concept and coordination: Roberto Nigro/Gerald Raunig
Lectures by Katja Diefenbach, Antke Engel, Maurizio Lazzarato, Isabell Lorey, Erin Manning, Brian Massumi, Sandro Mezzadra, Angela Mitropoulos, Antonio Negri, Roberto Nigro, Stefan Nowotny, Gerald Raunig, Judith Revel, Thomas Seibert.
‘L'essentiel d'une invention est de faire s'utiliser
réciproquement des moyens d'action qui auparavant paraissaient
étrangers ou opposés; elle est une association de forces substituée à
une opposition ou à une stérile juxtaposition de forces’.
The perhaps most influential theoretical current of the 20th century is no longer as young as it once was. Emerging within the social and political context of the 1960s and the 1970s, it was not a school of thought and its protagonists did not necessarily harbour the same theoretical concerns. More a period of intellectual intensity, it brought about deep-reaching transformations in life styles and forms of knowledge, leading to new discursive orders and new social practices. The term ‘post-structuralism’ is used as a conceptual designation that has always been comprehensive yet problematic, given that ‘post-structuralism’ refers to very different approaches. Today the main protagonists of these experiences of thought are no longer alive. Now it seems increasingly easy for the cooption, decontextualisation and depoliticisation of such theoretical endeavours to occur, when previously they were nourished at the subcultural margins. On different levels and in a variety of social contexts, ‘post-structuralism’ reappears watered down, isolated and reduced to mere slogans within an academic mainstream.
Of course the issues we are referring to here are in no way homogeneous; there are a lot of exceptions to their rules. However, the effects of ignorance, of appropriation, of ‘academisation’ are all components of a more general war against discursive insurgencies, through which the excesses of a dangerous ‘theory-class’ are meant to be disarmed.
In a series of events, Inventions will try to contribute to the recomposition of this 'dangerous class' by giving space to the quest of reinventing political philosophy. We aim to present contemporary positions of ‘post-structuralism’ whilst attempting to transversalise and queer its currents. A reinvention of the political and its theories may emerge from the same marginal fields that have nourished them for decades: (Queer-) feminist praxis, critical production of art and knowledge, critical migration studies, social movements and extra-academic philosophy.
If this is also about philosophy, then it is precisely not about creating yet another medium for the domestication, stratification and striation of social antagonisms and struggles, nor is this about forging another network in the arena of academic de- and revalorisation. ‘Invention’ is a form of cooperation intended to “establish connections among forces which once have been set against one another”: such a connection of forces may produce new currents and temporary overlaps of discursive and social machines. The concatenation of an intellect becoming transversal and the sociality of political singularities implies a process of inventive recomposition.
Such recomposition produces new conceptualisations. Maybe the term ‘post-structuralism’ – never much more than an auxiliary construction to sum up very different theoretical currents – will become obsolete. Maybe it will be replaced by a new conceptual arrangement. Inventions aims to provide the necessary impulses that can make possible this new arrangement of concepts and its association with social machines.