Issues
Issue #69
With: Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Jodi Dean, Alan Gilbert, Benjamin H. Bratton, Reza Negarestani, Sven Lütticken, Irmgard Emmelhainz, Jonas Staal
The choice of cover image for this issue of e-flux journal came down to two photos: a decrepit military airplane lingering in a remote gray field, evoking long forgotten battles of a distant war; and a picture of a DIY christmas tree, cheerfully constructed from a stack of worn car tires and painted lime green. The airplane was the more haunting of the two images, yet with all that is happening around us, we wanted to resist the sublime spectacle of decimation and consider some modest...
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9 Essays January 2016
Necro-Economy Are we heading into the Third World War? Yes and no: war has been with us for the past fifteen years, it promises to be with us for a long time, and it threatens to destroy the last remnants of modern civilization. The exacerbation of xenophobia across the West and the rise of nationalism in countries like France are causes and effects of a looming war whose sources lie in the past two hundred years of colonial impoverishment and humiliation of the majority of the world...
Politics in the Anthropocene is a matter of perspective: we can’t look at climate change directly. Relying on multiple disparate measurements, we look for patterns and estimate probabilities. We see in parts: the melting ice caps, glaciers, and permafrost; the advancing deserts and diminishing coral reefs; the disappearing coastlines and the migrating species. Evidence becomes a matter of extremes as extremes themselves become the evidence for an encroaching catastrophe that has already...
Paradise absent is different from paradise lost … 1 A city, perhaps like a person, always exceeds the myth of its origins. It's not a coincidence that as a cosmopolitan city Beirut became synonymous with loss. It may be impossible to establish the beginning and end of the Lebanese civil wars. They are generally given the dates 1975–1990: from a 1975 assassination attempt on Maronite Christian and Phalangist leader Pierre Gemayel—and the immediate retaliation by his followers against...
El Proceso (The Process)
Benjamin H. Bratton
I. Xefirotarch makes vampire architecture. The reasons for this go beyond the now well-known series of incidents at the group’s 2006 SF MoMA show, during which, over consecutive days, several children were left bleeding and traumatized by their encounters with the installation. Each claimed to have been “bitten” by its forms, but more likely, the children had fallen upon one of its dangerous, fang-like angles, and left punctured by the sharp contours. One boy was hospitalized for nearly...
Continued from “ What Is Philosophy? Part One: Axioms and Programs ” §4. Viewed from an Archimedean point in the future of thought’s unfolding, philosophy is seen as what has instructed thinking to become a systematic program, only as a way of organizing it into a project for the emancipation of intelligence. This is the unexpressed role of philosophy as a fulcrum through which aims and agendas of intelligence gain leverage on the world of thought. To assemble the...
Over the last few decades, an increasing identification of autonomy with the imperialist and colonialist autocracy of Western subjectivity has led to philosophical flirtations with the rejection of both the concept of autonomy and often that of the subject, for example in various strands of posthumanist thought, the works of Latour, and sundry object-based ontologies. 1 The Enlightenment subject has been unmasked as nothing but a male bourgeois rights holder and property owner, casting...
In the 1960s and ’70s, politicization meant taking a position, establishing and following a political program, taking up armed struggle, putting one’s skills (including art) at the service of the revolution, fighting in the name of the horizon of state socialism, and acting in solidarity with anti-imperialist and decolonization struggles. Artists and militant networks were drawn together by political affinities, and Palestine, Vietnam, and Chile were symbols of anti-imperialism. This form of...
IDEOLOGY = FORM
Jonas Staal
1. We Are All Terrorists Here A young cat is curling around the legs of Diyar Hesso—filmmaker, teacher, and one of the main organizers of the Rojava Film Commune in the city of Derbisiye, in the Canton of Cezîre. 1 As I watch the animal play, I hear Hesso say, “He’s Terrorist.” I look up confused. “His name,” Hesso explains, “the name of the cat is Terrorist.” And with a smile, “Because we’re all terrorists here.” 2 “Here” is the autonomous region of Rojava (West-Kurdistan),...
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