Talk: The Molecular Revolution: Toward an Art of Distances

I had the pleasure of speaking at the University of Alberta in the Lectures on Ahuman Pedagogy series organized by jessie beier + jan jagodzinski. The talk I gave includes material from my recently-completed book on The Politics of the Unseen, including some situating work that may not appear in the book itself. Moreover, we had a wonderful conversation afterwords that prompted me to rewrite the section on “mobilization” to clarify its relationship to arche-conservative Ernst Jünger, the insurrectionary politics of Tiqqun, and our contemporary reticular society.

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Fall 2019 Speaking Engagements

Fall 2019 Speaking Engagements

September 13th, University of Alberta, Ahuman Pedagogies lecture series

October 3rd, University of California, Los Angeles, Information School graduate colloquium series

October 7th, Texas A&M, Global Studies lecture series

October 12th, Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, The Post-human Network roundtable on “Haunted by Cybernetics”

November 8th, American Studies Association, panel on “Costuming Resistance”

Late November, University of Buenos Aires, Deleuze Practical Ontology (unconfirmed)

I am also running Fall 2019 West Hollywood Aesthetics and Politics! lecture series, which is free an open to the public for Friday evening lectures at 7:30 at the West Hollywood Public Library.

Our lineup is:
Continue reading “Fall 2019 Speaking Engagements”

New Publication: Антропоцен исчерпан: три возможные концовки (Anthropocene, Exhausted: Three Possible Endings)

The Russian publication New Literary Review (Новое литературное обозрение) recently published issue 159, which grew out of a conference on science and technology hosted by the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences on the campus of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration in April, 2018. The event included a number of incredibly exciting presentations by scholars working on Meillassoux, Simondon, Machines, the Human-Animal, and labor.

The issue further expands on these themes, including important works such as a translation of Félix Guattari’s essential essay on machine and structure, complemented with new themes such as a section on Game Studies.

My own contribution is an essay on Anthropocene discourse titled “Anthropocene, Exhausted: Three Possible Endings” (Антропоцен исчерпан: три возможные концовки)
Continue reading “New Publication: Антропоцен исчерпан: три возможные концовки (Anthropocene, Exhausted: Three Possible Endings)”

New Publication: A Method to the Madness: The Revolutionary Marxist Method of Deleuze and Guattari

A new issue of the Russian journal Stasis was recently released. Its title, “For Deleuze.” The issues includes a piece by me in which I argue that the third chapter of Anti-Oedipus on philosophical anthropology is Deleuze and Guattari’s most enduring contribution to Marxism. I bookend my argument with a discussion of Marx’s mode of presentation in Capital, which I theorize through Marxist Feminism and a critique of various political positions their proponents attributed to D&G (social democrats, Braudelian markets, non-capitalism). Furthermore, I include a very substantial chart of AO that may be one of the more important contributions of the article.

Stasis is a significant venue for me. It is run by scholars at the European University, St. Petersburg, a shining star of radical theory and critique in Russia. Their radicalism has met serious state repression, such as having their teaching accreditation revoked for a time and being forced out of their facilities. In spite of this, they continue to publish pathbreaking work like Stasis. Also significant is how the journal expands on the country’s long tradition of thinking while remaining independent from a wider intellectual environment awash in scientistic positivism (both surging neo-liberal social sciences and older Soviet orthodoxy).

All issues of Stasis remain free, accessible, and bi-lingual with simultaneous English and Russian texts for every article. Their rich cross-pollination of what American scholars came to call “theory” and the post-Soviet archive is uniquely rich. For one, there is significant working reading the Russian archive back into scholarly conversations (such as so-called Western Marxism) that tended to have a one-dimensional depiction of Soviet-era thought as it was prismatically refracted through massive state propaganda. Of particular significance are pre-Stalinist materials from workers journals, speculative philosophy, and political experiments prove that the Soviets had much more to contribute than what many had been led to believe. Moreover, their scope is not merely historical but brutally contemporary. Post-Soviet reckoning with the putative constitutional republicanism of liberal capitalist democracy helps break out of the Euro-American obsession of treating their own experiments as models for the rest of the world. Continue reading “New Publication: A Method to the Madness: The Revolutionary Marxist Method of Deleuze and Guattari”

Return

Last week, I completed the draft for a new book tentatively titled “Imperceptibility: The Politics of the Unseen.” This is the first time in years that I’ve been able to take a step back. My immediate world has calmed after having been a sea of shifting sand for the many years I was searching for a permanent post. It has also been a very prolific time for my writing, which I have not consistently reported. From now on, I will be announcing here recent publication and presentations.

My ability to complete the manuscript is the result of a realization: that my previous project “Escape,” is actually two different constellations of ideas. They are not inconsistent, which is to say, they share common notions that do not conflict. But there are two core insights that each result in their own concept. I found myself struggling to unify them under a single title, a single argument, a single phrase, a single breath. Once I separated them, both began to flourish.

The first concept: that a distinctive feature of our current cycle of struggle is an anti-politics that refuses to pose demands, wants nothing to do with consciousness raising, and rejects collaboration of any kind. Even more interesting it tends to emphasize engagement instead of reverting to escapism, radical passivity, or pure silence. Once refocusing the project on this insight, I was able to write a new introduction and the book immediately took shape.

The second concept: combining insights across all of the major fields of structuralism to reconstruct an aesthetic theory of power centered on the state. After writing significant sections including comparative mythology in the Greeks and Romans, an anthropology of the hunt, an analysis of fishing nets, sociological analysis of sacrifice, an anthropology of bondage, aesthetic criticism of the Roman games, a personal history of Columbus’s violence, a visual analysis of Louis XIV’s great spectacles, and a history of the early European police, I knew that the project had a different trajectory.

On giving up on this world: an interview with Andrew Culp

Society and Space has recently published an article-length interview by Thomas Dekeyser. Below is Thomas’s brief description.

Distorted space

Vivre-Cest-Lutter

When I first read Andrew Culp’s Dark DeleuzeI was deeply overwhelmed. I had not been ‘touched’ on such visceral register by critical theory probably since I read Michel Serres’ Malfeasance: Appropriation through Pollution? four years ago. The work the latter did for me is almost ungraspable: it gave me the final courage I required to flee the advertising industry. Dark Deleuze sparked something different, but of equal intensity: it passionately set ablaze the ideas of ‘affirmative politics’ that I had been unconformable with for awhile. Affirmative politics felt and sounded still too much like the supposed ‘creative ethos’ that reverberates in the offices of the contemporary advertising industry. With Dark Deleuze, I found tools for exploring anarchy and anarchism. To sharpen these tools, I interviewed Andrew Culp for Society and Space. You can read it here.

I propose something not dissimilar to Foucault’s methodological suggestion…

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Talk on the Aesthetics of Refusal

Audio available here: https://soundcloud.com/cca-wattis-institute/andrew-culp-on-aesthetics-of-refusal (Soundcloud embed not currently functional.)

“Im against it.” (The RamonesRoad to Ruin, 1978)

Punk is dead, long live punk. In his book The No Texts, the painter Steven Parrino wrote about the ruthless pursuit of freedom via destruction. He tried to save painting by blacking it out, by canceling its image. He saw the job of the artist as that of being an exposed nervea mirror to a world that has become the site of endless distortions. FTW.

Andrew Culp extends that anarchism into politics: the lesson to be drawn is that negation is finding a way to say no to those who tell us to take the world as it is. Today, he tells us,that world is dominated by communication, connectiontransmission, and translation. And those who determine how that works and who that benefits are committing acts of violence and information warfare. The only way to fight them is not to contradict or even to accelerate, but to contaminate and interrupt. Creation and destruction go hand in handit all depends on what side youre on.

In this lecture, Culp uses JeanLuc Godard and JeanHenri Rogers 1969 Dziga Vertov Group agitprop film British Sounds (aka See You at Mao) as a way to think about what agitprop might look like today.Would it be enough to replace the films famous 10minute tracking shot of an automobile assembly line with a similar shot at an Amazon Fulfillment Center? Or maybe the whole repertoire of jump cuts,didactic monologue, and striking color are no longer techniques of agitation in our world of pervasive advertising, informatized production, sprawling commodity chains, increasinglysynthetic life,and digital communication networks. If so, how far must we go to maintain an avantgarde orientation toward the present?

Andrew Culp teaches Media History and Theory at the California Institute of the Arts in Los AngelesHis most recent book is Dark Deleuze (University of Minnesota Press, 2016).

The suggestion to invite Andrew Culp came from both Alexander Galloway and Seth Price.

This is the fifth event in our yearlong season about and around the work of Seth Price.