Global Networks: Opening Remarks

Global Networks: Opening Remarks

by Megan Hoetger

In 2014 I wrote a short essay entitled “Art, Cinema, and Life Outside the Imperial Ring: A Little History of the Austria Filmmakers’ Co-operative” for the architectural journal R1000 at UC Berkeley. I had just returned from my a preliminary research trip to Vienna in which I had found myself in a bit of a crisis: I just didn’t care all that much about the performance painting practices of the artists who were ostensibly at the center of my dissertation. With that added to the feeling of alienation I still had in the city which my own Jewish family had left (this was still only my second visit), I got so sick with anxiety and by the end of the month I was having trouble holding food down.

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Protokoll: Questions of State

Protokoll: Questions of State

by Megan Hoetger

‘The state’, it turns out, is a rather rangy category, or container, that holds together a lot of conflicting ideas and competing belief systems. I don’t think that any of us at the “Questions of State” working group meeting ever thought it wasn’t this. We all came with different stakes. For as much as the nation-state’s function is to secure territorial boundaries, I knew when putting the meeting together that ‘the State’ was an almost hopelessly unbounded signifier and referent. But that, in part, is why it seemed productive to talk about it and hash out what we mean when we ask: what is the state? when is the state? and what are the states of the ‘state’ that we are thinking about when we say ‘state’?

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Readings for Meeting Three: Global Networks

Readings for Meeting Three: Global Networks

The third meeting of the 2017-18 Critical Theory Working Group takes up the topic of “Global Networks.” The meeting will be co-facilitated by Bay Area artist and UC Berkeley PhD candidate Christian Nagler (Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies) and CUNY Graduate Center PhD candidate Elizabeth Sibilia (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences). Following from “Questions of State” as well as from Michael Hardt’s UC Berkeley campus visit at the end of October, “Global Networks” pans out from the contested form of the nation-state to the flows and frictions of the international and transnational informe. The conversation this month engages with the politics of representing, or making visible, the ways in which labor, bodies, and materials (both physical and informational) move through largely de- and unregulated international distribution routes. What are the different choreographies of capital, across matter, platforms, and oceans? How and where is circulation visible? And what would it mean/what would it look like to circulate, or move, differently?

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“Where Have All the Erotics Gone?” A Partial Reflection on Michael Hardt’s UC Berkeley visit Oct 26-27th

“Where Have All the Erotics Gone?” A Partial Reflection on Michael Hardt’s UC Berkeley visit Oct 26-27th

 

by Megan Hoetger

I can look past many of the shortcomings of Michael Hardt’s recent UC Berkeley lecture and the workshop that followed. I can set aside the problems of scaler shift *and* shifts across kinds of scale; or the citational erasures of 70s feminist theory in the work (#notsurprised); or the inadequacy of the ‘immaterial’ as an accurate descriptor for any kind of labor anymore; or the lack of acknowledgement of distribution as crucial to a discussion of finance capital, or the cursory engagement with media technologies that would seem at the core of thinking through decentralization as a problem of/for representation; or, for that matter, the problems of representation and narrative — and specifically historical representation and narrative — bound up in a discussion of leaders at all. But there are some things that I cannot look past… fuck dialectical thinking. I want to live in a world of dialectical feeling.

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‘Questions of State’ Framing Remarks from Keith Feldman

‘Questions of State’ Framing Remarks from Keith Feldman

I have suggested three rather heterodox readings to think with. My hope is that they’ll be touchstones for our inquiring into a) the forms and practices of collaboration, co-operation, and coalition-building that are the larger frame for this working group, b) the state of things as the conditions within which we broach such inquiries, and, lastly, c) the State with a capital S as something like an object of inquiry, an historical agent, an organizational form, a locus of power, a particular expression of political sovereignty, etc.

 

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Questions of State: Introductory Framework

Questions of State: Introductory Framework

by Megan Hoetger

I’m mostly an historian and I mostly look at experimental film; my current project looks at the establishment of circuits of movement for non-commercial, experimental, and often “pornographic” film during the Cold War period, mostly, though not exclusively, in former West Germany. The more I looked in archives, the more complicated the relation between the “underground” and the “state” became. The amount to which the underground was/is underwritten by the state is, to me, alarming… dis-orienting…

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Readings for Meeting Two: Questions of State

Readings for Meeting Two: Questions of State

The meeting will be co-facilitated by UC Berkeley alumni from the Department of English, Jasper Bernes, and Berkeley faculty in the Department of Ethnic Studies, Keith Feldman. Between the two scholars, they bring a wide range of expertise, from Marxist theory, to comparative ethnic studies; from “art,” to “visual culture.” With this broad terrain marking out our parameters, the Questions of State meeting explores the different challenges and failures in performances of state formation, as well as in alternative models of social formation.

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