I gazed out my window on the sea of dark clouds as my shaking seat jiggled the image into double vision; and I pictured the flat, geometrically divided western landscapes below, wondering why anyone still bothered to travel in this cookie-cutter country. What was the use of visiting identical reproductions of the same Wal-Mart or adding new encounters of equally streamlined mentality to the roster? As far as I was concerned, everything had been shorn from the same cloth, woven for years in the drab bungalows of suburban North America.
Thirty years of “crisis,” mass unemployment, and flagging growth, and they still want us to believe in the economy. . . . We have to see that the economy is itself the crisis. It’s not that there’s not enough work, it’s that there is too much of it.--from The Coming InsurrectionThe Coming Insurrection is an eloquent call to arms arising from the recent waves of social contestation in France and Europe.
Poet and post-punk heroine Eileen Myles has always operated in the art, writing, and queer performance scenes as a kind of observant flaneur. Like Baudelaire’s gentleman stroller, Myles travels the city--wandering on garbage-strewn New York streets in the heat of summer, drifting though the antiseptic malls of La Jolla, and riding in the van with Sister Spit--seeing it with a poet’s eye for detail and with the consciousness that writing about art and culture has always been a social gesture.
This new edition of Soft Subversions expands, reorganizes, and develops the original 1996 publication, offering a carefully organized arrangement of essays, interviews, and short texts that present a fuller scope to Guattari’s thinking from 1977 to 1985.
Virilio himself referred to his 1980 work The Aesthetics of Disappearance as a "juncture" in his thinking, one at which he brought his focus onto the logistics of perception—a logistics he would soon come to refer to as the "vision machine." If Speed and Politics established Virilio as the inaugural—and still consummate—theorist of "dromology" (the theory of speed and the society it defines), The Aesthetics of Disappearance introduced his understanding of "picnolepsy"—the epileptic state of consciousness produced by speed, or rather, the consciousness invented by the subject through its ver
According to Peter Sloterdijk, the twentieth century started on a specific day and place: April 22, 1915, at Ypres in Northern France. That day, the German army used a chlorine gas meant to exterminate indiscriminately. Until then, war, as described by Clausewitz and practiced by Napoleon, involved attacking the adversary’s vital function first. Using poison gas signaled the passage from classical war to terrorism. This terror from the air inaugurated an era in which the main idea was no longer to target the enemy’s body, but their environment.
An autobiographical novel by turn naïve and cunning, funny and moving, this most recent work by Moroccan expatriate Abdellah Taïa is a major addition to the new French literature emerging from the North African Arabic diaspora.
Published by Semiotext(e) in 2005, Mark von Schlegell’s debut novel Venusia was hailed in the sci-fi and literary worlds as a “breathtaking excursion” and “heady kaleidoscopic trip,” establishing him as an important practitioner of vanguard science fiction. Mercury Station, the second book in Von Schlegell’s System Series, continues the journey into a dystopian literary future. It is 2150. Eddard J. Ryan was born in a laboratory off Luna City, an orphan raised by the Black Rose Army, a radical post-Earth Irish revolutionary movement.
Yesterday, the police interrogated me at length about the journal and other Situationist organizations. It was only a beginning. This is, I think, one of the principal threats that came up quickly during the discussion: the police want to consider the S.I. as an association to bring about the destruction of France.--from CorrespondenceThis volume traces the dynamic first years of the Situationist International movement--a cultural avant-garde that continues to inspire new generations of artists, theorists, and writers more than half a century later.
Chaosophy is an introduction to Félix Guattari’s groundbreaking theories of “schizo-analysis”: a process meant to replace Freudian interpretation with a more pragmatic, experimental, and collective approach rooted in reality. Unlike Freud, who utilized neuroses as his working model, Guattari adopted the model of schizophrenia--which he believed to be an extreme mental state induced by the capitalist system itself, and one that enforces neurosis as a way of maintaining normality.
“What do you do, exactly? I have no idea.”“I reify,” he answered.“It’s a serious job,” I added.“Yes, it is,” he said.“I see,” Carol observed with admiration. “Serious work, with big books and a big table cluttered with papers.”“No,” said Gilles. “I walk. Mostly I walk.”--from All the King’s HorsesMichèle Bernstein’s novel, All the King’s Horses (1960), is one of the odder and more elusive, entertaining, and revealing documents of the Situationist International.
The Swiss-Italian economist Christian Marazzi is one of the core theorists of the Italian postfordist movement, along with Antonio Negri, Paolo Virno, and Bifo (Franco Berardi). But although his work is often cited by scholars (particularly by those in the field of “Cognitive Capitalism”), his writing has never appeared in English. This translation of his most recent work, Capital and Language (published in Italian in 2002), finally makes Marazzi’s work available to an English-speaking audience.
Introduction to Kant’s Anthropology From a Pragmatic Point of View Michel Foucaulttranslated and with an introduction by Arianna BoveThis introduction and commentary to Kant’s least discussed work, Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, is the dissertation that Michel Foucault presented in 1961 as his doctoral thesis. It has remained unpublished, in any language, until now. In his exegesis and critical interpretation of Kant’s Anthropology, Foucault raises the question of the relation between psychology and anthropology, and how they are affected by time.
As celebrated as it is reviled, internationally acclaimed filmmaker Catherine Breillat’s novel Pornocracy viscerally enacts the dramatic confluence of mystery, desire, and shame that lies at the heart of sexuality. In Pornocracy, a beautiful woman wanders through a gay disco and engages a man, confident that he will follow her. Perversely and dispassionately, she offers her body as the ground of a ritualistic game in which, over the course of three evenings, the two will explore the numbing mechanics of sexual brutality.
Multitude between Innovation and NegationPaolo Virnotranslated by James CascaitoThe publication of Paolo Virno’s first book in English, Grammar of the Multitude, by Semiotext(e) in 2004 was an event within the field of radical political thought and introduced post-’68 currents in Italy to American readers.
In 2004 and 2005, Antonio Negri held ten workshops at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris to formulate a new political grammar of the postmodern. Biopolitics, biopowers, control, the multitude, people, war, borders, dependency and interdependency, state, nation, the common, difference, resistance, subjective rights, revolution, freedom, democracy: these are just a few of the themes Negri addressed in these experimental laboratories.
In June 2007, Paul Virilio and Sylvère Lotringer met in La Rochelle, France to reconsider the premises they developed twenty-five years before in their frighteningly prescient classic, Pure War. Pure War described the invisible war waged by technology against humanity, and the lack of any real distinction since World War II between war and peace.
Alterity is in danger. It is a masterpiece in peril, an object lost or missing from our system, from the system of artificial intelligence and the system of communication in general.--from Radical AlterityWhere is the Other today? Can Otherness challenge our arrogant, insular cultural narcissism? From artificial intelligence to the streets of Venice, from early explorers to contemporary photographers, Jean Baudrillard and Marc Guillaume discuss the traces of radical alterity in our world.
When Fatal Strategies was first published in French in 1983, it represented a turning point for Jean Baudrillard: an utterly original, and for many readers, utterly bizarre book that offered a theory as proliferative, ecstatic, and hallucinatory as the postmodern world it endeavored to describe. Arguing against the predetermined outcomes of dialectical thought with his renowned, wry, ambivalent passion, with this volume Jean Baudrillard mounted an attack against the “false problems” posed by Western philosophy.
Most of the writers who contributed to the issue were locked up at the time in Italian jails. . . . I was trying to draw the attention of the American Left, which still believed in Eurocommunism, to the fate of Autonomia. The survival of the last politically creative movement in the West was at stake, but no one in the United States seemed to realize that, or be willing to listen.
Molecular Revolution in BrazilFélix Guattari and Suely Rolniktranslated by Karel Clapshow and Brian HolmesYes, I believe that there is a multiple people, a people of mutants, a people of potentialities that appears and disappears, that is embodied in social, literary, and musical events. . . . I think that we’re in a period of productivity, proliferation, creation, utterly fabulous revolutions from the viewpoint of this emergence of a people.
. . . as I poured my father’s ashes into a big Ziploc bag, a little of my blood dripped in. I thought about how each cell has all of you fully inscribed in it, so that if I left those drops in there, it would be as if I were already dead too.
Published by Semiotext(e) to critical acclaim in 1998, Michelle Tea’s debut novel The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America quickly established Tea as an exciting new literary talent and the voice of a new generation of queer, bisexual, transgendered, and straight youth.
Gerald Raunig has written an alternative art history of the “long twentieth century,” from the Paris Commune of 1871 to the turbulent counter-globalization protests in Genoa in 2001. Meticulously moving from the Situationists and Sergei Eisenstein to Viennese Actionism and the PublixTheatreCaravan, Art and Revolution takes on the history of revolutionary transgressions and optimistically charts an emergence from its tales of tragic failure and unequivocal disaster.
People tend to confuse winning freedom with conversion to capitalism. It is doubtful that the joys of capitalism are enough to free peoples. . . . The American “revolution” failed long ago, long before the Soviet one. Revolutionary situations and attempts are born of capitalism itself and will not soon disappear, alas. Philosophy remains tied to a revolutionary becoming that is not to be confused with the history of revolutions.—from Two Regimes of Madness