Issues
Issue #80
With: Amy Ireland, Boris Groys, Nana Adusei-Poku, Achille Mbembe, Barbara Cassin, Carol Yinghua Lu, Jonas Staal
Division is the characteristic habit of humanity: ēthos anthropōi daimōn, as Heraclitus had it. Demons for division, we divide and are divided. Taken over by divisions within ourselves, the demonic appears as the divided self. Wherever the self realizes an apparent struggle, whenever one is possessed by another, the demon is present. Possession dramatizes self-production as a fight for local control. Demonology is the science of these heteronomous selves, these others inside us. “From the...
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9 Essays March 2017

His goal is to bring about a transition from the masculine Aeon of Horus to a new age—an age presided over by qualities imputed to the female demon: fire, blood, the unconscious; a material, sexual drive and a paradoxical knowledge beyond sense … the wages of which are nothing less than the ego-identity of Man—the end, effectively, of “his” world. Her cipher in the Cult of Ma’at is 0, and she appears in the major arcana of the Thoth Tarot entangled with the Beast as Lust, to which is attributed the serpent’s letter ט‎, and thereby the number 9. In her guise as harlot, it is said that Babalon is bound to “yield herself up to everything that liveth,” but it is by means of this very yielding (“subduing the strength” of those with whom she lies via the prescribed passivity of this role) that her devastating power is activated: “Because she hath made her self the servant of each, therefore is she become the mistress of all. Not as yet canst thou comprehend her glory.”

The night after Donald Trump won a long and ugly US presidential race, Alain Badiou entered a classroom at the University of California, Los Angeles, sat down, placed some notes on the table, and then explained that he had decided not to give his planned lecture, “Concerning Violence.” Instead, the most prominent French philosopher of our day would talk about Trump and what his success revealed about our current political, historical, and economic condition. The resulting lecture, which...
Don’t start from the good old things but the bad new ones. —Bertolt Brecht In the 1970s Dmitry Prigov became known in Moscow’s literary and artistic milieus mainly as a poet. However, from the beginning of his career he demonstrated a somewhat unusual type of poetic behavior—unusual for the time in which he started his poetic readings and the public he was appealing to. These readings were actually performances, situated in a still-not-well-explored zone between literature and...
In 2009 the Centre Pompidou in Paris opened an exhibition called “Voids: A Retrospective.” Through works such as Yves Klein’s The Specialization of Sensibility in Raw Material State into Stabilized Pictorial Sensibility, it explored a tradition of radical curatorial and artistic interventions touching on the “art of nothing.” The exhibition consisted of empty spaces in which nothing was on display, apart from the white walls and wooden floors that constituted the architecture of the rooms....

The plantation regime and, later, the colonial regime presented a problem by making race a principle of the exercise of power, a rule of sociability, and a mechanism for training people in behaviors aimed at the growth of economic profitability. Modern ideas of liberty, equality, and democracy are, from this point of view, historically inseparable from the reality of slavery. It was in the Caribbean, specifically on the small island of Barbados, that the reality took shape for the first time before spreading to the English colonies of North America. There, racial domination would survive almost all historical moments: the revolution in the eighteenth century, the Civil War and Reconstruction in the nineteenth, and even the great struggles for civil rights a century later. Revolution carried out in the name of liberty and equality accommodated itself quite well to the practice of slavery and racial segregation.

Why Learn and Speak a Different Language from One’s Own? I don’t know what “one’s own” means and I’d like to begin with a different question: What is a maternal language? I will then try to understand what happens when you speak more than one language, when you speak several different languages, and how these different languages ultimately draw out different worlds; not incompatible worlds, not radically different worlds, but worlds in resonance with one another and without ever being...
The Missing Front Line
Carol Yinghua Lu

Young artists, novel and appealing, are quickly drawn into the art system. Frequently they enjoy an extended honeymoon period of being viewed, supported, consumed, discussed, and described. Meanwhile, artists who have been working since the 1970s and ‘80s are highlighted as part of a particular art movement, even being lauded as the movements’ leading or representative figures, gaining the affirmation of the art system. These older artists have been brought into international exhibitions that focus on presenting Chinese art, and have been the center of attention for collectors and the art market. However, after so many years, their work remains undescribed in terms of its art-historical relevance.

Assemblism
Jonas Staal
New Authoritarian World Order To build an effective resistance mobilized by a new collectivity, we must understand and change the lines of division imposed upon us by an authoritarian world order. Today, we are living under a growing, global network of extremist authoritarian regimes: from Trump in the United States to Temer in Brazil, from ultranationalists and fascists rising throughout Europe to Erdoğan in Turkey, and from Putin in Russia to Modi in India. This ultranationalist and...
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