Affects & Collective Practices of the Undercommons For the affect inquiry / making space conference
August 8-11, 2018 Millersville University’s Ware Center, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Stream Organizers: Jack Z. Bratich & Stevphen Shukaitis
What affects circulate within the undercommons today (Harney & Moten 2013)?
This stream proposes to inquire into the relation between affective spaces and aesthetics in the construction of forms of collective intelligence and subjectivities, particularly in the ways this relation is worked with to expand the commonly understood realm of political action. It will explore processes of affective composition through which fleeting and ephemeral relations and performance are involved in what George Katsiaficas describes as “engaging aesthetic rationality in the process of political transformation, of turning politics into art, everyday life into an aesthetically governed domain.” (2001: 310) This is what Nick Thoburn terms a “minor politics” (2003): one that is not based upon calling forth an already existing identity or position, but rather a politics based on a continual intensive and affective engagement of constant self-institution.
“Affects & Collective Practices of the Undercommons” proposes to explore the relation of affective relations and aesthetics in the construction and operation of formations of collective intelligence and subjectivity, particularly when these forms are brought about in a way intended to expand and modulate understood spaces for political action. These relations and their affectivity embody and express the movement of the social imaginary, or the constant process of becoming: what Raoul Vaneigem referred to as the revolution of everyday life. Everyday life and forms of political action residing in it, whether unseen or encoded in a hidden transcript, exists as a privileged location for political analysis and action precisely because it is where forms of collective intelligence, creativity, and social wealth are manifested.
The everyday manifestations and embodiments of collective imagination and intelligence through collective practices take part in the movement of this transformation of subjectivities. Forms of self-determining community and sociality, which have been understood and theorized as creating the possibility for exodus from relations of domination and the creation of other relations within the present, is premised upon working through, and extending these relations, intensities, and experiences.
“Affects & Aesthetics of the Undercommons” will explore the multiple fields and paths where these relations, intensities, and modulations of collective subjectivities are expressed and transformed through aesthetic expression and movement. This fleeting and ephemeral realm, one of both improvisation and ritual that Amendant Hardiker and Miekal And characterize as the space of the anartistic (1995) provides a unique and valuable entrance point for understanding and theorization of the relation of mind, culture, and collective imagination in constant movement.
Potential topics/possible intersections including but not limited to:
Infrapolitics & creative subversion
Black radicalism and genealogies
Experimental education & nomadic pedagogy
Creating spaces within and against institutions
Autonomous spaces & protocols
Study & Sociality, Convivial Research
Infrastructure & Logisticality
Performativy of/in the Commons
250-word paper abstracts can now be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. The final deadline for submissions is Thursday, March 15, 2018.
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