Gaston Gordillo

Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of British Columbia.

Occupy Wall Street as a Node of Resonance

The North American insurrection began when a handful of people occupied public space and began producing resonance. This is the material force that toppled three political regimes in North Africa and can only be produced by multitudes coming together on the streets. Liberty Square became a human assemblage that debates, eats, sings, drums, marches, sleeps,…

The Afterlife of a Sovereign Corpse: Gaddafi

The global circulation of the images of Gaddafi’s corpse and the long lines of people eager to see it in person reveal, rather than a generic fascination with gore, that this cadaver embodied a state that had been destroyed. The power of Gaddafi’s corpse to affect millions reveals that the state itself is a bio-political…

Occupy Wall Street & the State of Exception

On Friday, September 30, 2011 the United States announced it had legally murdered two US citizens without due legal process in Yemen. The following day, the police kettled and arrested 700 anti-corporate protesters who were marching peacefully on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. Seemingly unrelated and spatially distant from each other, these events…

The Revolution is Not Being Televised

During the Egyptian insurrection, the Mubarak regime tried to counter the multitudes on Tahrir Square by avoiding mentioning them on the state-run TV. The so-called liberal media in the United States highlighted that this authoritarian media blackout brought to light the freedom of expression we enjoy in “the West.” This is why the US media…

Zones of Rage & The Vancouver Riots

The Vancouver riots were a moment of rupture of the sanitized image that our local elites cultivate about Vancouver The Beautiful as a global brand. The corporate media lost control of the huge collective energies it contributed to releasing on the streets by glorifying sports as the main source of collective fulfillment. The media and…

Imperial Velocities & Counter-Revolution

Just when the state velocities of the Gaddafi regime were outpacing, outmaneuvering, and routing the Libyan insurgency, they were hit hard and slowed down by the much faster and more powerful air velocities of the imperial military machine. The waves of jets taking off from European bases and unleashing violence on a sovereign nation across…

The Speed of Revolutionary Resonance

The current wave of revolutionary insurrections seems to be the fastest in history. Revolutions always come in waves, but insurgent shockwaves that once expanded across continents over years or months are now making states crumble, one after another, in a matter of weeks. As the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt are rapidly followed by widespread…

Resonance and the Egyptian Revolution

What has coalesced as a powerful, unstoppable force on the streets of Egypt is resonance: the assertive collective empathy created by multitudes fighting for the control of space. Resonance is an intensely bodily, spatial, political affair, materialized in the masses of bodies coming together in the streets of Egyptian cities in the past thirteen days,…