On the notion of the political in postmarxist theory.


Miguel Abensour
Is there a proper way to use the voluntary servitude hypothesis?

The Transformation of Structural Causality in Late Modernity 

Propositions on Subject and History

Filippo del Lucchese
The symptomatic relationship between law and conflict in Spinoza 

Jura communia as anima imperii

Warren Montag
Althusser and the Question of Origin
Hegel sive Spinoza

Jacques Rancière
On the political and theoretical effects of Althusserian Marxism
Althusser's Lesson

Michael Löwy
Romanticism and Zivilisationskritik
Walter Benjamin

V. Desclaux, K. Diefenbach M. Dolar, D. Hoens, A. Kukuljevic,
Deleuze, Guattari, Lacan II
The impossible encounter

Michaela Ott
Reading Spinoza with Nietzsche
Deleuze's affective “thinking with”

Emiliano Battista, Vanessa Brito, Jack H. Fischer
Book presentation
Becoming major, becoming minor

Sara Farris, Peter Thomas
Counter-politicisation of the non-political
The theory of politics in the young Marx

Lars T. Lih
The Unifying Theme of his Political Career
Lenin's Scenario of Class Leadership

Rodrigo Nunes
The politics of Badiou and Deleuze/ Guattari
Subject, event, separation

Rodrigo Nunes
Politics, poetics + popular culture in Brazilian cinema 1962-1979
'Stronger are the powers of the people' I

Thomas Seibert
Reading Badiou with and against his postmarxist contemporaries
Politics unbound

Kathrin Thiele
Nietzsche with Deleuze II
The thought of becoming

International conference
Becoming-major, becoming-minor

Marina Gržinić
Global capitalism, necropolitics and contemporary art

Roberto Esposito
The dispositif of the person

International Conference
Encountering Althusser

Conference material: schedule, abstracts, articles
Encountering Althusser

Antke Engel
Queer/ing Images of Sexuality and Economy
The Surplus of Paradoxes

Matteo Mandarini
Negri's encounter with Guattari: the elision of Lenin
Communists like us

Ruth Sonderegger
A cinematic diagnosis of biopolitics
The cinema of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Christian Kerslake
The specter of an unsolved problematic
The Meanings of Immanence in Deleuze's Philosophy

Luca Basso, Vittorio Morfino
A French Marx
The singular, the trans-individual and the common

Pier Vittorio Aureli, Andrea Cavaletti, Katja Diefenbach, Mark Purcell, Miguel Robles-Duran, Lukasz Stanek, Roemer van Toorn, Peter Trummer, Sven-Olov Wallenstein
State-space symposium no. 1
Biopolitics of scale

Paul Hegarty, Vanessa Theodoropoulos, Jean Louis Violeau
Against the economic: Reading Baudrillard with Bataille, Lacan, Marx, and Debord
A Workshop on Baudrillard

Lecture of Tom Rockmore at the International Institute for Research and Education, Amsterdam
Is Marx a Fichtean?

Martin Saar
Negri on Power
Political Spinozism

Steve Wright
The Refusal of Labor
Tronti's Legacy

Massimo De Angelis, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Anne Querrien
The production of commons, subjectivity and space
Communists like us

A. Auerbach, K. Diefenbach, S. Dillemuth, M. Vishmidt
The politics of bohemia

Maria Muhle
From Foucault to Rancière
Politics, police and power

Manfred Hermes
Narrative strategies of subjectivisation in Fassbinder’s "Berlin Alexanderplatz"
In the figurative sense

Serhat Karakayali
On political hegemony and militant becoming: Gramsci and Deleuze
The poetics of knowledge

Ruben Martinez, Jaron Rowan, Marina Vishmidt, Katja Diefenbach
The cultural producer as model of the post-fordist worker
In the mood for work

Grahame Lock
The actuality of Althusser's thinking
Dictatorship of the proletariat as political science

Judith Hopf
The imposition of creative work
Hey production!

Raul Zelik
Notes on asymmetric warfare and governance
Sovereign police

Massimo De Angelis, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Anne Querrien

The production of commons, subjectivity and space
Communists like us

organized by K. Diefenbach, K. Matthys, L. Stanek, M. Vishmidt

Massimo De Angelis: Commons and commoning

In this lecture I will discuss three main points. In the first place, I will introduce an analytical distinction between the concepts of commons and of commoning, and discuss their articulation and meaning within the context of the general problematic of anti-capitalism and alternatives today. Secondly, I will show how and to what extent these categories are used in discourses that promote capitalist accumulation, not only through enclosures, but also through co-optation of social struggles. Third, while acknowledging the diverse struggles for commons in a myriad of contexts around the planet, I will argue that these categories are quite important in clarifying the main strategic coordinates of a process of political recomposition.

Anne Querrien: Notes for discussion

1. Feminist critique of labor:
- The sexual division of labor, the demand for equality in wages.
- The incorporation of feminine free work in the calculation of labor; a feminist appreciation of the surplus-value theory.
- The use of feminine traditional knowledge and objects in light industries: textiles, plastics, cooking, etc.
- The economy of attention, of care, in looking after other people but also in all the new economies of complexity; the difficulties to evaluate the individual value, the becoming free/ feminine of work.
- The moral, political, civic, human obligation of reproduction at national level, at species level, and the centrality of women in this reproduction scheme, analysed by Bourdieu as the domination scheme.
- What are the relations between obligation and desire?
- The building of a critical subjectivity for women by the specular dimension, by art.
- The ability of women, and men, to build a critical and clinical subjectivity applying to the building of an alternative world.

2. Commons and enclosures:
- The enclosures at the end of middle ages obliged a lot of women to demand payment for the services they gave before for free (looking after birth or children for instance, or after health). They felt obliged to envelop this in a new ideology of witchcraft and a lot of them were burnt, especially in the intermediate spaces of Europe between catholics and protestants. A memory of this struggle against enclosures and its sorry end is still living.
- Today the commons are also the public infrastructures in cities and in coutries that neoliberalism wants to commodify and that people want to keep free.
- The free work of women is seen as a familial human capital but could be analysed as the biggest common asset of the society.
- School is a common space not very free but which could be more and more efficient in common learning through mutual teaching as experimented in the mutual schools.
- The electronic networks are the new common goods; there is a big struggle on the way there are managed; there are the new means to build the common anyhow.
- Our common is the alternative world we are building together and which is present as the horizon of all our practices.

3. Architecture:
- The importance of the threshold, the passage between interior and exterior, which must not be made of imitation, representation, functionalism, but must organise a change of the world, an entering a new world in both directions.
- Self-managed architecture in Paris with aaa: collective organisation of interstitial places to make a common space in the big metropolis.
- What is a good form: a singular decision made in one case or the application of a norm decided by the state and the academy? What are the forces taking place in the good form, forces from inside or forces from top?
- Architecture as the building of the possibles with all existing materials, technics, social needs.

Pier Vittorio Aureli: “Within and against”. Architecture and the project of autonomy: notes on No-Stop City

According to Friedrich Engels there can be no working-class city, only a working-class critique of the existing city. In 1968, following this precept, a group of young architects and designers who had recently graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in Florence—Andrea Branzi, Gilberto Corretti, Paolo Deganello, Massimo Morozzi—began working on a project they initially called “The City as Assembly Line of the Social” and later “No-Stop City.” Dubbing themselves Archizoom as a sarcastic parody of the British Group Archigram, they intended No-Stop City as neither a utopian nor a dystopian project for an idealized city, but rather a hyperrealistic radicalization, per absurdum, of the existing conditions of the late-1960s metropolis. They synthesized these conditions in their project by superimposing three main “strategic forms” of the capitalist city: the factory, the parking lot, and the supermarket. The strategy of the project was to over-identify with the forces of domination so as to make explicit not only the subjugating power of these forces but also the potential of the working class to confront and ultimately reappropriate them.

Archizoom’s project was inspired by the theories of Operaism, a radical leftist movement in which the theories of Mario Tronti concerning workers’ autonomy played a crucial role. According to Tronti’s dialectical interpretation, capitalist development was potentially more useful to those oppressed by it—the workers—than to those reaping its benefits—the bourgeois class. This was because the more extensively capital became integrated with organized wage labor, and the more labor became its essential source of profit, the more lethal to the system was the threat of labor’s refusal to work. Tronti and the Operaists thus opposed palliative efforts at social amelioration and democratic reform, seeing these as cynical tactics aimed at rendering workers complicit in their own disempowerment.

In keeping with this theory, Archizoom proposed a city in which infrastructure was not just radically accentuated but represented without any “figurative” or “architectural” masking. The project consists of a pattern of dots (initially drawn with a typewriter) that stand for various infrastructural elements: a column every 5 meters, a bathroom every 10 meters, a lift every 50 meters, and so on. The city was further equipped with air-conditioning, artificial lighting, a video communications network, and other high-tech elements engineered to reproduce the forces of labor with maximum efficiency. Archizoom saw this strategy as having the effect of transforming the city into “political theater,” thereby eliciting a strategic response from those who could not fail to perceive how they were being exploited. A subtle paradox of the project is precisely its strategy of formal representation. Intended to be understood as a city “without qualities” and thus without architecture, No-Stop City employs the most rigorous possible architectural grammar to render its generic character, drawing on canonical works from modern architectural history: Filippo Brunelleschi’s grid space, Mies van der Rohe’s less is more, Ludwig Hilberseimer’s metropolitan tabula rasa. For Archizoom this architectural legacy was not any longer a form of ideological representation, but the very material condition of the working class political, and cultural appropriation of the city.

The lecture will focus on the relationship between the seminal theories of Raniero Panzieri, Mario Tronti, the work of Archizoom, and the concept of autonomy in both politics and architecture in Italy before and after 1968, and it is based on the book “The Project of Autonomy: Politics and Architecture within and Against Capitalism”, forthcoming for Princeton Architectural Press.

Massimo De Angelis is a theorist of Autonomist Marxism and Reader in Political Economy at the University of East London.

Anne Querrien is an urban sociologist and political theorist. She collaborated with Félix Guattari at the Centre d’études et de recherches et de formation institutionnelle (Cerfi) in Paris and co-edits Les Annales de la Recherche Urbaine, and the journal Multitudes.

Pier Vittorio Aureli is an architect and teaches at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam, currently, he is Visiting Professor at the Architectural Association in London, Columbia University, New York, and at the Accademia die Architettura in Mendrisio.

For more information see

Massimo De Angelis: The beginning of history. Value struggles and global capital, Pluto Pr, 2007

Pier Vittorio Aureli: Toward the archipelago. Defining the political and the formal in Architecture, in Log Winter 2008, pp. 91-119 (Mastercopy in the library)

Anne Querrien in Multitudes: