The Implex

Holger Schulze:
The Implex:
Reemboydying Technologies in Transformative Economies

Lecture series The Coming Catastrophe (concept: Nina Franz)


Bauhaus Universität Weimar
Bauhausstraße 11
Sem. 15


7:00 – 8:30pm


This talk proposes a core concept for how to escape the cul-de-sac of contemporary societies and economies: these still focus on developing new products, extracting and refining material resources, applying and monetizing new knowledge through new commodities, automization and the development of new machines, tools and software applications. Yet, in the provoking words of Alibaba Group-founder, Jack Ma, at the World Economic Forum 2018: “Everything we teach should be different from machines.” Therefore, researchers in the area of transformative economies ask these days: What are the procedures that can transform our 21st century consumer and commodity culture into a highly sustainable, less resource-intensive culture and economy of skills and sensibilities? The core concept this talk will investigate is the concept of the implex, proposed by Paul Valéry in his famous “Cahiers” in the early 20th century (Valéry 1965, 2007) and only recently explored anew by Dietmar Dath and Barbara Kirchner (Dath and Kirchner 2012, Schulze 2020). How is it possible to reembody selected technologies in a more sustainable way that were externalized and commodified in the recent course of cultural history?

Dath, Dietmar and Kirchner, Barbara. Der Implex: Sozialer Fortschritt: Geschichte und Idee,, Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag 2012.
Schulze, Holger. Sonic Fiction, New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020.
Valéry, Paul. Cahiers/Notebooks 3, translated by Norma Rinsler, Paul Ryan, Brian Stimpson, based on the French Cahiers edited by Judith Robinson-Valéry, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2007.
Valéry, Paul. The Collected Works of Paul Valery – Part V: Idee fixe: A Duologue by the Sea, translation by D. Paul, Preface by J. Mathews, Introduction by P. Wheelwright, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1965.