the event include a silence machine, a thirdness machine, a combustion machine, a writing/teaching machine, an entanglement machine, a trickster machine, a refuelling machine, and a networking machine, among many others.


Kate Goodwin, Joseph Weissman, Holly McKenzie, April Warn-Vannini, Mahasti Mudd, Barb Fornssler and Sean Smith.

Reading List

Gilles Deleuze. “Foldings, or the Inside of Thought (Subjectivation).” In Foucault, 94-123, 1988.

François Laruelle. “A Summary of Non-Philosophy.” Pli 8, 138-148, 1999.

Brian Massumi. “The Diagram as Technique of Existence: Ovum of the Universe Segmented.” In Semblance and Event: Activist Philosophy and the Occurrent Arts, 87-103, 2011.

Luciana Parisi. “Information Trading and Symbiotic Micropolitics.” Social Text 80, Vol. 22, No. 3, 25-49, Fall 2004.

Suely Rolnik. “Avoiding False Problems: Politics of the Fluid, Hybrid, and Flexible.” e-flux Journal #25, 1-9, May 2011.

Xin Wei Sha. “Topology and Morphogenesis.” Theory, Culture, Society, 29(4/5) 220–246, 2012.