Translation of F. Laruelle’s Introduction to “Textual Machines”

The following is a translation of F. Laruelle’s Introduction to Machines textuelles (Pais: Seuil, 1976), pp. 9-19, by Taylor Adkins, 9/1/13.

Introduction to Textual Machines: Deconstruction and Libido of Writing

            The text, well, it doesn’t send word [s’envoie pas dire], but one can always say [dire] something about it.

Thus I am attempting to simultaneously guide an analysis of deconstruction’s techniques and a displacement of their problematics onto neighboring positions, about which I’m hoping that their neighborhood, in order to have some relation to topology, is neither good nor bad.

Which positions? Those which are implicated, not manifestly but latently, in “Nietzsche-thought”, or in the esoteric problematics of the Eternal return and the Will to power, which I shall call generalized repetition and intensive libido respectively. At the risk of seeming to elicit deconstruction’s virulence and facing the perils of an ideological regression, I am attempting to relate deconstruction to a principle of functionality a) that transforms it into a libidinal process of textual production; b) that pretends[1] to reprise, even activate, effects-of-deconstruction on its behalf.

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Materialist Political Economy

Two new websites worth checking out. The first is Synthetic Edifice, which collects texts related to the accelerationist manifesto – including translations, interviews, and expansions of the ideas in the manifesto. The second site is Speculative Materialism, which looks to be a really interesting new blog which bills itself as a forum for the study of the materialism and ontology of finance.

Call for Participants: Joan of Art – Towards a Free Educational Platform

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Call for Participants: Joan of Art – Towards a Free Educational Platform in collaboration with Maldives Pavilion

The homogenization of learning and accreditation modes realized through the ‘Bologna Process’ accords with a marketisation of education across Western Europe which threatens the diversity of subjects on offer as vocational subjects and those which lean towards the project of rationality become prioritized in terms of funding and resources.

The Venice Process – started at Gervasuti Foundation, Venice, in collaboration with the national Pavilion of the Maldives during the 55th Venice Biennale – aims at offering an alternative education and accreditation system offered by a network of international art institutions.

Events – including performances, seminars and workshops – will span the Biennale, culminating in the writing of a free course in art and ecology – written in conjunction with the Maldives Pavilion – and the delivery of a conference on accreditation systems in November 2013.

We are issuing an international call out for academics, activists, artists and ecologists to participate in the writing of the free course on art and ecology. Participants will be asked to write a lecture or seminar (remotely) by the end of September 2013 and be available to present the course with other participants in Venice in late November.

Joan of Art: Towards a Free Education is an ongoing project started in residence with NOMAS foundation in Rome (2012). It aims at the creation of a free alternative education system delivered via a network of art institutions, globally.

Please send all inquires to conceptualmilitancy@gmail.com

Translation of Laruelle’s “The Concept of Generalized Analysis or of ‘Non-Analysis’

Laruelle, François. “La concept d’analyse generalisée ou de ‘non-analyse’”, Revue internationale de philosophie, vol. 43, no. 171, issue 4 (1989), p. 506-524.

The Concept of Generalized Analysis or of ‘Non-Analysis’

The Judaic Turn of Philosophy

            The undoing of philosophy by psychoanalysis seems to animate and traverse the recent history of the former more so than the latter. This is at least how it appears. It is impossible to give a list of the avatars of continental philosophy of this century without taking this struggle as our guiding thread. Primarily a secret struggle—wherein the adversaries are sought out (to the point of excluding Lacan)—then manifested and claimed as such—wherein the adversaries are recognized and in turn take on the role of enforcing the peace. From this point of view, the parties appear more and more equal. Between philosophy and psychoanalysis, it is not a question of a banal combat of positivist mastery or even of a unilaterally philosophical attempt (merely of appropriation, and merely reflexive and hermeneutic, even if this case is produced and represents a spontaneous solution), but of a conflict waged that is sometimes stronger than the adversaries themselves, of a difference that relates them to one another in the greatest distance and through a strategy of reciprocal appropriation and disappropriation (variously balanced according to the authors). This would be a unilateral and already too philosophical interpretation, like that of seeing philosophy alone leading an enterprise of conquest without nuances, and it is not always inversely psychoanalysis that brings with it the charge of alterity, of critique, and perhaps the most powerful deconstruction. The necessity and nature of this combat (superior to the parties in question) are precisely what determine the crossed becomings and command philosophy’s offensive, and not merely defensive, actions. Its most recent history, although non-hermeneutic, is that of the most enduring blows that it has attempted to launch: The History of Sexuality (Foucault), Anti-Oedipus (Deleuze and Guattari), The Postal Card (Derrida) and finally The Genealogy of Psychoanalysis (Henry) manifest an offensive will where philosophy also allows itself, as in every great combat, to be determined by the adversary. In reality this manner, this style of difference, i.e. of struggle with the angel of analysis, a struggle recognized as infinite and taking its nobility from its incapacity to conclude, began at least with Kojéve and Wittgenstein.[1]

It is useless to say that nothing allows foreseeing the treaty of a real peace, even if on Lacan’s side and after him the question of philosophy in analysis and not merely facing it is incessantly re-opened. It is indeed on the background of this combat, which surpasses them and claims to be interested by thought itself, that the particular history of contemporary philosophy must be re-examined and re-evaluated beyond every problematic of cultural “influences.” Perhaps even, going deeper, it is with Freud more so than Wittgenstein that the Judaic turn begins: this is what profoundly determines the philosophy of the 20th century and is still broader, more dissimulated than this combat with analysis, which is in some sense its mise en scène or its primary representation. We put forth the hypothesis that this Judaic turn is philosophy’s point of inexhaustible fecundity after Nietzsche and facing this sword thrust in the Heraclitean river that should remain Rosenzweig’s protestation for quite a while; to commence, for this is to forget, via Heidegger through his reactivation of the “thing in-itself” and a Kantianism impregnated by ethics; to pursue through Wittgenstein then Derrida; to set off again by infinite provocation in the interminable echoes of Levinas; to punctuate the actions of a more or less offensive resistance of Kojéve, Ricœur, Deleuze, Henry.

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CFP: Tuning Speculation

“Tuning Speculation” will be a two-day conference hosted by the Department of Art and Art History at York University in Toronto from 1-2 November 2013.

Over the past few years, the term “speculation” has become something of a buzzword and has acquired a rhetorical currency that, arguably, owes much of its value to the way Speculative Realism’s agenda to emancipate thinking from a sense of indenture to its own finitude crystallizes a hazy longing in the humanities to invest in something besides the constant deployment of textual strategies and ideology critique. Indeed, a conjectural spirit can be found haunting recent work in feminism, media and animal studies, as well as certain spheres of the social and ecological sciences. However, the force of this speculative thrust has been largely directed towards advancing metaphysical models that challenge the interpretive exception of human experience such that aesthetic figurations, perhaps because the concept of the aesthetic is entangled in the very definition of human being, have been largely excluded from the game. This is lamentable because the speculative venture of the humanities shares much in common with experimental art practices where “an act the outcome of which is unknown” is the not the goal but the very point of departure.

This two-day conference will therefore address the idea of a speculative aesthetics and propose ways of tuning speculation to its imaginative and experimental principle. While several approaches can address the exclusion of the aesthetic from expressions of the current speculative attitude, we propose to concentrate on the sonic arts as an initial point of entry for the reason that the sonic arts rely on a constitutive conceit and effective imaginary that claims access to a material reality which can only be conceived through a rhetoric of immersion and immediacy. In this respect, we suggest that sound art, in the widest sense of the term, pressures the conceptual disconnect between the essentially fantastic gesture that speculation is and the necessary veracity that any realism or materiality demands.

Abstracts (300-500 words) for 30-minute papers from scholars/writers/artists in any relevant field are welcome. We are especially interested in presentations that recognize the necessary intimacy between speculative theory and fiction (in the broadest sense). Please send abstracts, along with biographical details and contact information, to unsound@yorku.ca by 30 June 2013. Participants will be informed of acceptance by 8 July 2013.

More details can be found at www.asounder.org/tuningspeculation.

#Celerity: A Critique of the Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics

Post-Work

McKenzie Wark (A Hacker Manifesto, and The Beach Beneath the Street) has been kind enough to send us his detailed response to the “#Accelerate” piece which has been circulating around the internet. Since the aim of that original piece was, in part, to polemically intervene in a number of contemporary debates in the UK and US left, it’s been encouraging to see both critical and supportive responses to the vision it set out. Wark’s response here forms a significant and comprehensive commentary on that vision.

It should be emphasised though that “#Accelerate” was written in manifesto form, which means it was presented with the rhetorical force of declarative certainty. Yet while we are confident in the broad strokes of this approach, the specifics are open to debate and we’ve only begun to think through the issues involved. The idea of the manifesto was, first, to initiate and generate conversations about the longest term viewpoint on left politics at a profound moment of crisis. It was meant as a provocation that would raise questions, broach some neglected topics, and put certain key themes on the table. The manifesto was, second, intended to put forth what we believe to be a unique set of possible answers – ones that will hopefully generate further research. Yet, we are not trying to create a new doctrine, nor to determine in advance what must be an experimental process involving the creativity of mass politics. The emphasis, both here and in the manifesto, is on experimentation beyond traditional leftist tactics, in order to discover what works in practice.

Wark’s response is available here. And you can find the original manifesto here. More texts are available at Synthetic Edifice.

Translation of Laruelle’s “Who Are Minorities and How To Think Them”

In honor of the recent translations of Laruelle’s work (Struggle and Utopia, Principles, Anti-Badiou), as well as a couple coming out in May (Dictionary, Philosophy and Non-Philosophy), I have decided to post my translation of an essay of Laruelle’s from the 80s on ‘politics’. The journal in which Laruelle originally published the essay is now defunct. If anyone desires the original French text, please let me know. It should also be noted that at the end of the essay there is an extensive bibliography on the subject-matter of minorities, but I am unaware whether or not this is Laruelle’s or is provided by the journal…I am under the assumption that these references are provided as further reading by the journal, insofar as they concern geopolitical/juridical discourses on minorities (no philosophy, strictly speaking, is included). The publications referenced there are in English and French.

F. Laruelle. “Qui sont les Minorités et comment les penser”. Etudes polémologiques 43 (1987): 175-89.

Who Are Minorities and How To Think Them?

            Minorities represent a certain type of problem both insistent or inevitable and never resolved. For political science, one might say that it is a crux, a theoretical impasse. The same goes for political practice. What is behind this difficulty? There are several reasons. First, for a political reason, it became a problem or a question. The problem of Minorities emerged as such with the history of the great modern States with which it is coextensive and whose constitution it accompanies. Perhaps it was a less critical or less obvious problem with the grand Empires where Minorities were recognized and sometimes repressed de facto. But in the 19th century with the establishment of the unified and more or less centralized States, they have become a question as such for political theory, which is simultaneously the sign of their problematic character and the beginning of their recognition as such.

Afterwards, it was not simply a political problem, but became social. I believe that it is important for reflection and theory and completely necessary for philosophy to overcome the political limitation of the concept of “Minorities” to which it is too often restrained. The problem has developed an incredible extension with the appearance of Minorities of a totally different type than the national and political. No doubt they are born as political and historical problems, but they now undergo new experiences and require more extensive and not simply political definitions.

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Symposium: Schelling and Naturphilosophie

Pittsburgh Summer Symposium in Contemporary Philosophy

Duquesne University

Dept. of Philosophy

Pittsburgh, PA

Call for Applications

 We are pleased to announce the Pittsburgh Summer Symposium in Contemporary Philosophy, held at Duquesne University.  Details for the program are as follows:

Schelling and Naturphilosophie

August 5 – 9, 2013

(Optional Participants’ Conference, August 3-4)

“What then is that secret bond which couples our mind to Nature, or that hidden organ through which Nature speaks to our mind or our mind to Nature?” (Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature)

“The concept of nature does not entail that there should also be an intelligence that is aware of it. Nature, it seems, would exist, even if there were nothing that was aware of it. Hence the problem can also be formulated thus: how does intelligence come to be added to nature, or how does nature come to be presented?” (System of Transcendental Idealism)

Seminar Leaders:

Prof. Iain Hamilton Grant (University of the West of England, Bristol)

Prof. Jason Wirth (Seattle University)

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Weaponising Speculation Conference & Exhibition (Dublin, March 2-7 2013)

DUST (Dublin Unit for Speculative Thought) presents:

Weaponising Speculation Conference

2-3 March, Independent Colleges, 60-63 Dawson Street, Dublin 2.

This gathering is the signature event organized by D.U.S.T (Dublin Unit for Speculative Thought), an art/theory collective recently founded by Michael O’Rourke, Paul Ennis and Fintan Neylan. The primary aim of DUST is to stage conversations between disparate groups of people—artists, aestheticians, philosophers, non-philosophers, theorists—who find themselves at the fringes of academic institutions and disciplines and who are also broadly interested in speculative realism and post-continental philosophy.

WS CONFERENCE POSTER FINAL

“Weaponizing Speculations” is a non-traditional assembly which has as its impetus the opening up of a dialogue between artists, para-academics and the Speculative Realist “community” here in Dublin and elsewhere. Here is the description:

“Distinct from the norm. Distinct even from the academic norm. Twice removed the para-academic is doubly unwanted. The ones you have trained are set loose and they know your secrets. They are pests and they want to be armed. The contemporary para-academic is untethered. Promises have gone unfulfilled and yet avenues have opened up elsewhere. To the artists, to the creators, to the fringe, wherever the real can be captured. It is in these topoi that the real work happens.

Speculation: to think the world of experience, beyond such experience. But how to seize this reality, how to speculate upon that which the academy has prohibited? Before the storms the para-academic needs to equip herself. Not only with tools, but weapons.

‘Weaponizing Speculation’ is an exploration of the various expressions of DIY theory operative in the elsewheres,the shafts and tunnels of the para-academy. We seek those thoughts that go beyond the institution, beyond the linguistic, beyond the human, to the far reaches of the incommensurate and the extinct; we seek conceptual armoury which will aid thinkers in the siege to reclaim the real.

We invite papers from those lost at sea”.

Those lost at sea are:

Saturday 2 March

Independent Colleges, Room 101

10.00-10.15 Introductory remarks: Paul Ennis, Fintan Neylan, Michael O’Rourke

10.15-11.00 Session 1: Robert Jackson, Rebecca O’Dwyer

11.00-11.15 Break

11.15-12.15 Session 2: Nick Srnicek, Dylan Trigg

12.15-13.00 Session 3: Erin Stapleton, Alice Rekab

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-14.45 Session 4: Francis Halsall, Alan Boardman

14.45-15.30 Session 5: Isabel Nolan, Sergey Sistiaga

15.30-15.45 Break

16.00-16.45 Session 6: MOUTH (Edia Connole, Scott Wilson) with Pat Zaidan, Mairtin Mac Con Iomaire, Kathy Tynan

20.00-22.00 Opening of Weaponising Speculation Exhibition, BLOCK T Gallery, Smithfield, Dublin 7

Sunday 3 March

Independent Colleges, Room 101

10.00-10.45 Session 7: Ridvan Askin, Ciara McMahon

10.45-11.30 Session 8: John Ryan, Ciara Griffin

11.30-12.30 Lunch

12.30-13.15 Session 9: Rob Murphy, Andy Weir

13.15-14.00 Session 10: Dock Currie, Sam Keogh

14.00-14.15 Break

14.15-15.15 Session 11: Teresa Gillespie, Ben Woodard

15.15-16.00 Session 12: Karen Dewart McEwen, Scott Wilson

16.00-16.15 Closing remarks: Paul Ennis, Fintan Neylan, Michael O’Rourke

18.00-20.00 Weaponising Speculation Exhibition, BLOCK T Gallery, Smithfield, Dublin 7

WS EXHIBITION POSTER FINAL

D.U.S.T (Dublin Unit for Speculative Thought) presents:

Weaponising Speculation Exhibition

VENUE: BLOCKT, Smithfield Chambers, Smithfield Square, Dublin 7

OPENING: Saturday 2 March

TIME: 8 pm-10pm

COST: Free

Weaponising Speculation continues March 3 (6-8pm); March 4-March 6 (11am-6pm) and March 7 (11am-8pm)

http://www.blockt.ie

http://dublindust.wordpress.com/

Exhibiting Artists:

Alan Boardman

Teresa Gillespie

Ciara McMahon

Rob Murphy

Alice Rekab

John Ryan

Andy Weir

Speculation: to think the world of experience, beyond such experience. But how to seize this reality, how to speculate upon that which the academy and the art world has prohibited? Before the storm the para-academic and the artist need to equip themselves. Not only with tools, but weapons. Weaponizing Speculation is an exploration of the various expressions of art and theory operative in the elsewheres, the shafts and tunnels of the para-academy; an expedition armoured with techniques of thought that go beyond the institution, beyond the linguistic, beyond the human, to the far reaches of the incommensurate and the extinct; it builds a conceptual arsenal which will aid thinkers in the siege to reclaim the real.

The Weaponising Speculation exhibition is an accompaniment to the conference of the same name organized by D.U.S.T (Dublin Unit for Speculative Thought), an art/theory collective recently founded by Michael O’Rourke, Paul Ennis and Fintan Neylan. The primary aim of DUST is to stage dialogues between disparate groups of people—artists, aestheticians, philosophers, non-philosophers, theorists—who find themselves at the fringes of academic institutions and disciplines and who are also broadly concerned with speculative realism. “Weaponising Speculation” features paintings, sculptures, video and sound works by seven artists who are also speaking at the conference which will take place at Independent Colleges on March 2nd and 3rd. The show is a loose collocation of works which cluster around a shared set of interests including speculative realism, object oriented ontology, post-continental philosophy, new materialisms, systems theory, transcendental nihilism, and para-academic practices.

The exhibition will conclude with a conversation amongst the artists about how the exhibition as a “coreless experiment” isonomic with the Weaponising Speculation conference has succeeded or failed and will also consider the future trajectories of speculative thought and art/theory.