WORKSHOP #2

Exhausted subject, impossible community II

(with Peter Pál Pelbart)


18-21.4.2011, Future Art Base (School of Art, Aalto University – Helsinki)

We live not in a ruined but a bewildered world. Everything creaks and rattles like the rigging of an unseaworthy sailing ship – Conversations with Kafka

We should imagine a cartography of exhaustion. Exhaustion of the possible. Perhaps it should be a kind of molecular symptomatology, like the one of nihilism that Nietzsche once did do well. Perhaps we should think about exhaustion according to the Beckettian categories, like Deleuze, to allow us to understand states of suspension, bankruptcy and collapse, individual and collective, of becoming almost remnant, in terms of vital strategy or of even political resistance.

These vacuoles of silence and solitude that Deleuze talked about… of becoming molle… what new forms of sociality use such affect-Bartleby? And how? What is a populated solitude, a solitude inhabited by many people? Communism of the distance? Impossible community like that of the Greek heroes? Commonality of only the pathos of distance, from which to arrogate the right to create values, to stamp out the names of values (as in Niezsche’s genalogy of morals)?

Since what is a community of those who do not have a community? What possibilities are there to create distance to the use of social vitality, to build existential and subjective territories from the reterritorialization of every minute by the material and immaterial economy and its arbitrary mechanisms of command? What is the soft belly, “il ventre molle”, of arbitrary power? What is the self understood as a fold of the outside?  How to detect emerging modes of subjectification, foyers of collective enunciation and of group intelligence that escape the automatisms and captures of capital, and have not yet acquired sufficient visibility in our cooperative attempts? How to follow the lines of exodus and active retreats of the so called “excluded”?

What resources are available to an individual or a collective to create its own mode of working in a domestic space, its own rhythm of time to mobilize collective memory, to produce goods and knowledges and their circulation, to transit in spheres considered invisible, to reinvent the corporeal, to organize neighborhood and create solidarity, to care for children and for the old, to deal with pleasure and pain?

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