THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE PRECARIAT

An anecdote recounts that, during one of Félix Guattari’s visits to Sao Paulo, he was politely asked to temper his somewhat cliquey use of language, for example by avoiding resorting to neologisms so frequently.1 Otherwise, his audience might mistake him for a member of some small sect, it was explained. Guattari’s response was calm: Inventing concepts was an adventure. And the concepts he had invented, his little machines, were his personal adventure. They were not some kind of means of communication or marketing tools. He added that in treading the path of an independent life, as his own, one was often lonely, accompanied perhaps only by an echo or occasionally a few friends. Then, after a moment of silence, he suddenly asked: what would life be, if we could not invent new words and concepts?

In his wonderful and penultimate book Qu’est-ce que la philosophie, written together with Gilles Deleuze, he spells it out even more clearly: the task of philosophy is to create new concepts, new little machines.

But how does one recognize a new concept or a new little machine? According to Deleuze, one recognizes it from that it is a little odd and that it is necessary. And this occurs only when it responds to a real problem.

I think Deleuze’s distinction between a real and a false problem is very important, but unfortunately we don’t have more room to dwell on it here.2 In the following, I try to outline some of the partial components of what I consider to be one of today’s real problems, and how Guattari’s little machines could respond to it.

That it should fall to me to record these thoughts at this time is purely accidental. These notes are simply a partial and inadequate expression of ideas which emerged slowly and silently from the research carried out by the Mollecular Organization and Guattari Master Class at the School of Economics and Future Art Base in Helsinki.

Production of Subjectivity

The cognitive and affective mechanisms of accumulation have changed the economy from the production of objects to subjects – as the production of commodities is still often mistakenly understood – to the direct production of subjectivity. The economy is directly acting on our nervous system, affecting particularly our ethico-aesthetic perception; that is, our ability to understand meanings which cannot be expressed in words.

The economy does not in other words function only through exchange values or monetary values, but also through mechanisms of subjectivation. These mechanisms are the most important means of organization of accumulation, in an economy where our ability to understand and learn, to feel and create meanings and to relate to the presence of others, have replaced direct labour and machines as the central forces of production. Economy has become the production of subjectivity.3

In semiocapitalism the essence of productivity no longer lies in the ability to reduce costs per unit, but rather in the ability to respond to unexpected situations and unforeseeable opportunities. That is why productivity of knowledge and affective work is increasingly based on the autonomy of work performances. Production takes place in the “head”, in “communication” or “cooperation between brains”: it cannot be organized and controlled like industrial work, at the level of physical work performances or with methods tied to a particular space (the sphere of disciplinary practices). Herein lies the origin of the autonomous nature of creative and knowledge work, but also the reason for the emergence of new forms of control and organization, which don’t restrict themselves within the boundaries of formal work time and work place but go directly “inside the head”; that is, which produce conditions of work at the level of subjectivity.

This is also why making money nowadays has a lot more to do with the “production of worlds” than with the production of material commodities, as Maurizio Lazzarato, amongst others, has noted. Semiocapitalism is not so much a form of production as a production of form: it is manierism, the production of habitus, beliefs, desires and conceptions and expression of subjectivities that are incorporated in these. It is a “productive-economic-subjective” compound, as Félix Guattari says. We are ourselves organs integral to the functioning of this compound: our feelings, perceptions, hopes, desires and imaginary ghosts are not something separate from the functioning of the economy, but are integral components of it. This transfer of the mechanisms of production of value into our mental environment is also far more important to the analysis of our psyche than the mother relationship or family. This is what Guattari argued with Deleuze in their famous analysis in L’Anti-Oedipide: desire is social, capitalism is about the appropriation of desiring production.

Guattari says that the analysis of the social formation of desire is a micropolitical question. It deals with the way in which the molar, stratified, stable and perceivable levels of society traverse and connect to the partial, molecular, invisible and processual elements of the production of subjectivity that are always open towards the future. Molar and molecular are not opposites; real problems are always both molar and molecular. That is why, in micropolitical analysis, subjectivity and group dynamic can never be separate from some kind of material or social reality, or real “political” level. On the contrary, real problems are always made up of many heterogeneous components, of many processes of subjectivation, in which the emerging connections between partial components tremble, and are constructed and destroyed in different assemblages and moments. It is within these assemblages that microanalysis needs to grasp the partial components of subjectivation and map the relationships between molar and molecular forces, to enable openings towards the future which would, perhaps, make our existential territories more habitable. Existential pragmatics – this is the function that Guattari identified in Kafka’s machine: working with existence in mutation, simultaneously deteriorating, deterritorializing, mapping itself and becoming.

The very essence of semiocapitalist accumulation is that it does not restrict itself to the sphere of economic surplus value, but that it uses all possible means of capture and management of subjective abilities and powers, of appropriation and modulation of a subject’s time, desire and creativity. It does not operate so much at the level of our actual actions in particular space and time (actual working tasks, working places and working times), but rather sinks its teeth

directly into the molecular, aleatory, the uncertain and indeterminate still in the process of becoming. That is why the question of “becoming” (like in Kafka), the question of the possible in my own life, the question of creating my own problems, interferes directly with the essence of semiocapitalist accumulation.

By extending the structures and risks of production into structures of subjectivity, meaning, desire and relationships, semiocapitalism has expanded the ecological crises into our mental and social environments. The question of the ecology of the incorporeal “species” of thoughts, desires, feelings, states of mind and modes of cooperation is as pressing a problem as the ecology of the natural world.

Positing the question of the virtual ecology does not imply curling up into oneself nor giving up political commitments. On the contrary, it suggests re- thinking political practices, means of cooperation and joint action in a way that could respond to a historical situation in which the old political and social practices of solidarity and collective action have lost their operationality.

We thus discover that, behind the question of precarity and changes in production and economy, lies a real problem which has to do with our mental ecology: the question of the new controls which have penetrated our subjectivity and our relationships, and the necessary mutation of the “place” of resistance. What is at stake is the possibility of becoming as such.

As Guattari understood from Kafka, “becoming” is always a question about the ability of a process to become singular or not. Faced with the new controls which work upon the conditions of my thinking and behaviour, I am losing my singularity, my singular way of breathing, feeling, thinking, desiring and not desiring, and my capacity to give any particular expression to it. The question of the future should begin from understanding the relationship between this exhaustion of the possible at my disposal and how value is produced in semiocapitalism.

Mobilization of Pathos 

Labour force is detaching itself from the spatial, physical and biological coordinates that used to characterize it in industrial production, and it is turning into a “potential”, “abstract” or “immaterial” category, without a distinct spatial and temporal existence.4 With the concept of immaterial labour force I refer to that dimension – that Henri Bergson calls duration – of human life which prevents everything from being immediately given, and because of which we are not reducible to our spatial existence or to our position in a chronological continuum of time. That is, I refer to the dimension of human life which has become the essential force of production in the semiocapitalist economy and which causes problems to any serious thinking of organization. It is not simply the dimension of the ability for abstraction and intellectual operations, but also of memory and sympathy, emotions and feelings, affective forces and tendencies that weave together me and an impossibility of not to love. Economy has become “organization mood and mobilization of pathos”.5

But it is hard to continuously put into work more and more of one’s soul and pathic capacities when the magic of work, the certainty, stability and predictability of life it once offered, seems to have totally lost its credibility – just like any promise of collective subjectivation. Semiocapitalism is cooperation without memory. In the subjective states of mind this precarization of work is expressed as a loss of coherence, exhaustion, cynicism, opportunism and instrumentalization of social relationships.

The logic of the production of value has changed: work in the traditional sense of the term, and the factory as the corresponding model of production, have been converted into mere “costs” which must be eliminated from the system. This striving away from the “production economy” expresses itself as redundancies, rationalizations and the closing down of factories; but behind these cost savings lies the transformation of the core of value production. Value is no longer created in direct material labour and production; it is no longer created in a particular place (factory/office) or in a particular time (working time). Rather, its place is the entire society, and its time is the indeterminate “right moment” or taking advantage of whatever opportunity arises.

By precarious work one usually means an area of work where no permanent rules can be determined in relation to employment, wage and working time.

However, what is essential in precarization is not the lack of rules – which, after all, have only been applied during a very limited time span in the middle of the 20th century when they were the central part of the Fordist-Keynesian model of production – but the diminishing role of work tied to a determined time, place and working tasks in the production of economic value. Work has detached itself from particular places, times and contents and become an abstract category.

Yet this abstractness of work and our engagement with it is something very real and concrete: “abstract labour” has become an empirical, experiential category.6 The experience of the abstractness of labour (the detachment from its concreteness) expresses itself, for example, in a lack of trust regarding the permanence of employment or even the stability of one’s immediate community. There are sudden moves and changes in our professions and areas of work and we have to move from task to task, project to project. The particular places and times of work are ever-changing; and “learning to learn” is more important than learning something tied to a specific content. Just like any business firm, I need to carefully follow what is going on around me, but at the same time I have to avoid having too deep or profound a relationship with the things I do and the people I meet. Commitment is a risk and may lead to personal failure when options need to be kept open in the midst of the unforeseeable multiplicity of possibilities. I need to have an opportunistic interest in everything, but at the same time I need to be cynical, and have no interest in anything in particular. It is safer to be a little bit distant and bored.

Feelings of distance, cynicism, restlessness, boredom and exhaustion are perhaps what best describes our experience of working life today.7 So what is restlessness? It is the opposite of asceticism. I am restless when I know I should do something, but I somehow do not know what that something is or how to do it. My will and desire are stirring inside me, but have yet no particular direction or purpose. To be restless is to feel the abyss of possibilities opening up directly in front of me. I am ready for anything, the doors of the world are open to me, but I have not yet found anything particular to say or do, or I already see that my actions will lead to contradictory outcomes or at best to nothing (and therefore I cynically remain outside the sphere of action). Or what is boredom? I am bored when there is nothing in the world that could interest me: I have seen it, done it, been there. The world cannot offer anything new to me. I look at everything with intellectual and emotional disinterest. If restlessness is pure desire for action without a clear direction or origin, then boredom is a state of mind in which I realize that there are no reasons for action, that all reasons are trivial and in vain. I am no longer interested in doing or saying anything particular, and I step now through another door outside the sphere of action. The precarious state of mind means simultaneously experiencing the abundance of your possibilities and the arbitrariness and trivialness of the reason and purpose of everything. It is an experience of ontology revealing itself phenomenologically; which, as Giorgio Agamben has explained, is perhaps the cruellest experience there is. It is the experience of potentiality.

Flight of Meaning 

Meaning can be viewed as a reduction of reality to a finite enunciative concatenation.8 When the infosphere – the dimension of intentional signs surrounding the sensible organism – is slow enough to be screened and scanned by the mind, we can extract meaning, find a common rhythm, a harmony, something Guattari called a refrain. But when the infosphere outruns the mind’s rhythm of elaboration (when the semiotic flow is too fast for our mind to process information in a rational way), the psychosphere is affected and we fail to construct and share meaning. Meaning escapes; it can no longer be grasped as a finite explication and as a workable tool for social interaction and understanding. It is from this flight of meaning that the new mechanisms of control are constructed.

Overproduction is an inherent feature of capitalism because the production of commodities responds to the abstract logic of value production, rather than to the logic of the concrete needs of human beings. However, the kind of overproduction manifest in semiocapitalism is specifically semiotic: an infinite excess of signs circulate in the infosphere and saturate our individual and collective attention.

As Franco Berardi has insightfully observed, this means that we no longer live in the conceptual framework of Freud’s Civilisation and its discontents. In Freudianism, at the basis of pathology lies concealment: something is hidden from us, removed and then disappears; we are prevented from seeing something. A semiotic regime can be characterized as repressive when one and only one meaning can be ascribed to its signifiers. There you hear everywhere the whisper “What did the leader mean?” and the position of the despot-leader is naturally paranoid: “Did they understand my message? Is everyone definately obeying? Is somebody trying to escape from my control?”

But we are no longer dealing with the effects of repression or disciplinary power. My communicative disorders and precarious state of mind are not pathologies of repression, removal, concealment, restrictions or direct exploitation. On the contrary, they are the effects of semiotic inflation, excess of meaning and information, excess of possibilities and visibility, of continuous overload of infoneural stimuli and overinclusion.9

Perhaps we could say that whereas Freud identified the dominant social pathology with neurosis, which he believed to be the result of a process of detachment and removal, today the dominant social pathology is defined more by a psychosis to do with an overload of energy and information, which relates to the disappearance of centers of meaning and identification. Unlike neurosis, which is symbolic because it operates on the rhetorical and linguistic level of detachment and on the normative basis of Oedipus, psychosis is never characterized by symbolic castration. On the contrary, what Berardi calls the first video-electronic generation has difficulties in understanding the affective meanings of words because it has learned more words from machines than from mothers, and has thus lost the affective connection to language. The communicative problems common to this generation, such as ADHD, dyslexia, panic disorders, not to mention the un-understandable school killings in Finland, are the first effects of the pathologies of inflation of meaning and hyper-expressivity.

I find myself an inhabitant of the semiocapitalist universe which is characterized by the semiotic inflation, excess of speed of the signifiers and the absence of stable meaning centers. This is what characterized schizophrenic interpretation for Gregory Bateson. For him a schizophrenic has difficulties in forming a communicative relationship with (a) messages coming from other people; (b) the verbal and nonverbal messages one transmits; and (c) one’s own thought, sensation and perception.10 These difficulties now belong to us all. Exposed to an overload of signifying impulses I feel unable to process the meaning of statements and stimuli in a meaningful way based, for example, on the truth values of successive statements. Rather, signs and things connect to each other independent of the subjective control which I think I can have over them. It is a kind of machinic logic where processes don’t work through signification but through affective contamination or attunement of frequences and vibrations and bifurcations which just start to happen to me, despite of me, free of me.

For example, panic – the bodily experience of losing control, with its associated respiratory problems and acceleration of heart beat which can cause fainting and the loss of communicative abilities – is related to the feeling of being overwhelmed when faced with the infinity of nature or with the infinity of meanings. Its etymological root is in the Greek word pan which means “everything existing”. Maybe that is why the Greeks were afraid of the roar of Pan, of the irrational madness and panic (panikon deima, the feeling of sudden fear, horror, anxiousness or insecurity that so easily takes hold of the groups of animals or men) caused by the protector of shepherds and flocks, which would emerge when people distanced themselves too much from the Gods or from existing political boundaries and meanings.

Depression has also been related to this distance from the boundaries and meanings that guide normally one’s behaviour. The growth of the phenomenon can be connected to the moment when the disciplinary models of behaviour, rules of authority, clear meanings and regulations and their controlling centers started to collapse.11 When the demands of individual behaviour, of  becoming yourself and of using the opportunities of your life started then to become dominant, the responsibility of your life became fully assigned to you. Everything is now possible for you, all the windows to the world are open to you: just do it! As Bifo says, the root of depression is in the feeling of inadequacy and impotentiality, in the exhaustion under the weight of encountering one’s potentiality and of becoming oneself. The realization that I am a loser in the relation results in a kind of zero-degree of the exchange between me and the world. Everyone who has tried to motivate a depressed person will recognize the ice cold stare that one gets in return: I don’t want to, I don’t care.

Semiocapital and Arbitrary Power 

Semiocapitalism – in which value is produced with words rather than machines, in which products are symbols, images, projections, expectations and communicative actions rather than material things, and in which value production coincides more and more with semiotic production – does not only transform labour into profit, but penetrates much deeper into the tissue of our existence. Capital is not a simple economical category that is related to the circulation of commodities and services and accumulation of wealth. We have been trying to approach it as a far more intimate semiotic operator and speak therefore of semiocapital.

As a semiotic operator, capital operates both in the sphere of meaningful (signifying) production and in the sphere where we are no longer dealing with meaningful effects but with effects which don’t have a meaning, which don’t need a meaning to function and get something done. For example the frissions, flashes and waves of fear, panic, restlessness and anxiety which circulate and radiate today in our states of mind are born, transmitted and travel in this region. Just like a sound, which is composed of intensities, intervals, rhythm and tempo, they have a very different and a much more direct effect on us than the meanings of words. Or, like in Kafka’s Metamorphosis, the music played by his sister talks directly to Gregor’s senses: he feels like a gate opening to a longed for source of unknown nourishment. A-signifying sign machines do not operate on the level of conscious understanding and language, but directly through nervous systems, affects and the unconscious. They don’t produce meanings but simply function and take effect – without meaning or saying anything. As such, a-signifying processes are only operational means without any meaningful or interpretative dimension that would settle or slow them down. A-signifying processes don’t know persons, subjects or individuals, but touch and bind together prepersonal, prelinguistic and precommunal elements and intensities which move like pieces of a machine at a “molecular level”. Guattari’s schizoanalysis intended to work in this field to deal with the semiotic and material characteristics of such interaction – which surpass the systems of meaning and representation within which individuated subjectivities recognize each other, engage in dialogues, cooperate, exploit and alienate one another.

This is why Guattari also talks about institutional semiotics, whose scope should be broadened to encompass areas of organization which are not only linguistic and human, and of machinic subjectivity, whose interior is composed at the crossroads of many heterogeneous, contradictory, independent partial components which do not even necessarily fit together. The starting point of the work of Mollecular Organization has been to begin a cartography of the subjectivity produced and consumed by semiocapitalist mechanisms of valorization. In this cartography it has been essential to understand that the production of subjectivities is not only a human affair, a matter of semiotic exchange between humans, but that there is also something like a “machinic consistency” that operates without any meaningful and interpretative mediation. That is why the theories of politics which place the most emphasis on speech, language and communication, or think of them as the only valid expressions of politics, are today so weak. As Maurizio Lazzarato has also noted, the power of language to act, as exercised in the Greek polis for example, is no longer sufficient in describing the “political word” of the new mechanisms of control.12

In a situation where we are confused with mixed signals (information overflow) or where our belief in the meaning, value and common purpose as a some kind of external reason directing our actions is lost (which is the reason why I today at once experience the abundance of my possibilities and the arbitrariness of all reasons and purposes; the simultaneous experience of restlessness and depression, boredom and panic) these a-signifying machinic processes gain more and more important organizational role.

“Mielivalta” is a particular concept which we have been using to understand further this form of organization. It is a specific Finnish word which combines the both senses of the emerging power. It reads literally mind-power, memory-power or sense-power: the latter word valta means power and the first word mieli has its etymological roots in the German words der Sinn (sense), die Launen (mood), die Lust (desire), der Verstand (reason, understanding), die Erinnerung (memory). “Mielivalta” is not power over actual bio-life but over the potential or non-actual dimension of life, the life of the mind.

But the first meaning of “mielivalta” is a use of power that is not based on reason (or on meaning, law, norms, rules, objective facts), that is, a power that is senseless or arbitrary. Mielivalta is arbitrary power. The arbitrariness means here the explosion of the infosphere, the indeterminacy and erosion of basis, values and meanings, which can no longer operate as the legitimating basis of action. Arbitrary power is not only power over life of the mind but also power that is able to operate in the absence of meaning, amidst inflation of meaning and the “state of senselessness” following it – as the Spanish writers described the first economic inflation and its consequences in the16th century. Mielivalta is a little machine that is able to open the nexus between the entrance of soul into work and the floating currencies and signifiers: the nexus between the loss of faith in the sign (or in any external reason directing action) and the production of wealth in modalities that cannot be thought or understood by the concepts of modern economy. It is power without logos, that is, arbitrary power, power without permanent relationship to a meaning, norm, law or to some particular task which would justify it, or more specifically, power whose relation to these is arbitrary. This is pure power. Not a means toward an end, but operating in “some other way” as Walter Benjamin says.13 Mielivalta is an attempt to understand the controlling nature and logic of a-signifying semiotic machines which operate – and need to operate – in a way that avoids the mediation of meaning. This is a fundamental aspect of these machines, because arbitrariness (the loss of faith in signs, meanings, and laws as a guiding principle of action) has penetrated our immediate experience. It is precisely this loss of faith that distinguishes arbitrary power from despotic power and the overcoding of meaning characteristic to it. The semiocapitalist controls are rather bare functions without meaning or bare operational means (automatisms) without a meaningful or interpretative dimension to settle or slow them down.

In a condition of overabundance of meaning or absence of meaning (arbitrary sign, inflatory sign) we are no longer within the sphere of meaningful organization. We are no longer faced with the question of organization of meaning, no longer dealing with the question of organization through meaning, but of organization of desire which does not aim to mean, communicate or mediate information, but to directly create a relationship with the world.

Discreet Charm of the Precariat 

The mechanisms of semiocapitalist valorization are already in the soul of independence. Constructing an independent life, producing my own meanings, self-learning and taking care of myself independently, are demands which surround me, subjecting me and tying me more and more tightly into “natural environments” where, almost imperceptibly, I seem to always know what to think and how to behave. The real problem is not only something external to us – like neoliberalism, financial capitalism, greedy bankers and their henchmen – but it is already in our hearts and in our minds, in our relationships and in our friends. The real problem is that my work merges with my personality, transforming into a kind of black hole which exhausts me, forcing me to be capable of my own capabilities (to cooperate and create meaning, to be inventive and independent). It drains my imagination and energies, leaving me empty of emotions and senses like Walter Benjamin’s Mickey Mouse, without a real body and a real life. The real problem is the impotence of cooperation and politics, which results from the displacement of external conflicts and juxtapositions from being ‘outside’ me to being ‘inside’ me.

The real problem is the fragility of cooperation; the difficulty and slowness of building the conditions for joint creation; the unpredictability and rapidity with which cooperation can easily fall into the traditional conflicts and problems of communities; how both ‘good’ cooperative innovation and ‘bad’ cooperative negation depend on the same cruel experience of uncertainty; and how easily all the potentiality of cooperation can turn into vicious violence.

The real problem is the way in which our empathy becomes reactive and strategic; something which includes the “understanding” of the other, but holds onto the development of this knowledge in conditions which Bracha Ettinger would call non-matrixial. The real problem is the disastrous effects of schizoid and paranoid defense mechanisms, and strategic empathy, when they tear apart the psychic tissue in the potential moments of cooperation; wounding that fragile space where there is the consciousness of the connection between many subjective moments, and where there is a possibility to connect to the potentiality of others, while surrendering oneself to its transforming power.

To paraphrase Luis Buñuel’s wonderful study on the bourgeois state of mind, the real problem is the discreet charm of the precariat.

It seems that, in a situation where self-organization, cooperation and self- learning are already essential components of the semiocapitalist mechanisms of accumulation, living labour can only escape by withdrawing totally into itself: away from cooperation; in total “unemployment” or in only “apparent” participation; in boredom and depression; giving nothing to the enterprise that has taken the form of a self-organizing community or a platform of learning.

What is a community of the depressed? How do opportunists and cynics cooperate? The traditional organizational and political thought has always considered these states of mind dangerous, because it is impossible to control people who are not interested in anything, who do not commit to common task, who don’t keep their promises, have no clear direction, purpose, or consistency in their action or who just pretend to participate. It is precisely here where the classical methods of politics and organization face today their limit: they face the pathos of distance, human subjectivity without any particular direction or task, apathetic, indifferent and possessing a paradoxical immunity to any meaningful attempts of organization.

But perhaps it is this very instability, ambivalence, a kind of distance or indifference on which any serious thinking of organization of cooperation should today start. “From this pathos of distance they first arrogated to themselves the right to create values”.14 Could we think that Guattari’s “pathic foyer “of subjectivity is also a-pathic? That is, interpreted positively as restlessness or indifference to what is calculated to move feelings, to excite interest and action and that perhaps it is in this autonomy, untouchability or indifference (to all attempts to direct and organize behavior and thinking), that we should start looking for the possibility of creation and cooperation – not chaos but the essence of becoming that gives us consistency and that is necessary for creation.

That is, could it be interpreted positively as restlessness or indifference to what is calculated to move feelings, to excite interest and action; and that perhaps it is in this autonomy, untouchability or indifference (to all attempts to direct and organize behavior and thinking), that we should start looking for the possibility of creation and cooperation – not chaos but the essence of becoming that gives us consistency and that is necessary for creation.

This is the little machine that needs to be assembled now.

Akseli Virtanen

_________

1 Pelbart, Peter Pál (1994) Un droit au silence. Félix Guattari: Textes et entretiens. Vol.

2. Chiméres, 23, pp. 169–178. 2 Perhaps it is enough to say for our purposes here that if the articulation of a “problem” focuses only on its visible expression we end up, like in a labyrinth, again and again in the same place where had just left. See Deleuze, Gilles (1966) Le Bergsonisme. Presses Universitaires de France.

3 On the genealogy of economy and a thesis of the end of economy in its modern sense and of its return to its roots as oikonomia, see Virtanen Akseli (2006) Biopoliittisen talouden kritiikki [A Critique of Biopolical Economy]. Tutkijaliitto, Helsinki.

4 Virtanen Akseli (2010) Immaterial as Material. Exhausting Immaterial Labour in Performance. Joint Issue of Le Journal des Laboratoires and TkH Journal for performing Arts Theory no. 17, October 2010, pp. 17-22.

5 Berardi Franco (2009) Soul at Work. Translated by Francesca Cadel and Guiseppina Mecchia. Semiotext(e), Los Angeles; Also Negri Antonio (2009) The Labor of Job: The Biblical Text as a Parable of Human Labor. Translated by Matteo Mandarini. Duke University Press.

6 For the concept of “abstract real” see Virtanen Akseli (2009), Arbitrary Power, or on Organization without Ends. The Swedish Dance History. Inpex, Stockholm.

7 Vähämäki Jussi (2003), Kuhnurien kerho [Drones Club]. Tutkijaliitto, Helsinki.

8 Berardi, Franco & Virtanen, Akseli (2010) Parvi/Häiriö/Mielivalta [Swarm/Distruption/Arbitrary power]. Niin & näin filosofinen aikakauslehti, 66 (3), pp. 35–44.

9 Pelbart, Peter Pál (2009) Vida Capital. Ensaios de biopolítica. São Paulo: Iluminuras, pp. 109-116; Berardi, Franco (2006). Tietotyö ja prekaari mielentila [Infolabour and Precarious States of Mind]. Trans. by Mikko Jakonen et al. Helsinki: Tutkijaliitto, pp. 96-98.

10 Bateson, Gregory (1972). Steps to an Ecology of Mind. Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp.194-200.

11 Ehrenberg, Alain (1988) La fatigue d’être soi: dépression et société. Paris: Editions Odile Jacob; Berardi, Franco (2007) The Pathologies of Hyper-Expression. Discompart and Repression. Trans. by Arianna Bove. Art and Police. Transversal nro 10.

12 ThThe problem of politics concerns today not only the level of representation but that of the production of subjectivity. And this in its turn is a question of heterogeneous semiotic levels. What is essential here are not meanings but the building of heteregeneous collective assemblage of enunciation that gives support and consistency to mutations and becomings in subjectivity. Our recent work with Félix Guattari, just like his work with Kafka, is a project towards future. We have tried to understand the a-signifying machinic nature of the functioning of semiocapitalism on the one hand, and the squeezing out of ethico-aesthetical partial objects from the dominant refrains, self-evidencies and deathly repetitions of our lives on the other: how do certain processes start to become autonomous, start to work for themselves, create irreversible mutations and excerete new universes of reference? We have tried to move towards organizational experiments which bring together the mapping of our existential territories and create cuts and openings from the patterns and environments that seem to set the conditions of our thinking and behavior.

13 Benjamin, Walter (2000) The Critique of Violence. Selected Writings. Vol. 1. Ed. Marcus Bullock & Michael W. Jennings. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp. 236–253.

14 Nietzsche, Friedrich (1969) Moraalin alkuperästä [Zur Genealogie der Moral]. Pamfletti. Tr. J. A. Hollo. Otava, Helsinki, I:§2.

 

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