Introduction: Cosmographies of Worlding and Unworlding: Prompts for Avant-Garde Disastronauts


  • Jon McKenzie Cornell University, Ithaca, NY



Across the arts and sciences, the ontological turn challenges Descartes’ founding of the modern world on human subjectivity, shaking the very foundations of aesthetic experience and experience itself. Facing global eco-anxieties, COVID, militant nationalisms, and critiques of extractive knowledge production, some se ek the world’s worlding, others its unworlding. Globally, the sharing of aesthetic practices at individual and collective scale increasingly unfolds via transversal networks, transient ideation, and algorithmic processing by any media necessary. Given the multiple cascading crises of world-making/breaking: Who or what makes and unmakes worlds today, what composition of players constitute contemporary cosmography? Which aesthetic practices, materials, and structures enable and/or disable contemporary subject formation, sociotechnic collaboration, and shared world making? To what ends – if any – might such world-making or-unmaking proceed, and for whom or what? What signposts or onto-historical markers might guide these ways of proceeding toward or beyond the all too human?


Borges, Jorge Luis, Labyrinths: Selected Stories & Other Writings. New York: New Directions, 1964.




How to Cite

McKenzie, J. (2023). Introduction: Cosmographies of Worlding and Unworlding: Prompts for Avant-Garde Disastronauts. AM Journal of Art and Media Studies, (30), 1–14.