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MaurizioLazzarato-Artworkandpolitics

MaurizioLazzarato-Artworkandpolitics

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R
A
o
C
A
L
p
H L
o
5 0p
H
y
a
journa
of
socialist
and
feminist
philosophy
149 
Editorial
collective
David Cunningham, Howard Feather, PeterHallward, Esther Leslie, Stewart Martin,Kaye Mitchell,
Mark
Neocleous,Peter Osborne, Stella Sandford
Contributors
Kristin
Ross
is the author
of
May
'68
andIts Afterlives
(2002), which has also appeared
in
French and Spanish.
Her
first book,
TheEmergence
of
Social Space: Rimbaud andthe Paris Commune
(1988), was reissued thisyear
by
Verso.
Bruno
Bosteels teaches Latin Americanliterature and critical theory at CornellUniversity. His
Badiou
0
el recomienzo delmaterialismo dialectico
was published in2007.
Lynne Segal
is Professor
of
Psychology andGender Studies
at
Birkbeck College, London,
Her
most recent book is
Making Trouble: Lifeand Politics (2007).
AntonioNegri
is the author
of
The Politics
of
Subversion
(1989; 2005),
Insurgencies (1992;
trans. 1999),
TIme
for Revolution (2003),
and, with Michael Hardt,
Labour
of
Dionysus(1994), Empire
(2000) and
Multitude (2004).
Maurino
Lazzarato
is an independentsociologist and philosopher who lives andworks in Paris. A regular contributor
to
FuturAntirior,
he was one
of
the founders
of
thejournal
Multitudes,
Judith
Revel
teaches
at
the University
of
Paris
I.
Her
books include
Foucault:Un'ontologia dell'attualita
(2003),
Foucault:Experiences de
la
pensee
(2005) and
Dictionnaire Foucault (2007).
Franco Berardi
teaches Social History
of
the
Media at
the Accademia
eli
Belle Artidi Brera, Milan.
Founder
of
the magazine
Altraverso
(1975-81),
he
was on the staff
of
Radio Alice, the first free radio stationin Italy (1976-78), His books include
Felix
(2001) and
Skizomedia (2006).
Copy edited and typeset by illuminatiwww.ilIuminatibooks.co.uk Layout by Peter OsbornePrinted by Russell Press, Russell House,Bulwell Lane, Basford, Nottingham NG6
OBT
Booksbop
distribution
UK: Central Books,115 Wallis Road, London E9
5LN
Tel: 020
89864854
USA: Ubiquity Distributors
lne"
607 Degraw Street, Brooklyn, New York 11217Tel: 718 875 5491
Cover
Eric Alliez.
Paradox Security, 2007,
Correction
The
cover image
of
RP
148 wasincorrectly attributed
to
Ruth Collins, who
is
now known as Ruth Blue.Published by Radical Philosophy Ltd,www.radicalphilosophy.com 
CONTENTS
MAY/JUNE 2008 
COMMENTARY
Looking
Back
on
'68
Managing the Present
Kristin Ross ..................................................................................................... 2
Mexico 1968: The Revolution of Shame
Bruno Bosteels ............................................................................................... 5
'Liberate socialist eminences from their bourgeois cocks!'Women '68ers, Marching On Alone
Lynne Segal ................................................................................................... 12
DOSSIER
Art
and
Immaterial
Labour
Introduction ..................................................................................................
17
A Very Different Context
Eric Alliez ....................................................................................................... 18
Metamorphoses
Antonio
Negri ...............................................................................................
21
Art, Work
and
Politics
in
Disciplinary Societies
and
Societies ofSecurity
Maurizio
Lazzarato ....................................................................................... 26
The Materiality of the Immaterial: Foucault, against the Returnof Idealisms
and
New
Vitalisms
Judith
Revel .................................................................................................. 33
(T)error and Poetry
Franco Berardi .............................................................................................. 39
REVIEWS
Julian Bourg,
From Revolution to Ethics: May
'68
and ContemporaryFrench Thought
Knox Peden ................................................................................................... 46 
Alain Badiou,
De Quoi Sarkozy est-it
le
nom? Circonstances 4
Peter Hallward .............................................................................................. 50 
Naomi Klein,
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise
of
Disaster Capitalism
Robert Spencer ............................................................................................ 52 
John Roberts,
The Intangibilities
of
Form: Skill and Deskilling in Artafter the Readymade
Steve Edwards ............................................................................................. 56
Matthew Beaumont, Andrew Hemingway, Esther Leslie and John Roberts, eds,
As Radical as Reality Itself: Essays on Marxism and
Art for
the
21
st Century
Andrew Hemingway. ed.,
Marxism and the History
of
Art: From WilliamMorris
to
the New Left
Gail Day ......................................................................................................... 59
Joanna Hodge,
Den'ida
on
Time
Jean-Paul
Martinon
...................................................................................... 62 
 
Art,
work
and politicsin disciplinary societiesand societies
of
security
Maurizio Lazzarato 
According to Michel Foucault, for some time
we
havebeen leaving disciplinary societies in order
to
enter intosocieties
of
security that, unlike the former,
'tolerate
awhole host of behaviours that are
different, varied, oreven deviant and antagonistic
toward one another',!These societies lead us beyond disciplines, becausethey put in place policies regarding the government
of
conducts that are exercised through the management
of
heterogeneities and the 'optimization
of
systems
of
differences' that is, through the differential administration
of
inequalities (disparities in situation, income,status, knowledge, and so on).Again according to Foucault, in societies
of
securitythe function
of
liberal policies regarding the government
of
conducts
is
'to produce, instigate and enhancefreedoms', 'to introduce a surplus
of
freedom', but
to
do so 'through a surplus of control and intervention'.The government
of
conducts, Foucault says, 'producesfreedom, but, in the same gesture, implies that limitations, controls, and coercions are set in place'.Following Felix Guattari, we can make these statements more precise. While contemporary capitalismproduces a 'generalized control, it
is
neverthelessforced to preserve a minimum of degrees of freedom,creativity, and inventiveness in the domain
of
thesciences, technologies and the arts, without which thesystem would collapse in a kind of entropic inertia'.2Just like the production of disparities or inequalities,the production of freedom
is
differential. Dependingon the situations, activities, social groups and balanceof forces at stake, there will be what Guattari definesas absolutely heterogeneous 'coefficients
of
freedom'.The government of conducts will then be exercisedthrough a modulation of coefficients
of
heterogeneityand coefficients of freedom.In order
to
grasp these modalities of the governmentof contemporary capitalism, it is perhaps useful toanalyse what modernity regarded as the very paradigmof freedom, heterogeneity, difference and deviance:art and the artist.
To
the passage from disciplinarysocieties to societies of security there corresponds atransformation in artistic practices and techniques, inthe conception and function
of
art, artists and publics,in the relationship that the latter entertain with society,the economy and politics. In order to analyse thispassage
we
will make use of Jacques Ranciere's 'aesthetic regime
of
the arts' -which in
my
view makesperfectly explicit what we no longer are -alongsidethe work of Marcel Duchamp, and freely interpret anovella by Kafka, which will allow us to grasp whatwe are in the process
of
becoming.
The practice and anti-dialectical thoughtof an anartist
In Ranciere's 'aesthetic regime
of
the arts', art
is
a specific activity that suspends the customary connectionsand spatio-temporal coordinates of sensory experience,which is marked by the dualisms of activity and passivity, form and matter, sensibility and understanding.These dualisms, which Ranciere defines as a 'partitionof the sensible', are political in the sense that theyseparate and hierarchize society according
to
relationsof domination that organize the power
of
men of'refined culture' (activity) over men of 'simple nature'(passivity), the power of men of leisure (freedom) overmen of work (necessity), the power of the class
of
intellectual labour (autonomy) over the class of manuallabour (subordination).This conception
of
art as a heterogeneous and'specific sensorium', opposed
to
the sensorium of workqua domination, harbours the promise
of
the abolitionof the separation between 'play' and 'work', betweenactivity and passivity, between autonomy and subordination, in accordance with two different modalitieswhich are in effect two politics of aesthetics. According to Ranciere, these two modalities inform thepolitics of art to this very
day.
The first (the becominglife of art) does politics
by
suppressing the separation
 
between art and life, and therefore by suppressing itselfqua separate activity. The second (resistant art) doespolitics by jealously safeguarding this very separation,
as
a guarantee
of
autonomy from the world
of
commodities, markets and capitalist valorization.
3
This partition
of
the sensible that distributes placesand functions in society, the economy and politics, aswell as in art, is one
we
have been in the process
of
leaving behind ever since the end
of
World War II.Under the conditions
of
contemporary capitalism, allthese dialectical oppositions
no
longer represent alternatives. They have become mere options for capital.Play which Ranciere, following Schiller, treatsas the prerogative of humanity, since it consists in agratuitous and non-finalized activity, grounding both'the autonomy
of
a proper domain of art and theconstruction
of
the forms
of
a new collective life'4 -
no
longer constitutes an alternative to work as domination.The dialectical opposition between play and work hasbeen transformed into a continuum,
of
which play andwork are only the two extremes. Between the two, itis possible
to
arrange
in
a thousand different ways thecoefficients
of
work and play, autonomy and subordination, activity and passivity, intellectual and manuallabour, which nourish capitalist valorization.Marcel Duchamp invites
us
to insert into the intervals
of
dialectical oppositions a third term which actsneither as a mediation nor as an agent
of
overcoming,but as an operator
of
disjunction that dispels the oppositions which structure not only our aesthetic principlesand tastes but, more generally, our ways
of
saying anddoing. The spread
of
this artistic practice and thought,which in the main came together
at
the beginning
of
our century, is strictly tied to the growing power andconsolidation
of
that government of conducts whichwas deployed starting at the end of World War II andwhich experienced a strong acceleration from the 1960sonwards. In the interval between the artwork and theindustrial object, Duchamp inserts his best-knowninvention, the readymade. The readymade instigatesthe flight
of
the use-value both
of
the industrial object(its utility and functionality) and
of
the artwork
(a
nonutility which has its function, a non-finality which hasits place in capitalist society and valorization).The readymade short-circuits and problematizes theworker's manufacture, but also the talent and virtuosity
of
the artist.
It
comes after Rimbaud's 'century
of
hands' -the hands of the artist's craftwork as well
as
of
the worker's manual labour. The readymade doesnot involve any virtuosity, technique or particularknow-how, so it 'desacralizes' and deprofessionalizesthe artist's function, making
it
possible 'to lower hissocial status'. Anyone can become an artist, anythingcan become a work, all that is needed is for each
to
find its public (and the institution's visibility andstatements).In the interval between play and work,
we
canintroduce choice. The readymade is not fabricated,but chosen. 'The difficulty for me
was
to choose.'But for Duchamp this choice is neither intentional norconscious; it expresses neither the interiority nor thetaste of the artist. He chooses to choose, instead offabricating something with his own hands. Duchampwill even say that 'one doesn't choose a ready made,one is chosen by it', so that the choice dispels theopposition between determinism and free will. In theinterval between activity and passivity,
we
can insertthe 'doing nothing', which is the refusal to accomplishwhat is asked
of
you, whether it be the passivity
of
theworker
or
the activity
of
the artist (or the immateriallabourer). 'Acting at the minimum', rather than allowing oneself
to
be trapped by the alternative betweenartistic creation and waged labour. For Duchamp bothare functions, occupations
to
which one is assigned. Onthe one hand, 'now artists are integrated, commercialized, too commercialized'. Ever since there has been amarket for painting, painters 'no longer make painting,but cheques'. On the other,
'to
be forced to work inorder to exist is a kind
of
infamy'. 'Doing nothing','acting at the minimum', means subtracting oneselffrom the distribution
of
competencies in contemporarycapitalism.
We
could continue having fun exploding dialecticaloppositions. For reasons
of
time, I will just mentionanother one, without developing it further: in theinterval
of
the opposition between the sensible andthe intelligible
we
can, following Duchamp, introduce'belief'.Duchamp explains himself very clearly concerningthe false heterogeneity represented by dialectical oppositional couples. In fact, if two things are opposed
to
oneanother, it is in favour
of
their very homogeneity.
If
I am against
the
word 'anti', it's because it's alittle like 'atheist'
as
compared
to
'believer'.
An
atheist
is
almost
as
religious
as
a believer, and
an
anti-artist
is
almost
as
artistic
as
an
artist.... 'Anartist' would be a lot better,
if
I could change
the
term, than 'anti -artist' .
5
With his customary humour, Duchamp uses a readymade to undermine the dialectical logic
of
exclusivedisjunction
of
the type 'either/or', and to allow the logic
of
inclusive disjunctions of the 'and' to function.I lived in Paris
in
a tiny apartment. In order
to use
this meagre space
to
the
utmost, I decided
to
use

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