≡ This Monday, while cleaning up my bookmarks ≡

I

pj

The Guardian‘s gallery showcasing some of their chosen music

cover portraits that deserve to hang in a gallery

II

Giorgio Agamben‘s lecture (in english) on the subject of Resistance in Art, from last year @ EGS.

III

IMG_8891_grande

Finding a good blog is always a nice surprise. Here’s the OUTRAGEOUS blog about art out of the ordinary – outsider art, self-taught and styles that lack cataloguing.

IV

Great philosophy animations about The Origin of the Self
@ OPEN CULTURE

V

ogawa_customs_manners_8

Hand Tinted Collotype Plates of Japanese Customs and Manners by photographer K. Ogawa, Photographer, Tokyo, Japan @ Baxley Stamps

ogawa_customs_manners_13

VI

Nolde_Dancer_19131© Emil Nolde, Dancer, 1913.

Entitled The Bridge to Utopia: die Brücke’s Wild Expressionism, a good article about the first expressionist group @ Visual News.

VII

Professor of philosophy Victor Gijsbers‘s blog on philosophy and interactive fiction The Gaming Philosopher: article about Benjamin’s Der Erzähler (“Storyteller”).

٠ ‘the real dictatorship of the anyone’ that swallows the authentic Self ٠

17_cu-42-flat-rs-rs© Gregory Michael Hernandez, Circular Mound Altar, Temple of Heaven, Beijing, from The Captive Universe (current work)

17_cu-42-r-01rs-rs© Gregory Michael Hernandez, Circular Mound Altar in Beijing , from The Captive Universe (current work)

AN HEIDEGGERIAN MAP OF AUTHENTICITY

DASEIN
MINENESS
OWNNESS
HOMECOMING
STATIC
PASSIVITY
GUILT
ANXIETY
COURAGE
ONTIC ENTITY
ALIENATION
EVERYDAYNESS
POSSIBILITIES
SOLICITUDE
FAMILIARITY
SELF-BETRAYAL
PUBLICNESS
AVERAGENESS
ESTRANGEMENT
AUTHENTIC CARE
SELF-ABANDONMENT
AUTHENTICALLY BOUND
VOICE OF CONSCIENCE
MATURE INTERACTION
INDIFFERENCE
INCONSIDERATENESS
INDIVIDUALIZATION
INAUTHENTIC HISTORICALITY
AUTHENTIC HISTORICALITY
BEING-WITH
BEING-BESIDE
BEING-ONE’S SELF
BEING-TOWARDS-DEATH
BEING-TOWARDS-THE-END
BEING-WITHIN-THE-WORLD
BEING-WITH-ONE-ANOTHER
COMMUNITY OF INAUTHENTIC BEINGS-IN-THE-WORLD

24_bw-rs© Gregory Michael Hernandez, Partially Collapsed Homestead:Summer 2009, from Representations of the Homestead (current work)

24_cement-painting-rs© Gregory Michael Hernandez, Painted Shadows on Cement, from Representations of the Homestead (current work)

18_dsc9336-rs2© Gregory Michael Hernandez, Path of Least Resistance #1, from Mapping Perspective (current work)

٠ Botched Taxidermy – ‘artists’ using animals ٠

imageMiguel Suarez, Chicken-Killing Performance, Alberta, Canada, 2013. More about it here

How does the animal function as a kind of tool for allowing humans to think through their own identities? It seems that a lot of artists you’re writing about are trying to envision a very far-out point in the dispersal of fixed identities, to the point at which identities disappear.

There are several points that are raised there. In terms of moving beyond identities, I think you’re right in saying that there doesn’t appear to be a fixed point towards which one could move. Certainly the way in which, say, Deleuze and Guattari elaborate their concept of “becoming-animal” in A Thousand Plateaus as a creative, social process in which there is a chance of liberating oneself from being bound by identities, presents the notion of becoming as something that is not a matter of moving from one identity to another identity. The becoming is itself the point, and since in their view all becomings are, in a sense, becomings-animal, this gives the animal a privileged and markedly creative place in their philosophy.

[…]

marco-evaristtiMarco Evaristti, Blenders and Goldfish, 2000. More about it here

There is an overwhelming amount of overtly sentimental imagery out there which does a certain kind of work, and that’s fine. I’m not saying that one could shift to a culture in which one simply got rid of greeting cards that had sentimental animal imagery on them. I’m talking about a different kind of work, work that uses animal imagery in a much more self-conscious way. It’s a way which I guess is broadly related to the notion of the artist that Lyotard had: the artist as someone who has particular kinds of responsibilities in the postmodern world to work against complacency, to refuse what he calls the “solace of good forms,” to continue to try to problematize things.

albagreenEduardo Kac, GFP Bunny, 2000. More about it here

To what extent do you think animals are used as passive tools by artists while they work through issues of subjectivity and identity?

There are quite a lot of dimensions to this question. I ended up devising the term “botched taxidermy” as a rather clumsy catch-all phrase for a variety of contemporary art practice that engages with the animal at some level or other. In some cases it involves taxidermy itself, but in all cases the animal, dead or alive, is present in all its awkward, pressing thing-ness. I think what many of the artists I’ve been discussing are doing in their presentation of the animal as some kind of clumsy compound of human and animal elements is to reinforce the notion that the comfortable, utopian conception of nature in which humans had unmediated access to animals and lived in some kind of unproblematic harmony with them does not look like a practical way forward, either in terms of how one thinks philosophically about them, or in terms of how on a practical level one might work for the improvement of their living conditions.

[…]

tessarolo_paintTessarolo painting with Kunda

Toward the end of The Postmodern Animal I became interested in your discussion of pets. It was partly out of selfish reasons since I have two cats. You mention Deleuze and Guattari’s claim that “anyone who likes a dog or a cat is a fool.” But you also discuss other writers who have complicated that attitude and left space open for a more complex relationship between humans and their pets. In the end I wasn’t quite clear on your own position. I know you weren’t really posing it in those terms, but how do you feel about the presence of pets?

Well, we have cats, too. And although that has probably influenced my writing in ways I don’t quite recognize, I certainly tried throughout the book to avoid taking too partisan a position. What interests me very much, though, is the idea you come across in the work of an artist like Carolee Schneemann but also, maybe more surprisingly, in Derrida’s recent philosophical writings — the idea that they might learn things from their cats that are not easily learned anywhere else.

For both of them it’s a matter of taking the time to engage with the cat’s own point of view, and then of thinking about the impact of that point of view on their own work. There’s this great statement by Schneemann where she says of Kitch, one of her cats, something along the lines of “her steady focus enabled me to consider her regard as an aperture in motion.” It’s as though the animal allows the artist to learn something new, see something differently. And Derrida says that his cat provokes a kind of “critical uneasiness” in him, and he seems to imply that this uneasiness may be the only frame of mind in which any responsible human thinking about animals can really begin.

wim-delvoye-11428_792wim-delvoye-11428_1Wim DELVOYE, “Rex” 2006. Stuffed tattooed pig.

excerpt from Where the wild things are: An interview with Steve Baker, by Gregory Williams, in Cabinet, Issue 4, Fall 2001. Continue reading here

٠ Tillmans in-transit-affair with Philosophy ٠

~Penguin’s new series, Philosophy in Transit, features close-cropped shots of commuters by photographer Wolfgang Tillmans

Tillman’s photographs are really stylish, and feature quite close-up unusual crops. You can almost read whatever you want into them, and each reader will interpret the photographs differently … they’re the main focus, and the rest of the design is kept deliberately clean and minimal,” Young explains. The covers are set in Avenir “with a strong but balanced hierarchy that puts emphasis on the title and draws your eye to the subtitle, Philosophy in Transit.

whygrowup06_0event06_0group03_0self06_0truth06_0

٠ Turkey as The place for an historical turn ٠

Two things justify this (another) post about Turkey: first, the fact that today – June 22nd -, confrontations restarted in Istanbul and Ankara, with the police intervening with TOMA’s, tear gas, sound bombs and arresting people; secondly, a text about the Turkish Uprising, by Alain Badiou, posted by Cengiz Erdem @ Senselogic, which would be more than worthy of a single feature, if not for the accompanying events. All photos by George Georgiou, who lived in Turkey for four and a half years and witnessed the geographical, demographic, sociological and political changes taking place. All photos from the series “Young Turks”, taken in the middle of Taksim square, for Panos Pictures.

~

1“A large proportion of the educated youth all across Turkey are currently leading a vast movement against the government’s repressive and reactionary practices. This is a very important moment in what I have called “the rebirth of History.” In many countries around the world, middle school, high school, and university youth, supported by a part of the intellectuals and the middle class, are giving new life to Mao’s famous dictum: “It is right to revolt.” They are occupying squares and streets, symbolic places; they are marching, calling for freedom, “true democracy,” and a new life. They are demanding that the government either change its conservative politics or resign. They are resisting the violent attacks of the state police.

These are the features of what I have called an immediate uprising: one of the potential forces of popular revolutionary political action – in this case, the educated youth and a part of the salaried petty bourgeoisie – rises up, in its own name, against the reactionary state. I enthusiastically say: it is right to do so! But in so doing it opens up the problem of the duration and the scope of its uprising. It is right to take action, but what is the real reason for it in terms of thinking, and for the future?

The whole problem is whether this courageous uprising is capable of opening the way for a genuine historical riot. A riot is historical – as was the case only in Tunisia and Egypt, where the outcome of the struggle has still not been determined – when it brings together, under shared slogans, not just one but several potential actors of a new revolutionary politics: for example, in addition to the educated youth and middle class, large sectors of working-class youth, workers, women of the people, low-level employees, and so on. This move beyond the immediate riot toward a mass protest movement creates the possibility for a new type of organized politics, a politics that is durable, that merges the force of the people with the sharing of political ideas, and that thereby becomes capable of changing the overall situation of the country in question.

3I know that a number of our Turkish friends are perfectly aware of this problem. They know three things in particular: that there must be no mistake about contradictions; that the movement mustn’t pursue the path of a “desire for the West;” and that it is above all necessary to join with the popular masses in inventing, with people other than themselves – with workers, minor employees, women of the people, farmers, unemployed people, foreigners, and so on – forms of political organization that are currently unknown.

For example, is the main contradiction in Turkey today between the conservative Muslim religion and freedom of thought? We know it is dangerous to think so, even and above all if this is a widespread idea in the countries of capitalist Europe. Of course, the current Turkish government openly claims allegiance to the dominant religion. It is the Muslim religion, but ultimately that’s only a minor issue: even today, Germany is governed by Christian democracy, the President of the United States takes the oath of office on the Bible, President Putin, in Russia, constantly panders to the Orthodox clergy, and the Israeli government constantly exploits the Jewish religion. Reactionaries have always and everywhere used religion to rally a part of the popular masses to their government; there’s nothing particularly “Muslim” about this. And it should in no way lead to regarding the opposition between religion and freedom of thought as the main contradiction of the current situation in Turkey. What should be made clear is that the exploitation of religion serves precisely to conceal the real political questions, to overshadow the basic conflict between the emancipation of the popular masses and the oligarchical development of Turkish capitalism. Experience shows that religion, as personal, private belief, is by no means incompatible with commitment to a politics of emancipation. It is surely in this tolerant direction, which requires only that religion and state power not be confused and that people distinguish in themselves between religious belief and political conviction, that the uprising currently underway must move in order to acquire the stature of a historical riot and invent a new political path.

Similarly, our friends are perfectly aware that what is currently being created in Turkey cannot be the desire for what already exists in the rich, powerful countries like the United States, Germany and France. The word “democracy” in this regard is ambiguous. Do people want to invent a new organization of society, headed toward genuine equality? Do they want to overthrow the capitalist oligarchy of which the “religious” government is the servant but of which anti-religious factions, in Turkey as in France, have been, and can become again, the no less efficient servants? Or do they only want to live the way the middle class lives in the major Western countries? Is the action being guided by the Idea of popular emancipation and equality? Or by a desire to create a solidly established middle class that will be the mainstay of a Western-style “democracy,” that is, completely subject to the authority of Capital? Do they want a democracy in its genuine political meaning, namely, a real power of the people imposing its rule on landlords and the wealthy, or “democracy” in its current Western meaning: consensus around the most ruthless capitalism, provided that a middle class can benefit from it and live and speak as it wishes, since the essential mechanism of business, imperialism, and the destruction of the world won’t be tampered with? This choice will determine whether the current uprising is just a modernization of Turkish capitalism and its integration into the world market, or whether it is truly oriented toward a creative politics of emancipation, giving new impetus to the universal history of Communism.

2And the ultimate criterion for all this is actually quite simple: the educated youth must take the steps that will bring them closer to the other potential actors of a historical riot. They must spread their movement’s enthusiasm beyond their own social existence. They must create the means of living with the broad popular masses, of sharing the thoughts and practical innovations of the new politics with them. They must give up the temptation to adopt, for their own benefit, the “Western” conception of democracy, meaning: the simple, self-serving desire for a middle class to exist in Turkey as an electoral and falsely democratic client of an oligarchic power integrated into the world market of capital and commodities. This is called: liaison with the masses. Without it, the admirable current revolt will end in a subtler and more dangerous form of subservience: the kind we are familiar with in our old capitalist countries.

We intellectuals and militants in France and other rich countries of the imperialist West implore our Turkish friends to avoid creating a situation like ours in their country. To you, our dear Turkish friends, we say: the greatest favor you can do for us is to prove that your uprising is taking you to a different place from ours, that it is creating a situation whereby the material and intellectual corruption in which our sick old countries are languishing today will be impossible.

Fortunately, I know that in contemporary Turkey, among all our Turkish friends, the means exist to avoid the erroneous desire to be like us. This great country, with its long, tormented history, can and must surprise us. It is the ideal place for a great historical and political innovation to occur.

Long live the uprising of Turkish youth and their allies! Long live the creation of a new source of future politics!”

CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!

┐ Cara Judea Alhadeff └

© Cara Judea Alhadeff, Lost Valley, from the conscious dream project

© Cara Judea Alhadeff, kunst-stoff, from the conscious dream project

© Cara Judea Alhadeff, Exploratoreum, from Gestation (singles)

© Cara Judea Alhadeff, south american tropical room, from gestation project

© Cara Judea Alhadeff, art and revolution’s wailing women heads, from gestation project

“As a Deleuzian nomadic feminist, my photographic work explores a dynamic disequilibrium. My photographs play with inter-relating imbrications—concurrent, multiple, contradictory tendencies.My pedagogical and art-based research explores the possibilities of radical citizenship by actively cultivating vulnerability through corporeal inquiries. Irreducibly allusive corpo-visual language unfolds as embodied rhizomatic vulnerabilities. My project is intricately rooted in the potential of a rhizomatic uncanny—”reducible neither to the One nor the multiple” (Mille Plateaux 22). I ground my theoretical investigations within narratives of personal experience —sexual becomings and analog photography. As a strategy to elucidate my theoretical queries, I refer both to my philosophical underpinnings and the international public reception of my photographs—which frequently has led to censorship. In doing so, I practice an embodied theory that advocates a politics, philosophy, and pedagogical commitment rooted in everyday behavior and interaction. A commitment to this heterogeneous embodied thinking has the potential to rupture cultural assumptions. It explores the cross-fertilization of Deleuze’s enfoldments as disarticulated membranes. This awareness awakens the possibility of fully inhabiting our bodies—bodies that pulse with the multiplicity of the ‘I’—as inherently interdisciplinary. Revitalization of both individual and social bodies produces enfoldments of psyche-somatic consciousness. No hierarchies survive these monstrous, heterogeneous, multiple entwinings of body intelligence and wisdom. The body becomes a condition for participatory democracy—a lived erotic politics.

(…)

My intention is to play with relationships amongst actual, liminal anatomical characteristics, and not to create artifice. Zizek tells us that “…Deleuze’s Spinoza is the Spinoza of the real, of ‘anarchic’ bodily mixtures” (Zizek188). The relationships among the “objects” within my photographs play out a process of continual de-centering and excess. I hope this language of critical imagination becomes an erogenous life-affirming power, breaking up predetermined taxonomies of knowledge, suspending what we think we know: “…the uncanny is destined to elude mastery, it is what cannot be pinned down or controlled. The uncanny is never simply a question of a statement, description or definition, but always engages a performative dimension, a maddening supplement, something unpredictable and additionally strange happening in and to what is being stated, described or defined” (Royle 16). This Deleuzian language of the uncanny cannot be taxonomied, classified, binarized.

How can we challenge, personally and collectively, our socialized fear and distrust of self-doubt, what comes out of our bodies, and what goes on inside them? For the past twenty years, these questions have compelled me to collaborate on cross-disciplinary projects with choreographers, composers, architects, philosophers, anthropologists, and geographers. Although I am a photographer, I experience my work as sculptural, cinematic, and performative—a two-dimensional manifestation of dance, sculpture, poetry, sociological investigation, and philosophical engagement rather than solely as “photography.” I shoot my still images with an analog large-format SLR Hasselblad camera. This is one reason why collaborating with artists from other disciplines is critical to my working process. This visual improvisation requires that each of us give up ownership and entitlement and enter a rhizomatic field of vulnerability, a surrender to dialogic self-sacrifice. This surrender becomes a dialogic relationship in which collaboration thwarts binary, reductive thinking. This self-sacrifice, not only in the sense of release of entitlement and ownership, but also as precisely the openness of vulnerability, if used consciously can become an explicit and emancipatory strategy for erotic agency. What evolves, then, is a recognition of our species’ de-centrality—deterritorialization establishes this new community— as an ever-unfolding statelessness of Becoming. Within this field of vulnerability, we are embedded in an interdependent rhizomatic dialogue. A dialogic self-sacrifice, inherent in the erotics of the uncanny, becomes a practice of the abject, which provokes terror because it shows, demonstrates, monstrifies how we are all connected. This sacrifice invites collaborative citizenship in which “the experience of oneself as a foreign body” (Royle 2) is paramount. Congruently, Spinoza’s “feeling” of surrender occupies the real. This self-sacrifice, inherent in uncanny rhizomatic vulnerabilities, becomes a practice of the real, of being open to the raw exposure of participating in unknown territory.”

excerpt of Practicing the Abject: Deleuze and the Analog Uncanny, in Rhizomes » Issue 23 (2012). continue reading here

see more of Cara‘s work here

┐ roots & fruits #8 – Diogo Simões └

© Diogo Simões, Untitled, from the series Miratejo

© Diogo Simões, Untitled, from the series Miratejo

© Diogo Simões, Untitled, from the series Miratejo

© Diogo Simões, Untitled, from the series Miratejo

Influenced by current-events (this is a circumstantial analogy) Diogo’s (b.1988, Miratejo, PT) photographs remind me of a kind of portrait of youth that makes me think of Gus van Sant’s universe. If I had seen this series a few months ago I would probably relate it to projects within the realm of the medium itself and think about the meaning of portrait and nostalgia in the history of photography.
Besides Gus van Sant’s Gerry and Elephant, I think of Mathieu Kassovitz’s works La Haine and Assassin(s). Then I’m reminded of a bunch of texts I read last year about riots in France and in the UK and I reread a few . Somehow the associations are too subjective to be treated slightly and I give up. Now I’m looking at these pictures again and I keep thinking youth, nostalgia, ambiguity, inconsequence, insurrection and rebellion. There’s a sense of coolness and fatalism in the air and that’s what brings me back to the suspended effect a film still can have when it hangs over your head.
Finally, these associations lead me to the text that follows and hopefully it will all make sense:

“Elephant depicts a world untethered from certainties and authority, and in this way it can be seen to reflect postmodern anxieties. Slavoj Zizek’s comment offers a relevant critical perspective. The quote cited at the beginning of this essay [below], taken from an interview at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2001, is Zizek’s response to a question about his concept of “foreclosure”: the idea that contemporary society prohibits a real articulation of the subject.

[…] precisely because the universe in which we live is somehow a universe of dead conventions and artificiality, the only authentic real experience must be some extremely violent, shattering experience. And this we experience as a sense that now we are back in real life.

According to Zizek (and philosopher Alain Badiou, from whom he borrows the French term), the “foreclosure” of the subject has an inevitable flip-side: “la passion du reel” or “the passion of the real”. Elephant demonstrates some of the implications of Zizek’s notion, and through its poetic strategies affords the viewer an opportunity to piece together some of the elements in the bigger picture. We might regard the killers Alex and Eric as embodying the disenfranchisement that many teens (and not just in the US) feel. Viewing their apparently left-field violence in this context reveals a failure within society to deliver a secure place for their emerging sense of identity.

In the same interview, Zizek compares the idea of foreclosure and its implications with the Nietzchean opposition of active and passive nihilism. He describes passive nihilism as that state of apathy resulting from “living a stupid self-satisfied life without great passions”, which invokes the opposite form of conscious self-destruction. Zizek argues that freedom in contemporary society is devoid of the more “radical dimension” of true democracy, existing instead as the watered-down freedom to choose lifestyle. Zizek also sees in the pervasiveness of virtual realities (such as the Internet) a further disconnection from authentic experience.

In Elephant we can roughly align the characters according to the idea of active and passive nihilism. The adult characters present varying forms of apathy or disconnection; their lifestyles – particularly Alex’s parents, as revealed through the lifeless atmosphere of the family home – suggest an arrival at an unquestioned comfort zone, or passive nihilism. We see Alex and Eric attempting to break out of their transparent, but nonetheless prescribed realities: a bid for active nihilism.”

excerpt of Neera Scott’s Sublime Anarchy in Gus Van Sant’s Elephant, in Senses of Cinema.continue reading here

Diogo’s website (currently under construction) is here

┐ Sharon Kivland └

@ Sharon Kivland, from Mes Fils

@ Sharon Kivland, from Mes Fils

@ Sharon Kivland, from Mes Fils

Sharon Kivland investigates how our lives are governed by systems of order that complement, overlap and contradict one other while undergoing continual periods of change. Spheres such as language, time, philosophy, politics, nature and history are involved. The focus of this approach is represented by the identity of a woman and her body. The site where sense is made of it all is palpable in the titles of the work as the presence of an individual speaker, in the possessive pronoun ‘mes’. The viewer encounters a private lexicon, whose poetic basso continuo is modulated by the rich philosophical background that shimmers through allusively.


Mes Fils, from which the exhibition takes its title, includes a continuing series of photographs, each showing the same woman in an embrace with a different man. Closer inspection reveals that the woman is much older than her partner, old enough, in fact, to be his mother. The work engages with the Oedipus complex and its resolution in prohibition, when the son must renounce his desire for his mother. The way in which each child navigates his passage through the Oedipal relation will determine both his assumption of a sexual position and his choice of sexual object. For the analyst Jacques Lacan, it is a passage to the symbolic, one that passes through a complex sexual dialectic. Here no father intervenes, however, to impose his law and to separate mother from child. The scandal is evident, and there is a further underlying transgression in the work. As the series continues, the woman – the artist – gets older while the men (all former students of Kivland) remain the same age. They are, however, completely interchangeable, while she is constant and singular. In the same series are several other works that also take up the themes of prohibition and transgression in an atmosphere of elegant refinement.

Sharon’s website here and more of her work also here

┐ Otto Gross – Analysis and Radical Politics └

@ Monte Veritá

“I have only mixed with anarchists and declare myself to be an anarchist,” Otto Gross said in 1913. “I am a psychoanalyst and from my experience I have gained the insight that the existing order … is a bad one. … And since I want everything changed, I am an anarchist” (Berze/Stelzer 1999, p.24)”. He was the first psychoanalyst to link analysis with radical politics and wrote: “The psychology of the unconscious is the philosophy of the revolution” (Gross 1913c). So, when Coline Covington recently wrote, “Analysis is essentially a tool for revolution (Covington 2001, p.331)”, she was just echoing something that Gross said nearly 90 years before. He was not just a psycho-analyst – he was a psycho-anarchist and thus stands for the subversive potential of analysis – which earned him the epithet of the “devil underneath the couch” (Raulff 1993).


Although Gross played a pivotal role in the birth of what today we are calling modernity, with wide-ranging influences in psychoanalysis, psychiatry, philosophy, radical politics, sociology, literature, and ethics, he has remained virtually unknown to this day. Already in 1921, less than a year after Gross’ death, the Austrian writer Anton Kuh wrote of him as, ‘a man known only to very few by name – apart from a handful of psychiatrists and secret policemen – and among those few only to those who plucked his feathers to adorn their own posteriors’ (Kuh 1921, pp.16-7). Today, still, most analysts have never heard of Otto Gross, or their knowledge is confined to, ‘Isn’t that the one who became schizophrenic?’ To a large extent this is the result of an analytic historiography which Erich Fromm has rightly called “Stalinistic” (Fromm 1957, p.133): dissidents become non-persons and vanish from the records. This practice of purging history makes the story of Otto Gross a secret one: it was hoped that we would never know.


Yet Adam Philips recently said: “There is no future for psychoanalysis if it doesn’t want to look in other places for regeneration, and particularly if it doesn’t look to the places it wants to exclude. By its own logic, that’s where the life is, that’s where the action is” (Philips 1997, p.164).


Psychoanalysis was created as a tool to create a better future by turning from the present to the past. It is a “looking backwards to the future” (Handy 2002). What was repressed, powerfully returns, and thus the past gets continually created anew. History has exactly the same function on the collective level. The historian Edmund Jacobitti calls it “composing useful pasts – history as contemporary politics” (Jacobitti 2000). Mindful of this, let me take you “where the action is” – to look at the repressed aspect of analytic history that is Otto Gross.


Of course, his story was not always a secret one. There was a time, in the first decade of the last century, when the greatest minds in psychoanalysis were full of the highest praise for Otto Gross. In 1908 Freud wrote to Jung, “You are really the only one capable of making an original contribution; except perhaps O.Gross” (Freud/Jung 1974, p.126). A few months later, after Gross had been in an analysis with Jung that at times became what we would today call a mutual analysis, Jung replied to Freud, “In Gross I discovered many aspects of my own nature, so that he often seemed like my twin brother” (ibid., p. 156). Thomas Kirsch (Kirsch 2000) in his recent study of “The Jungians” does not mention Gross, although, in view of these feelings expressed by Jung, Gross might well be called the first Jungian. The writer Emil Szittya (1886-1964) even went as far as calling Gross “a friend of Dr. Freud and the intellectual father of Professor Jung” (Szittya n.d., p.211). As late as 1986 the eminent scholar of psychoanalysis Johannes Cremerius wrote about the C.G.Jung of 1909, ‘He is still completely and entirely the pupil of Otto Gross’ (Cremerius 1986, p. 20). So we might as well call Jung an early Grossian. In 1910 Ferenczi wrote to Freud about Gross, “There is no doubt that among those who have followed you up to now he is the most significant” (Freud/Ferenczi 1993, p.154). Ernest Jones in his autobiography wrote: Gross “was my first instructor in the technique of psychoanalysis” (Jones, 1990, p.173) and he called him “the nearest approach to the romantic ideal of a genius I have ever met” (ibid.).

excerpt from article “The Devil Underneath the Couch: The Secret Story of Jung’s Twin Brother”, by Gottfried HEUER

┐ Agamben └

© Luis Palácios, 2012

“Now we can begin to understand why ceremonial and liturgy are so essential to power. It is a question of holding them and registering them in a separate sphere of the central inactivity of human life. Power places solidly at its centre, in the form of celebration and glory, what appears to its eyes to be the unviewableinactivity of man and of God. Human life is idle and aimless, but it is precisely this lack of action and aim which makes possible the incomparable busyness of the human race. Man has devoted himself to production and labour because he is in essence deprived of work, because he is above all a sabbatical animal. And the machinery of government functions because it has captured within its empty heart the inactivity of the human essence. This inactivity is the political substance of the West, the glorious nourishment of all power. This is why feasting and idleness resurface continually in the dreams and political utopias of the West, and equally continually come to grief there. They are the enigmatic relics which the economic‑theological machine abandons on the shoreline of civilization; mankind returns to them wonderingly, but always uselessly and nostalgically. Nostalgically because they seem to contain something that clings jealously to the human essence; uselessly because in reality they are nothing more than the ashes of the immaterial, glorious fuel burnt by the motor of the machine during its inexorable, relentless rotation.”

Art, Inactivity, Politics, in G. AGAMBEN, Politics, Criticism of Contemporary Issues. Serralves International Conferences 2007 (edição de Rui MOTA CARDOSO), Fundação Serralves, Lisboa 2008, pp. 39-49 e 131-141.

┐ Adrian Piper └

© Adrian Piper, Decide Who You Are #15: You Don’t Want Me Here, 1992

© Adrian Piper, Decide Who You Are #11: Remains, 1992

Diarmuid Costello and TJ Demos in discussion on their recent research in relation to art and xenophilia. Listen to it here.

More of Adrian’s work here

and a good summary of selected works 1973-1995 can be seen here