nanopolitics, exhaustion, biopolitics: an evening of bodies and books
London, October 9th 7pm @
Top Floor, 316-318 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 OAG

This evening will present an encounter of three lines of thought and practice relating to politics, bodies, life, the social and the common. Doing so, we attempt to think across conceptions and realities of micro, nano and biopolitics. Asking what it is that these dimensions may hold in common, what distinguishes them, and what they may learn from each other, we propose three short presentations followed by an open discussion.

First up is the handbook by the nanopolitics group from London, published with Minor Compositions this fall. Playfully sketching out the term ‘nanopolitics’, this handbook departs from bodies and their encounters in investigating the neoliberal city and workplace, the politics of crisis and austerity, precarity and collaboration. This book, packed with excercises and tools for action draws on social movements, grassroots organizing, dance, theatre and bodywork. As the hosts of this evening, the nanopolitics group will propose some ways of activating their handbook, which tries to think politics with and through the body.

Following a similar line of research, Peter Pal Pelbart and Akseli Virtanen will then share some tools they are developing through their n-1 editorial project, as well as in their respective works. N-1 editions has recently emerged across Brazil and Finland and refers to the necessity to create new organizational ideas and forms – to which “one” (leader, value, idea, principle, community, goal) belongs only as subtracted. They say they don’t organize to make the series, but make the series to organize. To organize at n-1.

Peter Pelbart will notably draw on his work with the Ueinzz theatre company in Sao Paolo, and on his book ‘Cartographies of exhaustion’, where he asks what makes us so exhausted today, and proposes a collective open-ended cartography that identifies breakage points where other images, visions, notions, are extracted from the hither side of our current biopolitical nihilism.

Akseli Virtanen will draw on his work towards ‘A critique of biopolitical economy’ (forthcoming) as well as his ‘Dictionary of New Work: A Map to Precarious Life’ (2006) in reflecting on experiments on coming forms of politics and organization, among them the Robin Hood contra-investment bank of the precariat.

We would love to invite you for an open discussion to tie together some threads regarding these fields of investigation and practice, to see what useful insights we might draw from thinking across the nano, micro and biopolitical.

All welcome!
Unfortunately the building is not wheelchair accessible.