Alberto Toscano: The coloured thickness of a problem

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)

Alain Badiou: The Adventure of French Philosophy

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.

Claire Bishop: Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics

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.

Badiou and Deleuze on individuation, causality and infinite modes in Spinoza

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.

Relational esthetics

Here are two texts Jean was referring to in her lecture in the second JTS which i grabbed from the website of the museum for contemporary art in Barcelona (MACBA). Both are interviews, one with Roger Buergel, the director of documenta12, the other one with Leo Bersani, Emeritus Professor of French in the University of Berkeley.

The specialist

When Adolph Eichmann was brought to trial in Israel in 1961, the event was broadcast live under the direction of documentarian Leo Hurwitz. That footage, over 500 hours of it, has been locked away in the decades since. Eyal Sivan, inspired by Hannah Arendt's book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, received permission to dig through the footage for a concentrated portrait of the trial and the man.

The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction

This link refers to a text published by Robert Luxemburg for the makeworld paper #4. "The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction" is supposed to "brush aside a number of outmoded concepts, such as creativity and genius, shareholder value and copyright — concepts whose uncontrolled (and at present almost uncontrollable) application would lead to a processing of data in the Fascist sense. The concepts which are introduced into the theory of art in what follows differ from the more familiar terms in that they are completely useless for the purposes of Fascism. They are, on the other hand, useful for the formulation of revolutionary demands in the politics of art."

Judith Butler on Antigone

At the EGS website you find some interesting references to Judith Butlers work on Antigone: In "Antigone's Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death" (2000) Judith Butler redefines Antigone's legacy, recovering her revolutionary significance and liberating it for a progressive feminism and sexual politics.

Collaboration and Participation

From February 6 to 10, 2006, the second joint theory session will start with a day of studio visits and one-to-one tutorials. On Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday we will go on with lectures and presentations in the seminar room starting at 10 am in the morning and screenings and debates in the afternoon. The three of us will work on the topics: Collaboration and Participation.

Jean-Luc Nancy: L'intrus

I just found the beginning of the text "L'intrus" by Jean-Luc Nancy available online for download as a PDF: This text triggered the film by Claire Denis which we have been watching during the first session