Militancy, Power, Antagonism: Two Meditations on the Space of Politics

Below is a piece I put together w/ MLA of Prodigies & Monsters for presentation at the Potentials of Performance symposium in October 26 – 27th in London by a group of Greeks who have occupied a closed-down theater owned by the Greek state since last November. Please enjoy.

Occupy speaks not only to the occupation of space, but to the politics of place. This piece offers two meditations on the space of power. The first offers a virtual topography that thinks the role of the intellectual within the university. The second is a working out of that theory that questions Occupy’s spatialization of autonomy. Together, the mediations propose a return to militancy, facilitated by topologies of power that circulate struggle in and through a political antagonism that refuses the totalizing and authoritarian tendencies of command.

Keywords: militancy/antagonism, the academy, cartography/spatialization of power, program/anti-command Continue reading “Militancy, Power, Antagonism: Two Meditations on the Space of Politics”

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Nightmares


Transcript of a talk I gave January 21st, 2012, as part of an Occupy event entitled “Symposium of V for Vendetta”

The second in a series, which began with “Ghost Stories.” 

Lately, academics have been throwing around a new buzzword. Like all buzzwords, it is repeated to the point of meaninglessness. And academics, being the fragile creatures they are, feel it necessary to use the term to show that they are initiated members of some elite club, even if they’re not sure what the term really means. That word is political “imagination.” It is my intention to take that vague idea and give it a little meat. The way I plan to do so, is to talk about one form of imagination: our dreams. Continue reading “Nightmares”

Ghost Stories

Transcript of a talk I gave December 10th, 2011, as part of an Occupy event entitled “Economics Justice, Economic Resistance.”

I. OCCUPY

I want to begin with two stories from the first weeks of the Occupy protests in New York City.

Think first of CNN’s Erin Burnett, who, in her segment “Seriously?!”, which covered Occupy Wall Street at Zuccotti Park downtown, asked the question, “What are they protesting?” What did she decide? That “nobody seems to know.”

Or, to use our favorite whipping boy, Fox News, look to the outtakes from their show “On the Record.” The Occupy interviewee, dogged with the question of how he wants the protests to “end,” artfully finds ways to refuse the question. His response? “As far as seeing it end, I wouldn’t like to see it end. I would like to see the conversation to continue.”

By now, I’m sure we have each come up with our own way to respond to this feigned ignorance. Some try to add to the seemingly endless list of demands. Others gesture to the Trotskyite desire for a permanent revolution. Even others try to simplify things down to a few key points.

II. GHOST STORIES

Today, I would like to propose something much more profound:

We need to learn how to tell ghost stories.

Continue reading “Ghost Stories”