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Mirowski & Neoliberal thought collective & faith

Let’s move the conversation beyond power. This is what Foucault was doing in his final seminars (see particularly 13/13 The Courage of Truth, 1983-84). As described by economic historian Philip Mirowski, the neoliberal thought collective, that is the Mont Pèlerin Society, is not about securing or maintaining élites in power, either in political power or in economic power, or in view of the field now addressed in terms of a political economy.

As Mirowski, following Foucault, makes clear, the agenda is truth. The conversation we might be having is not about power and its exercise within the political economy post-truth, given the bruited collapse of veridification, which has been for some time now the demesne of media–both sounding off on the collapse of knowledge and information, of knowledge into information and data, and therefore the levelling of information with disinformation (with which goes the task of the expert, the knowledge worker and scientist as a data gatherer, noncommentator, nonsyncretiser, empirically distanced and politically-economically disinterested), both this and under media control within the production of media as the producers in the knowledge market, of political economy. The conversation might now move to a post-power conception of truth, where knowledge is power.

Power-knowledge performs as its own supplement. It supplements itself. This is its production as fetish, a question both of currency and value. It is also the reason for the investment of the richest and most powerful corporations in what is called Big Data, since it is called Big Data to hide the fact that it is nonsummative: enumerable data, innumerable data, but not one big datum rather the prospect of infinite growth in the production of data. Knowledge in a post-power dispensation is an economic unit. So that thing called immaterial labour by Hardt and Negri is always for the sake of an idea, the truth not of capital itself–the labour theory of value is hardly sufficient here–but the capital of truth itself.

The truth and the lie of the immaterial labourer are equally available to media to be promulgated, published, fetishised, as they are, since it is the market that will make the ultimate selection for the sake of the idea of truth. The knowledge worker, the scientist, the expert researcher, all are freer than ever before. They are like artists and just as powerless, just as powerless as the powerful.

Who rises to challenge the market as the arbiter of truth post-power? …and it could be said it is in this sense that we are now postmodern: gone is the tortured, fractured and fragmented art of power; welcome the unified, global and free art of truth, a truth beyond the grasp of any individual, ineffable, belonging to the political economy, a belief secured and maintained on its idea.

 

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destroyed wisdom

dear diary, today I like this phrase “romantic materialism.” today I ordered Elizabeth Grosz’s The Incorporeal and John M. Harrison’s Viriconium. …today I am nervous. today I am suspended between two ideas: one is, against immaterial labour and semiocapitalism, the idea of the place of care, care of the body, its pleasures and needs; it is an idea of the palliative industry, in which all media participate; capital care functions to feed on an industrial scale those who can afford to live inside it; it functions to distract from the suffering and from the desire and from the passions of the body, with easy listening, predigested package language-worlds, of viewing, touching, tasting, light-comedic mediatised commodities, popularised pulp & pap, lubricated & comfort sex; it is the service culture of safety & health; its wealth is the investment in an aging population even as it is being born, being born into an aging population, a universal retirement village and hospice is where you will live, dance occasionally, nod off, eat, shit & fuck, if you are born as one of the lucky ones. The other idea is postmodernism. It comes after modernism because it defrags it into the universal agreement to believe in price without cost, in the nonsymbolic exchange of money as the value of all values. Where modernism left you looking at yourself looking, postmodernism recognises that look–priceless… so destroyed wisdom today is my subjectline, the umbilicus of deconstruction from which I hang

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a subjective position is a way out

A world is only constituted on condition of being inhabited by an umbilical point of deconstruction, of detotalization, of deterritorialization, starting from which a taking of subjective position is incarnated.

– Guattari, The Schizo Chaosmosis (1991), in The Guattari Effect, 2011, p. 19

…do you see what you’ve been missing? Your act of world-making is not a reductive totalisation. Your positing of self is not projection. Your viewpoint doesn’t stretch from your mouth like a strand of bubblegum, that wraps the world up, around which you construct a bubble, in which, at the centre of which, you have no choice but to be mirrorstruck. You do not go around the world’s block peeing on lampposts to bring it into line with a kind of ownership, however illusory. Your world is not your beat. But your beat is the recurring fold of a subject-making.

Your world is not a speech bubble, a form floating from off of your lips at its pointiest end, where it arrows into your head. You do not blow and make it rise. It is not suspended by your effort, by your desiring production, even by your wish-fulfilment. It is not self-gratifying. But it leads you on a dance.

You dance out of your own omphalos. At the umbilical point, you are the world’s bubble, its speech-bubble. It doesn’t know what it is going to say, until you say it. It is already moving away from its own control, and it is already out of yours.

It undoes itself in your hands, in your eyes, in your mouth. It is a placenta auto-evacuating… you are born from it.

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MINUS THEATRE RESEARCH GROUP PRESENTS

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postexegetical thetic palavers amok: on names, or, towards Minus’s next show, VMG (workshop 1) pt. 1

VMG is the acronym for Visit Me Genius, which is what, so far, after one workshop (the next tomorrow–come along!) I am calling Minus Theatre group’s next show, scheduled to have its public outing 26 June (come along!). It may change, the name, although this is what I called it in the recently finished exegesis (submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the qualification of … Palavers hi-Def) on Minus’s work over the last three years. It does not, the name, refer to mathematical, scientific or artistic genius, however; neither does it refer to political or diplomatic genius, if such a thing were today to exist. It is intended to refer to place, to the genius loci–the spirit of place, of a place, always singular, a place having a spirit which is unexchangeable and inequivalent to any other, nontranslatable from one to another and from place to place. A spirit must then speak in its own singular terms and be the definition, if not the embodiment and encapsulation, of the utmost and extreme differentiation, as an absolutely unique belonging of a place.

To be visited by the spirit of a place, what does it mean? I don’t know… but I do know; I think one does know: one is visited in some places by an uncanny (or is it weird?) and unheimlich (German for unhomely, although nothing is more at home than spirit of place?) sense of… what is it? I think of the magnetism of Auckland’s west coast beaches, which is very literally there in the iron sands, summoning ghosts… And I look out into the bright dappled light of the Waiheke suburb where I write this and recall the pscyhogeography a friend invoked when we were talking about the special attraction this place holds for certain people, whom it holds in its embrace, whom it doesn’t always love lovingly. Some people can’t stand it after a while! It is as if it magnifies the reasons they have for choosing Waiheke as their place of dwelling. So they dwell but don’t abide, are not abided, perhaps by the spirit of the place. Berlin, too–although Paris may be the city of love, Berlin’s embrace is hotter, erotic, sexual, it has been said.

Christchurch–a flat city recently picked up and shaken like a rug: who can deny the genius presiding over the planes on which it is situated? threaded with braids of rivers… It can drive you mad, like Munich in the föhn. And so the place of a climatics must be granted when considering genius loci, which needn’t be anthropomorphicised, but may initiate a nonanthropological discourse…

Last Monday, May 15, Minus held at AUT its first workshop of 2017. Our last show was At the Stock Market Meeting–called this (always something in a name?) for the neurolivestock invented by Gilles Châtelet for his book (there being always something in a name) To Live and Think Like Pigs and subtitled, The Incitement of Boredom and Envy in Market Democracies, which I had recently read. At the Stock Market Meeting (ATSMM–Automated-Teller (Autotelic? Autosomatic?)-Meat-Machine) took place at Auckland Old Folks Association Hall on 19 November 2016, one night only, since which a full six months has intervened. Present on Monday last were all the people in ATSMM, minus Amber, plus Rumen.

In the writing so far on Minus, I have used pseudonyms for those involved. I break with this practice on the precedent of the RJF Project which, without the pretext, without the context of an academic assignation, assignment or task, I covered in regular posts on Square White World in 2007, where I used first names, and, sometimes, just initials. It is interesting to see in this although decade-old precedent also an invocation of the human stockyard and of anacting (proceeding minus theatre), as well as the dancer‘s critique of an actor (or is it a betrayal?), since the halflife of these, or the imaginary and fantasy life of these, as theses and thetic, overlaps with the concerns formalised in and by the work on and with Minus.

This writing, here on SWW (always square, a lit square, and white light, sunny, artificial, screenlight, separating, sacralising a world the profanation of which it presupposes), is anyway less formal and, surprisingly, less fictive: I don’t need to protect the names, to protest the givenness of names, in the essential contingency of their conventionality, here, from something called–a name!–ethics. I am released from the fiction of ethics here, again, surprisingly. …

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utopian machine network things

While the idea of ‘utopia’ appears naive and even hysterical under capitalist realism, the pathologization and irrationalization of anti-capitalist longing presents an enduring threat. In the face of the hard-right global turn, these problems must come to the foreground of our struggles.

the weird and the eerie

…the weird is that which does not belong. This mode brings something to the everyday which does not belong there and cannot be reconciled with it. The form that is most appropriate to the weird is the montage; hence the preference within surrealism for the weird combinations. Modernist works of art/culture can often seem weird because we are in the presence of the new…

Fisher:…the weird is constituted by a presence — the presence of that which does not belong. In some cases of the weird (those with which Lovecraft was obsessed) the weird is marked by an exorbitant presence, a teeming which exceeds our capacity to represent it.

The eerie concerns the most fundamental philosophical questions: why is there something here when there should be nothing.

Fisher:…The sensation of the eerie occurs either when there is something present where there should be nothing, or is there is nothing present when there should be something.

…to exist on a map is to have value. … Beryl Markham: “A map .. is a symbol of confidence and trust. It is not like a printed page that bears mere words”.

Yuk Hui:…machine management of almost everything: drone killings, DDos attacks, deep packet inspection, etc. … it is important to avoid romanticising a human machine complex as “machine assemblages”.

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Heiner Müller’s instagram courtesy of n.1edicoes

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Douglas Lain of Zero Books interviews Slavoj Žižek

Marx’s labour theory of value: there’s something strange about what Žižek calls Lain’s metaphor of the “good Christian boy” who wants to believe.

And there’s something strange about the circularity of Žižek’s argument, as a populist philosopher, about the horror of the Left’s reactiveness to the Right’s activation of erstwhile Leftist policy platforms for, exactly, their populism: Marine Le Pen’s stand on easier access to healthcare and greater support for pregnant mothers, for example. (But then these can be seen as what Michel Houellebecq calls “nativist” concerns (in Submission): encouraging the put-upon ‘ethnic French’ populace to up birthrates, live longer, than immigrant sectors.) Žižek is saying something when he reports the comment of a friend: now the Left moralise, where they used to politicise; and the Right politicise, where they used to moralise: immigration is a moral and humanitarian issue for the Left; it is a political opportunity that the Right exploits. … Žižek’s call for the self-criticism of ‘us’ “progressives”, what does it mean?

We should spend less time judging statements like his, that if he could have he would have voted for Trump? And more time doing what?

It might get close to Nietzsche’s critique of reactive politics and affirmation of active policy … but is stymied by Hegelian dialectic and Lacanian (inbuilt) negative disavowal, the double-negative logic of not not affirming.

What the Left could use is some Nietzsche. I used to think not, but Nietzsche’s excoriation of those who set their values on a continuum orientated towards the best cover up value judgements that are from the start moral interpretations, moralisations.

The Left’s looking for a better way than the Right is only to perform the Hegelian dialectic dance of if you go that way, than I’ll go this way.

Here’s the link to the interview. See what you think. LINK.

…as for the labour theory of value and Žižek’s call to “de-substantialise” it, isn’t this precisely what is assayed in Anti-Oedipus (along with a critique of Lacan) and A Thousand Plateaus by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari?

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THEATRE WITHOUT AUDIENCE – THEATER OHNE PUBLIKUM – film by Pawel Kocambasi and Carolin Mader

with Andrzej Wirth, Aleksandra Konieczna, Roma Gasiorowska, Tomasz Tyndyk, Agnieszka Podsiadlik, Robert Wilson, Rafal Mackowiak, René Pollesch, Jan Dravnel, Carol Washburn, Miho Takayasu, Richard Raack, Emma Lew Thomas, Helena Waldmann, Marianne Frisch,Hans-Thies Lehmann, Mandie O’Connell & Thomas Irmer

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the thing about invisible theatre

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It’s an incredible project: part dance, part secret, part ritual. Heroic in its unsustainability, its unrelenting absence of logic tears like a cannonball through our understanding of the value and meaning of art – why we need it, how (and if) it functions, who it is for.

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