“At least, when we create concepts, we are doing something.” - The new war, post-modern war, global war -- almost every major military operation over the past 15 years has evoked a new debate about the new character of war. After 9-11 state of war has turned into a normality. Five years of global belligerence have turned the world upside down, in a way that the extent of the ongoing changes cannot be fully conceived yet.
On June 2 and 3 the first edition of DICTIONARY OF WAR will take place as a collaborative platform for creating concepts on the issue of war. In the art academy Staedelschule in Frankfurt/Main the first 25 concepts will be invented, arranged and presented by scientists, artists, theorists and activists. Among the contributors are Saskia Sassen, Eyal Weizman, Irit Rogoff, Zelimir Zilnik and many others. More information at: http://dictionaryofwar.org
"The depraved heroes of 24 are the Himmlers of Hollywood" is the main argument Zizek makes in this text for the "Guardian". Referring to Hannah Arendt and her book "Eichmann in Jerusalem" he points out: "What if people do commit terrible acts as part of their job while being loving husbands, good parents and close friends? As Arendt says, the fact that they are able to retain any normality while committing such acts is the ultimate confirmation of moral depravity."
Criticality Thinking is a collection of recent texts by Irit Rogoff, professor for visual cultures at Goldsmiths Colllege in London. She writes extensively on the conjunctions of contemporary art with critical theory with particular reference to issues of colonialism, cultural difference and performativity. Her current research project investigates audience participation in contemporary art spaces, and questions whether audiences are perfomatively able to become part of the very nature of the exhibition.
India Song, 1975, 120 min., 35mm
"The formal approach is like nothing before in film history: the 'drama' is entirely aural, and the elegant visuals counterpoint it by creating an atmosphere of sumptuous enervation." (Time Out)
This legendary and long-unavailable work by novelist, playwright and film director Marguerite Duras is an audiovisual poem haunted by the intoxicating dream of decadent colonialism and impossible love. The separately recorded soundtrack is a tapestry of ambient sounds, nostalgic music and Duras’ superb prose, uttered by off-screen voices as the mouths of the protagonists remain closed: the ever-invisible beggar woman from Lahore, the consul’s beautiful wife Anne-Marie Stretter (Delphine Seyrig), and the lovelorn vice consul, howling “her Venice name in deserted Calcutta.” Shot by master cinematographer Bruno Nuytten.
Here are the links to a few more papers Alberto Toscano has published on the Goldsmiths website:
(2003) Antagonism and Insurrection in Italian Operaismo (PDF 254kb).
(2005) Liberation Technology: Marcuse’s Communist Individualism (PDF 485kb)
(2005) Fanaticism and Social Theory (PDF 202kb)
This is Alberto Toscanos preface to Eric Alliez book "The signature of the world : or, What is Deleuze and Guattari's philosophy?" translated by Eliot Ross Albert and Alberto Toscano.
A new Meno would say : it is knowledge that is nothing more than an empirical figure, a simple result which continually falls back into experience ; whereas learning is the true transcendental structure which unites difference to difference, dissimilarity to dissimilarity, without mediating between them - not in the form of a mythical past or former present, but in the pure form of an empty time in general. (Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition)
John Baez: Topos theory in a nutshell, http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/topos.html. A gentle introduction: "Okay, you wanna know what a topos is? First I'll give you a hand-wavy vague explanation, then an actual definition, then a few consequences of this definition, and then some examples..."
Let us begin these reflections on contemporary French philosophy with a paradox: that which is the most universal is also, at the same time, the most particular. Hegel calls this the "concrete universal", the synthesis of that which is absolutely universal, which pertains to everything, with that which has a particular time and place. Philosophy is a good example. Absolutely universal, it addresses itself to all, without exception; but within philosophy there exist powerful cultural and national particularities. There are what we might call moments of philosophy, in space and in time. Philosophy is thus both a universal aim of reason and, simultaneously, one that manifests itself in completely specific moments. Let us take the example of two especially intense and well-known philosophical instances. First, that of classical Greek philosophy between Parmenides and Aristotle, from the 5th to the 3rd centuries BC: a highly inventive, foundational moment, ultimately quite short-lived. Second, that of German idealism between Kant and Hegel, via Fichte and Schelling: another exceptional philosophical moment, from the late 18th to the early 19th centuries, intensely creative and condensed within an even shorter timespan. I propose to defend a further national and historical thesis: there was-or there is, depending where I put myself-a French philosophical moment of the second half of the 20th century which, toute proportion gardée, bears comparison to the examples of classical Greece and enlightenment Germany.
On the occasion of its opening in 2002, the Palais de Tokyo immediately struck the visitor as different from other contemporary art venues that had recently opened in Europe. Although a budget of 4.75 million euros was spent on converting the former Japanese pavilion for the 1937 World’s Fair into a “site for contemporary creation,” most of this money had been used to reinforce (rather than renovate) the existing structure. Instead of clean white walls, discreetly installed lighting, and wooden floors, the interior was left bare and unfinished. This decision was important, as it reflected a key aspect of the venue’s curatorial ethos under its codirectorship by Jerôme Sans, an art critic and curator, and Nicolas Bourriaud, former curator at CAPC Bordeaux and editor of the journal Documents sur l’art. The Palais de Tokyo’s improvised relationship to its surroundings has subsequently become paradigmatic of a visible tendency among European art venues to reconceptualize the “white cube” model of displaying contemporary art as a studio or experimental “laboratory.” It is therefore in the tradition of what Lewis Kachur has described as the “ideological exhibitions” of the historical avantgarde: in these exhibitions (such as the 1920 International Dada Fair and the 1938 International Surrealist Exhibition), the hang sought to reinforce or epitomize the ideas contained within the work.
Below there is a link to a paper by Jon Roffe, presented at the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy Research Day on Spinoza and the Infinite, December 2005: "In lieu of an introduction, let me simply say that my subject here is Alain Badiou’s discussion of Spinoza’s ontology in his masterpiece L’être et l’événement.