Is there something more effective for conducting the behaviour of people than today’s consumption and communication techniques?
In contemporary capitalism, subjectivity is the product of a mass industry organized on a global level. For Félix Guattari this is actually the first and most important of capitalist productions, because it preconditions and is part of production in all other forms of merchandise. Subjectivity is a ‘key merchandise,’ which in its ‘nature’ is put together, developed and manufactured in the same way as a car, electricity, or a washing machine. Capitalism organizes the production and control of subjectivity through two different systems, which weave together the manufacture of the individuated subject (“social subjection”) and what seems to be the opposite, de-subjectification (“machinic enslavement”). Therefore capitalism exercises a twofold hold over subjectivity.
Social subjection involves techniques of government, which pass by way of, and mobilize, representation (political and linguistic), areas of knowledge, discursive visual practices, etc., and produce ‘subjects of rights,’ ‘political subjects,’ in short: ‘subjects’ of ‘I’s,’ of individuals. By...
I’ve become obsessed with buffering—or the narrator in my new novel is obsessed with buffering. He’s an anthropologist who has grown up reading Lévi-Strauss but he’s also a corporate anthropologist who is working for the Man. He’s putting culture in the service of capital. Like we all do, he spends most of his life staring at a screen, and he frequently encounters bouts of buffering. And the first thought he has is that this is not ultimately a technological situation, it’s a theological situation. Behind that little circle spinning on your laptop there’s this belief that somewhere in Uzbekistan, Nevada or Finland there are many Über-servers with satellite dishes generating and sending out data. “Data” means gift and these servers are gifting all this data to you in this unconditional act of endless generosity and data angels are dancing on the pinhead of your Wi-Fi. And this places you inside...
Complicity in Spectatorship
Training the Eye
Gegenwart und Zukunft
Qu’entendre par l’invocation d’une « esthétique de la connaissance » ? Manifestement il ne s’agit pas de dire que les formes de la connaissance devraient s’adjoindre une dimension esthétique. L’expression présuppose qu’une telle dimension n’a pas à être ajoutée, comme un ornement supplémentaire, qu’elle est là de toute façon comme une donnée immanente de la connaissance. Reste à voir ce que cela implique. La thèse que je voudrais présenter est simple : parler d’une dimension esthétique de la connaissance, c’est parler d’une dimension d’ignorance qui divise l’idée même et la pratique de la connaissance.
Cette proposition implique évidemment une thèse préalable quant à ce qu’ « esthétique » veut dire. La thèse est la suivante : l’esthétique n’est pas la théorie du beau ou de l’art, elle n’est pas non plus la théorie de la sensibilité. Esthétique est un concept historiquement déterminé qui désigne un régime spécifique de visibilité et d’intelligibilité de l’art, qui s’inscrit dans une reconfiguration...
The book tells the story of Lili and Siegfried Kracauer’s close working relationship – from the early 1930s following their marriage in Germany, to exile in Paris and the war and post-war years in the USA.
Certain kinds of values, such as generosity and forgiveness, may only be possible through a suspension of this mode of ethicality and, indeed, by calling into question the value of ethics itself.
I do not have much to say about why there is a return to ethics, if there is one, in recent years, except to say that I have for the most part resisted this return, and that what I have to offer is something like a map of this resistance and its partial overcoming which I hope will be useful for more than biographical purposes. I’ve worried that the return to ethics has constituted an escape from politics, and I’ve also worried that it has meant a certain heightening of moralism and this has made me cry out, as Nietzsche cried out about Hegel, “Bad air! Bad air!” I suppose that looking for a space in which to breathe is not the highest ethical aspiration, but it is there, etymologically embedded in aspiration itself, and does seem to constitute something of a precondition for any viable, that is, livable, ethical...
How can we think about the relation between dance and politics today without repeating neo-liberal demands and constraints?
Democratic fetishism involves not believing that one lives in a democracy while acting as if one does believe it.
Fredric Jameson has diagnosed the contemporary situation as one of subjective perplexity and disorientation. After the failures of all the Marxist attempts to install a framework which could provide for a collective subjective orientation, and after the perpetual intensification of late capitalism’s dynamics, the contemporary epoch is marked by the feeling that “the truth of … experience no longer coincides with the place in which it takes place.” This is to say, that individuals become disoriented because they lack an effective cognitive map of the complete situation they are in. This lack of orientation originates in the absence of a standpoint that would provide not only an abstract, but also a concretizable, perspective on the totality of the situation in which an individual finds himself. Badiou has further complicated the problem of disorientation, by linking it to the modalities of subjectivization offered by contemporary societies. In his analysis he refers to...
Some images from the Tiergarten are particularly successful. The park could be a symbol of photography itself, and perhaps the latter follows the park so effortlessly because photography also whiles away its time on yesterday’s threshold.
Frankfurter Zeitung, 15th December 1932