on account of an article rejection. Anyone have a venue for a paper on comparative materialisms v/v Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of “the virtual” and communism?
Archive for the ‘Ideas’ Category
Posted in Ideas, tagged ascetics, askesis, care of the self, deleuze, ethics, foucault, micropolitics, philosophy, political theory, politics, power, subjectivation, subjectivity, the self on March 6, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
As many of you may know, there has been a trend in Foucault Studies to ponder over his late work on the Ancients. Some liberal Foucault scholars looked to him as a guru that offered an ethical system for a new form of life washed of the worries of power. While us radicals scoff at the so-called ‘ethical’ reading of Foucault, it is perhaps Deleuze who best dismisses such a reading.
Gilles Deleuze writes in his book Foucault, that:
If power is constitutive of truth, how can we conceive of a ‘power of truth’ which would no longer be the truth of power, a truth that would release transversal lines of resistance and not integral lines of power? How can we ‘cross the line’? And, if we must attain a life that is the power of the outside, what tells us that this outside is not a terrifying void and that this life, which seems to put up a resistance, is not just the simple distribution within the void of ‘slow, partial and progressive’ deaths?
What remains, then, except an anonymous life that shows up only when it clashes with power, argues with it, exchanges ‘brief and stridence words’, and then fades back into the night, what Foucault called ‘the life of infamous men’, whom he asked us to admire by virtue of ‘their misfortune, rage or uncertain madness’? … This culminated in The Use of Pleasure’s searing phrase: ‘to get free of oneself’. (94-95)
The redistribution or reorganization [found in the Greeks] takes place all on its own, or at least over a long period. For the relation to oneself will not remain the withdrawn and reserved zone of the free man, a zone independent of any ‘institutions and social system’. The relation to oneself will be understood int rems of power-relations and relations of knowledge. It will be reintegrated into these systems from which it was originally derived. The individual is coded or recorded within a ‘moral’ knowledge, and above all he becomes the stake in a power struggle and is diagrammatized.
The fold therefore seems unfolded, and the subjectivation of the free man is transformed into subjection: on the one hand it involved being ‘subject to someone else by control and dependence’, with all the processes of individuation and modulation which power installs, acts on the daily life and the interiority of those it calls its subjects; on the other it makes the subject ‘tied to his own identity by a conscience or self-knowledge’, through all the the techniques of moral and human science that go to make up a knowledge of the subject.n24 Simultaneously, sexuality becomes organized around certain focal points of power, gives rise to a ‘scientia sexualis’, and is integrated into an agency of ‘power-knowledge’, namely Sex (here [in The Uses of Pleasure,] Foucault returns to the analysis given in The History of Sexuality).
Must we conclude from this that the new dimension hollowed out by the Greeks disappears, an falls back on the two axes of knowledge and power? In that case we could go back to the Greeks and find a relation to oneself based on free individuality. but this is obviously not the case. There will always be a relation to oneself which resists codes and power; the relation to oneself is even one of the origins of these points of resistance which we have already discussed. For example, it would be wrong to reduce Christian moralities to their attempts at codification, and the pastoral power which they invoke, without also taking into account the ‘spiritual and ascetic movements’ or subjectivation that continued to develop before the Reformation (there are collective subjectivations).n25 It is not even enough to say that the latter resists the former; for there is a perpetuation communcatio between them, whether in terms of struggle or of composition. What must be stated, then, is that subjection, the relation to oneself, continues to create itself, but by transforming itself and changing its nature to the point where the Greek mode is a distant memory. Recuperated by power-relations and relations of knowledge, the relation to oneself is continually reborn, elsewhere and otherwise. (102-104)
Posted in Ideas, tagged bergson, cultural studies, D&G, deleuze, empire, flows, guattari, lacan, lazzarato, massumi, molecular, psychoanalysis, quanta, schizoanalysis, subject positions, tarde, The Metropolis, Tiqqun on February 15, 2013 | 2 Comments »
Yesterday, Matt asked a wonderful question about my theory of subjection in Empire and its relevance to Massumi’s use of “the grid” in the introduction to Parables For the Virtual.
Let me first preface this by saying that I believe Empire has already overcome the problem of the grid. It’s now just a problem for cultural studies and other disciplines that linger on old models of social analysis. In contrast to Empire, subjection in The Social State is absolutely indicative of a grid-type model of power, as are parts of the Modern State. ***Therefore: struggles against hierarchy and binary exclusion may benefit Empire rather than confront it.***
At the beginning Parables, Massumi claims that most cultural studies uses a social model premised on structural positions (“feminine,” “black,” etc). This is an application of an argument he inherits from Anti-Oedipus, where Deleuze and Guattari develop an elaborate critique of certain Fruedo-Lacanian psychoanalytic models that use a grid. They spare Lacan himself (Guattari was once the heir-apparent to Lacan’s ecole freudienne and remained under analysis even after the publication of AO), but are not so kind to his more dogmatic followers, such as Serge Leclaire.
Posted in Ideas, public scholarship, tagged architecture, dérive, insurrection, laura oldfield ford, micropolitics, politics, psychogeography, punk, savage messiah, situationism, the city, urbanism on January 31, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Savage Messiah by Laura Oldfield Ford, Verso (2011). Architecture, for all its aspirations, is usually far too dated. Even for the untrained eye, it is easy to spot when most buildings were designed. And yet, after the luster of newness fades, architecture still casts its long shadow on the future. It is on each side of this phenomenology of time and structure that the Situationists and their inheritors lie. The Situationists, enraptured by rapid mid-century urbanization, tore up cobblestones to find the beach beneath the streets. But after all that work, the beach was not paradise but a desert …read more
- The so-called “Job Market” has taken up virtually all of my academic energy in the last three weeks. As I have now produced enough material to streamline this process, I am slowly getting back to work. Also, if you have any hot tips, send them my way!
- Two journal articles have been revised and out for review. The super-secret review process makes sharing difficult. Once they get greenlighted, expect me to share portions of them on here.
- I have plans to visit The Bay Area in November (for friends, Claire, and Ardent), Chicago in upcoming months (to see friends), and NOLA in January (for NAASN), plus anywhere that invites me for a job talk. If you are in these areas and want to meet up for coffee, or whatever, let me know.
- Locally, a new collective I helped start is holding a November film series, and work around the infoshop is heating up. : D
Posted in Ideas, tagged affect, anarchism, capitalism, communism, dreams, labor, micro-politics, nightmares, politics, power, psychoanalysis, resistance, revolution, sabotage, schizoanalysis, war machine on August 14, 2012 | 1 Comment »