Irina Kaldrack, Theo Röhle
Creating Subsets of the Masses
Inge Baxmann (ed.), Timon Beyes (ed.), Claus Pias (ed.)
Social Media—New Masses
Between the Madness and the Wisdom of Crowds
Democratic fetishism involves not believing that one lives in a democracy while acting as if one does believe it.
Fredric Jameson has diagnosed the contemporary situation as one of subjective perplexity and disorientation. After the failures of all the Marxist attempts to install a framework which could provide for a collective subjective orientation, and after the perpetual intensification of late capitalism’s dynamics, the contemporary epoch is marked by the feeling that “the truth of … experience no longer coincides with the place in which it takes place.” This is to say, that individuals become disoriented because they lack an effective cognitive map of the complete situation they are in. This lack of orientation originates in the absence of a standpoint that would provide not only an abstract, but also a concretizable, perspective on the totality of the situation in which an individual finds himself. Badiou has further complicated the problem of disorientation, by linking it to the modalities of subjectivization offered by contemporary societies. In his analysis he refers to...
After all, the history of modern and contemporary art can be read as the progressive inclusion of a growing part of the formless into apparatuses.
Political action is always a matter of knowing who is qualified to say what a particular place is and what is done in it.
J.R.: Democracy is first and foremost neither a form of power nor a form of the emptiness of power, that is, a form of symbolising political power. For me, democracy isn’t a form of power but the very existence of the political (in so far as politics is distinct from knowing who has the right to occupy power or how power should be occupied), precisely because it defines a paradoxical power – one that doesn’t allow anyone legitimately to claim a place on the basis of his or her competences. Democracy is, first of all, a practice, which means that the very same institutions of power may or may not be accompanied by a democratic life. The same forms of parliamentary powers, the same institutional frameworks can either give rise to a democratic life, that is, a subjectivation of the gap between two ways of counting or accounting for the...
I am not a very balanced person. I am fragile and sad – almost as described in Triste Tropiques by Claude Lévi-Strauss. I feel both those adjectives, I grew up with them. I was aware of my fragility even when I was very young – a baby, learning to walk, living somewhere in Africa and already feeling that the number of white persons was very small compared to the number of black persons and also noticing that most of the black persons that I met were gardeners or maids. I felt – I am sure I am not lying – even at that very young age, not a sense of injustice, but a sort of guilt.
Guilt for what? My parents were nice people, they treated everyone well. My father was avidly learning languages, he spoke many African languages and also Pidgin English very well and he used to speak it...