[-empyre-] sample from today

Gabriela Vargas-Cetina gabyvargasc at prodigy.net.mx
Tue Nov 11 14:51:39 EST 2014

Dear all,

Thank you for this month's discussion and thank you for bringing in what 
is happening in Mexico to this very difficult but very needed 
conversation.  Here in Mexico the news have been emotionally draining 
for most everyone, and now that our President has left to go to China 
for diplomatic talks, many Mexicans are asking for his resignation.  The 
newspapers have been commenting here in Yucatan how people even from the 
wealthier strata of regional society are going to the marches and 
protests over the murder of the students.  I guess we are all trying to 
perform out our grieving in some way, collectively, so as to feel safer 
and feel we do have control over our spaces and lives.  A very important 
thing that is happening is that most everyone is chanting repeatedly "no 
more violence" and "no to violence": Apparently the burning of the door 
of the National Palace was done by a soldier from the Mexican army in 
order to justify the intervention of the police against the crowd of 
protesters; at least that is what even the major newspapers say.

I would like to suggest here that the performance of violence and 
violent performances are now giving way to the performance of 
non-violence, but this is arguably a different kind of performed 
violence.  The installations using empy chairs, cards, mementos and 
photos of the students, public performances of those marching throwing 
themselves to the ground and remaining motionless for many minutes, the 
holding of signs on cardboard or cloth, and the chants hostile to the 
government are all part of so-called non-violent demostrations, but they 
are in fact violent, and they are meant to shake our government 
officials and public peace keepers to the bones.  I am not sure these 
tacticts are working, since neither our politicians nor the rest of the 
world seem to pay any attention or be in the least disturbed, but they 
are bringing about a new, publically-constructed collective 
understanding of non-violent protest.  And it is also a way to 
re-construct some feeling of being safe.

I find it interesting that the collective performance of non-violence is 
meant as a violent act, and that it is expected to stop the physical 
violence of the killings and forced disappearances that sadly mark 
everyday life today in much of Mexico.  To my mind, it is a reinvention 
of passive aggression, this time in collective forms.  But all in all, 
perhaps it is a good step in a good direction.

Thanks again for this discussion.

Gabriela Vargas-Cetina
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico


On 11/10/14, 4:19 PM, Ana Valdés wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Maybe Mexico is too near the US to be worth some alert in Google? :(
> Ana
> On Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 7:51 PM, Diana Taylor 
> <diana.taylorny at gmail.com <mailto:diana.taylorny at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>     Yes of course you did-- I was referring to the Google news feed
>     reported by Alan. I thought THAT was interesting in its omission.
>     Apologies if you thought I was referring to your posts Ana!
>     Diana
>     Diana Taylor
>     University Professor
>     Professor of Performance Studies and Spanish, NYU
>     Director, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics
>     On Nov 10, 2014, at 3:51 PM, Ana Valdés <agora158 at gmail.com
>     <mailto:agora158 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>     ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>     Some quick answers: Jon, check the archives of -empyre and you
>>     can read Alicia Migdal's quotations of Agamben and its Homo Sacer.
>>     And Diana, two days ago I posted to the list the links with live
>>     strem to the protests in Mexico when the news of the killed 43
>>     students reached us. And Alicia and me discussed it in the list.
>>     Ana
>>     On Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 2:04 PM, Jon McKenzie
>>     <jvmckenzie at wisc.edu <mailto:jvmckenzie at wisc.edu>> wrote:
>>         ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>         typographic t/error:  "the neutral observer of vita
>>         contemplativa"
>>         On Nov 10, 2014, at 9:59 AM, Jon McKenzie
>>         <jvmckenzie at wisc.edu <mailto:jvmckenzie at wisc.edu>> wrote:
>>>         I'm enjoying the engagement here, troubling as the topics
>>>         have been. The posts by Alan, Johannes, Ana, Reinhold, John,
>>>         Eric and others have been very provocative, and the
>>>         different speeds and tenors of post-communication is
>>>         breath-taking.
>>>         I've tried to respond in a slow way, for I
>>>         think/believe/feel that absolute terror is both
>>>         unprecedented and yet everyday, as it connects to the slow
>>>         terror of economic, environmental, and cultural
>>>         progress-gone-awry.
>>>         In You Must Change Your Life, Sloterdijk distinguishes vita
>>>         performativa from both vita contemplativa and vita activa.
>>>         His figure for Western theoretical man, the neutral observer
>>>         of vita activa, is one of suspended animation, all head
>>>         (capital) and no body (Diogenes). In the Art of Life, he
>>>         traces modernism's attempts to kill the Man of Logos.
>>>         The most surprising thing I've discovered through our
>>>         conversations is the uncanny resonance between videoed
>>>         beheadings and Bataille's Acephale. The significance of this
>>>         reverb is as legible as a tarot card.
>>>         **
>>>         Are pictographics permitted on this list?
>>>         Like graphe, the term "performance" is polymorphic enough to
>>>         stretch from acts of violence (those we call real, actual,
>>>         unmediated, etc) to violence enacted within theatrical and
>>>         artistic contexts (those we call artificial,
>>>         representational, mediated etc.), while also opening up
>>>         unsettling practices in-between. In "Prison Theatricality in
>>>         the Romanian Gulag," Ruxandra Cesereanu describes Cold War
>>>         prison performances in which guards forced prisoners to
>>>         reenact the torture of saints and other scenes of blasphemy
>>>         in grotesque living tableaus. More mundane and profound is
>>>         the realization that all techniques, performances,
>>>         experiences are generated via practice, repetition,
>>>         alternation, fine-tuning, etc. that is, are emergent via
>>>         graphe.
>>>         So by performances I mean actual and enacted acts and the
>>>         blur from which this distinction emerges, for each act of
>>>         terror, torture, rape is at once unique, singular, immediate
>>>         and at same time multiple, citational, mediated by the
>>>         material environments and symbolic contexts through which it
>>>         unfolds, those of victim, perpetrator, witness, etc. This
>>>         holds long before cameras, poets, and speculators arrive
>>>         (assuming they're not always on the scene: where I'm coming
>>>         from techne operates in physis along the lines Deleuze and
>>>         Guattari staked out as machinic phylum, graphe meets
>>>         autopoesis).
>>>         And once media technologies do arrive, they can't be assumed
>>>         as external to the performance of violence, merely
>>>         exploiting the situation, repeating the event, etc. Images
>>>         and cameras, audio and sound systems themselves carry force,
>>>         both physical and performative force, to do things not only
>>>         to witnesses but also to victims and perpetrators. At US
>>>         prisons at Guantanamo, Bagram, and Abu Ghraib, cameras and
>>>         images were part of the psychophysical interrogation regime,
>>>         used to humiliate, intimidate, and psychologically torture
>>>         detainees, as well as to document and produce "actionable"
>>>         intelligence. Videos posted online by ISIS and its precursor
>>>         organizations serve as warnings to other groups and
>>>         populations, as provocations to the international community,
>>>         and also as recruitment tools for seasoned and new
>>>         jihadists. Electronic terror is built atop public electric
>>>         utilities.
>>>         To miss the tele-pathy (pathos, suffering, passion at a
>>>         distance) of anachronistic (wars on) terror is to miss the
>>>         most proximate of events and all the affective networks
>>>         in-between, here, for instance, on this listserv. Triads of
>>>         victim, perpetrators, and witnesses multiply, morph,
>>>         recombine, and rotate over time and at different scales.
>>>         Whether one misses the tele-pathy or not, it's bound to
>>>         reverb, if not return.
>>>         "Homo sacre data body" is a term coined a decade ago to tune
>>>         in the reverb by mashing up Giorgio Agamben and Critical Art
>>>         Ensemble. If Agamben's camp signals the democratization and
>>>         generalization of homo sacre, CAE's data body doubles the
>>>         physical body with a virtual double composed of information
>>>         stored in networked databases. Ideally, homo sacre data body
>>>         is ubiquitous yet intimately customizable. Facebook meets
>>>         Acephale. The intersection of homo sacre and data body can
>>>         be a drone strike, a care package, or getting hauled away by
>>>         border officials. Its thumbprints are your passport, ID
>>>         cards, passwords, and cookies.
>>>         Homo sacre data body emerges as a microcosm of hypergraphe,
>>>         the metasisizing of graphic violence and graphic media,
>>>         producing the vast intermittent images of contemporary
>>>         terror. The society of spectacle of scaffold is as much
>>>         temporal as spatial, as much rhythm and break as stage and
>>>         spectacle. Theater and spectacle hook up with
>>>         visualizations, algorithms, and 24/7 dataveillance. Coming
>>>         and going, mobile biometrics are the happy form of tiny terror.
>>>         To think and act on links between absolute terror and the
>>>         globality of economic, cultural environmental devastation is
>>>         to grapple with the emergence and dissolution of individuals
>>>         and lifeworlds near and far and to struggle with one's own
>>>         performances as victim, perp, and witness.
>>>         In puppet theory form, today's installation of global
>>>         performance might be called "The deaths of God and Man are
>>>         trying the patience of Gaia."
>>>         Jon
>>>         On Nov 10, 2014, at 9:08 AM, Alan Sondheim
>>>         <sondheim at panix.com <mailto:sondheim at panix.com>> wrote:
>>>>         ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>>>         I want to thank Johannes for all the work he's done here,
>>>>         and all the guests current and future; it's an amazing and
>>>>         intense month.
>>>>         and from my current Google newsfeed (space and time
>>>>         displacements) -
>>>>         Suicide bombing at Nigerian school kills 47Sydney Morning
>>>>         Herald
>>>>         Military Plans 'Operation No Mercy' Against Boko
>>>>         HaramAllAfrica.com <http://haramallafrica.com/>
>>>>         Palestinian stabbed Israel soldier in attack near Tel Aviv
>>>>         train station, police say
>>>>         :Palestinians break through West Bank barrier to mark
>>>>         Berlin Wall anniversary RT
>>>>         Egypt jihadists vow loyalty to ISIS In this Tuesday, Nov.
>>>>         4, 2014 photo, smoke rises from explosions demolishing
>>>>         houses on the Egyptian side of the border town of Rafah as
>>>>         seen from the Palestinian side of Rafah in the southern
>>>>         Gaza Strip.
>>>>         Cyberespionage group targets traveling execs through hotel
>>>>         networks
>>>>         Russia Says Sanctions Hurting as Bank Moves to Defend Ruble
>>>>         Russian Military Encounters With West at Cold War Levels:
>>>>         Report
>>>>         Suicide bomber kills 47 boys in Nigeria school massacre
>>>>         Daily Mail- 1 hour ago
>>>>         Suicide bomber kills 48 at school assembly in Nigeria
>>>>         IBNLive- 1 hour ago
>>>>         UPDATE 3-Suicide bomber kills dozens at school assembly in
>>>>         Nigeria
>>>>         Reuters- 45 minutes ago
>>>>         ... * Suicide bomber dressed as student kills 48, injures
>>>>         79. * Detonates device during school's morning assembly. *
>>>>         Angry locals block access to school buildings, hospital.
>>>>         Leaders of China and Japan hold first face-to-face talks
>>>>         amid tensions CNN
>>>>         Trending on Google+:Palestinians break through West Bank
>>>>         barrier to mark Berlin Wall anniversaryRT
>>>>         Opinion:Terror attack in Tel Aviv: Palestinian stabs,
>>>>         critically wounds IDF soldierJerusalem Post
>>>>         From Nigeria:Scores Of Insurgents Killed In Mubi By
>>>>         SoldiersNAIJ.COM <http://soldiersnaij.com/>
>>>>         Clashes with Israel Police settle down in Arab locales
>>>>         ISIS gaining followers but losing leaders?
>>>>         CBS News- 52 minutes ago
>>>>         CAIRO -- Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a jihadi organization based
>>>>         in the Sinai Peninsula that has carried out several attacks
>>>>         targeting Egyptian security forces, has pledged allegiance
>>>>         to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
>>>>         African nations counter Ebola's tourism damageTimes of Malta
>>>>         Mali due to declare 108 Ebola-free after quarantineeNCA
>>>>         China's president praises Hong Kong chief's handling of
>>>>         democracy protests
>>>>         Los Angeles Times- 1 hour ago
>>>>         In a high-profile meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping
>>>>         expressed his support for the Hong Kong government's
>>>>         handling of the ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations even
>>>>         as student protest leaders seek to schedule direct talks
>>>>         with central government ...
>>>>         Opinion:Russian Forces Provoked West 40 TimesDaily Beast
>>>>         In Depth:Russia's 'close military encounters' with Europe
>>>>         documentedBBC News
>>>>         _______________________________________________
>>>>         empyre forum
>>>>         empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>>>         <mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
>>>>         http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>>         _______________________________________________
>>         empyre forum
>>         empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>         <mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
>>         http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>>     -- 
>>     http://www.twitter.com/caravia15860606060
>>     http://www.scoop.it/t/art-and-activism/
>>     http://www.scoop.it/t/food-history-and-trivia
>>     http://www.scoop.it/t/urbanism-3-0
>>     cell Sweden +4670-3213370 <tel:%2B4670-3213370>
>>     cell Uruguay +598-99470758 <tel:%2B598-99470758>
>>     "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the
>>     earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and
>>     there you will always long to return.
>>     --- Leonardo da Vinci
>>     _______________________________________________
>>     empyre forum
>>     empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au <mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
>>     http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>     _______________________________________________
>     empyre forum
>     empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au <mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
>     http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
> -- 
> http://www.twitter.com/caravia15860606060
> http://www.scoop.it/t/art-and-activism/
> http://www.scoop.it/t/food-history-and-trivia
> http://www.scoop.it/t/urbanism-3-0
> cell Sweden +4670-3213370
> cell Uruguay +598-99470758
> "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth 
> with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you 
> will always long to return.
> --- Leonardo da Vinci
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/attachments/20141110/1f203fc1/attachment.htm>

More information about the empyre mailing list