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Categotry Archives: Current Publications

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New Lines of Alliance, New Spaces of Liberty

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Categories: Antonio Negri, Current Publications, Félix Guattari

New Lines of Alliance, New Spaces of Liberty
by Félix Guattari & Antonio Negri

“The project: to rescue ‘communism’ from its own disrepute. Once invoked as the liberation of work through mankind’s collective creation, communism has instead stifled humanity. We who see in communism the liberation of both collective and individual possibilities must reverse that regimentation of thought and desire which terminates the individual….”

Thus begins the extraordinary collaboration between Félix Guattari and Antonio Negri, written at dawn of the 1980s, in the wake of the crushing of the autonomous movements of the previous decade. Setting out Guattari and Negri diagnose with incisive prescience transformations of the global economy and theorize new forms of alliance and organization: mutant machines of subjectivation and social movement.

Prefiguring his collaboration with Michael Hardt, Negri and Guattari enact a singular hybridization of political and philosophical traditions, brining together psychiatry, political analysis, semiotics, aesthetics, and philosophy. Against the workings of an increasingly integrated world capitalism, they raise the banners of singularity, autonomy, and freedom to search out new routes for subversion. Continue reading →

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Imaginal Machines

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Categories: Current Publications, Stevphen Shukaitis

Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Everyday Life
by Stevphen Shukaitis

All power to the imagination? Over the past forty years to invoke the imagination as a basis for radical politics has become a cliché: a rhetorical utilization of ideas already in circulation, invoking the mythic unfolding of this self-institutionalizing process. But what exactly is radical imagination? Drawing from autonomist politics, class composition analysis, and avant-garde arts, Imaginal Machines explores the emergence, functioning, and constant breakdown of the embodied forms of radical imagination.

What does it mean to invoke the power of the imagination when it seems that the imagination has already seized power through the power of the spectacle? Does any subversive potentiality remain? Perhaps it is only honest to think in terms of a temporally-bounded subversive power. It might be that imaginal machines only work by breaking down. That is, their functioning is only possible, paradoxically, by their malfunctioning. By reopening the question of recuperation, the inevitable drive to integrate the power of social insurgency back into the working of capital and the state, we create possibilities for a politics continually reconstituted against and through the dynamics of recuperation: to keep open an antagonism without closure.

“Imaginal Machines explores with humor and wit the condition of art and politics in contemporary capitalism. It reviews the potentials and limits of liberatory art (from surrealism to Tom Waits) while charting the always-resurgent creations of the collective imagination. Shukaitis exhibits a remarkable theoretical breadth, bringing together the work of Castoriadis, the Situationists, and autonomous Marxism to define a new task for militant research: constructing imaginal machines that escape capitalism. Imaginal Machines is truly a book that makes a path by walking.” – Silvia Federici, author of Caliban and the Witch: Women the Body and Primitive Accumulation

“If you have ever had someone say to you, ‘okay it’s fine to criticize but what would you do?’ this is the book for you. Shukaitis takes us on a raucous ride through actually existing alternative organizations that are anarchic, loving, fun, and best of all they work.  We meet people and organizations who imagine a completely different way of being together in the world.  And we are never far from a sophisticated theoretical travelogue as we walk these roads with the author.  What would you do?  Try this, and this, and this!” – Stefano Harney, Chair in Strategy, Culture, and Organization, University of London Continue reading →

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Precarious Rhapsody

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Categories: Current Publications, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi

Precarious Rhapsody: Semiocapitalism and the pathologies of post-alpha generation
by Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi

Edited by Erik Empson & Stevphen Shukaitis
Translated by Arianna Bove, Michael Goddard, Giuseppina Mecchia, Antonella Schintu, and Steve Wright

An infinite series of bifurcations: this is how we can tell the story of our life, of our loves, but also the history of revolts, defeats and restorations of order. At any given moment different paths open up in front of us, and we are continually presented with the alternative of going here or going there. Then we decide, we cut out from a set of infinite possibilities and choose a single path. But do we really choose? Is it really a question of a choice, when we go here rather than there?  Is it really a choice, when masses go to shopping centers, when revolutions are transformed into massacres, when nations enter into war? It is not we who decide but the concatenations: machines for the liberation of desires and mechanisms of control over the imaginary. The fundamental bifurcation is always this one: between machines for liberating desire and mechanisms of control over the imaginary. In our time of digital mutation, technical automatisms are taking control of the social psyche.

Franco Berardi Bifo is a contemporary writer, media-theorist and media-activist. He founded the magazine A/traverso (1975-1981) and was part of the staff of Radio Alice, the first free pirate radio station in Italy (1976-1978). He is author of numerous books, including Cyberpunk, The Panther and the Rhizome, Politics of Mutation, Philosophy and Politics in the Twilight of Modernity, and The Factory of Unhappiness. He is currently collaborating on the magazine Derive Approdi as well as teaching social history of communication at the Accademia di belle Arti in Milano. Continue reading →

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