Universalism cover

What Is Universalism? New philosophy for a multipolar world

June 21-22, Palazzo Diedo, Venice. Thinkers from all continents gathered for two days of philosophical creation and a public marathon of interviews on universalism led by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Lorenzo Marsili

As new power centers emerge around the world, each with a claim to the
legitimacy of their civilizational values and particular truth procedures, can we still speak of universal values and universal truths? How can we imagine a new theoretical basis for a post-globalization, post-eurocentric and in many ways post-liberal world? Can climate change, the rise of AI, and other planetary challenges influence how we think about out common destiny as humanity?

In the context of its “Year of the Planetary” the Berggruen Institute
Europe sets out to investigate these and many more questions, which
have been at the base of the philosophical happening that took place
on June 21-22 at Palazzo Diedo in Venice.

Thinkers from all continents gathered for two days of philosophical
creation and a public marathon of interviews on Universalism led by
Hans Ulrich Obrist and Lorenzo Marsili.

The event has also hosted special artistic contributions by Alexander
Kluge and the duo Holly Herndon & Mat Dryhurst and Ruth Kemna who
explored the theme of Universalism though the language of images,
video and sound.

What is Universalism? Event Photo
Holly Herndon & Mat Dryhurst
What is Universalism? Event Photo
Ruth Kemna

Frédérique Ait-Touati - Philosopher, historian, and theater director
Barbara Cassin - Philosopher and philologist
Emanuele Coccia - Philosopher and academic
Souleyman Bashir Diagne - Philosopher and academic
Mamadou Diouf - Historian and philosopher
Manthia Diawara - Writer and filmmaker
Arturo Escobar - Activist researcher
Yuk Hui - Philosopher and technologist
Nadia Yala Kisukidi - Philosopher and writer
Margaret Levi - Political scientist
Julie Mehretu - Visual artist
Pankaj Mishra - Essayist and novelist
Carlo Rovelli - Theoretical physicist
Ece Temelkuran - Writer and political journalist
Ge Wang - Philosopher and academic
Zhang Xudong - Professor of East Asian Studies and Comparative Literature

Curated by
Hans Ulrich Obrist - Curator, art critic, author and artistic director
of the Serpentine Gallery
Lorenzo Marsili - Activist philosopher, writer, contributor to
numerous newspapers and Director of the Berggruen Institute Europe

Alexander Kluge Photo
Alexander Kluge

A special lecture performance on AI by the duo
Holly Herndon - Artist and composer
Mat Dryhurst - Artist, musician and technology researcher

“Adventures of Enlightenment”
A project by Alexander Kluge - Film director, screenwriter, writer and producer

A special musical contribution by
Ruth Kemna - young artist, violist, performer and director



"What Is Universalism" Program

Download the pdf