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Lawless: Clouds Reprise
Lawless: Clouds Reprise

Ute Holl

The Moses Complex

The Moses complex derives its actuality from recalling the emergence of cultures as fields of mutually engendering relationships. From the perspective of media studies, which is a science of differential relationships between materialities and immaterialities, noises and messages, channels and signals, apparatuses and perceptions, the relationship to God or gods turns out to be one between people and their systems of thought. So media studies argues against fundamentalism, whether ontological, anthropological, or technicistic. The figure of Moses is a decisive node...
  • community
  • Arnold Schönberg
  • Danièle Huillet
  • exile
  • Jean-Marie Straub
Tom McCarthy

I’m not really sure what is and what isn’t theory.

Elisabeth Bronfen

Tom, our idea here was that you would give us a little insight into how you find your themes, how you use theory for your texts.

 

T.MC.

I’m not really sure what is and what isn’t theory. I don’t really know where theory stops and fiction begins. If you take someone like, for example, Derrida: half of The Post Card is basically an epistolary novel; it’s fiction, there are characters, there is a character speaking to another character—even while he’s conducting a “theoretical” analysis of Heidegger. I think it’s very hard to pin down that border-line between it being theory/fiction or not theory/fiction. So theory wouldn’t just be a reflection on something else which is somehow more integral; it’s more fluid than that.

A figure like Lévi-Strauss is just wonderful in this respect: Tristes Tropiques is one of the most brilliant books and it’s much better as literature than almost all of...

  • conversation
  • fiction
  • Modernism
  • literature
  • literary studies
Elisabeth Bronfen
Con Artist Don Draper, the archetypical American hero

Con Artist Don Draper, the archetypical American hero

  • happiness
  • 1960s
  • cultural imaginary
  • advertising
  • Stanley Cavell
  • television
  • society
  • America
  • serial
  • lie
  • USA
Maurizio Lazzarato

The endless array of merchandise

In contemporary capitalism, subjectivity is the product of a mass industry organized on a global level. For Félix Guattari this is actually the first and most important of capitalist productions, because it preconditions and is part of production in all other forms of merchandise. Subjectivity is a ‘key merchandise,’ which in its ‘nature’ is put together, developed and manufactured in the same way as a car, electricity, or a washing machine. Capitalism organizes the production and control of subjectivity through two different systems, which weave together the manufacture of the individuated subject (“social subjection”) and what seems to be the opposite, de-subjectification (“machinic enslavement”). Therefore capitalism exercises a twofold hold over subjectivity.

Social subjection involves techniques of government, which pass by way of, and mobilize, representation (political and linguistic), areas of knowledge, discursive visual practices, etc., and produce ‘subjects of rights,’ ‘political subjects,’ in short: ‘subjects’ of ‘I’s,’ of individuals. By...

  • algorithms
  • capitalism
  • Governmentality
  • data
  • identity
News + Events

"Aesthetics and the Alien: Straub/Huillet in 'Moses und Aron'"

29.03.2017, 19:00

e-flux
East Broadway 311
10002 New York, NY
USA

Yves Netzhammer: »Selbstgespräche nähern sich wie scheue Rehe«

04.03.2017 – 23.04.2017

LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur
Domplatz 10
48143 Münster
Deutschland

 

Topics
Elisabeth Bronfen

Marking the passage from misfortune to good luck

An even more strikingly risky moment, which for Don anticipates both a personal and a professional crisis, occurs at the open door of an elevator in the fifth season. After Megan has confessed to him that she wants to stop working at the agency so as to fully concentrate on her acting career, he accompanies her to the elevator, where he takes leave of her by demonstratively giving her a passionate kiss before the door closes. Then, as though this were an afterthought, he once more presses the button. Although, almost immediately, the doors of the elevator next to the one that Megan just stepped into begin to open, he suspects that something is wrong. Standing on the threshold of the opening, he finds himself looking down into the dark abyss of the empty elevator shaft. More astonished than alarmed, he steps back. Then the doors close again. The concrete...

  • architecture
  • America
  • 1960s
  • everyday life
  • Labor

 

Carolin Wiedemann

A New Materialist Approach to 4Chan

From Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs in 2003 to Felix Stalder’s concept of Digital Solidarity in 2013, the Internet has inspired and still inspires the dream of new sorts of collectivity, of a potentially free and open space of information and communication that would emancipate and unite the people. These discourses often employ the swarm metaphor, the “ephemeral and apparently ‘grass-roots democratic’ conception of collectivity” that suggests emergent cooperation or solidarity and is therefore also used to point to new emancipatory politics.

The notion of a solidary swarm is especially interesting with regard to present forms of governmentality: On the one hand, it stands for subversive moments within societies of control or biopolitical capitalism, as it can point to new forms of sociality that overcome logics of neoliberal competition. On the other, inspiring swarm behavior is one way of governing in neoliberal capitalism. As the notion of the online swarm and, more...

  • democracy
  • affects
  • digital culture
  • Bruno Latour
  • Anonymous
Diedrich Diederichsen

“is x-ism a y-ism”

The title of this text poses what at first appears to be an irritating, if not completely insane question, that I myself couldn’t have imagined posing a year ago. For one thing, it’s because one of the important terms in this question was totally unknown to me, and for another, I probably would have affirmed it outright had I known what this word meant.

The question is: Is Marxism a correlationism? The rhetoric of this formulation – “is x-ism a y-ism” – borrows from the title of a famous essay by Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism is a Humanism (1946). In those days it was also a matter of setting a new philosophical fashion in relation to a major cornerstone of orientation – to humanism. Today the question appears to be reversed: Is Marxism – which is now the cornerstone, the old orientation – a correlationism? The correlationism isn’t the new fashion, but...

  • materialist turn
  • material aesthetics
  • thing/thingness
  • anthropology
  • materiality