Jacques Rancière; Althusser’s Lesson

Jacques Rancière, Althusser’s Lesson (Full book) Jacques Rancière’s first major work, Althusser’s Lesson appeared in 1974, just as the energies of May 68 were losing ground to the calls for a return to order. Rancière’s analysis of Althusserian Marxism unfolds against this background: what is the relationship between the return to order and the enthusiasm which greeted the publication of Althusser’s Reply to John Lewis in 1973? How to explain the rehabilitation of a philosophy that had been declared ‘dead and buried on the barricades of May 68’? What had changed? The answer to this question takes the form of…

Eduardo Viveiros de Castro; The Untimely Again

  The Untimely, Again (on Pierre Clastres; Archeology of Violence) & Pierre Clastres; THE ARCHEOLOGY OF VIOLENCE (Full book)     Savages want the multiplication of the multiple. — Pierre Clastres   Relearning to read Pierre Clastres Archeology of Violence, published in French in 1980 under the title of Recherches d’anthropologie politique, gathers texts that were written, in their majority, shortly before the death of their author three years earlier. It forms a pair with a collection of articles published in 1974, Society Against the State. If the latter has a greater internal consistency, and has a larger number of articles…

Nanni Balestrini; »If you read this, you must no longer fear anything«

  • We Want Everything • Nanni Balestrini and the Poetry of the Italian Autonomia • Blackout • Carbonia (We Were All Communists) • On Nanni Balestrini, the Most Radically Poet of the Italian Scene     WE WANT EVERYTHING THE STRUGGLE These guys I’d talked to about the struggle couldn’t accept it, they didn’t know what the fuck to do. They didn’t understand what I was proposing. They felt somehow that what I was proposing was right, but they didn’t know how to act on it. They didn’t understand that the important thing was to stir things up all…

Jacques Rancière; The Unforgettable

    1 In front of the camera lens It is an image from turn-of-the-century Saint Petersburg, both ordinary and extraordinary at the same time. The imperial family is passing by, surrounded by an escort of officers and dignitaries. The crowd gathered there, at the side of the road, is addressed by an officer with an imperious gesture: when the Tsar passes, the thing to do is to remove your hat. The commentator’s voice is heard: I don’t want this image to be forgotten. What is Chris Marker trying to tell us by placing this image at the opening of…

Félix Guattari; The Capitalist Revolution

  THE CAPITALIST REVOLUTION Fundamental political and micropolitical stakes are ‘negotiated’ through this Collective equipment function in so far as it retains a preponderant place in the formation of the collective power of capitalist labour. But the transformation of ‘polymorphous’ desire into useful activity, into deterritorialised labour and the exchange over which it presides, doesn’t go without saying. Capitalism has only been able to realise this transformation – and thus to place the libido in its service – under particular historical conditions. After the ‘black hole’ of the thirteenth century, the ‘Peace of God’: a religious machine The birth of…

Félix Guattari; Bourgeoisie and Capitalist Flows

  BOURGEOISIE AND CAPITALIST FLOWS The bourgeois machine One ought to distinguish here between the apparent Power [Pouvoir] of the nobility and the real power [puissance] of the bourgeoisie. At the molecular level, the real power of processes of deterritorialisation tends to escape from molar Power. The tacit equilibria, the networks of interdependence, didn’t stop being worked over, called into question, by the deterritorialised semiotic budding of the urban bourgeoisie. From this point of view, the ecclesiastical theory of ‘three orders’ (the division of society according to a divine plan into workers, warriors and people of prayer is an illusion:…

Félix Guattari; A Molecular Revolution

  A MOLECULAR REVOLUTION   The third industrial revolution The breaks between professional life, leisure and education, between private life and public life, the valorisation of serious mindedness, even being self-sacrificing, when it is a question of labour, seem to constitute the very foundations of every society. Despite the evolution of the techniques and modes of organisation of production, in ‘experimental’ sectors in particular, the traditional imagery of the ‘world of work’, the faciality traits of the manual labourer of the nineteenth century – those of the miner or the railworker for example – continue to serve as the basis…

Fredric Jameson | Rimbaud and the Spatial Text

I want to see if I can make a very schematic contribution to the problem of the preconditions, the conditions of possibility, of a particular realization of what we generally call modernism, namely the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud. The problem I want to focus on has to be initially distinguished from both the analysis of that poetry and its interpretation. But the question of the “objective” conditions of possibility of these texts must also be differentiated from the biographical approach, even from those sophisticated contemporary psycho-biographies which offer an expanded sense of the very complex determinations in the construction of…

Alain Badiou; Pierre Guyotat, Prince of Prose

I say that Pierre Guyotat is the prince of prose. What does ‘prince’ mean? It signals first of all Guyotat’s nobility, the extraordinary nobility of his prose: a nobility without precedent since the speeches and sermons of Bossuet; and one that is all the more striking in that it organizes, or ennobles, materials drawn from the base layers of our existence, from the atoms of exposed flesh. Sex and cruelty, visible and solar, hook up with being qua excremental being: the word putains, ‘whores’, designates in prose the subsoil of the sublime order established by the retreat of the gods….

Jacques Rancière; Seeing Things Through Things / Moscow, 1926

And it is not only in its formal achievements, not only because A Sixth Part of the World is a new word in cinema, the victory of fact over invention, that this film is valuable. It has managed, perhaps for the first time, to show all at once the whole sixth part of the world; it has found the words to force us to be amazed, to feel the whole power, and strength, and unity; it has managed to infect the viewer too with lofty emotion, to throw him onto the screen. In the dusty steppes there are herds of…

Lorenzo Chiesa; Lacan with Artaud

    The multiple theoretical overlappings between Artaud and Lacan are marked by the silent eloquence of a bio-graphical half-saying. It is possible to locate only a single place in the entire corpus of Lacan’s writings, seminars and conferences in which he speaks directly of Artaud: in “Raison d’un échec”, Lacan threatens to “sedate” those of his followers who would be inclined to behave like him. Indeed, their sole actual encounter had been a clinical one: Doctor Lacan visited the inmate Artaud in 1938, shortly after his hospitalisation in Saint Anne. On that occasion he declared: “Artaud is obsessed, he…

Georges Didi-Huberman; To Render Sensible

  Representable People, Imaginary People? Representation of the people comes up against a double difficulty, if not a double aporia, that comes from the impossibility of our subsuming each of the two terms, “representation” and “people,” into the unity of one concept. Hannah Arendt said that we will never manage to think about the political dimension as long as we stubbornly persist in speaking of man, since politics is interested precisely in something else, which is men, whose multiplicity is modulated differently each time, whether it be in conflict or community. (1) Likewise we must say, and forcefully, that we…

Deleuze/Guattari; How Do You Make Yourself a Body Without Organs?

  At any rate, you have one (or several). It’s not so much that it preexists or comes ready-made, although in certain respects it is preexistent. At any Tate, you make one, you can’t desire without making one. And it awaits you; it is an inevitable exercise or experimentation, already accomplished the moment you undertake it, unaccomplished as long as you don’t. This is not assuring, because you can botch it. Or it can be terrifying, and lead you to your death. It is nondesire as well as desire. It is not at all a notion or a concept but…

Félix Guattari | IN FLUX

  Maurice Nadeau: Could you briefly explain how your collaboration came into being? Félix Guattari: This collaboration is not the product of a simple meeting of two individuals. Aside from a combination of circumstances, we were also led to it by a whole political context. Initially it was less a question of pooling knowledge than the accumulation of our uncertainties, and even a certain distress in the face of the turn of events after May ’68. We are part of a generation whose political consciousness was born in the enthusiasm and naiveté of the Liberation, with its conspiratorial mythology of…

Alain Badiou; On Pier Paolo Pasolini

DESTRUCTION, NEGATION, SUBTRACTION The abstract contents of my lecture is a very simple one. I can summarize it in five points: All creations, all novelties, are in some sense the affirmative part of a negation. “Negation”, because if something happens as new, it cannot be reduced to the objectivity of the situation where it happens. So, it is certainly like a negative exception to the regular laws of this objectivity. But “affirmation”, affirmative part of the negation, because if a creation is reducible to a negation of the common laws of objectivity, it completely depends on them concerning its identity….

Jacques Rancière; Politics and Aesthetics

Peter Hallward: Sometimes you present political practice as a sort of ex nihilo innovation, almost like the constitution of a new world, even if the world in question is extremely fragile, uncertain, ephemeral. Don’t you need to consider political innovation alongside the development of its conditions of possibility? I mean, for instance, on the political side of things, the role played by civic institutions and state organisations, the public space opened up, in Athens, in France, by the invention of democratic institutions (that is, the sort of factors you generally relegate to the sphere of the police, as opposed to…

Jacques Rancière; The Emancipated Spectator (5th International Summer Academy)

  I gave to this talk the title: « The Emancipated Spectator » . As I understand it, a title is always a challenge. It sets forth the presupposition that an expression makes sense, that there is a link between separate terms, which also means between concepts , problems and theories which seem at first sight to bear no direct relation on each other. In a sense, this title expresses the perplexity that was mine when Marten Spangberg invited me to deliver what is supposed to be the “keynote” lecture of this academy. He told me that he wanted me…

Democracy. Jean-Marie Gleize / Rimbaud / Kristin Ross

  Jean-Marie Gleize Democracy There is, in Rimbaud’s Illuminations, a text called “Democracy.” We know little of this text’s composition, as the manuscript is lost. It was published belatedly in a journal (La Vogue, 1889), but we are scarcely surprised to encounter a text of this title from the quill of that democrat Rimbaud, virulently hostile to Napoléon III’s dictatorship, radically aligned with the insurrectionary movement of the Paris Commune — with, one might say, an insurgent, revolutionary democracy. As Bernard Noël has suggested, Rimbaud is a communard “not only in his opinion, but in his being.” Now the particularity…

Deleuze & Guattari; Capitalism: A Very Special Delirium

    Actuel: When you describe capitalism, you say: “There isn’t the slightest operation, the slightest industrial or financial mechanism that does not reveal the dementia of the capitalist machine and the pathological character of its rationality (not at all a false rationality, but a true rationality of this pathology, of this madness, for the machine does work, be sure of it). There is no danger of this machine going mad, it has been mad from the beginning, and that’s where its rationality comes from.“ Does this mean that after this ‘abnormal’ society, or outside of it, there can be…