Filed under book | Tags: · art, biopolitics, cartography, data visualisation, database
Data has become the most pervasive and intangibly invasive feature of contemporary life; of life become data. Life systems have been the object of sustained data gathering since the time of the Enlightement, and cartography, flow charts, graphs and statistical databases have played a preponderant role in the shift from a society based on discipline to contemporary regimes of biopolitical control.
Art production long sought to protect the relatively autonomous sphere it had eked out for itself from any incursion by the potentially deadening logic of knowledge production and data gathering and display. In the face of the sheer glut and facile allure of purpose-driven information and rationality, art`s self-assigned role was to affirm its radical uselessness.
Yet as knowledge use has become inseparable from the exercise of power, many practitioners have chosen to use the strength of data to challenge and potentially subvert data-power. Critical cartography, tactical magic, database use and research have become integral components of artistic competence, which refuses to leave social critique to the social sciences.
With contributions by Bureau d’Etudes, Media Farzin, Rene Gabri, Aaron Gach, Brian Holmes, Naeem Mohaiemen / Visible Collective, Trevor Paglen, Nataša Petrešin, Martha Rosler, Gregory Sholette, McKenzie Wark, Stephen Wright.
Publisher Arkzin, Zagreb; with Revolver, Frankfurt; and WHW, Zagreb, 2006
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License
ISBN 9536542854, 3865883699
Patricia Ticineto Clough, Craig Willse (eds.): Beyond Biopolitics: Essays on the Governance of Life and Death (2011)
Filed under book | Tags: · assemblage, biopolitics, governance, life, neoliberalism, politics, terrorism
Under the auspices of neoliberalism, technical systems of compliance and efficiency have come to underwrite the relations among the state, the economy, and a biopolitics of war, terror, and surveillance. In Beyond Biopolitics, prominent theorists seek to account for and critically engage the tendencies that have informed neoliberal governance in the past and are expressed in its reformulation today. As studies of military occupation, the policing of migration, blood trades, financial markets, the war on terror, media ecologies, and consumer branding, the essays explore the governance of life and death in a near-future, a present emptied of future potentialities. The contributors delve into political and theoretical matters central to projects of neoliberal governance, including states of exception that are not exceptional but foundational; risk analysis applied to the adjudication of “ethical” forms of war, terror, and occupation; racism and the management of the life capacities of populations; the production and circulation of death as political and economic currency; and the potential for critical and aesthetic response. Together, the essays offer ways to conceptualize biopolitics as the ground for today’s reformulation of governance.
Contributors: Ann Anagnost, Una Chung, Patricia Ticineto Clough, Steve Goodman, Sora Y. Han, Stefano Harney, May Joseph, Randy Martin, Brian Massumi, Luciana Parisi, Jasbir Puar, Amit S. Rai, Eugene Thacker, Çağatay Topal, and Craig Willse.
Publisher Duke University Press, 2011
ISBN 0822350173, 9780822350170
Filed under book | Tags: · animal, anthropology, biology, biopolitics, life, nazism, personhood, philosophy, politics, subjectivity
All discourses aimed at asserting the value of human life as such–whether philosophical, ethical, or political–assume the notion of personhood as their indispensable point of departure. This is all the more true today. In bioethics, for example, Catholic and secular thinkers may disagree on what constitutes a person and its genesis, but they certainly agree on its decisive importance: human life is considered to be untouchable only when based on personhood. In the legal sphere as well the enjoyment of subjective rights continues to be increasingly linked to the qualification of personhood, which appears to be the only one capable of bridging the gap between human being and citizen, right and life, and soul and body opened up at the very origins of Western civilization.
The radical and alarming thesis put forward in this book is that the notion of person is unable to bridge this gap because it is precisely what creates this breach. Its primary effect is to create a separation in both the human race and the individual between a rational, voluntary part endowed with particular value and another, purely biological part that is thrust by the first into the inferior dimension of the animal or the thing. In opposition to the performative power of the person, whose dual origins can be traced back to ancient Rome and Christianity, Esposito pursues his strikingly original and innovative philosophical inquiry by inviting reflection on the category of the impersonal: the third person, in removing itself from the exclusionary mechanism of the person, points toward the orginary unity of the living being.
First published in Italian as Terza Persona, Giulio Einaudi, 2007
Translated by Zakiya Hanafi
Publisher Polity, 2012
ISBN 0745643981, 9780745643984
Filed under book | Tags: · algorithm, anonymous, architecture, biopolitics, commons, creative industries, cyborgs, design, ecology, hackerspace, media ecology, network ecology, networks, politics, remix, software, spam, technology, theory
Depletion Design suggests that ideas of exhaustion cut across cultural, environmentalist, and political idioms and offers ways to explore the emergence of new material assemblages. Soenke Zehle and Carolin Wiedemann discuss Depletion Design with Marie-Luise Angerer, Jennifer Gabrys and David M. Berry, inviting tm13 participants into a collaborative reflection on the necessity to understand human beings as one species among others – constituted by interactions of media, organisms, weather patterns, ecosystems, thought patterns, cities, discourses, fashions, populations, brains, markets, dance nights and bacterial exchanges (Angerer); on the material leftovers of electronics as provocations to think through and rework practices of material politics that may be less exploitative within our natural-cultural relationships (Gabrys); and on lines of flight from and through the computational – about expanding them into new ways of living beyond current limitations and towards new means of judgment and politics (Berry).
We, or so we are told, are running out of time, of time to develop alternatives to a new politics of emergency, as constant crisis has exhausted the means of a politics of representation too slow for the state of exception, too ignorant of the distribution of political agency, too focused on the governability of financial architectures. But new forms of individual and collective agency already emerge, as we learn to live, love, work within the horizon of depletion, to ask what it means to sustain ourselves, each other, again. Of these and other knowledges so created, there can no longer be an encyclopedia; a glossary, perhaps.
Contributors: Marie-Luise Angerer (Cyborg), Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi (Exhaustion, Soul Work), David M. Berry (On Terminality), Zach Blas (Queer Darkness), Drew S. Burk (Grey Ecology), Gabriella Coleman (Anonymous), Heidi Rae Cooley (Ecologies of Practice), Sebastian Deterding (Playful Technologies, Persuasive Design), Jennifer Gabrys (Natural History, Salvage), Johannes Grenzfurthner & Frank A. Schneider (Hackerspace), Eric Kluitenberg (Sustainable Immobility), Boyan Manchev (Disorganisation, Persistence), Lev Manovich (Software), Sonia Matos (Wicked Problems), Timothy Morton (Ecology without Nature), Jason W. Moore (Crisis), Anna Munster (Digital Embodiment), Eduardo Navas (Remix[ing] Re/Appropriations), Brett Neilson (Fracking), Sebastian Olma (Biopolitics, Creative Industries, Vitalism), Luciana Parisi (Algorithmic Architecture), Jussi Parikka (Dust Matter), Judith Revel (Common), Ned Rossiter (Dirt Research), Sean Smith (Information Bomb), Hito Steyerl (Spam of the Earth)
Publisher Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam, December 2012
Theory on Demand series, No. 8
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Netherlands License
Filed under book | Tags: · biopolitics, capitalism, culture industry, democracy, desire, nihilism, philosophy, politics, production, singularity, technology
Bernard Stiegler is one of the most original philosophers writing today about new technologies and their implications for social, political and personal life. Drawing on sources ranging from Plato and Marx to Freud, Heidegger and Derrida, he develops a highly original account of technology as grammatology, as a technics of writing that constitutes our experience of time, memory and desire, even of life itself. Society and our place within it are shaped by technical reproduction which can both expand and restrict the horizons and possibilities of human agency and experience.
In the three volumes of Disbelief and Discredit Stiegler argues that this process of technical reproduction has become dangerously divorced from its role in the constitution of human experience. Radically challenging the optimistic view of new technologies as facilitators of learning and progress, he argues new marketing techniques short-circuit thought and disenfranchise consumers, programming them to seek short-term gratification. These practices of ‘libidinal economics’ have profound consequences for nature of human desire and they underpin the social and psychological malaise of contemporary industrial society.
In this opening volume Stiegler argues that the industrial model implemented since the beginning of the twentieth century has become obsolete, leading capitalist democracies to an impasse. A sign of this impasse and of the decadence to which it leads is the banalization of consumers who become ensnared in a perpetual cycle of consumption. This is the new proletarianization of the technologically infused, hyper-industrial capitalism of today. It produces a society cut off from its past and its future, stultifying human development and turning democracy into a farce in which disbelief and discredit inevitably arise.
First published in French as Mécréance et Discrédit: Tome 1, La décadence des démocraties industrielles, Editions Galilée, 2004
Translated by Daniel Ross and Suzanne Arnold
Publisher Polity, 2011
ISBN 0745648096, 9780745648095
review (Tom Bunyard, Radical Philosophy)Comment (0)
Filed under book | Tags: · biopolitics, biopower, body, capitalism, consumerism, desire, feminism, labour, metaphysics, philosophy, reification, seduction, sexuality, theory
First published in France in 1999, Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl dissects the impossibility of love under Empire. The Young-Girl is consumer society’s total product and model citizen: whatever “type” of Young-Girl she may embody, whether by whim or concerted performance, she can only seduce by consuming. Filled with the language of French women’s magazines, rooted in Proust’s figure of Albertine and the amusing misery of (teenage) romance in Witold Gombrowicz’s Ferdydurke, and informed by Pierre Klossowski’s notion of “living currency” and libidinal economy, Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl diagnoses — and makes visible — a phenomenon that is so ubiquitous as to have become transparent.
In the years since the book’s first publication in French, the worlds of fashion, shopping, seduction plans, makeover projects, and eating disorders have moved beyond the comparatively tame domain of paper magazines into the perpetual accessibility of Internet culture. Here the Young-Girl can seek her own reflection in corporate universals and social media exchanges of “personalities” within the impersonal realm of the marketplace. Tracing consumer society’s colonization of youth and sexuality through the Young-Girl’s “freedom” (in magazine terms) to do whatever she wants with her body, Tiqqun exposes the rapaciously competitive and psychically ruinous landscape of modern love. (from Semiotexte, the publisher of the 2012 edition)
Originally published in French as Premiers matériaux pour une Théorie de la Jeune-Fille in Tiqqun 1, 1999
Revised, republished by Éditions Mille et une nuits, 2001.
Published on younggirl.jottit.com, January 2010
Filed under book | Tags: · biopolitics, capitalism, debt, feminism, marxism, neoliberalism, post-fordism, value
Contract and Contagion presents a theoretical approach for understanding the complex shifts of post-Fordism and neoliberalism by way of a critical reading of contracts, and through an exploration of the shifting politics of the household. It focuses on the salient question of capitalist futurity in order to highlight the simultaneously intimate, economic and political limits to venturing beyond its horizon.
In capitalist history, as well as in philosophy, finance, migration politics, and theories of globalisation, contagions simultaneously real, symbolic and imagined recur. Where political economy understood value in terms of labour, Contract and Contagion argues that the law of value is the law of the household (oikonomia).
In this book Angela Mitropoulos takes up current and historical theories of affect, intimacy, labour and speculation to elaborate a queer, anti-racist, feminist Marxism, which is to say: a Marxism preoccupied not with the seizure of opportunity to take power, form government, or represent an identity, but a Marxism which partakes of the uncertain movements that break the bonds of fate.
Publisher Minor Compositions, Wivenhoe/New York/Port Watson, an imprint of Autonomedia, Brooklyn, NY, October 2012
ISBN 1570272565, 9781570272561