Utopia Is No Place: The Art and Politics of Impossible Futures

a very nice reminder of the role museums can (and should) play in creating a forum for critical thinking and sharing ideas.

synthetic zerØ

“A growing number of artists are abandoning truth-telling political art for a boldly utopian practice, recognizing that political problems can’t be solved by an atrophied collective imagination. With examples ranging from Thomas More’s 16th-century tome Utopia to the Yes Men’s recent “special edition” of the New York Times, Stephen Duncombe explores the creative terrain within this new world of dreampolitik. Duncombe is an associate professor with the Gallatin School at New York University.”

I like his assertion that well established forms/styles of organization/governance are not held up by, not dependent on, beliefs/believers but rather simply by routines/habits/affordances, and therefore are invulnerable to critiques that seek to unmask/debunk founding myths by revealing the “truths” at work.

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English Transcript of Deleuze on JOY

more thoughts on joy.



The blog The Art of Deviance published a heavily edited extract from the video interview between Claire Parnet and Gilles Deleuze, l’Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze. The extract concerned the letter “J” for “Joy”. I have translated this more extensive extract:


Note: this extract is still incomplete as it is missing a long digression on Nietzsche and his concept of the priest, and also on the plaint or lament as an example of taking on something that is too powerful for me and that can make me crack. One can get a good idea of the missing part here, thanks to Charles Stivale. I have corrected some errors, and kept very close to Deleuze’s words. I have chosen to consistently translate “puissance” by “capacity”, but sometimes potency, power, or even force, would be more usual in English.

Claire Parnet: Now J is for “Joy”. This is a concept…

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ZIZEK, DELEUZE, JUNG: the analogical self versus the digital ego

I like this: “There is no point in changing the words if the rest remains unchanged. “


Zizek on ANTI-OEDIPUS: “my thesis is that in Anti-Oedipus Deleuze/Guattari do to Lacan what Carl Gustav Jung did to Freud”. (Zizek, Notes on a Debate“From Within the People”).

It is a good idea when reading Zizek to interpret his references to his major philosophical adversaries under the sign of the anxiety of influence. He proceeds by violent denegation based on micro-differentiation, i.e. whenever some thought is to close to (and I would add prior to) his own thought he concentrates on one little detail that differentiates the position that he himself defends from that of these predecessors and influences, then he proceeds to denounce them vociferously, ignoring both the affinity and the probable influence.

Zizek’s critiques of Deleuze , of Jung, and of Gnosticism are of this type: a smokescreen of quibbles and travesties serve to hide the family resemblance and the lines of influence. Some of his reflections on…

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Elaborating on Deleuze’s concepts (1) – Joy

it feels rather unfortunate that this was so edited, but it seems to be the only online version of Joy with English subtitles.

The Art of Deviance

Foucault once declared that “one day, perhaps, this century will be called Deleuzian”, acknowledging the French philosopher’s powerful ideas. Deleuze’s work focuses on concepts such as “becoming”, “affect”, “relationality”, “creativity”, “multiplicity”, “assemblage” etc. Our lens must be turned from “knowing” the world into “relating to” the world. For Deleuze, “the whole of life is difference…the power to think differently, to become different and to create differences”. Below he is explaining what “joy” means and how it is related to power and sadness.

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CFP, AAG 2014: Geophilosophy and the Geo-Social

perhaps 2014 will be the year where geophilosophy makes a formidable appearance… Stay tuned for our 2014 AAG D & G panel contribution.


Elizabeth Johnson, Harlan Morehouse and myself are putting together some sessions at the 2014 AAG around the relationship between Geophilosophy and Geography, and particularly what we are calling the Geo-Social.

Please circulate the below CFP to anyone you think may be interested.
Many thanks

Geophilosophy and the Geo-Social

AAG 2014

Call for Panels/Papers

Elizabeth Johnson,

Harlan Morehouse, University of Minnesota

Rory Rowan, Wageningen University

There is a growing consensus that in the 21st century the planet is no longer the concern of geologists and climate scientists alone, but that philosophical and social thought must also increasingly engage with planetary concerns. Emergent literatures across the social sciences and humanities are struggling to generate new conceptual frameworks and research strategies to adequately account for the complex knots that bind social, geological, biological and technological forces together, as well as the catastrophic potentials that reside within them (see, for example: Braun and Whatmore…

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Call for participation: Culture in Conversation, a monthly roundtable

For Another Critique of the Pyramid

The following CFP was circulated on the CULTSTUD-L list and may be interest to readers of this blog. I’m particularly intrigued by the organizers’ ambition to “lay bare the process by which new thoughts and ideas are formed.”


Culture in Conversation (CIC, www.cultureinconversation.org), a monthly critical media and cultural studies roundtable set to launch on September 1, 2013, is seeking additional contributors for upcoming issues.

About CIC

Culture in Conversation is an online scholarly forum that seeks to reveal to its readers the work of scholarly exchange. CIC publishes conversations that are an “in-between” product—not as informal as a blog post, not as complex as a journal article, and not as one- sided as a formal commentary. The topics addressed speak to the broad scope of the cultural studies project: from media studies to literary theory, ethnology and anthropology to the digital humanities, film studies to musicology, science…

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