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Monthly Archives: December 2015

Social Abjection

by Imogen Tyler and Jenna Loyd, also published on Open Democracy

This is my family.

Baba, mama, baby all washed up on the shore. This is 28 shoeless survivors and thousands of bodies.

Bodies Syrian, Bodies Somali, Bodies Afghan, Bodies Ethiopian, Bodies Eritrean. Bodies Palestinian.

Jehan Bsesio, ‘No Search, No Rescue’, 2015.

Ursula Le Guin’s dystopian novel The Dispossessed (1974) is set on a moon called Anarres, where an anarchist community established itself after breaking away from the capitalist mother-planet Urras. During a history lesson, children in Anarres are shown archival film footage of a beach on Urras, which speaks to the horrific visual iconography of contemporary Europe. The film’s voiceover provides a commentary upon the images in the film:

“Bodies of children dead of starvation and disease are burned on the beaches. On the beaches of Tius, seven hundred kilometres away … women kept for the sexual…

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“Andrew Goffey’s A Relentless Spinozism? In one of his final essays, The Exhausted, a reading of Samuel Beckett that was published as an accompaniment to a number of Beckett’s works for television, Gilles Deleuze characterised the adoptive French Irish writer’s combinatory poetic style as a “relentless Spinozism” with little further qualification. The figure of the exhausted and the operation of exhaustion that Deleuze follows throughout Beckett’s writing culminates in a stance towards language that is, as critic Raymond Bellour has noted, “utopian”: “blanks for when words gone.” Taking Deleuze’s essay and its slightly cryptic reference to Spinoza as its starting point, this paper will explore the ethical and aesthetic dimensions of exhaustion and the concept of refusal to which it is related. Andrew  runs the Centre for Critical Theory at The University of Nottingham. He is the co-author with Matthew Fuller, of Evil Media, the coeditor, with Éric Alliez, of The Guattari Effect and with Roland Faber, of The Allure of Things. He is the translator of Isabelle Stengers and Philippe Pignarre’s Capitalist Sorcery, Félix Guattari’s Schizoanalytic Cartographies and Lines of Flight. For Another World of Possibilities. He is currently working on books on Guattari and on the micropolitics of software.”

“I think she obliges us to confront a world, as Stuart Hall used to say, without guarantees, in which barbarism or barbarism may well be an accurate description of the political-economic choices. The challenge is to respond to the intrusion of Gaia in a way that isn’t barbaric and that makes no appeal to a pre-given outcome…Stengers: “we live in a veritable cemetery for destroyed practices and collective knowledges”

I would count Stengers (as I count myself) as a realist of the procedure rather than of the object of knowledge. We can know something of how we got the result. We can’t know much about ontology, or nature, or the real. It takes an inhuman apparatus to make the nonhuman appear to the human. Stengers: “a scientific interpretation can never impose itself without artifice, without experimental fabrications, the invention of which empassions them much more than the ‘truth.’” rest @ http://www.publicseminar.org/2015/12/stengers/

find the pdf of Stengers’ book @ http://meson.press/books/in-catastrophic-times/