In 1974, renowned science fiction writer Philip K. Dick began to experience a series of visions which he attributed to a mysterious entity with qualities that seemed to lie somewhere between the alien and the divine. He would spend the remaining 8 years of his life seeking to explain these encounters, recording his attempts in the collection of writings that eventually stretched to 8,000 pages, and which he came to think of as his ‘Exegesis’.
In this workshop we will take up, through a selection of brief excerpts, a recurring theme of the ‘Exegesis’, that of nonhuman subjectivity. Drawing on ideas from theology, mysticism, psychology, information theory and modern science, Dick engages in a seemingly interminable effort to think the notion of a perceiving, communicating, feeling being that would not be bound to human modes of existence, bodily, psychological or social, thus destabilizing the ontologies of both subject and object. We will attend not only to the ideas and figures that emerge, but to the effects of Dick’s aberrant method – or lack of method – as he tinkers, in a manner Erik Davis has referred to as ‘garage philosophy’, with bits and pieces of ideas snatched from encyclopedias, fiction, and various other readily available sources of information – not the least being his own dreams and visions.