Laboria Cuboniks in Conversation

“Armen Avanessian and Suhail Malik: The initial formulation of your political program was made in the form of a manifesto, a genre that proposes a transformative relation between the present as it has been historically constructed and, on the other hand, a future spelt out in that manifesto and (in your case) endorsed by it. Why was a manifesto form required to articulate your demands?

Laboria Cuboniks-HH: What the manifesto form offered was a prompt to formulate xenofeminism (XF) with concision; to distill the key foci of our shared endeavor in as condensed and powerful a way as possible. As a form, the manifesto also encourages a libidinized and affective engagement with theoretical and political projects — it is a form that wants you to say “I want.”

LC-PR: Beyond the affective affordances endemic to the manifesto form, it is particularly useful in instigating viral uptake via online readership. Paragraphs are short and can be easily tweeted/shared. This formal quality was equally in mind when finding a way to coalesce our six, often divergent, voices.

AA + SM: The XF manifesto emphasizes and endorses several “minor” practices (in the positive DeleuzoGuattarian sense) as present resources to support the speculative construction you envisage. Why does the manifesto mainly limit itself to these contemporary minor praxes for its models of xenofeminist platforms, several of which could be readily identified as progressively libertarian tactics?

LC-LF: A politics that limits itself to lofty goals without trying to at least sketch out some local tactics is just utopianism, and one that sticks with local tactics alone is directionless. What you’re pointing to here seems to be the gap between our counter-hegemonic goals, as we state them there, and our preliminary, tactical suggestions, which seem to lean towards low-level or small-scale preparations. Of course there’s a gap! But what we’re really interested in is finding ways to bridge this gap — the zone of “mesopolitics,” as we put it in the manifesto.
If our preliminary sketches seem libertarian, maybe this is because there’s not much in the manifesto that’s oriented towards petitioning the state, as it currently exists, to be the middleman, to be the agent that somehow lifts us up out of our current state and carries us on its shoulders to utopia. That said, the question regarding the role of the state is still one where you can find a good bit of divergence and tension within LC. I don’t think any of us are so incautiously optimistic as to put all of our eggs in that basket. We would rather experiment with, and develop, new forms of collectivization, and in this regard we might have something in common with some versions of libertarianism and anarchism, to the extent that they go beyond an often callous individualism and try to construct alternatives to the nation-state.” rest @

2 responses to “Laboria Cuboniks in Conversation

  1. Feminism certainly needed a 6th wave depending upon how one sets boundaries and iteration. To me LC is a catchy set of graphics with an old school application of technology — and of course Australia from whence some of LC posts is considered a cool outpost of Empire. I would be more interested if the patriarchy could be modified instead of the individual by means of feminist transplants along all the dispotifs of power. There is definitely a Haraway and to a lesser extent Hegelian backlash inherent in all this. I think LC may agree.

    I actually understood less about LC after reading this than I understood from reading the Manifesto. LC infuses a great deal of needed energy into this area.

    In the current Utilitarian episteme there is a great deal of xenomodifcation is play in academia and the lab. LC fits within that.

    • what could the “patriarchy” be except assemblies of individuals? for me the DIY parts of the various cyber/tech movements are of interest/value the grander schemes are best left to the speculative fictioners

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