“A community of stakeholders is usually represented by a certain body or sovereign power. The sum total of citizens cannot, however, be represented. Modern nation-states who bestow a civil status on their subjects presume to manifest and to represent their citizens as if this civil status were the essence of citizenship. But citizenship is the outcome of a hypothetical partnership between individuals that enables them to relate to one another as having equal access to this partnership. Any regime that seeks to subject such partnership to representation inevitably infringes upon it and cannot, therefore, be said to represent it. The foundational principle of partnership between citizens lies in the fact that they are not subject to sovereign power and cannot therefore be represented by it. Such partnership can at most be imagined by the members who participate in it. From the eighteenth century onward, it has been possible to imagine this partnership in different forms, as taking different directions and proceeding through different channels. All such imaginings constitute a form of taking-part in this citizenry and any such partnership presents an opportunity to imagine such a citizenry.” – Ariella Azoulay, Civil Imagination: A Political Ontology of Photography
Month: January 2020
“The shock, the power of an ordinary life. It is a thing you could not invent with banks of computers in a dust-free room.” – Don DeLillo, Underworld
“What’s the point of waking up in the morning if you don’t try to match the enormousness of the known forces in the world with something powerful in your own life?” – Don DeLillo, Underworld
“Corporations are great and appalling things. They take you and shape you in nearly nothing flat, twist and swivel you. And they do it without overt persuasion, they do it with smiles and nods, a collective inflection of the voice. You stand at the head of a corridor and by the time you walk to the far end you have adopted the comprehensive philosophy of the firm.” – Don DeLillo, Underworld
“God have mercy on the man who doubts what he’s sure of.” – Bruce Springsteen, “Brilliant Disguise”
“The photographer engages in a significant series of choices with respect to the event of photography, and these influence the manner in which its final product—the photograph—will appear. Such choices begin with the sheer decision to aim the camera in the direction of a certain event or certain individual, and range through decisions relating to the selection of colors employed or the angle of the shot that will determine the tone of the frame. But even when a photograph is staged in all of its particulars, so that these decisions are highly controlled and highly rigid, the photographer still employs a camera and people are still present in the situation alongside her: they, in fact, stand before her. The co-presence of individuals at the time that the photograph is taken is admittedly usually managed in accordance with the ritual of photography, but it is never totally subordinated to the latter. The space that extends between them, and subsequently the space that extends between them and the spectators of their photograph, is a political space where huma beings look at one another, speak and act in a manner that is not solely subordinate to disciplinary constraints, nor to ones of governance.” – Ariella Azoulay, Civil Imagination: A Political Ontology of Photography
“The capitalist machine does not run the risk of becoming mad, it is mad from one end to the other and from the beginning, and this is the source of its rationality. . . . its operation grows more relentless . . . it produces the terrible single class of gray gentlemen . . . it does not run the risk of dying all alone, but rather of making us die, by provoking to the very end investments of desire that do not even go by way of a deceptive and subjective ideology, and that lead us to cry out to the very end, Long live capital . . . . Except in ideology, there has never been a humane, liberal, paternal, etc., capitalism. Capitalism is defined by a cruelty having no parallel in the despotic regime of terror. . . . exploitation grows constantly harsher, lack is arranged in the most scientific of ways . . . . The reproduction of the interior limits of capitalism on an always wider scale has several consequences: it permits increases and improvements of standards at the center, it displaces the harshest forms of exploitation from the center to the periphery, but also multiplies enclaves of overpopulation in the center itself, and easily tolerates the so-called socialist formations. . . . There is no metaphor here: the factories are prisons, they do not resemble prisons, they are prisons. Everything in the system is insane.” – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (trans. Robert Hurley, et al.) (emphases in original)
“Sometimes I see something so moving I know I’m not supposed to linger. See it and leave. If you stay too long, you wear out the wordless shock. Love it and trust it and leave.” – Don DeLillo, Underworld
“It’s not enough to hate your enemy. You have to understand how the two of you bring each other to deep completion.” – Don DeLillo, Underworld
“Even the most overt fascism speaks the language of goals, of law, order, and reason. Even the most insane capitalism speaks in the name of economic rationality.” – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (trans. Robert Hurley, et al.)
“Sexual repression, more insistent than ever, will survive all the publications, demonstrations, emancipations, and protests concerning the liberty of sexual objects, sources, and aims, as long as sexuality is kept—consciously or not—within narcissistic, Oedipal, and castrating coordinates that are enough to ensure the triumph of the most rigorous censors.” – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (trans. Robert Hurley, et al.)
“People don’t have stories, just lives that no one wants to hear about.” – John Koethe, “Tempting Fate”
“How long until I forget nothing in this world belongs to us, not even ourselves?” – Jessica Lynn Suchon, “Ars Poetica with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”
“To confess, to whine, to complain, to commiserate, always demands a toll. To sing it doesn’t cost you a penny. Not only does it cost nothing—you actually enrich others . . . . To move forward clinging to the past is like dragging a ball and chain . . . . We are all guilty of crime, the great crime of not living life to the full.” – Henry Miller, Sexus
“The whole of psychoanalysis is an immense perversion, a drug, a radical break with reality, starting with the reality of desire; it is a narcissism, a monstrous autism: the characteristic autism and the intrinsic perversion of the machine of capital. At its most autistic, psychoanalysis is no longer measured against any reality, it no longer opens to any outside, but becomes itself the test of reality and the guarantor of its own test: reality as the lack to which the inside and the outside, departure and arrival, are reduced.” – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (trans. Robert Hurley, et al.)
“Remember me before I was a heap of salt,
the laughing child who seldom did
as she was told or came when she was called,
the merry girl who became Lot’s bride,
the happy woman who loved her wicked city.
Do not remember me with pity.
I saw you plodding on ahead
into the desert of your pitiless faith.
Those springs are dry, that earth is dead.
I looked back, not forward, into death.
Forgiving rains dissolve me, and I come
still disobedient, still happy, home.”
– Ursula K. Le Guin, “Looking Back”
“The truth is that sexuality is everywhere: the way a bureaucrat fondles his records, a judge administers justice, a businessman causes money to circulate; the way the bourgeoisie fucks the proletariat; and so on. And there is no need to resort to metaphors, any more than for the libido to go by way of metamorphoses. Hitler got the fascists sexually aroused. Flags, nations, armies, banks get a lot of people aroused.” – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (trans. Robert Hurley, et al.)
“There is no longer any need of belief, and the capitalist is merely striking a pose when he bemoans the fact that nowadays no one believes in anything anymore. Language no longer signifies something that must be believed, it indicates rather what is going to be done, something that the shrewd or the competent are able to decode, to half understand.” – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (trans. Robert Hurley, et al.)
“Writing has never been capitalism’s thing. Capitalism is profoundly illiterate. The death of writing is like the death of God or the death of the father: the thing was settled a long time ago, although the news of the event is slow to reach us.” – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (trans. Robert Hurley, et al.)
“Cocaine is God’s way of saying, ‘You’re making too much money.’ ” – Robin Williams, 1981
“It is no longer the age of cruelty or the age of terror, but the age of cynicism, accompanied by a strange piety.” – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (trans. Robert Hurley, et al.)
“The despot challenges the lateral alliances and the extended filiations of the old community. He imposes a new alliance system and places himself in direct filiation with the deity: the people must follow.” – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (trans. Robert Hurley, et al.)
“When a court subjects governmental action to strict scrutiny, it cannot construe ambiguities in favor of the government.” – United States Supreme Court, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1
“The unconscious does not speak, it engineers. It is not expressive or representative, but productive.” – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (trans. Robert Hurley, et al.)
“All writing is so much pig shit—that is to say, any literature that takes itself as an end or sets ends for itself, instead of being a process that ‘ploughs the crap of being and its language,’ transports the weak, the aphasiacs, the illiterate. At least spare us sublimation. Every writer is a sellout. The only literature is that which places an explosive device in its package, fabricating a counterfeit currency, causing the superego and its forms of expression to explode, as well as the market value of its form of content.” – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (trans. Robert Hurley, et al.)