Latency and topicality of political theory by Deleuze & Guattari
With their politicized and collective philosophical style (schizoanalysis), Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari took up decisive impulses and sounds from the artistic avant-gardes of the sixties and transformed them into an extraordinary political theory. The project Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus) has responded widely and in very different historical situations to historical dead ends of left-wing politics and has since gone through various waves of reception sedimented as pop philosophy, especially in left-wing cultural milieus and in the arts as keyword givers. These appropriations often had something superficial about them, their theory of encapsulation in artistic-activist scenes was used as a refinement for the anesthetization and culturalization of Western societies, while D&G in a certain sense always acted asynchronously to the zeitgeist and social resonance. The realization that their joint writing was a new form of political theory could not prevail. For those converted to capitalist realism, it became an obsolete theory from the past, luxurious period of their youth. There attempt in the 1990s to solemnly proclaim the end of history became one of the greatest theoretical flops of all time, diametrically opposed to the theoretical achievement of Capitalism and Schizophrenia. In fact, in the 1970s and 1980s, D&G prepared the theoretical ground to predict and politically grasp seemingly incomprehensible and unexpected events. In this sense: war machine.
Only in the light of 9/11 and the chaotic events that have unfolded worldwide since the attacks did the conceptual interplay of nomadic war machine, primitive state and capitalist axiomatics begin to sparkle dangerously - and reveal the pragmatic and conceptual farsightedness of D&G's theory. The rise and fall of the Arab Spring, the founding and collapse of the so-called "Islamic State," the election of Donald Trump, and the return of a new fascism on the world stage are symptoms of this chaos in the age of the great digital machine, whose actors can all be found at D&G.
The event's horizon is to revisit their theories in the light of the present and to understand them as part of societies in view of the coming and complex challenge to the conditions of production of the arts in particular and politics in general, entwined by the capitalist axiomatic.
This perspective is approached collectively in form of a reading group and common improvisation that is open to the influences of its participants and ideally develops out of the situation. A wavering back and forth between concentrated, shared reading and discursive drift. It will be appropriate to the seriousness of the situation, concentrated and cheerful and never loses sight of the essential: what the fuck is going on?
The workshop focuses on the interplay of Chapter III (Wild, Barbarian, Civilized) from Anti-Oedipus and Plateaus 12 + 13 of Thousand Plateaus. From there, it makes excursions into other texts and materials, which will be accessible online and delivered in advance of every session. We are almost finished with the plateau 12 and will start in September with the plateau 13.
We meet once a month, usually on the first Tuesday of the month.
19:00 - 23:00h
The event is open for new participants at any time.
After two hours there will be a break, food and drinks will be provided.
Venue: Haus der Gemeinen | House of Commons at Vierte Welt
German is mostly spoken, if required also English. Translation is our common duty.
Developed and maintained by: Sebastian Eis, Nicolas Siepen and Dirk Cieslak. (Update 9/2020)
With the support of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Berlin.
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