Aesthetics

Touch: Notes on the Thought of Luce Irigaray

Image by Mojo Wang

Touch is at the heart of Luce Irigaray’s dia­lectic of re­la­tions with the other. It is a ges­ture that re­sponds to the call of the (m)other.1 The dia­lectic of touch is based upon the ges­ture of re­spect and rev­er­ence to­wards the source or the ges­ture of vi­ol­ence if it seeks to ap­pro­priate the sub­jectivity of the…

Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel.

Mandela

Dear re­vi­sion­ists, Mandela will never, ever be your min­strel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him some­thing he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sand­blast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try to hide his anger from view.…

On Agamben’s Politics and Theology

IMG_20120110_111352

Colby Dickinson and Adam Kotsko re­cently did an in­ter­view on Agamben for the Brazilian pub­lic­a­tion Unisinos, which was trans­lated into Portuguese and re­cently pub­lished. They de­cided to pub­lish the ori­ginal English tran­script for the be­nefit of non-​Portuguese speakers on An und für sich. 1. What is the pe­cu­li­arity of the link between philo­sophy and theo­logy in…

Thick Skin, a lawful film written and directed by Peter Rush

Thick Skin

This film ex­plores an aes­thetics of law and its in­hab­it­ants through the public art sites of The Another View Walking Trail that was in­stalled in the 1990s in the City of Melbourne. In a slow-​moving filmic re­cit­a­tion, each of the sites focus our at­ten­tion on the place-​making and counter-​memory of law and gov­ernance. What then would it take for the eye of law, beyond pre­tence and all for­get­ting, to re­cog­nise pain? What would it mean to in­vest­igate the man­ners in and by which prox­imate and suf­fering others have dwelt and do dwell in law? Available to watch for the first time in up­loaded di­gital form here on Critical Legal Thinking…

The Dark Shores of Europe

document

This was August 2008 at Koraka’s Cape beach in Lesvos. A local farmer told me that he saw a pros­thetic leg on the beach. He said that the leg be­longed to a boy, around 13 years old, who ar­rived on a rubber boat with his family. The coast­guard were just be­hind the boat as it was ap­proaching the beach.…

All Rise: What Does Justice Sound Like?

Court Document Deep Water Horizon

Three years ago last Saturday, an oil rig around 50 kilo­metres off the coast of Louisiana ex­ploded. The ex­plo­sion killed el­even workers in­stant­an­eously, and marked the be­gin­ning of an 87-​day period of un­con­trol­lable crude oil spillage into the Gulf of Mexico, the sea-​floor well spewing out around 4.9 mil­lion bar­rels of oil be­fore it was fi­nally capped on…

Compliance: The Uncomfortable Reality of Docile Bodies

Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (1736–1806), Coup d’oeil du Théâtre de Besançon, 1804

The movie ‘Compliance’ is dis­turbing on many dif­ferent levels, and left me with a feeling of ex­treme dis­com­fort, and even dis­or­i­ent­a­tion, long after the credits rolled, no less be­cause it is based on true events, re­ferred to by the American media as the “strip search prank call scam’. As the story un­folds in the movie in the same se­quence as it did in reality, Sandra, the man­ager of an Ohio “Chickwich” fast-​food outlet, re­ceives a call from a man falsely claiming to be a po­lice de­tective. Referring to him­self as “Officer Daniels” or “Sir”, he ac­cuses a young fe­male cashier, Becky, of stealing money from a cus­tomer. He then en­lists Sandra’s as­sist­ance in phys­ic­ally de­taining Becky in the store room of the outlet and strip-​searching her. Sandra and two other em­ployees are caught up in events that be­come in­creas­ingly un­set­tling, es­calate throughout, and ul­ti­mately cul­minate in the de­grading sexual abuse and hu­mi­li­ation of Becky by Sandra’s boy­friend, Van.

Art as Disobedience: Liberate Tate’s Gift to the Nation

The Gift performance by Liberate Tate Tate Modern 7 July 2012 Credit: Ian Buswell

This weekend was an eventful one for the Tate Modern. Late Saturday morning, pur­suant to sec­tion 7 of the Museums and Galleries Act 1992, art col­lective Liberate Tate presented the gal­lery with an un­ex­pected ‘gift to the na­tion’. That gift was a 1.5 tonne, 16.5 metre wind tur­bine blade, re­covered from a field in Wales, trans­ported, cleaned and lov­ingly prepared…

The Critique of Science: Von Braun and the Ethics of Techno-​Capitalism

Werner Von Braun

Like an empty vessel, an ab­stract prac­tice floats aim­lessly in sus­pense of its nav­ig­ator. Once boarded, it ac­quires a dir­ec­tion, an in­ten­tion – the first in­stance of its eth­ical con­tam­in­a­tion. The nav­ig­ator har­nesses the vessel’s po­ten­tial for some­thing, in­jecting it with pur­pose, and sets sail. Then, there is the matter of its hand­ling, how it is steered, by…

A Play on Justice: The Trial of Phryne at (Occupied) Old Street Magistrates Court

Phryne before the Areopagus

Yet it is pre­cisely the dis­en­chant­ment of beauty in the ex­per­i­ence of nudity, this sub­lime but also miser­able ex­hib­i­tion of ap­pear­ance beyond all mys­tery and all meaning, that can somehow de­fuse the theo­lo­gical ap­par­atus and allow us to see, beyond the prestige of grace and the chi­meras of cor­rupt nature, a simple, in­ap­parent human body. (Agamben…

Image as Interest: Occupy & the Pepper Spray Cop

Pepper Spray Cop

In his Times column this morning, David Carr won­ders about the fu­ture of the Occupy Wall Street move­ment and, spe­cific­ally, its fate as an on­going topic of mass-​media con­ver­sa­tion. “Occupy Wall Street left many all revved up with no place to go,” he writes. Which is a problem, traditional-​press-​coverage wise, be­cause: “In ad­di­tion to the 5 W’s — who,…

In Commemoration October 12, 1492: Manifesto of Decolonial Aesthetics

by Teresa Diaz Nerio

A trans­modern world has emerged, re­con­fig­uring the past 500 years of co­lo­ni­ality and its af­ter­math, mod­ernity, post­mod­ernity and al­ter­mod­ernity. A re­mark­able fea­ture of this trans­form­a­tion is the cre­ativity in/​from the Non-​Western world and its polit­ical con­sequences — in­de­pendent thoughts and de­co­lo­nial freedoms in all spheres of life. Decoloniality of know­ledge and being, two con­cepts that have been introduced…

Home & Apart: Spatial Justice in ‘Women of Cyprus’

Abandoned airport – stark symbol of Cyprus division

On the 16th of June 2011, the Westminster International Law & Theory Centre hosted the London premiere of Women of Cyprus, a doc­u­mentary dir­ected by Vassiliki Katrivanou and Bushra Azzouz, fol­lowed by a dis­cus­sion with the first dir­ector. The film tries to cap­ture the voices and feel­ings of women both sides of the 1974 Cypriot par­ti­tion, namely…

Violence on the Body: A Manual for French Police Escorting Illegal Immigrants

How to expel and illegal immigrant

The last decade has seen Europe ex­per­i­ence a very im­portant wave of xeno­phobia that is modi­fying our in­sti­tu­tions in their very es­sence. As two cur­rent ex­amples, Hungary is modi­fying its con­sti­tu­tion in order to de­clare Christians “normal cit­izens” and Italy and France are threat­ening Schengen space to know who will have to take care of 20…

Poems, Kettles and Monopolies

Concentric Circles

A short poem in­spired by the stu­dent protests, mainly on the ‘ket­tling of ket­tling’ idea used by friends and sup­porters of in­jured protestor Alfie Meadows. They cre­ated some­thing of a ‘Russian doll’ ef­fect by sur­rounding the po­lice at their headquar­ters at Scotland Yard. Also some un­der­lying thoughts on the state’s mono­poly of vi­ol­ence. Dolly Caught in a series of mono­logues, an un­timely proclamation…

A Poem | The Flag Up High, Horst Wessel feat. Miley Cyrus

So I put my hands up The flag high! The ranks tightly closed! SA march with bold, firm steps. They’re playing my song, Comrades shot by the Red Front and re­ac­tion­aries March in spirit in our ranks. And the but­ter­flies fly away Clear the streets for the brown bat­talions, Clear the streets for the storm­troopers! Noddin’…