In a Word

How we understand words over time can be extraordinarily telling. How we understand them across cultures equally insightful. Just what is in a word.

Take 3 examples, I was walking back from taking my young boy to school when down the street I saw a colleague from my teaching days. he was the chair of his department and had hired me to teach in that department. he was soon pushed out by a woman who was having an affair with a student. it became a prolonged lawsuit, he left. he then went through a nasty divorce forcing he and his wife to sell the house, and take apartments nearby, each with a room for their teen daughter. When I had seen him last he had just spent 6 weeks with 2 others sailing across the Atlantic on a small boat, a dream of mine, only to tell me he was with a nasty racist skipper who gave him no peace. He is a very congenial man, very tempered. As I said hi, he did not break a stride, lead on by his dog and the strong morning sun. as my head turned following him, crossing perpendicular to me, catching the light, I asked him as he passed, ‘how are you? how’s life.’ With out breaking a stride he said, ‘good. how’s yours?’ I found this phrasing quite beautifully odd, as if life is not yours exactly, but something given to you, and you from a certain vantage speak to it, live it, and if you can observe it. This so contrary to our sense that our lives are the life we make, we are our life we imagine.

I was watching a news piece on Macao, the Chinese gambling island, where the average stay is 5-7 hours. The Chinese government is trying to make it more than a gambling casino, adding swimming pools and theme parks, in an effort to turn the place into a longer destination site. At the close of the piece the reporter mentioned said, ‘though it may take some time to for this desire to become a reality, for now visitors to Macao are happy to come and test their fortune.’ To test their fortune, not to make a fortune, not to gamble money but to test the fortune they have, fortune as good luck, fortune as a state outside their being, something larger, something in the cosmos.

I’ve been reading the Adventures of Marco Polo, a must read, akin perhaps to Caesar’s, Conquest of Gaul, where in Polo describes, which he often does in the most succinct and descriptive manner, not unlike Caesar, the relations and customs of people he meets, the men and woman in the towns and provinces he is traveling through, or in Caesar’s case warring. In city after city he often tells us of the practices of the numerous soothsayers, astrologists, fortune tellers and augurs these cities have. The great Khan whose employ Polo was in had legions of them. Their role included reading lives and fortunes in the sense that the above usage of these words gave me. In my third example Polo uses the term ‘to wife’ not the wife as a role but a verb, a relation of action, to wife him. A man finds a wife to wife him.

How Do I Describe My Films

how do I describe my movies
in order to go on making films i had to come to invent a way to make films for myself. not to depend on other people’s money, proscribed locations, the perfect actor, reproducing a set script, none of this would do. i saw that i had to fold my reality into fiction. to see fiction in my everyday. to film my scripts in the environment of my lived life, with those around me, to see in the everyday the fiction i was writing, and to see the real as the becoming fictions and to bring these two together. i don’t know what to call the films, but a filmmaker friend of mine from japan reminded me of john greirson who believed in the cinema’s capacity for getting around, for observing and selecting from life itself, and that cinema could photograph the living scene and the living story which was everywhere. To add to this I think the living scene as he calls it can also interpret the scenario or fiction in your head, to be folded into. As Burroughs found, all the words and images are there, you’ve got to put them together through you. So yes they are experimental but not in this old school anti-narrative way, and yes they are video as video can record in only a way that video can, they are both immediate and constructed, found and invented, and they use direct recording of sound and are not found to then narrate an argument on top of, but the recording are there own argument, a becoming recording, could that be a name?

my relationship with the actor
at some point you realize the actor brings him or herself to the role. it is the actor playing the role. there is no role in that sense, there is the actor who invents, plays, plays with and along with this role, that he she goes on inventing. to do that inventing i want the actor to feel completely at ease in taking on this role, making this role, becoming it, bringing themselves to it. so we spend time together, doing physical exercises, improv, dance, trust exercises, just talking. seeing if we can get on. just be with each other. really taking time with each other. after awhile you get a feel for those who want to be creative. who want to invent. to collaborate. then through emailing, i send them a lot of images, film clips, music, in the new film, they take home cameras, film themselves. so through this physical work and exercising and conversing, we come to understand the situation we want to construct and the language reflects that, so the language becomes theirs, as they and the role are now inseparable. we do not shot many days, but we prep a long time, just enough not to much, so that when we shoot, there is a lot inside that comes out.

what do I think is the future of the cinema.
as a business, i am not sure. as a language, it seems very clear that the availability and immediacy of recording instruments and self-representation through digital recording suggests a very new kind of mise-en-scene and very new kinds of narrative, where the logic of story is already happened so to speak, the movie has already started, is always playing, where you get spliced into, take up the story, this is what will continue to be new.

Social Screen Test


Where as the new media was often used to re-create the old media, in this film the new media is seen in, through and by the cinematic codes of classic cinema. It is of course a cinema that is informed by experimental film, the 60’s, 70’s cinema of Warhol, Jack Smith, Michael Snow, Chantal Akerman, in that the takes are long, not much is seemingly going on, it is a strong and concentrated milieu, but something else is here, the classic cinematic code of The Passion of Joan of Arc, and Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles in that the film follows closely a protagonist, there is a telling of a story, an arc and resolution.

Foundational to the cinema of representation, the building block of the Hollywood cinematic text is the actor who has passed the ‘screen test’. The first test in Warhol’s factory was the screen test and many of his most interesting films shot under this premise. The screen test is set up to discover the ‘X’ factor, the star sex power of pure presence, a photogenic raised to an exponent. in success there is an absolute pleasure of seeing on screen the charisma of pure being. This is a voyeuristic pleasure of seeing while not being seen.

In the condition of the network, the network as recording and screen apparatus, in this new media – there is not just seeing, there is at the same time, being seen. In the network, there is added, the chance element of seeing unexpected things, things that have not passed any one’s or any committee’s screen test. In seeing these unexpected things, that may delight or give abjection, there is the other looking back at you. Of being seen and seeing. A relay of gazes in a real time circuit of seeing and interaction.

In the success of this new test we become the center of our network effects, we create a screen presence that can amplify these effects. The film perhaps ask, what is this test, how do we pass the test. How do we construct a moving and transactional image or persona of ourselves in the network.

The network as an always-on-recording re-writes cinema and splices us into this new social or uber cinematic apparatus, the network. In the traditional or old form of handling recordings, film, a young woman works to create an image in real time of her self for the network age. Her work is the work of the screen test and of recording the recordings that are this test. She works, working or playing, the two terms here conflate, to bring to the network her screen persona.

At another level the project which includes a 22 hour installation, uses the film format, and in this case, films classic codes to condense installations multiple and spatial sense of time into narrative film. As a film it looks at the new formats of social networking, formats such as chatroulette and freecams that bring us a new intimacy and immediacy and shows us how these new screen tests exceed and extend the cinematic.

Perhaps cinema here returns to its earliest of beginnings, employed as an instrument of observation, an apparatus of heightened seeing and recording, as an instrument that does not turn away, does not blink, but surveys and examines untiringly. Exceeding human perceptual faculty, the human capacity to stay attentive to seeing, let alone seeing at micro and macro scales, here cinema as the instrumentation of camera and recording-playback returns to doubly seeing itself, both in its new incarnation as network as cinema, and as a formulation of codes, of relays of pre-recorded shots, of representations and genres as cinema past. Here cinema looks at both at itself and the new world in which it carries on, the network.

Where is an Image?

What was it about Marseilles that drew me to it, not its actuality, not the place, not the culture or the substance of its physical reality but a scene most likely mis-remembered from the The Stranger, in Camus in the random violence that was held in a stabbing on a arid beach. The flat factual indifference. The suddenness. The smell and desire to death. The dry wind of an annihilation. This with the smoking sailors scene in Jean Genet’s, A Song of Love, his one and only film, where a man shares his cigarette smoke with his beloved fellow prisoner blowing waffling rings of smoke through a concrete wall, all the while being voyeuristically watched by a guard. And the port opening up to North Africa, conflated with my memory of the black and white video of Jacques Brel’s, Port Amsterdam, perhaps the most searing and beautifully rendered song ever sung. Marseilles was no doubt a reckoning. But once there, where was it. Where was the place and where would be the event. It would not be an event it would be everywhere. Not a reckoning but a slow undulating asunder that pulled to a coagulated quiet dark place meandering place.

Perhaps I should start at the end, which was not an end, the neighbor, a strong blue eyed ederly french woman who welcomed us and who just before leaving, when taking her the key to our apartment next door, showed us into her apartment. There were abstract and aboriginal like paintings and several pictures of a sailboat, one centered in wind swept blue seas framed by crisp white sails. It was a handsome boat and as I stepped closer to the waters in conversation she mentioned her husband died in a tempest at sea on his way to meet her in Marseilles.

Was the the blond haired man sitting on his haunches outside Zara with head bowed so very low, a heavy hand on head and the other palm open for alms – desperate was this poise, more pitiable, more wrenched and and despairing then all the pietas I had ever scene, than the whole oevure of Jan Bas Ader.

At some point I ask, ‘what is it that I remember?’, ‘where is this image?” yes where and what is this highly agitated, this vague, yet precise punctum in and of the image? Is this a precise image in memory or a very imprecise feeling. Me feeling, this image, me that is both this foolish conception and this fatal beckoning for a reckoning. To reckon, to bring to terms, to come to terms, what else but fatality, something, absolute, something final. This reckoning must be absolute, not the absolute negated by absence, nor the continual differal, no not a proliferation of multiplicity but something absolute and fatal.

Here, here, here, yes here is a proximate game, absolutes are for suckers, suckers for the absolute, not absolute beginners, but absolutists that want a there, a there where there will be blood, unrepentent and absolute like the relic of vasco da gama in the cathedral saint vicente in portugal.

Hi How are you Guest 10437

if there was a poetic cinema, a surreal cinema, a neo-realist cinema, perhaps we can see today a cinema that speaks to and is within a condition of an always being imaged environment. the name, a cinema of the immediate, which is a cinema of the intimate, a cinema that is always on, always imaging but not necessarily recording, names a condition of the network, a cinema that is so real time, so always on, it is not often recorded but simply as pervasive as the air.

this always on condition might be perceived to be below the level of the cinematic. it is too every day. it is as mclluhan would say an extension of perception, and almost invisible. this could not be cinema as cinema frames the shot, orchestrates the event, creates the event of seeing and narration.

yet isn’t this condition a new event for the cinema, an event that grows out of the cinematic, as television did from film, is not the network a new cinematic apparatus. in the network the cinematic event becomes very new, the event as constituted by the gaze, the shot, the cinematic apparatus.

in his new work, hi how are you guest 10437, this author sees the network and its seeing under the gaze of cinema and examines the network’s relay of sight and representation

though the network exceeds and devours the cinema, think only how godard used video to examine the cinema and then invent a new cinema for himself in his later career, here the cinema and its language plays back the network as recording, orchestrates recordings and examines what it is to make an image and represent a self in an always on world.

if the cinema constitutes terms of seeing what happens when the seer is seen and the seer sees the seeing, when all seers not only see but represent themselves to be seen when Off screen is always On Screen, some other screen.

If the network condition is to be on camera, to be always already public, how is one at the same time private and public, that is, how does one bring ones self alone to the network. a network that looks that is both private and desirable public. what is facebook after all, but the beckoning to be public, all of us, you, me, to be public.

in this work, a woman is always and never alone. it is an alone that is not quite alone with the network her stage, her witness, her audience, the network that brings the condition of a private with one’s self, in one’s self but public to the world, that the woman in quest becomes woman.

The story is simple, perhaps seemingly too simple which belies its complexity.

storyline….

a very different mise-en-scene

a classic hollywood film, joan of arc yet something very new

Networks Empire and Control Societies

one of a number of notes sent out for the film.

hi alex

looking forward to speaking with you tomorrow.

there is a lot that you do that interest me and i have enjoyed
immersing myself in it, philosophy, cultural criticism, network
theory, politics…

tomorrow I know we have only an hour so I want to use your time well,
and give opportunity for you to speak to a variety of things i want to
see come together in the film.

below is a high level list and then under that my notes including
topic headings and points – just scan if you would and think perhaps
about bunching some of the things together.

I am open to hear any thoughts and suggestions to give this a flow
that’s good for you.

-subjects and subjectivity (from what is to what does)
-the nation state – post nation empire (networks and sovereignty)
-network condition network materialism networks shape form history
(networks involve a shift in scale, one in which the central concern
is no longer the action of individual agents or nodes in the network)
-the network, networks of health, information, money, knowledge, the
genome, the social graph, control as an algorithm all to say in a
sense that computerized information society is material, software as
stuff math as material (material form of information and control)
-postscript to control societies logics of modulation ultra rapid
forms of free floating control from extension to infinite extension
of controlled mobility (move from foucault, modernity to control is
with us “the Internet is the most highly controlled mass media
hitherto known.”)
-the state of exception as continuous (agamben)
-creature an entity that is not readable or writable or executable
but that exists
-community is made up of the interruption of singular beings (bios, immunitas)
-politics, struggle exploiting power differentials already existing in
the system
-the brutal limitations of abstract logic (if/then true of false)
alphaville, thx1136
-video games – coterminous with the logic of informatics, to play is
to learn politics today possibly is to learn to discover holes in
existing technologies and projecting potential change in these holes
hackers call these holes exploits
-thinking socially and informatically
-we need an industrial politics of spirit a politics of enchantment

i look forward to seeing you and having you speak to us. thanks.

marc

Society no longer exists
-“Society no longer exists, at least in the sense of a differentiated
whole. There is only a tangle of norms and mechanisms through which
THEY hold together the scattered tatters of the global bio-political
fabric, through which THEY prevent its violent disintegration. Empire
is the administrator of this desolation, the supreme manager of a
process of this listless implosion.” –Tiqqun

Software Culture a grand dividing line between 2 schools of thought
-mathematization exist today at the very heart of the mode of production
for nothing from nothing reconcile thought and the absolute even if
this absolute is a nihilistic one
control society rebuttal math can be thought of as historical
mathematical judgments (deploying it, monetizing it) today are
historical post fordist rebuttal math can not be understood
ahistorically today
– this problem serves as a grand dividing line between 2 schools of
thought those who consider today that symbolic logic, geometry,
linear analysis, set theory, algorithms, information processing are
outside of ontic history, outside the history of appearances and
existence of instances
-and the other side others who see such mathematization exist today at
the very heart of the mode of production and not only drive history
but is history itself, there is something particular about the mode of
production today – the prevalence of software
-what is the infrastructure of today’s mode of production, yes, fixed
and variable capital but something distinctive of the economy today
is not only driven by software (symbolic machines) this economy is
software
-software itself is the thing that is directly extracting value – we
are extracting value based on and encoding of mathematical information
– monsanto (genetic code) , equifax (credit) , google – all software
companies
-what is software software is math, software consist of symbolic
tokens combine with mathematical functions and logical control
structures (if x then y)
-can not be neutral on math discourse about reality – math has become
an historical actor – after cybernetics, after the mathematization
of the genome, after google’s page rank algorithm, after the
industrialization of the social graph – any talk about math’s
unmediated discourse with reality is disengenous

Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization
-far from existing as a counter-hegemonic free-for-all, “the Internet
is the most highly controlled mass media hitherto known.”
-fundamental social transformation into informatics
-in modernity ideology was an instrument of power but now ideology is a decoy
-if control is an algorithm, how does the individual play the algorithm
-First conceived as a communications system designed to withstand
nuclear attacks on American cities, the Internet took shape as a
distributed network, a radically dispersed organizational form based
on multiple routes without central hubs, something he likens to both
the interstate highway system and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s
branching rhizome model, “a horizontal meshwork,” Galloway writes,
linking “many autonomous nodes together in a manner neither linear nor
hierarchical.” But in Galloway’s view, the Net’s non-hierarchy should
not be mistaken for uninhibited freedom. Rather, control exists within
the very nature of the Internet protocols, the universally recognized
technical standards and shared languages (HTTP, TCP/IP, HTML) that
allow information to be shared successfully—creating “a political
conundrum that involves the acceptance of universal standardization in
order to facilitate the ultimate goal of a freer and more democratic
medium.”
-”Because I do think that social relations follow the network
diagram, just the way that the body follows the network diagram, which
is just the way that the Internet follows the network diagram.”
-Still, protocol remains a provocative “diagram” (as he puts it) of
how power functions in an increasingly networked culture.
-In a last-chapter rundown of his theses on protocol, Galloway writes
that “protocol is a universalism achieved through negotiation, meaning
that in the future protocol can and will be different.” As an evolving
system, protocol “ultimately becomes the blueprint for humanity’s
innermost desires about the world and how it ought to be lived.” When
asked why one would assume that such desires would necessarily be
socially progressive, Galloway laughs. “Well, I’m a Marxist, so I
think they are!” he replies. “At the end of the day, one has to have
an ethical grounding.” In Protocol’s final paragraph, he poses this
sentiment as an unanswered question: “Do we want the Web to function
like a market economy? Can we imagine future technological solutions
that fulfill our social desires more fully than protocol can?”

Computerized information society
-read the ‘contemporary political situation’ vis a vis computerized
information society and its various structures of organization and
regulation
would like you to give description as to how you frame and forward a
material sense of software culture
-an analysis of the internet protocols which are made up of approx
3,000 technical documentsm IP, HTML these documents are called RFC’s
– these technical memoranda detail the vast majority of standards and
protocols in use in game consoles like the xbox as well as other types
of network computers
-massive electronic network of command and control – protocol’
–give description to the immanent logic or structure inside the web

The Exploit
-The network has become the core organizational structure for
postmodern politics, culture, and life, replacing the modern era’s
hierarchical systems. From peer-to-peer file sharing and massive
multiplayer online games to contagion vectors of digital or biological
viruses and global affiliations of terrorist organizations, the
network form has become so invasive that nearly every aspect of
contemporary society can be located within it.
-a dichotomy between networks and sovereignty. Sovereignty is the
longtime, historical form of government and society; often described
as “hierarchic.” Networks, on the other hand as any contemporary
person knows, are newer, postmodern, forms of social organization–or
topology–and activity. The difference between sovereignty and network
is the difference between architecture and biology.
-“the nonhuman quality of networks is precisely what makes them so
difficult to grasp”
-the most interesting aspect of networks, netwars and the multitude
are their unhuman qualities – unhman qualities that never-the-less do
not exclude the role of human decision and commonality
this is why we refer to protocol as a physics
networks generally speaking show us the unhuman in the human, that the
individual subject is not the basic unit of constitution but a myriad
of information, affects and matters.

Networks are elemental (from close of The Exploit) *very very nice
-what is that stitches the world together, that links part to part in
a larger whole?
the answer from thales to anaxagoras involve the elemental.
heraclitus gives us fire that is more elemental than natural, a
dynamic morphology, an energetic flux
paramedies, a plenum, the sphere without circumference, that
emphasizes the interstitial aspects of the world
if everything flows then all is ‘one’
-a movement between a world that is always changing and a world that
is immobile, between a world that is always becoming and a world that
is full – the movement and the secret identity between these positions
seem to describe to us something fundamental about networks.
ceaseless connections and disconnections continually posit a topology
forever incomplete but always take on a shape
-the shape also has a scale
a scaling for which the ‘nothing’ of the network and the ‘universe’ of
the network are impossible to depict.
networks are elemental
the elemental is this ambient, environmental aspect whose dynamics
operate ‘below’ and ‘above’ human subjects
the elemental concerns the variables and variability of scaling, from
the micro level to the macro, the way in which a network phenomenon
can suddenly contract, with the most local action becoming a global
pattern and vice versa. the elemental requires us to elaborate an
entire cilmatology of thought.
-networks involve a shift in scale, one in which the central concern
is no longer the action of individual agents or nodes in the network.
instead what matters more and more is the very distribution and
dispersal of action throughout the network, dispersal that would ask
us to define networks less in terms of the nodes and more in terms of
the edges — or even in terms other than the overly spatialized
dichotomy of nodes and edges all together – in a sense our
understanding of networks is all too human….

Postscript to control societies
-logics of modulation ultra rapid forms of free floating control from
extension to infinite extension of controlled mobility deleuze uses
the example of the freeway people can drive infinitely and freely
without being at all confined yet still while being perfectly
controlled
giving definition to the contemporary moment – the network, the time
and condition we live in – how is it being theorized
-the rfc’s the genome incorporated in the very definition of life and action.
Our thoughts are with control Steigler Enchantment
-Deleuze speaks to Negri Control and Becoming
Lecture on Steigler (taking care of youth and the generations)
Our thoughts are with control
-control is a philisophical concept – not just juridical or cybernetic
-control takes places in the situation of technical memory.
Gramitization
coding abstracting human relations behavior
pharmacon
-posion and cure
-the making technical of memory (writing photography media) techne
-transindividual memory that transits across individuals and generations
-psycho technologies produce a disenchanment
-attentive life of the being who is careful
-withering of desire, the erosion of libidinal energy, the
re-organization of mechanic drives (drives bad repetition)
-erosion in the art of living
-we need an industrial politics of spirit a politics of enchantment
-attention and desire emerge as moral necessities orientation
solicitude legacy concepts of phenomenology
-my wound existed before me i was born to embody it deleuze
-i am a subject of truth by virtue of my fidelity to an event badou
-events have an eternal truth
-from what is to what does

Control is native
-knowledge work, thought, information in software,
-control is native – is at the root of how value is extracted today –
-control as the condition of possibility of the immaterial
-control as the condition of possibility of thought
-control as the horizon of possibility of the immaterial just as
deleuze once proposed sense
-control is the pure ideational event of the immaterial
-control is the indication that form has achieved a state of information as such
-the horizon of generic doing, doing in the most generic sense
-to take care
to shift from a philosophy from what is to what does
techne, stigelr
from foucault discipline, fordist economy to control society to the fiscalized
-in a modern, calculative world, the techniques of tracking are
steadily increasing everywhere. Augmented by algorithmic procedures
and analytics, they have been incorporated into distributed network
systems, augmented by new sensing and locationing technologies, and
embedded into all manner of mobile devices, urban structures and
environments. As the urban realm is understood through the
spatialization of algorithmic operations, with all phenomena
converted, standardized, and rendered interoperable within calculative
architectures and procedures, it is endowed with cognitive and
agential abilities – able to track, sense and respond to phenomena
with a degree of autonomy – in ways that complicate conventional
ontological distinctions and political orientations. This essay offers
new formats of analysis for these calculative practices and the
agential and ontological status of new hybrid urban entities that they
register and engender. The key analytical tool and structuring
principle introduced is that of “program” – an organizing and
standardizing practice that moves beyond algorithmic-based
understandings. The challenge is to grasp what “program” registers and
demands within the calculative paradigm of tracking, while at the same
time understanding how this can be opened up, made flexible, the
struggle for its terms resituated. From this basis, a politics of
program can be oriented around the constitution of the event.
-american society is so sewn up—so depoliticized, so fiscalized in its
basic power relationships (julian assange)
-Even if the switch to post-modernity is the switch to a “control
society” in Deleuze’s
phrase (which is not to say that disciplinary institutions have
vanished, just that their
function has shifted), the focus of government on biology has
remained. But we’ve
shifted production styles. Here’s is where analyses of post-modernity
retain all their
interest. Instead of mass-producing disciplined and hence replaceable industrial
workers (the Fordist / Taylorist model) we now nurture post-industrial
informatized
singularities: from each his or her or his/her contribution to
production: swing shifts,
tele-commuting, each one an entrepreneur and free agent; to each his
or her or his/her
micro-market niche, and to each one his or her or his/her focus group
and feedback
loop! Thus since now consumption is such a patriotic duty, you can
contribute even as
unemployed, simply by having your consumption patterns monitored, thus
providing a
little extra string of singularized information. (“His or her or
his/her”: we’re not mean
old prejudiced modernists anymore: we like difference! Long live
difference and flux
and flow! Make no mistake, there are plenty of post-modernists still
around: they’re just
in ad agencies and HRM offices as well as in English departments, as
Thomas Frank
pitilessly shows in One Market Under God.)

Biopolitics
-The three books under review, which represent the state of the art in
relation to current research on biopolitics, nonetheless exemplify
distinct standpoints. Thomas Lemke offers a systematic overview of
biopolitics as a discipline, which he defines, following Foucault, as
the study of “what brought life and its mechanisms into the realm of
explicit calculations and made knowledge-power an agent of
transformation of human life” (Foucault 1990: 143). Melinda Cooper’s
is a path-breaking study of the relation between biopolitics and
neoliberal form of capitalism. She carries forth the task set by
Foucault to “study liberalism as the general framework of biopolitics”
(“étudier le libéralisme comme cadre général de la biopolitique”)
(Foucault 2004:24), by investigating the ways in which biological
life, rather than labor
power, becomes the source of surplus value. Roberto Esposito attempts
to understand the emergence of biopolitics as an epochal turning point
for philosophical reflection about politics. If politics in modernity
is essentially about self-preservation through subjection to a legal
order, then in our biopolitical age politics defends the biological
lives of the “species,” even against the juridical immunities of the
self. Political philosophy, from this perspective, must rethink the
possibility of community and individual freedom from within the
horizon of biological life.
Biopolitics: from Surplus Value to Surplus Life
Miguel Vatter
biomass not social relations as today’s site of exploitation.
-sources
-essences
-recipes
-instruction sets
biometric examinations at work
culling of consumer habits
prospecting inside ethnic groups for disease resistant genes
If politics in modernity is essentially about self-preservation
through subjection to a legal order, then in our biopolitical age
politics defends the biological lives of the “species,” even against
the juridical immunities of the self. Political philosophy, from this
perspective, must rethink the possibility of community and individual
freedom from within the horizon of biological life.

New materialist philosophies are needed
-How to think about a contemporary materialism
are you following the material history of man or are you following the absolute
either one follows the infinite, what we once called god
or the historicity of man saturated
the real in speculative realism means the absolute
for Galloway the real means history
so the question is does speculative realism have a politics?
-Contemporary economic, environmental, geopolitical, and technological
developments demand new accounts of nature, agency, and social and
political relationships; modes of inquiry that privilege consciousness
and subjectivity are not adequate to the task. New materialist
philosophies are needed to do justice to the complexities of
twenty-first-century biopolitics and political economy, because they
raise fundamental questions about the place of embodied humans in a
material world and the ways that we produce, reproduce, and consume
our material environment.
New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics [Hardcover]
Diana Coole (Editor), Samantha Frost
http://www.amazon.com/New-Materialisms-Ontology-Agency-Politics/dp/product-description/0822347539
-today’s materialism read marx’s historical materialism through
and into immanence deleuze foucault post fordist control delanda
(many others in academia)
networks as stuff
software as stuff
genes as stuff
global health databanks
-computerized information society is material (material form of
information and control)

Technicity
-Bernard Stiegler, whose ongoing project La
Technique et le temps (1994‐) has done so much to re‐open the
question of technology after Heidegger and Derrida, opens the
collection with a new meditation upon the Platonic opposition
between anamnēsis and hypomnēsis. Pursuing a critique of
what he has recently termed the “epoch of hyperindustrialisation”—
where the inherently technical status of
human memory and knowledge are now at the mercy of an
unparalleled industrial exploitation—Stiegler argues that the
question of hypomnēsis is now perhaps the defining political
question of our age.
It is now becoming possible to speak of a new
“technological turn” within contemporary continental thought
to match the much‐vaunted “ethical” and “political” turns of
the 1980s and ‘90s. From the ground‐breaking explorations of
such seminal figures as Marx, Heidegger and Derrida to the
work of more recent thinkers like Friedrich Kittler, Manuel de
Landa and N. Katherine Hayles, the theory and praxis of
technicity has become one of the defining—perhaps the
defining—conceptual tasks of our moment. Yet despite the
growing amount of important work in this field during recent
years, it still often appears that there is no agreement on the
precise terms of the debate itself. “Technicity” remains a term
whose meaning is, if anything, more contested now than ever
before, some 2,500 years after Aristotle first attempted to define
it: it is variously defined today as everything from a
philosophical concept or idea, a historical or material process,
an anthropological tool or prosthesis, an ontological condition,
a mode of discourse, a way of thinking to even the basic state of
life itself. If the meaning of technicity remains very much in
question, then it is hardly surprising that the much larger and
more fraught questions of its relation to the status of the
human, the animal, nature, culture, history, evolution, science
and the political lie equally unarticulated.

‘Contemporary political situation’
-read the ‘contemporary political situation’ vis a vis computerized
information society and its various structures of organization and
regulation
would like you to give description as to how you frame and forward a
material sense of software culture
massive electronic network of command and control – protocol’
give description to the immanent logic or structure inside the web

The Multitude, The People
-Globalization is forcing us to rethink some of the categories–such
as “the people”–that traditionally have been associated with the now
eroding state. Italian political thinker Paolo Virno argues that the
category of “multitude,” elaborated by Spinoza and for the most part
left fallow since the seventeenth century, is a far better tool to
analyze contemporary issues than the Hobbesian concept of “people,”
favored by classical political philosophy. Hobbes, who detested the
notion of multitude, defined it as shunning political unity, resisting
authority, and never entering into lasting agreements. “When they
rebel against the state,” Hobbes wrote, “the citizens are the
multitude against the people.” But the multitude isn’t just a negative
notion, it is a rich concept that allows us to examine anew plural
experiences and forms of nonrepresentative democracy. Drawing from
philosophy of language, political economics, and ethics, Virno shows
that being foreign, “not-feeling-at-home-anywhere,” is a condition
that forces the multitude to place its trust in the intellect. In
conclusion, Virno suggests that the metamorphosis of the social
systems in the West during the last twenty years is leading to a
paradoxical “Communism of the Capital.”

Community Immunitas
-The values of the Roman world of the 2nd century were like the values
of the Enlightenment, conceived as universal: the rule of law,
citizenship based upon a common human identity, irrespective of race
or creed. For the historical origins of modern secular liberal
democracy lie not, as Fukuyama and Samuel Huntington suppose, in
Christianity, but in what Christianity borrowed from the ancient
world. And it was because the values and the kind of scientific
inquires they made possible were ancient and secular in origin that it
was, in the end, possible to detach them from Christian theology – and
the church…
-Is there really any such thing as a “genuine political community” in
any modern liberal democracy? Is not, in the end, the whole point of
modern, as opposed to ancient democracy (as the French liberal
Benjamin Constant pointed out at the beginning of the 19th century),
that modern democracies have made it possible for private citizens to
be just that – private? Communities may be necessary for some. But
“political communities” sounds ominously like collective farms,
Calvinist covenants and their like.
-If in the end, however, Fukuyama turns out to be right, then it is
likely to be the institutions of modern democracy that will have to
give way to some newer kind of political organisation capable of
sustaining what the ancients called “the best possible life” in a
world without the nation-state. And History may, in fact, as History
so often does, be about to begin all over again.
Anthony Pagden
http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/again_3514.jsp

Bios: Biopolitics and Philosophy is the first work by Roberto
Esposito, Communitas (1998) and Immunitas (2002),
-The main thesis of the trilogy is deceptively simple yet profound.
The original meanings of the term “community” derive from the Latin
root munus, which means an obligation to give of oneself to others.
There is no community between individuals without this gift or
expenditure. At the same time, the obligation to give of oneself
represents a terrible risk and burden, because the structure of the
gift is inherently asymmetrical: it can in no way be reciprocated and
the community demands ever more gifts from its members.
-While Communitas seeks to identify this risk, Immunitas describes the
result: the “paradigm of immunization,” which structures the whole of
political thought in modernity. Given the risk posed by the community
to the individuals who belong to it, the members of the community need
to protect themselves from the demands made by their common life, by
their community, of which they are themselves an essential part. This
self-defense takes the form of a politico-juridical immunitas, an
immunity that the individual takes against the demand and the duty
that the community places upon him or her. Immunity from the demands
of the other as other takes different shapes and forms in modern
political thought, but the main ones consist in: 1) the idea of
subjective rights against the sovereign power, 2) the idea of
private property and of money as universal equivalent, and 3) the idea
of sufficient reason. Immunitas shares the root of communitas, but it
means the negation of the logic of the gift, and instead the
inauguration of another logic of social existence which turns on fair
exchange and contract.

‘Unworkabillity’ ethics
-consider ‘unworkabillity’ a new political category community (the
imperson) whatever singularities belhaj karcem
-whatever it is it is
-the politics of whatever singularities this is the only foundation
for an ethics
-relation to being outside representation surveil of the network
-how to be unaccounted for
when existence is to be measured, tracked
not to be cast in any available data types not to be parsed
one’s very physical and biological self keeps on slipping away under
masses of files, photo, video and net tracking data.
-a new politics of desertion
get to the logic of informatic control

Engagement
-(political engagement) beings engagement by and for such beings
Sartre Heidiger Being absolute the truth of being
what is the experience of real life today in industrilalization, the
taylorization of behavior
why are events more often riots than revolution?
control as a a horizon
networks shape form history
the empirical geo-philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari aims by contrast
to summon forth “a new earth,” a new relation to the creative
potentials of material
systems to form free bodies.

Video Games the political realities of the informatic age.
-if cinema does not show informatic control – this is precisely want
video games do ”to play the game is to play the code of the game…
the gamer is indeed learning internalizing and becoming intimate with
a massive multipartite global algorithm – to win means to know the
system’ to interpret a game is know the algorithm is to discover its
parallel allegorithm’
video games are in direct synchronization with the political realities
of the informatic age.
video games deliver to the player the power relations of informatic
media first hand choreographed in a multivalent cluster of play
activities video games present the political realities of
computerization – they solve the problem of political control not by
subverting or sublimating it as in cinema but by making it coterminous
with the entire game.
how to make the world work – in buckminster fuller’s game the world
game to win everybody must be made physically successful, everybody
must win – von neuman’s theory of games was predicated upon one side
losing 100%
in cinema – epistemological reversal – disingenuous informatics fincher
knowing the system and knowing the code
video games as way into internalizing and understanding today’s
informatic structures of thought
‘you have to figure out what will work within the rules of the game’
using informatics for control but also to ‘win’
gaming and high speed training infinite combinations of buttons
must be executed with precise timing – motor memorize button
combinations
in conjunction with the ideological critique of civilization a third
step is to elaborate a formal critique routed in core principles of
informatics – a good place to start (lev manovich)
-numerical representation
-modulation
-variability
-transcoding
yeah so its new media but to say civilizations is a control allegory
is to say something different the game plays the very controls of
informatic control today

Flexibility
-flexibility is one of core political principles of informatic control
– this principle is derives from the idea of the distributed network
which prizes flexibility as a strategy to avoid technical failure at a
systems level.
-flexibility is also central to the new information economies powering
innovations in fulfillment, customization and other aspect of what is
known as flexible accumulation
-flexibility is allegorically repurposed in civilizations with various
sliders and parameters to regulate flow and system equilibrium. all
elements of the game are put in quantitative and dynamic relationship
with each other so a cultural victory and conquest victory
conclusion differ very slightly in the two algorithms for winning.
-flexibility allows for a universal standardization diverse enough
to accommodate massive contingency producing a more robust system
that can subsume all comers under the mantle of continuity and
universalism.

More Notes
malabou butler
are we projecting capitalism on how are brain works?
precarity – butler
evil twin concept flexibility thorny political term – capitalism
is based on flexibility
flexibility is the evil twin to plasticity

our choice is between justice and governmental administration

politics
ticcun, ‘the only thought compatible with empire is deconstruction
deconstruction is a discursive practice to dissolve all intensity and
not producing any itself’
galloway does not see a living politics here – this continued
unmooring and plasticity, this hegelianism
he is into pure becoming within an immanent field of being – he is a
materialist

empire and capital
absolute malleability is the structure – in marx capitalism is
absolute exchangeability plasticity a.g. reads as the mode of
contemporary

why not produce a purely ontological nihilism –
why live the live of separating the good plasticity from the bad plasticity

when perpetual change is the mode of production aren’t we to look at
something else.

lecture
belhaj karcem
the book, the french psychosis
banishment suburb
reads the situation through agamben
-state of exception
-banishment
-profanation
-bare life
-homo saceur

this books has a force a rage
negligence of the french state

consider the question of ‘unworkabillity’ a new political category
book, logics of the world
outsider, trickster, self taught, anti-philosophy

the unworkable or inoperative community
-jean luc nancy
-maurice blanchot
-agamben

all 3 put forward books on community

-held together by common threads, custom, law, shared narrative
by contrast
-a community that has nothing in common, to commune means to come
together at the level of genericness, having nothing in common

singular beings are finite – exist as to exist as whatsoeveryouare
this distinct from community as nationalism – this a community without
work, unworkable having nothing to do with production

community is made up of the interruption of singular beings

badoou agamben
ontology badou the evental site the site of an event
politics agamben the state of exception

why is it that in the modern world the evental site so often a state
of exception (with holding of typical norms) – why is the location of
the site of the event sew the seed of the state exception
why are events more often riots than revolution?

awaken a theory of the dark event –
what is the nature of this presence, the void

laruelle
hermes as science not as art
philosophers, the mailmen of truth
he subtracts the individual from the equation

internet a huge production of information, a temple of collective
intelligence – hmmmmm — is there any revolutionary potential in this
knowledge

in the past how did feudalism end

Matteo Pasquinelli on Transmediale go here
http://www.transmediale.de/en/mediaarchive

Closer to home, as Deleuze points out, the subtler, modulated forms of
control in network culture mask themselves, above all in the idea that
resistance is outmoded, that “Californian ideology” that depicts the
network as the next site for a global Jefferson democracy, a
libertarian space of freedom and equality.[33] Under network culture,
the idea that the corporation has a soul, which Deleuze declared “the
most terrifying news in the world,” and that the primary route by
which individuals can achieve self-realization is through work, are
commonplaces, if perhaps treated with a little more skepticism since
the collapse of the dot-com boom.[34] Moreover, as we explore the Long
Tail, we are tracked and traced relentlessly, and as we are monitored,
Deleuze concludes, we wind up internalizing that process, so as to
better monitor ourselves.

Castells turns to Alain Touraine: “in a post-industrial society, in
which cultural services have replaced material goods at the core of
its production, it is the defense of the subject, in its personality
and in its culture, against the logic of apparatuses and markets, that
replaces the idea of class struggle.”[14] But as Deleuze presciently
described in his “Postscript on Societies of Control,” today the self
is not so much constituted by any notion of identity but rather is
reduced to “dividuals.”[15] Instead of whole individuals, we are
constituted in multiple micro-publics, inhabitants of simultaneously
overlapping telecocoons, sharing telepresence with intimates in whom
we are in near-constant touch, members of the 64 clustered
demographics units described by the Claritas corporation’s PRIZM
system.
http://varnelis.net/the_rise_of_network_culture

The ideal model for networked publics, is as, Yochai Benkler suggests,
that of a “distributed architecture with multidirectional connections
among all nodes in the networked information environment.” This vision
of the network, commonly held as a political ideal for networked
publics and sometimes misunderstood as the actual structure on which
the Internet is based is taken from RAND researcher Paul Baran’s
famous model of the distributed network. Where centralized networks
are dominated by one node to which all others are connected and
decentralized networks are dominated by a few key nodes in a hub and
spoke network, under the distributed model, each node is equal to all
others.[24] Baran’s diagram has been taken by taken up as a foundation
myth for the Internet, but not only was Baran’s network never the
basis for the Internet’s topology (moreover it was merely a
communication system, designed to ensure survival of top-down command
in the post-apocalyptic battlefield), it bears little resemblance to
the way networked publics are organized.

“Postscript on the societies of control,” Gilles Deleuze
“The State of Emergency,” Paul Virilio

HUO: And that’s why you mentioned when we last spoke that you’re
optimistic about China?
JA: Correct, and optimistic about any organization, or any country,
that engages in censorship. We see now that the US State Department is
trying to censor us. We can also look at it in the following way. The
birds and the bees, and other things that can’t actually change human
power relationships, are free. They’re left unmolested by human beings
because they don’t matter. In places where speech is free, and where
censorship does not exist or is not obvious, the society is so sewn
up—so depoliticized, so fiscalized in its basic power
relationships—that it doesn’t matter what you say. And it doesn’t
matter what information is published. It’s not going to change who
owns what or who controls what. And the power structure of a society
is by definition its control structure. So in the United States,
because of the extraordinary fiscalization of relationships in that
country, it matters little who wins office. You’re not going to
suddenly empty a powerful individual’s bank account. Their money will
stay there. Their stockholdings are going to stay there, bar a
revolution strong enough to void contracts.

If politics in modernity is essentially about self-preservation
through subjection to a legal order, then in our biopolitical age
politics defends the biological lives of the “species,” even against
the juridical immunities of the self. Political philosophy, from this
perspective, must rethink the possibility of community and individual
freedom from within the horizon of biological life.

Classical liberalism then challenges physiocracy by showing the
inability of the sovereign to have full knowledge of the economy.
Foucault demonstrates this with a wonderful reading of the metaphor of
the invisible hand in Adam Smith’s work (NB 283-86F / 278-81E). The
culmination of Foucault’s analysis gives us the astonishing prospect
of a Deleuzean liberalism, as seen in the “atheistic” character of its
demonstration of “the impossibility of a sovereign point of view over
the totality of the state.”

“Liberalism acquired its modern shape precisely with the formulation
of this essential incompatibility between the non-totalizable
multiplicity of economic subjects of interest and the totalizing unity
of the juridical sovereign” Postponing the vast work this sentence
imposes on us, we see the upshot of this cleavage between irreducible
economic multiplicity and totalizing sovereignty in government’s
self-limitation and the creation of a zone of non-intervention, the
famous laissez-faire, which is designed to allow natural market
mechanisms to function as based on the natural inclinations of homo
economicus to exchange with others.

So the classical liberal formula is “protect the market from
government in order to allow social benefits from natural exchange.”30
The neoliberals say we must proceed on two paths: (1) we must have
government intervention at the level of the conditions of the market
in order (2) to spread the enterprise form throughout the social
fabric. So the neoliberal formula here is “use government to change
society to constitute an artificial and fragile market.”

In other words, for Foucault, neoliberal governmentality conducts our
conduct by inducing us to subjectify ourselves as self-entrepreneurs
concerned with obtaining a return on our human capital (NB 227-232F /
221-226E).31
So for Foucault, we best see the radicality of American neoliberalism
by concentrating on its mode of subjectification. And the most radical
mode of homo economicus is reached when the self-entrepreneur takes up
the challenge of managing its genetic capital.32

Since the 1980s Esposito has deconstructed political modernity through
the history of modern political
ideas. His Categorie dell’impolitico analysed the exhaustion of the
political in modernity and the relation
between individual and community. He pursued this project in
Communitas (1998) and Immunitas
(2002), which develop the thesis that the modern subject, with all of
its civil and political rights, emerges
as an attempt to attain immunity from the contagion of what is
extra-individual; namely, the possibility of
radical community. This attempt to immunize the individual from the
common ends up annihilating the
individual in a kind of auto-immune reaction. Bios stands as the third
and last part of Esposito’s trilogy
dedicated to exploring the “biopolitics of immunity.”
The main thesis of the trilogy is deceptively simple yet profound. The
original meanings of the term
“community” derive from the Latin root munus, which means an
obligation to give of oneself to others.
There is no community between individuals without this gift or
expenditure. At the same time, the
obligation to give of oneself represents a terrible risk and burden,
because the structure of the gift is
inherently asymmetrical: it can in no way be reciprocated and the
community demands ever more gifts
from its members.
While Communitas seeks to identify this risk, Immunitas describes the
result: the “paradigm of
immunization,” which structures the whole of political thought in
modernity. Given the risk posed by the
community to the individuals who belong to it, the members of the
community need to protect themselves
from the demands made by their common life, by their community, of
which they are themselves an
essential part. This self-defense takes the form of a
politico-juridical immunitas, an immunity that the
individual takes against the demand and the duty that the community
places upon him or her. Immunity
from the demands of the other as other takes different shapes and
forms in modern political thought, but
the main ones consist in: 1) the idea of subjective rights against the
sovereign power, 2) the idea of
private property and of money as universal equivalent, and 3) the idea
of sufficient reason. Immunitas
shares the root of communitas, but it means the negation of the logic
of the gift, and instead the
inauguration of another logic of social existence which turns on fair
exchange and contract.