Nettime mailing list archives

Re: <nettime> The Messy, Dirty, Silly Interplay of Art and Activis Artiv
tobias c. van Veen on Thu, 15 Nov 2007 10:01:30 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> The Messy, Dirty, Silly Interplay of Art and Activis Artivistic 2007

> I disagree.  I think the whole discourse of "rights" is useless
> nonsense. 

Because you have them.

Hopefully, stranger whom I have not yet met whose words I read on this
strange list, Nettime, yes, one day, you will make it to 'that other'
Canada, where extermination was not complete, and history and its
territory remain unresolved. Colonialism is not a fait accompli -- at
least not here. The Canadian constitution was writ not 25 years ago.

As for the rest -- B., you mix up nation & territory. Political power
for First Nations in Canada remains with the land for the single
reason that is nondeconstructible: justice. With land comes economic
subsistence; autonomy of law; the trace of historical memory; the
home and thus hospitality. We could reconceive of the aporia of land
as that of an 'interior' hospitality: welcoming / calculating the
arrival of the stranger-within who (ding dong!) is now going to take
one room in your house -- a 'room of his/her own'. (Sorry about the
mudprints on the carpet ... they've been out in the cold.) In short,
that ol' impossible calculation of justice. You want to deconstruct
the land of the indigenuous? You mean, like, take it away -- for
whom? for what purpose? -- again?

Deconstruction of this sort reaches its limit here insofar as notions
of the 'good life' as global-holding-hands in deconstructed
nonterritory (or whatever) is the différance that must be
encountered with hospitality, not aggression. 

Which doesn't mean 'lapsing' (the horror!) into 'essential' (the
horror -- cue Marlon Brando) rights but rather calculating their
effects -- effects that, say, mean a lot to a lot of people for very
good reasons in that 'rights' speak the language, at least for now, of
justice, and keep (orror..orror) 'hope' alive.

Canada is an unfinished colonial project. With what violence would
you close its making? Canada already is a patchwork of excluded
territories or of de-re-territorializations: in short, it's called
'the Reserve'. There's even a TV show on CBC here called 'the
Reserve'. Where, as many would put it, 'the Indians' live. But they
don't -- do they? The 'Indians' are everywhere in Canada. We just
can't seem to get them to stop asking for stuff back though (sorry,
they 'borrowed' the silverware from UBC's Museum of Anthropology...).

Reserves are aporetic: the reserve is both prison and autonomous
patch of territory consigned without care by colonial powers. Does a
deconstructive politics mean to negate the Reserve and thus potential
autonomy of -- is this too essential? -- 'self-determination'? Heck
no! In Canada a deconstructive politic means to engage the potential
of the Reserve to de_nationalize Canada -- beginning with its colonial
myth of English-French foundation. And here, well, maybe this is a
special case: we *can* redistribute territory as, well, we've got a
freakin' LOT of it. Imagine that.

In Canada, the long process of re-situating Reserves as autonomous
indigenuous -- gasp! -- territories that acknowledge access to
economic resources and historical sites -- which has not resulted
in 'ethnic cleansing' -- has long been underway with land claim
treaties for some time *and*, if we may think it, this process remakes
the concept of 'indigenuous' *as* re/constructed through these
de/constructed autonomies. So the concept has been overturned & now
displaced -- via a kind of 'other within the self' that is the
'indigenuous/native/indian/first nations' within Canada, like the
Crypt in the Ego or something like that (if I was to explain it to the
deceased D. and thinking of Abraham and Torok). For this is what a
supranational territory a.k.a. Nisga'a or otherwise within is: a kind
of alternationality within the nation-state. Canada needs the excluded
other First Nations to constitute itself as Canada -- you know how it
goes, this law of the supplement thing. Voila! Deconstruction.

All that I think can be expressed on this point has been, even if
misunderstood, and contentious 'discourse' elaborates only antagonisms
between combative bodies that should know better.

-- tV

[ad continuum]

> Rights don't matter.

Which is why the privileged continue to dismiss them.

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: http://mail.kein.org/mailman/listinfo/nettime-l
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} kein.org