Conference

The Daughters of Chaos Deleuze Studies International Conference 2015 will take place between the 29th of June and the 1st of July 2015,at Konstfack: University College of Arts and Crafts (http://www.konstfack.se) south of the city centre of Stockholm, Sweden. It brings together the institutional support of: Konstfack: University College of Arts, Crafts and Design; KTH (Royal Institute of Technology); Stockholm University; Södertörns Högskola; Stockholm University of the Arts. The conference has been generously funded by a Swedish Research Council FORMAS conference grant.

CONFIRMED KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Gary Genosko; Lisa Mazzei; Simon O’Sullivan; Adrian Parr; Daniel W. Smith; Fredrika Spindler

– Gary Genosko, Small Wheels of Pedagogy: Skateboard Schizoanalysis

Throughout his career Guattari referred to the accomplishments of radical French teacher Célestin Freinet, whose work he discovered though his youthful outings with Fernand Oury, the brother of his longtime collaborator at La Borde, Jean Oury. The institutional pedagogy movement in France dovetailed with the institutional psychotherapy practiced at La Borde – paying critical attention to how institutions generate subjectivities – although the followers of Freinet and Oury were not often able to cooperate. Nevertheless, the mediations of subjectivation that Guattari would later refer to as the growing role of the machinic phylum were encountered in an original way with regard to the use of a printing press and other technologies by Freinet to build pedagogies around; in the same way the institution itself and its organizational diagram was foregrounded in la grille, the grid of rotating duties and personnel assignments at La Borde. Inspired by Freinet, Guattari adapted practices designed for schoolchildren in rural France in the 1920 and 30s (see L’imprimerie à l’école, http://www.icem-pedagogie-freinet.org/archives/ie) to the psychiatric clinic, developing the process over his career there from the mid-50s to the early 90s. In this paper I want to report on my fieldwork in a downtown Toronto alternative school that is built around the mediating technology of skateboards. I don’t mean simply riding skateboards; I mean delivery of state-mandated curriculum from the ground up in construction, design, and marketing in the context of an immersion in youth street culture. Using Guattarian concepts, I want to provide in a preliminary way a contemporary schizoanalysis of the mediations, institutional constraints, transversal extra-academic challenges and successes, as well as the prospects for its students and teachers, of this small, one room, alt-high school. Skateboards are not only concrete machines, but abstract machines, too. What, then, would a skateboard schizoanalysis look like?

– Lisa Mazzei, Voice without a Subject

In this paper, I will consider the question of what forms of expression and inquiry are possible as I think with Deleuze and Guattari’s concept (1983), the Body without Organs (BWO), one they use to enact thinking without a subject. In so doing, I interrogate what it might mean to think voice in its many forms as not linked to an “I” that is the humanist subject. What does a rethinking of the “I” portend for a thinking of voice? Is there an “I” of the inquirer or artist or narrator that can be burdened with voice in the post-human or more than human? What kind of voice, what kind of human being can be thought once voice no longer has to be present, emanating from a unique, essentialist subject (“I”) conscious to itself? In other words, if there is no subject in the humanist sense, what form does writing or thinking or creating take in a post-human world?

– Simon O’Sullivan, Fictioning (after Deleuze) Against Control: Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted

Our ability to resist control, or our submission to it, has to be assessed at the level of our every move. We need both creativity and a people. (Deleuze, ‘Postscript on Control Societies’)

In the short polemical essay ‘Postscript on Control Societies’ we find a Gilles Deleuze more sober, and at times pessimistic, than the one of Capitalism and Schizophrenia. The joy and affirmative tone of the collaborations with Felix Guattari gives way to a polemic that, if not a lament, certainly has something of the Frankfurt School diagnostic about it, especially in its attention to the increasingly technologically determined nature of society (and of its subjects) and to how such advances, although at first an apparent positive move away from previous, harsher, regimes, have brought their own more insidious and complex issues and problems.

But, despite this pessimism we also find in Deleuze’s essay something else that does hark back especially to a book like A Thousand Plateaus: a call to look to what has been opened up by these ‘new’ developments – or, at least, to the possibilities of resistance that, for Deleuze, will always and everywhere accompany Control, understood as our latest form of capitalism. As he remarks towards the end of the Postscript – in a counterpoint to resignation and any melancholic paralysis: ‘It’s not a question of worrying or hoping for the best, but of finding new weapons’.

The question I will be addressing in my paper is what these new weapons might be – and whether, in fact, it might be more a question of weaponising certain practices that, on the face of it, appear less suited to any war against Control. More specifically I will be interested in how certain aspects of an expanded art practice – what I want to call its fictioning logics – might work against Control and, indeed, play a role in the more ethico-political function of the constitution of a people (or, what Deleuze calls subjectification).

– Adrian Parr, Walking in the Dark

People lose themselves, their habits, stereotypes, and norms in imagination to the point where another person, animal, or for that matter living entity’s story can become your own story. Imagination subverts closure, stirs forth a sense of shared experience, massages the unfamiliar amidst familiarity, and hereby sensitizes people to difference and differentiation. In this way the imagination constitutes a minoritarian use of language, memory, order, and affect. For this reason imagination is integral to political change, inspiring us to experiment with alternatives to what currently exists.

-Daniel W. Smith, Deleuze on Technology and Thought

Technologies are often seen to be “prosthetic” in that they are externalizations of the body, or of bodily organs (e.g., a hammer mimics my forearm and fist, clothing externalizes the skin, etc.). As Marshall McLuhan put it, technologies are “the extensions of man”; or in Bernard Steigler’s words, “as a ‘process of externalization,’ technics is the pursuit of life by means other than life.” In short, out technologies constitute a supra-body, an externalized body. Deleuze was not a philosopher of technology like Bernard Steigler, nor did he thematize the question of technology like Heidegger. Nonetheless, he was strongly influenced by the work of Simondon and Leroi-Gourhan—two of the most profound thinkers of technology in the twentieth-century—and the aim of this paper is to propose five concepts that can help us approach the question of technology as an “externalized body” in a Deleuzian vein: prosthesis, proto-technicity, exodarwinism, de-specialization, and totipotence.

-Fredrika Spindler, Subjectivities and lines of flight: on friendship

“the unknown and slippery being if an indefinite ‘Who?’” (Blanchot)

If friendship is at the very core of philosophy, constitutive of its definition as love or friendship of wisdom, Deleuze, in his own writings as well as in his collaboration with Guattari, has multiple times shown how the friend of wisdom is by no means a simple and clear-cut friend. Just as the purported wisdom had to be rethought in terms of that unknown that can only be thought in a violent encounter, the friend is also a rival, an opponent, a claimant. The question then must be under what conditions it is possible to rethink friendship – not only the friend of sophia, but the philosophical friendship in which one, or two, or many lose the I as much as the we; become the desubjectivated, depersonalized multiplicity that is another name of love, required by Deleuzian thought – and at what cost such a becoming can come to be.

KEYNOTE BIOGRAPHIES

Gary Genosko received his BA in Philosophy at University of Toronto and his MA in Philosophy at University of Alberta. He received his MES at York University and completed his PhD in Social and Political Thought at York University. He held a Canada Research Chair from 2002 to 2012 in Technoculture Studies, and has received SSHRC funding for a number of projects since 2001, as well as participating in a McConnell Foundation grant for community service learning. His most recent books are When Technocultures Collide (WLUP 2013) and Remodelling Communication (UTP 2012), and he recently edited a special issue of the journal Deleuze Studies on ‘Felix Guattari in the Age of Semiocapitalism’ (2012). Recent articles by Dr. Genosko have appeared in Cultural studies, Parallax, Cultural Politics, Ctheory; and chapters in The Cambridge Companion to Deleuze, Valences of Interdisciplinarity, The Guattari Effect, and Transforming McLuhan. His previous books include Felix Guattari: An Aberrant Introduction, and Felix Guattari: A Critical Introduction. He has contributed many entries to the  Deleuze and Guattari Dictionary (Bloomsbury).

Lisa A. Mazzei is Associate Professor of Education Studies at the University of Oregon where she is also Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Philosophy. Her interest in Deleuze has produced a body of work that interrogates the possibility of research without a subject, and a consideration of how desire functions to produce the unexpected. She is the author, with Alecia Jackson of Thinking with Theory in Qualitative Research (2012), editor, with Alecia Jackson, of Voice in Qualitative Inquiry (2009), and author of Inhabited Silence in Qualitative Research (2007).

Simon O’Sullivan is a Reader in Art Theory and Practice, Goldsmiths University, London, UK. His work in Deleuze scholarship extends across art theory into creative research practices in art, including his collaboration with David Burrows in Plastique Fantastique (plastiquefantastique.org). He is the author of Art Encounters Deleuze and Guattari: Thought Beyond Representation (2005) and On the Production of Subjectivity: Five Diagrams of the Finite-Infinite Relation (2012), and editor, with Stephen Zepke, of both Deleuze, Guattari and the Production of the New(2008) and Deleuze and Contemporary Art (2010).

Adrian Parr is the Director of the Taft Research Center and Professor of Architecture and Sociology at the University of Cincinnati. She is a theorist, activist, and public intellectual working at the intersection of political philosophy, cultural criticism, environmentalism, and social theory. In 2011 she won the UC Rieveschl Award for scholarly and creative work. She has written extensively on environmental politics, memorialization, contemporary art and cultural practices. Recent publications include The Wrath of Capital (Columbia University Press, 2013), Hijacking Sustainability (MIT Press, 2009) and New Directions in Sustainable Design (Routledge, co-edited with Michael Zaretsky). She has published articles in Theory, Culture, and Society; Childhood; for Al Jazeera; and the World Financial Review to name a few. She serves on the editorial board of The Disposable Life Series and is a UNESCO water chair.

Daniel W. Smith is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Purdue University. He is the translator of Gilles Deleuze’s Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation and Essays Critical and Clinical (with Michael A. Greco), as well as Pierre Klossowski’s Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle and Isabelle Stenger’s The Invention of Modern Science. He has published widely on topics in contemporary philosophy. He is the editor, with Henry Somers-Hall, of the Cambridge Companion to Deleuze. His book Essays on Deleuze was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2012.

Fredrika Spindler is a Professor at Södertörn University. Fredrika holds a PhD in philosophy in 1996 from Université de Montpellier, dissertation: Philosophie de la puissance et détermination de l’homme chez Spinoza et chez Nietzsche. She has published extensively on Spinoza, Nietzsche and Deleuze. In 2005-07 she was co-responsible for research project ”The ingraspable art: Hannah Arendt and Friedrich Nietzsche’s Rethinking of Aesthetics and Politics” (Baltic Sea Foundation), and also ”Explorative Architecture”, Chalmers School of Technology (Formas, 2002-2004). Her research is devoted to critically interpreting and developing the understanding of time and space in the thought of Gilles Deleuze. Recent publications include Deleuze: tänkande och blivande (2013); Spinoza. Multitud, affekt, kraft (Glänta Produktion, 2009) och Nietzsche. Kropp, konst, kunskap (Glänta Produktion, 2010), recently published articles and chapters include “Deleuze. A Philosophy of Immanence” i New Frontiers. Phenomenology and Religion, red. Jonna Bornemark, Södertörn Philosophical Studies, 2010; “Superabundância, falta e perda: da critica à criaçao” (Abundance, lack and loss: from critique to creation” ) i Nietzsche/Deleuze. Arte, resistência, red. Daniel Lins, Editora Forense Universitaria, Rio de Janeiro 2007.

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