30.4.12

Topology VI: Spaces of Transformation: The Vast Space-Time of Revolutions Becoming. A conversation with Drucilla Cornell, David Harvey and Achille Mbembe chaired by Oscar Guardiola-Rivera @ Tate Modern, London 12 May 2012


A barricade in the Paris Commune, March 18, 1871

Spaces of Transformation: The Vast Space-Time of Revolutions Becoming

Tate Modern, Starr Auditorium
Saturday 12 May 2012, 

With Drucilla Cornell on The Site of Revolution, David Harvey on The Spaces of Anti-capitalist Transition and Achille Mbembe on Zero-World. Chaired by Oscar Guardiola-Rivera.
This panel constitutes the spirit that opens up new potentiality spaces for human thought and action toward a transformative movement (abolishing the state of things) that is always there for the making and the taking – pushing human possibilities to their limits. This is what gaining the courage of our minds is all about: to take a speculative plunge into the unknown and the unknowable – facing up to a world of uncertainty and risk where the social and the ecological orders are unpredictable and unstable. What counts is open dialogue and practical interactions across multiple theatres on this long frontier in the vast space-time of revolutions becoming.

Drucilla Cornell

(The Site of Revolution) is Professor of political science, women’s studies, and comparative literature at Rutgers University and National Research Foundation Professor in Customary Law, Indigenous Ideals and the Dignity Jurisprudence at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Prior to beginning her life as an academic, Cornell was a union organizer for a number of years. She worked for the UAW, the UE, and the IUE in California, New Jersey and New York. She has written numerous articles on contemporary continental thought, critical theory, grass-roots political and legal mobilisation, jurisprudence, women’s literature, feminism, aesthetics, psychoanalysis, and political philosophy. She has published several books: Beyond Accommodation: Ethical Feminism, Deconstruction and the Law (1991, new edition 1999), The Philosophy of the Limit (1992),Transformations: Recollective Imagination and Sexual Difference (1993), The Imaginary Domain: Abortion, Pornography, and Sexual Harassment (1995), At the Heart of Freedom: Feminism, Sex, and Equality (1998), Just Cause: Freedom, Identity, and Rights (2000), Between Women and Generations: Legacies of Dignity (2002), Defending Ideals: War, Democracy and Political Struggles (2004) and Moral Images of Freedom: A Future for Critical Theory (2008) that won the Frantz Fanon prize. Her most recent book with Kenneth Michael Panfilio isSymbolic Forms for a New Humanity (2011). She is on the Board of Directors of the uBuntu Project.

David Harvey

(Spaces of Anti-Capitalist Transition) is a geographer and the Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York. Among other awards he has received the Anders Retzius Gold Medal of the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography, the Patron’s Medal of the Royal Geographical Society and the Vautrin Lud International Prize in Geography (France). He was made a fellow of the British Academy in 1998 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007. He is the author of many books, including Social Justice and the City (1973), Consciousness and the Urban Experience (1985), The Condition of Postmodernity (1989), The Limits to Capital (1982), Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference (1996), Spaces of Hope (2000), The New Imperialism (2003), A Brief History of Neoliberalism (2005), Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development (2006), Cosmopolitanism and the Geographies of Freedom (2009), A Companion to Marx’s Capital (2010), and The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism (2010).

Achille Mbembe

(Zero-World) is a philosopher and political scientist. He obtained his PhD in History at the University of Sorbonne and a DEA in Political Science at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris. He is a Professor of Social Theory in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Stellenbosch University and a convenor of the Locations and Locutions lecture series. He is also a co-convenor of The Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism (Faculty of the Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand) and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Romance Studies at Duke University (US). He is a senior researcher at WISERInstitute in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is a contributing editor of the scholarly journal Public Culture. He has written extensively on African history and politics, including Les Jeunes et l’ordre politique en Afrique noire (1985), La naissance du maquis dans le Sud-Cameroun (1996), Du Gouvernement prive indirect (2000), and Sortir de la grande nuit – Essai sur l’Afrique décolonisée (2010). He is the winner of the Bill Venter/Altron Award (2006) for his book On the Postcolony(2001). He has written on the artist Marlene Dumas.

Oscar Guardiola-Rivera

is a philosopher and cultural critic, as well as the award-winning author of ‘What If Latin America Ruled the World?’ Oscar teaches at Birkbeck College, University of London, and often collaborates with such media outlets as the BBCGuardian, Monocle Radio, Tank Magazine, Al Jazeera and RT, among others.

Félix Guattari and Suely Rolnik - Molecular Revolution in Brazil - Semiotext(e), Usa, 2006



Molecular Revolution in Brazil**

Félix Guattari and Suely Rolnik



Translated by Karel Clapshow and Brian Holmes

Yes, I believe that there is a multiple people, a people of mutants, a people of potentialities that appears and disappears, that is embodied in social, literary, and musical events…. I think that we’re in a period of productivity, proliferation, creation, utterly fabulous revolutions from the viewpoint of this emergence of a people. That’s molecular revolution: it isn’t a slogan or a program, it’s something that I feel, that I live….
—from Molecular Revolution in Brazil


Following Brazil’s first democratic election after two decades of military dictatorship, French philosopher Félix Guattari traveled through Brazil in 1982 with Brazilian psychoanalyst Suely Rolnik and discovered an exciting, new political vitality. In the infancy of its new republic, Brazil was moving against traditional hierarchies of control and totalitarian regimes and founding a revolution of ideas and politics. Molecular Revolution in Brazil documents the conversations, discussions, and debates that arose during the trip, including a dialogue between Guattari and Brazil’s future President Luis Ignacia Lula da Silva, then a young gubernatorial candidate. Through these exchanges, Guattari cuts through to the shadowy practices of globalization gone awry and boldly charts a revolution in practice.
Assembled and edited by Rolnik, Molecular Revolution in Brazil is organized thematically; aphoristic at times, it presents a lesser-known, more overtly political aspect of Guattari’s work. Originally published in Brazil in 1986 as Micropolitica: Cartografias do desejo, the book became a crucial reference for political movements in Brazil in the 1980s and 1990s. It now provides English-speaking readers with an invaluable picture of the radical thought.



**Micropolítica. Cartografias do desejo (1986; 11th edition 2010), published in seven countries (inUSA by Semiotext(e)/MIT, 2006 with the title: Molecular Revolution in Brazil).

Topology V: Boaventura de Sousa Santos in conversation with Shiv Visvanathan, Suely Rolnik and Sarat Maharaj. Chaired by Brenna Bhandar @ Tate Modern, 28 April 2012



Topology V: Boaventura de Sousa Santos in conversation with Shiv Visvanathan, Suely Rolnik and Sarat Maharaj. Chaired by Brenna Bhandar

This panel explores counter-hegemonic transnational networks, global voices and cartographic practices that map the abyssal line between epistemologies of the North and the South. Reinventing social emancipation opens the processes of democracy to heterogeneous outside, de-territorialising universal topoi and spaces of power. These emancipatory processes are expressed in the struggles for participatory democracy manifest in the Arab Spring, the growing occupation movement and the landless workers movements. Another form of knowledge is possible.
The understanding of the world by far exceeds the Western understanding of the world. Northern epistemologies draw abyssal lines between zones of being and zones of non-being, thereby committing epistemicide and wasting social experience in a massive scale. Mapping the lines is as much a search for absent knowledges as it is a search for absent beings. Knowing otherwise is also being otherwise. Knowing and being in a post-abyssal way involves a constant exercise of intercultural translation.
Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Self-determination as Sumak KawsayHindi Swaraj and Ubuntu
Shiv Visvanathan discusses Knowledge and Democracy: Between the Imagination and the Imaginary.
Democracy which functions in linear time is illiterate. Without a multiplicity of time, the diversities of citizenship cannot be sustained. Distributive justice without cognitive justice cannot democratize democracy. Only the epistemologies of democracy can rescue politics from the tyranny of an official science. The explosion of citizenship has created an epistemic movement where democracy can be reinvented in terms of the new dialects of emancipation. 
Shiv Visvanathan, Knowledge and Democracy: Between the Imagination and the Imaginary
What is non-negotiable in my theoretical, clinical, curatorial and teaching practices? What is non-negotiable in my every day life practices? It is what demands to be embodied, the force that obliges me to think, that is, to create. This poetical force is the only non-negotiable element when the negotiation with economical or macro-political interests is unavoidable. In other words, what is non-negotiable for me is the force of desire in its negotiation with narcissistic or social recognition interests – be they my own interests or external ones. It is a kind of drive pragmatism oriented by an ethical compass. Isn’t that the fundamental meaning of sublimation, if we understand it as sublime-actions, the actions we are always trying to invent in order to actualise drives?
Suely Rolnik, Beyond Colonial Unconscious
Suely Rolnik instantiates the production of another form of knowledge, exposing the topological relations between affect and thought, disquietude and creation: an ethico-aesthetic resistance to the repression of the drive, unconscious in the endless process of invention of oneself and of the world. For her, such repression is the main colonial operation from a micropolitical perspective. Through poetics/analytics/politics she mobilises affect and shifts stagnation in the micro-spaces of the body, the folds of the soul and pleats of matter.
This keynote conversation will be followed by a seminar led by Bernard Burgoyne on Saturday 5 MaySecrets of Space Seminars.

Boaventura de Sousa Santos

is Professor of Sociology at the School of Economics, University of Coimbra (Portugal), Distinguished Legal Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School and Global Legal Scholar at the University of Warwick. He is Director of the Center for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra and member of the research group Democracy, Citizenship and Law (DECIDe) of the Centre. He has been a prominent intellectual-activist of the World Social Forum. He has published widely on globalization, sociology of law and the state, epistemology, democracy, and human rights in Portuguese, Spanish, English, Italian, French and German. His books in English include Toward a New Common Sense: Law, Science and Politics in the Paradigmatic Transition (1995), The Rise of the Global Left. The World Social Forum and Beyond (2006), Cognitive Justice in a Global World (2007), (co-edited with Cesar Rodriguez-Garavito) Law and Globalization from Below: Towards a Cosmopolitan Legality (2005). He is the editor of the acclaimed series Reinventing Social Emancipation: Towards New Manifestoes, wide-ranging explorations of social struggle and progressive politics: Democratizing Democracy. Beyond the Liberal Democratic Canon (2005), Another Production is Possible: Beyond the Capitalist Canon (2006), Another Knowledge is Possible: Beyond Northern Epistemologies (2007),Voices of the World (2010). The last volume of the series, Epistemologies of the South: Reinventing Social Emancipations is forthcoming.

Shiv Visvanathan

is a professor at the Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. An anthropologist and Human Rights researcher his work has explored the question of alternatives as a dialogue between the West and India. Closely linked to his current work is the attempt to demystify modern science and social knowledge as legitimising categories of organised violence and exploitation. His writings have explored the psychological, cultural and political relations of science; the growing control of society by technology; and linkages between scientific establishment and authoritarian structures of state. He is the author of A Carnival for Science: Essays on Science, Technology and Development (1997) and Foul Play: Chronicles of Corruption in India (1999).

Suely Rolnik

is a psychoanalyst, art and cultural critic, curator and Professor at the Catholic University of São Paulo, where she founded the Subjectivity Studies Centre in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. Since 2008, she is guest Professor of the Programa de Estudios Independientes, MACBA. She has been a guest lecturer for the Official Masters Degree in the History of Contemporary Art and Visual Culture at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (2008-2009) and was guest researcher for the Fondation de France, at the Institut National de l’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), in 2007. She remained in exile in Paris for ten years in the ‘post-68’ period (1970–9), where she did her studies in Sociology and Philosophy (Université de Paris 8) and in Clinical Human Sciences (Université de Paris 7); she obtained her Masters in Institutional Analysis and subsequently her DESS in Clinical Psychology at the same university (1978); she has a PhD in Social Psychology at the Catholic University of São Paulo (1987). Among her books, she is author with Félix Guattari of Micropolítica. Cartografias do desejo (1986; 11th edition 2010), published in seven countries (inUSA by Semiotext(e)/MIT, 2006 with the title: Molecular Revolution in Brazil). Creator of a research and activation project of the body memory of Lygia Clark’s work and its environment, in which she realized 65 films of interviews filmed in France, England and the United States by Babette Mangolte and in Brazil by Moustapha Barrat; a box with 20 of those out those 65 films and a booklet was produced in France and in Brazil (2011). This archive was the backbone of an exhibition she curated and the catalogue she edited with C. Diseren: ‘Nous sommes le moule. A vous de donner le souffle. Lygia Clark, de l’œuvre à l’événement’, at the Musée de Beaux-arts de Nantes (2005) and the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (2006). Among her translations into Portuguese: Deleuze and Guattari’s Thousand Plateaus (vol. III/IV). She has published numerous essays in books, journals, and art catalogues in Europe and the Americas and has lectured widely. Her research focus is on the politics of subjectivation and of creation in different contexts approached from a trans-disciplinary theoretical perspective, inseparable from a clinical-political pragmatic; since the 1990s, she has been intervening mainly in the field of contemporary art. She is currently based in São Paulo, Brazil, where she has a private practice in psychoanalysis.

Sarat Maharaj

is currently Professor of Visual Art & Knowledge Systems, Lund University & the Malmö Art Academies, Sweden. He was Professor of Art History and Theory 1980-2005 at Goldsmiths’ London University where he is now Visiting Research Professor.  Maharaj was Rudolf Arnheim Professor, Philosophy Faculty, Humboldt University, Berlin (2001-02) and Research Fellow at the Jan Van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht (1999–2001).
His publications focus on Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce and Richard Hamilton and cover Monkeydoodle, Visual Art as Know-How and No-How, Textiles, Xeno-Sonics and Xeno-Epistemics, Cultural Translation, North/South divisions of work, manufacture and ‘creative labour’. Recent publications include studies in Non-Western modernities: ‘Small change of the universal’: beyond modernity? (British Journal of Sociology, 2010), ‘Hungry clouds swag on deep’: Santu Mofokeng at Kassel 2002: Chasing Shadows, Prestel, 2011.
His image, sound, dance and consciousness studies are exemplified in exchanges with Francisco Varela, the neuroscientist and Buddhist scholar, and have been explored in Knowledge Labs at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin, 2005 and 2006, with Liu Sola, Beijing, and Kofi Koko, Paris/Benin), New Media Art Lab (Banff, 2007) and Visual Arts Knowledge Lab (York University, Toronto, 2009).
He was co-curator of documenta XI, 2002. With Ecke Bonk and Richard Hamilton, he curated retinal.optical.visual.conceptual… at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2002. He was co-curator of Farewell to Postcolonialism(Guangzhou, 2008) and Art Knowledge and Politics (São Paolo Biennale, 2010).  He was the chief curator of the Gothenburg Biennale: Pandemonium: art in a time of creativity fever, 2011
Pic: Monument by Oscar Niemeyer dedicated to the Landless Workers Movement (MST)

28.4.12

On Borrowed Time – Lazzarato and Debt by Jussi Parikka @ Machinology (November 29, 2011)



Maurizio Lazzarato’s new book La fabrique de l’homme endetté is another fabulous, lucid and inspiring account from the Italian philosopher. The short book is, as the subtitle promises, an essay on the “neoliberal condition”, which in this case encompasses an analysis of debt. It could not be timelier. This is an obvious statement but the importance of debt from the macroeconomic level of public sector national crises in Europe and US to the microeconomic subjectivity of the individual agents cannot be overestimated. Indeed, what Lazzarato offers is a philosophico-historical analysis of the debt condition via Nietzsche, Marx, Deleuze & Guattari and Foucault.
Written in an accessible style, Lazzarato’s argument is easily summarized. What grounds the economic relation is not exchange as so often assumed in classical economic theories but the credit-debt relationship. This, in other words, is a relation of asymmetric power, which is the fundamental starting point for what is followed up by economic and political contexts (two tightly related fields, argues Lazzarato distinguishing himself from Badiou and Rancière’s argument concerning the autonomy of the political from the economic). Debt as a feature of neoliberalist policies affecting exactly the diminishment of the public sector gradually from the 1970s onwards is what Lazzarato insists as a better way to understand contemporary capitalism than talk of financial capitalism. With the creditor-debt relation he is able to talk of the subjectification process inside capitalism.
Lazzarato proceeds in a clear fashion, first taking aboard Nietzsche’s genealogy of morality and explication the debt relation as one of guilt. The relation of debt is one of morality and hence encompasses the social relation before establishing the economic. The precondition for debt is that you are able to make promises, project to the future, and establish a relation of future promises made now. This temporality is a significant feature in terms of how debt attaches to the morality, the embodied subject of capitalism that Lazzarato insists is not only cognitive. Indeed, in more than one passage he argues that the theses concerning cognitive capitalism are insufficient to understand the whole relation. The investment in the cognitive, and the cognitive as the motor of contemporary production is just one modality in a wider context. Indeed, later he goes on to elaborate what he calls a more “existentialist” mode of subjectivity at the centre of this neoliberal condition. Yet, this is not Sartrean existentialism, but one that comes from William James. The cognitive is only a small part of subjectivity that more fundamentally includes more intimate things – passions, impulsions, beliefs and desires. Hence, in this mix of Nietzsche-James one is looking at more non-cognitive forces that relate to a relation to future. This futurity is something that in various different ways has been suggested as a way to understand contemporary powers of security-capital, from pre-emption (Elmer and Opel), premediation (Grusin) and futur antérieur(Massumi).
For Lazzarato, this is an articulation of belief and the necessary incertitude as its atmospheric context, which is all embedded in the wider culture of risk that we find from the discourses of entrepreneurship to work in general. Hence, Nietzschean genealogy of bodily feelings (or lets call them affect, even if Lazzarato does not really talk of affects) is one that lends itself to understand what is the social enabling the capital relation.
When bringing in Marx to his analysis, Lazzarato refers to a much less known text, “Credit and Bank” (1844). This is what Lazzarato calls the Nietzschean Marx; one who sees the condition of debt entirely attached to the subjectivity of the poor, the one who is on borrowed time (hence, applies to the rent relation as well…). Here, to paraphrase Lazzarato (p.45), the credit does not characterize only labour, but the wider work that goes into the self – instead of just investing into physical or intellectual capacities, credit/debt is something that attaches to the morality (the future-orientedness) of the subjectivity, and hence is a question of ethics. To continue with Lazzarato’s explication of Marx, this relates to a total alienation as it touches not only a specific part of the worker’s time (that of work) but the whole ethics of being as someone who is promising, bearing risks, and assuming a future. What is captured is the future-prospect, or something that Lazzarato calls as the debt-relations’ asphyxiation of futures.
Throw in Deleuze and Guattari for good measure. Obviously, so much of Lazzarato’s analyses has been already implicitly about Deleuze-Guattarian emphases that he explicates in the book.  The “non-economic interpretation of economy” that DG’s emphasis of the production of the social brings in is again the point of asymmetry of power. As a certain anthropology of capital, it allows us to think, again, not exchange but debt/guilt/power as what enables the economy. The two monies of a) revenue/salary and b) capital need to be distinguished. The latter is what governs financial capitalism as a form of futurity (or pre-emption of futures) where the credit money is able to what kind of productions and products will actualize (and of course, one could add, it is not only about such but the constant deferral of the virtual money repackaged into new forms of debts – subprime).
To paraphrase Lazzarato (p.71), the approach he proposes is about the transversality of the debt/neoliberal condition. Employed, and unemployed, productive or unproductive, the state of debt runs through economic, political and social fields (ibid.). Picking up on Foucault’s points (and updating some others), Lazzarato reminds that the (neo)liberal condition is not about reduction of control and governing, as so often rhetorically claimed, but about emphasizing certain patterns of contradiction, accumulation of value and power, and minimizing the democratic possibilities of intervention (120).
For me, Lazzarato’s brilliant extended essay/book raises questions; for instance, how to elaborate the debt as embodied; Ie. what could be called, for the lack of a better word, “affective capitalism”, where the affect bit refers to the bodily and often non-cognitive states and excitations; of desires and impulsions; whether in the brain or in the gut. Could this be connected to the wider interest in brain sciences in the context of digital culture (interface design)? And the wider discourse of the brain – brain sciences in contemporary culture?
Could there be a mediatic way of continuing Lazzarato’s analyses, to connect the future-oriented subjectivity to analyses of the media technological condition of the human in contemporary neoliberalism?

Pic: GRECIA, IMPRENDITORE INDEBITATO SI DA FUOCO DAVANTI A UNA BANCA. Read&see more

Protocol How Control Exists after Decentralization - Alexander R. Galloway - MIT Press, Usa, 2004



Is the Internet a vast arena of unrestricted communication and freely exchanged information or a regulated, highly structured virtual bureaucracy? In Protocol, Alexander Galloway argues that the founding principle of the Net is control, not freedom, and that the controlling power lies in the technical protocols that make network connections (and disconnections) possible. He does this by treating the computer as a textual medium that is based on a technological language, code. Code, he argues, can be subject to the same kind of cultural and literary analysis as any natural language; computer languages have their own syntax, grammar, communities, and cultures. Instead of relying on established theoretical approaches, Galloway finds a new way to write about digital media, drawing on his backgrounds in computer programming and critical theory. "Discipline-hopping is a necessity when it comes to complicated socio-technical topics like protocol," he writes in the preface.

Galloway begins by examining the types of protocols that exist, including TCP/IP, DNS, and HTML. He then looks at examples of resistance and subversion—hackers, viruses, cyberfeminism, Internet art—which he views as emblematic of the larger transformations now taking place within digital culture. Written for a nontechnical audience, Protocol serves as a necessary counterpoint to the wildly utopian visions of the Net that were so widespread in earlier days.



Alexander R. Galloway is Assistant Professor of Media Ecology at New York University.



Taken from "The Physical Media" Chapter:
While many have debated the origins of the Internet, it’s clear that in many ways it was built to withstand nuclear attack. The Net was designed as a so- lution to the vulnerability of the military’s centralized system of command and control during the late 1950s and beyond. For, the argument goes, if there are no central command centers, then there can be no central targets and overall damage is reduced.
If one can consider nuclear attack as the most highly energetic, dominat- ing, and centralized force that one knows—an archetype of the modern era— then the Net is at once the solution to and inversion of this massive material threat, for it is precisely noncentralized, nondominating, and nonhostile.
The term protocol is most known today in its military context, as a method of correct behavior under a given chain of command. On the Internet, the meaning of protocol is slightly different. In fact, the reason why the Inter- net would withstand nuclear attack is precisely because its internal protocols are the enemy of bureaucracy, of rigid hierarchy, and of centralization. As I show in this chapter, the material substrate of network protocols is highly flexible, distributed, and resistive of hierarchy.

The packet-switching technologies behind the Internet provided a very different “solution” to nuclear attack than did common military protocol during the Cold War. For example, in 1958 the Royal Canadian Air Force and the U.S. Air Force entered into agreement under the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). NORAD is a radar surveillance system ringing North America that provides early warnings of missile or other air attacks against Canada and the United States. “The command monitors any potential aerospace threat to the two nations, provides warning and assessment of that threat for the two governments, and responds defensively to any aircraft or cruise missile threatening North American airspace.” The NORAD system is a centralized, hierarchical network. It contains regional control sectors, all of which are ultimately controlled by the USSPACECOM Command Center at Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It functions like a wall, not like a meshwork. 

Faced with a nuclear attack, NORAD meets force with force. Once the outer protection zone of the land- mass is compromised, the NORAD command is able to scramble defensive air power through a rigidly defined system of command and control that is directed outward from a single source (USSPACECOM), to subservient end- point installations that help resist attack. The specific location of each radar installation is crucial, as is the path of the chain of command. During the Cold War, NORAD was the lynchpin of nuclear defense in North America. It is a “solution” to the nuclear threat. 


The Internet system could not be more different. It follows a contrary organizational design. The Internet is based not on directionality nor on toughness, but on flexibility and adaptability. Normal military protocol serves to hierarchize, to prioritize, while the newer network protocols of the Internet serve to distribute.
In this chapter I describe exactly what distribution means, and how pro- tocol works in this new terrain of the distributed network. I attempt to show that protocol is not by nature horizontal or vertical, but that protocol is an algorithm, a proscription for structure whose form of appearance may be any number of different diagrams or shapes.
The simplest network diagram is the centralized network (see figure 1.1). Centralized networks are hierarchical. They operate with a single authorita- tive hub. Each radial node, or branch of the hierarchy, is subordinate to the central hub. All activity travels from center to periphery. No peripheral node is connected to any other node. Centralized networks may have more than one branch extending out from the center, but at each level of the hierarchy power is wielded by the top over the bottom. 


Read the Physical Media chapter on PDF



Protocol...is a book on computer science written by someone who's not a computer scientist, and that's a good thing."
Gary SinghMetro
"Galloway is one of the very few people who are equally well versed in poststructuralist cultural theory and computer programming."
Steven ShaviroThe Pinocchio Theory Weblog
"An engaging methodological hybrid of the Frankfurt School and UNIX for Dummies.... Galloway brings the uncool question of morality back into critical thinking."
Ed HalterThe Village Voice


Gianni Vattimo: Interrogazione sulle attività USA e UE di data mining (19.03.2012 Parlamento Europeo di Strasburgo)





Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002428/2012 alla Commissione Articolo 117 del regolamento Gianni Vattimo (ALDE) 

Oggetto: Global Intelligence Files di WikiLeaks, attività generalizzate di data mining da parte degli Stati Uniti e dell'UE, e profiling di cittadini dell'UE 


Il 27 febbraio 2012 WikiLeaks ha lanciato "The Global Intelligence Files", da cui è emerso che: 
1. Le autorità di contrasto statunitensi si avvalgono di aziende private al fine di monitorare, analizzare e contrastare le attività di attivisti e manifestanti pacifici, ad esempio tramite Stratfor, un'azienda che fornisce servizi riservati di intelligence a grandi società e alle agenzie governative interessate, con le quali l'azienda intrattiene relazioni strette (ex dipendenti del governo USA lavorano adesso per la Stratfor) così come le intrattiene con importanti imprese mediatiche (tra cui la Reuters). 


2. Palantir, una società fondata dall'azienda della CIA In-Q-Tel1, fornisce alle autorità statunitensi i software per collegare i dati provenienti da diverse basi dati (dati sul codice di prenotazione, dati bancari, dati relativi a trasferimenti finanziari, dati sull'ubicazione e sulle comunicazioni) con dati da fonte aperta (quali Twitter e Facebook) al fine di individuare, sulla base di modelli di un non meglio definito "comportamento sospetto", le persone che presentano un "rischio". 3. Facebook, a quanto si afferma, è finanziato dalla CIA tramite altre aziende e amministratori che hanno ricevuto o ricevono fondi per mezzo di In-Q-Tel. Inoltre il Dipartimento per la Sicurezza interna (DHS) ha dato incarico all'azienda privata General Dynamics di monitorare i media e i social media al fine di attuare la propria politica2; ciò ha determinato, ad esempio, l'arresto, l'interrogatorio e l'espulsione di due innocenti turisti dell'UE, Leigh Van Bryan ed Emily Bunting, per via di alcune battute su Twitter


3. Viene riferito che Europol impiega intelligence da fonte aperta e processi di data mining (estrazione di dati) e di profiling (profilazione) basati sui pacchetti software I2 e Themis4, ed è cliente di Orgnet.com, un'azienda che fornisce "software e servizi per l'analisi dei social network". 


Inoltre, in relazione alla revisione del regolamento su Europol, un funzionario della Commissione ha annunciato progetti volti a consentire operazioni che comportano "ricerche su Internet" da parte di Europol. È la Commissione a conoscenza delle questioni summenzionate? Ritiene che le situazioni descritte siano compatibili con la direttiva 95/46/CE, del 24 ottobre 1995, con la Carta dei diritti fondamentali e con la Convenzione europea dei diritti dell'uomo? Quali provvedimenti intende adottare per garantire che i dati personali dei cittadini dell'UE non siano oggetto di abusi da parte di aziende private statunitensi e autorità di contrasto mediante attività generalizzate di data mining e profiling? Intende chiedere informazioni circa i criteri applicati e le persone che sono considerate un "pericolo", nonché difendere i diritti dei cittadini dell'UE? Che cosa ha fatto per difendere i diritti dei cittadini europei Leigh Van Bryan ed Emily Bunting? Intende esprimere la sua preoccupazione in merito a tale incidente? Ritiene che la proposta di estensione del mandato di Europol sia compatibile con i trattati? Quali provvedimenti intende adottare per garantire che Europol e gli Stati membri non seguano questa prassi preoccupante di spiare segretamente le vite private dei cittadini? 


1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palantir_Technologies 
2 http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/privacy/privacy_pia_ops_publiclyavailablesocialmedia.pdf 
3 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2093796/Emily-Bunting-Leigh-Van-Bryan-UK-tourists-arrested-destroy-America-Twitter-jokes.html#ixzz1nmxPbsDQ 
4 http://www.statewatch.org/news/2012/feb/eu-profiling-and-europol-question.pdf


Read more on Vattimo's blog

26.4.12

Paolo Godani: Padri, padroni e cattivi maestri - L'Anti-Edipo 40 anni dopo - Firenze 14 aprile 2012 (estratto dei primi 6 minuti)

Gilles Deleuze: On the Debt - 1988, Abecedary (J as in Joy - traduction by Charles Stivale)


(...) Deleuze continues by suggesting that the confusion between force and powers is quite costly because power always separates people who are subjected to it from what they are able to do. Spinoza started from this point, Deleuze says, and he returns to something Parnet said in asking her question, that sadness is linked to priests, to tyrants, to judges, and these are perpetually the people who separate their subjects from what they are able to do, forbid them from realizing forces. Deleuze recalls something that Parnet said under "I as in Idea," referring to Nietzsche's anti-Semitism. Deleuze sees this as an important question, since there are texts of Nietzsche that one can find quite disturbing if they are read in the manner mentioned earlier, reading philosophers too quickly. What strikes Deleuze as curious is that in all the texts in which Nietzsche lashes out against the Jewish people, what does he reproach them for, and what has contributed to his anti-Semitic reputation? Nietzsche reproaches them in quite specific conditions for having invented a character that had never existed before the Jewish people, the character of the priest. Deleuze argues that, to his knowledge, in no text of Nietzsche is there the least reference to Jews in a general attack mode, but strictly an attack against the Jewish people-inventors of the priest. Deleuze says that Nietzsche does point out that in other social formations, there can be sorcerers, scribes, but these are not at all the same as the priest.


Deleuze maintains that one source of Nietzsche's greatness as a philosopher is that he never ceases to admire that which he attacks, for he sees the priest as a truly incredible invention, something quite astounding. And this results in an immediate connection with Christians, but not the same type of priest. So the Christians will conceive of another type of priest and will continue in the same path of the priestly character. This shows, Deleuze argues, the extent to which philosophy is concrete, for Deleuze insists that Nietzsche is, to his knowledge, the first philosopher to have invented, created, the concept of the priest, and from that point onward, to have posed fundamental problems: what does sincere, total power consist of? what is the difference between sincere, total power and royal power, etc.? For Deleuze, these are questions that remain entirely actual. Here Deleuze wishes to show, as he had begun earlier, how one can continue and extend philosophy. He refers to how Foucault, through his own means, emphasized pastoral power, a new concept that is not the same as Nietzsche's, but that engages directly with Nietzsche, and in this way, one develops a history of thought.

So what is the concept of the priest, and how is it linked to sadness, Deleuze asks? According to Nietzsche, this priest is defined as inventing the idea that men exist in a state of infinite debt. Before the priest, there is a history of debt, and ethnologists would do well to read some Nietzsche. They've done much research on this during our century, in so-called primitive societies, where things functioned through pieces of debt, blocks of finite debt, they received and then gave it back, all linked to time, deferred parcels. This is an immense area of study, says Deleuze, since it suggests that debt was primary to exchange. These are properly philosophical problems, Deleuze argues, but Nietzsche spoke about this well before the ethnologists. In so far as debt exists in a finite regime, man can free himself from it. When the Jewish priest invokes this idea by virtue of an alliance of infinite debt between the Jewish people and God, when the Christians adopt this in another form, the idea of infinite debt linked to original sin, this reveals the very curious character of the priest about which it is philosophy's responsibility to create the concept. (...)


Read more on Stivale's trad


Pic: The painting "Women Carrying Housesis an oil on panel (2010) by artist Brian Kershisnik (1962- ). You can check out Brian's amazing work at http://www.kershisnik.com/.

Foucault-Deleuze Project - Between Deleuze and Foucault (Purdue University + Université de Paris VIII–Vincennes)


Description of the Project

The aim of the “Between Deleuze and Foucault” project is to establish an on-going collaborative and synergistic relationship between Purdue University and the Université de Paris VIII–Vincennes à St. Denis (University of Paris 8, Vincennes-St. Denis) in order to transcribe, translate, and make available online the seminars that the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze gave on Michel Foucault’s work at the University of Paris 8 during the years 1985-1986.

Deleuze and Foucault were two of the towering figures of French intellectual life in the latter part of the twentieth-century. Foucault (1926-1984) held a chair in the History of Systems of Thought at the prestigious Collège de France, and remains one of the most-cited authors in the humanistic disciplines. Deleuze (1925-1995), who taught at the University of Paris until his retirement in 1987, authored more than twenty-five books, and was one of the most important and influential European philosophers of the post-war period. While both Foucault and Deleuze were prolific authors, it is now widely recognized that some of the most significant work of both philosophers was presented in their weekly seminar lectures, which functioned more or less as experimental laboratories in which they tried out new ideas and concepts that often find no parallel in their published texts.

In recognition of this fact, the lectures Foucault gave at the Collège de France are currently being published simultaneously in French and English in a joint venture by two well-known and well-established publishing houses, Seuil/Gallimard in France and Palgrave Macmillan in the USA. On 15 April 2012, the French government formally recognized the importance of these lectures by declaring Foucault’s archives to be a “national treasure,” which prevented the sale of the documents abroad. The appearance of Deleuze’s seminar lectures, by contrast, has taken a somewhat different path. After Deleuze’s death, his family prohibited the publication of his seminar lectures in book form (they did not want profit to be made off the lectures), but instead permitted and indeed encouraged their free dissemination on-line. While this decision was no doubt in the spirit of Deleuze’s work, it has made the archiving and distribution of the lectures a more complicated process, which is now reliant on institutional and university support for its continuation.

In 1999, the Bibliothèque Nationale (BN) in Paris established an archive of recordings of all the seminars Deleuze gave at the Université de Paris VIII between 1979 and 1987. The seminars had been recorded by various students on cassettes, which the BN converted into digital files. In 2001, a group of preeminent French scholars, initially headed by the philosopher Alain Badiou, constituted a not-for-profit organization entitled “L’Assocation Siècle Deleuzien” that was focused exclusively on the transcription and dissemination of Deleuze’s recorded seminars on the Web. The Association, under the directorship of Prof. Marielle Burkhalter, initially produced transcriptions of three shorter seminars (on Anti-Oedipus, painting, and Spinoza), and then embarked on an ambitious project of transcribing Deleuze’s four-year seminar (1981-1985) on philosophy and cinema, which is still in-process. It is at this point that the “Between Deleuze and Foucault” project joined forces with the Association in order to transcribe Deleuze’s one-year seminar on Foucault (1985-1986).

The project is supported by two generous grants from the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University: a Global Research Synergy grant and an Enhanced Research in the Humanities grant. The principal investigators for the grant are Prof. Daniel W. Smith, of the Department of Philosophy at Purdue University, and Prof. Nicolae Morar, a recent Ph.D. from Purdue who is currently teaching in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Oregon. They have joined forces with Prof. Burkhalter as well as Prof. Anne Sauvagnargues (University of Paris, Nanterre), who is one of the foremost scholars of Deleuze’s work in France, in order to make Deleuze’s seminar lectures available on-line to a wide audience, both in French and, in the near future, in English translation. Annabelle Dufourcq, who received her Ph.D. from the Sorbonne in 2008 and is currently at the University of Oregon, is in charge of transcribing the seminar lectures, and Jonathan Beever of Purdue University will be in responsible for the web design and editing.

In addition to the seminar transcription, we will be publishing a collection of essays on the topic, entitled Between Deleuze and Foucault, which will be co-edited by Prof. Morar and Prof. Thomas Nail of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Denver. In addition, a  special issue of the journal Foucault Studies, devoted to the relation between Deleuze and Foucault, will be published in 2014. Finally, in early November 2012, the College of Liberal Arts will host a two-day conference on “Between Deleuze and Foucault,” which will be together contributors to both the book project and the special journal issue to discuss the significance and implications of Deleuze’s reading of Foucault.