How does the emergence of masses, multitudes, mobs, movements, communities, collectives, bands, or swarms relate to the law? When does flight turn into colonization? What is the situation before the law? What is the camp? How does the people relate to the camp?
I am not a very balanced person. I am fragile and sad – almost as described in Triste Tropiques by Claude Lévi-Strauss. I feel both those adjectives, I grew up with them. I was aware of my fragility even when I was very young – a baby, learning to walk, living somewhere in Africa and already feeling that the number of white persons was very small compared to the number of black persons and also noticing that most of the black persons that I met were gardeners or maids. I felt – I am sure I am not lying – even at that very young age, not a sense of injustice, but a sort of guilt.
Guilt for what? My parents were nice people, they treated everyone well. My father was avidly learning languages, he spoke many African languages and also Pidgin English very well and he used to speak it...
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Kritik, Dissens, Disziplinarität
Jens Badura (ed.), Selma Dubach (ed.), Anke Haarmann (ed.), Dieter Mersch (ed.), Anton Rey (ed.), Christoph Schenker (ed.), Germán Toro Pérez (ed.)
Künstlerische Forschung. Ein Handbuch
Unbedingte Universitäten (ed.)
Unbedingte Universitäten (ed.)
The political process is not an expression, a singular expression, of objective reality but it is in some sense separated from this reality. The political process is not a process of expression, but a process of separation.
I think that we can speak today, after the last century, of a classical revolutionary politics. And my thesis is that we are beyond this classical revolutionary politics, the most important characteristic of which is, in my conviction, what I call expressive dialectics. Certainly, political struggle, insurrection, revolution are not structural effects – neither in the classical conception – they are moments, and we have to grasp the moment, name the circumstances, and so on. But finally, the moment, the political struggle, expresses, concentrates the social contradictions. And that’s why an insurrection can be purely singular and universal. Purely singular because it’s a moment, the pure moment, and universal because finally this moment expresses the generality of fundamental contradictions.
In the same way – and it’s another part of expressive dialectics – the revolutionary party, the revolutionary organisation represents the working class. And finally we have the famous sentence of Lenin about the very heart...
How the uncanny body politics of the mass and its eerie affects have been transformed into the computable logistics of mathematically defined agent systems.
Calculating disasters today means to coalesce empirical data of past catastrophies, observational data of mass events, and the computer-based experimentation and scenario-building with virtual ABM models of realistic agents and spatial environments. It thus combines analytical and synthetic approaches, supported by advanced visualization techniques, in the areas of crowd simulation, capturing, and sensing. With the latter, the crowd itself becomes kind of an operational medium – not only for its internal organization, but as a medium that helps regulating the multiple sensations and possible affections in a crowd in a real-time feedback loop to a computer model – a model, that in turn itself feeds back to the real-life crowd, sending information or warnings to the handheld devices of the app’s users. However, one would still rather question the applicability of the proposed feedback loop, as most people with the crowd sensing app most likely would not read the (individualized) directives appearing...
The radicalisation of the process of civilisation is a challenge to art, even an overwhelming one. High-modernist art, with its claims to understanding and expressing the world, positioned within a world that has become highly complex, is challenged by itself.
How is one to dance against Auschwitz or Hiroshima?
The sheer attempt to “dance against” anything would be naïve! Art after modernism – and I think the date 1945 would serve very well as a point of reference – had to and must now relinquish its own irresolvable complexity and retreat. It becomes in a sense truly radical but it would be more accurate to say it becomes nuclear, focussing on the core. Beckett’s plays are destilled cores – their greatness lies in their smallness. Absolute music, absolute art – Merce Cunningham’s dance could well be termed absolute dance in this sense – cristallises something from out of the cultural forms of bourgeois art, something which can...
Lauren A. Benton on legal pluralism, imperial thinking in international law, justice as theater and cultural gaps.
Dommann: What is jurisdiction? And how can we study it historically?
Benton: Well, you know, I don’t think jurisdiction is terribly mysterious, I just think about it as legal authority essentially, and the reason I like it methodologically is because it is not that difficult to locate and to discuss, it has almost always in these historical settings some contemporary recognition. People in all periods do talk about legal authority, they know who holds it, they have reference points, it’s not as if you were naming something categorically that doesn’t have a historical name also. It is much more difficult to try to study legal practice as reflecting norms because you can’t locate normative orders historically with the same certainty. So I haven’t found jurisdiction to be an elusive sort of category, but I do think it’s worth bringing out and sharpening a bit. Do you think it requires more elaboration...