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Re: <nettime> The Art of the Undercommons
Stevphen Shukaitis on Mon, 28 Feb 2011 00:29:54 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> The Art of the Undercommons

Thanks for that Keith, Marco, and John.

A few thoughts in response. One of the main things I'm getting at here is
arguing against the assumption that more communication, more openness, is
necessarily and always the best option option for strategizing about
artistic-political interventions, particularly when that kind of assumption
gets reified into an absolute. In that sense I think I'm making a rather
similar point to what Alex Galloway and Eugene Thacker were suggesting in
their book "The Exploit" about shifting strategies away from the overly
network fetishistic focus to asymmetric subtraction from networked/
protological control.

So given that I certainly wouldn't want to make infrapolitical subterfuge,
the art of the undercommons, into yet another kind of absolute. Rather I'd
suggest it is one tool, one possible solution, to particular dynamics that
raised in keeping open the potentiality and creativity of antagonism. I
suppose this is what you mean, Marco, by suggesting my concern is about
integrity of the radical imagination. In some way yes, but in more general
terms I think it's not quite the same question.

Rather than what I'm talking about here as some kind of absolute to be
adopted for all situations I'd tend more to think of it as a transversal
tool that has its role cutting across different situations, particularly
for keeping open a space for strategically renegotiating and rethinking the
situation one is in.

So to take the moments you give Marco I'd suggest that there are moments of
the undercommons that are important and at work there even if not obvious.
One of the interesting dynamics of the hidden transcript is that it's not
hidden at all but on display, but only the meaning is partially hidden or
obscured. In that sense any art of the undercommons necessarily entails how
it engages with the realm of the publicly expressed, how it uses that realm
and shapes is, but can also carve out space underneath or folded within it
when necessary.

As for the question about Kant, I'm going to have to think about that for
some time before I have anything sensible to say. The one thing I would say
is that perhaps in the same way Thierry de Duve suggested in "Kant after
Duchamp" that the readymade changed the way in which judgement operates,
perhaps we today are experiencing a process through which judgment and
wisdom are being transformed again (thinking her of Bifo's arguments about
the pathological nature of immaterial labor). 


On 26 Feb 2011, at 16:18, Snafu wrote:

> Hi Stevphen,
> thank you for posting this insightful article, I enjoyed reading it, and 
> I am glad we get to discuss Konrad's work on this list.

Stevphen Shukaitis
Autonomedia Editorial Collective

"Autonomy is not a fixed, essential state. Like gender, autonomy is created
through its performance, by doing/becoming; it is a political practice. To
become autonomous is to refuse authoritarian and compulsory cultures of
separation and hierarchy through embodied practices of welcoming
difference... Becoming autonomous is a political position for it thwarts
the exclusions of proprietary knowledge and jealous hoarding of resources,
and replaces the social and economic hierarchies on which these depend with
a politics of skill exchange, welcome, and collaboration. Freely sharing
these with others creates a common wealth of knowledge and power that
subverts the domination and hegemony of the master?s rule." - subRosa

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