Filed under book | Tags: · art, body, gender, image, masochism, porn, sex, sexuality, theory
Bodily existence is an existence lived in constant fascination with a world beyond one’s reach. Embodiment, desire, metaphor. To exist on the verge of nonexistence. In the headlong pursuit of the real, of the other. Of the base materiality of the world, of religious hypothesis, of absolute relativity. Every utopia is a pornography, a recrudescence and pathological disillusionment, a lure into the vortex–paradoxical annulment of pure reason, compulsion, repetition, consumption.
A fact of bodily existence is to know that the body is our most complex and multi-faceted machine in a world of incessant technological progress. The body is a marvel of engineering; it is the outward face of primal nature; it is a disgusting vessel in which to house the soul; it is a primitive device, fragile and disposable. Bodies are re-produced, experimented upon to the limits of their tolerance, dissected and debated to every last cell, mended, prosthetically enhanced, moralised, abused and adored. The interface with the world we live in means that the body is always laid open to scrutiny without ever simply constituting some thing within our grasp: it is the site where violence and metaphysics interchange, technicity and catatonia, the sublime and the grotesque.
The body cannot be neutral or indifferent. Its design is such that it must respond to both exterior challenge and interior impulse. Our means of survival, the sex act, galvanizes the body into a unique state of existence, which, though transient, becomes the essence of being; the concentration of an idea, the heightening of sense, the ultimate dissolution.
How to write this purposeful transformation? How to write this instantaneous, ephemeral shattering of perception? This is the task of pornography. Our project will present the body in its most extreme of forms and behaviour, all of which demonstrate the human attempt to satisfy, and solve, the oft-inchoate needs of our psychology and physicality. We seek papers which deal with pornography as condition, symptom, addiction, spectacle, product, simulacrum. Above all as a fundamentalism embedded in the very structures of representation, knowledge, non-knowledge and the unpresentable.
Contributors include Georges Bataille, Johannes Birringer, Karmen MacKendrick, Benjamin H. Bratton, Lara Portela, Louis Armand, Stewart Home, Jane Lewty, Thierry Tillier, Ruark Lewis, Malwina Zaremba, Darren Tofts, Bonita Rhoads, Stuart Kendall, Ian Haig, Jena Jolissaint, Pierre Daguin, Vadim Erent, Florian Cramer, Beth Lazroe, Andar Nunes.
Publisher Faculty of Philosophy of the Charles University, Prague, December 2008
Litteraria Pragensia Books series
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Filed under journal | Tags: · art, ethics, labour, theory, work
The relationship between freedom and work is a complex one. For some, they are considered opposites: ‘true’ freedom is possible only once the necessity of work is removed, and a life of luxury attained. For others, work itself provides an opportunity to achieve a sense of freedom and authenticity. In recent years for example, advances in human resource management have promoted hard work, a deep sense of commitment to one’s job, and the acceptance of working conditions that are ostensibly exploitative, as offering the promise of freedom. Recent corporate and entrepreneurial celebrations of playfulness also provide examples of the deep entanglement of contemporary forms of knowledge work with ideals of freedom.
In this issue of ephemera, our contributors inquire into the relation between freedom and work. They ask, for example, whether it is even possible to free oneself from ideals of freedom? Or is the fantasy of an imagined place of freedom, the utopia in which no work taints our lives, simply too prevalent? It may be the case that in contemporary life, we fool ourselves yet further when we ask for freedom within our working life. But can we free ourselves from the very prospect of freedom?
Volume 13, Number 1
Publisher ephemera editorial collective in association with MayFlyBooks, February 2013
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative 3.0 Unported license
Filed under journal | Tags: · capitalism, cognitive capitalism, geopolitics, knowledge, knowledge production, labour, theory
“The crises within cognitive capitalism and cognitive labor are mirrored in the reproduction and exacerbation of global divisions of labor and the emergence of new forms of exploitation as part of a regime of flexible capital accumulation. While drastic austerity measures and heightened control mechanisms lead to a radical transformation of the welfare state on the one hand, new networks of communication, struggle and alternative forms of knowledge emerge on the other.
This issue of transversal attempts to review some of the general assumptions of a theory of cognitive capitalism and to unsettle the very notions of knowledge and its production, discussing the conditions of its capture, its “re-invention” and its capacity for creating worlds. The individual essays follow the lines of a (post-)colonial historicity and a feminist and geopolitical critique of capitalist valorization, thereby questioning the materiality of knowledge and its production in relation to resources and bodies, as well as how art and knowledge production are interwoven with political struggles.” (Editorial)
With contributions by Anne Querrien, Marc Hatzfeld, Amina Bensalah/Myriam Suchet, Boris Seguin, Sonia Chikh (Les engraineurs), Abdoulah Bensaid (Musik à Venir), Françoise Dibotto Soppi.
Editors: Lina Dokuzović, Therese Kaufmann, Raimund Minichbauer, Radostina Patulova
Publisher eipcp – European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies, Vienna/Linz
ISSN 1811 – 1696
Filed under journal | Tags: · activism, aesthetics, art, art history, art theory, contemporary art, curating, czech republic, participation, theory
Sešit pro umění, teorii a příbuzné zóny je periodikum zaměřující se na současné vizuální umění v širším kulturním a teoretickém kontextu. Cílem Sešitu je kultivovat domácí reflexi umění tištěním odborných textů z oblasti humanitních a společenských věd, které tematizují současnou situaci umění a živé kultury u nás i v zahraničí. Sešit z principu není metodologicky vymezen; rozhodujícími měřítky jsou kvalita, podnětnost a relevance pro reflexi současného vizuálního umění.
Edited by Václav Magid
Editorial board: Claire Bishop, Claudia Joles, Tomáš Pospiszyl, Jiří Ševčík, Martin Škabraha
Filed under journal | Tags: · activism, disobedience, occupy movement, philosophy, politics, protest, resistance, theory
“Some of the most prominent theories of civil disobedience, e.g. those of Rawls and Habermas, highlight its primarily or even exclusively symbolic character. This, however, seems to reduce civil disobedience to a purely moral appeal. On a theoretical as well as on a practical level we are today faced with the question whether civil disobedience requires a moment of real confrontation for it to be politically effective. It seems that civil disobedience does in fact have an irreducible symbolic dimension, but that it cannot be reduced to this dimension, because without moments of real confrontation it would also lose its symbolic power and turn into a mere appeal to the conscience of the powers that be. The articles in this special section highlight various of the challenges and possibilities the theory and practice of civil disobedience is confronted with today, from the question whether Paraguayan campesinos have a right of necessity also to uncivil actions via the political potential of the apparently criminal behaviour of marginalized migrants and the effects of ‘hermeneutic invisibility’ on the public nature of civil disobedience to the effects rise of ‘art activism’ on the relation between the social and the artistic and the situatedness of the bodies of protesters in relation to changing police tactics.
In ‘The Misadventures of Critical Thinking’ Jacques Rancière explores the anti-emancipatory effect of an artistic and theoretical critique that specializes in unmasking how all attempts at critique are always already anticipated and incorporated by ‘the system’, suggesting that we should instead focus on what he calls ‘scenes of dissensus’. As Joost de Bloois argues in his comment on Rancière’s text, however, this analysis might not only underestimate the complexity of this unmasking critique, it also seems to run into some of the same problems it diagnoses.
In our interview with Wendy Brown we discuss the emancipatory potential as well as the theoretical and political limits of the notions of democracy and communism, the paranoid practice of walling with which states seem to compensate their waning sovereignty, the Occupy movement and the danger of Oedipalization, the varieties of secularism, and the responsibility of teaching.”
Published in Amsterdam, 2012
via Jappe Groenendijk
Filed under book | Tags: · arab spring, egypt, geopolitics, iran, islam, libya, marxism, middle east, politics, postcolonialism, revolution, theory
This pioneering explanation of the Arab Spring will define a new era of thinking about the Middle East.
In this landmark book, Hamid Dabashi argues that the revolutionary uprisings that have engulfed multiple countries and political climes from Morocco to Iran and from Syria to Yemen, were driven by a ‘Delayed Defiance’ – a point of rebellion against domestic tyranny and globalized disempowerment alike – that signifies no less than the end of postcolonialism. Sketching a new geography of liberation, Dabashi shows how the Arab Spring has altered the geopolitics of the region so radically that we must begin re-imagining the ‘the Middle East’.
Ultimately, the ‘permanent revolutionary mood’ Dabashi brilliantly explains has the potential to liberate not only those societies already ignited, but many others through a universal geopolitics of hope.
Publisher Zed Books, 2012
ISBN 1780322232, 9781780322230
Roland Barthes: Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (1980-) [FR, EN, PT, GR, HU, ES, IT, CZ, RU, PL]
Filed under book | Tags: · image, photography, theory
A graceful, contemplative volume, Camera Lucida was first published in 1980. Commenting on artists such as Avedon, Clifford, Mapplethorpe, and Nadar, Roland Barthes presents photography as being outside the codes of language or culture, acting on the body as much as on the mind, and rendering death and loss more acutely than any other medium. This groundbreaking approach established Camera Lucida as one of the most important books of theory on the subject, along with Susan Sontag’s On Photography.
Publisher Gallimard/Seuil/Cahiers du Cinéma, Paris, 1980
Translated by Richard Howard
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1982
ISBN 0374521344, 9780374521349
La chambre claire: Note sur la photographie (French, 1980, no OCR)
Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (English, trans. Richard Howard, 1982)
A câmara clara: Nota sobre a fotografia (Portuguese, trans. Júlio Castañon Guimarães, 1984, no OCR)
Ο φωτεινός θάλαμος: Σημειώσεις για τη φωτογραφία (Greek, trans. Γιάννης Κρητικός, 1984, no OCR)
Világoskamra: Jegyzetek a fotográfiáról (Hungarian, trans. Ferch Magda, 1985, no OCR)
La cámara lúcida: Nota sobre la fotografía (Spanish, trans. Joaquim Sala-Sanahuja, 1990)
La camera chiara: Nota sulla fotografia (Italian, trans. Renzo Guidieri, 1992, no OCR)
Světlá komora: Vysvětlivka k fotografii (Czech, trans. Miroslav Petříček jr., 1994, no OCR)
Camera Lucida: Комментарий_к_фотографии (Russian, trans. Михаил Рыклин, 1997)
Światło obrazu: Uwagi o fotografii (Polish, trans. Jacek Trznadel, 2008)