Tate Modern Talk

Spaces of Transformation: Spatialised Immunity

Photograph of Peter Sloterdijk

Peter Sloterdijk in conversation with Nigel Thrift 

Peter Sloterdijk’s philosophico-morphological theory is based on an understanding of the history of culture as spatialisations of forms. The world in which we live now requires us to design new types of ‘spatialised immunity’. More broadly, the concept of a spherical logic of space – a polymorphologic of form, order and thinking – is explicated in Spheres, his three-volume archaeology of the human attempt to dwell within spaces, from womb to globe. The Spheres project (Bubbles, Globe, Foam) is a significant topological turn in the field of contemporary philosophy, ‘a super-workout for communicative energies capable of finding contact throughout the entire world.’

Peter Sloterdijk

is one of the best known and widely read German intellectuals writing today. His 1983 publication of Critique of Cynical Reason (published in English in 1988) became the bestselling German book of philosophy since World War II. He became president of the State Academy of Design at the Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe in 2001 where he is also Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics. He received the Ernst Robert Curtius literary award in 1993. He has been co-host of a discussion program, Das Philosophische Quartett (Philosophical Quartet) on German television since 2002. English translations include Thinker on Stage: Nietzsche’s Materialism (1989), Theory of the Post-War Periods: Observations on Franco-German relations since 1945 (2008), God’s Zeal: The Battle of the Three Monotheisms (2009), Derrida, an Egyptian (2009), Terror from the Air (2009), Rage and Time (2010) and Neither Sun nor Death (2011). Spheres, his three-volume magnum opus is forthcoming in English translation from Semiotext(e).

Nigel Thrift

is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick. He joined Warwick from the University of Oxford where he was made Head of the Division of Life and Environmental Sciences in 2003 before becoming Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research in 2005.

Professor Thrift continues to maintain an active research career alongside his role as Vice-Chancellor and has been the recipient of a number of distinguished academic awards. He was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003. His current research spans a broad range of interests, including international finance; cities and political life; non-representational theory; affective politics; and the history of time.

This keynote conversation is followed by a performance by Rubedo in the Starr Auditorium starting at 17.30.

Closing performance by Rubedo – Diodicity

Spaces of Transformation will incarnate through performance, an intensive non-ordinary moment of space-time, a closing celebration that will give shape and meaning to the entirety – changing, shifting and integrating. A dynamic paradoxically entangled topological logic, with future-anterior foldings into and out of other heterogeneous space-times in relational processes of becoming.


is an art practice and a think-tank founded in 2004 by Laurent-Paul Robert and Dr Vesna Petresin Robert, who have worked together since 1994. Rubedo explore relations between aesthetics, complex geometry, acoustics and synaesthesia, through performance, installation and artefact. The work integrates sound, space, moving image and narrative using customised digital and analogue tools and trans-disciplinary methods. Rubedo recently featured at Tate Modern, the Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal Festival Hall, Venice Biennale, Critics' Selection at the Cannes International Film Festival, World Architecture Festival, Sydney Opera House and the Vienna Secession.

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
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Date & Time

16 June 2012 at 14.00–16.30