“A dialectical poetics of radical history that asks what kind of resistance & poetry are possible under conditions of capitalist repression, if we do not simply want to return to everyday life? Synthesizing documentary poetics (the lives of George Jackson, Luxemburg, Verlaine, Pasolini, Anna Mendelssohn, Dalton, Vallejo, & others) with the capitalist alchemy of surveillance & repression, [A SMALL POETICS OF INSURRECTION] tracks the processes with which those in power react to the social struggles of political movements & the works of revolutionary poets, who strike back into a corner & contribute to our understanding of social upheavals, illuminated by the solar flares of Marx & Rimbaud.” (Tripwire)



A catalogue of devices for manipulating a fugal moment

I will avenge them, one day. Signal further misadventures with woad-painted warriors from the distant past, a workaday story of lovelessness. There was even a plot to send a posse of stout Englishmen to kidnap the composer and drag him back to London, ‘where he fucking belonged’. The simplicity of this piece gives the performer the opportunity to express her own sense of estrangement: a turning off, a change of direction away from an origin. In the eighteenth century I was mostly figurative. Origin is painstaking misapplication.

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The manner in which media have been reporting on the current Covid-19 epidemic has been unique, insofar as the new crisis quickly focused the western media-scape on this one single story in a very short span of time. This effect is highly unusual & differs from the standard tempo & manner of reporting & can yield some unique insights. This essay will attempt to situate the Covid-19 pandemic within a general “entropology,” showing how the crisis is being spun in the months following the first reports, & will focus on the manner in which the event of the disease has become, in Louis Armand’s lexicon, “entroped” within contemporary information networks – entropement will be shown to consist in the framing of a “dissipative” object-signifier within a network of parasitic relations.[1]

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There are certain things as if known in advance. “The world must end,” for example. “Death is inevitable,” “Nothing lasts forever,” & so on. Yet all of these are posed against a background of absolute nonknowledge: the meaning of “forever,” of “endlessness,” of “nothing,” of “death” even, & therefore of “life.” They are, in effect, figures of speech, if not metaphors: the constructed verism of the profoundly unknowable, lying somewhere upon the further shore of a present bounded by catastrophe. But catastrophe is a blackbox, in which the rationality of the knowable, the predictable, the modellable, breaks down. What good is it to confront ecological collapse armed with a survivalist handbook if the climate patterns that have defined the very idea of a biosphere cease to exist? What use is an immunological corporate-state enterprise when the accelerated form, force & frequency of viral pandemics reduces its system of control to an epistemological precariat? And what type of theoretical fictions do we inhabit when we pretend that catastrophe itself will permit of a transitional phase of human social re-becoming? That, in short, it will behave as nothing more than a dialectical “figure,” beholden somehow to the rules of a critical discourse infatuated with the idea of its own futurity? At a time when the language of “revolution” has undergone an almost complete rehabilitation, the thought that travels abroad under its name nevertheless does so in the pay of a radical conservatism: from the conservation of the planet, to the conservation of the human, to the conservation of a culture of consumption, capital & of course crisis (for though the world is ending, the spectacle of its end has never been more productive – for conservation is nothing if not a mode of perpetuated ending, of an ending-in-abeyance or in-abyss). Yet none of this violates in any way the fundamental logic of these discourses, which have secretly known this all along & which exist, in fact, to conserve this secret: not the secret of any thing, or a conspiracy among things & kept from the “world,” but the knowledge assiduously kept from itself – its “unknown-known” – that it itself, broadly speaking the discourse of humanism (including all the forms of anti- & post-humanism), isn’t the consciousness of this catastrophism, but the contrary.

Continue reading “CATASTROPHE PRAXIS”