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journal for politics and culture / #15


The reader of

Editors: Rzvan Ion & Eugen Rdescu Advisory Board: Marina Grini, Suzana Milevska, Sina Najafi, Peter Osborne, Felix Vogel. Contributors: Daniel Bland, Julia Brotea, Andrei Crciun, Rzvan Ion, Bruno Latour, Reinhold Martin, Wu Ming, Chantal Mouffe, Maria Muhle, Antonio Negri, Peter Osborne, Doina Petrescu, Eugen Rdescu, Ludger Schwarte, Hito Steyerl, Felix Vogel. Assistant Editors: Andrei Crciun, Simina Neagu Translations: Radu Pavel Gheo Design: Rzvan Ion Web & Software Design: Alexandru Enchioaie DTP & Prepress: Silvia Vasilescu The translation of Chantal Mouffes text from French to English: Michael Breslin The translations for artist texts: Simina Neagu BUCHARESTBIENNALE 4 Curator: Felix Vogel Assistant Curator: Andrei Crciun Co-directors: Rzvan Ion &Eugen Rdescu Executive Director: Ioana Niu Assistant of the co-directors: Simina Neagu Education Manager & Design of the publications: Silvia Vasilescu Design of BB logo: Hkan Gustafson Interns: Arnold Schlachter, Ioana Stan Volunteers: Carla Albert, Cosmin Anghel, Bianca Apostol, Cezarina Boghinciuc, Alexandru Ctu, Anca Croitoru, Ana Dabija, Irena Isbescu, Alexandra Mihali, Nicoleta Moise, Samantha Penn, Andreea Romeghe, Cristina Taru, Crengua Teler, Izabela Tudorache, Diana Vasilescu. PAVILIONis the producer of BUCHAREST BIENNALE
Published by: Artphoto Asc. Chairman: Eugen Rdescu

For advertising and info: Email: Phone: +4 031 103 4131 Postal Address: P.O. Box 26-0390, Bucharest, Romania Subscriptions: 1 year subscription / 2 issues 37 [Europe]/ 41$ [outside Europe] Printed at: First Advertising
Printed and bound in Romania PAVILION &BUCHARESTBIENNALE are a registered marks of Artphoto asc. 2000-2010 PAVILION & the authors. All rights rezerved in all countries. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form without prior written permission from the editor. The view expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers. ISSN 1841-7337

Cover: Ion Grigorescu, Electoral meeting, 1975, b&w photograph, 120 x 200 cm (detail). Courtesy: the artist.

Felix Vogel 7 Handlung. On Producing Possibilities 14 Handlung. Despre producia posibilitilor.


Maria Muhle 151 Aesthetic realism, fictional documents and subjectivation. Alexander Medwedkin. The Medwedkin Groups. Chris Marker 162 Realism estetic, documente ficionale i subiectivare. Alexander Medwekin. Grupurile Medwedkin. Chris Marker

Julia Brotea and Daniel Bland 23 Better Dead than Communist!. Contentious Politics, Identity Formation, and the University Square Phenomenon in Romania 44 Mai bine mort dect comunist!" - politici contestatare, formarea identitii i fenomenul Piaa Universitii din Romnia

Ludger Schwarte 172 Performative Architecture: Setting a Stage for Political Action 184 Arhitectur performativ - cum se constituie o scen pentru aciunea politic

Bruno Latour 196 From Realpolitik to Dingpolitik or How to Make Things Public 222 De la Realpolitik la Dingpolitik sau Cum s faci lucrurile publice

Andrei Crciun 64 The Women from APACA 68 Femeile de la APACA

Chantal Mouffe 248 Agonistic Democracy and Radical Politics 254 Democraia agonistic i politica radical

Antonio Negri 72 Metamorphoses 80 Metamorfoze

Reinhold Martin 260 Financial Imaginaries: Toward a Philosophy of the City 276 Imaginaruri financiare - pentru o filosofie a oraului

Doina Petrescu 90 Tactics of Faux Migration 100 Tactica falsei migraii

Hito Steyerl 292 The language of things 300 Limbajul lucrurilor

Rzvan Ion 110 Exploring the Return of Repression (notes for an exhibition-research) 114 Explornd ntoarcerea represiunii (note pentru o expoziie-cercetare)

Eugen Rdescu 308 What we produce is always way ahead of what we think 312 ntotdeauna ceea ce producem este cu mult nainte de ceea ce gndim

Peter Osborne 118 Imaginary Radicalisms: Notes on the Libertarianism of Contemporary Art 134 Radicalisme imaginare - nsemnri despre libertarianismul artei contemporane

Wu Ming 314 Notes For A Declaration Of The Rights And Responsibilities Of Story-Tellers 316 Note pentru o declararaie a drepturilor i responsabilitilor povestitorilor



320 National Geology Museum Muzeul Naional de Geologie 322 326 330 334 338 342 346 350 354 358 362 374 378 382 386 390 394 398 Magnus Brts Kaucyila Brooke Cabello/ Carceller Elena Ciobanu Cludia Cristvo ngela Ferreira Field Work/Lise Skou & Nis Rmer Andrea Geyer Charlotte Ginsborg Ion Grigorescu Marcel Iancu Stina stberg Emily Roysdon Fia-Stina Sandlund Lina Selander sa Sonjasdotter Pilvi Takala Lan Tuazon

426 ParadisGaraj 428 The Otolith Group


events/Projects of bucharest biennale

505 Opening Events Evenimente de deschidere

432 Centre for Visual Introspection Centrul pentru introspecie vizual 434 Martin Beck 438 Maryam Jafri 442 Mona Vtmanu & Florin Tudor

510 Simultaneous Parallel Events Evenimente paralele simultane

518 2009-2010 Parallel Events Evenimente paralele 2009-2010

446 PAVILION UNICREDIT - centre for contemporary art and culture PAVILION UNICREDIT - centrul pentru art i cultur contemporan 448 452 454 458 462 466 470 474 Zachary Formwalt Goldin+Senneby Sabrina Gschwandtner Christine Meisner Asier Mendizabal Olivia Plender & Unnar rn Socit Raliste Judi Werthein

521 Out of Town Parallel Events Evenimente paralele n afara oraului

523 Educational Program/ Guided Tours Program educaional/ tururi ghidate

402 Institute of Political Research Institutul de cerecetri politice 404 408 412 416 420 424 Kalle Brolin Pablo Bronstein & Eleanor Vonne Brown tefan Constantinescu Nicoline van Harskamp Alexander Kluge Fereshteh Toosi

478 laBOMBA venue: laBOMBA - Rahova-Uranus Community Center locaie: laBOMBA - Centrul comunitar Rahova-Uranus

Biographies 482 Curator 482 Writers/Scriitori 488 Participants/Participani

[4] [5]

Handlung. On Producing Possibilities.

by Felix Vogel


It is because of this already existing web of human relationships, with its innumerable, conflicting wills and intentions, that action almost never achieves its purpose; but it is also because of this medium, in which action alone is real, that it produces stories with or without intention as naturally as fabrication produces tangible things. These stories may then be recorded in documents and monuments, they may be visible in use objects or art works, they may be told and retold and worked into all kinds of material. Hannah Arendt: The Human Condition (1958)

I. Handlung Is there a difference between actions and stories? The German term Handlung serves not so much as a translation for both words, but much sooner it refers to the very semantic level. It is impossible to differentiate actions from stories, both meanings are intrinsically linked to each other and generate each other. It is exactly this ambiguity of Handlung1 that should be stressed here and be made productive. The 4th Bucharest Biennale suggests an experimental set-up to scrutinize different modes of action, possible courses and capabilities of action. It will try to examine various stories, interweaved plots, and fictions and how all this is bound to or detached from concepts of agency. How is agency proposed and what instructions for taking action are necessary or have to be developed? We will examine practices that criticize, rewrite, correct or queer established narratives as well as yet other forms that play with the set of conditions of constructing narrations and history. It will be about the appearing of things2 in the blinding bright light that shines out of the public realm. With this project, we will investigate how, who, and where these


possibilities of action are produced, how one can intervene in common patterns and how other and new possibilities of Handlung can be generated. In a critical manner, the set-up of this project will be based on the urban and spatial organization of Bucharest with its different historical and political layers and thus trying to examine how urban structures and architecture act as agents to allow, interdict and produce Handlungen.

II. The public sphere: Action, emancipation and dissent The public sphere - and therefore our whole living together - is structured through various forms of Handlungen. Handlungen have the very potential to make things visible, to find a form of communicating this, hence Handlungen are responsible for the becoming of the public sphere. In other words it can be said that every single change, every single movement is based on different modes of action, which need to be narrated. Nevertheless, not everything that is happening or everything that one can speak about is automatically Handlung. In her book The Human Condition, published in 1958, Hanna Arendt distinguishes between three major human activities: labor, work and action.3 According to Arendt, labor corresponds to the human body and vital necessities, while work corresponds to the unnaturalness of human existence.4 Only action is the only activity that goes on directly between man without the intermediary of things or matter, corresponds to the human condition of plurality5 and it is also the activity that allows an entering into the public realm. This short definition shows that

action is a very open and general concept, but it does not include all activities and every speech act and is, despite all similarities in Arendts thinking, not equate to Aristotles conception of politics. Nevertheless, all this happens in the public realm and consequently the Greek polis can still be described as the clearest realization with its division in oikos (private household for labor and work) and agor (public space of the polis for action). We will see later how these parameters of public and private space have changed and consider possibilities and necessities of their reactivation. With Arendt, Handlung can be valued as the inner logic of emancipation, because it makes political action possible and finds a form to narrate it. Another interesting view - that touches on the recent state of democracy and on the possibilities of art in this context - linked to this is Chantal Mouffes conception on the so-called post-political society6. Mouffes analysis takes its starting point at the absence of dissent. She observes that there is a strong model of consensus located in the centre of todays politics, arguing not only that there are no alternatives, but that the logic of consensus politics prevents any form of disagreement. Nevertheless Mouffe observes a neverending dimension of conflict and antagonism - which she transforms in agonism that has a lesser enemy connotation which is supposedly ever present in the radical heart of democracy. This agonistic model can be one possibility in saving or establishing a radically democratic society that is based on various layers of disagreements, which are rationally accepted as disagreements. If todays official politics is not producing possibili-

ties of actions and if a culture of dissent became extinct, the question then is: How can new possibilities of action - new possibilities of and for Handlung - be produced and what kinds of interventions are necessary to interrupt recent (i.e. consensus based) processes? What does disagreement mean and how can it be applied? How do we have to imagine and where can we find those agonistic models?

not only in the artistic field, but for society as a whole: From Flauberts novels over the invention of photography as an artistic practice (and thus breaking with established forms of representation) to such groundbreaking art works as Jacques-Louis Davids Death of Marat.9 Having in mind that those Handlungen are ruled by contingency, it does not make a difference, if the outcome of a particular action or how it is narrated was predetermined or if it happened spontaneously or without any impact on its aftermath. Consequently, it would be mistaken to just concentrate on a particular outcome and the agency that a Handlung might or might not produce and how the notion of participation can be productive: the question of how narrations, and the resulting narratives, are constructed seems even more crucial, which also asks for an investigation in the connections or connector joints between the different actors and actions. To put the legitimacy of a narrative into question examines the notion of actions at an earlier stage; it is no longer the substance of the action that is essential for its perception, but the modality in which it is narrated that is the examination of that which leads to and allows its narration.10 To draw near to this difficulty, the difference of meaning between history and story has to be erased: Each history is fictional and each story is rooted in a particular historical set-up. With Hayden White we can argue that history is a verbal artifact, a narrative prose discourse: The content of history is as much invented and imagined as found. History can never be only factual, found and thus completely true, because at least the context of certain past events and lived stories (what actu[9]

III. Fiction, narrative and history At this point we have to remember that this text is about an exhibition, about artistic projects,7 i.e. fictions. However, fictions become relevant as fictions, if we recognize the formerly facts also as fictions.8 Reality is - as it was stated earlier - historically constructed and narrated and therefore also art has the very potential to create reality too. It is commonsense to talk about the fact that not only the whole living together, accompanying every action, activity and speech act, is structured through certain rules and regulations, but also the way how certain things and circumstances are narrated in a prearranged way. This distribution of identifications, representations and subjectivations is also based on a spatial organization and a distribution of spaces -be it private housings, public spaces, parliaments or borders. Art - and more general: fictions - can produce those narrations, but it allows doing so differently from the predetermined order, respectively breaking it and producing new forms as well as different models of identification. Just recall the numerous events, which established breaks and discontinuities in the established order,

ally occurred) can impossibly be restored. We can no longer see the content of the past as if it were a series of (found) stories, but instead have to regard this as a piece of fiction, because the former is mistaking the narrative form in which historians communicate their knowledge of the past as actually being the pasts own.11 Hayden White goes even further and, in describing narrative as a somehow universal concept for the sharing of reality, highlights the - without explicitly mentioning it -the agency that narratives have: To raise the question of the nature of narrative is to invite reflection on the very nature of culture and, possibly, even on the nature of humanity itself. So natural is the impulse to narrate, so inevitable is the form of narrative for any report of the way things really happened, that narrativity could appear problematical only in a culture in which it was absent [] or programmatically refused. 12 It is thus not only necessary to carefully observe the purpose and dispositif" of a certain history - and thus also its object and speaking position (historian/historiographer) - but also how it is narrated and put into a form.

IV. The city Handlungsraum13




Every Handlung needs its particular spatial framework and produces space itself.14 In the public sphere there is an ongoing reciprocity between space that produces actions and actions that produce space. It is again Hanna Arendt who conceptualizes public space as the potential space of appearance between acting and speaking men.15 The city of Bucharest shows todays changes16 and

shifts of public space in an exemplary, but yet unique manner and tells different histories and stories of how spatial parameters produce, allow and force Handlung. The way in which Bucharest and its city structure is perceived today - that is its often unregulated, autonomous and rampantly amorphous development - goes back to the very beginning of the city and to each of its dramatic breaks17. Because of this deep-rooted historical heritage and still intact structure, Bucharest can yet (or again?) be described as a junction of village-like city quarters, which were in earlier times called mahala. This disordered structure, characterized through undefined boundaries - even in the city centre huge areas were used for agriculture until the end of the 19th century - did not change until mid-19th century, when at least for the inner city small changes in the style of Georges-Eugne Haussmann were made. This will to an overall appearance and structure was again intensified in the early 20th century. Unique urban landmarks like Nicolae Balcescu Boulevard as a coherent modernist architectural complex in the city centre have just been possible because there was no coherent and functioning old city structure established, which rooted in Romanias belated industrialization. This absence of regulations and fabrics made Bucharest an experimental laboratory for modern town planners and architects. Even though many of the ideas got stuck at an utopian level, the ideas that were developed in the 1920s and 30s in Bucharest were often based on models of communitarian division of space - without being yet connected to institutionalized forms of socialist architecture - and generally the city was understood as a space of possibilities.

Although, the largest change - for the first time due to an all-embracing and applied master plan - for Bucharests structure occurred undoubtedly during Ceauescus period. In the 1970s he propagated a new way of structuring housing and living, which was supported by the need for reconstruction due to a devastating earthquake in 1977. Supposed to realize socialist ideals, he proposed a model called uniti structurale complexe (complex organizational unit), which is based on a vision of collective social life that collects habitation, education, leisure, medical care as well as commercial needs - of course on the lowest level possible - within one common facility.18 Coinciding with the shift in private space, the perception of public space changed, too. Due to the split-up and the missing organizing principle of city quarters, there has not been something like public squares and places earlier; it was the communist regime who needed them now for representational use. Ad hoc, they established huge squares for deployments and parades, just for the sake to stage and emblemize the regimes power and authority and thus spatially limiting and forcing possibilities of Handlung. Again there was no public space for the people, meaning a space where gatherings and meetings can take place and therefore the possibility of the visibility of a community - and the becoming of a community - could take place. After 1989 the city changed again enormously and - once more without much planning - new structures are rising: Bad copies of western high-rise buildings in the centre as well as gated communities in the periphery are being build; at the same time communist block of flats are autonomously transformed according to the needs of the people and yet different

housing complexes are squatted by those who cannot afford living space.19 All this should not be viewed as something bizarre, but as Bucharests constitutive urban identity. And it is not the history or the typologies of these changes that are per se interesting, but the transitions that lie in between this distribution of space. There are different mentalities and guiding concept present at the same time, which offer different concepts and structures of public space and thus distinct possibilities of Handlung. It could even be claimed that the autonomous and amorphous growing and self-developing character of earlier Bucharests mahala is (re-) activated once more. Also through investigating spatial concepts and configurations of Handlung, the 4th Bucharest Biennale tries to make the above mentioned changes and activities productive. It will raise questions how established (urban) structures can be conquered and critically questioned as well as how interventions through appropriation, modification and communitybased participation can take place. How can Handlung define and defend the public realm today?


Notes: 1. The German word Handlung will be kept and its plural form Handlungen - in italic for the whole text, thus highlighting its different layers as well as its haziness. It is one of the most difficult and yet easiest words to translate: Action, activity, agency and participation, but progression, act, plot or story would also be perfect translations, but all of them are limited to one - and only one - specific meaning and therefore unable to recall the different layers that cannot be blanked, because they are permanently present. The significations of Handlung that go more in the direction of action and activity can be explained in separation from a more passive and unintended behaviour as something that is happening active and deliberately and is focused on organizing reality. Whereas the term agency has an even heavier connotation of a thing or a person to produce a particular result and could be described as form of existence, which expresses the terms political implication. On the other hand side (plot, story, etc.), Handlung has meanings close to fiction and narration; respectively they appear as something happened and something that is reported afterwards. 2. The definition of thing is based on Bruno Latours ideas in his essay From Realpolitik to Dingpolitik (cf. 196), where he advocates for an object-oriented democracy: For too long, objects have been portrayed as matters-offact. This is unfair to them, unfair to science, unfair to objectivity, unfair to experience. They are much more interesting, variegated, uncertain, complicated, far reaching, heterogeneous, risky, historical, local, material and networky than the pathetic version offered or too long by philosophers. Rocks are not simply there to kicked at, desks to thumped at. 'Facts are facts are facts'? Yes, but they are also a lot of other things in addition. 3. For the German edition of The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt translated action as either Handeln or Handlung. 4. Hanna Arendt: The Human Condition, Chicago 1958, p. 7. 5. Ibid., p. 7.

6. Chantal Mouffe: On the Political, London and New York 2005; The Return of the Political, London 2006; The Democratic Paradox, London 2000. See also her essay Agonistic Democracy and Radical Politics in this volume (cf. 248) 7. If I talk about artistic projects here, I understand this in the broadest sense, which includes all the other aspects and projects that are taking place within this biennale and is thus highlighting the interdisciplinary approach. 8. It would go too far, if we would consider Blumenbergs thoughts in extenso, but his short text Prospect for a Theory of Nonceptuality (in: Hans Blumenberg: Shipwreck with Spectator, Cambridge 1996.) gives a good idea about how a feedback between narrative structures and world good function. 9. Speaking with Jacques Rancire, these are the moments in which politics happens. Rancire speaks about la part de sans-part, which becomes visible in those acts of politics, which are in fact a new distribution of the sensible, a new order of different regimes. Cf.: Jacques Rancire: La Msentente. Politique et Philosophie, Paris 1995; The Politics of Aesthetics: The Distribution of the Sensible, London 2004. See also Maria Muhles essay Aesthetic realism, fictional documents and subjectivation. Alexander Medwedkin. The Medwedkin Groups. Chris Marker in this volume (cf. 151). 10. Cf.: Bruno Latour: Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-NetworkTheory, Oxford 2005. 11. Cf.: Hayden White: The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation, Baltimore 1987; Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in NineteenthCentury Europe, Baltimore 1973. 12. Hayden White: The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality, in: Critical Inquiry, Vol. 7, No. 1, On Narrative, (Autumn, 1980), p. 5-27. 13. Handlungsraum is again a very powerful German word to describe spatial conditions of actions, because it is used as a vocabulary of narrative theory and theatre as well as to

determine the political area in which action is possible. 14. For a more detailed analysis of this relation see Ludger Schwartes text Performative Architecture: Setting a Stage for Political Action in this volume (cf. 172) 15. Arendt, p. 200. 16. Boris Groys talks about a double erasure in Eastern Europe: The first one with the beginning of socialist and communist regimes and more recently the introduction of the capitalist economic/cultural system. 17. I do not want to spend much time with historical facts and just highlight one of the major differences to other European cities in the middle ages, that is the absence of a city wall. Leaving aside all military consequences here, this uncommon structure has still some impact into recent days. Through the nonexistence of a city wall, it is impossible to constitute the borders of the city and thus having a relatively diffuse notion of its spatial existence. 18. It has to be mentioned that this conception is anything but new. Its roots can be found in modernity, if we think about Le Corbusiers unit dhabitation and later on (but still earlier than Ceauescu) in projects of Team Ten members. 19. Srdjan Jovanovi Weiss describes those structures and transformation as turbo-architecture, according to the popular music genre turbo-folk, a very fast and eclectic mix of traditional East European folk music, Western pop music as well as techno and rock.


Handlung. Despre producia posibilitilor.

de Felix Vogel

Tocmai din cauza reelei deja existente de relaii umane, cu nenumratele ei voine i intenii conflictuale, aciunea nui atinge aproape niciodat scopul; ns, pe de alt parte, din cauza mediului acesta, n care doar aciunea este real, ea produce, cu sau fr intenie, poveti ntr-un mod la fel de natural cum manufacturarea produce lucruri palpabile. Aceste poveti pot fi apoi nregistrate pe documente i monumente, pot deveni vizibile n obiecte utilizabile ori n opere de art, pot fi povestite, repovestite i transpuse n toate felurile de materiale.
(Hannah Arendt, Condiia uman, 1958)

I. Handlung Exist vreo diferen ntre aciuni i poveti? Termenul german Handlung nu este menit s serveasc drept traducere pentru ambele cuvinte, ci se refer mai degrab chiar la nivelul semantic. Este imposibil s difereniezi aciunile de poveti, cci ambele sensuri snt legate intrinsec unul de altul i l genereaz unul pe cellalt. Exact aceast ambiguitate a termenului Handlung1 trebuie subliniat i valorizat aici. A IV-a Bienal Bucureti propune un cadru experimental n care s se studieze minuios diversele moduri de aciune, posibilele sale evoluii i posibilitile acesteia. Va ncerca s analizeze diverse poveti, intrigi ntreesute i ficiuni, precum i felul cum tot acest ansamblu este dependent sau detaat de conceptele instrumentalitii. Cum se propune instrumentalitatea i ce instruciuni de punere n aciune snt necesare sau trebuie elaborate? Vom analiza practici care critic, rescriu, corecteaz sau nimicesc naraiuni constituite, precum i forme care se joac aici cu setul de

condiii necesare elaborrii naraiunilor i istoriei. Ne vom ocupa de apariia lucrurilor2 n lumina aceea orbitoare ce se revars dinspre spaiul public. n cadrul acestui proiect vom investiga i felul n care snt produse asemenea posibiliti de aciune, unde se produc ele, cum poate interveni cineva asupra modelelor ncetenite i cum pot fi generate alte (i noi) posibiliti de Handlung. Decorul proiectului de fa va fi constituit, n chip critic, pe organizarea urban i spaial a Bucuretiului, cu diversele sale straturi istorice i politice, ncercnd astfel s analizeze felul n care structurile i arhitectura acioneaz ca intermediari, ca ageni care permit, interzic i produc Handlungen.

II. Sfera public: Aciune, emancipare i dezacord Sfera public - i, prin urmare, ntreg ansamblul traiului nostru comun se structureaz prin intermediul diverselor forme de Handlungen. Tocmai Handlungen au potenialul necesar pentru a face lucrurile vizibile, pentru a gsi o form de a comunica asta, astfel c Handlungen snt responsabile de devenirea sferei publice. Cu alte cuvinte, s-ar putea spune c absolut fiecare schimbare i fiecare micare se bazeaz pe moduri de aciune diferite, care trebuie s fie narate. Cu toate acestea, nu tot ce se ntmpl sau tot ce se povestete este automat Handlung. n cartea sa Condiia uman, aprut n 1958, Hannah Arendt distinge trei tipuri mari de activiti umane: munca, opera i aciunea3. Conform opiniei lui Arendt, munca (truda) corespunde corpului uman i necesitilor vitale, n vreme ce opera core-

spunde caracterului nenatural al existenei umane4. Aciunea este singura activitate care se manifest direct ntre oameni, fr a fi intermediat de lucruri sau de materie, i corespunde condiiei umane de pluralitate5, i tot ea este i activitatea care permite ptrunderea n spaiul public. Aceast scurt definiie ne arat c aciunea este un concept foarte deschis i general, ns nu include toate activitile i fiecare act de vorbire; n plus, n ciuda tuturor similitudinilor existente n gndirea lui Arendt, ea nu consun cu concepia lui Aristotel despre politic. Totui toate se ntmpl n spaiul public, prin urmare polis-ul grecesc nc mai poate fi descris drept cea mai clar mplinire a sa, cu mprirea n oikos (spaiul gospodriei private, pentru munc i creaie) i agor (spaiul public din polis, pentru aciune). Vom vedea mai jos cum s-au modificat parametrii spaiului public i privat i vom evalua posibilitile i necesitile reactivrii lor. La Arendt Handlung poate fi valorizat ca logic interioar a emanciprii, pentru c face posibil aciunea politic i gsete o form prin care s o nareze. O alt perspectiv interesant care are atingere cu starea recent a democraiei i cu posibilitile artei n contextul dat -, una legat de cele spuse mai sus, este concepia lui Chantal Mouffe despre aa-numita societate post-politic6. Analiza lui Mouffe i are punctul de pornire n absena dezacordului. Ea observ c exist un model puternic de consens, plasat n centrul politicii actuale, i susine nu numai c nu exist alternative, ci i c logica aceasta a politicii consensului mpiedic orice form de nenelegere. Totui Mouffe remarc o dimensiune infinit a conflictului i antagonismului - pe care ea l


numete agonism, termen cu o conotaie mai puin belicoas - , una ce se presupune c este permanent prezent chiar n miezul radical al democraiei. Acest model agonistic poate constitui o posibilitate de salvare sau de instituire a unei societi democratice radicale, bazat pe diverse nivele de dezacorduri, care s fie acceptate n mod raional ca dezacorduri. Dac politica oficial actual nu produce posibiliti de aciune i dac aceast cultur a dezacordului piere, atunci ntrebarea este: Cum ar putea fi produse noi posibiliti de aciune - noi posibiliti de i pentru Handlung - i ce tipuri de intervenii snt necesare pentru a face s nceteze procesele recente (i.e. cele bazate pe consens)? Ce nseamn dezacordul i cum poate fi aplicat el? Cum ar trebui s concepem i unde am putea s gsim acele modele agonistice?

III. Ficiune, naraiune i istorie n acest moment trebuie s ne aducem aminte c textul de fa se refer la o expoziie, la nite proiecte artistice7, i.e. la ficiuni. Doar c ficiunile devin relevante ca ficiuni atunci cnd recunoatem n fapte de odinioar tot nite ficiuni8. Aa cum am afirmat mai sus, realitatea este construit i narat istoric, astfel c i arta deine ntru totul potenialul de a crea realitate. Este un lucru de bun-sim s spunem c nu doar convieuirea n totalitatea sa, ce ne nsoete fiecare aciune, activitate i act de vorbire, este structurat conform anumitor legi i reglementri, ci i felul n care anumite lucruri i circumstane snt narate ntr-un mod prestabilit. Acest mod de distribuire a identificrilor, reprezen[16]

trilor i subiectivizrilor se bazeaz i el pe o organizare spaial i pe o distribuie a spaiilor - fie c e vorba de locuine private, de spaii publice, de parlamente sau de granie. Arta (i, la un nivel mai general, ficiunile) poate produce respectivele naraiuni, dar i permite s o fac altfel dect n ordinea prestabilit, adic nclcnd acea ordine i producnd att forme noi, ct i modele diferite de identificare. Amintii-v numai numeroasele evenimente care au impus rupturi i discontinuiti n ordinea instituit, nu doar n domeniul artelor, ci n ntreaga societate, de la romanele lui Flaubert, trecnd prin inventarea fotografiei ca practic artistic (i astfel rupnd-o cu tradiia formelor de reprezentare instituite) i pn la opere de art inovatoare, precum Moartea lui Marat, pictura lui JacquesLouis David.9 innd cont de faptul c acele Handlungen snt dominate de contingen, nu conteaz dac rezultatul unei aciuni particulare sau felul cum este ea narat a fost prestabilit sau a survenit spontan ori n-a avut nici un impact ulterior. Prin urmare, am grei dac ne-am concentra doar pe un rezultat anume i pe instrumentalitatea pe care un Handlung ar putea sau nu s-o produc, precum i pe modul n care conceptul de participare ar putea deveni productiv. Problema felului n care snt elaborate actul naraiunii i naraiunile rezultate din acest act pare mult mai important, ceea ce impune o investigare a conexiunilor sau a articulaiilor conectoare dintre diverii actani i aciunile respective.10 Punerea sub interogaie a legitimitii unei naraiuni nseamn analiza conceptului aciunilor ntr-o faz primar; substana aciunii nu mai este esenial pentru percepia ei, ci important e modali-

tatea n care este narat, adic analiza a ceea ce determin i permite naraiunea. Pentru a putea depi aceast dificultate, trebuie s tergem diferena dintre istorie i istorisire: fiecare istorie este ficional i fiecare istorisire, fiecare poveste, i are rdcinile ntr-un cadru istoric specific. Putem susine, n consonan cu Hayden White, c istoria este un artefact verbal, un discurs narativ n proz, cci coninutul istoriei e inventat i, n egal msur, imaginat ca descoperire. Istoria nu poate fi niciodat pur factual, aadar nici complet adevrat, cci cel puin contextul anumitor evenimente din trecut i al unor istorii trite (care s-au petrecut cu adevrat) e imposibil de reconstituit. De-acum nu mai putem vedea coninutul trecutului ca pe un ir continuu de poveti (descoperite), ci trebuie s-l vedem ca pe o mostr de ficiune, pentru c viziunea anterioar considera n mod eronat forma narativ n care istoricii comunicau cunotinele lor despre trecut ca fiind de fapt una a trecutului nsui.11 Hayden White merge chiar i mai departe i, atunci cnd descrie naraiunea ca pe un concept ntructva universal, folosit la mprtirea realitii, evideniaz - fr s o menioneze explicit - instrumentalitatea implicit a naraiunilor: A pune problema naturii naraiunii nseamn a invita la reflecie asupra naturii culturii nsei i, poate, chiar asupra caracterului umanitii. Att de natural este impulsul de a nara i att de inevitabil este forma naraiunii pentru orice relatare despre felul cum s-au petrecut cu adevrat anumite lucruri, nct narativitatea ar putea prea problematic doar ntr-o cultur n care este absent [...] sau este respins programatic12. Prin urmare, este nevoie nu doar s studiem cu atenie scopul i acel dispositif" al unei anumite istorii - i,

totodat, obiectul ei i poziia vorbitorului (istoric/istoriograf) - , ci i felul cum este ea narat i turnat ntr-o anumit form.

IV. Oraul Bucureti ca Handlungsraum13 Fiecare Handlung are nevoie de un cadru spaial anume i produce el nsui spaiu.14 n sfera public exist o reciprocitate nentrerupt ntre spaiul care produce aciunile i aciunile care produc spaiu. Tot Hannah Arendt este cea care conceptualizeaz spaiul public drept spaiul potenial al apariiei ntre oamenii ce acioneaz i oamenii ce vorbesc15. Oraul Bucureti etaleaz astzi modificri16 i alterri ale spaiului public ntr-o manier exemplar - i totui unic - i nareaz diverse istorii i istorisiri despre modul n care parametrii spaiali produc, permit i impun Handlung-ul. Felul n care snt percepute astzi Bucuretiul i structura sa urban adic dezvoltarea sa adesea dezorganizat, autonom i incontrolabil de amorf - trimite pn la nceputurile acestui ora i la fiecare din dramaticele sale fracturi.17 Din cauza motenirii sale, cu rdcini istorice adnci, i a structurii nc intacte, Bucuretiul mai poate nc (sau iari?) s fie descris drept o mpletire de cartiere urbane cu aspect de sat, care n vremurile de odinioar era numit mahala. Structura sa dezordonat, caracterizat prin hotare nedefinite - cci chiar i n centrul oraului zone foarte ntinse erau folosite pentru agricultur pn la sfritul secolului al xIx-lea -, nu s-a modificat pn la mijlocul secolului al xIx-lea, cnd cel puin n oraul interior au aprut mici transformri, n stilul arhitectonic al lui Georges-Eugne Haussmann. Aceast voin de a crea un aspect i o structur

de ansamblu s-a intensificat iari la nceputul secolului xx. Repere urbane unice, cum este bulevardul Nicolae Blcescu, un complex arhitectural modernist coerent aflat n centrul oraului, au devenit posibile pentru c, din pricina industrializrii ntrziate a Romniei, nu se ntemeiase o structur coerent i funcional a oraului vechi. Absena reglementrilor i a fabricilor a fcut din Bucureti un laborator experimental pentru arhitecii i urbanitii moderni. Dei multe din viziuni au rmas la un nivel utopic, ideile aplicate n Bucureti n anii 1920 i 1930 s-au bazat adesea pe modele de divizare comunitar a spaiului nainte ca oraul s fie conectat la formele instituionalizate ale arhitecturii socialiste - i, n general, Bucuretiul a fost neles ca un spaiu al posibilitilor. Totui cea mai masiv schimbare a structurii Bucuretiului - datorat pentru prima dat unui plan de ansamblu amplu, coerent i atotcuprinztor - s-a petrecut, desigur, n epoca lui Ceauescu. n anii 1970 acesta a promovat un nou mod de structurare a locuirii i a traiului, susinut de necesitatea reconstruciei din urma cutremurului devastator din 1977. Considernd c mplinete idealurile socialiste, Ceauescu a propus un model numit uniti structurale complexe, bazat pe viziunea unei viei sociale colective ce strnge laolalt locuirea, educaia, distracia, tratamentul medical, precum i necesitile comerciale - desigur, la cel mai redus nivel posibil - ntr-o unic structur arhitectural comun.18 n paralel cu alterarea spaiului privat, s-a modificat i percepia spaiului public. Din pricina fragmentrii i a lipsei unui principiu ordonator pentru cartierele oraului, n trecut n-au existat spaii i piee publice. Apoi regimul comunist a

avut nevoie de ele n scopuri reprezentaionale. Atunci au fost create ad hoc piee imense pentru manifestaii i parade, doar de dragul de a pune n scen i de a ilustra emblematic puterea i autoritatea regimului, limitnd astfel spaial Handlung-ul i impunndu-i posibilitile. Dar tot nu exista un spaiu public al oamenilor, adic un spaiu unde s aib loc ntlniri i adunri, aadar unde s se poat manifesta posibilitatea evidenierii unei comuniti - precum i cea a devenirii unei comuniti. Dup 1989 oraul s-a schimbat iari enorm i s-au nlat noi structuri - tot fr prea multe planuri. n centru au fost construite copii proaste ale unor cldiri occidentale foarte nalte, iar la periferie - complexe rezideniale ngrdite. Concomitent, blocurile comuniste s-au transformat autonom, n conformitate cu nevoile oamenilor, i diverse complexe de locuine snt ocupate ilegal de cei care nu-i pot permite un spaiu de locuit.19 Toate acestea nu trebuie considerate ciudate, ci identitatea urban constitutiv a Bucuretiului. i nu istoria sau tipologiile respectivelor schimbri per se snt interesante, ci tranziiile ce apar intermitent n distribuia spaiului. Mentaliti i concepte cluzitoare diferite snt prezente concomitent, ceea ce ofer concepii i structuri diferite ale spaiului public i, astfel, posibiliti distincte de Handlung. S-ar putea chiar susine c acel specific al mahalalei bucuretente, definit prin autonomie, cretere amorf i dezvoltare independent, este (re)activat nc o dat. De asemenea, prin cercetarea conceptelor i configuraiilor spaiale ale Handlung-ului, a IV-a Bienal Bucureti ncearc s fac productive schimbrile i activitile menionate mai sus. Vor

aprea ntrebri legate de modul n care pot fi cucerite i puse sub interogaie critic structurile (urbane) consacrate i despre felul cum se pot realiza intervenii prin apropriere, modificare i participare comunitar. Cum se poate defini i apra astzi spaiul public prin Handlung?



1. Cuvntul german Handlung va fi scris cu litere cursive (italice), ca i forma lui de plural, Handlungen, evideniind astfel att straturile lui diferite, ct i ambiguitatea sa. Este unul dintre cele mai dificile cuvinte i totui printre cele mai uor de tradus. Poate nsemna aciune, activitate, instrumentalitate, participare - dar i progresie, act, subiect sau poveste ar fi traduceri perfecte; doar c toate aceste cuvinte se reduc la un singur - la doar un singur - sens specific i, n consecin, nu snt capabile s renvie diferitele straturi existente, ce nu pot fi nici terse, deoarece snt prezente permanent. Acele semnificaii ale lui Handlung ce nclin mai mult n direcia aciunii i activitii pot fi explicate separat de comportamentul mai pasiv i involuntar, ca reprezentnd ceva ce se ntmpl n mod activ i intenionat i se concentreaz pe realitatea sistematizat. n schimb termenul instrumentalitate are o conotaie chiar mai puternic, trimind la un lucru sau o persoan ce produce un rezultat specific, i poate fi descris ca o form de existen, ceea ce le confer termenilor o implicaie politic. De cealalt parte (subiect, poveste etc.) Handlung are sensuri apropiate de ficiune i naraiune, adic nseamn ceva ce s-a ntmplat i ceva ce a fost relatat ulterior. 2. Definiia lucrului se bazeaz pe ideile prezentate de Bruno Latour n eseul De la Realpolitik la Dingpolitik (v. n volumul de fa,p. 222), unde acesta susine conceptul de democraie orientat spre obiect: Obiectele au fost descrise prea mult vreme drept realiti imediate. E nedrept fa de ele, nedrept fa de tiin, nedrept fa de obiectivitate, nedrept fa de experien. Ele snt mult mai interesante, mai diversificate, mai incerte, mai complicate, mai cuprinztoare, mai eterogene, mai riscante, mai istorice, mai locale, mai materiale i mai relaionale dect n versiunea jalnic oferit de atta vreme de filosofi. Pietrele nu exist doar pentru a le trage uturi i nici bncile doar pentru a le zgli. Faptele snt fapte nseamn fapte? Da, dar nseamn multe alte lucruri n plus.

3. Pentru ediia german a Condiiei umane Hannah Arendt a tradus aciune fie prin Handeln, fie prin Handeln. 4. Citat din ediia american: Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, Chicago, 1958, p. 7. 5. Ibid., p. 7. 6. Chantal Mouffe, On the Political, Londra i New York, 2005; The Return of the Political, Londra, 2006; The Democratic Paradox, Londra, 2000. 7. Cnd pomenesc aici de proiecte artistice, m refer la sensul cel mai larg al sintagmei, care include toate celelalte aspecte i proiecte ce au loc n cadrul bienalei i evideniaz astfel abordarea interdisciplinar. 8. Am exagera dac am lua n calcul ideile lui Blumenberg in extenso, dar concisul su text Prospect for a Theory of Nonceptuality (n Hans Blumenberg, Shipwreck with Spectator, Cambridge, 1996) ne ofer o imagine clar asupra bunei funcionri a feedback-ului dintre structurile narative i lume. 9. Vorbind cu Jacques Rancire, am ajuns la concluzia c acestea snt momentele n care survine politica. Rancire vorbete despre la part de sans-part, ce devine vizibil n respectivele manifestri politice, ele fiind de fapt o nou distribuire a perceptibilului, o nou ordine a unor regimuri diferite. Vezi Jacques Rancire, La Msentente. Politique et Philosophie, Paris, 1995; The Politics of Aesthetics: The Distribution of the Sensible, Londra, 2004. Vezi i eseul Mariei Muhle Realism estetic, documente ficionale i subiectivare. Alexander Medwekin. Grupurile Medwedkin. Chris Marker, n volumul de fa, p.162. 10. Cf. Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-NetworkTheory, Oxford, 2005. 11. Cf. Hayden White, The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation, Baltimore, 1987; Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in NineteenthCentury Europe, Baltimore, 1973. 12. Hayden White, The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality, n Critical Inquiry, vol. 7, nr. 1 (On Narrative)/ toamn 1980, p. 5-27. 13. Handlungsraum este un alt cuvnt german

puternic prin care se descriu condiiile spaiale ale unei aciuni, cci este utilizat ca termen de specialitate n teoria naraiunii i n teatru, dar i pentru a determina zona politic n care aciunea este posibil. 14. Pentru o analiz mai amnunit a acestui raport, vezi textul lui Ludger Schwarte, Arhitectur performativ - cum se constituie o scen pentru aciunea politic, n volumul de fa, p. 184. 15. Hannah Arendt, op. cit., p. 200. 16. Boris Groys vorbete despre o tergere dubl petrecut n Europa de Est: prima odat cu nceputul regimurilor socialiste i comuniste, iar cealalt mai recent, odat cu introducerea sistemului economic/cultural capitalist. 17. Nu doresc s pierd mult timp cu evenimente istorice, ci voi evidenia doar una din diferenele majore existente n Evul Mediu fa de alte orae europene: absena unui zid de aprare al cetii. Lsnd la o parte eventualele consecine militare, aceast structur neobinuit mai are i astzi un anumit impact. Neexistnd un zid al cetii, este imposibil s stabileti graniele oraului, fapt ce creeaz o concepie relativ difuz asupra existenei sale n spaiu. 18. Trebuie spus aici c sus-pomenita concepie nu e n nici un caz nou. Rdcinile ei pot fi descoperite n modernitate, dac ne gndim la acea unit dhabitation a lui Le Corbusier i, mai trziu (dar tot nainte de Ceauescu), la proiectele celor din Team Ten. 19. Srdjan Jovanovi Weiss numete respectivele structuri i transformri turbo-arhitectur, pornind de la un gen de muzic popular, turbo-folk, un amestec foarte rapid i eclectic de folclor tradiional est-european, muzic pop occidental, sonoriti techno i rock.


Better Dead than Communist!. Contentious Politics, Identity Formation, and the University Square Phenomenon in Romania

by Julia Brotea and Daniel Bland


The 1990 protest episode known as the University Square Phenomenon constituted a crucial and contentious episode for Romanias political transition from communism. Analysis of this incident sheds light on the long-term consequences political protests can have when they translate into routine politics. More specifically, such an analysis enriches the emerging literature on how social movements matter by underlining the lasting impact of the University Square Phenomenon on Romanias party system and political culture. Drawing in part on the theoretical framework presented in Doug McAdam, Sidney Tarrow, and Charles Tillys Dynamics of Contention, the analysis of the University Square focuses on two major processes: identity formation and contentious repertoires. This examination shows that the political identity gained during the University Square Phenomenon and the repertoire for political protest it generated played a


decisive role in its aftermath and the naissance of a democratic civil society in Romania.

Introduction1 In contrast with other Eastern European countries, Romania witnessed a violent exit from communist dictatorship. More than 1,000 people were killed in the December 1989 Revolution and, in the first half of 1990, many opposed the participation of a neo-communist elite in the first democratic elections in more than five decades. It was at this moment that a crucial yet understudied episode of political contention took place: the University Square Phenomenon. This episode constituted an attempt to liquidate Romanias communist legacy and move towards a genuinely democratic order. The protest was sparked by a meeting organized on April 22, 1990, in Bucharests University Square, marking exactly four months after the 1989 Revolution. The intention of this protest was to adopt legal measures preventing corrupt former elites from running for office and from holding public functions. A direct corollary of this demand was the deterring of the Front for National Salvation (FNS) - a self-proclaimed provisional government with strong links to the former Communist Party - from running in the May 1990 election. Large-scale discontent and fear of the FNS (felt especially by intellectuals) contributed to the rapid transformation of this protest episode. Its growth in intensity and duration allowed the protesters in University Square to become a symbol not only of the struggle against neo-communism but also of early Romanian democratization. The

University Square Phenomenon gave rise to long-term, ongoing political outcomes in post-1989 Romania. For example, it contributed, albeit indirectly, to the victory of the Democratic Convention of Romania (DCR) in the 1996 election and it generated a repertoire of contention that can now stand on its own. Today, the University Square Phenomenon symbolizes an episode of contentious politics that acted as a catalyzing force for the Romanian opposition, helping it reorganize itself and eventually win the 1996 election. From this perspective, the University Square Phenomenon points to a major theoretical question present in the current political sociology literature: how do social movements matter? Although crucial, this question has received relatively little systematic attention in the relevant social science literature (Giugni et al. 1999). In order to explore this question while reconstructing the development and the aftermath of a major yet understudied contentious episode, the following article analyses the role of identity formation and contentious repertoires in the different phases of the University Square Phenomenon before exploring its longterm consequences on contemporary Romanian politics and society. The discussion about the contentious episode itself focuses on these two processes, i.e. identity formation and contentious repertoires, because they are most relevant for the examination of long-term outcomes and easy to trace in the aftermath of the protest. This approach is derived in large part from Dynamics of Contention, and it has the added benefit of recreating the original dynamic context in which the identity of the University Square

Phenomenon emerged as well as the repertoire of contention it made available for adaptation in subsequent protest years. This article concludes with a discussion about the broad social and political implications of the University Square Phenomenon through an exploration of the link between this episode, democratization, and potential revolutionary trajectories in the early 1990s.

cult to build and extend theory (Tindall, 2003: 486). Instead, the current analysis shows the helpfulness of the authors approach to understanding the University Square episode of contention, which falls outside the scope of grand, overarching theoretical models for revolutions and for democratization, although it does exhibit elements of both. Two issues discussed in Dynamics of Contention will be at the center of this study: identity formation and contentious repertoires. These issues have been selected among the list of mechanisms and processes discussed in this book because they are especially central for emphasizing the long-term impact of the University Square Phenomenon on Romanian politics and society. The most radical example of identity formation comes from the French Revolution and the affirmation that the source of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation, which all modern republics have. As the French Revolution also illustrates, identity, which emerges from a social movement, is not a constant but rather the result of an interactive process (McAdam et al. 2001). This process is related to a number of causal mechanisms important for this study: category formation, object shift, and certification. First, actors frequently link previously unrelated social sites generating new boundaries and connections among political actors, (McAdam et al. 2001: 142), which lead to the emergence of original social and political categories. In turn, the formation of such categories has a major role to play in the consolidation of new political identities. Second, the actions that take place following the gen[25]

How Contentious Episodes Can Matter McAdam, Tarrow, and Tillys Dynamics of Contention has been described as the most ambitious, and arguably the most important, book on social movements (and related phenomena) written in the past two decades (Tindall 2003: 408; Mische 2003; Peterson et al. 2002). The main objective of this book is to provide scholars with new insights into various forms of contentious politics. According to the authors, contentious politics involves widespread - and potentially transgressive - social mobilization. Contentious politics is different from routine politics, which gravitates around wellestablished bureaucratic, political, and electoral rules. Dynamics of Contention proceeds to stress the similarities that exist within a wide range of contentious episodes and to focus on the parallels that exist among them. The present article takes a similar approach, countering the criticism of Dynamics of Contention that it cannot be employed in further studies because, in the absence of a deductive structure it is practically impossible to judge which theoretical claims make logical sense, and which do not. Furthermore, it is diffi-

esis of a new political identity can generate an object shift: a displacement of the object of social and political claims that affects the original repertoire of contention. Finally, the certification of actors by external authorities such as foreign states and international organisations is the third recurring mechanism of identity formation. The lack - or the withdrawal of external recognition can undermine the legitimacy as well as the mobilising capacity of social and political actors involved in episodes of contention (McAdam et al. 2001: 142-6). This brief discussion of the three identity-transforming mechanisms shows that collective identities change during mobilisation processes, sometimes in a sudden manner, and that identity formation also involves the appropriation of existing identities. In addition, following a logic described by Benedict Anderson (1991), it involves a selective memory and interpretation of the past in order to create an image of cohesiveness amongst participants. Finally, identities created during such episodes later impact routine politics: creation, transformation, and extinction of actors, identities, and forms of action in the course of contention alter the array of actors, identities, and actions that appear in routine politics and further contention once the particular episode of contention has ended (McAdam et al. 2001: 56). And, while an ideology or an economic grievance can fuel the creation of a new political identity such as the proletariats or the British labour strikes, it does not have to. As the analysis of the University Square Phenomenon shows, protesters can also be fuelled by an inherent notion of justice. The University Square Phenomenon sprang from the realisation that the Romanian Communist

totalitarian regime was unjust and that the 1990 government was not committed to uprooting its vestiges but rather had demonstrated that it would continue on a similar path. The process of identity formation is aided by repertoires of contention, which imply that social and political mobilization involves a set of symbols and codified rituals. Although their impact is variable in scope, these symbols can become a major component of identity construction processes. This is true largely because repertoires of contention are embedded in historical memory. For example, Hannah Arendt writes on the topic of the spirit of the revolution that there is nothing that could compensate for its failure or prevent it from becoming final, except memory and recollection. And since the storehouse of memory is kept and watched over by the poets, whose business it is to find and make words we live by (...) these reflections are significant enough as they testify to the involuntary self-discourse, to the joys of appearing in word and deed without equivocation and without self reflection that are inherent in action (Arendt 1990, 280-1). Thus, according to Arendt, the preservation through culture of a revolutionary repertoire can provide a political body with the necessary resources to mobilise resistance against the onset of tyrannical rule. In the study of social movements the concept of repertoire has been widely discussed (e.g. Tarrow 1994, Tilly 1986). Yet, Dynamics of Contention gives an additional dynamic meaning to this idea, which could wrongly suggest a stable set of tools and symbols that seldom evolve over time. In response to their circumstances, social and political actors rework

known routines and symbols available to them. Contentious repertoires feature routines that are modified over and over again. Furthermore, in order to reinforce the interactive aspect of repertoire, the authors define the concept of contentious repertoires as limited ensembles of mutual claim-making routines available to particular pairs of identities (McAdam et al. 2001: 138). Actors borrow a theatrical metaphor - repertoire - to convey the idea that participants in public claim-making adopt scripts they have performed before (McAdam et al. 2001: 138). Similar to identity formation, appropriation and interaction are also central to the working and reworking of contentious repertoires. Our analysis stresses this logic through the study of the slogans, songs, and general claims put forward in the context of the University Square Phenomenon as well as the manner in which the actual University Square location continued to remain a site for subsequent minor protests. Beyond the study of identity formation and contentious repertoires, the following empirical section ends with a discussion about democratization and revolutionary trajectories as discussed in Dynamics of Contention. Although revolutionary trajectories seemed to materialize during the development of the University Square Phenomenon, they were never converted into a revolution. Yet, the absence of an overarching theoretical model ought not to prevent the study of such episodes but rather reinforce the search for mechanisms that appear variously combined in all (...) forms of contention (McAdam et al. 74). This search becomes particularly important when, as in the case of University Square, an episode of con-

tention not only fuels the creation of civil society but also the formation of a new political party and its subsequent electoral victory. This discussion about the impact of the University Square Phenomenon leads to the issue of how social movements [and contentious episodes] matter. Despite recent attempts to explore such issues (Amenta 2006; Amenta and Caren 2004; Giugni 1998), one can still argue that the study of the consequences of social movements is one of the most neglected topics in the literature. (...) [W]e need more systematic studies that can shed light on various aspects of movement impact, in particular on the potential consequences, on the conditions and circumstances that favour certain consequences as well as the processes leading movements to have an impact, and on the actual effects obtained by past as well as contemporary movements (Giugni et al. 1999: xv). The most realistic, long-term impact of social movements is the conversion of grievances previously articulated in a setting of contention into routine politics. This transformation into routine politics is usually carried out by the reorganization of protesters into civil society organizations, which continue the protestors struggle from within the system. An illustration of this process is provided by American feminist groups, which increased in number from 75 in 1982 to 140 in 1995, and which established their presence in Washington, D.C., from where they advanced a new public policy agenda to mobilize support for legislation (Gelb and Hart 1999, 153). Yet, as the current analysis of the University Square Phenomenon shows, social movements can surpass other civil

society organizations as they transform themselves into political parties and eventually win elections. Furthermore, social movements can affect the political culture of the country in which they operate. In the case of the University Square Phenomenon, this translates into the emergence of powerful anti-communist symbols that are still present in todays Romanian political culture. These findings about the University Square Phenomenon are especially interesting because they move the analysis beyond the traditional focus on policy outcomes present in the literature to the lasting consequences of social movements and contentious episodes (e.g. Amenta and Caren 2004). They also correspond to Marino Dianis recommendation to concentrate on the structural position occupied by movement actors after phases of sustained political and/or cultural resistance, in order to observe whether they facilitate the emergence of new networks, which in turn allow advocacy groups, citizens organizations, action comities, and even single individuals to be more influential in processes of political and cultural transformations [emphasis added] (Diani 2001: 209).

of the routinization of politics that took place after the episode ended with the miners violent intervention. The chronological structure of the second part reflects the four phases of the University Square Phenomenon: organization, development, aftermath, and consolidation.

Organization: Identity Formation and Repertoires in University Square Though the University Square Phenomenon forms an episode of contentious politics on its own, it cannot be approached without a brief overview of the historical and political events leading up to that point. After 45 years of communist rule, the population of Timioara initiated the Romanian Revolution, which by December 22, 1989, had spread to other cities, particularly Bucharest (Milin 1990). Unlike other Eastern European movements where the overthrow of former communist regimes was peaceful, the Romanian Revolution claimed 1,104 deaths. In the aftermath, the courts, which should have brought those responsible for the December massacre and for the 45 years of communist rule to trial, failed to do so and thus, the crimes of December 1989 and those of the Communist past remained a running sore on the Romanian body politic (SianiDavies 2000: 17). Added to this was Dictator Nicolae Ceauescus escape, immediately after which the Front for National Salvation (FNS) formed and made its first public appearance on national television. The most prominent spokesman of the FNS was Ion Iliescu, a former high official of the Romanian Communist Party at the time virtually

unknown to the general public, who later became president of the country (Deletant 2000: 35-59; Osmani 1997). Despite the FNSs efforts to deny its connection with the previous Communist Party, it soon became obvious to many Romanians that the partys anti-communism was of a more recent vintage (Clinescu and Tismneanu 1991: 40-59; Hickman 1998: 3). Furthermore, FNSs refusal to outlaw the Romanian Communist Party and the first arrival of miners on January 29 - followed by another group on February 18 - to restore order in Bucharest generated doubts amongst many Romanian intellectuals about the success of the 1989 Revolution (Bellu and Badin, 2005).2 Further still, the tumultuous days of late December, in which the FNS proclaimed itself the provisional government, coincided with the time when a new enemy of the Revolution and of the Romanian people - the terrorists - made their presence felt. To this day the identities of the terrorists remain unknown, under whose orders they acted, how many people died because of their actions, and why they vanished without a trace only a few days later (Hickman 1998; Siani-Davis 2000: 15). These so-called terrorists were evoked in the media (particularly on television) during those days, and they brought with them the old Hobbesian realization that security is more important than freedom. Under these circumstances, the FNS became the government of Romania and Ion Iliescu became president. Soon afterwards, in March 1990, ethnic tensions escalated into violence in Trgu-Mure, a Transylvanian city where ethnic Hungarians form the majority. The Presidents reaction to this

Understanding the University Square Phenomenon Far from presenting a detailed reconstruction of the University Square Phenomenon, the following sections focus on the theoretical elements discussed above. The objective here is to shed light on identity formation and contentious repertoires while underlining the broad social and political impact of this crucial contentious episode in the mirror

conflict raised doubts about Iliescus commitment to minority rights. [... T]he Presidents manipulation of state media [particularly the only TV station in existence at the time] before the election of May 1990 raised further doubts about his democratic credentials (Light and Phinnemore 2000: 2). In response to Iliescu, worker and student association members held a gathering on March 11, 1990, in Timioara to adopt the Proclamation of Timioara (Clinescu and Tismneanu 1991: 53). The Proclamation, written mainly by George erban and published by the Timioara Society (Mungiu 1996: 351) stated: For the victory of the Revolution, in Timioara, together with the Romanians, Hungarians, Germans, Serbs and members of other ethnic groups died, who for centuries lived peacefully in our city. [... We] want to live in a country where tolerance and mutual respect are the only principles that will rule the future Europe Home (Proclamation of Timioara). The same Proclamation also asserts: The Revolution was from its first hours, not only anti-Ceauescu but also, categorically, anti-communist. Of paramount importance was the eighth point in the Proclamation of Timioara, which proposes: an electoral law that forbids former communist activists and former Securitate officers for the first three consecutive elections from standing for election on any electoral list (...) and the inclusion of a special paragraph in the law forbidding former communist activists to run for the office of President. These circumstances prepared the ground for the University Square Phenomenon. Thus, on April 22 the National Peasant Party (NPP), a newly

formed political party claiming continuity, via its leaders Corneliu Coposu and Ion Diaconecu, with the pre-war National Peasant Party, organized a meeting of protest with the intention of deterring Iliescu and other former communist leaders from running in the May 20 election (Osmani 1997: 3). However, the demonstration did not terminate at the end of the day: protesters blocked University Square with the intention of continuing the struggle against communism that had started with the 1989 Revolution. It is no coincidence that the date chosen for the protest by the NPP was April 22, a day exactly four months after the 1989 Revolution. Hence, those who conceived the Proclamation of Timioara, as well as the NPP, became the first actors of the University Square Phenomenon, while the actual Proclamation articulated a new political category whose pillar was antineo-communism. These elements are best understood in the context of repertoires of contention, where previously created performances (Tilly 2002: 118) are borrowed for new purposes. In the case of University Square, the repertoire was only four months old and the slogans that predominated in University Square were, as they had been four months earlier, Down with the Communists! to which was added Down with the NeoCommunists! Two days into the demonstration, on April 25, the protesters abandoned the NPP identity in favour of a new University Square identity that was to extend from Bucharest throughout the country, and which shared the NPPs opposition to communism, but did not include a genuine political platform for winning the May election. Unlike the NPP, the University

Square events were not an attempt to win the election, only to deter FNS from participating in it. In this manner, the protesters could bestow upon themselves a moral role unfettered by long-term electoral motives. The University Square events also brought about unintended consequences by moving beyond the intent of the NPP, by gaining its own identity, and by abandoning political ties with the party that had organized the meeting in the first place. Furthermore, the issue of the May 20 election was pushed to the periphery of their protest while the Proclamation of Timioara and the anticommunist agenda moved to the forefront. This switch in agenda could have aided the University Square identity formation. This becomes particularly clear when one compares the University Square Phenomenon with the 1996-97 Serbian student movement, as the two protest movements share some basic features. Yet, the raison dtre for the Serbian protest was and remained narrow in scope, as it focused on the recognition of the November 17 municipal elections, in which the Zajedno opposition alliance won Belgrade and other major cities. As a result, Slobodan Miloevi was able to dismantle the fragile anti-Miloevi coalition and put an end to the student protest by simply giving into the oppositions demands (Thompson and Kuntz 2004). Compared to the members of the 199697 Serbian student movement, the University Square protesters were less pragmatic; their demands reached beyond short-term political goals and aimed at the overly nave but morally inspiring process of decommunization and trial of communism. Thus, the

weeks from April 22 to May 20 were sufficient to allow for the emergence of this new political identity, whose main pillar was the struggle against communism and contoured around the categorically against communism stance of the Proclamation of Timioara. Another element that contributed to the consolidation of this new political identity came from the way in which the protesters interpreted the 1989 Revolution. Essentially, the protesters in University Square were challenging the victory that the FNS had proclaimed. Protesters began referring to the University Square Phenomenon as the continuation of the 1989 December Revolution. It was this belief that created for them a fortifying myth. Part of the motivation behind this interpretation came directly from the Proclamation of Timioara, which ends with the statement: We, the authors of this Proclamation, participants at the events from December 16-22, do not consider the Revolution finished. We will continue it firmly. After we faced and triumphed, without anyones help, in overthrowing one of the most powerful and repressive systems in the world, nobody and nothing can intimidate us. Furthermore, signboards reading PCR = FSN (Romanian Communist Party = Front for National Salvation) appeared in University Square, further adding to the sense of continuity between the 1989 Revolution and the current protest. Hence, exactly four months after the Revolution, the people of Bucharest were once again shouting: Down with the Communists, asserting in University Square that, for them, the 1989 Revolution was continuing and that the battle against the communist regime was

still to be won. The early days of the University Square movement included powerful elements of contention. Most important among these are the repertoires of contention and the emergence of a new political identity that benefited from the way the protesters depicted the Revolution, allowing political legitimacy to pass from the 1989 Revolution to the University Square. The University Square movement formed its new political identity by retaining the same slogans and the same goals of anti-communism from the 1989 Revolution, and by applying them, not to the former Communist Party, but to the newly formed provisional government, FNS. The demonstration organized by the NPP broke allegiance with the party only two days later and became an episode of mass protest with its own identity and remained this way for the following six weeks. In more theoretical terms, the action of breaking allegiance with the NPP marks an object shift, changing the focus of the protest from the May 20 elections to the anti-neo-communist and anti-FNS. Those same elements of the repertoire of contention and political identity are also present in the subsequent days of the University Square but in a slightly different form as the political identity of the University Square gained a bolder contour.

Development: What was the University Square Phenomenon? Two days into the University Square Phenomenon, the protesters declared themselves to be peaceful, multicultural (they included Hungarians and other eth[31]

nic minorities), anti-communist, and antineo-communist. They also broke their allegiance with the NPP, who had organized the meeting on April 22. Dr. Emil Constantinescu, acting president of the University of Bucharest and professor at the Department of Geology gave protestors the right to use departments balcony (Dabija, 2007), which became the tribune from which personalities or average citizens demanded the democratization of the country (Gheorghe and Huminic 1999). On April 24, in a Provisional Council for National Unity (PCNU) meeting, President Ion Iliescu called those in University Square golani (thugs), a label rapidly embraced by the demonstrators who, in addition to calling themselves golani, baptized the perimeter they occupied in University Square Golania (Thug Land) (Gheorghe and Huminic 1999). This was a particularly poor choice of words for President Iliescu because only four months earlier former dictator Ceauescu had referred to the protesters who initiated the 1989 December Revolution in Timioara as hooligans. This new name was quickly stripped of its derogatory connotation and became a badge of honour as many Cambridge, Sorbonne, and Oxford students declared themselves thugs. Romanian dramaturge and member of the French Academy, Eugne Ionesco, proclaimed himself an academician thug, while other prominent intellectuals were granted the title of honorary thug (Mungiu 2003: 351; Cesereanu 2003). Thus, the identity of the University Square was initially contoured around very nebulous symbolism but continued to grow through intense interaction among the protesters. This identity consolidated even further as some of the golani decided not to leave

the Square, setting up tents, claiming the University Square area as a zone free of neo-communism (Tismneanu 1990: 1619) and calling the place the kilometre zero of freedom and democracy. By doing so the protesters not only made public claims according to their identity but also made clear they regarded the provisional government as an object of contention (McAdam et al. 2001: 134). University Square was entirely transformed by the protesters and gained a somewhat desolate aspect during the day (being populated mostly by those on hunger strikes, ardent protesters, and some indolent ones), [while] the protests began in the afternoon and gained proportions in the evening and at midnight, when the spectacle shut down by itself(Cesereanu 2003). Cesereanu was right to describe the protest as animated and as a spectacle. The University Square was in many ways a cultural event where artistic expression in the form of slogans or songs served the moral and political goals of the protesters. Their signs exclaimed, for example, Yesterday hooligans, today thugs, Today in the capital, tomorrow in the whole country, We do not go home, the dead wont let us, and We will die but well be free. Along the same lines, songs were composed with the purpose of building continuity with the 1989 Revolution and of overthrowing the FNS government. Most of the songs and slogans accused the present government of the same charges as the 1989 Revolution had the former dictatorial government. The gravest of these was the murder of innocent people, particularly the killing of over 1,000 people during the 1989 Revolution. This accusation was

articulated in the lyrics: God, come God / to see whats left of humans (...) / There are nights long and sad (...) / And you dont even care about those who are not / Those who accuse you from there, from their graves (Sterian 1990: Line 1, 4, 24). These slogans and songs established a spiritual continuity between the 1989 Revolution and the University Square events of the following year. The University Square movement even adopted its own anthem, Anthem of the Golani, whose lyrics were sung from the Geology Departments balcony with the crowd joining in from below: Better hoodlum, than traitor / Better golan than dictator / Better hooligan than activist / Better dead than communist! As Steinberg pointed out, as in the case of the Serbian student movement, popular music also served as a vehicle for sustained social and political challenge in the University Square events (Steinberg 2004). This cultural expression gave the University Square events a sense of spectacle while also framing the protesters social and political identities, allowing them to protest against the NSF government. If, as the authors of Dynamics of Contention argue, political identities figure in both routine social life and contentious politics, the identity that developed in University Square clearly belongs to the political identities [which] originate or specialize in contention (McAdam et al. 2001: 135). Furthermore, during this period University Squares identity gained a bolder contour and clarity in its scope, being categorically anti-communist and opposed to the current government. In the case of the University Square this observation reveals that the protesters

interacted with each other and renegotiated an identity independent from the political party with which they had once had allegiance. They first adopted the new University Square political identity and then developed an allegiance to this same identity. In addition, they adjusted the boundaries they occupied and, as stated above, called the University Square a zone free of neo-communism and Golania (Thug Land). The protesters in University Square modified their actions in rapid response to the political environment; they chose the 1989 Revolution as their script and modified it to fit the new political requirements. Thus, they improved new forms of collective action and spoke words no one had uttered before. Simultaneously, they responded to their location within the web of social relations that University Square embodied. The University Square Phenomenon adds support to the claim that social construction occurs (...) socially and not in isolated recesses of individual minds (McAdam et al. 2001: 135), and that a new political identity can emerge from a protest movement through political interaction. This political identity became even more perceptible in the actions of University Square intellectuals such as Ion Caramitru, Ana Blandiana, Octavian Paler, Gabriel Liiceanu, Ovidiu Iuliu Moldovan, Nicolae Manolescu, Marian Munteanu, Dan Haulica, and notably, Emil Constantinescu, who acted as representatives for the University Square and asked President Iliescu to accept a dialogue between the government and the protestors, which Iliescu refused (Cesereanu 2003). Moreover, they took upon themselves the moral role of orga[33]

nizing hope. In Octavian Palers words: [i]n December I set aside my usual scepticism and allowed myself to believe that my country was on the brink of a democratic future. But my hopes were crushed. (...) Andre Malraux once said that to arrive at courage one has to organize hope; thats what we will have to do, organize our hopes (Paler 1990: 12). Still, the intellectuals roles at that instance can be defined as actors for the newly created identity of the University Square. Furthermore, these people came to be identified as the principal actors of the University Square through the interviews and editorials they published in support of the University Square Phenomenon (Roca 1996). These individuals, some of whom had not been prominent public figures before the University Square, bestowed upon themselves moral evaluations and responsibilities (McAdam et al. 2001: 131) that they were expected to confirm even after the University Square had ended. This moralistic component made the University Square actors not only a symbol of the opposition to the NSF and to communism, but it also made them, in the eyes of the protesters, symbols of liberal-democratic values. As became obvious after the election of their chosen presidential candidate, Emil Constantinescu, in 1996, the coalition associated with the University Square legacy had difficulties rising to their own high moral and political standards. The people mentioned above acted time and again as spokesmen, defenders, and supporters of the University Square, taking upon themselves the task of articulating answers to the questions What is the University Square? and What does the

University Square claim? At the beginning of the University Square matters were less complicated and the questions were even answered in song: You ask us why were here? / But the entire country knows / We support the eight point from Timioara (Cesereanu 2003). However, the extended time-span of the University Square demonstration called for new proposals and explanations for the continuing marathon protest, which had supporters, although in much smaller numbers, in other cities of the country (Roca 1996). Actors were required to express the University Squares newly formed political identity. It is not surprising that these actors had to be autochthons to the University Square, particularly because they could no longer be members of political parties but rather could only speak - and stand - in University Square as private individuals. While these actors remained consistent with the University Squares goal of being independent of any political party, and while they also spoke at length about the purity of the University Square and about its apolitical character (Roca 1996), they did not unite around a common political platform, and, as a consequence, neither could the mass of people of gathered in University Square. The election of May 20, 1990, held after one month of marathon protest, found the political identity of the University Square formed, but without being articulated in a political party, it was politically inoffensive.

to be catastrophic for the University Square protesters: with an 86.19% turnout, the FNS garnered 85% of the popular vote, while the opposition votes were scattered among 73 parties plus other independent candidates. Part of their failure was because the University Square had not been able to include every social class into their movement, with the majority of the protesters being students and intellectuals (Mungiu 1996: 352) and most of them from Bucharest. While this is an important factor for explaining the electoral defeat, the most crucial one was articulated by Nicolae Manolescu, a member of the DCR: We did not lose because of fraud but because we were unable to convince the Romanian electorate that we were better than the others (Roper 2000: 75). Following the election the majority of formations that participated in the University Square (Association 21 December, The Students League, The Group for Democracy, etc) retreated. (...) Thus, through this reflux, the University Square was emptied by a considerable part of its Golani (Tismneanu 1990: 18). The remaining protesters had to face not only the police forces but also the miners.3 At this point, however, the protestors apparent legitimacy vanished entirely as foreign newspapers, as well as some of the local ones, claimed that democracy meant recognizing the elected government. This reality illustrates the role of certification in contentious politics: in the absence of external support and recognition, political protests seem less legitimate. In the case of the University Square, such a decline in legitimacy rapidly undermined social and political mobilization.

Yet, a small number of protesters remained in University Square. On June 11, Iliescu agreed to engage in negotiations with them but the negotiations quickly failed. By June 15-16, newly elected President Iliescu, instead of using the legal tools at his command, appealed [on public television] to an extralegal force, the coal miners, giving them his presidential blessing to exert unbounded terror (Tismneanu 1990: 3, Vasi, 2004). He thus unleashed (...) thousands of coal miners armed with hammers and bats, some visibly intoxicated, who descended upon the protesters and innocent bystanders (Osmani 1997: 4). Though the miners eruption constitutes a contentious episode of its own, for the purpose of this study it also marks the violent end of the University Square events. The protesters that remained were beaten with bats, some of the offices in the Department of Geology were destroyed, six people were killed, and more than 560 hospitalized (Gheorghe and Huminic 1999; Vasi, 2004). The University Square protest falls among the cases that feature many elements of contention but that do not develop into a revolution. According to McAdam, Tarrow, and Tilly, few successful cases result from a large sample of revolutionary situations (McAdam et al. 2001: 195). Although the University Square Phenomenon never evolved into a genuine revolution, three typical revolutionary situations were present. First, the appearance of contenders (...) advancing exclusive competing claims to control the state, or some segment of it (McAdam et al. 2001: 197), materialized

Aftermath: The End of the University Square and the Revolutionary Situations Issue The election results of May 1990 proved

from April 22 onwards in the University Square Phenomenon, as it grew in numbers reaching almost 300,000 protesters in Bucharest alone (Mungiu 1996: 352). Second, the commitment to those claims by a significant segment of the citizenry (McAdam et al. 2001: 197) was also present, especially because many protesters belonged to the social, political, and cultural elites of Romania. Third, the incapacity or unwillingness of rulers to suppress the alternative coalition (McAdam et al. 2001: 197) also occurred for most of the duration of the University Square Phenomenon. Iliescu did not take action to stop the protest until well after the May 20 election -only on June 13 after most of the University Square protesters had left (only about 250 remained) did the miners intervene (Gheorge and Huminic 1999). Despite the coincidence of these three revolutionary elements, however, the University Square Phenomenon was not successful in continuing the 1989 Revolution, nor was it able to initiate a new one. What made the difference in the University Square was, above all, the election of May 20, 1990. It was Romanias first democratic election in more than fifty years, and the result could not be compromised because, after all, the University Square, first through the Proclamation of Timioara and later through the articulation of its main actors, had always declared itself in accordance with democratic principles. In a way, the University Square did not become a fullblown revolution largely because, after May 20, it would have become an antidemocratic mobilization incompatible with its proclaimed democratic goals.

Consolidation: How the University Square Phenomenon Mattered The concrete impact of social movements and contentious episodes should not be assessed exclusively in the mirror of their explicit political goals. Even if a protest episode fails to reach the goals of its organizers and participants in the short run, its long-term effects can have a considerable bearing on subsequent political development in terms of policy outcomes as well as broader and usually more durable systematic changes, both on the structural and cultural levels (Giugni et al. 1999: xxi-xxiii). In Romania, the end of the University Square Phenomenon, which culminated with the miners violence, brought about two cold realizations. First, despite the connection the FNS had with the former communist leadership, they won the elections democratically and with an overwhelming majority. Second, the election made it obvious that the opposition served the role of an opposition only in principle. In practice the political opposition was virtually non-existent because it was not able to present an alternative to the NFS. In response to this during the fall of 1990 discussions [took] place for the organization of a civil movement in Romania, and on November 7 the Civic Alliance was formed de facto (Civic Alliance). In this regard, comparable similarities exist with the Serbian student movement, which proved to be another catalyst for the formation of civil society organisations, most notably Otpor. Otpor ran as a political party in the 2003 Serbian election but registered a mere 1.6% of the popular vote. It did, however,

become an influential international civil society organization promoting student resistance to undemocratic rule throughout Eastern Europe. In the case of the University Square, the civil society organizations remained more local in focus. Thus, the motto of the Civic Alliance became we can only succeed together, and Marian Munteanu, a figure who distinguished himself during the early days of the University Square Phenomenon, was elected president of the organization. One year later in July, Anna Blandiana became next president of the Civic Alliance. Blandiana had been nicknamed an honorary thug during the University Square. Simultaneously, Emil Constantinescu, former Geology professor at the University of Bucharest and prominent speaker in Thug Land, became vice-president of the Civic Alliance. The appearance of the Civic Alliance was hailed as being born directly from the University Square with the goal of supporting the process of democratization, and it marked the moment when the intellectuals began to understand the necessity of political involvement for the creation of a democratic society (Tariuc 1998: 7, Alianta Civica). Following a white march organized on July 13 to demand the release of those arrested on June 11-13, Anna Blandiana confessed I thought only a few hundred masochists would show up on Opera Square - thats how little hope I thought was left (...) As it turned out, I was wrong: some 200,000 people participated in the march. There still was hope. And if hundreds of thousands of people continued to hope, then someone had to organize their hope (Blandiana 1991: 92). One day following the commemorative gathering on December 21, 1990, in University

Square, the Liberal National Party, the NPP, and the Social Democrat Party of Romania united and formed the National Convention for the Instauration of Democracy (NCID). The Civic Alliance also merged with the Anti-Totalitarian Democratic Front, followed by the joining of the NCID with the Anti-Totalitarian Democratic Front in December 1991 (Civic Alliance). As Zimmerman wrote a year after the University Square events, Civic Alliance [a broad-based opposition group] which didnt exist a year ago, organized commemorative demonstrations. (...) These demonstrations were significant in that they showed Civic Alliances capacity to organize and coordinate nationwide actions (Zimmerman 1991: 96). These mergers formed the Democratic Convention of Romania (DCR). Emil Constantinescu became DCRs candidate, and his main credentials were not his political experience but the fact that he was a university professor outside the circle of the political parties, linked with the University Square Phenomenon, and a member of important civil organizations (Tariuc 1998). Constantinescus electoral victory was celebrated at midnight on November 17 in University Square by 80,000 people waving flags and shouting, We won. In his speech the same night, Constantinescu told the people who had gathered there: In this square we conquered liberty. This square is kilometre zero for democracy in Romania (Chiriac 1997: 38). The formation of the DCR shows that the University Square movement did not vanish altogether with the protest itself. The University Square continues to be referred to as a moral victory even if its


goals were never fully attained (Cesereanu 2003), and it is still considered symbolic of the beginning of democratization in Romania. If in the spring of 1990 the University Square protesters were framing their cause in such a way as to build a continuation with the 1989 Revolution, they were now framing the defeat of the University Square in glorifying terms. This process of framing the defeat, as Kim Voss points out, consists of constructing a fortifying myth and explanation of defeat that linked current failure to future triumphs, keeping hope alive so that activists could mobilize support when new political opportunities arose (Voss 1998: 139), This glorification of the University Square, in spite of its collapse, helped the opposition in the long run to organize and reorganize the newly formed DCR. The University Square Phenomenon, furthermore, preserved the University Square itself to always be ready for another demonstration. Thus, demonstrations, although they weaken in intensity, continued to take place in the University Square: for example, December 21, 1990; October 1991; April 26, 1992; December 1, 1993; December 16, 1993; November 25, 1994; February 1999, and June 2003. Also not without importance is the fact that the University Square Phenomenon continues to receive yearly coverage in newspapers and magazines such as Cotidianul, Romnia Liber, and Revista 22 under the heading we must not forget. It is sufficient to say that the memory of the University Square survived and its identity became rearticulated into a democratic process that increasingly took the form of routine politics. The traditional factors accounting for

democratization were present in the aftermath of the University Square. First, the democratization of Romania was brought about by some groups who wanted such a shift to take place and were willing to make vigorous efforts to effectuate it (McAdam et al. 2001: 272). Second, these groups including the Civic Alliance, the Student League, the Group for Social Dialogue, and other organizations realized the need for a civil society that was, prior to this time, muzzled and mutilated (Clinescu and Tismneanu 1991: 50). These new groups and organizations were thus fulfilling the need to bring forth trust networks within society (McAdam et al. 2001: 275). Third, they acted as counterelites and saw themselves in opposition to and eventually became the official opposition of the government in power (McAdam et al. 2001: 268). The path to democratization, however, started in December of 1989 with an explicit desire to move away from the communist dictatorship. In its aftermath, some Romanians perceived the new provisional government as a threat, and they feared a return to communism before democracy had had a chance to materialize. However, the failure of University Square aided the cause of those who opposed the provisional government more through myth than if it had transformed into the second revolution the protesters had hoped for. In addition, part of the long-term or rather the very long-term implications of this episode of contention is the current pressure from various civil society organizations on the Romanian government for a lustration law with serious judicial repercussions. In their demands for de-communization and for the trial of communism, civil society

organizations continue to draw resources from the Proclamation of Timioara and the 8th point that the University Square Phenomenon made famous (Cesereanu, 2005a). Moreover, during the 2004 electoral campaign, organizations like the League of Students and the Civic Alliance and Group for Social Dialogue converged to form the Coalition for a Clean Parliament. Though the primary focus was to eradicate the Parliament of corruption, the coalition included amongst its criteria for evaluating candidates the provision that candidates ought not to have been an agent of the former Securitate (Tismneanu, 2005). This point resonates strongly with the 8th point of the Proclamation of Timioara. The short-term political failure of the University Square fuelled the forming of coalitions that constituted themselves as political actors, and they remained so even when excluded from formal political power. Those coalitions created the beginning of routine politics in a society that for more than forty years witnessed only the imposition of uniform governmental structures and practices through the governments jurisdiction (McAdam et al. 2001: 268). Furthermore, the Civic Alliance, together with the other organizations that emerged from the University Square, played a crucial role in incorporating and expanding the newly formed trust network of the University Square by embodying the political identity and the goals of the University Square on their political or apolitical programs. Thus, a repertoire of contention that started with the 1989 Revolution was first adopted and then transformed during the University Square protest. Finally, with the election of 1992 and the DCR gaining

20% of the vote in parliamentary elections (Popescu and Hannavy 2002), Romanian society witnessed the dissolution of coercive controls supporting current relations of exploitation and opportunity hoarding (McAdam et al. 2001: 257). Combined with the DCR victory in the 1996 election, it became clear that political inequality could be addressed. This does not mean that Romania is sheltered from a detour. It only means that the analysis of the University Square Phenomenon and its aftermath allows for the visualization of the rise of a new political identity through contention and the rapid consolidation of the same identity in routine politics. Furthermore, this study shows that the University Square Phenomenon was not an experience from which the political opposition lost (Georgescu 2004), as Former President Ion Iliescu affirmed recently, but rather it was an experience that served as a catalyst for the unification of the opposition and which contributed to its electoral success in 1996. It additionally contributed to the naissance of the first civil society organizations and the consolidation of democratic practices and principles in the long run. The University Square Phenomenon continues to be evoked as the mass protest which initiated de-communization (e.g. Cesereanu 2005b), a process which marks a societys attempt to come to terms with its authoritarian past in political as well as in social and cultural manners. Conclusion The University Square Phenomenon had a significant impact on Romanias post1989 politics. As shown above, most of its impact ironically stems from its failure.

The powerful identity of the University Square, however, survives to this day and many Romanians see this episode as a major learning experience in a country where older generations had to rediscover democracy, while the newer ones had to grasp its implications, both in its contentious and in its routine forms. This apparent learning process is best captured in the writings of a young Romanian: At the time, I was nine, going on ten. As my parents attended the meeting, I did the same. I shouted, though I did not quite understand what it was I shouted. But there, in the University Square, I learned freedom existed and was worth fighting for. (...) I learned I could say NO to the government. I learned about common identity, about the magic of songs. (...) I learned about the power of masses and mass action (Conovici 2004). To some extent, this romantic view also aided the University Squares six-week marathon protest in forging a lasting repertoire of contention that now stands on its own. As this article suggests, the analysis of social movements does not have to end with the movement itself because the latter can have long-term political implications, which the study of social movements can make explicit if it reaches past the contentious episode itself. From this perspective, the analysis of the University Square Phenomenon sheds light on the issue of how social movements matter by stressing the impact of this contentious episode on Romanian party formation and political culture. Borrowing from Dynamics of Contention, this analysis backs the claim that identity formation and contentious repertoires can matter well beyond the decline of a spe[40]

cific contentious episode. In the future, scholars could further explore this issue by stressing the manner in which social movements and contentious episodes can affect political culture and partisan politics and not only policy outcomes, as is frequently the case in the existing sociological literature. Overall, this article shows that, although clean streets and a return to routine politics point to the end of a concrete protest episode, its symbolic and political driving force may survive by other means for a long period of time.


1. Acknowledgement: The authors wish to thank Angela Kempf and Ali Rezaei for their comments on earlier drafts of this article. 2. On the miners movement see Gledhill, 2005. 3. The miners from the Jiu Valley continue to represent a threat to Romanias attempt to democratic consolidation The miners were largely aided in their process of forming a participant identity by the privileged status they enjoyed during the communist era and the subsequent legitimation, Iliescu bestowed upon them after 1990. The events from June 1990 mark the third time the miners arrived in Bucharest, while February 1999 marked their sixth arrival in the capital. (Vasi, 2004; Fonta,

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Mai bine mort dect comunist!" politici contestatare, formarea identitii i fenomenul Piaa Universitii din Romnia

generat au jucat un rol decisiv i mai trziu, ducnd la naterea unei societi civile democratice n Romnia. Introducere1 Spre deosebire de celelalte ri din Estul Europei, Romnia s-a confruntat cu o ieire violent din dictatura comunist. Peste 1.000 de persoane au fost ucise n Revoluia din Decembrie 1989, iar n prima jumtate a anului 1990 muli s-au opus participrii elitei neocomuniste la primele alegeri democratice organizate dup mai bine de cinci decenii. n acel moment a avut loc un episod crucial, dei nc insuficient studiat: fenomenul Piaa Universitii. El a constituit o ncercare de a lichida motenirea Romniei comuniste i de a iniia apariia unei ordini cu adevrat democratice. Protestul a fost declanat de un miting organizat pe 22 aprilie 1990 n Piaa Universitii din Bucureti, care marca exact patru luni de la Revoluia din 1989. Prin acest protest se inteniona adoptarea msurilor legale necesare pentru a mpiedica fostele elite corupte s participe la alegeri i s dein funcii publice. O consecin imediat a acestei cereri a fost ncercarea de a opri Frontul Salvrii Naionale (FSN) - un guvern provizoriu autoproclamat, cu puternice legturi cu fostul Partid Comunist s participe la alegerile din mai 1990. Nemulumirea i teama de amploare fa de FSN (resimite mai ales de intelectuali) au contribuit la transformarea rapid a acestui episod contestatar. Creterea intensitii i duratei sale le-a permis protestatarilor din Piaa Universitii s devin un simbol - nu doar al luptei mpotriva neocomunismului, ci i al democratizrii recente a Romniei. Fenomenul Piaa Universitii a dat

de Julia Brotea i Daniel Bland

Episodul protestului din 1990 cunoscut sub numele de fenomenul Piaa Universitii a constituit un episod crucial i controversat n tranziia politic a Romniei de la comunism. Analizele acestui incident au clarificat consecinele pe termen lung pe care le pot avea protestele politice cnd se transpun n politici obinuite. Mai exact, astfel de analize mbogesc noile lucrri despre relevana micrilor sociale", subliniind impactul de durat al fenomenului Piaa Universitii asupra sistemului de partide i a culturii politice din Romnia. Fcnd parial apel la cadrul teoretic prezentat n Dynamics of Contention (O dinamic a contestrii), lucrarea lui Doug McAdam, Sidney Tarrow i Charles Tilly, analiza Pieei Universitii se concentreaz pe dou procese majore: formarea identitii i repertoriile contestrii. Aceast analiz arat c identitatea politic dobndit n timpul fenomenului Piaa Universitii i repertoriul contestrii politice pe care l-a

natere n Romnia de dup 1989 la efecte politice persistente i de durat. De exemplu, a contribuit, chiar dac indirect, la victoria Conveniei Democratice Romne (CDR) n alegerile din 1996 i a generat o platform de contestare care acum se susine singur. Astzi fenomenul Piaa Universitii simbolizeaz un episod din politica de contestare care a acionat ca o for catalizatoare pentru opoziia din Romnia, ajutnd-o s se reorganizeze i n cele din urm s ctige alegerile din 1996. Din aceast perspectiv, fenomenul Piaa Universitii evideniaz o important problem teoretic, prezent n textele contemporane de sociologie politic: n ce fel conteaz micrile sociale? Dei este o ntrebare crucial, i s-a acordat prea puin atenie sistematic n scrierile relevante din zona tiinelor sociale (Giugni et al. 1999). Pentru a studia problema amintit, reconstruind concomitent evoluia i consecinele unui episod att de controversat i totui prea puin studiat, articolul de fa va analiza mai nti rolul jucat de formarea identitii i repertoriile contestatare n diverse faze ale fenomenului Piaa Universitii, iar apoi va investiga consecinele sale pe termen lung asupra politicii i societii romneti contemporane. Discuia asupra respectivului episod contestatar se concentreaz pe aceste dou procese, adic formarea identitii i repertoriile protestatare deoarece ele au un grad maxim de relevan pentru analiza efectelor pe termen lung i snt uor de reperat n consecinele protestului. Abordarea de fa i are originea n mare parte n Dynamics of Contention i beneficiaz n plus de refacerea contextului dinamic original n care s-a nscut identitatea fenomenului Piaa

Universitii, precum i de repertoriul contestatar pe care l-a furnizat spre adaptare n urmtorii ani de proteste. Articolul se ncheie cu o discuie despre implicaiile sociale i politice majore ale fenomenului Piaa Universitii, realizat printr-o explorare a legturii dintre acest episod, democratizare i potenialele traiectorii revoluionare de la nceputul anilor 1990.

Cum pot conta episoadele contestatare Dynamics of Contention, lucrarea lui McAdam, Tarrow i Tilly, a fost apreciat drept cea mai ambiioas i, poate, cea mai important carte pe tema micrilor sociale (i a fenomenelor asociate lor) aprut n ultimele dou decenii (Tindall 2003, p. 408; Mische 2003; Peterson et al. 2002). elul principal al acestui volum este s le ofere cercettorilor noi perspective asupra diverselor forme de politici contestatare. Conform opiniei autorilor, politica de tip contestatar implic o mobilizare social de amploare - i potenial transgresiv. Politica de tip contestatar e diferit de politica obinuit, care graviteaz n jurul unor reguli birocratice, politice i electorale bine stabilite. Dynamics of Contention se lanseaz n evidenierea similitudinilor ce apar n cadrul unei serii ample de episoade contestatare i se concentreaz pe paralelele existente ntre ele. Articolul de fa are o abordare similar, opunndu-se criticii aduse lucrrii Dynamics of Contention, conform creia ea nu poate fi utilizat n alte studii, deoarece, n lipsa unei structuri deductive, este practic imposibil s judeci care din afirmaiile teoretice are sens logic i care nu. n plus, e dificil s ela[46]

borezi i s extinzi teoria (Tindall 2003, p. 486). Dimpotriv, analiza de fa dovedete utilitatea abordrii autorilor n vederea nelegerii episodului protestatar din Piaa Universitii, care iese din sfera modelelor ample i atotcuprinztoare de revoluii i de democratizare, dei etaleaz elemente ce aparin amndurora. n centrul studiului vor sta dou probleme discutate n Dynamics of Contention: formarea identitii i repertoriile contestatare. Aceste probleme au fost selectate din lista de mecanisme i procese discutate n lucrare, pentru c ele au un rol esenial n evidenierea impactului pe termen lung al fenomenului Piaa Universitii asupra politicii i societii romneti. Cel mai radical exemplu de formare a identitii ne vine de la Revoluia Francez i de la afirmaia c n esen, naiunea reprezint sursa oricrei suveraniti, care apare la toate republicile moderne. Dup cum ne arat tot Revoluia Francez, identitatea, care se nate dintr-o micare social, nu este o constant, ci mai degrab rezultatul unui proces interactiv (McAdam et al. 2001). Acest proces este legat de anumite mecanisme cauzale importante pentru studiul de fa: formarea categoriei, deplasarea obiectului i certificarea. n primul rnd actorii pun frecvent n conexiune spaii sociale care anterior erau neconectate, genernd noi granie i noi conexiuni ntre actorii politici (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 142), fapt care duce la apariia unor categorii sociale i politice originale. La rndul ei, formarea respectivelor categorii joac un rol major n consolidarea noilor identiti politice. n al doilea rnd aciunile care au loc n urma genezei unei noi identiti politice pot

crea o deplasare a obiectului, o dislocare a obiectului revendicrilor sociale i politice, care afecteaz repertoriul contestatar original. n fine, cel de-al treilea mecanism recurent al formrii identitii e reprezentat de certificarea actorilor de nite autoriti exterioare, cum ar fi statele i organizaiile internaionale strine. Absena - sau retragerea recunoaterii externe poate submina att legitimitatea, ct i capacitatea de mobilizare a actorilor sociali i politici implicai n episoade contestatare (McAdam et al. 2001, pp. 142-146). Acest scurt comentariu asupra celor trei mecanisme modificatoare ale identitii ne arat c identitile colective se schimb, uneori chiar brusc, pe parcursul proceselor de mobilizare i c formarea identitii presupune i luarea n posesie a identitilor existente. n plus, urmnd un model logic descris de Benedict Anderson (1991), ea implic o memorie selectiv i interpretarea trecutului n aa fel nct s creeze o imagine a coeziunii ntre participani. n fine, identitile create pe parcursul unor astfel de episoade influeneaz ulterior politica obinuit: odat ce episodul contestatar a luat sfrit, crearea, transformarea i dispariia actorilor, identitilor i formelor de aciune de pe parcursul contestrii altereaz grupurile de actori, identiti i aciuni care apar n politica obinuit i n contestrile ulterioare (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 56). i, cu toate c o ideologie sau o nemulumire de ordin economic pot stimula crearea unei noi identiti politice, cum ar fi proletariatul sau grevele muncitorilor britanici, nu e neaprat necesar s se ntmple aa. Dup cum ne arat analiza fenomenului Piaa Universitii, protestatarii pot fi stimulai de noiunea inerent de justiie. Fenomenul Piaa

Universitii a izbucnit n urma nelegerii faptului c regimul comunist totalitar din Romnia a fost nedrept i c guvernul din 1990 nu s-a angajat s i elimine rmiele, ci mai degrab a demonstrat c inteniona s urmeze un parcurs similar. Procesul de formare a identitii este sprijinit de repertoriile contestrii, care arat c mobilizarea social i politic implic un set de simboluri i ritualuri codificate. Dei impactul lor are o anvergur variabil, simbolurile respective pot deveni o component major a proceselor de construire a identitii. Acest lucru este valabil n mare msur pentru c repertoriile contestrii se fixeaz n memoria istoric. De exemplu, vorbind despre spiritul revoluiei, Hannah Arendt scrie c nimic nu-i poate compensa eecul i nici n-o poate mpiedica s devin definitiv, cu excepia memoriei i a reamintirii. Iar de vreme ce depozitul memoriei este pstrat i pzit de ctre poei, a cror treab este s gseasc i s fureasc vorbele cu care trim, [...] aceste reflecii snt suficient de semnificative ca s autentifice discursul autoreflexiv involuntar i bucuriile apariiei n vorb i fapt fr echivoc i fr reflexia de sine, ce snt inerente aciunii (Arendt 1990, pp. 280-281). Astfel, conform opiniei lui Arendt, conservarea prin cultur a repertoriului revoluionar i poate furniza unui corp politic resursele necesare pentru a-i organiza rezistena mpotriva asaltului unei stpniri tiranice. Conceptul de repertoriu a fost discutat pe larg n cadrul studiului micrilor sociale (d. ex. n Tarrow 1994, Tilly 1986). Totui Dynamics of Contention confer o semnificaie dinamic adiional acestei idei, care ar putea sugera - n mod eronat existena unui set stabil de unelte i sim[47]

boluri, ce evolueaz rareori n decursul timpului. Cnd reacioneaz la condiiile lor, actorii sociali i politici reiau rutinele i simbolurile cunoscute, aflate la dispoziia lor. Repertoriile contestatare prezint rutine ce se modific necontenit. Mai mult, pentru a reafirma aspectul interactiv al repertoriului, autorii definesc conceptul de repertorii contestatare ca reprezentnd ansambluri limitate de rutine revendicative reciproce, disponibile unor perechi specifice de identiti (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 138). Actorii mprumut o metafor teatral - repertoriu - pentru a transmite ideea c participanii la aciunile de revendicri publice adopt scenarii pe care le-au folosit anterior (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 138). Luarea n posesie i interaciunea, aciuni similare cu formarea identitii, au i ele un rol fundamental n elaborarea i reelaborarea repertoriilor contestatare. Analiza noastr evideniaz aceast logic prin studierea sloganelor, cntecelor i revendicrilor de ansamblu utilizate n contextul fenomenului Piaa Universitii, precum i a modului n care actualul amplasament al Pieei Universitii a rmas i pe mai departe un spaiu al unor proteste minore ulterioare. Dincolo de studierea formrii identitii i a repertoriilor contestatare, urmtoare seciune empiric se termin cu o discuie despre democratizare i traiectoriile revoluionare, probleme discutate n Dynamics of Contention. Dei pe parcursul evoluiei fenomenului Piaa Universitii au prut s se materializeze anumite traiectorii revoluionare, ele nu s-au convertit niciodat ntr-o revoluie. Numai c absena unui model teoretic cuprinztor nu trebuie s ne mpiedice s studiem astfel de episoade, ci mai degrab s stimuleze cercetarea

mecanismelor care apar i se combin n mod divers n toate [...] formele de contestare (McAdam et al., p. 74). Aceast cercetare devine cu att mai important atunci cnd un episod contestatar nu stimuleaz doar crearea societii civile, ci i formarea unui nou partid politic i victoria lui ulterioar n alegeri, aa cum este cazul Pieei Universitii. Discuia despre impactul fenomenului Piaa Universitii ne conduce spre problema modului n care conteaz micrile sociale [i episoadele contestatare]. n ciuda recentelor ncercri de a investiga problemele respective (Amenta 2006; Amenta i Caren 2004; Giugni 1998), s-ar putea susine n continuare c studierea consecinelor micrilor sociale ete una dintre cele mai ignorate teme din domeniu... Avem nevoie de studii mai sistematice, care s clarifice diversele aspecte ale impactului unei micri i n special consecinele sale poteniale, condiiile i circumstanele care favorizeaz anumite consecine, precum i procesele care fac ca micrile s aib impact, dar i efectele concrete obinute de micrile din trecut, ca i de cele contemporane (Giugni et al. 1999, p. xv). Impactul de durat cel mai realist al micrilor sociale este convertirea nemulumirilor manifestate anterior ntr-un cadru contestatar n politic obinuit. Aceast transformare n politici obinuite e realizat de obicei prin reorganizarea protestatarilor sub forma organizaiilor societii civile, care continu lupta protestatarilor, ns din interiorul sistemului. O ilustrare a acestui proces ne este oferit de grupurile feministe americane, al cror numr a crescut de la 75 n 1982 la 140 n 1995 i care i-au statornicit prezena n Washington, D.C., de unde au lansat o nou agend de

politici publice, care s mobilizeze sprijinul pentru legislaie (Gelb i Hart 1999, p. 153). Numai c, aa cum arat analiza de fa asupra fenomenului Piaa Universitii, micrile sociale pot ntrece alte organizaii ale societii civile atunci cnd se transform ele nsele n partide politice i apoi ajung s ctige alegerile. Mai mult, micrile sociale pot afecta cultura politic a rii n care acioneaz. n cazul fenomenului Piaa Universitii aceasta se traduce prin apariia unor simboluri anticomuniste puternice, care nc mai exist n cultura politic din Romnia. Descoperirile legate de fenomenul Piaa Universitii snt interesante mai ales pentru c deplaseaz analiza de la concentrarea pe efectele politice, care se remarc n lucrrile de profil, la ultimele consecine ale micrilor sociale i ale episoadelor contestatare (d. ex. Amenta i Caren 2004). Ele corespund i recomandrii fcute de Marino Diani, de a ne concentra pe poziia structural ocupat de actorii micrii dup etapele de rezisten politic i/sau cultural susinut, pentru a observa dac acetia uureaz apariia unor reele noi, care, la rndul lor, le vor permite grupurilor de advocacy, organizaiilor ceteneti, comitetelor de aciune i chiar indivizilor izolai s devin mai influeni n procesele de transformri politice i culturale (Diani 2001, p. 209).

tatare, subliniind n acelai timp masivul impact social i politic al acestui episod contestatar crucial n oglinda rutinizrii politicii, petrecut dup ce episodul n discuie s-a ncheiat cu intervenia violent a minerilor. Structura cronologic a celei de-a doua pri reflect cele patru faze ale fenomenului Piaa Universitii: organizarea, evoluia, consecinele i consolidarea.

Organizarea: formarea identitii i repertoriile din Piaa Universitii Dei fenomenul Piaa Universitii constituie un episod individualizat de politici contestatare, el nu poate fi abordat fr o scurt trecere n revist a evenimentelor istorice i politice care au dus la acel moment. Dup patruzeci i cinci de ani de stpnire comunist, populaia din Timioara a declanat Revoluia Romn, care pn n 22 decembrie 1989 s-a ntins i n celelalte orae, dar n special n Bucureti (Milin 1990). Spre deosebire de celelalte micri din Europa de Est, unde rsturnarea fostelor regimuri comuniste a fost una panic, Revoluia Romn a provocat 1.104 mori. Ulterior tribunalele care ar fi trebuit s-i aduc n faa judecii pe responsabilii pentru masacrul din decembrie i pentru cei patruzeci i cinci de ani de guvernare comunist nu au reuit s fac aa ceva i astfel crimele din decembrie 1989 i cele din trecutul comunist au rmas o ran deschis pe corpul politic romnesc (Siani-Davies 2000, p. 17). La asta s-a adugat fuga dictatorului Nicolae Ceauescu, imediat dup formarea Frontului Salvrii Naionale (FSN) i prima sa apariie public pe postul de televiziune naional. Cel

nelegerea fenomenului Piaa Universitii Urmtoarele seciuni nu vor ncerca n nici un caz o reconstrucie amnunit a fenomenului Piaa Universitii, ci se vor concentra pe elementele teoretice discutate mai sus. Obiectivul nostru este de a clarifica formarea identitii i repertoriile contes-

mai proeminent purttor de cuvnt al FSN-ului a fost Ion Iliescu, un fost nalt funcionar al Partidului Comunist Romn, la acel moment practic necunoscut publicului larg, dar care ulterior a devenit preedintele rii (Deletant 2000, pp. 3559; Osmani 1997). n ciuda ncercrilor FSN de a-i nega legturile cu fostul Partid Comunist, n scurt timp pentru muli romni a fost clar c anticomunismul [partidului] era unul de extracie mai recent (Clinescu i Tismneanu 1991, pp. 40-59; Hickman 1998, p. 3). Mai mult, refuzul FSN-ului de a scoate n afara legii Partidul Comunist Romn i prima sosire a minerilor, n 29 ianuarie - urmat de venirea unui alt grup, n 18 februarie -, pentru a restabili ordinea n Bucureti, a nscut n rndul multor intelectuali romni ndoieli cu privire la victoria revoluiei din 1989 (Bellu i Bdin, 2005).2 Mai mult, zilele tulburi de la sfritul lui decembrie 1989, cnd FSN-ul s-a autoproclamat guvern provizoriu, au coincis cu momentul n care i-a fcut simit prezena un nou duman al revoluiei i al poporului romn - teroritii. Nici n ziua de azi nu se cunoate identitatea acelor teroriti, la ordinele cui au acionat i de ce au disprut fr urm dup doar cteva zile (Hickman 1998; Siani-Davis 2000, p. 15). n zilele respective aa-numiii teroriti au fost menionai n pres (n special la televiziune) i ei au determinat nelegerea vechii idei hobbesiene, conform creia sigurana e mai important dect libertatea. n condiiile date, FSN-ul a devenit guvernul Romniei, iar Iliescu a devenit preedinte. La scurt timp dup aceea, n martie 1990, la Trgu-Mure, un ora transilvnean unde etnicii maghiari constituie majoritatea populaiei, tensiunile etnice sau transformat n acte de violen.

Reacia preedintelui la conflictul respectiv a nscut ndoieli privitoare la acceptarea de ctre Iliescu a drepturilor minoritilor. [...] Manipularea de ctre preedinte a presei de stat [n special a singurului post de televiziune existent atunci] nainte de alegerile din mai 1990 a nscut alte ndoieli, legate de autenticitatea vederilor sale democratice (Light i Phinnemore 2000, p. 2). Ca reacie la atitudinea lui Iliescu, asociaiile muncitoreti i studeneti au organizat pe 11 martie 1990 un miting la Timioara, unde au adoptat Proclamaia de la Timioara (Clinescu i Tismneanu 1991, p. 53). Proclamaia, scris n principal de George erban i publicat de Societatea Timioara (Mungiu 1996, p. 351), anuna: Pentru victoria Revoluiei din Timioara s-au jertfit, alturi de romni, i maghiari, i germani, i srbi, i membri ai altor grupri etnice care de secole conlocuiesc n oraul nostru panic, n bun nelegere. [...] Vrem s trim ntr-o ar n care tolerana i respectul reciproc snt singurele principii care vor domni n viitoarea Cas a Europei (Proclamaia de la Timioara). Aceeai proclamaie afirma c, nc din primele ore, revoluia a fost categoric anticomunist i nu doar anticeauist. De o importan crucial era punctul 8 al Proclamaiei de la Timioara, care propunea ca legea electoral s interzic pentru primele trei legislaturi consecutive dreptul la candidatur, pe orice list, al fotilor activiti comuniti i al fotilor ofieri de Securitate, precum i ca n legea electoral s se treac un paragraf special, care s interzic fotilor activiti comuniti candidatura la funcia de preedinte al rii. Aceste circumstane au pregtit terenul pentru fenomenul Piaa

Universitii. Astfel, pe 22 aprilie Partidul Naional-rnesc, un partid politic proaspt creat, ce i susinea continuitatea cu Partidul Naional-rnesc interbelic prin liderii si, Corneliu Coposu i Ion Diaconescu, a organizat un miting de protest, cu intenia de a-i mpiedica pe Iliescu i pe ali foti lideri comuniti s candideze la alegerile din 20 mai (Osmani 1997, p. 3). Numai c demonstraia nu s-a ncheiat la sfritul zilei: protestatarii au blocat Piaa Universitii, intenionnd s continue lupta mpotriva comunismului, declanat odat cu revoluia din 1989. Nu e deloc ntmpltor faptul c data aleas de PN pentru protest a fost 22 aprilie, adic exact la patru luni dup revoluia din 1989. Aa se face c oamenii care au elaborat Proclamaia de la Timioara, precum i cei din PN, au devenit primii actori ai fenomenului Piaa Universitii, iar Proclamaia anuna o nou categorie politic, al crei stlp de sprijin era antineocomunismul. Elementele menionate se neleg cel mai bine n contextul repertoriilor contestrii, unde manifestri create anterior (Tilly 2002, p. 118) snt mprumutate pentru scopuri noi. n cazul Pieei Universitii repertoriul avea doar patru luni vechime, iar sloganele ce predominau n Piaa Universitii erau, ca i n urm cu patru luni Jos comunitii!, la care s-a adugat Jos neocomunitii! Dup dou zile de demonstraii, n 25 aprilie protestatarii au prsit identitatea PN n favoarea unei noi identiti a Pieei Universitii, care s-a extins din Bucureti pe tot teritoriul rii i care avea n comun cu PN opoziia fa de comunism, dar nu includea i o platform politic autentic n vederea ctigrii alegerilor din mai. Spre deosebire de aciunile PN, evenimentele din Piaa

Universitii nu urmreau ctigarea alegerilor, ci doar mpiedicarea FSN-ului s participe la ele. Astfel protestatarii i puteau aroga un rol moral, nengrdit de scopuri electorale pe termen lung. Evenimentele din Piaa Universitii au declanat i consecine neintenionate, cci au depit inteniile PN: cei de acolo i-au creat propria lor identitate i au renunat la legturile politice cu partidul care organizase iniial mitingul. Mai mult, problema alegerilor din 20 mai a fost mpins la periferia protestului lor, lsnd s treac n prim-plan Proclamaia de la Timioara i programul anticomunist. Aceast modificare de program a ajutat la formarea identitii Pieei Universitii. Acest lucru se vede i mai clar cnd comparm fenomenul Piaa Universitii cu micarea studeneasc srbeasc din anii 1996-1997, cci cele dou micri de protest au n comun cteva trsturi eseniale. Doar c raison dtre pentru protestul srbilor a fost i a rmas unul de anvergur redus, cci se concentra pe recunoaterea alegerilor municipale din 17 noiembrie, n care aliana opoziiei, Zajedno, a ctigat n Belgrad i n alte orae importante. n consecin, Slobodan Miloevi a putut s destrame fragila coaliie anti-Miloevi i s pun capt protestului studenilor satisfcnd pur i simplu cererile opoziiei (Thompson i Kuntz 2004). n comparaie cu participanii la micarea studeneasc srbeasc din 1996-1997, protestatarii din Piaa Universitii erau mai puin pragmatici. Revendicrile lor mergeau mult dincolo de nite eluri politice de moment i aveau ca scop - excesiv de naiv, dar exaltant de moral - procesul de decomunizare i procesul comunismului. Astfel, sptmnile dintre 22 aprilie i

20 mai au fost de ajuns pentru a permite naterea unei noi identiti politice, al crei principal pilon l constituia lupta mpotriva comunismului i care se modela n jurul sintagmei categoric anticomunist din Proclamaia de la Timioara. Un alt element care a contribuit la consolidarea acestei noi identiti politice a aprut din modul n care protestatarii au interpretat revoluia din 1989. n esen, protestatarii din Piaa Universitii contestau victoria proclamat de FSN. Ei au nceput s se refere la fenomenul Piaa Universitii ca fiind continuarea revoluiei din decembrie 1989. Aceast convingere le-a creat un mit consolidator. O parte din motivaia din spatele interpretrii respective vine direct de la Proclamaia de la Timioara, care se ncheie cu declaraia: Noi, autorii acestei Proclamaii, participani la evenimentele dintre 16 i 22 decembrie 1989, nu considerm Revoluia ncheiat. O vom continua panic, dar ferm. Dup ce am nfruntat i am nvins, fr ajutorul nimnui, unul dintre cele mai puternice sisteme represive din lume, nimeni i nimic nu ne mai poate intimida. Mai mult, n Piaa Universitii au aprut pancarte pe care scria PCR = FSN (Partidul Comunist Romn = Frontul Salvrii Naionale), ntrind sentimentul continuitii ntre revoluia din 1989 i protestul de acum. Aa se face c, la exact patru luni de la revoluie, oamenii din Bucureti strigau din nou Jos comunitii!, susinnd n Piaa Universitii c pentru ei revoluia din 1989 continu i c lupta mpotriva regimului comunist nu a fost ctigat nc. Primele zile ale micrii Piaa Universitii au inclus elemente contestatare puternice. Cele mai importante dintre ele snt repertoriile contestatare i

naterea unei noi identiti politice, care a beneficiat de felul n care protestatarii au descris revoluia, permind transmiterea legitimitii politice dinspre revoluia din 1989 spre Piaa Universitii. Micarea Piaa Universitii i-a format propria identitate politic, una nou, pstrnd aceleai slogane i aceleai eluri anticomuniste ca i cele ale revoluiei din 1989 i aplicndu-le nu fostului partid comunist, ci proaspt formatului guvern provizoriu al FSN. Dup numai dou zile demonstraia organizat de PN s-a disociat de partid i a devenit un caz de protest de mas, cu propria sa identitate, meninndu-se astfel i n urmtoarele ase sptmni. n termeni mai teoretici, aciunea de disociere fa de PN a reprezentat o deplasare de obiect, o modificare a centrului de interes al protestului dinspre alegerile din 20 mai spre o micare antineocomunist i anti-FSN. Exact aceleai elemente ale repertoriului contestatar i de identitate politic se regsesc i n zilele urmtoare ale Pieei Universitii, dar ntr-o form uor diferit, cci identitatea politic a Pieei Universitii cpta un contur mai ferm.

Evoluia: Ce a fost fenomenul Piaa Universitii? La dou zile dup declanarea fenomenului Piaa Universitii, protestatarii s-au declarat panici, multiculturali (printre ei se aflau unguri i alte minoriti etnice), anticomuniti i anti-neocomuniti. De asemenea, ei s-au disociat de PN, partidul care organizase mitingul de pe 22 aprilie. Dr. Emil Constantinescu, rectorul n funcie al Universitii din Bucureti i profesor la catedra de Geologie, le-a acordat protestatarilor per-

misiunea de a folosi balconul catedrei (Dabija, 2007), care a devenit tribuna de la care personaliti sau ceteni obinuii cereau democratizarea rii (Gheorghe i Huminic 1999). n 24 aprilie, ntr-o edin a Consiliului Provizoriu de Uniune Naional (CPUN), preedintele Ion Iliescu i-a numit pe cei din Piaa Universitii golani, etichet adoptat rapid de demonstrani, care, pe lng faptul c de-acum se numeau singuri golani, au i botezat perimetrul pe care l ocupau n Piaa Universitii Golania (Gheorghe i Huminic 1999). Cuvintele preedintelui Iliescu nu puteau fi mai prost alese, de vreme ce doar cu patru luni n urm fostul dictator Ceauescu i numise huligani pe protestatarii care declanaser revoluia din decembrie 1989 n Timioara. Acest nou nume a fost golit rapid de conotaia sa ofensatoare i a devenit o diplom de merit, cci muli studeni de la Cambridge, Sorbona i Oxford s-au declarat golani. Dramaturgul romn Eugne Ionesco, membri al Academiei Franceze, s-a declarat golan academician, iar ali intelectuali prestigioi au primit titlul de golan de onoare (Mungiu 2003, p. 351; Cesereanu 2003). Astfel identitatea Pieei Universitii s-a modelat de la nceput n jurul unui simbolism foarte ceos, dar a continuat s se dezvolte graie intensei interaciuni dintre protestatari. Aceast identitate s-a consolidat i mai mult atunci cnd civa dintre golani au hotrt s nu mai prseasc piaa, i-au instalat acolo corturi, au declarat Piaa Universitii zon liber de neocomunism (Tismneanu 1990, pp. 16-19) i au numit locul kilometrul zero al libertii i democraiei. Prin acest gest protestatarii nu numai c i-au

fcut publice revendicrile n conformitate cu identitatea lor, dar au i artat clar c ei considerau guvernul provizoriu drept obiectul contestrii lor (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 134). Piaa Universitii a fost transformat complet de protestatori i a dobndit ziua... un aspect oarecum dezolant (fiind locuit de grevitii foamei, biniari, curioi, protestatari belicoi ori, dimpotriv, indoleni), animaia [protestele] ncepnd dup-amiaz i lund amploare din amurg pn la miezul nopii, cnd spectacolul se stinge de la sine (Cesereanu 2003). Cesereanu are dreptate cnd caracterizeaz protestul cu cuvintele animat i spectacol. Piaa Universitii a fost, din multe puncte de vedere, un eveniment cultural, unde expresia artistic, sub forma sloganelor sau a cntecelor, a servit elurilor morale i politice ale protestatarilor. Pancartele lor clamau, de exemplu, Ieri huligani, azi golani, Astzi Capitala, mine toat ara, Nu plecm acas, morii nu ne las i Vom muri i vom fi liberi. Au fost compuse i cntece cu o tonalitate similar, al cror scop era acela de a cldi continuitatea cu revoluia din 1989 i de a rsturna guvernul FSN. Majoritatea cntecelor i sloganelor acuzau respectivul guvern de aceleai infraciuni de care fusese acuzat i fostul guvern dictatorial la revoluia din 1989. Cea mai grav dintre ele era uciderea unor oameni nevinovai i n special omorrea a peste o mie de persoane n timpul revoluiei din 1989. Acuzaia era exprimat n versurile Doamne, vino, Doamne,/ S vezi ce-a mai rmas din oameni/ [...] Snt nopi lungi i triste/ [...] i nici nu v pas/ De cei ce nu mai snt,/ De cei ce v acuz/ De-acolo, din mormnt (Sterian 1990, versurile 1, 4, 24). Aceste slogane i cn[53]

tece au creat o continuitate spiritual ntre revoluia din 1989 i evenimentele din Piaa Universitii, din cursul anului urmtor. Micarea Piaa Universitii a adoptat pn i propriul ei imn, Imnul golanilor, ale crui versuri au fost cntate de la balconul catedrei de Geologie, n timp ce mulimea intona i ea de jos: Mai bine haimana dect trdtor,/ Mai bine golan dect dictator,/ Mai bine huligan dect activist,/ Mai bine mort dect comunist! Dup cum remarca Steinberg, ca i n cazul micrii studeneti din Serbia, la evenimentele din Piaa Universitii muzica a servit i ca vehicul pentru un protest social i politic susinut (Steinberg 2004). Aceast form de exprimare cultural a conferit evenimentelor din Piaa Universitii un caracter de spectacol, delimitnd n acelai timp identitile politice i sociale ale protestatarilor i permindu-le s protesteze mpotriva guvernului FSN. Dac identitile politice apar att n viaa social obinuit, ct i n politica de contestare, aa cum susin autorii lucrrii Dynamics of Contention, identitatea forjat n Piaa Universitii aparine identitilor politice [care] i au originea sau snt specializate n contestare (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 135). Mai mult, n decursul acelei perioade identitatea Pieei Universitii a dobndit un contur mai ferm i a avut parte de o clarificare a anvergurii sale, fiind n mod categoric anticomunist i adversar a guvernului acelei vremi. n cazul Pieei Universitii observaia de mai sus arat c protestatarii au interacionat unii cu alii i i-au renegociat o identitate independent de partidul politic cruia i se devotaser. Mai nti au adoptat noua identitate politic a Pieei Universitii i apoi i-au dezvoltat loiali[54]

tatea fa de aceast identitate. n plus, au sistematizat graniele pe care le-au ocupat i, cum afirmam mai sus, au numit Piaa Universitii zon liber de neocomunism i Golania. Protestatarii din Piaa Universitii i-au transformat aciunile printr-o reacie rapid la mediul politic. i-au ales drept scenariu revoluia din 1989 i l-au modificat n aa fel nct s se potriveasc la noile cerine politice. Astfel au mbuntit noile forme de aciune colectiv i au rostit cuvinte care nu mai fuseser spuse nainte. Concomitent, au reacionat la plasarea lor n cadrul reelei de relaii sociale ntruchipate de Piaa Universitii. Fenomenul Piaa Universitii susine ipoteza c o construcie social se manifest [...] n plan social i nu n tainiele izolate ale minilor individuale (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 135) i c o micare de protest poate da natere, prin interaciune politic, la o nou identitate politic. Aceast identitate politic a devenit i mai vizibil n aciunile intelectualilor din Piaa Universitii, cum ar fi Ion Caramitru, Ana Blandiana, Octavian Paler, Gabriel Liiceanu, Ovidiu Iuliu Moldovan, Nicolae Manolescu, Marian Munteanu, Dan Haulic i mai ales Emil Constantinescu, care au acionat ca reprezentani ai Pieei Universitii i i-au cerut preedintelui Iliescu s accepte un dialog ntre guvern i protestatari, lucru pe care Iliescu l-a refuzat (Cesereanu 2003). Mai mult dect att, acetia i-au asumat rolul moral de a organiza sperana. Conform spuselor lui Octavian Paler, n decembrie am lsat deoparte obinuitul meu scepticism i mi-am permis s cred c ara mea era n pragul unui viitor democratic. Dar speranele mele au fost zdrobite [...] Andr Malraux spunea odat c pentru a ajunge la curaj,

trebuie s organizezi sperana i asta trebuie s facem noi, s ne organizm speranele (Paler 1990, p. 12). Totui rolurile jucate de intelectuali n acel moment ne permit s-i definim ca actori n cadrul identitii proaspt create a Pieei Universitii. n plus, persoanele respective au ajuns s fie vzute drept principalii actori ai Pieei Universitii, graie interviurilor i editorialelor publicate de ei n sprijinul fenomenului Piaa Universitii (Roca 1996). Aceste persoane, dintre care unele nu fuseser nite figuri prestigioase nainte de Piaa Universitii, i-au arogat responsabilitile i evalurile morale (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 131), pe care se cuvenea s le confirme chiar i dup sfritul Pieei Universitii. Aceast component moralist a fcut din actorii Pieei Universitii nu doar un simbol al opoziiei fa de FSN i de comunism, ci i-a transformat n ochii protestatarilor n nite simboluri ale valorilor liberal-democratice. Dar, cum s-a vzut clar n 1996, dup alegerea n funcia de preedinte a candidatului lor, Emil Constantinescu, coaliia asociat cu motenirea Pieei Universitii n-a prea reuit s se ridice la nlimea propriilor standarde morale i politice. Oamenii amintii aici au acionat cnd i cnd ca purttori de cuvnt, aprtori i susintori ai Pieei Universitii i i-au asumat sarcina de a elabora rspunsuri la ntrebarea Ce este Piaa Universitii? i Ce pretinde Piaa Universitii? La nceputurile Pieei Universitii lucrurile erau mai simple, iar rspunsul la ntrebri se gsea n cntec: Ne ntrebai ce vrem aici,/ Dar tie toat ara,/ Noi susinem punctul 8/ De la Timioara (Cesereanu 2003). Numai c durata extins a demonstraiei din Piaa Universitii impunea noi teme i expli-

caii pentru nentreruptul protest maraton, care avea susintori - dei n numr mult mai redus - i n alte orae din ar (Roca 1996). Participanilor li s-a cerut s exprime proaspt creata identitate politic a Pieei Universitii. Nu-i de mirare c respectivii participani trebuiau s fie localnici ai Pieei Universitii, mai ales fiindc nu mai aveau cum s fie membri ai unor partide politice, ci puteau vorbi - i sta - n Piaa Universitii doar ca persoane particulare. Dei aceti actori au rmas fideli elului Pieei Universitii, acela de a nu se asocia cu nici un partid politic, i dei au pomenit ndelung despre puritatea Pieei Universitii i despre caracterul ei apolitic (Roca 1996), ei nu s-au unit n jurul unei platforme politice comune i, ca o consecin direct, nici masele de oameni din pia n-au fcut aa ceva. Alegerile din 20 mai 1990, defurate dup o lun de protest necontenit, au gsit identitatea Pieei Universitii format, dar, nefiind structurat sub forma unui partid politic, ea a rmas inofensiv n plan politic.

Consecinele: sfritul Pieei Universitii i situaiile revoluionare Rezultatul Alegerile din mai 1990 s-au dovedit catastrofice pentru protestatarii din Piaa Universitii: cu un procentaj de 86.19%, Frontul Salvrii Naionale a strns 85% din totalul voturilor, n vreme ce voturile opoziiei s-au risipit ntre cele 73 de partide existente, plus cei civa candidai independeni. O parte din eec se datoreaz faptului c Piaa Universitii n-a reuit s includ n mi[55]

carea sa toate clasele sociale, cci majoritatea protestatarilor erau studeni i intelectuali (Mungiu 1996, p. 352), iar cei mai muli dintre ei erau bucureteni. Acesta este un element important n explicarea nfrngerii n alegeri, dar factorul crucial a fost formulat de Nicolae Manolescu, un membru al Conveniei Democratice Romne (CDR): Nu am pierdut din pricina fraudelor, ci pentru c nu am fost n stare s convingem electoratul romnesc c sntem mai buni dect ceilali (Roper 2000, p. 75). Dup alegeri majoritatea formaiunilor care au participat la Piaa Universitii (Asociaia 21 Decembrie, Liga Studenilor, Grupul pentru Democraie etc.) s-au retras. [...] Astfel, n urma acestui reflux, Piaa Universitii s-a golit de o parte considerabil din golanii ei (Tismneanu 1990, p. 18). Protestatarii rmai au trebuit s se confrunte nu doar cu forele de poliie, ci i cu minerii.3 n aceast faz ns evidenta legitimitate a protestatarilor a disprut complet, cci ziarele strine, precum i unele din cele naionale, au afirmat c democraia nseamn recunoaterea guvernului ales. Realitatea dat aici ilustreaz funcia de certificare din politica de contestare: n absena unei susineri i a unei recunoateri externe, protestele politice par mai puin legitime. n cazul Pieei Universitii un astfel de declin al legitimitii a subminat rapid mobilizarea social i politic. Totui un numr restrns de protestatari au rmas n Piaa Universitii. n 11 iunie Iliescu a acceptat s nceap negocierile cu ei, dar acestea au euat rapid. n 15-16 iunie preedintele proaspt ales Iliescu, n loc s foloseasc instrumentele legale aflate la dispoziia sa, a apelat [pe postul public de televiziune] la o for extralegal,

minerii din minele de crbune, crora lea acordat binecuvntarea lui prezidenial ca s dezlnuie o teroare fr margini (Tismneanu 1990, p. 3; Vasi 2004). Astfel el a dezlnuit [...] mii de mineri narmai cu ciocane i bte, unii evident bei, care s-au npustit asupra protestatarilor i asupra trectorilor nevinovai (Osmani 1997, p. 4). Dei nvala minerilor constituie ea nsi un episod contestatar aparte, pentru scopurile studiului de fa ea marcheaz sfritul violent al evenimentelor din Piaa Universitii. Protestatarii rmai au fst btui cu btele, cteva dintre slile catedrei de Geologie au fost distruse, ase oameni au fost ucii i mai bine de 560 au fost spitalizai (Gheorghe i Huminic 1999; Vasi, 2004). Protestul din Piaa Universitii se numr printre cazurile care prezint multe elemente de contestare, dar nu se transform ntr-o revoluie. Conform lui McAdam, Tarrow i Tilly, dintr-o serie ampl de situaii revoluionare rezult puine exemple de reuit (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 195). Dei fenomenul Piaa Universitii nu s-a transformat niciodat ntr-o revoluie autentic, acolo au existat trei situaii revoluionare tipice. Mai nti avem prezena contestatarilor [...] care ridic pretenii exclusive i concurente la controlului statului sau a unei pri din el (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 197), materializat din 22 aprilie ncolo n fenomenul Piaa Universitii, odat ce numrul protestatarilor a tot crescut, ajungnd pn la 300.000 de persoane doar n Bucureti (Mungiu 1996, p. 352). n al doilea rnd a existat i afilierea la acele pretenii a unui segment important de populaie (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 197), n special pentru c muli dintre protestatari aparineau elitelor sociale, politice

i culturale din Romnia. A treia situaie, incapacitatea sau lipsa voinei conductorilor de a suprima coaliia alternativ (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 197), a fost i ea prezent aproape pe tot parcursul fenomenului Piaa Universitii. Iliescu nu a acionat pentru a opri protestul dect mult dup alegerile din 20 mai: minerii au intervenit abia pe 13 iunie, dup ce majoritatea protestatarilor din Piaa Universitii plecaser (mai rmseser aproximativ 250 de persoane) (Gheorge i Huminic 1999). Totui, n ciuda coexistenei acestor trei elemente revoluionare, fenomenul Piaa Universitii nu a reuit s continue revoluia din 1989 i nici nu a fost capabil s declaneze una nou. Elementul care a schimbat complet situaia n Piaa Universitii a fost reprezentat de alegerile din 20 mai 1990. Erau primele alegeri democratice din Romnia dup mai bine de cincizeci de ani, iar rezultatul lor nu putea fi compromis, pentru c, la urma urmei, Piaa Universitii se declarase permanent mai nti prin Proclamaia de la Timioara, iar apoi prin afirmaiile principalilor si actori - conform cu principiile democratice. ntr-un fel, Piaa Universitii nu a devenit o revoluie n toat puterea cuvntului n mare msur pentru c, dup 20 mai, s-ar fi transformat ntr-o adunare antidemocratic, incompatibil cu elurile democratice asumate de ea.

Consolidarea: n ce fel conteaz fenomenul Piaa Universitii Impactul concret al micrilor sociale i al episoadelor contestatare nar trebui evaluat exclusiv prin prisma elurilor lor politice explicite. Chiar dac pe termen scurt un episod protestatar nu

izbutete s ating elurile asumate de organizatori i participani, efectele sale pe termen lung pot avea un impact considerabil asupra evoluiei politice ulterioare n ceea ce privete efectele politice i schimbrile sistematice mai ample i, de obicei, mai durabile, att la nivel structural, ct i cultural (Giugni et al. 1999, pp. xxi-xxiii). n Romnia sfritul fenomenului Piaa Universitii, care a culminat cu agresiunea minerilor, a provocat dou dezvluiri seci. Mai nti, n ciuda legturii FSN-ului cu fosta conducere comunist, acest partid a ctigat alegerile n mod democratic i cu o majoritate copleitoare. n al doilea rnd alegerile au artat clar c opoziia a jucat rolul de opoziie doar ca idee. n realitate opoziia politic a fost practic inexistent, deoarece nu a reuit s ofere o alternativ la FSN. Ca reacie la acest fapt, n toamna lui 1990 au avut loc discuii pentru organizarea unei micri civice n Romnia, iar n 7 noiembrie s-a creat de facto Aliana Civic. Din perspectiva aceasta exist certe similitudini cu micarea studeneasc din Serbia, care s-a dovedit i ea un catalizator pentru crearea organizaiilor societii civile, cea mai cunoscut din ele fiind Otpor. Otpor a candidat la alegerile din Serbia din 2003 ca partid politic, dar nu a obinut dect 1.6% din voturi la nivel naional. A devenit totui o organizaie civic influent pe plan internaional, ce promoveaz opoziia fa de guvernarea nedemocratic n toat Europa de Est. n cazul Pieei Universitii centrul de interes al organizaiilor societii civile a rmas unul intern. Astfel, mottoul Alianei Civice a devenit Nu putem reui dect mpreun, iar Marian Munteanu, un personaj care sa remarcat n primele zile ale fenomenu[57]

lui Piaa Universitii, a fost ales preedintele organizaiei. n anul urmtor, n luna iulie, funcia de preedinte al Alianei Civice i-a revenit Anei Blandiana. Blandiana fusese numit golan onorific n timpul Pieei Universitii. n acelai timp Emil Constantinescu, fost profesor de geologie la Universitatea din Bucureti i o voce prestigioas a Golaniei, a devenit vicepreedintele organizaiei. Apariia Alianei Civice a fost primit cu entuziasm, despre ea spunndu-se c i are originile direct n Piaa Universitii, urmrete susinerea procesului de democratizare i marcheaz momentul cnd intelectualii au nceput s neleag necesitatea implicrii politice, n vederea crerii unei societi democratice (Tariuc 1998, p. 7, Aliana Civic). Dup un mar de protest organizat n 13 iulie, pentru a cere eliberarea celor arestai pe 1113 iunie, Ana Blandiana mrturisea: Am crezut c n Piaa Operei or s vin doar cteva sute de masochiti. Att de puin speran credeam c a mai rmas. [...] Sa dovedit c m nelam: la mar au participat n jur de 200.000 de oameni. nc mai exista speran. Iar dac sute de mii de oameni continu s spere, atunci cineva trebuia s le organizeze sperana (Blandiana 1991, p. 92). n ziua de dup adunarea comemorativ de 21 decembrie din 1990, n Piaa Universitii, Partidul Naional Liberal, Partidul Naional-rnesc i Partidul SocialDemocrat din Romnia s-au unit i au format Convenia Naional pentru Instaurarea Democraiei (CNID). Aliana Civic a fuzionat i ea cu Forumul Democratic Antitotalitar, dup care, n decembrie 1991, CNID s-a aliat cu Forumul Democratic Antitotalitar (Aliana Civic). Dup cum scria Zimmerman la un an dup evenimentele din Piaa

Universitii, Aliana Civic [un grup de opoziie cu o audien larg], care acum un an nu exista, a organizat demonstraii comemorative. [...] Semnificaia acestor demonstraii era de a arta capacitatea Alianei Civice de a organiza i coordona aciuni la nivel naional (Zimmerman 1991, p. 96). Fuziunile amintite au dat natere Conveniei Democratice din Romnia (CDR). Emil Constantinescu a devenit candidatul prezidenial al CDR, iar principalele sale acreditri nu erau reprezentate de experiena sa politic, ci de faptul c era un profesor universitar din afara sferei partidelor politice, asociat cu fenomenul Piaa Universitii i membru al unor importante organizaii civice (Tariuc 1998). Victoria n alegeri a lui Constantinescu a fost srbtorit n noaptea de 17 noiembrie, n Piaa Universitii, de 80.000 de oameni care fluturau steaguri i strigau Am nvins! n discursul su din acea noapte Constantinescu le-a spus oamenilor adunai acolo: n aceast pia ne-am ctigat libertatea. Aceast pia este kilometrul zero al democraiei n Romnia (Chiriac 1997, p. 38). Crearea CDR dovedete c micarea Piaa Universitii nu a disprut odat cu protestul nsui. Piaa Universitii continu s fie numit o victorie moral, chiar dac scopurile concrete ale protestelor n-au fost atinse niciodat (Cesereanu 2003), i e vzut n continuare ca un simbol al nceputului democratizrii Romniei. Dac n primvara anului 1990 protestatarii din Piaa Universitii i articulau cauza n aa fel nct s construiasc o legtur cu revoluia din 1989, acum i articulau nfrngerea din Piaa Universitii n termeni eroici. Procesul acesta de articulare a nfrngerii const - dup cum subliniaz

Kim Voss - n elaborarea unui mit consolidator i a unei explicaii a nfrngerii care s lege eecul prezent de triumfurile viitoare, pstrnd vie sperana, astfel nct militanii s poat mobiliza sprijinul oamenilor atunci cnd se ivesc noi oportuniti politice (Voss 1998, p. 139). Aceast glorificare a Pieei Universitii, n ciuda eecului micrii, pe termen lung a ajutat opoziia s organizeze i s reorganizeze nou-creata CDR. Mai mult, fenomenul Piaa Universitii a meninut pregtit chiar Piaa Universitii pentru o alt demonstraie. Aa se face c demonstraiile au continuat n Piaa Universitii, chiar dac intensitatea lor a sczut: de exemplu, n 21 decembrie 1990, n octombrie 1991, n 26 aprilie 1992, n 1 decembrie 1993, n 16 decembrie 1993, n 25 noiembrie 1994, n februarie 1999 i n iunie 2003. De asemenea, nu este lipsit de importan nici faptul c despre fenomenul Piaa Universitii continu s apar n fiecare an diverse materiale n publicaii precum Cotidianul, Romnia liber i revista 22, sub titlul Nu trebuie s uitm. E suficient s spunem c memoria Pieei Universitii a supravieuit, iar identitatea ei a fost rearticulat n cadrul unui proces democratic care a luat din ce n ce mai mult forma politicii obinuite. Factorii tradiionali care au contribuit la democratizare se regsesc i n consecinele Pieei Universitii. Mai nti democratizarea Romniei a fost realizat de anumite grupuri care voiau ca o astfel de schimbare s aib loc i erau dispuse s fac eforturi susinute ca s-o duc la ndeplinire (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 272). n al doilea rnd aceste grupuri printre care Aliana Civic, Liga Studenilor, Grupul pentru Dialog Social, precum i alte organizaii - au neles

necesitatea unei societi civile, care anterior era amuit i mutilat (Clinescu i Tismneanu 1991, p. 50). Aceste noi grupuri i organizaii mplineau astfel necesitatea de a impune reele de ncredere n interiorul societii (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 275). n al treilea rnd aceste organizaii au acionat ca nite contra-elite i s-au considerat n opoziie - n cele din urm devenind chiar oficial opoziia - fa de guvernul aflat la putere (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 268). Calea spre democratizare a fost totui deschis n decembrie 1989, cu dorina explicit de a scpa de dictatura comunist. Dup ncheierea ei, unii romni au perceput noul guvern provizoriu ca pe o ameninare i s-au temut de o ntoarcere la comunism nainte ca democraia s aib posibilitatea s se materializeze. Oricum, cauza celor care se opuneau guvernului provizoriu a fost susinut mai bine de eecul Pieei Universitii, fenomen devenit mit, dect dac fenomenul s-ar fi transformat n acea a doua revoluie la care sperau protestatarii. n plus, o parte din implicaiile pe termen lung - sau mai degrab pe termen foarte lung - ale acestui episod contestatar o constituie presiunea exercitat n prezent de diverse organizaii ale societii civile asupra guvernului Romniei pentru adoptarea unei legi a lustraiei cu repercusiuni juridice serioase. n apelurile lor la decomunizare i la un proces al comunismului, organizaiile civice continu s-i extrag resursele din Proclamaia de la Timioara i punctul 8 al acesteia, pe care fenomenul Piaa Universitii l-a fcut faimos (Cesereanu, 2005a). Mai mult, pe parcursul campaniei electorale din 2004, organizaii precum Liga Studenilor, Aliana Civic i Grupul pentru Dialog Social s-au asociat i au

format Coaliia pentru un Parlament Curat. Cu toate c scopul lor principal era eliminarea corupiei din parlament, coaliia a inclus printre criteriile de evaluare a candidailor n alegeri o clauz conform creia candidaii nu trebuie s fi fost ageni ai fostei Securiti (Tismneanu, 2005). Ideea rezoneaz puternic cu punctul 8 al Proclamaiei de la Timioara. Eecul pe termen scurt al Pieei Universitii a stimulat formarea unor coaliii care s-au constituit n actori politici i au rmas astfel chiar i atunci cnd au fost excluse din planul puterii politice oficiale. Coaliiile respective au creat nceputurile politicii normale ntr-o societate care, vreme de mai bine de cincizeci de ani, a avut parte doar de opresiunea structurilor i practicilor guvernamentale uniforme, prin intermediul autoritii guvernului (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 268). Mai mult, Aliana Civic, mpreun cu alte organizaii nscute din Piaa Universitii, a jucat un rol crucial n incorporarea i extinderea proaspt createi reele de ncredere din Piaa Universitii prin asimilarea identitii politice i a elurilor Pieei Universitii n programele lor politice i apolitice. Astfel, un repertoriu contestatar nceput odat cu revoluia din 1989 a fost mai nti adoptat, iar apoi transformat pe parcursul protestului din Piaa Universitii. n cele din urm, odat cu alegerile din 1992 i ctigarea de ctre CDR a 20% din voturi n alegerile parlamentare (Popescu i Hannavy 2002), n Romnia s-a produs disoluia mijloacelor de control coercitiv, care susineau relaiile curente de exploatare i control al resurselor (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 257). Toate acestea, combinate cu victoria CDR n alegerile din 1996, au artat clar c inegalitatea politic poate fi soluionat. Asta

nu nseamn c Romnia este ferit de o ntoarcere din drum. nseamn doar c analiza fenomenului Piaa Universitii i a consecinelor sale permite vizualizarea apariiei unei noi identiti politice prin intermediul contestrii i consolidarea rapid a aceleiai identiti sub forma politicii normale. Mai mult, studiul de fa arat c fenomenul Piaa Universitii nu a fost o experien din care opoziia politic a pierdut (Georgescu 2004), aa cum afirma recent fostul preedinte Iliescu, ci mai degrab o experien ce a servit drept catalizator al unificrii opoziiei i a contribuit la succesul ei electoral din 1996. n plus, pe termen lung el a ajutat i la crearea primelor organizaii ale societii civile, i la consolidarea practicilor i principiilor democratice. Fenomenul Piaa Universitii este evocat n continuare ca protest de mas ce a declanat decomunizarea (d. ex. la Cesereanu 2005b), proces ce marcheaz o ncercare a societii de a ajunge la un acord cu trecutul ei autoritar att n politic, ct i n comportamentul social i cultural.

Concluzie Fenomenul Piaa Universitii a avut un impact semnificativ asupra politicii din Romnia de dup 1989. Dup cum am artat mai sus, impactul respectiv i are sorgintea, n mod paradoxal, tocmai n eecul su. Totui puternica identitate a Pieei Universitii a supravieuit pn astzi i muli romni consider acel episod drept o experien educativ major dintr-o ar n care generaiile mai vrstnice au trebuit s redescopere democraia, pe cnd cele mai tinere au fost nevoite s-i neleag

implicaiile, att sub forma ei contestatar, ct i sub cea normal. Acest proces evident de nvare este ilustrat cel mai bine de cuvintele unei tinere din Romnia: La vremea aceea aveam nou ani, mergeam pe zece. Cum prinii mei au participat la miting, am fcut i eu la fel. Am strigat, dei nu nelegeam prea bine ce strigam. ns acolo, n Piaa Universitii, am nvat c libertatea exist i c merit s lupi pentru ea. [...] Am nvat c poi s-i spui NU guvernului. Am nvat despre identitatea comun, despre magia cntecelor. [...] Am nvat despre puterea maselor i despre aciunea de mas (Conovici 2004). ntro oarecare msur, protestul maraton de ase sptmni din Piaa Universitii a fost ajutat i de aceast perspectiv romantic s-i fureasc un repertoriu durabil al contestrii, care acum se susine de la sine. Dup cum o sugereaz articolul de fa, analiza micrilor sociale nu trebuie s se ncheie cu micarea nsi, pentru c ea poate avea implicaii politice de durat, pe care studiul micrilor sociale le poate explica dup ce depete episodul contestatar n sine. Din aceast perspectiv, analiza fenomenului Piaa Universitii clarific problema felului n care conteaz micrile sociale, subliniind impactul avut de acest episod contestatar asupra formrii partidelor din Romnia i a culturii sale politice. Analiza de fa, inspirat de lucrarea Dynamics of Contention, susine afirmaia c formarea identitii i repertoriile contestatare pot avea impact mult timp dup ncheierea unui anumit episod contestatar. Pe viitor cercettorii ar putea s analizeze mai profund problema, evideniind felul n care micrile sociale i

episoadele contestatare pot afecta cultura politic i politica partizan, nu doar efectele politice, aa cum se ntmpl frecvent n lucrrile sociologice existente. Pe ansamblu, articolul acesta arat c, dei strzile curate i revenirea la politica normal sugereaz finalul unui episod de protest concret, fora sa motrice simbolic i politic poate supravieui prin alte mijloace o perioad lung de timp.

Note: 1. Mulumiri: Autorii in s le mulumeasc Angelei Kempf i lui Ali Rezaei pentru comentariile lor asupra schielor anterioare ale articolului de fa. 2. Pentru micarea minerilor vezi Gledhill 2005. 3. Minerii din Valea Jiului continu s reprezinte o ameninare la adresa efortului Romniei de consolidare a democraiei. n procesul de formare a identitii lor participative, minerii au fost ajutai n mare msur de statutul privilegiat de care s-au bucurat n anii comunismului i de legitimarea lor ulterioar, pe care le-a acordat-o Iliescu dup 1990. Evenimentele din iunie 1990 marcheaz a treia venire a minerilor la Bucureti, n vreme ce februarie 1999 reprezint a asea venire a lor n capital (v. Vasi 2004; Fonta 1999).

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The Women from APACA

helped and guided by skilled workers, who were working three shifts. Their work time amounted to 1.396.000 hours in just three months.

by Andrei Crciun

It is a strange and sad story, that remains to be told and remembered. Hannah Arendt

In 1948 Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej (the first general secretary of the Romanian Communist Party) initiated a development plan for Bucharest, the capital of the new socialist Romania. As part of the development and industrialization plan, it took only 97 days to accomplish the miracle from Cotroceni hills, the clothing factory Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, later known as APACA (Atelierele de Producie ale Armatei - Confecii i Ambalaje - Army Production Workshops - Clothing and Wrapping). The factory had existed from the times of Alexandru Ioan Cuza (Hospodar of Romania - more precisely, of the United Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia between 1859 and 1866). It comprised a group of insanitary military barracks, where the workers (most of them being women) were making low quality military suits for the Romanian army low-ranking officers. The new factory hall was 180 meters long and 18 meters wide, and it was designed by Emil Prager (construction engineer of the period, who used reinforced concrete in the Romanian constructions), who drew sketches by hand right on the site, during the construction. It was built with the help of 1150 volunteers, all of them brigade members and UTM members (U.T.M. - Uniunea Tineretului Muncitoresc, Union of Working Youth, later renamed U.T.C. - Uniunea Tineretului Comunist, Union of Communist Youth). They strove day and night and were

The factory was set in motion in April 28, 1948, and it was inaugurated three days sooner than the stipulated term for the official handover. The opening ceremony took place in May 1 (May Day, International Workers Day), and enjoyed the presence of the general secretary of the Romanian Communist Party himself, the man whose name was given to the factory: Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej. At first the factory was equipped with 1024 sewing machines, it operated with 1600 workers, and 90% of them were women. In the following period the factory was extended with a new, identical hall and new wings, designed for the fashion exhibitions, fitting rooms and fashion design offices, with over 18.000 women employees working three shifts. The industrial complex included also a canteen, a kindergarten, mini-markets and retail outlets, recreational spaces, and it functioned as a miniature city. APACA was already regarded as the jewel of the Romanian light industry and a model of success for the forced industrialization. Here was the place where the export luxury attires or the clothes for the systems favoured were made. In its first period of activity, the enthusiasm stirred by the gigantic Bolshevik-Stalinist propaganda system gave rise to a competitive spirit among the women workers, who were ready to do anything, even to risk their health, only to exceed the absurd production quota established by the communist system, in order to report great achievements. The administrative and party structures granted the women various money prizes for their immense efforts; afterwards, the workers were used as propagandistic examples in the media of that period. In the same time, the exceeded production quotas raised the

level of the compulsory production plans, thus shortly afterwards the working quotas became impossible to attain. These impossible production norms lead to fake reports and statistics sent to the Party (as the same kind of reports was used in all the industrial centers). The experimentation of various Soviet working techniques was another type of pressure applied on the women workers, who became the victims of their own enthusiasm. APACA women changed into the sewing machines they worked with. Any grain of humanity vanished. Their daily schedule didnt offer them any spare time: after eight hours of incessant work, they had to honour their housewife obligations imposed by the party doctrine. Their existence was practically reduced to a set of mechanical gestures. They have no time left for live; they had quotas at work and quotas at home. The Housewifes Guide was the Bible of their pseudo-existence. In the factory the women were making the garments they would have liked to wear, but they could reach them only illegally (for example, they stole a T-shirt or managed to obtain it using their personal relations with other workers). Obviously, they were living their own dehumanization. The severe control practised by their supervisors and the representatives of the party cell limited their actions, but also their judgement. Selfrespect was replaced by compliance with the rules, and their own ambitions were replaced with the systems platitudes. After the 1966 decree, the one that forbade abortion up to a minimum four children per family (as the women with more than four children were called hero mothers), the things got worse for the APACA women. The concept of intimacy disappeared completely. The single women - and especially the single mothers, with illegitimate children - were rejected by the system, lost their job and were publicly humiliated; their cases were used as negative examples in the party


meetings and the factory square meeting (a communist informal and systematic meeting form, where all the members of a facility were amassed to formed a square formation with an open side; the workers were praised or criticized in front of all the other people, including for their personal life). Now the APACA workers had to justify at their working place not only their professional activity, but also their personal life. The decree gave men the possibility to free themselves of any responsibility concerning their family life, except the financial support. As the access to contraceptive methods was prohibited, the women became children production units, and they took automatically the responsibility for the childrens education. The women comrades from the factory could trust no one any longer, as anybody might be an informer. They had no chance to avoid the system; their only option was to obey the rules. The stress was governing their lives, although was known in the communist block as the capitalism disease. In the 70s APACA was among the few factories that were still functioning at full capacity, so as to set a good example for the Romanian industry. The repression in a primitive vulgarity became their only retreat, and it was propped up by envy and hatred towards the intellectuals and those who managed to isolate from the rules ad the restrictions of the system and who assumed their freedom (insofar as this was possible). This way, they had an opportunity to ignore their problematic existence. Their social life was reduced to tattling on the social life of those they despised. The APACA women took part in all the panegyrical marches and shows that acclaimed the Ceau[escu spouses and the achievements of the Romanian party and people. Their conformism provided them with the

comfort granted by the lack of personal concerns, transforming them into easily manipulated propaganda agents. The factory was often visited by high officials of the Communist Party, and it functioned as a laboratory for experimenting social control programs; the workers reacted mimetically, as they were expected to. For the Party APACA kindergarten was another object of pride. The new communists were forged here. oimii Patriei (approx. Fatherlands Falcons, communist form of organization for the school and preschool Romanian children between 4 and 7, founded in 1976) was meant to contribute to the ethical and civic education of the children, in the spirit of humanity, love for the fatherland and the people, for the Romanian Communist Party. Women brought their children here every Monday morning and took them back home only in Sunday evening. Because of the exhausting work schedule, rarely a mother visited the children during the week. The position achieved by the children from APACA kindergarten was a very special one: they were favoured by the model citizen files that their parents had (PCR had files for all the Romanian citizens, and they determined the individuals social position and status). Children of low extraction, from modest worker families, without any academic degrees, were preferred by the Party; it was thought they would accomplish the New Man ideal, so they grew up in very special conditions, better than in their homes. They never lack indoor heating, while other children of their age were freezing in cold, dilapidated kindergartens; they were permanently fed with meat products, eggs, and milk, even though one couldnt find such stuff in any store. Over 500 children between 2-8 years were educated to become trusted men of the system right in that factory, the former military barracks. Of course, they were constantly visited by the high officials wives, and they participated at

all the festivities honouring Ceauescu spouses. Although they were expected to have a different kind of reaction after 1989, the APACA workers continued to support the neocommunist system that went on functioning in Romania. During the street riots from University Square, in Bucharest, in the fights between revolutionaries and the state forces, the miners engaged in the battle against the students, as ordered by the president Ion Iliescu. At that moment APACA women got out in the streets, acclaiming the miners and their violent interventions, with many wounded and dead people. They were also chanting Death for the students! and Death for the intellectuals!, while they enjoyed watching the miners beating up, coldbloodedly, any youngster that seemed to be a student. After 1992 most of the APACA sectors closed down or privatized, and the vast majority of the workers was forced to search for a new job. The women still working at APACA have now children who have become students (as those they wanted dead a few years ago), but they still accept to be the victims of the political and election campaigns; they still sell their vote for a flower at Womans Day or a concert with the manelists of the day, that bring tears in their eyes. (A manelist is a manea singer; the manea is a sinister combination between the gipsy fiddler music and Oriental tunes, promoting a basic and primitive lifestyle, centered upon material values - luxurious cars, wealthy husbands, big houses, etc.) The APACA womens case can stand as an example for the way it functioned - and it is still functioning - the manipulation in the communist regime, in the neocommunist one, and then in the capitalist regime. Using the systematic repression, the permanent control and the restriction of any independent action, all the systems have managed to

transform the human beings into auxiliary machines of the system - of any system. This type of systematic and highly aggressive oppression came from the system, was accepted by most of the citizens, and exhausted all the personal resources for many Romanians, apparently leaving them without any other option, except the social compliance and mimetism. Why did those women continue to assume their function as instruments of a system that, theoretically, had ceased to exist after 1989? Why did the APACA women reject, with such hatred and contempt, the new democratic concepts and the new kind of morality, based on individuality and freedom of expression? The answer may be found in their own history, which overlaps the history of the system they protected: the failure to cope with progress and change. Obstructing the access to general information, to entertainment or religion was an important element of the oppression, and the final result was the involuntary rejection of the new values, brought by the new capitalist and democratic system. As they lived in a world that denied any kind of moral value, the APACA women (who were, essentially, illustrative for an entire society) developed a high level of social frustration and an inability to perform in the new democratic society. Even if this time it was enveloped in the attractive wrapping of capitalism, and projected on them in a different manner, it is the same kind of repression that preserved the function of political instruments for those apparently ostracized. Before the revolution they were the victims of the communist system and their own torturers; starting with 1990, they were the revolutionaries torturers and their own victims.
This text was originally published in "Exploring the Return of Repression", the publication in the frame of the exhibition with the same title, curated by Rzvan Ion, 2009.

Femeile de la APACA

de Andrei Crciun

Este o poveste stranie i trist, ce rmne sa fie spus i rememorat. Hannah Arendt

n 1948 Gheorghe GheorghiuDej (primul secretar general al Partidului Comunist Romn ntre 1945-1965) iniia programul de dezvoltare a Bucuretiului, capitala noii Romnii socialiste. Ca parte a programului de dezvoltare i industrializare s-a nfptuit, n doar 97 de zile, "miracolul din dealurile Cotroceniului", fabrica de confecii Gheorghe GheorghiuDej, cunoscut ulterior ca APACA (Atelierele de Producie ale Armatei Confecii i Ambalaje). ntreprinderea funciona din vremea lui Alexandru Ioan Cuza (domn al Romniei - mai exact, al Principatelor Unite - ntre anii 1859-1866) ntr-un ansamblu de barci militare, n condiii insalubre, n care lucrtorii, majoritatea femei, confecionau costume militare de proast calitate pentru subofierii armatei romne. Noua hal a fabricii, avnd 180 m lungime i 18 m lime, a fost proiectat de Emil Prager (inginer constructor din acea perioad, care s-a fcut remarcat prin utilizarea betonului armat n construciile din Romnia), cu schie desenate de mn chiar pe antier, n timpul realizrii construciei. A fost ridicat cu ajutorul a 1150 de brigadieri voluntari ai UTM (Uniunea Tineretului Muncitoresc, devenit ulterior Uniunea Tineretului Comunist), care lucrau zi i noapte, ajutai i ndrumai de 600 de muncitori calificai

care lucrau n trei schimburi. Au totalizat 1.396.000 de ore de lucru n doar trei luni de zile. n 28 aprilie 1948 fabrica i-a nceput activitatea, fiind inaugurat cu trei zile naintea termenului final de predare a lucrrii. La data de 1 Mai (cu ocazia Zilei Internaionale a Muncii) a avut loc ceremonia de deschidere, la care a participat nsui secretarul general al Comitetului Central al Partidului Comunist Romn (PCR), cel al crui nume l purta fabrica: Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej. Iniial fabrica, utilat cu 1024 de maini de cusut, funciona cu 1600 de lucrtori, peste 90% dintre acetia fiind femei. n perioada urmtoare fabrica s-a extins printr-o hal identic i noi corpuri destinate expoziiilor de mod, sli de prob si birouri de design, n care lucrau peste 18.000 de femei n trei schimburi. Complexul, dotat cu cantin, grdini, puncte comerciale i spaii de recreere, funciona ca un miniora. APACA era deja considerat bijuteria industriei uoare din Romania, model de succes al industrializrii forate. Aici se confecionau articole vestimentare de lux pentru export sau mbrcminte pentru preferaii sistemului. n prima perioad de funcionare entuziasmul indus de sistemul uria de propagand bolevic-stalinist a nscut un spirit competitiv ntre lucrtoare, care fceau orice, distrugndu-i sntatea, ca s depeasc normele de lucru impuse absurd de sistemul comunist, ce trebuia s raporteze realizri mree. Pentru eforturile lor imense femeile erau premiate cu sume de bani de ctre organele administrative i de partid, fiind folosite ca exemple propagandiste n presa vremii. n acelai timp, normele depite ridicau cotele planurilor de producie impuse, n scurt timp ajungndu-se la norme de lucru imposibil de atins. Aceste limite imposibile

au dus la raportarea unor date i statistici false ctre partid (acest stil de rapoarte exista n toate centrele industriale). Experimentarea diver-selor tehnici de lucru sovietice, tipul de activitate fiind permanent schimbat, era un alt fel de presiune exercitat asupra lucrtoarelor, care deveniser victimele propriului lor entuziasm. Femeile de la APACA s-au transformat n mainile de cusut la care lucrau. Orice urm de umanitate dispruse. Programul zilnic nu le permitea timp liber: dup opt ore de munc nentrerupt, erau nevoite sa-i onoreze obligaiile de gospodin impuse de doctrina partidului. Practic, existena lor era redus la o sum de gesturi automate. Nu mai aveau timp s triasc; aveau de realizat norme la locul de munc i norme acas. Ghidul gos-podinei era Biblia pseudo-existenei lor. n fabric femeile confecionau produsele vestimentare pe care i-ar fi dorit s le mbrace, dar la care nu aveau acces dect prin metode ilegale (furau cte un tricou sau reueau s i-l procure prin relaiile personale cu alte muncitoare). Triau, evident, propria dezumanizare. Controlul aspru efectuat de superiorii lor i de reprezentanii celulei de partid le limita modul de a aciona, dar i de a gndi. Respectul de sine a fost nlocuit cu respectarea regulilor, iar propriile ambiii au fost nlocuite cu abloanele sistemului. Dup decretul din 1966, care interzicea avortul pn la o norm de minimum patru copii/familie (femeile cu mai mult de patru copii se numeau "mame eroine"), pentru femeile de la APACA lucrurile s-au nrutit. Noiunea de intimitate a disprut n totalitate. Femeile singure, n special femeile cu copii nelegitimi, erau respinse de sistem, i pierdeau locul de munc i erau umilite n public, cazurile lor fiind utilizate ca exemplu negativ n cadrul edinelor de partid sau a careurilor


din fabric (obicei comunist de a forma, naintea intrrii n fabric, un ptrat uman fr o latur, n faa cruia erau ludai sau criticai muncitorii, inclusiv pentru viaa lor personal). Lucrtoarele de la APACA trebuiau acum s rspund la locul de munc nu numai pentru activitatea lor profesional, dar i pentru viaa personal. Decretul a oferit brbailor posibilitatea s se sustrag de la orice responsabilitate legat de viaa de familie, n afara celei de a o susine financiar. Neexistnd acces la metode contraceptive, femeile s-au transformat n fabrici de copii, asumndu-i automat toat responsabilitatea pentru educaia lor. Tovarele de la fabric nu mai puteau avea ncredere n nimeni, cci oricine putea s fie informator. Pentru ele nu mai exista nici o posibilitate s evite sistemul: singura opiune era s se conformeze. Stresul, despre care n blocul comunist se spunea c ar fi "boala capitalismului", le guverna viaa. n anii '70 APACA era printre singurele fabrici care nc mai funcionau la capacitatea maxim de producie, pentru a oferi un bun exemplu industriei romne. Refularea ntr-o vulgaritate primar, susinut de invidie i ur fa de intelectuali i de cei care, n msura n care se putea, au reuit s se detaeze de normele i restriciile sistemului i i-au asumat libertatea, a devenit singurul lor refugiu, cci le oferea posibilitatea s ignore problematica lor existen. Viaa lor social se rezuma la a comenta viaa social a celor pe care i dispreuiau. Femeile de la APACA participau la toate marurile i spectacolele de elogiere a soilor Ceauescu i a "succeselor" partidului i poporului romn. Conformismul le oferea confortul lipsei de preocupri personale, transformndu-le n ageni de propagand foarte uor de

manipulat. Fabrica era foarte des vizitat de oficialiti din partid i funciona ca un laborator de experimentare a programelor de control social, iar lucrtorii reacionau mimetic, conform ateptrilor. Grdinia fabricii APACA era un alt motiv de mndrie pentru partid. Aici erau formai noii comuniti. {oimii Patriei (organizaie comunist a copiilor romni precolari i colari, n vrst de 4-7 ani, nfiinat n 1976) avea scopul de a contribui la educarea moral-civil a copiilor n spiritul umanismului, al dragostei fa de patrie i popor, fa de Partidul Comunist Romn. Femeile i aduceau copiii luni dimineaa i i luau acas smbt seara. Din cauza programului de lucru extrem de obositor, foarte rar se ntmpla ca o mam s-i viziteze copiii n timpul sptmnii. Cazul copiilor de la grdinia APACA era cu totul special: ei erau privilegiai de dosarul de cetean model al prinilor (PCR le fcea dosare tuturor cetenilor Romniei, iar n funcie de ele se stabilea rolul i statutul lor n societate). Copiii din familiile modeste de muncitori, fr studii superioare, erau favorizai, fiind considerai de partid cei care vor atinge idealul omului nou, astfel c ei creteau in condiii cu totul speciale, mai bune ca acas. Beneficiau tot timpul de cldur, n timp ce ali copii de vrsta lor degerau n grdiniele mizere i friguroase din restul rii, i mncau zilnic preparate din carne, ou i lapte, dei asemenea produse nu se gseau n magazine. Cei peste 500 de copii, cu vrste cuprinse ntre 2 ani i 8 ani, erau instruii ca viitori oameni de baz ai sistemului n fabrica aceea, fost cazarm militar. Bineneles, primeau constant vizite de la soiile nalilor oficiali i participau la toate festivitaile organizate n cinstea soilor Ceauescu. Dup 1989, dei ar fi fost de ateptat un alt tip de reacie din partea

lucrtoarelor de la APACA, ele au rmas un element de susinere a sistemului neocomunist care a continuat s funcioneze in Romnia. n timpul luptelor de strad petrecute n Piaa Universitii din Bucureti ntre revoluionari i forele de stat care aprau interesele sistemului neocomunist, minerii au intervenit mpotriva protestatarilor la ordinul preedintelui Ion Iliescu. Atunci femeile de la APACA au ieit n strad, aclamnd minerii i interveniile lor violente, finalizate cu mori i rnii. Tot ele scandau "Moarte studenilor!" i "Moarte intelectualilor!" n timp ce se uitau ncntate cum minerii i bteau cu snge rece pe toi tinerii care preau a fi studeni. Dup 1992 majoritatea seciilor de la APACA s-au nchis ori s-au privatizat, o mare parte din lucrtoare fiind nevoite s-i gseasc un alt loc de munc. Femeile care nc mai lucreaz la APACA au acum copii studeni (exact ca aceia pe care i doreau mori cu civa ani n urm) i nc accept s fie victimele campaniilor politice i electorale, vnzndui votul pentru o floare de Ziua Femeii i concerte cntate de manelitii la mod, care le sensibilizeaz pn la lacrimi. (Maneaua este o combinaie sinistr ntre muzica lutreasc igneasc i ritmurile orientale, care promoveaz un stil de via primar, simplu, bazat pe valori materiale de genul main, so cu bani, cas mare etc.) Cazul femeilor de la APACA poate reprezenta un exemplu al modului n care manipularea sistemului comunist i, ulterior, neocomunist - , apoi a celui capitalist, au funcionat i mai funcioneaz. Toate sistemele, prin asuprire sistematizat, control permanent i limitarea oricrui fel de a aciona independent, au reuit s transforme fiinele umane n maini de susinere a sistemu-

lui, oricare a fost acela. Acest tip de oprimare sistematizat i extrem de agresiv, venit din partea sistemului i aceptat de cei mai muli dintre cetenii si, a epuizat toate resursele proprii ale multora dintre romni, aparent lsndu-i fr alt opiune n afar de conformismul i mimetismul social. De ce dup 1989 au continuat s-i asume rolul de instrumente ale unui sistem care, teoretic, nu mai exista? De ce femeile de la APACA au respins cu atta ur i dispre noile noiuni democratice i un alt tip de moralitate, bazat pe individualism i liber exprimare? Rspunsul poate veni din propria lor istorie, care coincide cu cea a sistemului oblduit de ele: neputina de a face fa progresului, schimbrii. Un element important al opresiunii a fost blocarea accesului la informaii generale, divertisment sau religie, iar asta a dus n final la respingerea involuntar a noilor valori impuse de sistemul capitalist democratic. Trind ntr-o lume care nega orice tip de valoare moral, femeile de la APACA (n esen modele reprezentative pentru o ntreag societate) i-au dezvoltat un grad acut de frustrare social i o incapacitate de a aciona n noua societate democratic. Acelai tip de represiune, dar sub ambalajul atrgtor al capitalismului, proiectat asupra lor ntr-o alt manier, a meninut funciunea de instrumente politice a celor aparent ostracizai. nainte de revoluie au fost victime ale sistemului comunist i propriii lor torionari, ncepnd cu 1990 au fost torionari ai revoluionarilor i propriile lor victime.

Acest text a fost tiprit pentru prima dat n publicaia "Exploring the Return of Repression", in cadrul expoziiei cu acelai nume, 2009.

by Antonio Negri

ty expresses itself with vigour in the massive growth and concentration of workingclass labour in all its materiality. Does the realism of artistic expression (between Courbet and Czanne, for instance) display this new historical condition of work? I think it is possible to answer affirmatively if we consider the force with which the denaturalization of the real and the structural materiality of the subject begin to appear in this realism, precisely in correspondence with the first great episodes of industrial and metropolitan centralization in the exploitation of labour-power. The period of impressionism, between 1871 and 1914, corresponds instead to policies on the side of the bosses that deepen the division of labour and its specialization policies to which there corresponds, on the workers side, a subversive project aiming at the self-management of production. We witness a first great episode in the emancipatory overdetermination by the professional worker of the conditions for the accumulation of capitalist production. Labour becomes aware of the fact that its enemy, the capitalist world, may be dissolved and possibly reconstructed if one grasps (that is, if one reappropriates) the key to production: labour itself, within the mode of production. It is in labour that the world is dissolved and reconstructed and possibly the artworld too. This is the slogan of this first phase of artistic transformation in the history of the present: creation consists in dissolution. Then comes the October Revolution. As the tsunami of revolutionary thought and subversive action spreads around the world; as capital, in order to respond to the challenge, finds itself obliged to enforce further proletarian growth and concentration in the productive base, to establish new norms of worker consumption (welfare), to push abstraction to the

highest level, and to introduce scientific management into the organization of labour well, it is then that, in the aesthetic field too, the abstract form of artistic production prevails. This abstraction is at one and the same time the representation of the abstraction of labour and from the workers standpoint the material for an alternative imagination. What, in fact, is socialism if not the project autonomously to organize the abstraction of labour? From 1917 to 1929, from the storming of the Winter Palace to the Great Crisis, this is an expressionist abstraction, in the sense that it heroically defies the real and current determinations of exploitation while violently anticipating, aggressively advancing and seeking to overturn its degree of abstraction. This abstraction traverses the figurative, destroys and reconstructs it, experiencing revolutionary passion and the desire for a constructive aesthetics in epic excess. Then, having been led back to the market and the circulation of commodities, abstraction takes ever more analytical forms forms that remain abstract, but are precisely analytical, multifarious, sometimes ephemeral, often open to experimentation and to each of the innovations that the crisis (and the ensuing renewal of the capitalist mode of production) makes possible, and which the development of proletarian struggle demands. After 1929, the only artistic production is the one expressed by the mass-artist, embodied in his constructive capacity, as though artistic production constituted the form of this capacity. And this is the story which, amid constant experimentation, leads us all the way to 68. This is the period in which abstraction and production are intertwined: the abstraction of the current mode of production and the representation of possible worlds; the abstraction of the image and the use of the most varied

To begin with, let us try, from a materialist standpoint, to situate historically the concept of plastic and figurative art in other words, the definition of its historically determinate link, if there is one, to the development and structure of modes of production. Can this be done? Obviously, once were obliged to speak of art and immaterial labour, this is a useful thing to do; in fact, its immaterial character does not strip labour not even in its relationship to artistic production of its historical centrality, and does not drain labouring activity of that economic energy and ontological power which must indeed exist in order for labour to be exploited under capitalism. So is such a definition possible? I think so. In fact (notwithstanding the superficiality and flimsiness of art markets that is, of artistic phenomena tied to the circulation of capital), we can outline a somewhat crude but nevertheless effective correspondence between the different epochs of artistic activity (styles and poetics), on the one hand, and the forms of capitalist production and organization of labour, on the other. In what follows, I would like to sketch out the figures taken by this relation. Let us go back, then, to the period that witnessed the increasing centrality of working-class struggle to capitalist development. From 1848 to 1870, this centrali[72]

materials; the simplification of the artistic gesture and the geometric destructuring of the real, and so on and so forth. Picasso and Klee, Duchamp and Malevich, Beuys and Fontana, Rauschenberg and Christo: we recognize in them artists sharing the same creative experience. A new subject and an abstract object: a subject capable of demystifying the fetishized destiny imposed by capital. And then? What can we draw from this? 68 comes and we reach a moment when contemporary art confronts new questions. How does the event arise? How can passion and the desire for transformation develop here and now? How is the revolution configured? How can man be remade? How can the abstract become subject? What world does man desire and how does he desire it? What are the forms of life taken by this extreme gesture of transformation? Lets sum up. First, we have the phase of reappropriation and self-management (1848-1914), dominated by the development of the professional worker, his struggles, his utopia and his revolution. Following the Paris Commune, this phase splits, in what concerns artistic trends, into the two directions of realism and impressionism. Then comes the revolutionary phase beginning in 1917 and ending in 1968, all of it internal to the abstraction of labour-power, which in turn divides after 1929 into expressionism and abstract experimentation; this is a period during which the mass worker comes forward as the hegemonic subject over/against the abstraction of labour and undertakes the project of its socialist management. We then arrive at a new period the constitutive period of the social worker and cognitive labour-power. But constitutive of what, when, where?

Immaterial? It is worth asking ourselves right away if the phrase immaterial labour is apposite. Today, paradoxically, saying immateriality no longer means saying abstraction, but rather concreteness; no longer vision and spirituality, but rather immersion into bodies, expression of the flesh. Immaterial labour constructs material products, commodities and communication. It is socially organized through (very material) linguistic, electronic and cooperative networks and through multitudinous movements and associations. This is a fleshy immateriality, that is to say a mobile and flexible materiality, an ensemble of bodies. Here, then, (from the artistic standpoint) is the final paradox of this story: artistic development transforms the abstraction of the social relations in which we are immersed into corporeal figures, releasing the vitality of the flesh into images that move and inflect themselves, in a process of continuous transformation. From Bacon through Warhol to Nam June Paik, the artist imagines a thick space, a molten turmoil, and looks fearlessly to a world freed from its internal architecture. Artistic development now takes place not so much in immaterial as in biopolitical terms. The attempt to traverse social communication, to catch one of its figures on the wing, is accompanied by an immersion into the chaotic and productive tumult of forms of life. Todays artistic paradox consists, intensively as well as extensively, in wanting to produce the world (as well as bodies and movements) otherwise, from within a world that refuses to recognize any worlds other than the existing one, and in knowing that this outside to be constructed must be the other of an absolute inside. Obviously, what Ive said up to now does not intend to be a new narration of the history of art. It suffices for us to establish the fact that artistic activity always takes place within the (existent) mode of pro-

duction and reproduces it that is, it either produces or challenges it, endures or destroys it. Artistic activity is a mode, a singular form of labour-power. Not by chance, every product of artistic activity can thus become a commodity, just as, conversely, the selfsame product can be elevated by presenting itself as an invention or in any case as a sui generis production and an irreducible singularity. Like every object of production in the era of capital the artwork is two things: a commodity and an activity. It is on the basis of this twofold character of productive activity that we can grasp what I would like to identify here as the internal reality of the artistic relationship, current and/or contemporary: not only, therefore, that mode of producing art which comes under the production of commodities, but that mode of producing art which is nothing other than the figure, the power of being creative in the world. Labour-power as a free bird in the forest of life. In this regard artistic labour gains the ontological relevance possessed by all forms of labour in their creative facet. This is all the more so to the extent that artistic labour, through the very evolution of modes of production, becomes indistinguishable from cognitive labour. Artistic labour takes on the characteristics of cognitive labour: leading the production of commodities back to the circulation of commodities, the linguistic analysis of reproduction, virtual valorization, networks and cooperation, and so on and so forth. This ontological relevance has long been emphasized in studies on art. Particularly important in my view is the contribution of the Vienna School, at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century, when, analysing along with Alois Riegl late Roman and/or Byzantine artistic industry, its authors delineated the set of forces and social models involved in artistic doing, and

were thus able to grasp its ontological overdetermination: Kunstwollen; that is the singular will of art-making, the turning of every technique back on the one who uses it, as well as the blurring through production of subject and object in the historical process. In other words, we are dealing with an overdetermination of labour: Kunstwollen animates industry and industry breathes in Kunstwollen. Now, in every one of the eras weve mentioned what was experienced in the lateromantic period lives again. It is also worth underlining that the Kunstwollen is, on the one hand, of comprehensive significance for the era it describes and, on the other, singular in terms of the form through which it combines materials, the modes of production it employs, and the needs and tastes it mobilizes. Kunstwollen is an intentionality which in its realization does not lose its spatio-temporal impact, but instead renews it. It develops it, here and now, in a cognitive manner, showing work to be the formative form of the living. The technical medium is spiritual, and vice versa. Lets take two more references from the history of art criticism, from the works of Wilhelm Dilthey and Michel Foucault, respectively. The uses of this discussion will become clear as we proceed. Now, in Dilthey the relationship between the mode of production and artistic experience initially seems to be articulated in a very different manner from the Vienna School: the artwork is the product of an individual Erlebnis and artistic experience has strong psychological connotations. Little by little, however, Diltheys aesthetics or, better, his analyses of the singular poetics of romantic and post-romantic authors develops the concepts of historical structure, expressive technique and the singularity of artistic perception, concepts which issue into a vision that is very close to that of the Vienna School. But Dilthey goes further: in artistic production, the exchange

between the agent and what is acted upon becomes ever deeper and serves as the motor behind the ontological transformation of agents. As for Foucault, he offers the episteme as the linchpin of the interpretation of an era, but at the same time he exposes the development of the era itself to the edge of innovation and the rhythm of discontinuity. He insists especially on the hybridization and interface processes within which the transformations of the episteme take place. To the question, What is an author?, Foucault already replied in 1969: qui importe qui parle! (who cares whos speaking!). In 1971, with reference to Manet, Foucault sets down the forms taken by the metamorphosis of the artistic gesture: Manet tableau-objet the fundamental precondition in order one day to be freed from representation itself and to allow for the play of space with its pure and simple properties, its own material properties. Why, then, are these authors, Dilthey and Foucault who represent a before and after vis--vis the shift that introduces us to postmodernity and the hegemony of immaterial labour over the artistic scene so important? Because here ontology and history are intimately tied together. The biopolitical is announced at this crossroads. Biopolitical labour Lets return to where we began this reflection; that is, at the point where we stopped tracking the course of art history, around 1968, in terms of that turn which we identified in the end of the era of the massworker. Lets now enter the new phase that opens up here. Dominated as they are by globalization and the saturation of the experience of life under capitalism,

both art and labour, as we saw, have become abstract; nevertheless, subject and object refer back to one another in the play of production, where every outside has vanished. But how can we identify the emergence of the beautiful in the passage from modern to postmodern? How can the will to make art allow us to traverse its abstraction? In order to reopen the discussion we will need to underline that a mutation has already taken place, perhaps even an anthropological metamorphosis. In this existence of ours, creating has likely lost all links to any kind of nature, and leaving all preconceptions aside it is no longer even a sublimation: rather, it is something beyond measure, an excess that discovers forms for a surplus of productivity. When labourpower is cognitive, the desire for artistic expression is to be found everywhere; when the mass of workers is transformed into a multitude of singular producers, artistic activity affects the forms of life and these forms become the flesh of the world. Bernard Stiegler, following in the footsteps of Leroi-Gourhan and Simondon, has depicted this shift very effectively. He captures the tendency towards a unification of anthropogenesis and technogenesis, as the world exposes itself to a veritable machinic turn. Cognitive labour produces objects that modify the subject. No longer in metaphysical (Heideggerian) terms but in critical (Kantian) ones, cognitive labour illuminates or unveils through technology that secret of truth which subjects produce through constant interrelation. Depth is discovered when it is introduced into the circle of inside and outside, constitutive and constituted. Ultimately, the Kantian schematism the definitive impasse of modern philosophy around which the death of man ferments and is eventually recognized does not issue into the sublime but rather into the circle of

constitution. It is played out between the subject and the technical object, and the latter also posits itself as subject. Following Stiegler, human becoming, through mans prostheses, constitutes the ultimate fate outlined by cognitive labour. Metamorphosis is a figure for the ontological relevance of artistic action. But we need to introduce a further element. We have begun to perceive the efficacy of immateriality and cognitive labour with regard to art. We identified this shift in the postmodern turn, and in its unification of anthropogenesis and technogenesis. But (for a number of reasons which we wont go into here) today the situation has been stabilized. We are no longer moving towards the postmodern, or rather, we have already moved beyond every post-. We exist in contemporaneity and this contemporaneity has further intensified the transformation of labour. From being immaterial, cognitive, affective, it is becoming ever more bios: it is biopolitical labour, an activity that reproduces forms of life. Labour is thereby infused with a series of new attributes. First, it presents itself as event that is as a vital excess beyond measure. The event detaches itself from the continuity of lifes customary horizon, but it is simultaneously internal to it, dwelling at its centre. It exists in that artificial depth which characterizes every immersion into the world of immanence; that is, in a thoroughly constructed world where nothing natural exists any longer. The event is not an outside, but an explosion in the inside, where the impossibility-ofan-exit announces a creative excess. Second, biopolitical labour presents itself as a multitudinous event. We have already spoken of the ontological relevance of artistic labour and of how this ontological relevance was always marked

by the Kunstwollen, overdetermined by an episteme. But the event that we identify and interpret in the production of biopolitical labour has the same collective and cultural characteristics within contemporary industry. The multitudinous character of cognitive labour is thus reconfirmed. However, this multitudinous character does not simply express a concept of interactive cooperation. The various hermeneutic schools (from Gadamer to Jauss, passing through Eco) have insisted on this effect; Simondons interindividual or transindividual approach described its figure and movements in the very constitution of technical objects. But all of this does not suffice to understand and grasp the peculiar consistency of the artistic phenomenon produced by cognitive labour. In effect, it reveals itself to be something that goes beyond itself, which transcends (in this world that knows no outside) the independence and autonomy of its own production. In other words, it is given as a multitudinous excess. So, third, still seeking that ontological relevance which the Vienna School had already so powerfully presented as the interpretive mark of the artistic phenomenon, we find ourselves specifying the multitudinous event as an excess open onto the common. Artistic production traverses industry and constitutes common languages. Therefore, every production is an event of communication, and the common is constructed through multitudinous events. Consequently, this is how the capacity to renew the regimes of knowledge and action that in the era of cognitive labour we call artistic is determined. Theres a final point that is worth dwelling on. By insisting on the biopolitical we are reminded, retracing the history of ancient poetics, of Ovids Metamorphoses. I suggest rereading them: you will find yourselves immersed in a mythical configura[77]

tion of life which destroys all of its parameters of necessity; you will be lost in a labyrinth of animal figures, of human and divine vicissitudes, of natural and technical prostheses that fill every space in the narrative. That is what cognitive labour (and every mode of production linked to it) manages to do. Every mythical resonance that this doing had in Ovid has vanished. Consequently, in this disenchanted world in which we find ourselves we frequently come up against things which are, as it were, too real: this world of ours sometimes fills up with monsters, and we end up trembling. We would like this not to be true, but it is: that is the contemporary. We recognize this each and every time we deal with the monsters that our action and work produce and that relations of domination cause to proliferate. And the monster as we saw when we reflected on the reversibility which is always created in the relation between machinic subjects and objects the monster lives inside us, or is one of our prostheses, and it can turn back on us and partake in our metamorphosis. This is all the more reason for us to recognize the danger, every time we highlight the physical character of immaterial labour, the flesh of cognitive labour in brief, the common of life, the biopolitical, which constitutes us. Yet another paradox? Of course. In effect, moving within abstraction and immateriality, confronted by monsters, we are increasingly required to determine testing criteria that will have a bearing on corporeality that is, on the vital modalities of existential critique. Artistic production today The discovery that contemporaneity, and the mode of production that prevails within it, unfolds in danger, in contact with the monster, makes a reflection on the common obligatory: a decision on the sense

of being that is, on the direction that the event and the multitude must take in order to give meaning to the common. The aesthetic gesture (when it is interpreted in the form that we have done here) finds ethical decision on its path. We live in the midst of transformation, of the metamorphosis of space and time determined by the contemporary accumulation of work and civilization. Bodies are at stake within the process of transformation. Crises constantly break out which allow of no external solution. That is where we are, and we cannot go elsewhere. But we have this astonishing speech that we are capable of expressing, this creative capacity that we can put forward. By recapitulating the productive and the ontological, the event and the common, art thus could (perhaps it simply must) give ethical meaning to this predicament, helping us to construct that multiple paradigm in which being for the other, being in the common, triumphs. Can we draft prescriptions for a style that would be infused by an ethics? Asking oneself this is like asking oneself if it is once again possible to have access to a grand narrative on being. Or, better, whether it is possible to get close to a concrete utopia. I think so. And I would like to propose, coherently with what we have critically constructed up to this point, a three-stage approach, through which a style of artistic production may be defined today. The first stage consists in the immersion into the infinite movement of the bodies and events that surround us, from images of life to expressions of knowledge; or, better, to undertake that work of deconstruction of the real that immersion as such demands, when it is driven by a critical desire. Bare life and clothed life, poverty and wealth, critical desire and construction of the real this always constitutes the section of the diagram of immer-

sion into true reality. We find ourselves partaking in the composition of the swarm of singularities. These singularities want to converge in the common while keeping their freedom. The second stage is reflexive. It presents itself as the moment of the recognition of the common. Here we act as a reconstituted swarm, not merely as a multitude but as a swarm that organizes the figures of flight and movement, the manner in which it is delineated as a viable and/or volatile direction, the materialist telos that surges up from below, from each and every one of its singularities. Thus the impoverished immersion (of the lone singularity) into the multiplicity of the swarm finds here the direction and cohesion of love. Through love that is, through that force which Spinoza saw as forming itself out conatus and cupiditas the solidarity of bodies and decisions of the spirit is constructed. A veritable metamorphosis thus takes place within the complex multiplicity that constructs the swarm. Immaterial labour has finally found an ethical legitimacy that is structurally bound to the way it reinvents itself as form of life. Art defines itself as form of life, characterized by poverty at its base, and by revolutionary will at the apex of the becomingswarm. We have now reached the third stage of this movement. Some time ago, Paolo Virno, anticipating many of the insights and concepts that were later expressed with respect to immaterial labour, defined the performances of this labour in terms of the masterwork (capolavoro). This hermeneutic anticipation by Virno should be given its due. But it should be developed further, once the homology between the formation of the multitudinous swarm and the operationality of immaterial labour (as well as cognitive and affective labour) is recognized. The common that has developed within

artistic forms must now be embodied in a collective decision, in a common government. Or, better, it should be organized by a governance of/on/in the forms of life that have been constructed. The highpoint is to be found in this construction of the ethico-political limit of the common, in this internal government of agency; that is, when the experience of the common in opposition to any illusion of community expresses free and rich forms of life. To take up again the image of the beautiful which, as we recalled above, the Kantian schematism began to formulate, we could say that beyond a sublime that organizes itself at the limit of the mathematical infinite and a second model of the sublime that is elevated by the immensity of nature, there is a third model which hinges on ethical action, on the constitution of the multitudinous telos. This third model of the sublime takes shape at the limit constructed by amor (in Spinoza) as it completes the movement of cupiditas. The common as ethical sublime, the common as aesthetic sublime: against every spiritualist mystification there stands here that intersection of anthropogenesis and technogenesis identified by Stiegler and which we had considered with reference to the constitution and disclosure of the common.

Translated by Alberto Toscan First published in Radical Philosophy 149 (March/April 2008), translated here with permission.

de Antonio Negri

Pentru nceput haidei s ncercm s situm istoric, dintr-o perspectiv materialist, conceptul de art plastic i figurativ - cu alte cuvinte, definirea legturii sale determinate istoric (dac exist vreuna) cu evoluia i structura modurilor de producie. Este posibil aa ceva? Evident c, din moment ce sntem nevoii s vorbim despre arta i munca imaterial (spiritual), ar fi un lucru util. De fapt caracterul su imaterial nu despoaie munca - nici chiar n relaia sa cu producia artistic - de poziia sa central n decursul istoriei i nici nu golete activitatea muncitoreasc de acea energie economic i de puterea ontologic necesare n mod obligatoriu pentru ca munca s poat fi exploatat n cadrul capitalismului. Aadar, este posibil o asemenea definiie? Eu cred c da. De fapt (lsnd la o parte superficialitatea i lipsa de consisten a pieelor de art adic a fenomenelor artistice dependente de circulaia capitalului) am putea elabora o concordan oarecum simplist, dar totui fertil, ntre diverse perioade de activitate artistic (stiluri i poetici), pe de o parte, i formele de producie capitalist i de organizare a muncii, pe de alt parte. n cele ce

urmeaz voi ncerca s schiez formele pe care le ia aceast relaie. Aadar, s revenim la perioada care a fost martora accenturii centralitii luptei clasei muncitoare n cadrele evoluiei capitalismului. Din 1848 pn n 1870 acest caracter central s-a manifestat cu putere n dezvoltarea masiv i concentrarea trudei clasei muncitoare n toat materialitatea sa. Dar oare realismul expresiei artistice (s zicem, de la Courbet la Czanne) ilustreaz aceast nou condiie istoric a muncii? Consider c putem da un rspuns afirmativ dac lum n calcul fora cu care ncepe s apar denaturalizarea materialitii reale i structurale a subiectului n cadrul acestui realism, exact n paralel cu primele faze importante ale centralizrii industriale i metropolitane n exploatarea forei de munc. n schimb, etapa impresionismului, cea dintre anii 1871 i 1914, corespunde acelor politici adoptate de angajatori care accentueaz diviziunea muncii i specializarea ei - politici crora le corespunde un proiect subversiv al muncitorilor, avnd ca scop autoadministrarea produciei. Sntem martorii unui prim episod important al supradeterminrii eliberatoare a muncitorului profesionist fa de condiiile acumulrii produciei capitaliste. Munca devine contient de faptul c lumea capitalist, adversarul su, ar putea fi dizolvat i apoi, probabil, reconstruit dac este preluat (adic luat iar sub stpnire) esena produciei: munca nsi, cu modul de producie. Lumea - i, probabil, i lumea artei - se dizolv i se reconstruiete n snul muncii. Acesta este sloganul primei etape de transformare artistic din istoria prezentului: creaia const n dizolvare. Urmeaz apoi Revoluia din Octombrie.

n timp ce nvala gndirii revoluionare i a aciunii subversive se rspndete pe glob, iar capitalul, vrnd s rspund acestei provocri, se vede obligat s accentueze dezvoltarea i concentrarea proletariatului n cadrul bazei productive, s stabileasc noi norme de susinere a muncitorilor (ajutor social), s nale abstraciunea pn la cel mai nalt nivel i s introduc managementul tiinific n modul de organizare a muncii - ei bine, tot atunci n cmpul esteticii ncepe s predomine forma abstract a produciei artistice. Aceast abstractizare este n acelai timp reprezentarea abstraciunii muncii i - din punctul de vedere al muncitorilor - material pentru un gen de imaginaie alternativ. De fapt ce altceva este socialismul dac nu un proiect de organizare autonom a abstraciunii muncii? Din 1917 pn n 1929, de la asaltul asupra Palatului de Iarn pn la Marea Criz, avem de-a face cu abstraciunea expresionist, n sensul c aceasta sfideaz eroic determinaiile reale i curente ale exploatrii, dar n acelai timp o anticipeaz violent, avansnd agresiv i ncercnd s invalideze gradul su de abstractizare. Aceast abstraciune traverseaz figurativul, l nimicete i l reconstruiete, trind pasiunea revoluionar i nevoia de o estetic constructiv ntr-un exces impresionant. Apoi, dup ce revine iari la pia i la circulaia mrfurilor de consum, abstraciunea adopt i mai multe forme analitice - forme care rmn abstracte, dar snt ntru totul analitice, diverse i uneori efemere, adesea deschise n faa experimentelor i a tuturor inovaiilor pe care criza (i rennoirea ulterioar a modului capitalist de producie) le face posi[81]

bile, iar evoluia luptei proletariatului le impune. Dup 1929 singura form de producie artistic este cea manifestat de artistul de mas, ntruchipat de abilitatea sa constructiv, ca i cum producia artistic ar constitui forma abilitii sale. Iar evoluia lucrurilor ne duce, prin experimente constante, pn la momentul 68. Aceasta este epoca n care abstraciunea i producia se mpletesc una cu alta: caracterul abstract al actualului mod de producie i reprezentarea lumilor posibile; caracterul abstract al imaginii i utilizarea celor mai diverse materiale; simplificarea gestului artistic i destructurarea geometric a realului etc., etc. Picasso i Klee, Duchamp i Malevici, Beuys i Fontana, Rauschenberg i Christo - recunoatem la toi aceti artiti fapul c mprtesc o experien creatoare comun. Un subiect nou i un obiect abstract: un subiect capabil s demistifice destinul fetiizat impus de capital. Iar dup aceea? Ce concluzii putem trage de aici? Vine momentul 68 i ajungem ntr-o etap n care arta contemporan se confrunt cu noi probleme. Cum apare evenimentul? Cum am putea declana pasiunea i dorina de transformare aici, pe loc? Cum se configureaz revoluia? Cum poate fi remodelat omul? Cum poate abstractul s devin subiect? Ce fel de lume i dorete omul i cum io dorete? Care snt formele de via pe care le ia acest gest extrem de transformare? Hai s recapitulm. Mai nti avem etapa lurii n stpnire i a autoadministrrii (1848-1914), dominat de apariia muncitorului profesionist, a luptelor sale, a utopiei i revoluiei sale. Dac vorbim de curente artistice, dup Comuna din Paris aceast etap include dou direcii separate: cea a realismului

i cea a impresionismului. Dup aceea avem etapa revoluionar, care ncepe n 1917 i se ncheie n 1968, etap asociat integral abstraciunii forei de munc, care la rndul ei se desparte dup 1929 n expresionism i experiment abstract. Este o perioad n care muncitorul de rnd se impune ca subiect dominant n faa/n dauna abstraciunii muncii i adopt proiectul administrrii socialiste. Iar apoi ajungem la o nou perioad perioada de constituire a asistentului social i a forei de munc cognitive. Dar pentru ce e ea constitutiv, cnd i unde?

Imaterial? Merit s ne ntrebm imediat dac sintagma munc imaterial este una adecvat. n mod paradoxal, astzi, cnd spunem imaterialitate, termenul nu mai nseamn abstraciune, ci concretee; nu mai nseamn imaginaie i spiritualitate, ci mai degrab imersiune n corpuri, expresie a crnii. Munca imaterial are ca rezultat produse materiale, mrfuri de consum i forme de comunicare. Ea este organizat social n reele lingvistice, electronice i de colaborare (toate foarte materiale) i ntr-o multitudine de grupri i asociaii. Avem de-a face cu o imaterialitate trupeasc, adic o materialitate mobil i flexibil, un ansamblu de corpuri. Aadar, iat aici (dintr-o perspectiv artistic) paradoxul final al povetii noastre: evoluia artistic transform abstraciunea relaiilor sociale n care ne scldm n figuri tangibile, elibernd vitalitatea crnii n imagini care se mic i se moduleaz n cadrul unui proces de continu transformare. De la Bacon, prin Warhol, pn la Nam June

Paik, artistul imagineaz un spaiu dens, o nvlmeal condensat, i privete fr team spre o lume eliberat de arhitectura sa intern. n prezent evoluia artistic nu se mai manifest n cadre imateriale, ci mai degrab biopolitice. ncercarea de a analiza comunicarea social, de a prinde de arip una din figurile sale, este nsoit de o imersiune n tumultul haotic i productiv al formelor vieii. Paradoxul artei const astzi, att n mod intensiv, ct i extensiv, n dorina de a construi lumea (precum i trupurile i micrile) ntr-un alt fel, din interiorul unei lumi ce refuz s recunoasc alte lumi n afar de cea existent, dar cu contiina faptului c acea exterioritate ce urmeaz a fi construit trebuie s fie o alt fa a unei interioriti absolute. Evident c toate cele spuse pn acum nu intenioneaz s se constituie ntr-o nou prezentare a istoriei artei. Ne este suficient s stabilim faptul c activitatea artistic are loc ntotdeauna n interiorul modului de producie (existent) i l reproduce - adic l produce sau i se opune, l accept sau l distruge. Activitatea artistic este un mod, o form singular a forei de munc. Nu ntmpltor fiecare produs al activitii artistice poate deveni o marf, la fel cum, n sens invers, exact acelai produs poate fi nnobilat prin prezentarea lui drept o invenie - sau, n orice caz, drept o realizare sui generis i o mostr de originalitate radical. Asemeni fiecrui obiect al produciei din perioada capitalist, opera de art nseamn dou lucruri: o marf i o activitate. Tocmai pe baza acestui caracter dublu al activitii productive putem percepe ceea ce a vrea s identific aici drept realitate intern a relaiei artistice curente i/sau contemporane: prin urmare, nu doar modul de pro-

ducere a artei care se subordoneaz produciei de mrfuri de consum, ci i modul de producere a artei care nu este altceva dect o imagine, puterea de a fi creator n aceast lume. Fora de munc n chip de pasre liber n pdurea vieii. Din aceast perspectiv munca artistic dobndete relevana ontologic deinut de toate formele de munc n latura lor creativ. Asta este cu att mai valabil cu ct munca artistic, tocmai datorit evoluiei modurilor de producie, nu mai poate fi difereniat de munca cognitiv. Munca artistic preia trsturile muncii cognitive: reorientarea produciei de mrfuri spre circulaia mrfurilor, analiza lingvistic a reproducerii, valorizarea virtual, reelele, cooperarea i aa mai departe. Aceast relevan ontologic a fost subliniat demult n studiile despre art. n opinia mea, o importan aparte o are contribuia colii de la Viena de la sfritul secolului al nousprezecelea i nceputul secolului douzeci, ai crei autori, dup ce analizeaz mpreun cu Alois Riegl industria artei romane trzii i/sau bizantine, traseaz setul de fore i modele sociale implicate n creaia artistic, reuind astfel s i surprind supra-determinarea ontologic: Kunstwollen, adic voina singular de creaie artistic, remiterea fiecrei tehnici persoanei care o utilizeaz, precum i estomparea - prin producie - a diferenei dintre subiect i obiect n cadrul procesului istoric. Cu alte cuvinte, avem de-a face cu o supradeterminare a muncii: Kunstwollen nsufleete industria, iar industria respir prin Kunstwollen. n fiecare din epocile menionate aici se retriete ceea ce s-a ncercat n perioada romantismului trziu. Merit s subliniem i faptul c amintita Kunstwollen are, pe de o parte, o semnifi[83]

caie comprehensiv pentru epoca pe care o descrie i, pe de alt parte, este unic prin forma n care combin materialele, modurile de producie implicate i necesitile i gusturile pe care le mobilizeaz n fiecare epoc. Kunstwollen este o intenionalitate care nu i pierde impactul spaio-temporal n urma realizrii sale, ci i-l rennoiete. l dezvolt din cnd n cnd ntr-o manier cognitiv, impunnd munca drept form formativ a traiului. Mediul tehnic este spiritual i invers. O s folosim aici nc dou referine din critica istoriei artelor - din lucrrile lui Wilhelm Dilthey i Michel Foucault. Foloasele acestei discuii se vor vedea ulterior. Iniial, n cazul lui Dilthey relaia dintre modul de producie i experiena artistic prea s fie exprimat ntr-o manier foarte diferit de coala de la Viena: opera de art este produsul unui Erlebnis individual, iar experiena artistic are puternice conotaii psihologice. Totui, ncetul cu ncetul, estetica lui Dilthey - sau, mai bine zis, analizele sale asupra poeticii specifice a autorilor romantici i post-romantici - dezvolt conceptele de structur istoric, tehnic expresiv i singularitate a percepiei artistice, concepte ce se constituie ntr-o viziune foarte apropiat de cea a colii de la Viena. ns Dilthey merge i mai departe: n cadrul produciei artistice schimbul dintre actant i obiectul asupra cruia acioneaz devine i mai intens i slujete ca for motrice pentru transformarea ontologic a actanilor. n ceea ce-l privete pe Foucault, acesta prezint epistema ca element fundamental al interpretrii unei epoci, dar prezint concomitent dezvoltarea unei epoci specifice n funcie de inovaie i de un ritm al discontinuitii. El insist mai ales asupra hibridizrii i pro[84]

ceselor de la nivelul interfeelor, unde au loc transformrile epistemelor. La ntrebarea Ce este un autor?, Foucault rspunde deja n 1969: Qui importe qui parle! (Ce conteaz cine vorbete?) n 1971, tot el, referindu-se la Manet, nregistreaz formele luate de metamorfoza gestului artistic: Manet - tableau-objet condiia prealabil fundamental pentru eliberarea viitoare de reprezentarea n sine i posibilitatea jocului spaiului cu calitile sale pure i simple, cu propriile sale caracteristici materiale. i atunci de ce snt att de importani aceti autori, Dilthey i Foucault, care reprezint un premergtor i un continuator din perspectiva schimbrii ce ne-a adus n epoca postmodern i a hegemoniei muncii imateriale asupra scenei artistice? Pentru c aici ontologia i istoria snt strns legate una de cealalt. La aceast rscruce se anun biopolitica.

Munca biopolitic S revenim acum la momentul n care am nceput aceast meditaie, n punctul unde am ncetat s urmrim cursul istoriei, adic n jurul anului 1968, la acel moment de cotitur pe care l-am identificat ca fiind sfritul epocii muncitorului de rnd i a muncitorimii de mas. De acum haidei s ptrundem ntr-o nou etap, care ncepe chiar acum. Fiind dominate de globalizare i de starea de saturaie provocat de experiena traiului n capitalism, att arta, ct i munca au devenit - aa cum am vzut abstracte. Cu toate acestea subiectul i obiectul trimit reciproc unul la altul n interiorul jocului produciei, n vreme ce orice afar a disprut. Dar cum putem identi-

fica apariia frumosului n cadrul trecerii de la modern la postmodern? n ce fel near putea permite voina de creaie artistic s-i cercetm abstraciunea? Pentru a putea deschide iar discuia, trebuie mai nti s subliniem faptul c deja a avut loc o mutaie, poate chiar o metamorfoz antropologic. Pe parcursul existenei noastre actul creaiei pare s-i fi pierdut toate legturile cu natura, iar prsirea tuturor preconcepiilor nu mai reprezint de-acum nici mcar o sublimare, ci este mai degrab ceva incomensurabil, un exces ce descoper forme n vederea unui surplus de productivitate. Atunci cnd fora de munc este cognitiv, nevoia de exprimare artistic exist pretutindeni; atunci cnd masa muncitorilor este transformat ntr-o mulime de productori individualizai, activitatea artistic afecteaz formele de via, iar aceste forme devin materia lumii. Mergnd pe urmele lui LeroiGourhan i Simondon, Bernard Stiegler a descris foarte sugestiv mutaia petrecut. El remarc faptul c, odat cu expunerea lumii la o veritabil mutaie mecanicist, exist o tendin de unificare a antropogenezei i tehnogenezei. Munca cognitiv produce obiecte care modific subiectul. Dintr-o perspectiv care nu mai este metafizic (heideggerian), ci critic (kantian), acest efort cognitiv ilumineaz sau dezvluie prin intermediul tehnologiei secretul adevrului pe care subiecii l produc graie unor relaii reciproce stabile. Profunzimea este descoperit atunci cnd e introdus n cercul lui nuntru i afar, al constitutivului i constituitului. ntr-un final schematismul kantian - fundtura final a filosofiei moderne, n jurul creia moartea omului este comentat fervent i n cele din urm recunoscut - nu are

ca rezultat sublimul, ci mai degrab cercul constituirii. Totul se desfoar ntre subiect i obiectul tehnic, iar cel de-al doilea se constituie i el ca subiect. Conform spuselor lui Stiegler, devenirea uman, ca urmare a protezelor omului, constituie destinul final conturat de munca cognitiv. Metamorfoza este o imagine pentru relevana ontologic a aciunii artistice. ns aici trebuie s introducem nc un element. Am nceput prin a remarca eficiena imaterialitii i a muncii cognitive n spaiul artei. Am identificat aceast transformare n cadrul postmodernitii i a unificrii antropogenezei cu tehnogeneza. ns (dintr-o serie de motive pe care nu le analizm aici) la ora actual situaia este stabilizat. Nu ne mai ndreptm spre postmodernitate sau, mai bine zis, am trecut deja dincolo de orice post-. Existm n contemporaneitate, iar aceast contemporaneitate a accentuat transformarea muncii. Ea a fost imaterial, cognitiv, afectiv, iar acum devine din ce n ce mai bio: este o munc biopolitic, o activitate care reproduce forme de via. n consecin, munca este nzestrat cu o serie de atribute noi. Mai nti se prezint pe sine ca eveniment - adic n chip de exces vital incomensurabil. Evenimentul se detaeaz de continuitatea orizontului obinuit al vieii, ns este, concomitent, i inclus n el, locuiete n centrul acestui orizont. Exist n acea profunzime artificial, ce caracterizeaz fiecare imersiune n lumea imanenei, adic ntr-o lume construit cu minuiozitate, unde deacum nu mai exist nimic natural. Evenimentul nu este un afar, ci o explozie n interior, nuntru, unde imposibilitatea unei ieiri anun un

exces creativ. n al doilea rnd, munca biopolitic apare ca un eveniment foarte multitudinar. Am vorbit deja despre relevana ontologic a muncii artistice i despre felul n care aceast relevan ontologic a fost marcat ntotdeauna de Kunstwollen i supradeterminat de o epistem. ns evenimentul pe care l identificm i l interpretm n cadrul producerii muncii biopolitice are aceleai caracteristici culturale i colective i n cadrul industriei contemporane. Astfel caracterul multitudinar al muncii cognitive este reconfirmat. Numai c acest caracter multitudinar nu exprim pur i simplu ideea de cooperare interactiv. Diverse coli hermeneutice (de la Gadamer la Jauss, trecnd i pe la Eco) au insistat asupra acestui efect. Abordarea interindividual sau transindividual a lui Simondon i descria conturul i evoluiile chiar n cadrul structurii obiectelor tehnice. Toate acestea nu snt ns suficiente pentru a ptrunde i a nelege consistena specific a fenomenului artistic produs n urma muncii cognitive. n esen, ea se dovedete a fi ceva ce se depete pe sine, ce transcende (n aceast lumea care nu cunoate un afar) independena i autonomia propriei produceri. Cu alte cuvinte, este dat n chip de exces multitudinar. Aadar, n al treilea rnd, n timp ce nc mai cutm acea relevan ontologic pe care coala de la Viena a prezentat-o cu atta pregnan ca fiind marca interpretativ a fenomenului artistic, ajungem s definim evenimentul multitudinar ca pe un exces deschis nspre un ntreg - spaiul comun. Producia artistic trece prin industrie i creeaz limbaje comune. n consecin, fiecare act productiv este un eveniment comunicaional,

iar spaiul comun este construit prin intermediul evenimentelor multitudinare. Prin urmare, aa se determin capacitatea de rennoire a regimurilor cunoaterii i aciunii pe care le numim artistice n epoca muncii cognitive. Mai exist un ultim punct asupra cruia merit s ne oprim. Insistena asupra biopoliticului ne reamintete, ntorcndu-ne la istoria poeticii antice, de Metamorfozele lui Ovidiu. V sugerez s le recitii. V vei scufunda ntr-o configuraie mitologic a vieii care va nimici toi parametrii necesitii din ea; v vei pierde ntr-un labirint de figuri animaliere, de transformri umane i divine, de proteze naturale i artificiale care umplu fiecare spaiu al naraiunii. Asta reuete s fac munca cognitiv (i orice mod de producie asociat ei). Orice rezonan mitologic pe care a avut-o acest fapt n opera lui Ovidiu a disprut. n consecin, n aceast lume dezvrjit n care trim dm adesea de lucruri care snt, cum ar veni, prea reale: lumea aceasta a noastr se umple cteodat cu montri i ajungem s drdim n ea. Am vrea ca lucrurile s nu stea aa, dar nu se poate: aa e lumea contemporan. Ne dm seama de asta de fiecare dat cnd avem de-a face cu montrii pe care i-au produs munca i aciunile noastre i pe care raporturile de dominaie i fac s prolifereze. Iar monstrul, aa cum am vzut cnd am reflectat la reversibilitatea ce apare ntotdeauna n raportul dintre subiectele i obiectele mecanice, monstrul triete n noi sau este una din protezele noastre i se poate ntoarce la noi, pentru a participa la metamorfoza noastr. Iat un motiv n plus pentru a recunoate pericolul de fiecare dat cnd evideniem caracterul material al muncii imateriale, substana muncii cognitive - sau, pe scurt,

caracterul comun al vieii, biopoliticul ce ne este constitutiv. nc un paradox? Desigur. n esen, cnd lucrm cu abstraciunea i imaterialitatea i ne confruntm cu montri, ni se cere tot mai mult s stabilim criteriile de testare relevante pentru corporalitate - adic pentru modalitile fundamentale de critic existenial.

Producia artistic azi Descoperirea faptului c i contemporaneitatea, i modul de producie dominant din cadrul acesteia creeaz pericol n contact cu monstrul impune o reflecie asupra ntregului comun obligatoriu: o decizie asupra sensului existenei, adic asupra direciei pe care trebuie s o adopte evenimentul i multitudinea pentru a da sens acestui ntreg. Gestul estetic (atunci cnd e interpretat aa cum am fcut noi aici) i descoper pe traseu justificarea etic. Trim n miezul transformrii, al metamorfozei spaiului i timpului, provocat de acumularea contemporan de munc i civilizaie. n procesul de transformare snt puse n joc corpurile. Izbucnesc constant crize i nu avem la dispoziie nici o soluie exterioar. Sntem aici i nu putem s ne ducem altundeva. ns dispunem de uluitoarea noastr abilitate de exprimare de care ne putem folosi, de capacitatea creatoare pe care o putem utiliza. Apelnd iar la productiv i ontologic, la eveniment i la spaiul comun, arta poate (sau chiar trebuie) s nzestreze acest impas cu o semnificaie etic, ajutndu-ne s elaborm paradigma multipl n care existena pentru cellalt, existena ntr-un ntreg, s triumfe. Putem oare prescrie reete pen-

tru un stil care s fie infuzat de o etic? A ne ntreba aa ceva e ca i cum ne-am ntreba dac mai este posibil s accedem la marea naraiune a fiinei. Sau, i mai bine, dac e posibil s ne apropiem de o utopie concret. Cred c da. i, pentru a menine coerena cu ceea ce am cldit critic pn n acest punct, a propune o abordare n trei etape, prin care s-ar putea defini astzi un stil de producie artistic. Prima etap const n imersiunea n micarea infinit a corpurilor i evenimentelor care ne nconjoar, de la imagini ale vieii pn la expresii ale cunoaterii, sau - i mai bine - n acceptarea acestei activiti de deconstrucie a realului ca imersiune n condiiile date, n cazul n care e determinat de o dorin critic. Viaa nud i viaa mbrcat, srcia i bogia, dorina critic i construcia realului - toate acestea constituie permanent o seciune a diagramei imersiunii n realitatea autentic. Ne dm seama c sntem prtai la elaborarea acestui roi de singulariti. Aceste singulariti vor s convearg ntr-un ntreg, pstrndu-i ns i propria libertate. A doua etap e una reflexiv. Ea apare n momentul recunoaterii ntregului. Aici acionm asemenea unui roi reconstituit, adic nu ca o simpl mulime, ci ca un roi ce i structureaz traseele de zbor i de deplasare, modul n care este trasat o direcie viabil i/sau volatil, telos-ul, elul materialist care izbucnete la suprafa de la absolut fiecare din singularitile sale. Astfel imersiunea srccioas (cea a singularitii izolate) n multiplicitatea roiului i gsete aici direcia i coeziunea iubirii. Prin iubire - adic prin acea for despre care Spinoza considera c se formeaz

din conatus i cupiditas - se cldete solidaritatea corpurilor individuale i a deciziilor spiritului. Astfel are loc o veritabil metamorfoz n snul complexei multipliciti ce formeaz roiul. Munca imaterial i-a gsit n cele din urm o legitimitate etic, una care e legat structural de felul n care se reinventeaz ea ca form de via. Arta se definete pe sine ca form de via, fiind caracterizat la baz de srcie, iar la vrf de voina revoluionar de a deveni roi. Am ajuns astfel la etapa a treia a acestei evoluii. Cu ctva timp n urm Paolo Virno, care a anticipat multe din viziunile i concepiile exprimate ulterior asupra muncii imateriale, definete performanele acestei munci n termenii capodoperei (capolavoro). Trebuie s-i acordm credit lui Virno pentru aceast anticipare hermeneutic. Dar ea ar trebui aprofundat, odat ce omologia dintre formarea roiului multitudinar i funcionalitatea muncii imateriale (laolalt cu cea a muncii cognitive i afective) este acceptat. ntregul care s-a dezvoltat n interiorul formelor artistice trebuie deacum ntrupat ntr-o decizie colectiv, ntr-o guvernare comun. Sau, i mai bine, ar trebui organizat de un guvernmnt n/cu/sub formele vieii ce au fost elaborate. Momentul de apogeu este reprezentat de aceast construire a limitei etico-politice a ntregului, de guvernarea intern a aciunii, adic de momentul cnd experiena spaiului comun - n opoziie cu orice tip de iluzie a comunitii - d natere unor forme de via libere i prospere. Revenind la imaginea frumosului pe care, aa cum ne-am reamintit mai sus, ncepuse s fie formulat n cadrul schematismului kantian, am putea spune c dincolo de sublimul care se struc[88]

tureaz la limita infinitului matematic i un al doilea model de sublim, declanat de imensitatea naturii, mai exist i un al treilea model, care se ntemeiaz pe aciunea etic, pe constituirea unui telos multitudinar. Acest al treilea model de sublim ia form la limita stabilit de amor (la Spinoza) cnd ncheie deplasarea lui cupiditas. Comunul ca sublim etic, comunul ca sublim estetic - iat aici, n ciuda tuturor mistificrilor spiritualiste, intersecia dintre antropogenez i tehnogenez identificat de Stiegler i pe care am utilizat-o cnd ne-am referit la constituia i dezvluirea spaiului comun.

(Text aprut pentru prima dat n revista Radical Philosophy, nr. 149/ martie-aprilie 2008)

The Tactics of Faux Migration1

gives the migrants long enough to make a profitable season out of their trip. Another family member will come back for the next season and continue subsidizing the family income in this way. by Doina Petrescu Compared to the classical model of migration, the new Easter European migrant no longer seek settlement in western cities; indeed they look for temporary opportunities and benefits that can be transferred to and recycled within their local economies. These migrants are both attracted by the western model and resist to it. They subvert the rules and laws of western European societies by interpreting and exploiting them for their own profit. Through their subversive practices, they invent new spatial patterns and forms of mobility. They introduce new dynamics by negotiating boundaries and openings between the new economies, policies and the social remains of the ancient bipolar division of Europe. This new social phenomenon belongs to both archaic and new socioeconomic order that succeeds and exceeds the simple communist-capitalist division. It is a mutating structure which corresponds to everyday realities of an expanding European Union. At the same time, their spatial practices produce alternative ways of living and hold a critical position within the conditions of social and economic mobility in Europe. The faux migrant double economy functions within a phenomenological rule which alternates stability and instability, legality and illegality, visibility and invisibility. The logic of making oneself invisible during a Western season is doubled by the secondary logic of exposure and representation during the Eastern part of

the cycle. In their home villages, the faux migrants display their social prestige and economic success through a progressive accumulation of buildings and objects.4

Passage lines Deleuze opens his article Politics with the following: As individuals and groups we are made of lines which are very diverse in nature5. In fact, in order to discuss politics, Deleuze talks about lines as an abstract and complex enough metaphor to map the entire social field, to trace its shapes, its borders and becomings. Lines can map the way life always proceeds at several rhythms and at several speeds6. They map individual cracks and collective breaks within the segmentation and heterogeneity of power. Lines are always attached to geopolitics. Countries also, are made out of lines. The lines of frontiers belong to conventions, codes and rules, and not to relations. Migrants are the products of frontiers. They cross them, forcing their porosity, mocking their political seriousness, but at the same time, they need them, attracted as always by what is on the other side. Codes and rules demand subversion and frontiers similarly demand crossings, deviations and detours, which in turn create another kinds of lines. The detour seems to come out of a certain idea that the straight kind exist. When one says line thinks implicitly straight and right concludes Deligny, in the context of his work with autistic children7. Migrants are always asking for rights of detour. A mapping of their existence would comprise of detours and deviations. From

Each culture proliferates on its margin.2

The Oa country is a region in Northern Romania, close to the frontier between Romania, Ukraine and Hungary. The peasants of Oas represent a new sociological category of faux migrant that functions with a double social identity and double economy. Through migrating initially in search of work, they have discovered that they can make profit by temporarily changing countries and entering a different legal system. While maintaining their homes in Romania, they periodically leave for the West to obtain the status of political asylum seeker. This enables them to reap the financial and social benefits available for asylum seekers, whilst keeping their domestic economy going at home. In the case of French asylum applications, social assistance consists of 1200F per month3, which double the average Romanian monthly income. Moreover, asylum seekers are entitled to sell the homeless peoples newspaper LItinerant in public places and earn a supplementary income based on the number of issues sold. Their applications of political asylum are rejected as soon as they are officially processed, but the procedure takes several months. This


frontier to frontier, from periphery to periphery, from squat to squat, the line of transmigration is always tangled with detours. Deligny has proposed a particular way of mapping the daily courses of the autistic children. His cartography traces customary lines and supple lines, where the child makes a curl, finds something, slaps his hands, hums a tune, retraces his steps, and then makes meandering lines, lignes derre ... a chevtre [an entangled curl ] is similar to a detour as long as the need for, the cause of this detour escapes our knowledge. The term chevtre indicates that there is something there that attracts a profusion of lignes d'erre .8 If a map of European mobility were to be made, it would be criss-crossed with meandering lines which make detours and deviations from one country to the next, looking for that something that attracts. This map would include lines of migration: entangled customary lines, supple lines and curls indicating other kinds of social behaviour, other economic and political opportunities than the straight. The lines of flight would be an important feature of such a map. Deleuze defines the line of flight not only as a simple line, but as a force that maintains a tangle of lines: (...) There is a third type of line, stranger still, as thought something were carrying us away, through our segments but also across our thresholds, towards an unknown destination, neither pre-existent nor foreseeable.9

I came here by flight - says a migrant, referring to the illegal way he crossed over the frontiers of several countries in his way to France. And I will return by the sending off, which in French immigration legislation means a plane ticket with financial assistance of about 1000 FF (150) for reinstatement in the home country. A new kind of logic recalculates this sending off, this going back home, as the real purpose of initial departure. Nothing happens other than a detour, a curl, a delay, and a subsidy. This curling logic transforms impedimenta into pathways, obstacles into objectives, conflicts into alliances, policies of rejection into politics of welcoming. It transforms a bad end into a happy end. The faux migrants main objective is to make profit from a line of flight. They have invented a new market product that is the migration itself, the double crossing of a frontier, the transversion, a movement by detour, the pure displacement of a person from a country to another and back again.

transforms the impossible into a state of possibility. How did you get here? The migrant replies mockingly: I've walked across the garden. In this logic, the garden of the family house extends topologically as far as Paris, just as the mouth in some of Bacons portraits goes from one edge of the face to the other. According to Deleuze, The diagram is therefore the operative totality of insignificant and nonrepresentative, lines and zones, traits and spots.10 A community is not made up exclusively of individual lines but integrates equally insignificant and non representative zones, lines and spots of places and things with which individuals co-habit and operate diagrammatically in the practice of migration. Deleuze has observed that the language of the diagram is analogical: It is the notion of modulation (and not that of sameness) that is generally apt to make us understand the nature of the analogical language or the diagram. Modulation, which functions in the analogical synthesizers as an addition of intensive subtractions. The notions of subtraction and intensity can be associated with migration. Migration functions as a modulator for the social field. The migrants respect codes and conventions as long as they can be modulated. They make their own intensive subtractions and transport them somewhere else. They practise a relational way of doing within a conventional thought structure. But for the migrant, the analogy is not simply a way of doing

but also a policy which is enacted from thing to thing, person to person, situation to situation. A policy based on analogy is more precise, clearer, more adequate to the practice of migration than a policy ruled by codes and norms. Know hows, tricks and lucky finds are linked by proximity. Analogical thought works by correspondence not by comparison. As imaginative insight, it recognises something familiar in the alien and unfamiliar. The migrant reading of the alien cityscape keeps the familiar at hand. The Romanians migrants that squat abandoned houses near La Defense (the main business district in Paris), call Grande Arche, the great granary. The biggest square in the district is called the vague field -the place where they cross paths with tourists and functionaries in high finances during the week and play football on Sundays. This particular way of naming places shows how the hostile environment of a financial metropolis can be compressed reduced to the size of a village. The home environment is kept in everyday language in the same way that personal belongings are kept in plastic bags in the squat. Living out of plastic bags is a way of living in the metropolis while resisting it. The configuration of the native village, the order of streets and houses are topologically compressed within the squat. Neighborhoods and familial relations regulate the occupation of rooms. Boundaries transported from home with their existing customs modulate the intimate conditions within the promiscuity of the squat. The intimate, the private and the collective are kept separate and allowed to cross each other through discrete boundaries. As a

Analogies and diagrams of life The politics which negotiate entangled lines must stick to a diagram. For the destiny of an individual or a group, the diagram is the profitable passage through catastrophe. Deleuze talks about diagram in the context of Francis Bacon's painting and notices that the diagram is a chaos, a catastrophe, but also a germ of order or rhythm. For faux migrants, losing everything, leaving it all behind is not a tragedy but a trick. Playing as if all is lost is therefore putting oneself in a state of diagram, in a state of factual possibility, as Deleuze says. It

dwelling place for several families, the room becomes an intense and complicated space. Under these conditions, the borders of intimacy are continually subject to negotiations. And making love? We manage, we acknowledge it by posters on the door... The whole creative, poetical power of the analogy resides in finding possible correspondences and connections between mutually exclusive modes of otherness! The inner logic of the squat. comprises in substractions, additions, mixtures and compressions of displaced elements. Squat is itself a migrant word: it comes from the Old French esquatir -to flattenacquires new meanings in English and than reenter Modern French. Esquatir comes originally from the Latin decogo, cogere: to compel, to bring about by force, to condense, to contract. In the same way elements of metropolitan life are brought back to the village and flatten, together to create a capitalist appearance within an ex-socialist lifestyle. Western materials, shapes, objects, habits and words are displaced and interpreted locally. Western expenditure and consumption are simulated without contradicting the existing mentalities of saving and spending. The excess can be read in the faade: Let's put in an extra window - people will think that I have an extra bedroom. The rules of metropolitan living are displaced and parodied. With their emphasis on appearance and display, the peasants home villas are extremely Impractical and uncomfortable in spite of their generous proportions.

savage financial performance. Tactics A culture of simulation is a culture of opportunism and profit. The tactic of copying a pattern, reproducing it and selling it is always more profitable that the original pattern itself. Tactics are procedures which gain validity in relation to the pertinence they lend to time, to the circumstances which the precise instant of an intervention transforms into a favourable situation, to the rapidity of the movements that change the organisation of space, to the relations among successive moments in an action, to the possible intersections of duration and heterogeneous rhythms.12 The faux migrant economic profit is based on management of the time between the completion of an application for political asylum and the sending off which returns them home. Their asylum applications are automatically rejected, but that was the idea behind them. The application refusal is calculated form the outset. The Oas migrants have no desire to stay permanently and the applications are merely part of a strategy to obtain time. During this acquired time, the migrants receive financial assistance from the French government, social assistance from the Red Cross and are allowed to sell LItinerant. The tactic consists of creating a delay and profiting from it. They work on time, with time, against time, rendering time capable of performing economically and of associating the self-timing of bureaucratic administrative systems with the speed of the Enjoying time We have nothing that is ours except time, which even those without a roof can enjoy states Guy Debord in quoting Baltasar Gracian in the motto of Society of the Spectacle. Debord talks about time-merchandise, time as an exchangeable value, devalued or pseudo-valued time. Situationists by definition, the transmigrants reconsider the value of time, enjoy its liquid qualities, its economic and spectacular aspects. By virtue of the resulting space of play, and by virtue of freely chosen variations in the rules of the game, the independence of places will be rediscovered without any new exclusive tie to the soil, and thus too the authentic journey will be restored to us, along with authentic life understood as a journey containing its whole meaning within itself.13 The migrants know how to take advantage of time, how to reside and produce in mobility, how to invent economic games and put into play their spaces, places and their lives. The migratory practice implies a drift stage, which extends from the scale of a locality to the scale of several countries. Variations and speed are regulated by both unexpected decisions and long term elaborated desires. The trajectories are always different, depending on the opportunities of movement and passage. The journey to the west, the flight is generally a journey

by foot, which takes several months and involves continual negotiations with the existing conditions for clandestine travel. The way back, the sending-off is usually the result of an official decision to expel the applicant and the journey takes only an hour or two. Putting space into play. Playing with plies of time, playing with pleasure.

Jokes Migration is perhaps to the social field what pleasure is for the text. According to Barthes, Pleasure however is not an element of the text, it is not a naive residue; it does not depend on a logic of understanding, and on sensation; it is a drift, something both revolutionary and asocial, and it cannot be taken over by any collectivity, any mentality, any ideolect. Something neuter? It is obvious that the pleasure of the text is scandalous: not because it is immoral but because it is atopic.14 Atopical by definition, the faux migrantss practices make them scandalous. They are revolutionary in the same way as the Situationists, because dissatisfied with being consumers of products they have become consumers of social and civic opportunities. For the same reason, they are also asocial because they divert and skirt the rules of democratic society. Revolutionary, they reverse and recycle the legislation according to social reality and are able to convert the illegal into legal. Asocial, they take advantage of the social rifts, defects and slowness. While

profiting from the remains of outdated laws and administrative procedures, they make economic use of the urban environment by reusing leftover, unoccupied spaces. Despite their ignorance of language and rules of the place they travel to, the peasants are successful in establishing their own markers, both individual and collective. They develop human networks that involve border passing intermediators, visa providers, employees, lawyers and policemen. They take advantage of both the interstice of cities and of rules and lows. They pitch this human network against the institutional network and tackle administrative automatism with radical subjectivity. The migrants methods are comparable to what Freud calls the technique of Witz (the technique of jokes) and the disruptions caused by 'the return of the repressed': verbal economy and condensation, double meaning and misinterpretations, displacements and alliterations, multiple uses of the same material, etc...15 The Oas peasants misuse lows and rules, cross and displace habits and expectations. In Paris they are living in squat but in their village they live in huge villas. Similarly, the Witz brings together different things and thoughts, condenses them, combines or marries them in a misalliance that makes the listener laugh, and can even surprises the jokes-teller. The Faux migrants tactics dont exactly make the administrative authorities laugh; instead they leave them openmouthed at their own bureaucratic inefficiency. The Witz -the comic and the humorous are, according to Freud, means of libidi[96]

nal saving. If dream's work is an individual product, the Witz is a social production. It can exist only by means of a community, by an economic necessity of a third, by hawking, by transmigration. The technique of Witz consists of juxtaposing diverse elements in order to suddenly produce a flash shedding of a different light on the proper and customary language and to strike the hearer. De Certeau speaks about the art of pulling tricks and taking an order by surprise. Cross-cuts, fragments, cracks and lucky hits in the framework of a system these are the migrants' equivalents to Witz, but instead of language and linguistic constructs, they are attacking laws and policies. In The Pleasure of the Text, Barthes speaks about a subtle subversion: By subtle subversion I mean, on the contrary, what is not directly concerned with destruction, evades the paradigm, and seeks some other term: a third term, which is not, however, a synthesizing term but an eccentric, extraordinary term. An example? Perhaps Bataille, who eludes the idealist term by an unexpected materialism in which we find voice, devotion, play, impossible eroticism, etc.; thus Bataille does not counter modesty with sexual freedom but... with laughter.16 To the serious idealism and modesty of Western democracy, the faux migrants oppose what Barthes calls an unexpected materialism: the base materialism of a good Bataillan burst of laughter which shakes the good manners of the established system of welcoming and

exchange. The unexpected materialism as well as the laughter does not belong to the dialectical materialism of the MarxistLeninist ideology that the peasants have experienced in Romania, but rather to the Batallian base-materialism that was already operating during the communist period, inside and within this ideology. The same base-materialism proves to be good enough to undermine the idealistic materialism of the Western capitalism. The migrants temporary occupation of thresholds is based on the detournement of both private and public space. Within their spatial and economic investment in the thresholds, they intensify and complicate the uses of space in the city. As with drifting, random encounters take place at the thresholds where successful trading depends on emotional relationships. Rather than the newspaper, the faux migrants are selling their own condition. This threshold activity is in itself a critique of the conventional urban culture, which operates in the zone of subjectivity. It is a spatial and economic experience powered by the body. At the threshold, instead of bartering their merchandise, the migrants expose themselves. As marginals, the faux migrants combine neoliberal practices and post-communist ideologies through tactics, analogies, diagrams and jokes. They map without moralising the thresholds of the European Union and its lines of flight.

Networking with Thresholds Within their practices, the faux migrants identify thresholds between logics, politics, lows and economies. For the Oas peasants the threshold is their working place. By selling newspapers in front of the citys most profitable market places, they are developing a whole new economy of threshold. According to recent sociological studies, within one year, the Romanian peasants established, the most successful network for selling the newspaper L' Itinerant . By making an inventory of thresholds and places of passage in the city while considering their profit value, the peasants have completely re-mapped the urban space and located a network of invisible economic values, which correspond to their own market system. This threshold infrastructure derives from specific kinds of movement in the city. The thresholds of supermarkets are places where capitalist flows take place and are, as such, strategic places to catch these flows and to drain and divert them.


Notes: 1. NA. A previous version of this text has been published as chapter in David Blamey (ed), Here, There, Elsewhere: Dialogues on Location and Mobility (Open Editions, London 2002). As in the previous publication, I acknowledge here the important contribution of sociologist Dana Diminescu, whose research on the topic has generously nourished this text. The practices related in this paper are located within a particular moment and place: the France of the early 1990s, immediately after the fall of the Iron Curtain and during a period of political uncertainty in Romania, when the mobility of Romanian citizen was highly restricted and controlled by discriminatory international rules. In this context, the faux migrants from Oas have somehow pioneered the current seasonal mobility of Romanians in Europe, which started to be encouraged in 2000s and eventually legalized. Millions of Romanians are currently spending half of their year working in western European countries ( ie. Italy, Spain, UK), doing unqualified temporary jobs (ie. seasonal agricultural works, construction, cleaning, etc. ) which enable them to support their families in Romania. Even if currently they are European citizen with full rights, economically they are still perceived as migrants. A parallel and comparable story is that of Roma people from Romania, who have also developed their own patterns of faux migration since the 1990s. Republishing a revised version of this text in the current context, allows for a critical understanding of the complexity of these phenomena which continually evolve and take new forms. 2. Michel de Certeau, Culture au Pluriel, Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1993 (my trans.) 3. This amount is equivalent of aprox 180 euros. Currently, after 15 years, the minimal income in Romania still remains the lowest in Europe: 600RON per month (aprox 140 euros). 4. For example, in the Parisian periphery, they squat in abandoned houses (at St. Cloud, Suresnes, Puteaux, Courbevoie, Val-deFontennay, Cergy, Poissy etc...), and live in

tunnels, caravans, under the railway tracks, in tents, car cemeteries, abandoned trucks or trash huts. 5. Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet On the line, Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents Series,1983, p 69 6. ibid. p 72 7. Franois Deligny, Les enfants et le silence, Editions Galile, 1980, p.19. The French educator Fernard Deligny is known for having developed a new approach in the education of autistic children, through long term observation and mapping in everyday life situations. A number of educators adopting his methods have formed a network of places hosting autistic children in the Cevenes in the South of France, through which they were able to communicate and provide mutual support. 8. F. Deligny, Les enfants et le silence, p. 20 9. Deleuze and Parnet, On the line, ps. 70-71 10. Gilles Deleuze, Logique de la Sensation I, Editions de la Diffrence 1981, p.67 [my trans.] 11. ibid., p. 76 12. Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, Trans. by Steven Rendall, University of California Press , 1988, ps 38-39 13. Guy Debord: The Society of the Spectacle. Zone Books, New York, 1994, p.126 14. Ronald Barthes: The Pleasure of the Text, Hill and Wang, New York, 1995, p.23 15. Cf. Sigmund Freud, Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious 16. Ronald Barthes


Tactica falsei migraii1

de Doina Petrescu

Fiecare cultur prolifereaz la margine.2

ara Oaului este o regiune din nordul Romniei, aproape de frontiera dintre Romnia, Ucraina i Ungaria. ranii din Oa reprezint o nou categorie sociologic de fali migratori, care opereaz cu o identitate social dubl i o economie dubl. Ei au migrat iniial n cutare de lucru, ns au descoperit c pot profita de schimbarea temporar a rilor de domiciliu i de intrarea ntr-un sistem juridic diferit. Dei i-au pstrat locuinele din Romnia, aceti oameni pleac periodic n Occident pentru a obine statutul de azilant politic. El le permite s recolteze beneficiile financiare i sociale acordate azilanilor i, concomitent, s-i menin n funciune economia gospodriei de acas. n cazul cererilor de azil n Frana, ajutorul social const n 1.200 de franci pe lun3, adic dublul salariului lunar mediu din Romnia. Mai mult, cei care cer azil politic au dreptul s vnd n locuri publice LItinerant, ziarul editat de persoanele fr adpost, i astfel s mai ctige un venit suplimentar variabil, n funcie de numrul de exemplare vndute. Cererile lor de azil politic snt respinse imediat ce snt procesate oficial, dar procedura respectiv dureaz cteva luni. Astfel migratorii au suficient timp ca

s fac din excursia lor o vizit profitabil. Iar n sezonul urmtor aici va veni un alt membru al familiei, care va continua s susin bugetul casnic n acelai mod. n comparaie cu modelul clasic de migraie, noul migrator est-european nu mai ncearc s se stabileasc n oraele occidentale, ci caut oportuniti i ctiguri de moment, care s poat fi transferate i reciclate n cadrul economiei lor de acas. Aceti migratori snt atrai de modelul occidental i, n egal msur, l i resping. Ei submineaz legile i regulile din societile Europei Occidentale, interpretndu-le i exploatndu-le n avantajul lor. Prin intermediul practicilor lor subversive, inventeaz noi modele spaiale i noi forme de mobilitate. Introduc elemente noi de dinamic, negociind granie i deschideri ntre noile economii, noile politici i rmiele sociale ale vechii divizri bipolare a Europei. Acest fenomen social recent ine n egal msur de ordinea socio-economic arhaic i de cea nou, ulterioar ei, i depete simpla dihotomie comunist-capitalist. Este o structur mutant, ce corespunde realitilor cotidiene ale unei Uniuni Europene n expansiune. n acelai timp, practicile lor spaiale dau natere unor moduri de via alternative i ocup o poziie important n condiiile actualei mobiliti sociale i economice din Europa. Economia dubl a falsului migrator funcioneaz n cadrul unei legi fenomenologice care alterneaz stabilitatea cu instabilitatea, legalitatea cu ilegalitatea, vizibilitatea cu invizibilitatea. Logica de a deveni invizibil pe timpul unui sezon n Europa de Vest e dublat de o logic secundar, cea de a expunerii i reprezentrii pe parcursul prii estice a

ciclului. n satele lor natale falii migratori i etaleaz prestigiul social i reuita economic printr-o acumulare progresiv de case i de bunuri.4 Liniile de trecere Deleuze i ncepea articolul Politics cu urmtoarele cuvinte: Ca indivizi i ca grupuri, sntem fcui din linii cu un caracter foarte divers5. De fapt, vrnd s diecute despre politic, Deleuze vorbete despre linii ca metafor suficient de abstract i de complex ca s cartografieze ntregul cmp social, s-i traseze contururile, graniele i devenirile. Liniile pot cartografia felul n care viaa se desfoar permanent dup cteva ritmuri i cteva viteze6 diferite. Ele contureaz fracturile individuale i rupturile colective n cadrul segmentrii i eterogenitii puterii. Liniile snt asociate ntotdeauna cu geopolitica. rile snt fcute i ele tot din linii. Liniile frontierelor in de convenii, de coduri i reguli, nu de raporturi. Migratorii snt produsele frontierei. Ei le traverseaz, le agreseaz porozitatea, le ridiculizeaz seriozitatea politic, dar n acelai timp au nevoie de ele, fiind atrai, ca ntotdeauna, de ceea ce se afl pe partea cealalt. Codurile i regulile cer subversiune, aa cum i frontierele cer s fie trecute, ocolite i nclcate, fapt care creeaz, la rndul lui, alte genuri de linii. Ocolirea pare s apar din ideea clar c exist drumul drept. Cnd cineva spune linie, se gndete implicit la drept i corect, conchide Deligny n contextul lucrului sau cu copiii autiti.7 Migratorii au cerut ntotdeauna drepturi la ocolire. O cartografiere a existenei lor ar include ocoliri i transgresri. De la o frontier la alta, de la o


periferie la alta, de la un adpost ilegal la altul, linia transmigraiei este ntotdeauna plin de ocoliuri nclcite. Deligny a propus o modalitate special de cartografiere a traseelor zilnice urmate de copiii autiti. Modelul su cartografic traseaz linii obinuite i linii flexibile, acolo unde copilul face o bucl, gsete ceva, bate din palme, ngn un cntec, se ntoarce pe propriile urme, iar apoi face linii sinuoase, lignes derre: o chevtre [o bucl nclcit] seamn cu un ocol ct timp nevoia unui ocol i cauza lui scap nelegerii noastre. Termenul chevtre ne arat c acolo exist ceva care s atrag o abunden de lignes d'erre.8 Dac ar fi s trasm o hart a mobilitii europene, ea ar fi nesat cu linii sinuoase, care fac tot felul de ocoliuri i ntoarceri de la o ar la urmtoarea, n cutarea a ceva care s atrag. O astfel de hart ar include i liniile migraiei: o nclceal de linii obinuite, linii flexibile i bucle, care sugereaz alte tipuri de comportament social, alte oportuniti economice i politice dect cele drepte. Liniile de fuga ar constitui i ele o trstur important a unei astfel de hri. Deleuze definete linia de fuga nu ca pe o linie simpl, ci ca pe o for care menine laolalt un mnunchi de linii: ...Mai exist i un al treilea tip de linie, una i mai ciudat, ca i cum cineva ne-ar duce departe, printre segmentele noastre, dar i peste pragurile noastre, spre o destinaie necunoscut, care nu e nici preexistent, nici previzibil.9

Am venit aici cu fuga spune un migrator, referindu-se la faptul c trecuse n mod ilegal cteva frontiere naionale ca s ajung n Frana. Apoi adaug i o s m ntorc prin trimis inapoi, fapt care n legislaia francez privitoare la imigraie nseamn un bilet de avion i un ajutor financiar de aproximativ 1.000 de franci (150 de euro) pentru reinstalarea n ara de reedin. Un nou gen de logic reevalueaz aceast trimis inapoi, aceast ntoarcere acas, drept scopul real al plecrii iniiale. Nimic altceva nu se ntmpl: doar o ocolire, o bucl, o amnare - i o subvenie. Aceast logic a buclei transform impedimentele n ci de acces, obstacolele n obiective, conflictele n aliane i politicile de respingere n politici de primire. Transform un final urt ntr-un final fericit. Principalul obiectiv al falilor migratori este acela de a face profit de pe urma unei linii de fuga. Ei au inventat un nou produs comercial - migraia nsi, dubla trecere a unei frontiere, tranziia, o deplasare prin ocolire, simpla strmutare a unei persoane dintr-o ar n alta i napoi. Analogii i diagrame ale vieii Politicile care negociaz liniile nclcite in de diagram. Pentru destinul unui individ sau al unui grup diagrama reprezint o profitabil traversare a catastrofei. Deleuze vorbete despre diagram n contextul picturii lui Francis Bacon i observ c diagrama este haos, catastrof, dar i o smn a ordinii sau a ritmului. Pentru falii migratori a pierde totul sau a lsa totul n urm nu e o tragedie, ci un truc. Aadar, jucnd de parc a pierdut totul, migratorul e plasat ntr-o stare de diagram, ntr-o stare de posibilitate factual, conform

expresiei lui Deleuze. Imposibilul se transform astfel ntr-o stare de posibilitate. Cum ai ajuns aici? Migratorul rspunde batjocoritor: Am trecut peste grdini. Conform acestei logici, grdinile familiale se extind topologic pn la Paris, aa cum gura n unele din portretele lui Bacon se ntinde de la o margine la alta a chipului. Conform lui Deleuze, Diagrama e, aadar, totalitatea operativ a nesemnificativului i a nereprezentativului, a liniilor i zonelor, a trsturilor i punctelor.10 O comunitate nu e format exclusiv din linii individuale, ci integreaz n egal msur zone, linii i puncte nesemnificative i nereprezentative ale unor locuri i lucruri cu care indivizii coabiteaz i acioneaz diagramatic n cadrul practicii migraiei. Deleuze a remarcat c limbajul diagramei este unul analogic: n general conceptul de modulaie (i nu cel de identitate) este cel ce are abilitatea s ne fac s nelegem caracterul limbajului analogic sau al diagramei. Modularea, care funcioneaz la sintetizatoarele analogice ca o adugire de scderi intensive.11 Conceptele de scdere i intensitate pot fi asociate cu migraia. Migraia funcioneaz ca un modulator pentru cmpul social. Migratorii respect codurile i conveniile atta timp ct ele pot fi modulate. Ei elaboreaz propriile lor scderi intensive i le transport altundeva. Practic un mod relaional de aciune n cadrul unei structuri gndite conveional. ns pentru migrator analogia nu e pur i

simplu un mod de aciune, ci i o politic adoptat de la lucru la lucru, de la persoan la persoan, de la situaie la situaie. O politic bazat pe analogie este mai precis, mai limpede i mai adecvat practicii migraiei dect una stpnit de coduri i norme. Abiliti, trucuri i descoperiri norocoase, toate snt legate prin proximitate. Gndirea analogic funcioneaz prin coresponden, nu prin comparaie. Ea recunoate, prin intuiie imaginativ, ceva familiar n lucrurile strine i nefamiliare. Interpretarea fcut de migrator peisajului urban strin menine familiarul aproape. Migratorii romni care se adpostesc n cldiri abandonate de pe lng La Defense (principalul cartier de afaceri al oraului) numesc Grande Arche (Arcul Fraternitii) ura mare. Cea mai mare pia din district e numit cmpul vag, locul unde acetia i intersecteaz traseele cu turitii i nalii funcionari economici pe parcursul sptmnii i joac fotbal duminica. Modul acesta specific de numire a locurilor arat cum mediul ostil dintr-o metropol financiar poate fi comprimat i redus la dimensiunile unui sat. Mediul de acas se pstreaz n limbajul cotidian, aa cum lucrurile personale se pstreaz n saci de plastic n adposturile unde migratorii stau ilegal. Traiul cu saci de plastic este un mod de a locui n metropol i de a-i rezista. Configuraia satului natal, ordinea strzilor i a caselor este comprimat topologic n adposturile ilegale. Vecinii i rudele familiei reglementeaz modul de ocupare a ncperilor. Graniele aduse de acas, mpreun cu obiceiurile existente, moduleaz condiiile de trai n comun n cadrul promiscuitii din casele prsite. Intimul, privatul i colectivul snt

condiii meninute separat, iar traversarea lor este permis prin intermediul unor granie discrete. Camera, devenit loc de domiciliu pentru cteva familii, devine un spaiu intens i complicat. n condiiile date, frontierele intimitii snt mereu subiect de negociere. Cum facem dragoste? Ne descurcm. Anunm cu bileele puse pe u... ntreaga for creativ i poetic a analogiei const n descoperirea posibilelor corespondene i conexiuni ntre modurile reciproc exclusive de alteritate! Logica interioar a adpostului ilegal include scderi, adunri, combinaii i comprimri ale elementelor strmutate. Termenul n limba englez pentru adpostul ilegal este squat i este el nsui un cuvnt migrator: provine din esquatir, care n franceza veche nsemna a turti, dobndete noi sensuri n englez, dup care intr iari n franceza modern. La origini termenul esquatir vine din latinescul decogo, cogere - a fora, a aduce laolalt cu fora, a condensa, a compacta. Elementele de via metropolitan snt aduse n acelai mod napoi n sat i turtite, strnse laolalt, pentru a da o aparen capitalist unui stil de via ex-socialist. Materiale, forme, obiecte, obiceiuri i cuvinte occidentale snt strmutate i interpretate la nivel local. Consumerismul i bunstarea din Occident snt simulate fr a contrazice mentalitile existente referitoare la economii i cheltuieli. Excesul e vizibil la faad: Hai s mai punem o fereastr i oamenii or s cread c avem nc o camer. Regulile de via din metropol snt strmutate i parodiate. Vilele de acas ale ranilor pun mare accent pe aparen i etalare i, n ciuda dimensiunilor lor generoase, snt extrem de nepractice i de inconfortabile.

Tactici O cultur a simulrii este o cultur a oportunismului i a profitului. Tactica prelurii i copierii unui model, a reproducerii i apoi a comercializrii lui devine ntotdeauna mai profitabil dect folosirea modelului original. Tacticile snt proceduri ce dobndesc validitate n raport cu pertinena pe care o mprumut timpului, cu circumstanele pe care momentul exact al unei intervenii le transform ntr-o situaie avantajoas, cu rapiditatea micrilor ce modific organizarea spaiului, cu relaiile dintre momentele succesive dintr-o aciune, cu posibilele intersecii ale duratei i ale ritmurilor eterogene.12 Profitul economic al falilor migratori se ntemeiaz pe administrarea timpului dintre completarea dosarului de cerere pentru azil politic i expedierea ce i duce napoi acas. Cererile lor de azil snt respinse automat, dar asta este i ideea lor. Respingerea cererii e luat n calcul nc de la nceput. Migratorii din Oa nu doresc s stea permanent acolo, iar dosarele de azilant snt doar o parte din strategia lor de a ctiga timp. n acest timp ctigat migratorii primesc asisten financiar de la guvernul francez, ajutor social de la Crucea Roie i permisiunea s vnd ziarul LItinerant. Tactica lor const n crearea unei amnri de care apoi profit. Migratorii lucreaz n timp, cu timpul, contra timpului, reuind s fac din timp un instrument ce acioneaz n plan economic i asociaz timpul intern al birocraiei sistemelor administrative cu viteza acumulrii financiare dezlnuite.

Bucuria timpului Nu avem nimic altceva decit timp de care se pot bucura pn i cei fr un acoperi deasupra capului, afirm Guy Debord, citndu-l pe Baltasar Gracin ntr-unul din mottourile de la Societatea spectacolului (La Societe du Spectacle). Debord vorbete despre timpul-marf, despre timp ca valoare de schimb, despre timpul devalorizat sau cel pseudo-valorizat. Situaioniti prin definiie, falsii migratori revalorizeaz timpul, se bucur de calitile sale lichide, de aspectele sale economice i spectaculare. Graie spaiului de joc obinut i variaiilor n regulile jocului, decise de bunvoie, independena locurilor va fi redescoperit in afara oricarei ( legari de glie?), iar astfel ne va fi redat voiajul autentic, odat cu viaa autentic, neleas ca un voiaj ce conine ntreaga sa semnificaie n el nsui.13 Migratorii tiu cum s profite de timp, cum s locuiasc i s produc n micare, cum s inventeze jocuri economice i s-i pun n joc spaiile, locurile i vieile. Practica migratoare implic o etap de plutire, de pribegie, pe o scar ce se ntinde de la o localitate la cteva ri. Variaiile i viteza snt reglementate att de hotrri brute, ct i de dorine gndite pe termen lung. Traiectoriile snt ntotdeauna diferite i depind de oportunitile de deplasare i de trecere. Drumul spre Vest, "fuga, nseamn n general un drum pe jos, ce dureaz cteva luni i implic negocieri permanente cu condiiile existente pentru cltoria clandestin. Drumul de

ntoarcere, trimisul inapoi, este de obicei rezultatul unei hotrri oficiale de a-l expulza pe falsul azilant, iar cltoria dureaz doar o or sau dou. Aa se pune spaiul n joc. Joc cu straturile timpului, joc cu plcerea. Glume S-ar putea ca migraia s reprezinte pentru cmpul social ceea ce reprezint plcerea pentru text. Conform lui Barthes, Totui plcerea nu este un element al textului, nu este un reziduu naiv; nu depinde de o logic a nelegerii i nici de senzaie; e o plutire, uneori att revoluionar, ct i asocial, i nu poate fi luat n stpnire de nici o colectivitate, de nici o mentalitate, de nici un idiolect. Ceva neutru? E evident c plcerea textului e scandaloas - nu pentru c e imoral, ci pentru c e atopic.14 Atopice prin definiie, practicile falilor migratori i fac s fie scandaloi. Ei snt revoluionari n acelai mod ca i situaionitii, pentru c, nemulumii de faptul c snt consumatori de produse, au devenit consumatori de oportuniti sociale i civice. Din acelai motiv, ei snt i asociali, pentru c foreaz i ocolesc regulile societii democratice. Revoluionari, ei rstoarn i recicleaz legislaia n concordan cu realitatea social i reuesc s transforme ilegalul n legal. Asociali, ei profit de fisurile, defectele i lentoarea din societate. Profit de rmiele legilor depite i ale procedurilor administrative nvechite i, concomitent, utilizeaz n plan economic mediul urban, refolosind resturile,

spaiile neocupate. n ciuda necunoaterii limbii i a legilor din locul unde cltoresc, ranii izbutesc s-i constituie propriile piee, att la nivel individual, ct i colectiv. Ei creeaz reele umane ce implic att cluze pentru trecerea granielor, ct i furnizori de vize, funcionari, avocai i poliiti. Profit att de interstiiile oraelor, ct i de cele ale legilor i regulilor. nfrunt cu aceast reea uman reeaua instituional i obstrucioneaz automatismul administrativ cu o subiectivitate radical. Metodele migratorilor se pot compara cu ceea ce Freud numete tehnica Witzului (tehnica spiritului (de gluma ) i cu ruptura provocat de ntoarcerea reprimatului: economie verbal, condensare verbal, sens dublu, interpretri eronate, strmutri i aliteraii, utilizri multiple ale aceluiai material etc.15 ranii din Oa folosesc n mod incorect legile i regulile, ncalc i strmut obiceiuri i ateptri. La Paris locuiesc ilegal n cldiri prsite, dar n satul lor stau n vile imense. n acelai fel Witzul aduce laolalt lucruri i gnduri diferite, le condenseaz, le combin sau le unete ntr-o mezalian care l face pe asculttor s rd, ba l surprinde uneori chiar i pe povestitor. Tacticile falilor migratori nu i fac totui pe reprezentanii autoritilor administrative s rd, ci i las cu gura cscat la vederea propriei lor ineficiene birocratice. Dup Freud, Witz-ul - comicul i umorul - reprezint un mijloc de economie libidinal. Dac lucrarea visului este un produs individual, Witz-ul este o producie social. El poate exista doar cu ajutorul unei comuniti, printr-o necesitate economic a unei a treia pri, prin nego, prin transmigraie. Tehnica Witz-ului const n alturarea

unor elemente diverse, cu scopul de a produce un fulger care s arunce o alt lumin asupra limbajului adecvat i normal i s-l uimeasc pe asculttor. De Certeau vorbete despre arta de a face trucuri i de a lua o comand prin surprindere. Scurtturile, fragmentele, gaurile i loviturile norocoase n interiorul cadrelor unui sistem, acetia snt echivalenii Witz-ului pentru migratori, numai c, n loc s atace limbajul i constructele lingvistice, ei atac legi i politici. n Plcerea textului Barthes vorbete despre o subversiune subtil: Prin subversiune subtil eu neleg, dimpotriv, ceea ce nu e direct interesat de distrugere, eludeaz paradigma i caut un alt termen: un al treilea termen, care nu e, totui, un termen sintetizator, ci unul excentric, extraordinar. Un exemplu? Poate Bataille, care evit idealismul printr-un materialism neateptat, unde gsim voce, devotament, joc, erotism imposibil etc. Astfel Bataille nu opune modestiei libertatea sexual, ci... rsul.16 Idealismului serios i modestiei democraiei occidentale falii migratori i opun ceea ce Barthes numete un materialism neateptat: materialismul primar al unei explozii de rs zdravene la Bataille, care d peste cap bunele maniere ale unui sistem bine organizat de primire i schimb. Materialismul neateptat, ca i rsul, nu in de materialismul dialectic al ideologiei marxist-leniniste, pe care ranii au cunoscut-o n Romnia, ci mai degrab de materialismul primar al lui Bataille, care funciona deja n perioada comunismului n interiorul i n cadrele

acelei ideologii. Acelai materialism primar se dovedete suficient de bun ca s submineze i materialismul idealist al capitalismului occidental. Reele cu praguri Prin practicile lor, falii migratori identific praguri ntre logici, politici, legi i economii. Pentru ranii din Oa pragul este locul lor de munc. Prin vnzarea de ziare n cele mai profitabile piee ale oraului, ei dezvolt o economie complet nou a pragului. Conform unor studii sociologice recente, n decursul unui singur an ranii din Romnia au pus pe picioare cea mai eficient reea de vnzare a ziarului L' Itinerant. Fcnd un inventar al locurilor de intrare si de pasaj din ora i, n acelai timp, evalundu-le valoarea profitului, ranii au re-cartografiat complet spaiul urban i au localizat o reea de valori economice invizibile, ce corespunde propriului lor sistem de pia. Aceast infrastructur de prag provine din diversele moduri de micare din ora. Intrarile in supermarket snt locuri unde au loc fluxuri capitaliste i, n consecin, snt locuri strategice pentru captarea acestor fluxuri, pentru scurgerea i redirecionarea lor. Ocuparea temporar a intrarilor si pasajelor de ctre migrator se bazeaz pe deturnarea spaiului privat i, n egal msur, a celui public. n cadrul investiiei lor spaiale i economice n locuri de pasaj migratorii intensific i complic modurile de utilizare a spaiului din ora. Ca i n cazul pribegiei, in locurile de pasaj au loc ntlniri ntmpltoare, iar reuita schimbului comercial depinde de relaiile emoionale. Nu ziare, ci mai degrab propria lor condiie o vnd falii migratori. Aceast activitate de

pasaj e ea nsi o critic a culturii urbane convenionale, care acioneaz n zona subiectivitii. E o experien spaial i economic pus n micare de corp. In pasaj migratorii nu i comercializeaz mrfurile, ci se expun pe ei nii. Falii migratori, fiine marginale, combin practicile neoliberale i ideologiile postcomuniste prin tactici, analogii, diagrame i glume. EI cartografiaz locurile de pasaj le Uniunii Europene i liniile sale de fuga fr a le moraliza.


Note: 1. Nota autorului: O versiune anterioar a textului de fa a fost publicat n chip de capitol separat n lucrarea coordonat de David Blamey, Here, There, Elsewhere: Dialogues on Location and Mobility (Open Editions, Londra, 2002). Ca i n acel volum, in s recunosc i aici importanta contribuie a sociologului Dana Diminescu, a crei cercetare asupra temei a alimentat cu generozitate studiul de fa. Practicile relatate n studiul acesta se plaseaz ntr-un loc i un moment specific: Frana nceputului anilor 1990, imediat dup cderea Cortinei de Fier i ntr-o perioad de incertitudine politic n Romnia, atunci cnd libertatea de micare a ceteanului romn era drastic restricionat i controlat prin msuri internaionale discriminatorii. n acest context falii migrani din Oa au fost cumva pionierii actualei mobiliti sezoniere a romnilor n Europa, care a nceput s fie ncurajat n anii 2000 i, n cele din urm, a fost legalizat. n prezent milioane de romni i petrec jumtate de an muncind n ri din Europa Occidental (i.e. Italia, Spania, Marea Britanie), unde au slujbe necalificate i temporare (i.e. lucrtori sezonieri n agricultur, muncitori n construcii, menajere etc.), fapt ce le permite s-i ntrein familiile rmase n Romnia. Chiar dac n prezent snt ceteni europeni cu drepturi depline, din punct de vedere economic snt privii n continuare ca migrani. O istorie paralel i comparabil este cea a populaiei rrome din Romnia, care dup 1990 i-a dezvoltat i ea propriile modele de fals migraie. Republicarea n contextul actual a unei versiuni revizuite a textului de fa permite o nelegere critic a complexitii fenomenelor n discuie, care continu s evolueze i s ia forme noi. 2. Michel de Certeau, Culture au Pluriel, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1993. 3. Aceast sum reprezint echivalentul a aproximativ 180 de euro. n prezent, adic dup cincisprezece ani, venitul minim din Romnia e n continuare cel mai mic din Europa: 600 RON pe lun (aproximativ 140 de euro).

4. De exemplu, la periferia Parisului acetia stau ilegal n cldiri prsite (la St. Cloud, Suresnes, Puteaux, Courbevoie, Val-deFontennay, Cergy, Poissy etc.) i triesc n tuneluri, rulote, sub poduri de cale ferat, n corturi, cimitire de maini, camioane abandonate sau colibe ruinate. 5. Gilles Deleuze; Claire Parnet On the line, Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents Series,1983, p. 69. 6. Ibid., p. 72. 7. Fernand Deligny, Les enfants et le silence, Editions Galile, 1980, p. 19. Educatorul francez Fernand Deligny este cunoscut pentru faptul c a elaborat o nou abordare n procesul de educaie al copiilor autiti, prin intermediul observaiei pe termen lung i a cartografierii situaiilor cotidiene. Civa educatori ce folosesc metodele sale au creat n Cvennes, n sudul Franei, o reea de aezminte pentru copii autiti, reea prin intermediul creia reuesc s comunice ntre ei i s se ajute reciproc. 8. F. Deligny, Les enfants et le silence, p. 20. 9. Deleuze i Parnet, On the line, pp. 70-71. 10. Gilles Deleuze, Logique de la Sensation I, Editions de la Diffrence, 1981, p. 67. 11. Ibid., p. 76. 12. Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, trad. engl. de Steven Rendall, University of California Press, 1988, pp. 38-39. 13. Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, Zone Books, New York, 1994, p. 126. 14. Ronald Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text, Hill and Wang, New York, 1995, p. 23. 15. Cf. Sigmund Freud, Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious (Der Witz und seine Beziehung zum Unbewussten). 16. Ronald Barthes, op. cit., p. 55.


Exploring the Return of Repression

(notes for an exhibition-research)

values - namely, a world lacking transcendentality -, is mocked by the emergence of the new nations from under the shadow of the totalitarian terror (that they embraced themselves!), as these nations suggest a moral order based on... religion. The very act of entering the civilized society entails the repression of the various archaic, primitive desires. For Freud repression is a normal part of human development; indeed, the analysis of dreams, literature, jokes, and "Freudian slips" illustrates the ways that our secret desires continue to find outlet in perfectly well-adjusted individuals. However, when we are faced with obstacles to satisfaction of our libido's cathexis (the acute need to express, the libidinal energy), when we experience traumatic events, or when we remain stuck on earlier phases of our development, the conflict between the libido and the ego (or between the ego and the superego) can lead to alternative sexual or social discharges. As for Freud repression is a normal constituent, repression as suppression is a constituent that is generally accepted - and sometimes asked for - by a society that has become seduced by its own non-values, by its own aberrant creations; these creations replace the free thinking with a consumerist/mimetic thinking, with no rebellious impulses and no real values. Today, for the first time, we might witness the awakening of a type of conscience that has been kept too long under the anaesthesia of the neoliberal capitalism, which is now on the brink of collapse or, at least, it is strongly shattered, both pragmatically and ideologically. On the other hand, the societal frustrations - as it is the case in Romania - are replicated in various types of frustrations, including the sexual ones; the social and political movements are actually nonexistent, and the (almost) public violence of the heteronormativity, the lack of reaction from

a queer-like movement, the absence of strong workers unions and the nonappearance of the civil society can also be relevant for the dispute. The return of the repressed is the process whereby repressed elements, preserved in the unconscious, tend to reappear, in consciousness or in behavior, in the shape of secondary and more or less unrecognizable "derivatives of the unconscious." This return of the repressed, of ideologies forced to marginalization, of sexuality subject to forced secrecy, has resulted, in recent years, in an almost dramatic change of a society filled with anguish, hallucinations, repression imposed by unnecessary regulations that serve to the repressive violence of governments against their own citizens. Nevertheless, the citizens of the government (take notice of my deliberate use of the inversion of terms) have started to learn. Thus, they learn how to make T-shirts - the body as an external support for the repressed repression -, to write banners, to use the bullhorn, to be vocal and to return to the classical method of protest, which seems to be more effective than the lobbying. The cultural acts, art, literature, dance return as vocal tools of protest, in a more radical manner than in the 70s; they question the executive power, and they become the subject of unprecedented reprisals. Society hears about exhibitions that have been closed by the authorities in San Francisco or in Pristina, about curators or art centre directors that have been fired for their courageous display of certain exhibitions with a radical political discourse. Here the idea of learning means mainly a radical transformation of the self, where the human identity is not a stagnant one and the knowledge is uncertain, but both are the subject of the reevaluation and constant change. As it is suggested by Nietzsches

by Rzvan Ion

The term repression is referring to the act of obstructing certain informational contents outside the consciousness that are connected to cathexis through a pulsion. In other words, repression is the scream of the interior to the exterior, and its pulsion can appear through repression: the events, the life experiences are no longer lived up to the end. No matter what the nature of the outbursts may be - religious, political, ethnic, sexual, etc. -; the repression is a gloomy byproduct of the conscience. The myth of the eternal return to nihilism and putrid becomes adequate. I shall use here the derived term repression, meaning violent suppression of an opposition movement or rebellion. The return of the repressed is a crucial theme, a key to understanding recent history. "The project of the West, the Nietzschean project, has been to drive out religion and to produce a secular society in which men and women make their own values, because morality is gone, writes Hanif Kureishi, British writer of Pakistani descent. Then suddenly radical religion returns from the Third World. How can you not laugh at that? How can you not find that a deep historical irony?" Death of the religion, as suggested at the end of the 19th century, and the building of an entirely man-made world, with perennial

idea, this identitary and epistemological endeavour reverberates in his above-mentioned idea about culture as rendition, in Derridas terms, as a rendition of the diffrance. But the unveiling of the identity is limited by the self-constraint, by the granitic layer of the spiritual fate, by the predeterminate answers to the questions, by the immutable this is me, and also by its convictions, as everything sums up to the untouchable right from the depths of the soul. The study means to learn in order to find how. The self is constructed, it is made up; it is a learned structure that functions in order to limit the additional learning/study. Therefore, the criticism of this limitation offers an evasion theory. Bateson believes it necessary to make a change in the premise of the learning/study, a deconstruction of its own codes and constraints - in Derridas terms -, and, consequently, in Nietzsches terms, a transformation of the individual, together with a new freedom. Mass media try the annihilation of this transforming process, by using the simple type of alienation: it creates fake images, and trivial celebrities with trivial ideals. Hence, the working class forgets its difficulties, forgets its hunger and buys the deeply desired anaesthetic that helps people to get along with life. It is a kind of resistance through media, in a sad and suppressive context. The learning process is irrevocably annihilated. Repression as a conscious and voluntary psychological process, consisting of giving up the fulfillment of a desire which is not in full accord with the moral being, leads to the annihilation and alienation of the simplest desires and rebellions. Repression means to live a life you shouldnt have lived, to do things you have never wanted to do, to be what you are not. Repression is self-destruction. It is suicide of course, slow, but sure; it is a gradual poi[112]

soning. Expression means life, repression means suicide. A simple analysis of the ideas above (with the moderation de rigueur) may suggest clues for the future direction of research. Here rises the interest for the investigations performed by Lopez and Stohl and their conclusions. Their pertinent and scientific arguments show that the export-oriented industrial policies generate considerable economical growth. Still, as the two sociologists analyses illustrate, they dont seem to generate democracy or non-authoritarian rules. On the contrary, they create further support for a repressive state. The contemporary economic policies generate terrifying human costs. I dont think the world leaders presentations and their explanations on the necessary human costs can be ever accepted. We can do more; we can do better without these overwhelming human costs. The main apprehension is now the model of a new international division of labour. This concept has apparently been borrowed by the capitalist leaders from the old socialists, and it is actually hiding something even harsher, something that will bring forth the strengthening of the state as instrument of repression. The new international division of labour is a more important issue to discuss than others, because it is, perhaps, the most important cause of both the political and the civil repression. On the other hand, if we examine carefully the present legal system, it is reveal itself as a revolting system, supporting the class exploitation, the radicalization of the chasm among social classes and the supremacy of the white heteronormative and macho-patriarchal majority. The legal system supports the creation of the political obedience and it deals with the adjustment of the value of work. Actually, it protects the capital creation

and a type of legal inequity. Truly, this is what we are talking about. The capitalist state was born as a violent one, from the slave trade and the bloodstained fights against the organized workers up to the militarized ghettos from the 2000s South America or the Iranian governments bloody reprisals against its own citizens. Capitalism was born as a violent system, and this is an element belonging to the genetic code of its ideology. Here we can endorse Grinis idea that in fact the neoliberal global system should be read as the dark side of the communism, and not vice versa. In this time of the neoliberal global capitalism we actually face something what we, the Eastern Europeans, have already tested on ourselves during the communism. Grini is completed by Leban: "Contemporaneity is thus marked by the strategy of extermination and regulation of life that is being reproduced and artificially maintained by the neoliberal global hegemony, and that, as a consequence, form extreme living and environmental condition". In order to understand the main effects of the state violence, we also have to consider the alternative: the social assistance for the poor and for the working class. Frances Fox-Piven and Richard Cloward wrote in New Class War: the connection between the income maintenance programs, the labour market and profits is indirect, but not complicated. Too much social democracy will make people stop being grateful for low wages and poor work conditions. Thus, even with the converse, the link between state repression, labour market and profits is not complicated at all. Repression manages poverty. Poverty depresses wages. Low wages increase the rate of exploitation and create profit. Which is the main purpose of the state.

This text was originally published in "Exploring the Return of Repression", the publication in the frame of the exhibition with the same title curated at PAVILION UNICREDIT, Bucharest, 2009 and rum46, arhus, 2010.

References: - Bateson, Gregory - Mind and Nature - A Necessary Unity, Bantam Books, 1980. - Crimethinc. Workers' Collective - Rolling Thunder, an anarchist journal of dangerous living, no. 1-7, Salem, OR, 2006-2007. - Donadio, Rachel - "Exploring the return of repression in Britain", interview with Hanif Kureishi, International Herald Tribune, August 09th, 2008. - Freud, Sigmund - Trei eseuri privind teoria sexualitii, Bucharest: Miastra Publishing House, 1991. - Grini, Marina - From Transitional Postsocialist Spaces to Neoliberal Global Capitalism, in Pavilion - journal for politics and culture, Bucharest, no. 12, 2008. - Leban, Sebastjan - "Rethinking the Future: Politics of Extermination", in Reartikulacija no. 6, Ljubljana, 2009. - Lopez, George A. and Stohl, Michael Dependence, Development and State Repression, Greenwood Press, 1989. - Mute magazine, London, all issues. - New Left Review magazine, London, all issues. - Parenti, Christian - The New Criminal Justice System: State Repression from 1968 to 2001, in Monthly Review, Vol. 53, July 2001. - Rdescu, Eugen - How Innocent Is That?, Berlin: Revolver Books, 2009. - White, Daniel R. and Hellerick, Gert Nietzsche at the Mall: Deconstructing the Consumer,, 1994. - Randall Amster, Abraham DeLeon, Luis Fernandez, II, Anthony J. Nocella, Deric Shannon, Edited by - Contemporary Anarchist Studies. An Introductory Anthology of Anarchy in the Academy, Routledge, 2009.

Explornd ntoarcerea represiunii

(note pentru o expoziie-cercetare)

de Rzvan Ion

Termenul de represie face referire la procesul de blocare a unor coninuturi informaionale, care nu intr n cmpul contiinei i sunt legate prin cathexis de o pulsiune. Cu alte cuvinte, represia este un strigt al interiorului ctre exterior i pulsaia acesteia se poate face prin refulare: evenimentele, tririle ajung s nu fie consumate pn la capt. Indiferent de natura izbucnirilor, fie ea religioas, politic, etnic, sexual .a.m.d., represia este un derivat sumbru al contiinei. Mitul eternei rentoarceri, la nihilism i putred, devine adecvat. Voi folosi aici termenul derivat de represiune n sensul de reprimare prin violen a unei aciuni de opoziie, de revolt. ntoarcerea reprimatului e o tem fundamental, esenial pentru nelegerea istoriei recente. Proiectul Occidentului, proiectul nietzschean a urmrit eliminarea religiei i crearea unei societi seculare, n care brbaii i femeile s-i creeze propriile valori, deoarece moralitatea a disprut, spune scriitorul britanic de origine pakistanez Hanif Kureishi. Iar apoi religia, n forma ei radical, se rentoarce din Lumea a Treia. Cum s nu rzi de aa ceva? Cum s nu vezi aici o profund ironie a istoriei? Moartea religiei, propus de sfritul secolului al xIx-lea, i construcia unor lumi a valorilor perene, furite total[114]

mente de oameni - unde, deci, transcendentalul lipsete -, este ironizat de apariia noilor popoare, ieite de sub umbra terorii totalitariste (n care singure s-au aruncat!), ce propun o ordine moral bazat pe... religie. nsi aciunea de ptrundere n societatea civilizat implic refularea diverselor dorine arhaice, primitive. Pentru Freud refularea reprezint o component normal a evoluiei umane, iar analiza viselor, scrierilor, glumelor i a scprilor freudiene arat, ntr-adevr, cile prin care dorinele noastre ascunse continu s-i gseasc defularea la indivizi altfel foarte bine adaptai la lume. Totui, atunci cnd anumite obstacole se pun n calea satisfacerii cathexis-ului (nevoia stringent de manifestare a) libidoului nostru, cnd ne confruntm cu evenimente traumatizante sau cnd rmnem blocai n anumite faze de nceput ale evoluiei noastre, conflictul dintre libidou i ego (sau dintre ego i superego) poate declana descrcri sexuale sau sociale de tip alternativ. Dac, dup Freud, refularea reprezint o component normal, represia este componenta normal acceptat i uneori dorit de ctre o societate sedus de propriile non-valori, de propriile construcii aberante, ce nlocuiesc gndirea liber cu o gndire consumerist/mimetic lipsit de orice dorin de revolt sau de valoare real. Poate c zilele acestea asistm pentru prima dat la trezirea unui tip de contiin prea mult inut sub anestezia capitalismului neoliberal, acum aflat n pragul unui colaps sau cel puin zdruncinat puternic, att pragmatic, ct i ideologic. Pe de alt parte frustrrile societale - spre exemplu, cazul Romniei - se reproduc n frustrri de diverse tipuri, inclusiv cele sexuale, micrile sociale i politice fiind practic inexistente, iar lupta (aproape) de strad a heteronormativitii i lipsa replicii unei micri de tip queer, a

unor uniuni muncitoreti puternice, a unei societi civile, poate fi relevant pentru argumentaie. ntoarcerea reprimatului reprezint procesul prin care elementele reprimate, ce se pstreaz n subcontient, au tendina s apar din nou - n contiin sau n comportament - sub forma unor derivate ale subcontientului de tip secundar, mai mult sau mai puin recognoscibile. Aceast ntoarcere a reprimatului, a ideologiilor mpinse spre marginalizare, a subiectului sexual silit s se ascund, provoac n ultimii ani o transformare aproape dramatic a unei societi npdite de spaime, halucinaii i reprimare, toate impuse de reglementrile inutile, ce susin violena represiv a guvernelor mpotriva propriilor lor ceteni. Cetenii guvernului - i observai c folosesc o inversiune a temenilor in mod intenionat - au nceput ns s nvee. Aadar, ei nva s fac tricouri - corpul ca suport extern al reprimrii refulate -, s scrie bannere, s foloseasc portavocea, s fie vocali i s se rentoarc la modul de protest clasic, aparent mai eficient dect cel lobby-ist. Actele culturale, arta, literatura, dansul revin ca instrumente vocale de protest, de chestionare a puterii administrative, ntr-o msur mai radical dect n anii 60-70, ajungnd s fac obiectul unor represalii far precedent. Societatea afl despre expoziii nchise de autoriti att la San Francisco, ct i la Pristina, despre curatori sau directori de centre de art concediai pentru curajul de a organiza n spaiile lor expoziii cu discurs politic radical. Aici ideea de a nva este n primul rnd una a auto-transformrii radicale, unde identitatea uman nu este static, cunoaterea este incert, dar ambele fac obiectul reevalurii i schimbrii constante. Aceast tentativ identitar i de cunoatere duce la acumularea unor infor[115]

maii, la rspndirea lor. ncercarea de identitate i cunoatere pe care ideea lui Nietzsche o implic are ecouri n ideea despre cultur ca redare, n termeni derridieni, ca o redare a diffrance. Dar dezvluirea identitii este limitat de constrngerea de sine, de "stratul granitic al sorii spirituale", derspunsurile "predeterminate" la ntrebri, de "neschimbatul" "acesta sunt eu", ca i de "convingerile" sale, toate ridicndu-se la "dreptul de neatins din adncul sufletului". Studiul este "a nva pentru a afla cum". Sinele este construit, fabricat, o structur nvat care funcioneaz pentru a limita nvarea/studiul adiional. Prin urmare, critica acestei limitri ofer o teorie de evadare. Pentru Bateson este necesar o schimbare n premiza nvrii/studiului, o deconstrucie a propriilor coduri i constrngeri - n termenii lui Derrida - i, prin urmare, n termenii lui Nietzsche, o transformare a persoanei, precum i o nou libertate. Mijloacele media ncearc anihilarea acestui tip de proces transformator prin utilizarea tipului simplu de alienare: crearea de imagini false, de vedete simple, cu idealuri simple. Astfel, clasa muncitoare uit de neajunsuri, de foame, i cumpr mult doritul anestezic, care s i fac s reziste. Un tip de "resistance through media" (rezisten prin media) ntr-un concept trist i represiv. Procesul de nvare este anihilat far drept de apel. Reprimarea ca proces psihic contient i voluntar, care const n renunarea la satisfacerea unei dorine care nu se afl n concordan cu persoana moral, duce la anihilarea, la alienarea celor mai simple dorine i revolte. Reprimarea este s trieti o via pe care nu trebuia s-o trieti, s faci lucruri pe care n-ai vrut niciodat s le faci, s fii ceea ce nu eti. Reprimarea este autodistrugere. Este sinucidere, lent, dar foarte sigur,

este o otrvire gradat. Exprimarea nseamn via, reprimarea nseamn sinucidere. Analiza simpl a celor de mai sus, cu rezervele de rigoare, ne poate sugera indicii despre direcia de cercetare n viitor. Interesante aici mi se par cercetrile fcute de Lopez i Stohl i concluziile lor. Ei argumenteaz pertinent i tiinific c, la nivel general, politicile industriale orientate spre export genereaz cretere economic serioas. ns, aa cum rezult din analizele celor doi sociologi, ele nu par s genereze democraie sau reguli non-autoritare. Dimpotriv, creeaz mai departe susinere pentru un stat represiv. Politicile economice actuale genereaz nfricotoare costuri umane. Nu cred c prezentrile liderilor mondiali i explicaiile lor legate de costurile umane necesare pot fi acceptate vreodat. Putem s facem mai mult, putem s ne descurcm mult mai bine fr aceste nfiortoare costuri umane. Teama principal acum este modelul noii diviziuni internaionale a muncii. Acest concept aparent mprumutat de ctre liderii capitaliti de la socialitii vechi ascunde n fapt ceva mult mai dur, care va aduce, indubitabil, o ntrire a statului ca instrument de represiune. Noua diviziune internaional a muncii este o chestiune mult mai important de discutat dect altele, pentru c este, poate, cea mai important cauz a represiuniii, fie ea politic sau civil. Pe de alt parte, sistemul juridic actual, privit atent, se relev ca un sistem revolttor, un sistem care susine exploatarea de clas, radicalizarea prpastiei ntre clasele sociale i supremaia majoritii albe heteronormative i machopatriarhale. Sistemul juridic susine crearea obedienei politice i are grij de reglarea preului muncii. n fapt protejeaz crearea

de capital i un tip de inechitate legal. n fond, despre asta discutm. Statul capitalist s-a nscut violent, de la traficul de sclavi i luptele sngeroase mpotriva muncitorilor organizai pn la ghetourile militarizate din America de Sud a anilor 2000 sau represaliile sngeroase ale guvernului iranian mpotriva propriilor ceteni. Capitalismul s-a nscut ca sistem violent i asta face parte din codul genetic al ideologiei sale. Aici i putem da dreptate lui Grini, conform creia adevrul e c sistemul global neoliberal trebuie interpretat drept reversul ntunecat al comunismului i nu invers! n epoca actual, cea a capitalismului global neoliberal, ne confruntm de fapt cu ceea ce noi, est-europenii, am simit deja pe pielea noastr n vremea comunismului. Grini este completat de Leban: "contemporaneitatea este marcat de strategii de exterminare i regularizare a vieii, care este reprodus i ntreinut artificial de hegemonia neoliberal, avnd drept consecin forme existeniale i de mediu extreme". Pentru a nelege efectele majore ale violenei statului, trebuie s privim i alternativa: asisten statal pentru cei sraci i pentru clasa muncitoare. Frances Fox-Piven i Richard Cloward scriau n "New Class War": "legtura dintre programele de meninere a veniturilor, piaa muncii i profituri este indirect, dar nu foarte complicat". Prea mult democraie social va determina oamenii s nu mai fie mulumii de salariile mizere i de condiiile infecte de lucru. Deci, legturile statului represiv cu piaa muncii i profiturile nu sunt complicate deloc. Represia gestioneaz srcia. Srcia duce la reducerea lefurilor. Salariile mici cresc rata de exploatare i creeaz profit. Ceea ce reprezint scopul principal al statului.

Acest text a fost tiprit pentru prima dat n publicaia "Exploring the Return of Repression", in cadrul expoziiei cu acelai nume, 2009.

Bibliografie: - Bateson, Gregory, Mind and Nature - A Necessary Unity, Bantam Books, 1980. - Crimethinc. Workers' Collective - Rolling Thunder, an anarchist journal of dangerous living, nr. 1-7, Salem, Oregon, 2006-2007. - Donadio, Rachel, Exploring the return of repression in Britain, interviu cu Hanif Kureishi, n International Herald Tribune, 9 august 2008. - Freud, Sigmund, Trei eseuri privind teoria sexualitii, Editura Miastra, Bucureti, 1991. - Grini, Marina, From Transitional Postsocialist Spaces to Neoliberal Global Capitalism, n Pavilion - journal for politics and culture, nr. 12/2008, Bucureti. - Leban, Sebastjan, Rethinking the Future: Politics of Extermination, n Reartikulacija nr. 6/2009, Ljubljana. - Lopez, George A., Stohl, Michael, Dependence, Development and State Repression, Greenwood Press, 1989. - Mute (revista), Londra, toate numerele. - New Left Review (revista), Londra, toate numerele. - Parenti, Christian, The "New" Criminal Justice System: State Repression from 1968 to 2001, n Monthly Review, vol. 53, iulie 2001. - Rdescu, Eugen, How Innocent Is That?, Revolver Books, Berlin, 2009. - White, Daniel R., Hellerick, Gert, Nietzsche at the Mall: Deconstructing the Consumer,, 1994. - Randall Amster, Abraham DeLeon, Luis Fernandez, II, Anthony J. Nocella, Deric Shannon, Edited by - Contemporary Anarchist Studies. An Introductory Anthology of Anarchy in the Academy, Routledge, 2009.

Notes on the Libertarianism of Contemporary Art

Imaginary Radicalisms

appear unable fundamentally to counter or even significantly to deflect. Political activity in these societies has thus largely come to focus on issues, migrated to lower-level social arena, or looks beyond nation-states in the West for new forms and new levers of change.2 Nonetheless, for all the current obscurity of a politics of social constitution and fundamental change - the politics with which artistic avant-gardes were historically associated - general questions about the relationship of art to politics cannot be avoided, if critical discourse is maintain an adequate sense of art as a social and critical (at the same time as a signifying and an aesthetic) form. Moreover, radicalism is the political correlate of modernity itself as a temporal form - that temporal logic of negation, the logic of the new, of which modernism in its most fundamental sense, as an operation or generative logic (rather than a period form or style), is but a collective affirmation and intensification.3 In this respect, the very abstractness of such questions is itself an historical phenomenon. One way to approach the question of the political in contemporary art is thus via that of the historical extension of the contemporary itself. What is (the politics of) the historical present of contemporary art? And, how does it animate the structure of artworks?

ping genealogies or historical strata three differently extended senses of the present. Each is marked by the rupture of a particular historical event and each privileges a particular geo-political terrain. First, there is what we might call the academic art publishers definition of contemporary art as art after 1945 or art since the end of the Second World War. 1945 represents both the start of the international hegemony of US art institutions, and thereby of US art itself, and also the institutional advance of the socalled neo-avant-gardes. Chronologically, this is the broadest periodization of contemporary art in use. It is in certain respects too broad, at the same time as being, in other respects, too narrow. Do we really still inhabit the same present, art-critically, as Abstract Expressionism? But is the Duchamp of the years of the First World War really so distant from us as to fall outside the category of contemporary art altogether? Such problems draw attention to the inadequacy of any merely chronological conception of the time of art history. Nonetheless, even within such crude periodizations, there is always a suppressed qualitative aspect: the moment of the break, in this case, the beginning of the period at issue, the beginning of the postwar. Reflecting on this moment from the standpoint of the present raises a question that is familiar from Japanese debates, but is rarely asked in Europe or the US: namely, when will the postwar end? Has it not, in fact, already ended? It is those offering an explicit affirmative answer to this latter question who have the sharpest, most critically delineated sense of the contemporary, represented by the third peri[119]

by Peter Osborne

What is the place of the political in contemporary art? And what relations to politics are - or could be - constructed in and by contemporary art? Such questions are inherently problematic yet they remain unavoidable. They are problematic, first, because of their extreme generality (as Walter Benjamin put it: The Marxist theory of art: now swaggering, now scholastic!1). The political dimensions of individual works often seem to reside, by contrast, in their particularities, their contingencies, their contexts. Second, the concept of politics has itself become problematic in Western capitalist societies. If, classically, politics has been an active conflict between parties competing to institute different forms of the social (paradigmatically, in the modern period, in the historical forms of revolution, conservation or reaction), it is overwhelming the developmental logic of capital - the social relations of the production of exchangevalue - that constitutes social form in Western capitalist societies today. Politics takes places within or on the margins of this development, regulating, facilitating, impeding or inflecting a power that social organizations at all levels

1. Situation: contemporary art In current critical writing, one can detect three main competing periodizations of contemporary art, within the wider timespan of an autonomous Western modern art. These represent three overlap-

odization (below). On the broad definition, however, we are still essentially, artcritically, living in an extended postwar. The geo-political terrain of this periodization is formally worldwide - marked as it is by the end of a world war. Yet it is effectively an art world seen (and selected) from the standpoint of the USA - that is, one side of the Cold War inaugurated by the postwar. The postwar contemporary effectively excludes the actually existing socialist states (1945-1989/90) from historical time; recognizing only an externally intelligible artistic dissidence based on the continuation of past modernist legacies or the importation of then-current Western forms. Art-historically, this was made possible by MOMAs institutional appropriation of the work of the pre-war European avant-gardes during the 1930s, which allowed for the subsequent narration of post-war US abstract art as the authentic continuation of this project, and thereby of the Western artistic tradition as a whole. In artistic terms, this periodization of contemporary art privileges the heritage of abstraction.4 It tends to read later work in these terms, to the detriment of the conceptual and political heritage of Duchamp, Dada and Surrealism. (Dadaism and Surrealism appears on Alfred H. Barrs famous flowchart only insofar as they feed into nongeometrical abstraction, that is, as essentially painterly traditions.) If the first periodization is geo-politically epochal in character - registering the weight within Western art history of the deepest political determinations - yet also parochial in both its backward-lookingness and restricted geographical scope, the second periodization focuses more

tightly, in its framing terms, on developments immanent to artistic practices and their art-institutional recognition. This is a periodization that conceives contemporary art as beginning some time in the early 1960s, in that ontological break with prevailing object-based and mediumspecific neo-avant-garde practices represented by a range of new types of work, of which performance, minimalism and conceptual art appear, retrospectively, as the most decisive.5 From this point of view, contemporary art is post-conceptual art.6 The event marking this rupture is not an empirical, chronologically datable one, but rather the Sixties itself - that complex conjunction of social, political and cultural radicalisms that swept through not just North America and Western Europe,7 but whole swathes of the globe - from South America, to South East Asia. Politically, it is often conveniently epitomized in the figure of 1968, but its artistically decisive manifestations were much earlier in the decade. This was also the decade of an initial internationalization of contemporary art within its largely North American and residually European hegemonic frame. Japanese and South American artists, in particular, were incorporated into the internationalizing US hegemony. Despite a conceptual focus on the ontology of the work of art, which derives from a predominantly US narrative frame, this periodization is thus, ironically, more geopolitically expansive in its sense of the artistic terrain than the previous one although it incorporates Second World (state socialist) art of the 1960s and 1970s from the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China only retrospectively (after 1989), as a supplement, rather

than a constitutive feature of arts contemporaneity. One reason for this expansiveness is that the opening of this period coincides with the intensification of antiimperialist struggles for national liberation, which had decisive domestic political effects within Western states. Another, more simply, was the development of commercial air travel. Nonetheless, it is the radically dispersed, materially distributed, character of the art - associated with its incorporation of nontraditional, often mass media, means that is the unifying principle of the periodization. Here, contemporary art deploys an open infinity of means, and operates with a institutionally- and philosophically-grounded generic conception of art that exceeds the historically received conventions that had previously defined artistic mediums. A significant amount of the institutionally validated art currently produced still fails to attain contemporareity in this critical sense. The third main periodization of contemporary art one finds in current art-critical discourse is more immediate: art after 1989 - symbolically, the breaching of the Berlin Wall. With respect to the Cold War, 1989 is the dialectical counterpart to 1945. After 1945, the Cold War is finally over. But with respect to world politics, 1989 is the dialectical counterpart to 1917 (the Russian Revolution). If 19171989 is a meaningful period in world history, the argument goes, then surely contemporary art should now be redefined as art after 1989? Politically, 1989 signifies the end of historical communism (or actually existing socialism), the dissolution of independent Left political cultures, and the deci-

sive victory of a neo-liberal globalization of capital - incorporating the current engine of the world economy, state-capitalism in China.8 This corresponds artistically to three convergent features of institutionally validated art since the 1980s: the apparent closure of the horizon of the avant-garde; a qualitative deepening of the integration of autonomous art into the culture industry; and a globalization and transnationalization of the biennale as an exhibition form.9 Of these, it is the first that is most problematic, since the question of the avant-garde is now as much that of the critical construction of historical meanings as it is of any empirically identifiable features of the works themselves. It is also further complicated by the existence of two distinct forms of the avant-garde. Following the work of Peter Brger,10 it has become conventional to distinguish the conjointly artistic and political perspective of the classical or historical avant-gardes of the early 20th century from the purely artistic neo-avantgardes of the 1940s and 1950s, which attempted to sustain the avant-garde model of art history independently of its relations to socio-economic and political developments. It is this neo-avant-garde art-historical consciousness that is most directly challenged by the sheer diversity of forms of internationally exhibited work produced since 1989 - indeed, since the 1960s. On the other hand, the more socially and politically complex perspective of the historical avant-gardes was revived in the 1960s and 1970s by a range of work, which was either directly political in character, had strong anti-art elements, or embodied art-institutional and social critique. Such work continued

to derive its historical intelligibility from its claim on the future, albeit, increasingly, an abstractly projected (imaginary) future, or mere horizon, rather than a politically actual one. These kinds of work - suspended between the perspectives of the historical- and neo-avant-gardes continue into the immediate present. Nonetheless, international art-institutions now rarely present recent work in terms of the historical consciousness of the avant-garde. One reason for this is that the increasing integration of autonomous art into the culture industry has imposed a more immediate and pragmatic sense of historical time onto the institutional framing of contemporary work - although this remains a profoundly contradictory process. For this integration is by no means an outright negation of autonomy by commodification and political rationality, so much as a new systemic functionalization of autonomy itself - a new kind of affirmative culture.11 This new systemic functionalization of autonomy (this new use of arts uselessness) corresponds to the global transnationalization of the biennale as an exhibition form, and its integration into the logics of international politics and regional development. From this point of view, art must reflectively incorporate this new context into its procedures if it is to remain contemporary. Yet such reflective incorporation will itself necessarily be historical in form. From the standpoint of this last periodization, then, our three periodizations of contemporary art are not so much selfsufficient and competing alternative definitions of contemporaneity as different intensities of contemporaneity: historical

strata that interpenetrate each other. Each may become closest to the surface on different occasions, but always as mediated by its relations to the other two. It is this differential historical temporality that renders dynamic, in any particular instance, a works articulation of the structural features that characterize contemporary art, ontologically.

Critical isms are one way in which individual works are mediated with art, as represented by the historical totality of works of art. There are also political isms, of course. Thinking about the relations between art-critical and political isms, within the framework of a structural model of the work of art, is one way in which to think about the political in contemporary art. Such a model will be structural to the extent to which is possible to identify aspects of relative invariance in the social relations and practices that constitute contemporary art. It is important to stress, however, the relativity of this invariance (invariance relative to other, varying aspects of the same relations and practices, over a specific period of time), since these aspects are nonetheless themselves historical. For all their invariance, the structural aspects of contemporary art are thus dynamically related and hence potentially developmental. Viewed historically, structural models summarize historical processes from the standpoint of a particular historical present - which is to say, from the standpoint of certain expectations about the future.13 Still, to the extent to which the social relations and practices that such a model identifies are genuinely constitutive of contemporary art, within its extended historical present, the model will be of ontological significance. That is to say, a structural model of contemporary art attempts to identify those historical conditions that, because of their character and persistence, have acquired or are acquiring ontological significance for art - for what art is today - for the time being at least. A structural model of contemporary art is a snapshot of a stage of arts histor-

ical ontology. If history is a total process (an open, ongoing only speculatively totalizable set of practices) that may be differentiated into deeper (longer-term) and shallower (shorter-term or surface) processes structure and situation, or structure and event - it is in the ongoing conversion of the situational/evental into the structural, and vice versa that its intelligibility ultimately lies. In this respect, history is a process of becomings- and ceasings-tobe-ontological.14 An historical ontology of contemporary art will provide categories through which instances of contemporary art can be thought - not by being subsumed beneath these categories, but by entering into an experiential process of reflection with them, such that both what we understand the works in question to be, and the categories through which we comprehend them, are problematized, developed and transformed. Such reflexivity is a consequence of arts historical character - the development of its concept through the production of new works. It makes the interpretation of contemporary art an inherently critical process, at a deep, structural level. A historical ontology of art is thus also that strangest of creatures, a critical ontology. The question of what contemporary art is, is at base that of determining (in the sense of deciding upon) the current set of relationships between structures and situations in art: a matter of deciding what is, and what is becoming, ontological in art Among other things, I shall today.15 claim, it is primarily the series that is ontological in art today. It is in the series that the libertarianism inherent within

2. Project: a structural model A structural model of the place of the political within contemporary art must set out from the premises: (i) that art is a mediation of social form (that is, that social form appears within artistic form), (ii) that contemporary art displays certain characteristic mediations of social form as a result of its own institutional forms, and (iii) that there is political significance to these mediations, independently of political significances deriving from the content of any particular work. Such a model necessitates no particular artistic form - it makes no prescriptions to individual production. Rather, it attempts to establish a framework for the political interpretation of individual works. The production of works is experimental. Who knows what artists will produce? Yet if production is experimental - and at the limit, singular - criticism must nonetheless recover or construct its meanings in communicative, that is, social and historical terms. This is the significance of isms. Isms could be conceived in Adornos day as programmatic, self-conscious, and often collective art movements. Nowadays they are more likely to be critical (or Public Relations) constructions - critical carriers of imaginary collectivities - as organized groups.12

contemporary art, as the ambiguous artpolitical mediation of the liberalism of contemporary capitalism, finds its foremost dialectical expression.

3. Problematic: autonomy and dependence, individuality and collectivity I shall restrict my discussion to two main aspects of the work of art: 1) its constitution through an increasingly convoluted dialectic of autonomy and dependence, and 2) its expression of a dialectic of individuality and collectivity. The question of the political is at issue here in: 1) the political meanings of autonomy and dependence; and 2) the way in which the political contradictions of capitalist individualism are mediated and expressed by the increasing nominalism of works of art - this is the structural libertarianism of contemporary art, which underlies the radicalism of its imaginary.16 (i) The dialectic of autonomy and dependence The role of the dialectic of autonomy and dependence in the constitution of the work of art may be summarized, broadly, as follows. i) Modern art is constituted by a dialectic of autonomous and dependent elements that is expressive of what Adorno called arts double character as autonomy and social fact.17 ii) Autonomous art is art in which autonomous determinations dominate dependent ones; dependent art is art in which heteronomous determinations dominate autonomous ones. iii) Autonomy is an attribute of the work (albeit transferred from the artist): the exhibition of a self-legislated law of

form. iv) Self-legislated form is an illusion: the illusion of autonomous meaning-production by the work. (Works of art are thus autonomous to the extent to which they produce the illusion of their autonomy. Art is self-conscious illusion.) v) Self-legislating form positions the work in resistance to social functionality. vi) Commodification is that form of social dependence that is, at once, the condition of, and a threat to, autonomy. (Art is a special kind of commodity, the usevalue of which resides in its uselessness or lack of social functionality.) vii) Individual works of art must actively resist heteronomous determinations of their meanings if they are to achieve autonomy. viii) The historical development of modern art is a development in the social forms and dynamics of autonomy and dependence.

Politics is inscribed within the structure of this dialectic in three main ways. First, the political meaning of autonomy is freedom. The freedom of the work (its illusion of autonomy and the radicalism of its imaginary), in the present, may be viewed as a pre-figuration of a free praxis, praxis in a free society. As such, it is at the same time a criticism of the existing state of unfreedom: the work of art, any work of art, criticizes society by merely existing.18 Here, the politics of art is a politics of form - an affirmation of freedom as self-legislating form. Second, the political meaning of heteronomy or dependence as external determination, necessity or constraint (the reality

principle). Politics is one form of dependence - either within autonomous art (as a subordinate aspect) or as a type of dependent art, political art, which itself still has a (subordinate) autonomous aspect. When a political art is taken out of its practical political context, by historical change or geographical displacement, and ceases to function politically, its autonomous (formal) aspects come to the fore, and the character of the work changes. This is what happens when, for example, works of Soviet Constructivism and Productivism are displayed within Western art institutions as part of the history of the artistic avant-garde. Here, politics appears as an external condition that is nonetheless incorporated into the work as one of its conditions, but remains heteronomous - i.e. external to the self-legislation of the law of form. One may speak here of politics as content, which is not form-determining at a structural level. Rather, it depends upon the use of established forms. Hence the convergence of an artistic politics of content with academicism and historicism: the reproduction of established forms. Third, the political meaning of the dialectical unity of autonomy and dependence within the work is as a model of reconciliation. The unity of the work functions as a promise of happiness by offering a model of reconciliation, a non-coercive identity, via the belonging together of the one and the many. In both the first and the third cases, the political meaning inherent in art is pre-figurative, and hence imaginary. Yet it is also, thereby, in danger of being affirmative - affirmative of the society in which such pre-figuration is possible - and

hence socially functional. This complicates the critical criteria for the achievement of autonomy. Subsequent to the recognition of the socially affirmative function of autonomous art19 and the failure of both the historical avant-gardes and institutional critiques assault upon the institution of autonomy, there is an additional critical requirement for the achievement of autonomy. Under these conditions, critically autonomous art requires an element of anti-art - the contradictory incorporation of an un-integrated, dependent element, for which collage is the historical model - in order to mark (i.e. to render self-conscious) the illusory character of the autonomy of the artwork by re-connecting it, indexically, to the world. As a paradigm of a dependent element, politics is one paradigmatic, if paradoxical, way of rendered art critically autonomous, that is, of maintaining its autonomy in a strong, ontological sense.20 Another paradigm is the readymade. In fact, in this critical context, the concept of the readymade expands to incorporate, in principle, all readymade elements within a work, including, standard artistic materials such as industrially manufactured paint.21 In this respect, insofar as it reproduces an externally determined political position, the political element of an artwork may itself be conceived within the terms of the anti-art paradigm of readymade elements. However, this critical function, internal to autonomous art, only operates so long as the anti-art (dependent) element in question resists incorporation into the art institutions conception of art. Once it is incorporated, the originally anti-art element will itself become affirmative of art - and

hence arts affirmative function - contradicting its initial critical function. Thus, for example, once a politically determined artistic element, such as institutional critique, becomes institutionally recognised as a genre of (autonomous) art, it loses its anti-art function, and becomes affirmative of the institution that it criticizes - it becomes affirmative via the (now compromised) character of its critical mode. In this regard, the relations between the autonomous and dependent elements of the work of art are genuinely dialectical: under particular conditions, each may turn into its opposite.

escalation of the American bombing of Vietnam as the symbolic repetition of Hiroshima - that singularizes the event, making it the just one thing that defines the political meaning of 1965. On the other hand, each panel can be read purely formally, as a word painting, immanently negating (through linguistic meaning), while nonetheless reproducing, the modernist ideal of the formal self-sufficiency of painting itself. (This is an exemplary instance of the reflective mediation, within a work, of the first two periodizations of the contemporary, noted above.) In the development of On Karwaras work, One Thing represents the transition from the formalist experimentation of Nothing, Something, Everything, 1964 - a pencil outline of the work SOMETHINGto the series of date paintings known as the Today series that commenced on 4 January 1966 and continued for fourteen years, until December 1979. The date paintings reproduce the principle of One Thing - each date is symbolic of a particular event - on a daily, rather than an annual basis. But whereas in One Thing the event is represented within the painting (VIET-NAM), in the Today paintings the date alone is painted, while the one thing to which it corresponds is the events of that day, represented by a newspaper - indexical remnant of the day itself - usually included in the box containing the canvas. In the Today series of date paintings, the newspaper fractures the painterly unity of the work far more decisively than numerical and linguistic signs within the paintings themselves. The reduction of signification within the painting to the date alone emphasises the principle of repetition that was only at work subterraneously in One Thing. The

For example Let us take some examples. On Kawaras One Thing, 1965, (fig. 1) is an exemplary instance of political autonomous art, in which the political element functions formally as an anti-art element within the work in order to secure, rather than to negate, its autonomy. Formally decisive in its combination of the monochrome as the transgeneric or postgeneric moment of painting with the form of the printed word as the mimesis of avant-garde auto-critique,22 One Thing exploits the possibilities of the monochrome as a background for the slogans of the banner and the advertising hoarding - in triptych - in order to define its moment, 1965, in terms of a single event: the USAs escalation of its war in Vietnam. Its declarative simplicity - ONE THING-1965-VIETNAM - doubles here as political statement and formal reduction. While the date itself, 1965, carries the anniversarial weight of its own political doubling: 6 August 1965 was the twentieth anniversary of Hiroshima. It is this doubling - the

one thing of 1965 was the same thing as 1945: the bombing of civilian population in South-east Asia by the US military. In the serial temporality of the date paintings, however, this repetition both produces and negates historical meaning, by reducing it to the structure of repetition itself. Political meaning is dissipated throughout the series, since each particular painting derives its meaning as much from the temporal rhythm of which it is a part (it is the simple structure of the daily that is repeated), as from the particularity of its day. The Today paintings are thus primarily a meditation on the historical temporality of modernity, and the inability of painting as a medium to do more than gesture, negatively, towards the representation of the mode of historical experience it involves - the reduction of historical experience to a journalistic everyday. One Thing has a more singular significance. It is a singular political work of autonomous art. In contrast, another work about (and against) the war in Vietnam, the Art Workers Coalitions poster, the colour lithograph Q. And Babies? A. And Babies, 1970 (fig. 2) appears as a work of dependent, political art. Its political function is the dominant moment within the logic of its production; yet it retains sufficient formal and intellectual qualities, related to the autonomous art of its day, to distinguish it, within the mass-media genre of the poster, as a mass-produced work of art. The most emphatic of these qualities is its didactic staging of its message, the killing of babies by the US military, which is extracted from the image as its essential meaning by the simple question-and-answer structure of the overlaid text. This structure mimics both

the interrogation and the press conference, thereby including an implicit reference to its opposite, the management of information - that dissimulation that is an ideological condition of the pursuit of war by democratic states. At the same time, it also evokes the catechism, the dialogic form of religious ritual that was appropriated during the 19th century by revolutionary political sects.23 More generally, it refers back, formally, to the first political uses of photomontage in the 1920s and 1930s, in the Soviet Union and Germany. In sum, Q. And Babies? derives its formal qualities from the political process of which it was a part - the movement against the war in Vietnam - and from the history of political art. Compare this to Odd Nerdrums The Murder of Andreas Baader, 1977-8 (fig. 3). This extraordinary painting offers an example of politics as content, working self-consciously against the historical grain of its artistic form. Once again, it is through historical repetition that political meaning is given to the work, but this time through the instrumental use of arthistorical form: the precise formal evocation of 17th century depictions of the martyrdom of saints. Caravaggio, in particular, appears to be evoked.24 It is through this art-historical aspect that the death of Andreas Baader, one of the leading members of the German Red Army Faction, while in Stammheim prison (officially classified as a suicide) is monumentalized and rendered heroic. However, by mimicking the baroque, the painting sails dangerous close to kitsch. Compared to Gerhard Richters later series depicting the same events, 18 Oktober 1977 (fig. 4), Nerdrums picture appears both politically and artistically

nave. Form and content are held together at the expense of all historical and political complexity, to the point of removing the event - the death of Andreas Baader - from the present, and turning it into the occasion for a crude propaganda. Yet it is precisely this crudeness that offers it an element of redemption, since it gives it an aspect of anti-art (art-historical repetition as lack of contemporareity) that, pardoxically, helps make it a contemporary work. Alternatively, something like Sigmar Polkes Risk Game, 2002 (fig. 5) continues to mine the seam of the readymade, in the spirit of Richters photo-paintings, leaving the determination of the structure of the image to the participants themselves. The artistic act here is primarily that of selection (a market model of autonomy as choice), with the composition of the image itself internalized to the practice of representation/communication that is artistically re-presented. This relies upon a type of auto-representation of history that found its archetypical contemporary form in the images of abuse of Iraqi prisoners taken by US troops in Abu-Ghraid (figs 6 and 7). So far, I have located the question of the political within contemporary art only at the very general structural level of the dialectic of autonomy and dependence. However, as these examples show, the more concretely political meaning of these structural aspects (primarily, freedom) depends upon the dialectic of individuality and collectivity at play within the law of form. (ii) The dialectic of individuality and collectivity (or, the crisis of mediations)

The dialectic of individuality and collectivity at play within the law of form in works of contemporary art may be summarized, briefly, as followed. 1. The individuality of the work of art is the ontological marker of its autonomy its autonomous production of meaning (production of the self-conscious illusion of an autonomous production of meaning) - and the basis of its constitution as an enigma. This enigma lies in the fact that in their autonomous meaning-production, works of art act like subjects. They are objects that act like subjects human subjects, individual bourgeois subjects - the subjectivity of which consequently remains opaque. As such, they draw attention to the objecthood, and hence opacity, of human subjects themselves, and thereby to the illusion constitutive of the philosophical concept of the subject itself. That dialectical transformation of the object into a subject that is the work of art is matched, epistemologically, by a dialectical reversal of the human subject into an object, which renders subjectivity, in itself, opaque. 2. However, meaning is collective. 3. The work of art must thus mediate its ontological individuality with the collectivity of its (potential) meanings. This is the function of its self-legislating law of form. Form is the artistic mediation of the social, at a whole range of levels, from artistic materials (including technologies of production) to techniques and productive practices. 4. If politics is an active constitution or construction of the social, then the political aspect of art here will lie in the con-

structive aspect of form, in the construction of form as mediation. Questions thus arise as to what are the main forms of mediation of the individuality of works of contemporary art with the collectivity of their meanings; and what are their political significances? These questions are complicated by the peculiarity of social form in capitalist societies. For in capitalist societies collectivity is itself already formal: abstract and alienated via exchange relations and the commodity form. Famously, exchange relations break down historically received collective meanings. In this respect, the social in its distinctively capitalistic sense (as opposed to the communal) is not a collective form in any positive politically meaningful sense. Capitalistic sociality (the commodity/the value form) produces individuals who are united only in the mutual alienation of their sociability, in a new kind of what Kant called asocial sociability. Yet such individuality has nonetheless, historically, provided the model of freedom; hence the political centrality of libertarianism - of all stripes to capitalist societies. Yet absolute individuation destroys meaning. This is the contradiction at the heart of what Adorno calls the growing nominalism of modern art, which is essentially a crisis of mediations. In Adornos Aesthetic Theory, nominalism is not an abstract philosophical position about the status of universals, but a socio-historical claim about the declining artistic significance of objective aesthetic norms. The universal, he writes, is no longer granted art through types and older types are being drawn into the whirlpool. Individual works are forced to

establish relations to universality - including the universality of art itself - in new ways. This tendency towards a prohibition on predefined forms is inherent in the modern conception of art as such, in the progressive particularization out of which the aesthetic conception of the work as an expression of subjective freedom emerged, in opposition to subsumptive models of judgement. However, once the principle of individuation becomes a directive - and hence a new form of abstract universality of its own - it threatens the structure of the work with a reduction to its materials: Unchecked aesthetic nominalism terminates in a literal facticity. Adorno presents this situation as something of an impasse, an historical aporia. 25 However, there is more dialectical movement in the situation than this formulation suggests. For if modern art is to be true to its rejection of received universals in the name of subjective freedom, it must also reject the absolutization of its own inherent nominalism, and enter into new kinds of relations with universals - both old and new. If contemporary art has social substance to the extent to which it gives shape to the antinomy of aesthetic nominalism by winning form from its negation, this need not be a merely negative dialectic. Rather, it requires new forms of mediation. Indeed, this was the historical significance of isms for Adorno himself: those programmatic, self-conscious, and often collective art movements, which, in their day, by no means shackle[d] the individual productive forces but rather heighten[ed] them in part through mutual collaboration. However, despite this crucial mediating function, Adorno has a predominantly

backward-looking conception of isms as the secularization of schools in an age that destroyed schools as traditionalistic. For Adorno, an ism is an island of a tradition that was destroyed by the principle of individuation. By thinking of isms in terms of programmatic, self-conscious, and often collective art movements, Adorno neglects the increasing importance since the 1960s of retrospectively constructed critical isms. Such isms retain the structure of, on the one hand, registering the principle of individuation (by virtue of evolving out of the critical interpretation of individual works), while on the other, avoiding the schema of absolute individuation (by virtue of the forms of universality they construct).26 Furthermore, in the critical structure of contemporary art, there is another, ontologically more decisive mediation: the series as the basic unit of intelligibility in contemporary art. In flight from the substantive universalities of genres and mediums, contemporary art distributes its universalities across critical isms and series. Historically, one might schematize the predominant forms of critical mediation between individual works and the universality of art as follows:

Each of the five stages represents a different logical form of mediation: subsumption, the part-whole relation of Romantic fragment, aesthetic identity, groups as speculative bearers of new socialities, and distributive unities. What Sartre says in his Critique of Dialectical Reason about the most ontologically basic collectivity of human individuals, the series - whilst mistaken about human individuals - appears true of works of art: the collapse of objective norms subjects works of art to the rule of series. the structural relation of the individual to other individuals remains in itself completely indeterminate until the ensemble of material circumstances on the basis of which the relation is established has been defined, from the point of view of historical totalization. In this sense, the contrast between the reciprocity as a relation of interiority and the isolation of organisms as a relation of exteriority, which, in the abstract, conditions an unspecified tension within multiplicities, is in fact transcended, and merged in a new type of internal-external relation by the action of the practico-inert field, which transforms contradiction in the milieu of the Other into seriality. In order to understand the collective one must understand that this material object [i.e the practicoinert field] realizes the unity of interpenetration of individuals as beings-in-theworld-outside-themselves to the extent that it structures their relations [as practical organisms] in accordance with the new rule of series. [...] a series is a mode of being for individuals both in relation to

one another and in relation to their common being and this mode of being transforms all their structures.27 In this context, the oeuvre of any particular artist takes on exemplary significance as a series of series, or a series of mediated individuations. Under conditions of tendentially increasing aesthetic nominalism, each work must create the conditions of its own intelligibility. In the absence of new, unalienated social forms of universality, the series is the formal mode of construction of such conditions. It is here that the structural libertarianism of contemporary art resides. As subjects of exchange in capitalist societies, we live within and against the series as the social form of relations between individuals. The work of art reflects and re-presents this form, it in the form a wish.

An earlier version of this text appeared in Verksted no. 8, ISMS: Recuperating Political Radicality in Contemporary Art (I), Office of Contemporary Art, Oslo, 2006.



1. Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA and London, 1999, p. 465 [N 4a, 2,]. 2. The West is, of course, a historically constituted geo-political category, rather than simply geographical one. It spatializes a set of powerrelations between the dominant Euro-American powers and the rest, and thus signifies different spatial unities according to its historical and political context. For example, it was until recently used to exclude Eastern Europe despite its being part of Europe - while including Japan. See, Stuart Hall, The West-and-theRest: Discourse and Power, in Stuart Hall et al, eds, Modernity, Blackwell, Oxford, 1996, pp. 184-227; and Naoki Sakai, Dislocation of the West and the Status of the Humanities, Traces 1: Specters of the West and the Politics of Translation, edited by Naoki Sakai and Yukiko Hanawa, Traces, Ithaca, 2000, pp. 71-94. Since 1989, there has been a tendency to try to draw the line within so-called eastern Europe itself: instituting a competition of economic-ideological conformity to become part of the West. Meanwhile, Japan ponders the benefits of decoupling, with the prospect of a new East Asian bloc raising the spectre of an inverted (Chineseled) revival of the idea of a Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, once central to the spatial imaginary of Japanese fascism. 3. See, Peter Osborne, Radicalism and Philosophy, Radical Philosophy 103 (September/ October 2000), pp. 6-11; Modernisms and Mediations, in F. Halsall, J. Jansen, T. OConnor (eds), Rediscovering Aesthetics: Transdisciplinary Voices from Art History, Philosophy and Art Practice, Stanford University Press, Stanford, pp. 163-177; and Modernism and Philosophy, in P. Brooker et al (eds), The Oxford Handbook on Modernism, Oxford University Press, Oxford, Ch. 20, forthcoming 2010. 4. The landmark exhibitions here were the 1936 Cubism and Abstract Art show, with Alfred H. Barrs famous stylistic flowchart on the cover of the catalogue, terminating in just two streams (Geometrical and Non-Geometrical Abstract

Art) and the Bauhaus show of 1938. The subsequent claim for the US inheritance of the European tradition (explicit in Greenberg, for example) was, of course, not just a national claim, but a wider ideological claim about the USAs leadership of the free world during the Cold War. See Serge Guilbaut, How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism, Freedom, and the Cold War, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1983. 5. See the critical history of the lineages of negation at work here outlined in the Survey essay in Peter Osborne, Conceptual Art, Phaidon, London, 2002, pp. 12-51. 6. See Peter Osborne, Art Beyond Aesthetics: Philosophical Criticism, Art History and Contemporary Art, Art History, Vol. 27, no. 4 (September 2004), pp. 651-70 - reprinted in Deborah Cherry (ed.), Art: History: Visual: Culture, Blackwell, Oxford, 2005, pp. 171-190. 7. See Thomas Crow, The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent 1955-69, Everyman Art Library, London, 1996. 8. The origins of this victory date back to a different 9/11, 11 September 1973: the assassination of Allende, the socialist President of Chile, and the delivery of the Chilean economy to the so-called Chicago boys - the group of neo-liberal economists gathered around Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago. See David Harvey, A Brief History of Neo-Liberalism, Oxford University Press, 2005. 9. For the effects in an expanded Europe, see Barbara Vanderlinden and Elena Filipovic (eds), The Manifesta Decade: Debates on Contemporary Art Exhibitions and Biennals in Post-Wall Europe, Roomade/MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 2005. For an early attempt at a documentation of post-89 eastern European art, see Irwin (ed.), East Art Map: Contemporary Art and Eastern Europe, Afterall Books, London, 2006. 10. Peter Burger, Theory of the Avant-Garde, trans. Michael Shaw, University of Minnesota pres, Minneapolis, 1984. 11. See Peter Osborne, The Power of Assembly: Art, World, Industry, in Zones of Contact: Catalogue of the 2006 Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, 2006. 12. Theodor W. Adorno, Aesthetic Theory

(1970), trans. Robert Hullot-Kentor, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1997 , p. 24. 13. Cf. Alfred Schmidt, History and Structure: An Essay on Hegelian-Marxist and Structuralist Theories of History (1971), trans. Jefffrey Herf, MIT Press, Cambridge MA and London, 1981, which identifies the need for a determinate negation of the structuralist negation of history (p. 108). 14. This notion of becomings- and ceasings-tobe-ontological is to be distinguished from the generic becomings of Deleuze and Guattaris cyclical territorializations, de-teritorializations and re-territorializations, which take place on a single ontological plane, characterized by repetition, and thus acquire determinacy only empirically, and retrospectively. As such, their theorization lacks determinacy in its futural dimension, in principle. 15. The word determination is liable to generate confusion in English-language theoretical discourse, because of the history of its use to refer to the process of causation. I use it here in the philosophical sense of its German equivalent (Bestimmung), in the idealist tradition, to refer to a process of giving conceptual or semantic determinacy to something (i.e. to particularization). Failure to distinguish between these two senses has created a long history of misunderstandings in the relations between these two traditions. It is in the sense in which I use it here that, for example, Hegel wrote in the Preface to the 2nd edition of his Encyclopedia (1827) not only that the reader would find many parts of the book developed into more detailed determinations (Bestimmungen), but also that the new edition had the same vocation (dieselbe Bestimmung) as the first one. G.W.F. Hegel, The Encyclopedia Logic, trans. T.F. Geraets, W.A. Suchting, and H.S. Harris, Hackett, Indianapolis/Cambridge, 1991, p. 4. In a similar sense, Marx wrote in the Introduction to the Grundrisse (1857) of the concrete as, methodologically, a result: the concentration of many determinations, hence unity of the diverse. Karl Marx, Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Rough Draft), trans. Martin Nicholas, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1973, p.101. 16. What follows is a conception of the work of art that derives, in broad outline, from Adornos

Aesthetic Theory (1970), as read through the history of visual art since the 1960s - in much the same way that Aesthetic Theory itself mediates Walter Benjamins early theory of the artwork via the history of (primarily, musical and literary) modernism. 17. Adorno, Aesthetic Theory, p. 225. 18. Ibid., p. 226. 19. Herbert Marcuse, The Affirmative Character of Culture (1937) in Negations: Essays in Critical Theory, Beacon Press, Boston, 1968, pp. 88-133. For Adornos continuing, albeit critically modified, adoption of this position (its thesis requires the investigation of the individual artwork), see Aesthetic Theory, p. 252. 20. See Stewart Martin, Autonomy and Anti-Art: Adornos Concept of Avant-garde Art, Constellations, Vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 197-207. 21. Thierry de Duve, The Readymade and the Tube of Paint, in Kant After Duchamp, MIT Press, Cambridge MAand London, 1996, Ch. 3. 22. Jeff Wall, Monochrome and Photojournalism in On Kawaras Today Paintings, in Lynne Cooke and Karen Kelly, eds, Robert Lehman Lectures on Contemporary Art, Dia Center for the Arts, New York, 1996, pp. 135-157, p. 152 Wall himself applies this description to the series of Today paintings, rather than to the earlier One Thing. 23. This was one of the formal components of Marx and Engelss Communist Manifesto. See Peter Osborne, Remember the Future? The Communist Manifesto as Cultural-Historical Form, in Philosophy in Cultural Theory, Routledge, London and New York, 2000, pp. 63-77. 24. Both Caravaggios Martydom of St Matthew (St. Luigi Francesci, Rome) and Crucifixion of St Peter (St. Maria del Popolo, Rome) appear to be evoked - among other, earlier sources. 25. Aesthetic Theory, pp. 199-201, 219-220. 26. Ibid, pp. 222, 24-25. 27. Jean-Paul Sartre, Critique of Dialectic Reason, Volume 1: Theory of Practical Ensembles (1960), trans., Alan Sheridan-Smith, Verso, London and New York, 1976, pp. 255-6, 266.


Radicalisme imaginare nsemnri despre libertarianismul artei contemporane

de Peter Osborne

Care este locul politicului n arta contemporan? i ce raporturi cu politica se construiesc - sau s-ar putea construi - n i prin arta contemporan? Astfel de ntrebri snt, inerent, problematice i totui rmn inevitabile. Ele snt problematice n primul rnd din pricina extremei lor generaliti (sau, cum spune Walter Benjamin: Teoria marxist a artei: cnd fanfaronad, cnd scolastic!1). Dimpotriv, dimensiunile politice ale operelor individuale par adesea s constea n particularitile, contingenele i contextele lor. n al doilea rnd, nsui conceptul de politic a devenit unul controversat n societile capitaliste occidentale. Dac, dup definiia clasic, politica reprezenta un conflict activ ntre partide ce concureaz n vederea instituirii unor forme diferite ale socialului (n epoca modern, n chip paradigmatic, sub formele istorice ale revoluiei, conservrii sau reaciunii), astzi forma social predominant n societile capitaliste occidentale este reprezentat de logica dezvoltrii capitalului - relaiile sociale ale producerii valorii de schimb. Politica are loc n cadrul sau la periferiile acestui proces de dezvoltare, reglementnd, facilitnd, blocnd sau abtnd din drum puterea pe care organizaiile sociale de la toate nivelele par complet

incapabile s o contracareze sau cel puin s o devieze n chip semnificativ. Aa se face c n astfel de societi activitatea politic a ajuns s se concentreze n mare parte pe probleme, migrnd pe o scen social de nivel inferior, sau se orienteaz dincolo de statele-naiune din Occident, cutnd noi forme i noi prghii pentru schimbare.2 i totui, n ciuda actualei incertitudini ce planeaz asupra politicii constituiei sociale i a unei schimbri fundamentale - politic asociat istoric cu avangardele artistice -, nu putem evita ntrebrile generale legate de raportul artei cu politica, asta dac discursul critic pstreaz un sens adecvat pentru art, ca form social i critic (i n acelai timp semnificativ i estetic). Mai mult, radicalismul este corelatul politic al modernitii nsei ca form temporal acea logic temporal a negaiei, logica noului, pentru care modernismul n sensul su cel mai esenial, ca operaiune sau ca logic generativ (i nu ca form sau stil al unei perioade), nu este dect o afirmaie i intensificare colectiv.3 Din acest punct de vedere, nsui caracterul abstract al respectivelor ntrebri este un fenomen istoric. Astfel, un mod de abordare a problemei politicului n arta contemporan este tocmai prin intermediul acestei extensii istorice a contemporanului. Care este (politica) prezentului istoric al artei contemporane? i cum nsufleete ea structura operelor de art?

1. Situaia: arta contemporan n textele critice actuale se pot detecta trei periodizri principale i concurente ale artei contemporane n cadrul

temporal mai larg al artei moderne occidentale autonome. Acestea reprezint trei genealogii sau straturi istorice suprapuse - trei percepii extinse n mod diferit asupra prezentului. Fiecare din ele este marcat de fractura unui anumit eveniment istoric i fiecare privilegiaz un spaiu geopolitic anume. Mai nti avem ceea ce s-ar putea numi definiia editorilor de art academic asupra artei contemporane, ce vorbesc despre arta de dup 1945 sau arta de dup al Doilea Rzboi Mondial. 1945 reprezint n egal msur nceputul hegemoniei internaionale a instituiilor artistice din Statele Unite i, n consecin, a artei din Statele Unite, precum i progresul instituional al aa-numitelor neo-avangarde. Din punct de vedere cronologic, aceasta este cea mai generoas periodizare acceptat pentru arta contemporan. n anumite privine este prea larg, fiind concomitent, n alte privine, prea ngust. Oare, din perspectiva criticii de art, trim ntradevr n acelai prezent ca i expresionismul abstract? Dar Duchamp cel din anii Primului Rzboi Mondial este chiar att de ndeprtat de noi nct s ias cu totul din categoria de art contemporan? Astfel de probleme atrag atenia asupra inadecvrii unei viziuni pur cronologice asupra timpului n istoria artelor. Totui chiar i n interiorul unor astfel de periodizri grosolane rmne ntotdeauna un aspect calitativ ce e suprimat: momentul rupturii, adic - n cazul de fa - nceputul perioadei n discuie, nceputul epocii postbelice. Cnd reflectm asupra acestui moment din perspectiva prezentului, descoperim o problem cunoscut din polemicile din Japonia, dar rareori ridicat n Europa sau n Statele Unite, i anume cnd s-a terminat epoca

postbelic. Oare nu s-a terminat deja? Cei care ofer un rspuns afirmativ la aceast ultim ntrebare snt i cei ce au cea mai clar percepie asupra contemporaneitii, cea mai bine conturat critic, reprezentat de a treia periodizare (v. infra). ns, conform definiiei mai largi, din perspectiva criticii de art trim nc ntr-o perioad postbelic prelungit. Spaiul geopolitic al acestei periodizri este oficial ntregul glob - cci e marcat de sfritul unui rzboi mondial. Doar c n realitate este o art global vzut (i selectat) din perspectiva S.U.A., adic din cea a uneia din taberele Rzboiului Rece, inaugurat de epoca postbelic. Practic, contemporaneitatea postbelic exclude din timpul istoric statele socialiste existente n realitate (1945-1989/1990) i recunoate doar o disiden artistic inteligibil pe plan extern, bazat pe continuarea motenirilor moderniste ale trecutului sau pe importul formelor occidentale ale momentului. Din perspectiva istoriei artelor, acest fapt a fost posibil prin aproprierea instituional de ctre MOMA a operei avangardelor europene interbelice din anii 1930, ceea ce a permis o prezentare ulterioar a artei abstracte din S.U.A. postbelice drept continuarea autentic a respectivului proiect i, n consecin, a tradiiei artistice occidentale n ansamblul ei. Dintr-o perspectiv artistic, aceast periodizare a artei contemporane privilegiaz motenirea abstracionismului.4 Ea tinde s interpreteze creaiile artistice ulterioare prin aceast gril, n detrimentul motenirii conceptuale i politice a lui Duchamp, a dadaismului i a surrealismului. (Dadaismul i surrealismul apar pe faimosul grafic al lui Alfred H. Barr doar ca s se verse n tendina abstraciunii

non-geometrice, adic, n esen, printre tradiiile picturale.) Dac prima periodizare are un caracter geopolitic determinat istoric cci nregistreaz greutatea unor decizii politice importante n cadrul istoriei artei occidentale -, fiind ns i una provincialist att prin anvergura geografic restrns, ct i prin perspectiva retrograd, a doua periodizare se concentreaz mai strict, din perspectiva ncadrrii, asupra evoluiilor imanente practicilor artistice i a recunoaterii lor n cadre artistice instituionale. Este vorba de o periodizare ce consider c arta contemporan debuteaz cndva la nceputul anilor 1960, n acea fractur ontologic a practicilor neo-avangardiste centrate predominant pe obiect i dependente de mediu, reprezentate de o serie de noi tipuri de opere artistice, dintre care, la o privire retrospectiv, performance-ul, minimalismul i arta conceptual se dovedesc a fi definitorii.5 Din acest punct de vedere arta contemporan este art post-conceptual.6 Evenimentul care marcheaz punctul de ruptur nu mai este unul empiric, ce poate fi datat cronologic, ci mai degrab anii aizeci nii - acea complex conjugare a radicalismelor sociale, politice i culturale ce a scuturat nu doar America de Nord i Europa Occidental7, ci zone ntregi de pe glob, din America de Sud pn n Asia de SudEst. El este adesea concentrat, ntr-o manier politic convenabil, n imaginea momentului 1968, dar manifestrile sale artistice decisive apar mult mai la nceputul deceniului. Este i deceniul unui nceput de internaionalizare a artei contemporane, n general n interiorul cadrului hegemonic nrod-american i, parial, european. Mai ales artitii din Japonia i America de Sud au fost incor-

porai n cadrul hegemonic internaionalizant al Statelor Unite. Aa se face c, n ciuda unei concentrri conceptuale asupra ontologiei operei de art, derivat din cadrul narativ predominant american, aceast periodizare este, paradoxal, mult mai cotropitoare geopolitic n ceea ce privete spaiul artistic dect cea anterioar - dei incorporeaz arta din Lumea a Doua (a statelor socialiste) din anii 1960 i 1970, cea provenit din Uniunea Sovietic, Europa de Est i China, doar retrospectiv (dup 1989), mai mult ca un supliment dect ca o trstur constitutiv a contemporaneitii artei. Unul din motivele acestei tendine de extindere este acela c nceputul perioadei amintite coincide cu intensificarea luptelor antiimperialiste i de eliberare naional, fapt care a avut efecte politice interne hotrtoare n statele occidentale. Un alt motiv, mult mai simplu, a fost dezvoltarea transportului aerian comercial. Numai c principiul unificator al periodizrii l reprezint totui caracterul extrem de dispersat i rspndit material al artei, asociat cu incorporarea mijloacelor netradiionale de comunicare, printre care adesea mass media. Aici arta contemporan etaleaz o infinitate deschis de mijloace i opereaz cu o anume concepie generic asupra artei, una ntemeiat instituional i filosofic, ce depete conveniile motenite istoric, odinioar definitorii pentru mediile artistice. O cantitate semnificativ din arta produs la momentul actual i validat instituional nc nu reuete s se ncadreze n contemporaneitatea definit n sensul critic de mai sus. A treia periodizare important a artei contemporane existent n discursul critic curent asupra artei este una i mai

imediat: include arta de dup 1989 adic, n chip simbolic, de dup cderea Zidului Berlinului. Din perspectiva Rzboiului Rece, 1989 este perechea dialectic a lui 1945. Dup 1945, Rzboiul Rece este de-acum, n fine, ncheiat. Dar la nivelul politicii mondiale 1989 este perechea complementar a lui 1917 (Revoluia Rus). Iar dac 19171989 reprezint o perioad semnificativ din istoria lumii, atunci arta contemporan n-ar trebui cumva redefinit drept art produs dup 1989? Din punct de vedere politic 1989 semnific sfritul comunismului istoric (sau al socialismului existent n realitate), disoluia culturilor politice independente de stnga i victoria hotrtoare a globalizrii neoliberale a capitalului, incluznd aici i motorul actual al economiei mondiale, capitalismul etatist din China.8 Acest moment corespunde din punct de vedere artistic cu trei caracteristici convergente ale artei validate instituional din anii 1980 ncoace: evidenta blocare a orizontului avangardei, o aprofundare calitativ a integrrii artei autonome n industria cultural i o globalizare i o transnaionalizare a bienalei ca form expoziional.9 Dintre toate, cea dinti e cea mai problematic, deoarece problema avangardei este acum n egal msur una a construciei critice a sensurilor istorice i una a caracteristicilor identificabile empiric a operelor n sine. Ea e complicat i mai mult de existena a dou forme distincte de avangard. Ca urmare a lucrrii lui Peter Brger10, s-a impus convenia diferenierii ntre perspectiva combinat, artistic i politic, a avangardelor clasice sau istorice de la nceputul secolului xx i neo-avangardele artistice pure din anii 1940 i 1950, care ncercau s susin

modelul avangardist al istoriei artei independent de raporturile sale cu transformrile socio-economice i politice. Ampla diversitate a formelor etalate de lucrrile expuse la nivel internaional i produse ncepnd din 1989 - ba chiar din anii 1960 - a pus sub interogaie n modul cel mai direct contiina istorico-artistic a acestei neo-avangarde. Pe de alt parte, perspectiva mai complex social i politic a avangardelor istorice a fost revigorat n anii 1960 i 1970 de o serie de lucrri care fie au auvt un caracter politic direct, fie au inclus puternice elemente antiartistice, fie au ilustrat o critic instituional i social a artei. Lucrrile respective continu s-i extrag inteligibilitatea istoric din revendicarea viitorului - dei e vorba din ce n ce mai mult de un viitor proiectat abstract (i imaginar) sau mai degrab de un orizont dect de un viitor politic concret. Acest gen de lucrri - suspendate ntre perspectiva avangardelor istorice i cea a neo-avangardelor - continu s existe i n prezentul imediat. Totui la ora actual instituiile artistice internaionale prezint rareori lucrri recente legate de contiina istoric a avangardei. Unul din motivele acestui fapt este acela c integrarea accentuat a artei autonome n industria cultural a impus asupra cadrelor instituionale ale creaiei artistice contemporane o percepie mai actualizat i mai pragmatic a timpului istoric - dei acesta rmne un proces profund contradictoriu. Cci aceast integrare nu este n nici un caz o negaie clar a autonomiei prin marketizare i raionalitate politic, ci mai degrab nou funcionalizare sistemic a autonomiei nsei - un nou gen de cultur afirmativ.11 Aceast nou funcionalizare sistemic a autonomiei (o nou

form de utilizare a inutilitii artei) corespunde transnaionalizrii globale a bienalei ca form expoziional i integrrii sale n logica politicii internaionale i a dezvoltrii regionale. Dintr-o astfel de perspectiv arta trebuie s incorporeze reflexiv acest nou context printre procedurile sale dac vrea s rmn contemporan. i totui o asemenea incorporare reflexiv va trebui s capete ea nsi o form istoric. Aadar, conform ultimei periodizri, toate cele trei periodizri ale artei contemporane nu snt neaprat trei definiii autosuficiente, alternative i concurente ale contemporaneitii, ct trei grade de intensitate diferit ale ei, trei straturi istorice care se ntreptrund. Fiecare din ele poate ajunge mai aproape de suprafa n anumite ocazii, dar ntotdeauna prin intermediul raporturilor cu celelalte dou. i tocmai aceast temporalitate istoric diferenial este cea care face ca articularea, n cadrul unei opere de art, a trsturilor structurale ce caracterizeaz ontologic arta contemporan s devin dinamic ntr-un context dat.

2. Proiectul: un model structural Un model structural al locului ocupat de politic n cadrul artei contemporane trebuie s porneasc de la urmtoarele premise: i) c arta e o mediere a formei sociale (adic forma social apare n cadrul formei artistice), ii) c arta contemporan etaleaz anumite moduri de mediere ale formei sociale, ca urmare a propriilor forme instituionale, i iii) c aceste moduri de mediere implic o semnificaie politic, independent de semnificaiile politice derivate din coninutul unei

lucrri de art anume. Un astfel de model nu impune nici o form artistic particular i nu stabilete nici un fel de prescripii pentru producia individual. El ncearc mai degrab s instituie un cadru pentru interpretarea politic a lucrrilor individuale. Realizarea lucrrilor este experimental. Cine tie ce va produce artistul? i totui, chiar dac realizarea lor e un act experimental - i, la limit, unic -, critica trebuie totui s recupereze sau s elaboreze semnificaiile sale n plan comunicativ, adic n termeni sociali i istorici. Iat care e importana -ismelor. Ismele puteau fi concepute n vremea lui Adorno ca micri artistice programatice, nzestrate cu contiin de sine i adesea colective12. Astzi, dac e vorba de grupuri organizate, e mai probabil ca ele s fie construcii critice (sau de Relaii Publice), vectori critici ai colectivitilor imaginare. Ismele critice reprezint o metod prin care lucrrile individuale snt conciliate cu arta, neleas ca totalitate istoric a lucrrilor de art. Desigur, exist i isme politice. Unul din modurile n care ne putem gndi la politic n arta contemporan, rmnnd ntre limitele unui model structural al operei de art, este acela de a judeca raporturile existente ntre ismele criticii de art i cele politice. Un astfel de model va fi structural n msura n care se pot identifica aspecte ale unei invariane relative n raporturile i practicile sociale ce constituie arta contemporan. Este totui important s evideniem relativitatea acestei invariane (invarian existent n raport cu aspectele fluctuante ale acelorai raporturi i practici n cadrul unei perioade de timp specifice), cci aspectele respective snt totui ele nsele istorice. Cu toat invariana lor, aspectele

structurale ale artei contemporane snt, aadar, legate dinamic i astfel potenial progresive. Privite n plan istoric, modelele structurale rezum procesele istorice din perspectiva unui prezent istoric anume - cum ar veni, din perspectiva anumitor ateptri legate de viitor.13 Totui, n msura n care relaiile i practicile sociale pe care le identific un asemenea model snt cu adevrat constitutive pentru arta contemporan, n cadrele prezentului su istoric extins, modelul va avea o semnificaie ontologic. Prin asta se nelege c un model structural al artei contemporane ncearc s identifice condiiile istorice care, graie caracterului i durabilitii lor, au dobndit sau dobndesc semnificaie ontologic pentru art - pentru ceea ce este arta astzi -, cel puin pentru o vreme. Un model structural al artei contemporane reprezint un instantaneu al unei etape din ontologia istoric a artei. Dac istoria este un proces total (un set de practici deschis, n desfurare i totalizabil doar speculativ), ce poate fi difereniat n procese mai profunde (pe termen mai lung) i mai superficiale (pe termen mai scurt sau de suprafa) - structur i situaie sau structur i eveniment -, inteligibilitatea ei const, n ultim instan, n conversiunea nentrerupt a situaionalului/evenimenialului n structural i viceversa. n aceast privin istoria este un proces ontologic al devenirilor i ntreruperilor devenirii.14 O ontologie istoric a artei contemporane va furniza categorii prin intermediul crora pot fi judecate mostre de art contemporan - nu prin subsumarea lor la respectivele categorii, ci prin declanarea unui proces de reflecie derivat din experien, ce implic i

lucrrile luate n calcul, astfel nct i felul n care nelegem ce reprezint lucrrile n cauz, i categoriile prin intermediul crora le nelegem s fie problematizate, dezvoltate i transformate. O astfel de reflexivitate este o consecin a caracterului istoric al artei - dezvoltarea conceptului su pe parcursul producerii unor lucrri noi. Ea face ca interpretarea artei contemporane s fie un proces critic inerent la un nivel profund, structural. Astfel, o ontologie istoric a artei este o creatur din cele mai ciudate, o ontologie critic. A decide ce este arta contemporan e, n esen, o problem ce ine de determinarea (adic stabilirea) setului actual de relaii existente ntre structurile i situaiile din art, de decizia asupra a ceea ce este i ceea ce devine ontologic azi n art.15 Eu snt de prere c, printre alte lucruri, n arta de azi seria are n primul rnd valoare ontologic. n serie i gsete cea mai deplin expresie dialectic libertarianismul inerent din snul artei contemporane, intermediar ambiguu ntre art i politic al liberalismului capitalismului contemporan.

acesta este libertarianismul structural al artei contemporane, care st la baza radicalismului imaginarului su.16 (i) Dialectica autonomiei i a dependenei Rolul dialecticii autonomiei i a dependenei n constituirea operei de art poate fi rezumat n linii mari dup cum urmeaz: i) Arta modern se constituie printr-o dialectic a elementelor autonome i dependente, expresie a ceea ce Adorno numea caracterul dublu al artei ca autonomie i fapt social17. ii) Arta autonom este arta n care determinrile autonome le domin pe cele dependente, iar arta dependent este arta n care determinrile heteronome le domin pe cele autonome. iii) Autonomia este un atribut al operei (dei transferat de la artist): expunerea unei legi a formei autolegiferate. iv) Forma autolegiferat e o iluzie: iluzia producerii autonome de sens de ctre oper. (Astfel, opera de art este autonom n msura n care creeaz iluzia autonomiei sale. Arta este o iluzie contient de sine.) v) Forma autolegiferat plaseaz opera ntr-o poziie de rezisten fa de funcionalitatea social. vi) Marketizarea este acea form de dependen social care e, concomitent, o condiie a autonomiei i o ameninare la adresa ei. (Arta este un gen special de produs comercial, cci valoarea ei de utilizare const n inutilitatea sau lipsa de funcionalitate social a acesteia.) vii) Operele de art individuale trebuie s se opun activ determinrilor heteronome ale semnificaiilor lor n cazul n care vor s-i dobndeasc autonomia. viii) Evoluia istoric a artei moderne nseamn o evoluie a formelor sociale i

3. Problematica: autonomie i dependen, individualitate i colectivitate mi voi limita analiza la dou aspecte importante ale operei de art: 1) constituirea ei printr-o dialectic tot mai nclcit a autonomiei i dependenei i 2) expresia n cadrul ei a unei dialectici a individualitii i colectivitii. Problema politicului intervine aici n: 1) semnificaiile politice ale autonomiei i dependenei i 2) modul n care contradiciile politice ale individualismului capitalist snt mediate i exprimate prin nominalismul tot mai accentuat al operelor de art;

a dinamicii autonomiei i dependenei. Politica se nscrie n cadrele structurii acestei dialectici n trei moduri principale. Mai nti semnificaia politic a autonomiei este libertatea. n prezent libertatea creaiei (iluzia autonomiei i radicalismul imaginarului su) poate fi privit ca o pre-figurare a unei practici libere, a unei practici ntr-o societate liber. n sine, ea reprezint n acelai timp o critic a strii existente, de absen a libertii: opera de art - orice oper de art - critic societatea prin simpla ei existen18. Astfel, politica artei este o politic a formei - o afirmare a libertii ca form autolegiferat. n al doilea rnd avem semnificaia politic a heteronimiei sau dependenei ca determinare, necesitate sau constrngere exterioar (principiul realitii). Politic este una din formele de dependen - fie n interiorul artei autonome (ca aspect subordonat), fie ca un gen de art dependent, art politic, care mai pstreaz n sine un aspect autonom (subordonat). Cnd o art politic este scoas din contextul ei politic concret, fie printr-o schimbare istoric, fie printr-o deplasare geografic, i astfel nceteaz s funcioneze politic, aspectele ei (formale) autonome ies n prim-plan, iar caracterul operei se schimb. Aa se ntmpl, de exemplu, atunci cnd lucrri aparinnd constructivismului i productivismului sovietic snt expuse n instituii de art occidentale, ca parte a istoriei avangardei artistice. Aici politica apare ca o circumstan extern, incorporat totui n opera de art, cci este unul din aspectele sale, dar rmne totui heteronom, adic exterioar autolegiferrii legii formei. Am putea vorbi aici de politic n chip de coninut, ceva ce nu determin forma la nivel structural. Mai

degrab ea depinde de utilizarea formelor consacrate. Astfel apare i convergena politicii coninutului artistic cu academismul i istorismul: prin reproducerea formelor consacrate. n al treilea rnd semnificaia politic a unitii dialectice dintre autonomie i dependen n snul operei de art este un model de conciliere, de mediere. Unitatea operei funcioneaz ca o promisiune a fericirii, oferind un model de conciliere, o identitate non-coercitiv, prin intermediul apartenenei comune a unuia cu cei muli. Att n primul, ct i n al treilea caz semnificaia politic inerent artei este pre-figurativ, aadar imaginar. Totui, din acest motiv, ea risc n acelai timp s fie afirmativ - s valideze societatea n care este posibil o astfel de pre-figurare - i, n consecin, s capete o funcie social. Astfel criteriile critice de realizare a autonomiei se ncurc. n urma recunoaterii funciei sociale afirmative a artei autonome19 i a eecului asaltului avangardei istorice i al criticii instituionale asupra instituiei autonomiei, realizarea autonomiei are nevoie de o cerin critic suplimentar. n condiiile date arta autonom din punct de vedere critic are nevoie de un element de anti-art - incorporarea contradictorie a unui element neintegrat i dependent, pentru care colajul constituie modelul istoric - pentru a evidenia (adic a ilustra contient) caracterul iluzoriu al autonomiei operei de art prin reconectarea ei deictic la lume. Ca paradigm a elementului dependent, politica reprezint o cale paradigmatic, chiar dac paradoxal, de autonomizare critic a artei, adic a meninerii autonomiei sale n sensul ei tare, ontologic.20 O alt paradigm este

obiectul readymade. De fapt n acest context critic conceptul de readymade se extinde pn ce incorporeaz, n principiu, toate elementele readymade din cadrul unei opere, inclusiv materialele artistice obinuite, cum e vopseaua produs industrial.21 n aceast privin i n msura n care reproduce o poziie politic determinat din exterior, nsui elementul politic al operei de art poate fi conceput n cadrul paradigmei anti-artei elementelor readymade. Totui funcia sa critic, proprie artei autonome, opereaz doar atta timp ct elementul (dependent) anti-artistic implicat aici se opune incorporrii n concepia despre art a instituiei artei. Din momentul n care este incorporat aici, elementul anti-artistic iniial va deveni el nsui un promotor pozitiv al artei - de aici i funcia afirmatic a artei - i i va contrazice funcia critic iniial. Astfel (ca s dm un exemplu), odat ce un element artistic determinat politic, cum este critica instituional, ajunge s fie recunoscut ca un gen al artei (autonome), el i pierde funcia sa anti-artistic i devine un promotor al instituiei pe care o critic - devine afirmativ prin intermediul caracterului su (acum compromis) de aspect critic. n acest sens raporturile dintre elementele autonome i cele dependente dintr-o oper de art snt cu adevrat dialectale: n anumite condiii specifice fiecare din ele se poate transforma n opusul su.

De exemplu Haidei s lum cteva exemple. One thing (Un lucru, 1965) de On Kawara (fig. 1) este un caz exemplar de art autonom i politic, n care elementul politic funcioneaz formal ca un element

anti-artistic din cadrul operei, menit mai degrab s-i asigure dect s-i nege autonomia. Lucrare crucial din punct de vedere formal, cu combinaia sa ntre monocromatism ca moment transgeneric sau postgeneric al actului picturii i forma cuvntului scris cu majuscule ca mimesis al autocriticii avangardei22, One Thing exploateaz posibilitile oferite de cadrul monocrom ca decor pentru sloganele pancartei i ale panoului - n triptic - ce urmresc s defineasc momentul su, 1965, din perspectiva unui singur subiect: escaladarea de ctre Statele Unite a rzboiului din Vietnam. Aici simplitatea ei declarativ (ONE THING 1965 - VIET-NAM) se dubleaz, ca declaraie politic i reducionism formal, iar data nsi, 1965, duce povara aniversar a propriei sale dublri politice: 6 august 1965 a nsemnat a douzecea aniversare a bombei de la Hiroshima. Aceast dublare - escaladarea bombardamentelor americane n Vietnam ca repetiie simbolic a Hiroshimei - e cea care singularizeaz evenimentul, transformndu-l exact n acel un lucru ce definete semnificaia politic a lui 1965. Pe de alt parte fiecare panou poate fi citit pur formal, ca o pictur cu cuvinte, negativ n sens imanent (graie semnificaiei sale lingvistice), dei acestea reproduc concomitent idealul modernist al autosuficienei formale a picturii nsi. (Aici avem un caz exemplar de conciliere reflexiv, n cadrul operei de art, a primelor dou periodizri ale contemporaneitii, menionate mai sus). n evoluia creaiei lui On Kawara, One Thing reprezint tranziia de la tipul de experiment formalist din Nothing, Something, Everything (Nimic, ceva, totul, 1964) - o schi n creion a lucrrii SOMETHING - la irul de picturi

de date (date paintings) cunoscut sub numele de seria Today (Azi), nceput n 4 ianuarie 1966 i care a continuat vreme de paisprezece ani, pn n decembrie 1979. Picturile de date calendaristice reproduc principiul din One Thing fiecare dat este simbolic pentru un eveniment anume -, dar la nivel cotidian, nu anual. Numai c, n vreme ce n One Thing evenimentul este prezentat n interiorul picturii (VIET-NAM), n picturile seriei Today nu este pictat dect data, n vreme ce acel one thing cruia i corespund evenimentele din acea zi, reprezentat de un ziar - o rmi deictic a zilei nsei -, este de obicei inclus n cutia care conine pnza pictat. n seria Today cu picturi de date ziarul fractureaz unitatea pictural a lucrrii cu mult mai mult pregnan dect semnele numerice i lingvistice din interiorul picturilor. Reducerea semnificaiei din interiorul picturii exclusiv la data calendaristic scoate n eviden principiul repetiiei, ce funciona doar pe ascuns n One Thing. Acel un lucru din 1965 era acelai lucru ca i n 1945: bombardarea populaiei civile din sud-estul Asiei de ctre armata Statelor Unite. n temporalitatea serial a picturilor de date lucrurile se schimb: repetiia de aici produce i, concomitent, neag semnificaia istoric, reducnd-o la simpla ei structur repetitiv. Semnificaia politic este risipit de-a lungul seriei de picturi, deoarece fiecare pictur, luat n parte, i extrage semnificaia n egal msur din ritmul temporal cruia i aparine (ceea ce se repet este structura simpl a cotidianului) i din specificitatea zilei respective. Astfel, seria de picturi Today este n principal o meditaie asupra temporalitii istorice a modernitii i asupra incapacitii picturii ca mijloc de comunicare de a face altce-

va dect s gesticuleze negativ la adresa reprezentrii modului de experien istoric implicat de ea: reducerea experienei istorice la un cotidian de tip jurnalistic. One Thing are o semnificaie mai clar individualizat. Este o oper de art autonom singularizat, cu valoare politic. Spre deosebire de aceasta, o alt lucrare despre rzboiul din Vietnam (i mpotriva lui), afiul celor de la Art Workers Coalition, litografia color Q. And Babies? A. And Babies (ntrebare: i copiii? Rspuns: i copiii, 1970, fig. 2), ni se prezint ca o oper de art politic i dependent. Funcia politic este momentul su dominant din cadrul logicii produciei. i totui ea pstreaz suficiente caliti formale i intelectuale legate de arta autonom a vremii sale pentru a se evidenia, n cadrele acestui gen de afi mediatic, ca oper de art produs n mas. Cea mai marcat din aceste caliti este montarea didactic a mesajului su, uciderea copiilor de ctre militarii Statelor Unite, care se deduce din imagine ca semnificaie esenial a sa, pe baza structurii simple, de tip ntrebare i rspuns, a textului supraimprimat. Structura imit att interogaia, ct i conferina de pres, incluznd astfel i o trimitere implicit la opusul ei, managementul informaiei - acea disimulare care este o condiie ideologic a statelor democratice implicate n desfurarea unui rzboi. n acelai timp, ea amintete i de catehism, forma dialogal a ritualului religios, adoptat pe parcursul secolului al xIx-lea de sectele politice revoluionare.23 ntr-un plan mai general, trimite la nivel formal nspre primele utilizri politice ale fotomontajului, adic n anii 1920 i 1930, n Uniunea Sovietic i Germania. Pe ansamblu, calitile lucrrii

Q. And Babies? i au sorgintea n procesul politic cruia i aparine - micarea de opoziie fa de rzboiul din Vietnam - i n istoria artei politice. S o comparm cu lucrarea lui Odd Nerdrum The Murder of Andreas Baader (Uciderea lui Andreas Baader, 1977-1978, fig. 3). Aceast pictur extraordinar ne ofer o mostr de politic sub form de coninut, o oper ce se orienteaz contient mpotriva cursului istoric natural al formei sale artistice. Ca i n alte di, lucrarea dobndete semnificaie politic prin repetiie istoric, dar de data aceasta graie utilizrii ca instrument a unei forme ce ine de istoria artei: evocarea exact n plan formal a reprezentrilor martiriului sfinilor, populare n secolul al xVII-lea. Mai ales Caravaggio pare s se bucure de o atenie special.24 Iar prin intermediul acestei perspective ce ine de istoria artelor, moartea lui Andreas Baader, unul din liderii Faciunii Armata Roie German (Rotte Armee Fraktion), n timpul deteniei sale n nchisoarea Stammheim (oficial fiind vorba de sinucidere) este monumentalizat i redat n chip eroic. Doar c, prin imitarea barocului, pictura se apropie periculos de mult de kitsch. Prin comparaie cu seria de reprezentri realizate ulterior de Gerhard Richter n cazul acelorai evenimente, 18 Oktober 1977 (fig. 4), pictura lui Nerdrum pare naiv att n plan politic, ct i artistic. Forma i coninutul se menin laolalt, n dauna ntregii complexiti istorice i politice existente, pn ntr-acolo nct extrag evenimentul - moartea lui Andreas Baader - din prezent i l transform ntrun prilej de propagand grosolan. i totui exact aceast lips de rafinament e cea care ofer un element izbvitor, cci i confer o latur anti-artistic (repetiia

artistic n plan istoric ca absen a contemporaneitii), iar acest fapt sprijin, paradoxal, transformarea sa ntr-o oper contemporan. Pe de alt parte, o lucrare ca Risk Game (2002, fig. 5) a lui Sigmar Polke continu s exploreze filonul readymade, n spiritul foto-picturilor lui Richter, lsnd determinarea structurii imaginilor n sarcina participanilor nii. Aici actul artistic este n principal unul de selecie (un model de pia al autonomiei ca opiune), unde nsi compunerea imaginii este internalizat practicii reprezentrii/comunicrii re-prezentate artistic. Totul se bazeaz pe un tip de auto-reprezentare a istoriei care i descoper forma arhetipal contemporan n imaginile cu agresarea prizonierilor irakieni de ctre trupele americane n nchisoarea de la Abu Ghraib (fig. 6 i 7). Pn acum am deteminat locul politicului n cadrul artei contemporane doar la nivelul structural foarte general al dialecticii autonomiei i dependenei. Numai c, dup cum arat i exemplele oferite, o semnificaie politic mai concret a acestor aspecte structurale (n primul rnd libertatea) depinde de dialectica individualitii i colectivitii ce se manifest n cadrele legii formei. (ii) Dialectica individualitii i colectivitii (sau criza concilierilor) Dialectica individualitii i colectivitii ce se manifest n cadrele legii formei n operele de art contemporan poate fi rezumat pe scurt dup cum urmeaz: 1) Individualitatea operei de art este reperul ontologic al autonomiei sale - producia autonom de semnificaie a aces-

teia (producia iluziei contiente de sine a unei producii autonome de semnificaie) - i baza constituirii sale n chip de enigm. Enigma const n faptul c, n cadrul produciei autonome de semnificaie, operele de art acioneaz asemenea subiecilor. Ele snt obiecte ce acioneaz ca nite subieci - subieci umani, subieci burghezi individuali -, a cror subiectivitate rmne astfel opac. Aa stnd lucrurile, ele atrag atenia asupra calitii de obiect - i, astfel, asupra opacitii subiecilor umani n sine, aadar i asupra iluziei constitutive a conceptului filosofic de subiect propriu-zis. Aceast transformare dialectic a obiectului ntrun subiect, care este opera de art, e nsoit n plan epistemologic de o tranformare dialectic paralel a subiectului uman ntr-un obiect, ceea ce creeaz subiectivitate opac n sine. 2) Totui semnificaia este colectiv. 3) Astfel, opera de art trebuie s i reconcilieze individualitatea ontologic cu colectivitatea semnificaiilor sale (poteniale). Iat care este funcia autolegiferatei legi a formei. Forma este forma de conciliere artistic a socialului la un ntreg ir de paliere, de la cel al materialelor artistice (incluznd aici tehnologiile de producie) pn la tehnicile i practicile de creaie. 4) Dac politica reprezint o form de constituire sau construcie activ a planului social, atunci aspectul politic al artei va consta aici n aspectul constructiv al formei, n construirea formei ca o conciliere. Iar aici apar alte ntrebri. De exemplu: care ar fi principalele forme de conciliere a individualitii operelor de art contemporan cu colectivitatea semnificaiilor lor i care snt denotaiile lor politice? Astfel de ntrebri snt compli-

cate de specificitatea formei sociale n societile capitaliste. Cci n societile capitaliste colectivitatea n sine este deja formal, este abstract i alienat, ca urmare a raporturilor de liber schimb i a formei mrfii de schimb. E cunoscut faptul c relaiile de liber schimb distrug semnificaiile colective acumulate istoric. Din acest punct de vedere planul socialului n sensul lui specific capitalist (opus comunalului) nu este o form colectiv n nici unul din sensurile pozitive relevante la nivel politic. Sociabilitatea capitalist (forma valorii/mrfii de schimb) produce indivizi care snt unii doar de alienarea reciproc a sociabilitii lor, ntr-un nou gen de raporturi de soiul celor categorisite de Kant drept sociabilitate asocial. n ciuda acestui fapt, respectivul individualism a furnizat totui n plan istoric modelul libertii; de aici apare caracterul politic central al libertarianismului - de toate nuanele - n societile capitaliste. i totui individualismul absolut distruge semnificaia. Iat contradicia ascuns n miezul a ceea ce Adorno numea nominalismul n cretere al artei moderne iar ea este, n esen, o criz a concilierilor. n Teoria estetic a lui Adorno nominalismul nu este o poziie filosofic abstract fa de statutul universaliilor, ci o afirmaie socio-istoric referitoare la declinul semnificaiei artistice a normelor estetice obiective. Nici un universal, scrie el, nu i mai este acordat sub form de tipuri, iar tipurile mai vechi snt luate de vrtej. Operele individuale snt silite s stabileasc raporturi cu universalitatea - inclusiv cu universalitatea artei n sine - n moduri noi. Aceast tendin ctre o interdicie asupra formelor predefinite este inerent concepiei mod[145]

erne asupra artei n sine, n cadrul particularizrii progresive din care se ivete concepia estetic a operei ca expresie a libertii individuale, n opoziie cu modelele subordonate de judecat. Oricum, odat ce principiul individuaiei devine o directiv - i astfel o nou form de universalitate abstract independent -, el amenin structura operei cu o reducere la materialele sale: nominalismul estetic eliberat... se ncheie ntr-o facticitate literal. Adorno prezint situaia ca pe un impas, o aporie istoric.25 Totui situaia implic mai mult micare dialectic dect o sugereaz formularea de mai sus. Cci dac arta modern vrea s fie sincer cnd respinge universaliile n numele libertii subiective, ea trebuie s resping i absolutizarea propriului ei nominalism inerent i s realizeze noi tipuri de relaii cu universaliile - att cu cele vechi, ct i cu cele noi. Dac arta contemporan are atta substan social nct s dea form antinomiei nominalismului estetic, dobndind form plecnd de la negarea ei, aceast necesitate nu trebuie s fie o simpl dialectic negativ. Ea pretinde mai degrab noi forme de conciliere. i adevrul e c aceasta a constituit pentru Adorno nsui importana istoric a ismelor, acele micri artistice programatice, contiente de sine i adesea colective, care la vremea lor n-au nlnuit ctui de puin forele productive individuale, ci mai degrab le-au stimulat... n parte graie colaborrii reciproce. i totui, n ciuda acestei funcii de conciliere eseniale, Adorno are o concepie predominant retrograd n privina ismelor, vznd n ele secularizarea colilor, ntr-o epoc ce condamna colile, considerndu-le tradiionaliste. Pentru Adorno un ism este o insul a unei

tradiii ce a fost distrus de principiul individuaiei.26 Cnd concepe colile ca fiind micri artistice programatice, contiente de sine i adesea colective, Adorno ignor importana tot mai mare dobndit din anii 1960 ncoace de ismele critice construite retrospectiv. Astfel de isme pstreaz structura nregistrrii principului individuaiei (graie faptului c au evoluat din interpretarea critic a operelor individuale) i, pe de alt parte, pe cea a evitrii schemei individuaiei absolute (graie formelor universalitii pe care le construiesc). Mai mult, n structura critic a artei contemporane mai exist nc o conciliere, una mai hotrtoare din punct de vedere ontologic: seria ca unitate fundamental a inteligibilitii n arta contemporan. n ncercarea sa de a scpa de universalitile substaniale ale genurilor i mediilor, arta contemporan i distribuie universalitile printre serii i ismuri critice. Dintr-o perspectiv istoric, formele predominante de conciliere critic ntre operele individuale i universalitatea artei ar putea fi schematizate dup cum urmeaz:

Fiecare din cele trei etape reprezint o form logic diferit de con-

ciliere: subsumarea, raportul parte-ntreg din fragmentul romantic, identitatea estetic, grupurile ca purttori speculativi ai noilor sociabiliti i unitile distributive. Cnd Sartre afirm, n Critica raiunii dialectice, c seria reprezint colectivitatea de indivizi cea mai fundamental ontologic, ideea, cu toate c e greit cnd e vorba de indivizi, este valabil n cazul operelor de art: prbuirea normelor obiective supune operele de art la regula seriilor. ... relaia structural a individului cu ceilali indivizi rmne complet nedeterminat n sine pn cnd se definete ansamblul circumstanelor materiale pe baza crora se stabilete relaia. n acest sens, opoziia dintre reciprocitate ca relaie de interioritate i izolarea organismelor ca relaie de exterioritate, care, n plan abstract, provoac o tensiune incert n rndul multiplicitilor, este n realitate depit i se combin ntr-un nou tip de relaie intern-extern prin aciunea unui cmp practico-inert care transform contradicia din mediul Celuilalt n serialitate. Pentru a nelege spaiul colectiv, trebuie s nelegem c acest obiect material [i.e. cmpul practico-inert] realizeaz unitatea ntreptrunderii indivizilor ca fiine-existente-n-lumea-din-afara-lor n msura n care structureaz relaiile lor [ca organisme practice] n conformitate cu noua regul a seriei. [...] O serie este un mod de existen al indivizilor att n relaiile dintre ei, ct i n relaie cu existena lor comun, iar acest mod de existen le transform structurile tuturor...27 n acest context opera oricrui artist individual dobndete o semnificaie exemplar ca o serie de serii sau o serie de individuaii mediate.

n condiiile unui nominalism estetic din ce n ce mai sporit, fiecare lucrare trebuie s creeze condiii pentru propria ei inteligibilitate. n absena unor forme sociale noi i nealienate de universalitate, seria este modul formal de construcie ce creeaz respectivele condiii. Aici slluiete libertarianismul structural al artei contemporane. Ca subieci ai liberului schimb din societile capitaliste, trim nuntrul i mpotriva seriei ca form social a raporturilor ntre indivizi. Opera de art reflect i re-prezint aceast form, care e forma unei dorine.

(O versiune anterioar a textului de fa a aprut n Verksted, nr. 8, ISMS: Recuperating Political Radicality in Contemporary Art (I), Office of Contemporary Art, Oslo, 2006.)

Note: 1. Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, trad. n englez de Howard Eiland i Kevin McLaughlin, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, i Londra, 1999, p. 465 (n. 4a, 2). 2. Occidentul este, desigur, mai degrab o categorie geopolitic constituit istoric dect una geografic. Ea fixeaz spaial un set de raporturi de fore ntre puterile euro-americane i restul, astfel c, n funcie de contextul istoric i politic, ajunge s reprezinte uniti spaiale diferite. De exemplu, pn de curnd el excludea Europa Rsritean - cu toate c aceasta face parte din Europa -, dar includea Japonia. Vezi aici Stuart Hall, The West-and-the-Rest: Discourse and Power, n Stuart Hall et al. (coord.), Modernity, Blackwell, Oxford, 1996, pp. 184-227, i Naoki Sakai, Dislocation of the West and the Status of the Humanities, n Naoki Sakai; Yukiko Hanawa (coord.), Traces 1: Specters of the West and the Politics of Translation, Traces, Ithaca, 2000, pp. 71-94. ncepnd cu anul 1989, a aprut tendina de a ncerca trasarea unei linii despritoare chiar prin interiorul aa-numitei Europe Rsritene, prin instituirea unei competiii de aliniere economico-ideologic, n vederea includerii n Occident. ntre timp Japonia mediteaz la beneficiile decuplrii, avnd n fa perspectiva apariiei unui nou bloc asiatic rsritean, ce scoate la iveal spectrul unei renvieri inverse (dirijate de chinezi) a ideii unei Mari Sfere Comune de Prosperitate n Asia Oriental, idee odinioar esenial pentru imaginarul geografic al fascismului japonez. 3. Vezi Peter Osborne, Radicalism and Philosophy, n Radical Philosophy, nr. 103/ septembrie-octombrie 2000, pp. 6-11; Modernisms and Mediations, n F. Halsall, J. Jansen, T. OConnor (coord.), Rediscovering Aesthetics: Transdisciplinary Voices from Art History, Philosophy and Art Practice, Stanford University Press, Stanford, pp. 163-177; i Modernism and Philosophy, n P. Brooker et al. (coord.), The Oxford Handbook on Modernism, Oxford University Press, Oxford, cap. 20, n curs de apariie n 2010. 4. Expoziiile fundamentale n cazul de fa au fost Cubismul i arta abstract din 1936, ce avea pe coperta catalogului faimosul grafic stilistic al lui Alfred H. Barr, cu toate curentele unificndu-se n doar dou linii principale (arta abstract geo[148]

metric i cea non-geometric). Urmtoarea revendicare de ctre Statele Unite a motenirii tradiiei europene (una explicit, de exemplu, la Greenberg) a fost, desigur, nu doar una naional, ci o revendicare mai ampl, ideologic, legat de plasarea Statelor Unite n fruntea lumii libere pe parcursul Rzboiului Rece. Vezi Serge Guilbaut, How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism, Freedom, and the Cold War, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1983. 5. Vezi istoria critic a sorginilor negaiei, ce acioneaz aici, n eseul Survey, Peter Osborne, Conceptual Art, Phaidon, Londra, 2002, pp. 12-51. 6. Vezi Peter Osborne, Art Beyond Aesthetics: Philosophical Criticism, Art History and Contemporary Art, n Art History, vol. 27, nr. 4/ septembrie 2004, pp. 651-670, republicat n Deborah Cherry (coord.), Art: History: Visual: Culture, Blackwell, Oxford, 2005, pp. 171-190. 7. Vezi Thomas Crow, The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent 1955-69, Everyman Art Library, Londra, 1996. 8. Originile acestei victorii se gsesc ntr-un alt 11 septembrie din trecut: 11 septembrie 1973, momentul asasinrii lui Allende, preedintele socialist al Republicii Chile, i ncredinarea economiei chileene n minile aa-numiilor biei din Chicago, grupul de economiti neoliberali strni n jurul lui Milton Friedman la University of Chicago. Vezi David Harvey, A Brief History of Neo-Liberalism, Oxford University Press, 2005. 9. Pentru efectele asupra Europei extinse, vezi Barbara Vanderlinden; Elena Filipovic (coord.), The Manifesta Decade: Debates on Contemporary Art Exhibitions and Biennals in Post-Wall Europe, Roomade/MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2005. Pentru o ncercare timpurie de cercetare documentat asupra artei esteuropene de dup 1989, vezi Irwin (coord.), East Art Map: Contemporary Art and Eastern Europe, Afterall Books, Londra, 2006. 10. Peter Brger, Theory of the Avant-Garde, trad. n englez de Michael Shaw, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1984. 11. Vezi Peter Osborne, The Power of Assembly: Art, World, Industry, n Zones of Contact: Catalogue of the 2006 Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, 2006. 12. Theodor W. Adorno, Aesthetic Theory (1970), trad. n englez de Robert Hullot-Kentor,

University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1997, p. 24. 13. Cf. Alfred Schmidt, History and Structure: An Essay on Hegelian-Marxist and Structuralist Theories of History (1971), trad. n englez de Jefffrey Herf, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, i Londra, 1981, care identific necesitatea unei negaii decise a negaiei structuraliste a istoriei (p. 108). 14. Conceptul acesta de proces ontologic al devenirilor i ntreruperilor devenirii trebuie s fie difereniat de devenirile generice ale teritorializrilor, deteritorializrilor i reteritorializrilor ciclice ale lui Deleuze i Guattari, care au loc pe un singur plan ontologic, caracterizat prin repetiie, aadar i dobndesc determinaia doar empiric i retrospectiv. Astfel, teoretizrii lor i lipsete determinaia n dimensiunea planului viitorului, n principiu. 15. Cuvntul determinare (determination) poate genera confuzii att n discursul teoretic elaborat n englez, ct i n cel transpus n romn, deoarece istoria utilizrii sale trimite la un proces cauzal. Eu l folosesc aici n sensul filosofic existent la echivalentul su german (Bestimmung), n tradiia filosofic idealist, referindu-m la un proces prin care ceva dobndete o determinare conceptual ori semantic (i.e. dobndete particularizare). Incapacitatea de a face diferena ntre cele dou sensuri a dat natere unui lung ir de confuzii n raporturile dintre aceste dou tradiii. De exemplu, sensul pe care l folosesc eu e cel utilizat de Hegel cnd scria, n prefaa la ediia a doua de la Encyclopedia (1827), nu numai c aici cititorul va descoperi c multe pri ale crii ofer determinri (Bestimmungen) mult mai detaliate, ci i c noua ediie are aceeai menire (dieselbe Bestimmung) ca i cea anterioar - v. G.W.F. Hegel, The Encyclopedia Logic, trad. n englez de T.F. Geraets, W.A. Suchting, i H.S. Harris, Hackett, Indianapolis/Cambridge, 1991, p. 4. ntr-un sens similar, Marx scrie n Introducerea sa la Grundrisse (1857) despre concret ca fiind, din punct de vedere metodologic, un rezultat: concentrarea mai multor determinri i astfel unitatea diversitii - n Karl Marx, Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Rough Draft), trad. din englez de Martin Nicholas, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1973, p.101. 16. Va urma aici o concepie asupra operei de art ce i are originile, n linii mari, la Adorno, n

Aesthetic Theory (Teoria estetic, 1970), citit prin filtrul istoriei artei vizuale din 1960 ncoace n general cam n acelai fel n care Teoria estetic vehiculeaz teoria anterioar a lui Walter Benjamin asupra operei de art prin intermediul istoriei modernismului (n principal a modernismului n muzic i literatur). 17. Adorno, Aesthetic Theory, p. 225. 18. Ibid., p. 226. 19. Herbert Marcuse, The Affirmative Character of Culture (1937), n Negations: Essays in Critical Theory, Beacon Press, Boston, 1968, pp. 88-133. Pentru felul consecvent, dar cu modificri critice, n care adopt Adorno aceast poziie (teza sa impune o investigaie asupra operei de art individuale) vezi Aesthetic Theory, p. 252. 20. Vezi Stewart Martin, Autonomy and Anti-Art: Adornos Concept of Avant-garde Art, n Constellations, vol. 7, nr. 2, pp. 197-207. 21. Thierry de Duve, The Readymade and the Tube of Paint, n Kant After Duchamp, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, i Londra, 1996, cap. 3. 22. Jeff Wall, Monochrome and Photojournalism in On Kawaras Today Paintings, n Lynne Cooke, Karen Kelly (coord.), Robert Lehman Lectures on Contemporary Art, Dia Center for the Arts, New York, 1996, pp. 135-157, p. 152 - Wall nsui aplic aceast descriere mai degrab la seria de picturi Today (Astzi) dect la lucrarea anterioar, One Thing. 23. Aceasta a fost una din componentele formale a Manifestului comunist al lui Marx i Engels. Vezi Peter Osborne, Remember the Future? The Communist Manifesto as Cultural-Historical Form, n Philosophy in Cultural Theory, Routledge, Londra i New York, 2000, pp. 63-77. 24. n lucrarea n discuie par s fie evocate att Martiriul Sfntului Matei (biserica San Luigi dei Francesi din Roma), ct i Crucificarea Sfntului Petru (biserica Santa Maria del Popolo din Roma), ambele de Caravaggio - dar i alte surse anterioare. 25. Aesthetic Theory, pp. 199-201, 219-220 (ediia n englez). 26. Ibid., pp. 222, 224-225. 27. Jean-Paul Sartre, Critique of Dialectic Reason, Volume 1: Theory of Practical Ensembles (1960), trad. n englez de Alan Sheridan-Smith, Verso, Londra i New York, 1976, pp. 255-256, 266.

Aesthetic realism, fictional documents and subjectivation. Alexander Medwedkin. The Medwedkin Groups. Chris Marker

by Maria Muhle


In a well-known discussion between Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze from 1972 on the relationship between intellectuals and power, Foucault states that the intellectuals traditional task has been at once to say the truth to those who didnt see it yet and in the name of those who were not able to say it.1 Consequently conscience and eloquence were the traditional characteristics of the politicized intellectual. Against this characterization, Foucault argues that a change has happened in the latest resurgence: the intellectuals realize that the masses can do without them and still be knowledgeable: the masses know perfectly well whats going on, it is perfectly clear to them, they even know better than the intellectuals do, and they say so convincingly enough.2 Yet this political knowledge and discourse of the masses is con-fronted with a system of power that permeates the whole network of society and whose aim is to bar, prohibit, invali[151]


date their discourse and their knowledge.3 The traditional figure of the intellectual as agent of consciousness and discourse is, following Foucault, an element of this system of power. Consequently, he concludes, the role of the intellectual is no longer to situate himself slightly ahead or slightly to one side so he may speak the silent truth of each and all; it is rather to struggle against those forms of power where he is both instrument and object in the order of knowledge, truth, consciousness, and discourse.4 This is why, argues Foucault, theory does not express, translate or apply a praxis, but is itself a praxis, a local and regional, non-totalizing praxis. It is thus no longer a matter of struggle for a prise de conscience, but a struggle to undermine and take power side by side with those who are fighting.5 In what follows, Deleuze gives Foucault the credit of having been the first one to take the indignity of speaking for others seriously: What I mean is, we laughed at representation, saying it was over, but we didnt follow this theoretical conver-sion through namely, theory demanded that those involved finally have their say from a practical standpoint.6 As an example to this, Foucault brings up their work with the G.I.P. and the specificity of the prise de parole of the prisoners: When the prisoners began to speak, they had their own theory of prison, punishment, and justice. What really matters is this kind of discourse against power, the counter-discourse expressed by prisoners [], and not a discourse on criminality.7

1. Post-mimetic Representation The possibility of counter-discourses outlined by Foucault is thus the consequence of the fact that, as Deleuze has put it, representation was over. Nevertheless this does not mean, as I would like to show, the end of representation as such, but the end of a specific hierarchy of representation and the subsequent availability of a certain documentary style realism to fic-tionalizations and stylizations. What is at stake is thus the suspension of the sorted relation between the represented reality or individuals and the images or words meant to represent them. This disrupting of the normative order of representation is twofold: it refers on the one hand to the end of the legitimacy of a critical discourse on a specific socially relevant situa-tion, relying on the existence of a transcendent figure of an erudite or knowledgeable activist intellectual; and it highlights on the other hand a rupture with a specific hierarchical disposi-tion of representation in the field of the aesthetics. The latter gives way to what I would like to call an aesthetic realism: a representation beyond the traditional hierarchies of represen-tation that define what can be said in which register and by whom. The emancipation from the normative mimetic imperative entails a new politics of description that deposes the primacy of the narration of the great events over the description of the ordinary in its arbitrariness (and thus is inscribed in a biopolitical paradigm). Through the rupture with mimetic faithfulness, realist description becomes available to different forms of fictionalization and stylization and breaks with the strict separation between the fictional and the

documentary logic. It thus dis-covers an aesthetic or excessive power of signification in the things themselves, as well as the literarity of language as its anarchic potentiality of the connection of the sensible (les sens) to signification (le sens), that blurs the univocal and harmonious distribution of places and spaces according to capacities and actions. What is at stake in the forms of aesthetic real-ism is thus the constitution of a political stage, i.e. a stage or space of appearance for bodies to be seen and discourses to be heard. This construction of a new political stage is strictly opposed to the assumption of a binary division between those who have knowledge and thus are conscious of their conditions and those who have neither knowledge nor consciousness, and depend therefore on the transmis-sion of knowledge and the unveiling of the ideological structures their life is entrapped in. The political action can not aim at illuminating those who dont know or occupying the speakers position to represent them, but at constructing a place of sensible appearance for those who traditionally, that is naturally, are not to be part of public life and thus of the con-struction of the common. This is what Jacques Rancire has characterised in terms of a distri-bution or redistribution of the sensible, i.e. of the common spatial and temporal conditions that permit or bar the active partaking in the construction of a common. For Rancire, this political redistribution of the places, voices and times relies on the actualization of what he calls an axiomatic equality: the equality of intelligences that remains the more intempes-tive thought that one can nourish on social order. 8 In The

Disagreement, Rancire refers to this gesture as a figure of subjectivation which he understands as a disidentification, a re-moval from the naturalness of a place, the opening up of a subject space where anyone can be counted since it is the space where those of no account are counted, where a connection is made between having a part and having no part.9 The opposite of subjectivation is thus iden-tification, that is, the police activity of assigning every body its natural place and function. To corrode the implementation of this natural order, the subjectivation repartitions the field of experience that gave to each other their identity with their lot.10 Politics is thought of as the historical aprioristic conditions of the perceptible organization of the common - that is, as a space of appearance, a stage where a discourse and a visibility are possible - a stage that the police logic of inequality aims to prevent. This notion of politics correlates to an aesthetic that I would like to spell out in the terms of an aesthetic realism. This is to be understood as a form of realism that is not defined by the imperative of mimetic representation or resemblance, but by a new politics of representa-tion whose precondition is the assumption of the end of the hierarchies of representation (in Rancires terms), or the end of the rule of the separation of styles (Stiltrennungsregel), following Erich Auerbach in his book Mimesis. This rule states that the realist description of the everyday is incompatible with the sublime or serious representation, and only finds its place in the comical, at best, when it is accurately stylized, in the idyllic.11 This debate is decisive for the aestheticalpolitical question of representation inso[153]


far as Auerbach, in the first chapter of Mimesis, lays out two perspectives on realist depiction, what he calls the Homeric realism and the realist descriptions in the Old Testament. While none of them falls strictly under the rule of separation of styles that will become clear in Greek tragedy and prevail, ac-cording to Auerbach, until the 19th century, the Homeric realism already contains its devel-opment, and the Old Testament announces its ruin. Even though the realist description of the everyday has a place in the Homeric poem, it does not bear any meaning or impact: it only serves as a contrast for the great and sublime events that take place exclusively among the heroic characters. The Homeric realism remains in a mostly idyllic and peaceful, and thus inoffensive register and does not threaten the division between the great events and the insignificant everyday. By contrast, the descriptions of the Old Testament prefigure the rupture with the hierarchies of representation, since the sublime, tragic and problematic is configured in the everyday and saturates it with conflicts and meaning. Aesthetic realism thus means two things: the possibility of describing anything, the ordinary in its arbitrariness, which relies on the rupture of the hierarchies of representation, and the meaningfulness of the anonymous, the poetic truth that is to be found in the everyday. In the aesthetic realism everything is representable and every detail is meaningful, anything is accessible to anyone, and the aesthetic conventions such as the division of styles or genres are abolished. Or as Rancire writes: There are no longer appropriate subjects for art. As Flaubert puts it,

Yvetot is as good as Constantinople and the adulteries of a farmers daugh-ter are as good as those of Theseus, Oedipus or Clytemnestra.11 There are no longer rules of appropriateness between a particular subject and a particular form, but a general availability of all subjects for any artistic form whatsoever12. The forms of aesthetic realism thus define a specific politics of description that on the one hand is a neutral, documentary description of the everyday that however does not feature any explicative or psychological moments and that on the other hand suspends the traditional separation between fiction and fact, fictional and documentary logic and is thus available for stylizations and fictionalizations. In the following, I would like to have a closer look at this twofold logic through by consider-ing the continuities and discontinuities between two films: Chris Markers A bientt, jespre from 196768 that is inscribed in the traditional separation between fiction and documentary and features a documentary style that relies on the explicative voice-over of the filmmaker, on the one hand, and Classe de lutte from 1968, a collective film project by the Medwedkin Group constituted by the workers of Besanon that interrupts this position of the filmmaker as author and the subsequent objectivation of the workers.

production plant of Rhodiacta, a textile branch of Rhne-Poulenc in Be-sanon capitale de lhorlogerie. In collaboration with Mario Marret and the workers of Rhodiacta, Marker produced the film A bientt, jespre, which documents the ongoing so-cial movements. The film comments on the strike in February and March 1967 at Rhodiacta that was being ignored by the general media. It specifies the fact that it is the first occupation of a factory since 1936; it comments on its extended duration: it lasted for 26 days from Feb. 25th to Mar. 24th 1967; and the fact that it spread quickly to other units of the firm. Nonethe-less A bientt jespre presents this strike not as a singular event, but as part of a long list of social movements and strikes, that can not be understood as an adding up of victories and defeats but as different steps in a struggle (des tapes dune lutte). The film thus starts and ends with the documentation of another, less successful strike at the end of that same year. Besides these accounts, which are articulated through a rather traditional documentary style, the central interest of Marker and his film is to create a portrait of the small group of militant union activists. What the film mainly does is to give a description of their lives by listening to them, by following their discussions, their political engagement as much as their family life. The opening scene is at once emblematic for the documentary style adopted by Marker and the film-ouvrier, the workers film, for which A bientt jespre is one of the first exam-ples. We see one of the main actors of the social movement and of the film, Georges Mauri-vard, also known as Yoyo, union activist and worker

2. A new culture In March 1967, Pol Cbe and other members of the Centre Culturel Populaire de Palente-les-Orchamps (CCPPO) invited the Parisian filmmaker Chris Marker to follow the strike and the occupation of the

at the Rhodiacta, in front of the factory gates, trying to gather his co-workers to inform them about the dismissal of 92 workers in Lyon. It is a few days before Christmas, as the voice-over informs us, and thus months after the occupation and successful strike in February and March. The camera shows the workers leaving the factory (and gathering around the speaker) and so inevitably refers to the first scene ever shot in the history of cinema - The Workers leaving the factory by the Lumire brothers, a 45 secondsequence depicting workers at the photography factory in Lyon owned by the brothers themselves, hurrying out of the factory gates for lunch time. The beginning of Markers film thus comments at once on the construction of a political space and on a me-diatic event, i.e. the birth of cinema. Harun Farocki in his documentary essay of the same title from 1995 picks up on this double aspect, when he analyzes the place in front of the factory gates as the place, where the workers become visible as a social group, before they disperse into the invisibility of their private lifes outside the factory walls. Farocki follows this visibil-ity both throughout archive material and images from classical movies - from Chaplins Modern Times to Langs Metropolis and Pasolinis Accatone - in order to construct the fic-tional image of a space, where social conflict unfolds paradigmatically, insofar as private and public times and spaces collide and their difference fade.13 Marker, in 1967, also chooses the factory gates as the starting point for his film, and relates this location to the very emergence of a political culture. He does so by documenting the events, by interview[155]

ing the main characters of the social movement, by giving background and practical information about the factory as well as about the threat of massive dismissals that hover over the workers. The voice-over gives the necessary clues to understand the strike and by doing so inscribes the film in a classical documentary paradigm, where the documen-tary images reflect reality and the voice-over explains this reality by situating it politically and historically. The traditional use of interviews also remains in this paradigm when the work-ers answer Markers questions and give explanations of their situation and their way into mili-tancy to the filmmaker and the potential viewer. But this documentary dispositive featuring, even unintentionally, the figure of the filmmaker as author is disrupted throughout the movie by another tendency that abandons, in a figurative sense, the camera and the technical features to the workers themselves. In these moments, the filmmaker seems to become immanent to the filmed reality, and a discussion between him, the technicians and the workers emerges that takes the place of the interview and blurs the boundaries between those that represent and the represented: the camera has stopped to be perceived as technical medium that produces a binary division, and has become sort of an interlocutor. Also the use of the voice-over as a necessarily transcendent dispositive is di-verted from the classical setting when Markers voice is replaced by the workers and activ-ists own voices commenting on and explaining their own images.14 The whole movie is thus inhabited by a specific oscillation between a classical use of documentary skills, and the ad-mission of the need to break with the hierarchies

inscribed in these skills. From the beginning on, we can this differentiate between several documentary strategies that co-exist within the film: a. An interview in which Yoyo answers Markers question about how he felt when, for the first time, he climbed onto a barrel and spoke out to the other workers (the film begins with a similar scene, not from March but from December). The interview follows the traditional exchange of questions and answers. b. Then Markers voice occupies the stage and comments on the images of March 1967, highlighting the originality of the strike, its length, one month, its form, the occupation, and above all, the idea, that has been continually taken up again, that the imbalance in the working conditions translates into an imbalance in life in its totality, which could not be compensated by a salary increase. Cor-respondingly, the aim of the strike is not the integration into the society of welfare but the questioning of this very form of society and civilization. That explains why its tangible result is not first of all the increase in salaries but the education of a whole new generation of workers through social conflict. c. Then the voice-over switches back to Yoyos voice ex-plaining the solidarity that springs up between the workers, the construction of a community, the integration of the workers in the support committees, in the functioning of the library and poses the question of culture as a political question. A banner shows the claims of the CCPPO: bread for everybody, as well as freedom, laughter, theatre, life. d. In the following sequence Pol Cbe states that the right for culture is a politi-

cal claim exactly in the same manner as the right for bread or the right for housing, even though the employers are not afraid to spell out the word culture whereas they are afraid to mention the word politics or the workers union.15 What he leaves without saying but is part of the subtext is that the employ-ers disregard for culture constitutes a breach in the logic of domination, since culture, in this new definition proposed by the CCPPO, fundamentally relates to the distribution of places and roles in the common. Culture has not to be understood in the Adornian sense as cultural industry or the access to mass information or entertainment; on the contrary, by claiming the right to culture, the worker claims a political right, a right to occupy a position that naturally does not belong to him, the right to spend his time without working, with something that is not in any way connected to work or to the reproduction of his labour force - the right to waste his time. It thus constitutes a dissolution of the traditional distribution of capacities regarding the social occupation and place: it destabilizes the distribution of the hierarchies between the creative and the non-creative, between the active and the passive and crystallizes in the appropriation by the workers of their own representation through a form of description that abandons explanation. The final sequence of A bientt jespre can be read as the summary of this oscillation that runs through the whole film between the will to produce knowledge and distribute informa-tion about the struggle of the working class in Besanon, and the will not to adopt a transcen-dent position in relation to the events. Following the Foucauldian

approach, Marker tries to lead a struggle side by side with those who are fighting and not off the side trying to en-lighten them16. But still, there is a necessary imbalance between the filmmaker and those who are filmed that Marker can not escape. In the finishing statement Yoyo addresses both of these issues: the traditional political or even pragmatic problem of the access to the media as a form of mass communication, and their politics of misinformation regarding the working class; but also and more importantly the need for self-representation of the workers as part of the working class constituted through its struggle, its solidarity and its community. This self-representation is not only articulated through the actual strikes but also through a new politics of description, an auto-description of the workers themselves. This specific form of descrip-tion is what Yoyo defines, with a hesitating smile, as culture: The film ends where it starts, in December 67, a few days before Christmas: This time the call for the strike has only been followed by a few workers and none of the employees of the plant have been in solidarity to the strikers. Cest fini - this strike has been a failure, but still, it has not been a defeat for the working class. Since what we call defeats and victories only underlines the very existence of the social movement, and the young union activists continue to learn. They learn that a solidarity between the workers exists; they learn that there is a working class that has a power, a form of power impossible to grasp or to understand for the employers. One issue at stake is, as already mentioned, the access to the circuits of information and mass media, and the neces-sity to let the people know the truth about the working class, which is not

the one presented by France Dimanche or Ici Paris. But the other, somehow more fundamental issue, is pre-sented by Yoyo with a hesitating smile, when he calls the solidarity of the working class a culture: Ce nest pas de la culture a?. This working class culture of solidarity and community, by definition unknown to the employers and factory owners, constitutes their power and will cause their victory in the social struggle against inequality and exploitation. What Yoyo announces here is the redefinition of the word culture in order to make it a mili-tant word, one that describes the struggle of the working class. This is being accomplished in the shift between the two movies. From here on, culture is understood as the questioning of the naturalness of things and their distribution, culture refers to the excess of words and images that destabilizes the apparent natural order of domination.

3. The Logic of Auto-description Nevertheless, bientt jespre, when it was shown for the first time in the factory, was fiercely criticized by the workers themselves, who felt exploited and objectified by people that were supposed to fight this very exploitation. Out of this critique, recorded as an audio document ironically entitled La Charnire, grew the idea of the workers of the Rhodiacta of not only participating in the films as their object but of creating and exhibiting images by the workers for the workers realizing thus a form of disidentification that could not be as easily reduced to an objectification. They thus founded the Medwedkin Group in Besanon and went on to make the film Classe de Lutte. In

the following, I would like to explore the conti-nuities but also the differences between Markers film and the Medwedkin Groups film around the central issue of the theoretical and practical claim for a right to culture which has to be understood not as the access to mass information or entertainment but on the con-trary as a political right. And it is a political right insofar its actualization implies a dissolu-tion of the traditional distribution of the social occupations and places: It destabilizes the dis-tribution of the hierarchies between the creative and the non-creative, between the active and the passive, and crystallizes in the appropriation by the workers of their own representation through a form of description that abandons explanation. It thus refers back to a right to lei-sure in the sense of free, non-reproductive time: The right to waste time and to be un-determined as Theodor W. Adorno puts it: Rien faire comme une bte, auf dem Wasser liegen und friedlich in den Himmel schauen, sein, sonst nichts, ohne alle weitere Bestim-mung und Erfllung.18 Classe de Lutte features this new culture, understood as the questioning of the naturalness of things and their distribution. Culture refers to the excess of words and images that destabi-lizes the apparent natural order of domination. In this sense the passing over of the technical support, i.e. of the camera, the cutting tables or the lighting from the hands of the militant filmmakers to the hands of the filmmaking workers is to be understood as a political gesture, as a gesture of militancy and of subjectivation in the Rancirian sense, that is, as a gesture of disidentification: The camera follows a young woman, Suzanne Zedet, a worker

in the Yma watch-making factory who has already appeared in bientt jespre, but only now has come to emancipate herself both as a militant activist and as a woman. While in the 1967 film her husband was literally speaking for her, she has now become an active participant within the social movements at Yma. On the one hand, the collage of images mixes private and public scenes and spaces, factory and family life, suggesting the difficulty in separating the two realms. On the other, it is made out of images of the production and distribution of images: The technical support invades the framing and is exposed in the film, and thus refers, in a Brechtian way, to the artificiality of the actual situation. A banner on the wall of what seems to be the film studio underlines that film is not magic, that it is a technique in the service of the liberation of the workers. Following the figure of Suzanne the film shows the develop-ment of a militant culture understood as the self-description of the working class through the production of their counter-discourses and their counterimages.19 This also has consequences for a reflection on the film as a medium, which is no longer un-derstood as a medium of representation (not even documentary representation), but as an in-strument that promotes the struggle of the workers not by being a medium of communication but by rendering unstable the effective partitions and distributions. This argument is taken up again at the very end of the film in a less striking but not less effective manner: Suzanne, whose story the film has told us, abandons her identity as a militant worker, and instead gives detailed and erudite statements

about Picasso and modern art, i.e. she disidenti-fies herself with her role as a militant worker, that the film has constructed until then, and adopts the role of the art critic, which should naturally - i.e. in her natural role as a woman and a worker - not be accessible to her. The shift from A bientt jespre to Classe de lutte is also remarkably led by a change in the filmic language, which stops using the traditional documentary features such as the interview or the voice-over, and by doing so develops in Classe de lutte what was already present though not fully accomplished in Markers film: Even though A bientt jespre is an instru-ment of description of the ordinary and thus a rupture with the hierarchies of representation, Markers arrangement of images is still subjected to a logic of explanation that necessarily produces a discourse about the working class. On the contrary, the Medwedkin Group uses the film as an instrument of auto-description of the working class by the working class, as an instrument of the constitution of their culture. The film is thus neither a commentary on the workers struggles or their emancipation nor an explanation of its inner mechanisms or an exercise of contextualization. It doesnt follow an explanatory logic, but strings together self-reflecting images on the production of images and images that describe Suzannes life as a militant working woman. Nevertheless this new con-struction of Suzannes identity is itself undermined both in form and content: Through the fictional dimension that is reflected throughout the movements of the camera, the images, the music and the presentation of Suzanne

as the main character of her own story; and through Suzannes disidentifying move, switching from the working woman to the militant worker and from there to the art critic. This way, the disidentifying gesture of the workers, who take the filming in their own hands, is reflected in the film itself. The production of an identity, that the film documents in a first step, is undermined precisely because Classe de Lutte - in opposition to bientt jespre - does not represent a specific situation and its explanation; on the contrary, through the exposition of representation as representation and the possibility of redistributing spaces and times, Classe de Lutte points at a situation always potentially dif-ferent to the current one. Classe de lutte thus tells the story of Suzanne by arranging images, music and voices that speak for themselves and unfold their own signification, without following an explicative logic. The film and its images do not comment on or give reasons for the emancipation of the working class; instead, their very existence is a movement of subjectivation understood as Suzannes disidentification with the role of a working, speechless and thus both unrepre-sentable and inactive woman. Classe de Lutte constitutes a new political stage understood as the realization of the collapse of a certain normative distribution of the roles and places within the sensible by which the workers work, the intellectuals think and the filmmakers make films. The film also avoids any transcendent voice, and thus participates in the new culture or politics of self-description that breaks both with the hierarchies of traditional narrative repre-sentation and the traditional position of the intellectual speaking for others.

It is thus a form of aesthetic realism since aesthetic realism understood as an immanent repre-sentation does not aim at being a better representation, but at the collapsing of the hierar-chies of representation. Therefore it maintains the uncertainty of the distinction between documentary and fictional representation. The forms of aesthetic realism, as post-representative forms, do not show a reality as it really is, but rather refer to the impossibil-ity of doing so. However, this impossibility does not give way to the end of representation, but to a new politics of representation: to an aesthetic, i.e. post-representative politics of rep-resentation. The challenge of the notion of aesthetic realism therefore is that it points to both the impossible existence of an objective image and of an objective reality: Because reality and images are always negotiated and configured anew in the struggle between different strategies of distribution of roles and spaces or of different partitions of the sensible.

1. Michel Foucault/Gilles Deleuze: Les Intellectuels et le pouvoir, Dits et Ecrits I, p. 1176 (not translated in the English version). 2. Michel Foucault/ Gilles Deleuze: Intellectuals and power, in: Gilles Deleuze: Desert Islands and other texts, New York: Semiotext(e) 2004, p. 207. 3. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid., p. 208. 6. Ibid. 7. Ibid. 8. Jacques Rancire, La parole ouvrire, Paris, La Fabrique 2007. 9. Jacques Rancire, The Disagreement, University of Minnesota Press, p. 36. 10. Ibid., p. 40. 11.Erich Auerbach, Mimesis. Dargestellte Wirklichkeit in der abendlndischen Literatur, Tbingen/Basel: Francke Verlag 2001, p. 25. (English edition: Mimesis. The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, Princeton University Press 2003.) 12. Jacques Rancire, Are some things representable ?, in: The Future of the image, Verso 2007, p. 118. 13. Harun Farocki: Arbeiter verlassen die Fabrik (D 1995). 14. Bill Nichols speaks in this context of a Voice-of-God commentary, that characterizes the expository docu-mentary. This moralizing trait will then disappear in the observational documentary that seems to adopt thanks to mobile and unremarkable cameras and technical equipment - a neutral observer position. Both are opposed to the interactive and reflexive documentary whose aim is to make the conventions of representation themselves more apparent and to challenge the impression of reality which the other three modes normally conveyed un-problematically. (Bill Nichols, Representing Reality, Indiana University Press 1991, p. 33.) 15. Chris Marker: A bientt jespre (F 1967/1968), [338-620]. 16. Michel Foucault/Gilles Deleuze: Intellectuals and power, op.cit., p. 207. 17. Chris Marker: A bientt jespre (F

1967/1968), [4150-4404]. 18. Theodor W. Adorno, Sur leau in: Theodor W. Adorno, Minima Moralia. Reflexionen aus dem beschdigten Leben, Suhrkamp 1969, p. 208. 19. Groupe Medvedkine de Besanon: Classe de Lutte (F 1968), [010-307].


Realism estetic, documente ficionale i subiectivare. Alexander Medwekin. Grupurile Medwedkin. Chris Marker

de Maria Muhle

ntr-un dialog faimos dintre Michel Foucault i Gilles Deleuze asupra raportului dintre intelectuali i putere, dialog desfurat n 1972, Foucault afirm c odinioar sarcina tradiional a intelectualului era s le spun adevrul celor care nu l nelegeau nc i n numele celor care nu puteau s-l spun.1 Prin urmare, contiina i elocvena constituiau caracteristicile tradiionale ale intelectualului politizat. Foucault se opune acestei caracterizri i susine c recenta renatere a provocat o schimbare: intelectualii neleg c masele se pot descurca i fr ei, rmnnd totui bine informate. Masele pricep foarte bine ce se ntmpl, totul le e foarte clar, ba chiar neleg mai bine dect intelectualii i vorbesc suficient de convingtor.2 i totui priceperea politic i discursul maselor se confrunt cu un sistem de putere care strbate ntreaga reea a societii i al crui el este s blocheze, s interzic i s invalideze discursul i cunotinele lor3. Imaginea tradiional a intelectualului ca reprezentant al contiinei i al discursului este, dup Foucault, un element al acestui sistem de putere. Prin urmare, el conchide c rolul intelectualului nu mai este acela de a se plasa un pic n fa sau un pic

pe margine, astfel nct s poat rosti adevrul tcut al tuturor celorlali, ci e mai degrab acela de a lupta mpotriva acelor forme de putere n cadrul crora el este att instrument, ct i obiect din perspectiva cunoaterii, a adevrului, a contiinei i a discursului4. Foucault susine c din acest motiv teoria nu exprim, traduce sau aplic o practic, ci este ea nsi o practic, o practic local i regional, una netotalizatoare. Astfel ea nu mai reprezint un motiv de lupt pentru un prise de conscience, ci o btlie pentru subminare i pentru preluarea puterii, purtat cot la cot cu cei care lupt5. n rndurile urmtoare Deleuze i recunoate lui Foucault meritul de a fi fost primul care a luat n serios ruinea de a vorbi n numele altora: Vreau s spun c noi ne bteam joc de reprezentare, spuneam c s-a terminat cu ea, dar nu urmream pn la capt aceast transformare teoretic - adic faptul c teoria cerea ca i cei implicai si poat exprima opinia dintr-o perspectiv practic6. Drept exemplu, Foucault amintete de munca lor cu cei de la G.I.P. i specificitatea acelui prise de parole al deinuilor: Atunci cnd deinuii ncep s vorbeasc, ei au propria lor teorie despre nchisoare, pedeaps i justiie. Ceea ce conteaz cu adevrat este acest gen de discurs mpotriva puterii, contra-discursul prezentat de deinui [...] i nu discursul asupra infracionalitii7.

1. Reprezentarea post-mimetic Posibilitatea existenei contradiscursului evideniat de Foucault este, aadar, consecina faptului c, dup cum a spus Deleuze, s-a terminat cu reprezentarea. Totui, dup cum o s art aici, asta nu nseamn sfritul reprezen-

trii n sine, ci sfritul unei ierarhii specifice a reprezentrii i, ca o consecin, a disponibilitii pe care o arat un anumit realism de tip documentar fa de ficionalizri i stilizri. Aadar, ceea ce ne intereseaz pe noi este suspendarea relaiei ordonate dintre realitatea sau indivizii reprezentai i imaginile sau cuvintele destinate s i reprezinte. Aceast fracturare a ordinii normative a reprezentrii are o valoare dubl: pe de o parte se refer la sfritul legitimitii unui discurs critic asupra unei situaii specifice, relevant social, ce se bazeaz pe existena figurii transcendente a unui erudit sau a unui intelectual i activist bine informat, iar pe de alt parte evideniaz o ruptur cu o anumit tendin ierarhic specific reprezentrii, manifest n cmpul esteticii. A doua trstur permite apariia a ceea ce mi place s numesc realism estetic: o reprezentare n afara ierarhiilor tradiionale ale reprezentrii, care stabilesc ce se poate spune, n ce registru i de ctre cine. Eliberarea de imperativul mimetic normativ implic o nou tactic a descrierii, care nlocuiete primatul naraiunii evenimentelor majore cu descrierea banalului n arbitraritatea sa (i astfel se nscrie ntr-o paradigm biopolitic). n urma desprinderii de fidelitatea mimetic, descrierea realist ajunge s accepte diverse forme de ficionalizare i stilizare i las n urm separarea strict ntre logica ficional i cea documentar. Astfel ea descoper o putere a semnificaiei estetice sau excesive n lucrurile n sine, dar i literaritatea limbajului ca potenialitate an-arhic a conexiunii simirii (les sens) cu semnificaia (le sens), ceea ce disperseaz distribuia univoc i armonioas a locurilor i spaiilor n conformitate cu aptitudinile i aciunile. Aadar, miza formelor realismului estetic este constituirea unei scene politice, i.e. a unei

scene sau a unui spaiu de prezentare, unde s poat fi vzute trupuri i s poat fi auzite discursuri. Aceast construcie a unei noi scene politice se opune radical ipotezei unei divizri binare ntre cei care dein cunotinele i, astfel, snt contieni de condiia lor, i cei care nu dein nici cunotine, nici contiin, aa c depind de transmiterea cunotinelor i de dezvluirea structurilor ideologice care le in viaa n captivitate. Aciunea politic nu poate avea ca scop luminarea celor care nu tiu i nici ocuparea postului de vorbitor ca reprezentant al acestora, ci construirea unui loc cu o aparen perceptibil pentru cei care nu fac parte n mod tradiional deci natural - din viaa public, adic edificarea spaiului comun. Jacques Rancire a caracterizat aceast idee din perspectiva distribuirii sau redistribuirii perceptibilului, adic a condiiilor spaiale i temporale comune ce permit sau blocheaz participarea activ la construirea spaiului comun. Pentru Rancire aceast redistribuire politic a locurilor, vocilor i timpurilor se ntemeiaz pe actualizarea a ceea ce el numete egalitate axiomatic: egalitatea inteligenelor, ce rmne cel mai inadecvat gnd pe care l poate nutri cineva cu privire la ordinea social8. n The Disagreement (Dezacordul) Rancire vorbete despre acest gest ca despre o figur a subiectivrii, pe care el o nelege ca pe o dez-identificare, o ieire din naturaleea unui loc, deschiderea unui spaiu al subiectului unde se ine seama de toi, de vreme ce este un spaiu n care se ine seama i de cei nebgai n seam, n care se creeaz o conexiune ntre a avea un rol i a nu avea nici unul9. Astfel, opusul subiectivrii este identificarea, adic activitatea poliiei de a-i atribui fiecrui individ locul i funcia sa natural. Pentru a coroda imple[164]

mentarea acestei ordini naturale, subiectivarea redistribuie cmpul experienei, cel care l identifica pe fiecare individ cu sectorul su10. Prin politic se neleg condiiile istorice a priori ale organizrii perceptibile a spaiului comun - adic a spaiului prezentrii, scena unde snt posibile discursul i vizibilitatea, o scen a crei apariie urmrete s o mpiedice logica poliist a inegalitii. Aceast concepie asupra politicii se coreleaz cu o estetic pe care a vrea s-o numesc realism estetic. El trebuie neles ca o form de realism ce nu se definete prin imperativul reprezentrii mimetice sau al asemnrii, ci printr-o nou politic a reprezentrii, a crei condiie prealabil este prezumia sfritului ierarhiilor reprezentrii (conform termenilor lui Rancire) sau cea a sfritului regulii separrii stilurilor (Stiltrennungsregel), dup volumul lui Erich Auerbach Mimesis. Aceast regul afirm c zugrvirea realist a evenimentelor de toate zilele e incompatibil cu sublimul i nu-i gsete loc dect n cadrul comicului sau, bineneles stilizat cu grij, n idilic11. Aceast polemic este hotrtoare pentru problema estetico-politic a reprezentrii, cci Auerbach prezint n primul capitol din Mimesis dou perspective asupra zugrvirii realiste, una pe care o numete realism homeric i descrierile realiste din Vechiul Testament. Dei nici una dintre ele nu se ncadreaz strict n regula separrii stilurilor, care va deveni clar n tragedia greac i, conform spuselor lui Auerbach, va rmne dominant pn n secolul al xIx-lea, realismul homeric conine deja germenii evoluiei sale, iar Vechiul Testament i anun decderea. Chiar dac descrierea realist a cotidianului este prezent n poemul homeric, ea nu are nici o semnificaie i nici un impact; servete doar drept contrast pentru

evenimentele mree i sublime ce se desfoar exclusiv ntre personajele eroice. Realismul homeric se menine n mare parte n registrul idilic i panic, aadar inofensiv, i nu amenin separaia ntre evenimentele mree i cotidianul insignifiant. n schimb descrierile din Vechiul Testament prefigureaz ruptura cu ierarhiile reprezentrii, de vreme ce sublimul, tragicul i problematicul se configureaz n cadrul cotidianului i l mbib cu conflicte i semnificaii. Prin urmare, realismul estetic nseamn dou lucruri: posibilitatea de a descrie orice, banalul n arbitrarul su, care se bazeaz pe fractura ierarhiilor reprezentrii, i ncrctura de sens a anonimului, adevrul poetic ce se gsete n cotidian. n realismul estetic orice poate fi reprezentat i fiecare detaliu e ncrcat de sens, orice i este accesibil oricui, iar conveniile estetice precum separarea stilurilor sau a genurilor snt abolite. Sau, dup cum scrie Rancire: Nu mai exist subiecte adecvate pentru art. Dup cum spune Flaubert, Yvetot e la fel de bun ca i Constantinopolul, iar adulterurile unei fiice de fermier snt la fel de bune ca i cele ale lui Tezeu, Oedip sau Clitemnestra. Nu mai exist reguli de adecvare a unui subiect anume la o form anume, ci o disponibilitate general a tuturor subiectelor pentru orice fel de form artistic12. Formele realismului estetic definesc astfel o manier specific de descriere, care pe de o parte este o descriere neutr, documentar, a cotidianului, ce nu include nici un fel de momente explicative sau psihologice, iar pe de alt parte suspend separarea tradiional ntre ficiune i realitate, ntre logica ficional i logica documentar, i se preteaz astfel la stilizri i ficionalizri. n urmtoarele rnduri a dori s

studiez mai ndeaproape aceast logic bipartit prin analiza continuitilor i discontinuitilor existente ntre dou filme: pe de o parte A bientt, jespre al lui Chris Marker, film din 1967-1968, care se nscrie n cadrele tradiionalei separri ntre ficiune i documentar i ne prezint un stil documentar bazat pe comentariul explicativ din off al realizatorului filmului, iar pe de alt parte Classe de lutte, un proiect de film colectiv din 1968 al Grupului Medwedkin, constituit de muncitorii din Besanon, care suspend poziia de autor a realizatorului filmului i obiectivarea ulterioar a muncitorilor.

2. O nou cultur n martie 1967 Pol Cbe i ali civa membri ai Centre Culturel Populaire de Palente-les-Orchamps (CCPPO) l-au invitat pe regizorul Chris Marker s asiste la greva i la ocuparea fabricii de textile din Rhodiacta, o filial a companiei Rhne-Poulenc din Besanon - capitale de lhorlogerie. Marker, n colaborare cu Mario Marret i muncitorii de la Rhodiacta, a produs filmul A bientt, jespre, care prezint micrile sociale din acel moment. Filmul vorbete despre greva ce a avut loc la Rhodiacta n februarie-martie 1967 i a fost ignorat de presa de larg circulaie. Menioneaz faptul c e vorba de prima ocupare a unei fabrici din 1936 ncoace i amintete durata ei extins - a inut douzeci i ase de zile, din 25 februarie pn n 24 martie - i faptul c s-a rspndit repede la celelalte uniti ale companiei. Totui A bientt, jespre nu prezint greva ca pe un eveniment izolat, ci ca pe o component a unei lungi liste de greve i tulburri sociale, ce nu pot fi nelese ca o sum de victorii i nfrngeri, ci ca faze diferite ale unei

btlii (des tapes dune lutte). Aa se face c filmul ncepe i se termin cu prezentarea documentat a unei alte greve, mai puin reuite, de la sfritul acelui an. Pe lng aceste relatri, care snt structurate ntr-un stil documentar mai degrab tradiional, scopul central al lui Marker i al filmului su este s elaboreze portretul unui mic grup de sindicaliti militani. Filmul ofer n principal o descriere a vieilor acestor oameni, ascultndu-i, urmrindu-le discuiile i studiindu-le implicarea n politic, dar i viaa de familie. Scena de nceput este una emblematic pentru stilul documentar adoptat de Marker i pentru film-ouvrier, filmul muncitoresc, iar A bientt, jespre este unul din primele exemple de acest gen. l vedem pe unul dintre principalii actori ai micrii sociale i ai filmului, Georges Maurivard, sindicalist i muncitor la Rhodiacta, cunoscut i sub porecla de Yoyo, cum st n faa porilor fabricii i ncearc s-i adune pe tovarii si de munc i s-i informeze de concedierea a 92 de muncitori din Lyon. Sntem la puine zile dup Crciun, cum ne informeaz vocea din off, aadar la cteva luni dup ocuparea fabricii i dup greva ncununat de succes din februarie i martie. Aparatul de filmat ni-i prezint pe muncitori prsind fabrica (i adunndu-se n jurul vorbitorului) i trimite astfel, inevitabil, la prima scen filmat din istoria cinematografului, Muncitori prsind fabrica, o secven de 45 de secunde a frailor Lumire, unde snt prezentai muncitorii de la fabrica de fotografii din Lyon (ai crei proprietari erau chiar respectivii frai) ieind n grab pe porile fabricii, ca s mearg la prnz. Astfel nceputul filmului lui Marker vorbete brusc despre construcia unui spaiu politic i despre un eveniment mediatic, adic despre

naterea cinematografiei. n eseul su documentar cu acelai titul din 1995, Harun Farocki pomenete de acest dublu aspect atunci cnd analizeaz locul din faa porilor fabricii ca fiind locul unde muncitorii devin vizibili ca grup social nainte s se disperseze n spaiul invizibil al vieilor lor particulare din afara zidurilor fabricii. Farocki urmrete aceast vizibilitate att n materiale de arhiv, ct i n imagini din filme clasice - de la Timpuri noi al lui Chaplin la Metropolis al lui Lang i Accatone al lui Pasolini -, ncercnd s construiasc imaginea ficional a unui spaiu unde conflictul social evolueaz paradigmatic, odat ce timpurile i spaiile publice i private se ciocnesc, iar diferena dintre ele plete.13 n 1967 Marker alege i el porile fabricii ca punct de nceput al filmului su i leag aceast amplasare tocmai de apariia unei culturi politice. Face asta prezentnd evenimentele, intervievnd personajele centrale ale micrii sociale, oferind informaii generale i concrete despre fabric, dar i despre pericolul masivelor concedieri, ce plutete pe deasupra capetelor muncitorilor. Comentariul din off ofer reperele necesare pentru a nelege greva i, fcnd asta, nscrie filmul n paradigma documentar clasic, n care imaginile documentarului reflect realitatea, iar comentariul explic acea realitate prin plasarea ei ntr-un context istoric i politic.14 Tradiionala utilizare a interviurilor se include i ea n aceast paradigm, n care muncitorii rspund ntrebrilor lui Marker i ofer explicaii asupra situaiei lor i a convertirii lor la activism social, adresndu-se regizorului i potenialului privitor. Dar aceast structur documentar ce prezint, fie i neintenionat, figura regizorului ca autor e bulversat pe parcursul filmului de o alt tendin, care

prsete - n sens figurat - aparatul de filmat i aspectele tehnice, concentrndu-se pe muncitori. n momentele respective regizorul pare s devin imanent fa de realitatea filmat, cci intervine o discuie ntre el, echipa tehnic i muncitori, care nlocuiete interviul tipic i estompeaz graniele ntre cei reprezentai i cei ce produc reprezentarea: aparatul de filmat nu mai este perceput ca un mijloc tehnic ce produce o divizare binar, ci s-a transformat ntr-un soi de interlocutor. De asemenea, folosirea comentariului din off ca un dispozitiv transcendent necesar se deprteaz de tiparul clasic atunci cnd vocea lui Marker este nlocuit de vocile muncitorilor i cea a sindicalistului, care comenteaz i explic propriile lor imagini. Aa se face c n ntreg filmul se simte prezena unei oscilaii specifice, ntre utilizarea n stil clasic a tehnicilor documentarului i recunoaterea nevoii de a o rupe cu ierarhiile imprimate n aceste tehnici. Pornind chiar de la nceput, putem face diferena ntre cele cteva strategii documentare care coexist n cadrul filmului: a) Un interviu n care Yoyo rspunde la ntrebarea lui Marker despre felul cum s-a simit cnd s-a urcat pentru prima dat pe un butoi i le-a inut un discurs celorlali muncitori (filmul ncepe cu o astfel de scen, dar nu din martie, ci din decembrie). Interviul respect tradiionala alternan de ntrebri i rspunsuri. b) Dup aceea vocea lui Marker ocup scena i comenteaz imaginile din martie 1967, evideniind originalitatea grevei, lungimea ei - o lun -, forma ei - ocuparea - i, mai presus de toate, ideea, reluat necontenit pe parcurs, c degradarea condiiilor de munc se traduce ntr-o degradare a vieii n totalitatea ei, fapt ce nu poate fi compensat printr-o mrire de salariu. Astfel, scopul grevei nu

este acela de integrare n societatea asistenial, ci tocmai de punere sub interogaie a acestei forme de societate i de civilizaie. Aa se explic de ce rezultatul tangibil al acesteia nu este n primul rnd creterea salariilor, ci educarea unei ntregi generaii de muncitori n spiritul conflictului social. c) Dup aceea comentariul este nlocuit iari cu vocea lui Yoyo, care explic apariia solidaritii ntre muncitori, construirea comunitii, integrarea muncitorilor n comitetele de sprijin, n organizarea bibliotecii... i aduce n discuie problema culturii ca problem politic. Pe o pancart se pot citi revendicrile comitetului CCPPO: pine pentru toat lumea, dar i libertate, rs, teatru, via. d) n secvena urmtoare Pol Cbe afirm c dreptul la cultur este o revendicare politic, exact la fel ca i dreptul la hran sau dreptul la o locuin, chiar dac angajatorii nu se feresc s pronune cuvntul cultur, dar se tem s rosteasc vorbele politic sau sindicat15. Ceea ce nu mai spune, dar se nelege n subtext, este faptul c lipsa de respect a angajatorilor pentru cultur constituie o bre n logica dominaiei, de vreme ce cultura, conform noii definiii propuse de CCPPO, este legat n mod fundamental de distribuirea locurilor i a rolurilor n spaiul comun. Cultura nu trebuie neleas n sensul dat de Adorno, ca industrie cultural sau ca acces la informaie sau la divertisment de mas. Dimpotriv, revendicndu-i dreptul la cultur, muncitorii revendic un drept politic, un drept de a ocupa o poziie care nu le aparine n mod natural, dreptul de a-i petrece timpul fr a munci, ci fcnd ceva care nu este legat n nici un fel de munc sau de reproducerea forei de munc - dreptul de a pierde timpul personal. Acest fapt constituie astfel o disoluie a modului tradiional de distribuie a

abilitilor legate de poziia social i ncadrarea profesional: destabilizeaz mprirea poziiilor ierarhice ntre latura creativ i cea non-creativ, ntre tabra activ i cea pasiv, i se cristalizeaz sub forma lurii n posesie de ctre muncitori a propriei reprezentri, printr-o form de descriere ce renun la explicaie. Secvena final din A bientt, jespre poate fi interpretat ca un rezumat al acestei oscilaii ce strbate ntreg filmul, cea ntre voina de a produce cunoatere i de a distribui informaii despre lupta clasei muncitoare din Besanon i voina de a refuza adoptarea unei poziii transcendente fa de evenimente. Urmnd abordarea foucauldian, Marker ncearc s conduc o btlie cot la cot cu cei care lupt i nu s stea pe margine, de unde s ncerce s-i lumineze16. i totui aici exist un dezechilibru necesar, pe care Marker nu-l poate evita, ntre regizor i cei pe care i filmeaz. n propoziia de ncheiere Yoyo atinge ambele probleme: tradiionala problem politic ori chiar pragmatic a accesului la pres ca form de comunicare n mas i a politicii dus de aceasta, de dezinformare a clasei muncitoare, dar - fapt mult mai important - i nevoia de auto-reprezentare a lucrtorilor ca parte a clasei muncitoare constituite prin lupta, solidaritatea i comunitatea tuturor membrilor ei. Aceast auto-reprezentare nu este formulat doar prin intermediul grevelor n sine, ci i printr-o nou politic a descrierii, o auto-descriere a muncitorilor nii. Aceast form specific de descriere e definit de Yoyo, cu un zmbet ovielnic, drept cultur. Filmul se termin acolo unde a i nceput, n decembrie 1967, cu cteva zile nainte de Crciun. De data asta apelul la grev a fost ascultat doar de civa muncitori i nici unul dintre angajaii fabrici nu s-a soli[168]

darizat cu grevitii. Cest fini - greva respectiv e un eec; dar asta nu nseamn totui nfrngerea clasei muncitoare, cci ceea ce noi numim nfrngeri i victorii nu fac altceva dect s evidenieze existena unei micri sociale, iar sindicalitii tineri continu s nvee. Ei nva c exist o solidaritate ntre muncitori, nva c exist o clas muncitoare, care deine o putere, o form de putere imposibil de controlat sau de neles de angajatori. Una din problemele importante este, aa cum am spus, accesul la circuitele informaionale i mediatice, necesitatea ca oamenii s poat afla adevrul despre clasa muncitoare, adevr care nu este cel prezentat n France Dimanche sau Ici Paris. ns cealalt problem, una mult mai fundamental, e dezvluit de Yoyo cu un zmbet ezitant atunci cnd numete solidaritatea clasei muncitoare o cultur: Ce nest pas de la culture a?17 Aceast cultur a clasei muncitoare, cea a solidaritii i a spiritului de comunitate, ce e necunoscut prin definiie angajatorilor i patronilor fabricii, constituie fora lor i le va aduce victoria n lupta social mpotriva inegalitii i exploatrii. Yoyo vestete aici redefinirea cuvntului cultur, transformarea lui ntr-un cuvnt militant, care s descrie lupta clasei muncitoare. E ceea ce se realizeaz prin schimbarea petrecut de la primul film la al doilea. De acum nainte cultura este neleas ca o interogaie asupra caracterului natural al lucrurilor i al distribuiei lor; cultura se refer la excesul de cuvinte i imagini, care destabilizeaz ordinea aparent natural a dominaiei.

3. Logica auto-descrierii Totui atunci cnd a fost prezentat prima dat n fabric, bientt, je-

spre a fost criticat dur tocmai de muncitori, care s-au simit exploatai i reificai tocmai de oamenii care ar fi trebuit s lupte mpotriva exploatrii lor. Din aceast critic, nregistrat ca document audio i intitulat ironic La Charnire (Balamaua), s-a nscut idea muncitorilor de la Rhodiacta de a nu participa la filme doar n calitate de obiect al lor, ci de a crea i prezenta imagini fcute de muncitori i pentru muncitori, aciune prin care ar reui o form de dez-identificare, de distanare, ce n-ar mai putea fi redus cu uurin la reificare. Prin urmare, au nfiinat n Besanon Grupul Medwedkin i au fcut apoi filmul Classe de Lutte. n rndurile urmtoare voi analiza elementele de continuitate, dar i diferenele existente ntre filmul lui Marker i filmul grupurilor Medwedkin n privina problemei eseniale a revendicrii teoretice i practice a dreptului la cultur, care nu trebuie neles ca acces la informaii sau divertisment de mas, ci, dimpotriv, ca drept politic. Iar acesta chiar este un drept politic, n msura n care cucerirea lui implic disoluia distribuiei clasice a ncadrrilor profesionale i a poziiilor sociale, cci destabilizeaz mprirea poziiilor ierarhice ntre latura creativ i cea non-creativ, ntre tabra pasiv i cea activ, i se cristalizeaz sub forma lurii n posesie de ctre muncitori a propriei lor reprezentri, printr-o form de descriere ce renun la explicaie. Astfel, el trimite iar la un drept la relaxare, n sensul de timp liber, neproductiv: dreptul de a pierde timpul i de a fi ne-condiionat, dup cum afirm Theodor W. Adorno: Rien faire comme une bte, auf dem Wasser liegen und friedlich in den Himmel schauen, sein, sonst nichts, ohne alle weitere Bestimmung und Erfllung18. Classe de Lutte ne prezint aceast nou cultur, neleas ca o

interogaie asupra caracterului natural al lucrurilor i a distribuiei lor. Cultura se refer la excesul de cuvinte i de imagini care destabilizeaz ordinea aparent natural a dominaiei. Din aceast perspectiv transferul aparaturii tehnice, adic al camerei de filmat, al meselor de montaj sau al reflectoarelor din minile creatorilor de film militani n cele ale creatorilor de film muncitori trebuie neles ca un gest politic, un gest militant i de subiectivare n sensul lui Rancire, adic un gest de dez-identificare. Aparatul de filmat urmrete o tnr, Suzanne Zedet, muncitoare n fabrica de ceasuri de mn Yma, care a aprut nainte n bientt, jespre, ns abia acum reuete s se emnacipeze, ca activist militant i ca femeie. Practic, n filmul din 1967 soul femeii vorbise n numele ei, pe cnd acum ea devine un participant activ n cadrul micrilor sociale de la Yma. Pe de o parte colajul de imagini combin scene i spaii publice cu unele private, viaa din fabric i viaa de familie, sugernd astfel dificultatea separrii celor dou zone. Pe de alt parte acesta e creat din imagini despre producia i distribuia de imagini: aparatura tehnic invadeaz cadrarea i este expus n film, vorbind astfel, n chip brechtian, despre artificialitatea situaiei reale. O pancart pus pe un zid din ceea ce pare a fi un studio de film subliniaz ideea c filmul nu e o vraj, ci o tehnic pus n slujba eliberrii muncitorilor. Urmrind persoana Suzannei, filmul ne prezint evoluia unei culturi militante nelese ca o auto-descriere a clasei muncitoare prin intermediul contra-discursurilor i contra-imaginilor lor.19 Acest fapt are, de asemenea, urmri n ceea ce privete meditaia asupra filmului ca mijloc de comunicare, care nu mai e considerat un mijloc de reprezentare (nici mcar de reprezentare

documentar), ci un instrument ce promoveaz lupta muncitorilor - nu ca mijloc de comunicare propriu-zis, ci destabiliznd compartimentrile i distribuiile sociale. Argumentaia respectiv este reluat chiar la finalul filmului ntr-o manier mai puin impresionant, dar la fel de eficient: Suzanne, cea a crei poveste ne-a fost prezentat n film, renun la identitatea ei de muncitoare militant i ne prezint n schimb un ir de afirmaii complexe i erudite despre Picasso i arta modern, deci se dez-identific, se distaneaz de rolul ei de muncitoare militant, pe care filmul i la cldit pn acum, i adopt rolul de critic de art, care n mod natural - adic pentru rolul ei natural de femeie i de muncitoare - nu i-ar fi accesibil. Schimbarea de la A bientt jespre la Classe de lutte este nsoit i de o remarcabil modificare n limbajul filmic, prin renunarea la anumite elemente tradiionale ale documentarului, cum snt interviul sau comentariul din off, iar astfel n Classe de lutte se dezvolt ceea ce era deja prezent, dar nu pe deplin realizat, n filmul lui Marker: chiar dac A bientt, jespre constituie un intrument de descriere a lumii de rnd i, astfel, o ruptur cu ierarhiile reprezentrii, modul de structurare a imaginilor la Marker este supus n continuare unei logici explicative, care produce inevitabil un discurs despre clasa muncitoare. Dimpotriv, Grupul Medwedkin folosete filmul ca instrument de auto-descriere a clasei muncitoare de ctre clasa muncitoare, un instrument de constituire a culturii lor. Astfel, filmul nu este nici un comentariu asupra luptelor muncitorilor sau a emanciprii lor, nici o explicaie a mecanismelor sale interioare sau un exerciiu de contextualizare. El nu respect o logic explicativ, ci strnge laolalt imagini auto-reflexive despre producia de

imagini i imagini care descriu viaa de femeie muncitoare i militant a Suzannei. ns noul model de construcie a identitii Suzannei este subminat i el att n form, ct i n coninut, prin dimensiunea ficional reflectat pe parcursul filmului n micrile aparatului de filmat, n imaginile, muzica i prezentarea Suzannei ca personaj principal al propriei sale poveti, dar i prin gestul de dez-identificare al Suzannei, care din muncitoare devine militant, iar apoi critic de art. Astfel gestul de dez-identificare al muncitorilor, care preiau controlul asupra filmrii, se reflect i el n film. Producerea unei identiti, pe care filmul o atest ntr-o faz incipient, e subminat tocmai de faptul c, spre deosebire de bientt, jespre, Classe de Lutte nu reprezint o situaie specific, mpreun cu explicarea ei, ci, dimpotriv, prin expunerea reprezentrii ca reprezentare i posibilitatea redistribuirii spaiilor i a momentelor temporale, trimite la o situaie ce e mereu potenial diferit de cea prezent. Prin urmare, Classe de lutte relateaz povestea Suzannei prin aranjamentul de imagini, muzic i voci ce vorbesc de la sine i i etaleaz propria semnificaie, fr s respecte vreo logic explicativ. Filmul i imaginile sale nu prezint comentarii i nici nu ofer justificri asupra emanciprii clasei muncitoare. n loc de asta, tocmai existena lor reprezint o micare de subiectivare, neleas sub forma dez-identificrii Suzannei de rolul de femeie muncitoare, mut i, astfel, nereprezentativ i inactiv. Classe de Lutte constituie o nou faz politic, cea n care se contientizeaz prbuirea unui anumit tip de distribuire normativ a rolurilor i locurilor n cadrul lumii perceptibile, n care muncitorii muncesc, intelectualii gndesc, iar productorii de film produc filme. Filmul ocolete i utilizarea

oricrei voci transcendente i astfel particip la noua cultur sau politic a autodescrierii, care ntrerupe legturile att cu ierarhiile reprezentrii narative tradiionale, ct i cu poziia tradiional a intelectualului ce vorbete pentru ceilali. Este, aadar, o form de realism estetic, de vreme ce realismul estetic neles ca o reprezentare imanent nu urmrete s devin o reprezentare mai bun, ci s drme ierarhiile reprezentrii. Prin urmare, el menine incertitudinea la nivelul distinciei dintre reprezentarea ficional i cea documentar. Formele realismului estetic, fiind forme postreprezentative, nu arat realitatea aa cum e ea, ci mai degrab vorbesc despre imposibilitatea de a face asta. Totui respectiva imposibilitate nu deschide calea spre sfritul reprezentrii, ci spre o nou politic a reprezentrii: spre o politic estetic, adic post-reprezentativ a reprezentrii. n consecin, provocarea inerent conceptului de realism estetic este aceea c arat concomitent att imposibilitatea existenei unei imagini obiective, ct i a unei realiti obiective, deoarece att realitatea, ct i imaginile snt ntotdeauna negociate i configurate necontenit n lupta dintre diferitele strategii de distribuire a rolurilor i spaiilor sau a diverselor compartimentri ale lumii perceptibile.

Note: 1. Michel Foucault; Gilles Deleuze, Les Intellectuels et le pouvoir, n Dits et Ecrits I, p. 1176. 2. Michel Foucault; Gilles Deleuze, Intellectuals and power, n Gilles Deleuze, Desert Islands and other texts, Semiotext(e), New York, 2004, p. 207. 3. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid., p. 208. 6. Ibid. 7. Ibid. 8. Jacques Rancire, La parole ouvrire, La Fabrique, Paris, 2007. 9. Jacques Rancire, The Disagreement, University of Minnesota Press, p. 36. 10. Ibid., p. 40. 11. Erich Auerbach, Mimesis. Dargestellte Wirklichkeit in der abendlndischen Literatur, Francke Verlag, Tbingen/Basel, [1946] 2001, p. 25; trad. rom. I. Negoiescu, Editura Polirom, Iai, 2000, p. 25. 12. Jacques Rancire, Are some things representable?, n The Future of the image, Verso, 2007, p. 118. 13. Harun Farocki, Arbeiter verlassen die Fabrik (D 1995). 14. Bill Nichols vorbete n acest context despre comentariul tip Vocea Domnului, ce caracterizeaz documentarul expozitiv. Aceast trstur moralizatoare va disprea ulterior n documentarul observaional, unde - graie camerelor de filmat mobile i discrete i a echipamentului tehnic de aceeai factur - pare s predomine o poziie de observator neutru. Ambele se opun documentarului interactiv i reflexiv, al crui el este s evidenieze i mai clar tocmai conveniile reprezentrii i s pun sub interogaie impresia de realitate, pe care n mod obinuit celelalte trei moduri o creeaz fr probleme (Bill Nichols, Representing Reality, Indiana University Press, 1991, p. 33). 15. Chris Marker, A bientt, jespre (F 1967/1968), [338-620]. 16. Michel Foucault; Gilles Deleuze, Les Intellectuels et le pouvoir, op.cit., p. 207. 17. Chris Marker, A bientt, jespre (F 1967/1968), [4150-4404]. 18. Theodor W. Adorno, Sur leau, n Minima Moralia. Reflexionen aus dem beschdigten Leben, Suhrkamp, 1969, p. 208. 19. Groupe Medvedkine de Besanon, Classe de Lutte (F 1968), [010-307].

Performative Architecture Setting a Stage for Political Action

by Ludger Schwarte

I. Architecture is an act and as such, dynamic, process-related and only considered to be completed depending on the way in which it is perceived, judged and used. On the one hand buildings, as typical products of architecture, emanate from actions, which are completed at some point. However, the unfolding of an edifice does not end with the actual building. Buildings allow for the possibility to act or eliminate it. They establish circumstances, however, they also act. Architectures are actors. They shape the activities of subjects creating reality and are tied to perceptual acts. Their characteristics vary according to other actors positions and impulses, they emanate from kinaesthetic and visual experiences, they are the product of interactions. On the other hand they are performative as an ensemble of structures by configuring, identifying and exhibiting subjects, objects and events. They predetermine subjects and prefigure perception. Finally, they constitute the setting, which shapes the actors relations to their pub[172]

licity and makes these observable. Architecture is performative as built structures and structured physical objects, as embodying and embodied acts. However, instead of analysing these performances of architecture in view of the rules whose application they have generated through their expression, instead of searching for belief and knowledge systems, which govern the external expression of architecture, instead of imputing universalisable structures to each act or attempting to explain it from a textual context, we should first of all regard them merely as embodiments. The ontological pattern that those analysing tools of communicative actions follow merely leads to preconditions of their possibility and validity, thus methodically disregarding the reality and formation of these actions. Architecture situates performances and makes the representation of the execution of acts possible. Built spaces configure fields of activities: they can identify, alleviate and make comprehensible activities which take place in them; they can incorporate labour, appropriate it or exhibit it publicly. They organise movements, perceptions and emphasize particular zones of attention. Also, they form points of unification and confrontation. In a narrower sense spaces are performative when they do not simply execute those acts but perform them or even themselves. The performance of architecture is built from singular acts. It structures perceptions, movements and expressions and folds them into each other. It establishes possibilities for encounters, confrontations and usage and beyond that the pos-

sibility of the indefinite; it can even increase the probability of the sudden. It situates actors in the public. This performativity of spaces is the potential generated from an events mediatisation and staging. Consequently, the staging of spaces and the creation of situations, the methods for beginning are based on architectural processes, which make them accessible and set them up in the first place: It is only through the identification of the dispersion, the positioning of an assembly, the rhythmisation of tension, the processes of situating, opening and clarifying that the creation of sequences of action and the preconditions for events manifestations are made possible. The classical theory of action examines the relations between intentions and execution processes. The theory distinguishes casual procedures from actions by understanding the latter as execution of intentions. The idea of architecture as plan and execution also rests on the concept of a subject distinguishing itself through the accomplishment of intentions. Does the plan designate architecture? Or does architecture facilitate planning as labour in the first place? Privileging the tactically interfering subject, classical theories of action not only disregard material fundamentals, which if anything - constitute acting and make it first of all possible, but also confine the acting as being an outwardly obtrusive activity. Space always emerges from a multiplicity of interactions. The whole range of action, however, also encompasses passivity and a change of

the self. Architecture thus not only consists of demolishing and triumphal erection, calculation and construction, but also of incuring, inserting oneself, withdrawing and enduring. It is not only comprised of a representation of an imperative will, but also of transformations, fluidity and movement, conversion and transference. If one wants to get beyond architectures planning ideology, a notion of action is required, that does not rely on cognitions, making of plans and a subjects assertion as criteria for successful completion, but instead asks the question of how and whereupon a world is brought into being and altered. Architecture is not simply a question of skill. The search for the fundamentals of action should thus be aimed at performativity as the potential of a process (of execution) to generate reality and form cultures. Such a process comes into being in a situation in which an action might suggest itself but is not enforced. Performativity depends on open situations. The unity of an action might be perceived as a catastrophe, an accident, an event or an incident, as a great deed or silly coincidence. However, it does not exhaust itself in the perception, which shapes it, nor in the movement, which causes it or which it responds to. Action is a process, a transformation, a change, a flow, a frantic standstill, always simultaneously characterised by rest and modification, which means, by the tension that distinguishes a situation from a condition. In a condition there is no space for actions, no change of structures, no room for unforeseen developments, steps, thresholds, transitions, as they are repre[174]

sentative for situations. Situations enable actors to do something. These opportunities rest and remain unclaimed until those capable of doing so, seize them. The possibility of acting, the enduring and ones conduct arise from a situation. This tension inherent in an open situation not only evokes the human subject of action. Rather the performative characteristics of forces, things and creatures count equally. That the material base formats situations is revealed particularly in the architecture of the public space. On the one side this architecture has to be aimed at eliciting actions from forces, things or creatures and becoming the interface of interactions. Thereto it has to make its openness visible, so that persons, things or forces can appear and show themselves in a manner not predetermined. On the other hand it has to organise the perception of these actions in such a way that these mark reality. The architecture of public spaces thus has to open up an arena, it has to arrange perception as the level of expectations into which an act enters and which it nonetheless at the same time surprises. Actions differ precisely from activities in that they are neither expectable nor compliant to certain rules. This organisation can not, as those referring to modern phenomenology or philosophical anthropology believe, be achieved by the body or the plaiting of participation and distance in the intermediate corporeality: Their execution processes of perceptions are already based on the contingent preconditions of a situation, which first of all has to permit, grant and even evoke execution processes of action and thus activity and passiv-

ity, action and reaction. What senses and patterns of activation we develop is a biological answer towards the properties of the world, which we inhabit. This biological answer, this cultivation of organs thus depends on free areas, which can be used as resources of transformation. In this sense architecture should be understood as the creation and configuration of sensuality. At the centre of the public space is thus an action, in the sense that architecture first allows the thing, force or creature a leeway to act differently or even not at all. Accordingly, architecture is not a structural parameter, but that which lets an action appear - by no means exclusively as building - but, by way of example, as the actors assembling themselves and relating to each other. It is reciprocally modified by each action. Designing, building, using and changing public space are equally ways of acting. Actions respond to each other and thereby change the interstices in which they happen. The architecture of this zone thus forms an event out of that which comes into being in such a performative situation. The first consequence of an analysis of performativity from the perspective of architecture is that actions depend on a situational framework of conditions. These facilitate differentiation between operations, incidents and execution processes. This framework of conditions determines the modalities of such differentiations through embodiment. Secondly, it follows that these distinctions correspond to specific patterns of interactions. These patterns crystallize from the embodiments and determine who can act and what counts as an action. Thirdly,

from this notion of action - having in view the happening - follows the assumption that a situational anticipation is needed if the unforeseen should materialise in an observable way. The possibility of acting intentionally is merely a derivative of performative architecture. From this challenge of the notion of planning follows the idea that places depending on the degree to which they were planned by an individual - have hardly any chance to appear as public spaces. The action in the sense of implementing the plan is the attempt to force purpose, functions, structures of meaning onto reality, with the result that the situationally generated reality merely counts as auxiliary criterion to the aims of an individual or a society. Performativity of the architect has not for nothing been the paradigm of the demiurge, the creator god, up until Leibniz; but at the same time it is also the model of a political dictatorship, in which only one will counts. In his Physics Aristotle describes architectonics as the art of working with a material to fabricate a purposeful object. Someone who uses this object has to be familiar with its form. However, the producer of this object, as the architect, has to know the qualities of the material in view of a particular function. Accordingly, the architect is not the one who actually fabricates the product or uses it, but the one who develops the form-content unity of a product by projecting its matter of existence before it is even there. However, designing is but only one version of architecture. A particular structure of social relations, an artificial, common world is the prereq[175]

uisite for actions to exist at all. This structure is actually the external condition for every birth as much as for the appearance of things. Acting means starting something new: Every action first and sets something in motion in the present, () the action starts and leads something on in the sense of the Greek . Acting is fleeting and has (first) to be seen, heard, remembered and then transformed - that is to say reified - to become part of the world. Not only the present, the senses and the recollection of other people respond to the actions in acts of embodiment. Things too react to each act, absorbing and transforming it. As events, depending on presentification and embodiment, actions are basically indeterminate. The capacity of a human being to begin, means that they withdraw from any form of predictability. This capacity of human beings and the disposition of things to respond to this beginning are given to them by the public space. This space collects them; within it they form a collective, without being produced or functionally interlinked. Acting requires a stage. Only there does the collective power, which can begin something new manifest itself visibly, instead of the violence, which only ever obeys to existing purposes. Characteristics can be controlled, that is to say remain consealed, whilst that which expresses itself in collective actions cannot be hidden.

and the long distances that have to be traveled in modern states make it impossible for every citizen to be present in a parliament. This is an argument on architectural grounds. It assumes that political decisions can only be made in a parliament. Yet a parliament is merely a substitute for direct participation. What might a parliament look like that is open to all citizens? To what extent does successful parliamentary architecture offset the absence of the majority of the population? At least three things must be distinguished in this regard: a) the number of people who can be accommodated in the space available; b) the structure, arrangement and design of the parliamentary chambers; and c) the degree of transparency with respect to outsiders, observers and chance passers-by. An examination of these aspects of parliament buildings in the period up to the 18th century reveals a gradual development from open meeting places to closed halls. a) Athens The Pnyx in Athens was constructed around 500 B.C., a huge platform created so that the public assembly could be transferred there from the agora. Its shape was designed to allow a democratic debate and a transparent and comprehensible decision-making process. The Pnyx was steadily expanded and improved in the two subsequent stages of construction (404-3 B.C., 330-326 B.C.). In the third stage, it was able to accommodate up to 24,000 people. Although walls were built around the Pnyx later on, it was always possible to see into it from the agora, for instance. To preserve this

arrangement, terraces with two stoas were laid out above the Pnyx, which provided a better vantage point than the surrounding sides for following the public assembly of the citizens. The Pnyx afforded an unimpeded view of the city, the acropolis, the sky, the port and beyond it the sea. So, on the one hand, its location in the very heart of Athens constituted a critical public forum in respect to the city, on the other hand, it was open itself to other types of publics, especially those without citizen status (women, foreigners, slaves, minors). b) Paestum Today, the best known circular parliament from ancient times is probably the ekklesia at Paestum, once the capital of the Greek colonies in Italy and a democratic town modeled after Athens. The circular meeting place had a raised spot where the speaker is presumed to have stood. The ekklesia was an open-air building that could be seen into from all sides. c) Rome The popular assembly, the Comitium in the Roman Forum, formed the starting point of the Roman Republic. Yet it was not a democracy, being governed by a political elite. It was the Senate, recruited from patrician families, that debated and agreed on the political measures, which were announced to the people from the rostrum on the Forum for approval by acclamation. Although originally a form of voting, this involvement of the people in the Senates decisions increasingly became a mere formality, the people having been reduced to the role of spectators rather than actors in the political arena.

The Curia Julia had a rostrum at the front for the president. Standing at right angles to the rostrum and facing each other on both sides were three-tiered galleries that, depending on the seating, could accommodate 300 to 465 participants in meetings of the Senate. A tall door opened out onto the meeting place in front of it, which contained a rostrum and various religious monuments. As in the twentieth century peoples republics, the layout of the closed Senate building (Curia) and the Forum indicated that no kind of controversy was expected. Speeches to the people were mere pronouncements. d) Westminster From 1548 the English Parliament met in a former chapel (St. Stephens) in Westminster Palace. The seating plan resulted from an extension of the choir stalls and was identical with that in the Roman Curia. At the eastern end of the chamber was a raised dais with the Speakers Chair, in front of which stood the Clerks Table. The members of Parliament met here behind closed doors. Parliamentary architecture and a constitution are similar in the influence they exert on the potential for political activity. A parliamentary building localizes and identifies political activity. It distinguishes between players and strangers and between lawful and unlawful activities. A good arrangement determines whether the members of a parliament can understand each other properly, as it does potential decision-making procedures. In a circular hall, everybody can generally see and hear everyone else. The advan[177]

II. Ask why we no longer have a direct democracy today and the reply will generally be that the size of the population

tage of a semicircular hall, by contrast, is that at least one person, the speaker, can see and hear everyone equally well. However, factions, contradictions and distances emerge more readily as a result. Moreover, any lengthening of the semicircle leads to the formation of blind spots from which it is impossible to see or be seen. If parliamentary architecture is to take account of democratic principles it must enable all the lawmakers to make themselves heard and understood and to communicate their views. The tension between the architecture, which prescribes a certain use and certain patterns of behavior, and the debates in a parliament bestows different powers on the parliamentary players. Anyone occupying the Speakers chair or a seat on the government benches or controlling what is going on behind the scenes obviously has more power than a backbencher. But it is not just the members of a parliament who have power. The architecture does, too. It determines not only how the members of the parliament can communicate with one another but also who speaks to whom and about what. It determines who sees and hears what. Moreover, it determines whose voice counts. In a circular chamber it is possible and sensible for everyone to speak from his or her seat. This makes it clear that a single opinion is being expressed and that just one of many possible viewpoints is being contributed to the overall picture. If there is a rostrum, however, the speaker addresses the audience in a semicircle, having no choice but to take up the sole legitimate speaking position. The wrestling over parliamentary archi[178]

tecture shows that the ability to speak and make decisions depends on the opportunity to participate, to be present, visible and audible. The existence of political conflicts, the admission of various persons (genders, generations), the lively debate, the audibility of many different voices, the articulation of approval or disapproval can be hindered or reinforced by architectural means. Ever since the French Revolution the hegemony of representative democracy has rested on the semicircular model of the classical Roman theater. The seating arrangements put the focus on the rostrum. According to the theory, it is performances in the form of monologues that gives shape and a voice to the people, who for their part subsequently express their will through their representatives. Wherever representative democracy has been introduced, it was not the result of a plebiscite but of a decree issued by a parliament, for which (on average) hundreds of members were needed. The number of representatives derives not from the size of the population or from the statistical average of the supposed political elite but quite simply from the number of seats in this type of theater.

ment constitute a satisfactory audience? Is a television broadcast of the proceedings sufficient or is a public only properly established when it can articulate itself and voice criticism and when anyone who wishes can take part? In answering these questions it is important to distinguish between a public space that collects or interrupts and the political space that forms part of the social space. The social arises from spaces of ordered communication and presumes that an assembly exists. The political space uses aesthetic, disciplinary and biological means to put people in certain positions. It is characterized by conditions of control, by the markings of appropriation and by distancing mechanisms, which identify the subjects and stabilize them in the hierarchical (genealogical, and the like) relationships they have with each other (for example hospitals, schools, prisons, parliaments). In the political sphere power can therefore be exercised and reproduced, whereas the public space cannot be cordoned off and controlled. On the contrary, it is not subject to any unequivocal system of perception, permitting a wide range of insights, allowing anonymity and opening up channels of communication for new participants, new distributions and new questions. The public gallery is an alien element in the classical theatrical architecture in which the members of a parliament find themselves. Like a wedge, it pries open the closed nature of the parliamentary system of perception and participation. The penetration of the public into the political space can only be explained by the radical democratic currents of the

French Revolution. Proceedings in the English Parliament once took place behind closed doors if for no other purpose than to pursue policies directed against the king and his court. I spy strangers, was the formal call for the doors of the House of Commons to be closed and for any potential listeners to be removed. From the point of view of enlightened analysis there is no reason why the journalistic debate should not relate exclusively to texts, for instance to announcements made by a parliament or government followed by discussion of them in specialist journals. Quite clearly, however, that is not a satisfactory situation for either the press or the public. Reports on parliamentary activities and daily events can reinforce or undermine the sovereignty of a parliament. The physical presence of watching journalists brings quite different forces into play. In 1798, for instance, the British secretary of war, William Windham, complained about the continual reporting and warned that press coverage of the parliamentary debates would inevitably transform the English constitution from a representative one into an entirely democratic one. And in 1826 Wellington wrote: Discussions with open doors, and the publication of the discussions of a Legislative Assembly, however desirable, are not absolutely necessary for the existence of freedom or good government in any country. Our own regulations, and the principles on which the discussions of our Houses of Parliament are founded and carried on, are that they are private and not to be made public. But in what sense can discussions

III. The key criterion of the political in traditional political philosophy would appear to be a decision based on rational consideration. This criterion could be met behind closed doors. Is not the holding of a debate pure sham? Why do we need a parliament? Why is the public space important for political decisions? Does the semicircle of members of a parlia-

between members of Parliament in the House be regarded as private? It was not until 1831 that a press gallery was installed opposite the throne in the House of Lords and only in 1852 in the House of Commons, where it is positioned above the Speakers Chair. Up to 1875 the general public in England had no right to attend sessions of Parliament, but could be excluded at any time as soon as a member of parliament spied a stranger. The open spectators gallery, like the Declaration of Human Rights, stems from revolutionary France. The States General met in 1789 in the Salle des MenusPlaisirs at Versailles, which had been redesigned by the court architect. The seating arrangements were flanked by galleries that enabled the aristocratic court retinue to follow the proceedings. Individuals enjoying close contacts with the deputies also succeeded in smuggling themselves into the assembly. Initially they were able to move about so freely among the deputies that the installation of barriers was announced on May 28, 1789, to segregate the large number of visitors and keep the interior of the hall free. The deputies were entitled to call for a closed session. On May 28, 1789, for instance, Malouet called for a secret session in view of the importance of the subject under discussion and insisted that strangers be removed from the hall. To which Volney replied: Strangers! Are there strangers amongst us? () Do [our voters] not have the utmost interest in keeping their eyes trained upon us? () Are you planning to retreat from their gaze the moment you are obliged to account for your thoughts and all the steps you have taken? Nevertheless, ordinary citizens without any special qualification were generally excluded

from political proceedings. On June 19, 1789, the Assemble of the Third Estate moved to the Jeu de Paume at Versailles. It was pure architectural chance that the deputies there found themselves facing a gallery, from which spectators had previously been able to watch the ball games. Various drawings and paintings - including the famous one by Jacques-Louis David - show members of the public on window-like galleries during the Oath of the Tennis Court. This presence of the people, an architectural accident, promptly turned out to be a political necessity. For the Tennis Court Oath was at the same time a kind of coup dtat, which was given a certain legitimacy by the presence of random public spectators as witnesses. The deputies in the Jeu de Paume expressed their call for a constitution in the form of an oath, swearing not to leave until a constitution had been granted. It was not least by means of this gesture that they cast aside the tradition of the States General. They no longer regarded themselves as elected representatives from certain constituencies, constituting themselves instead as the National Assembly, the embodiment of the nation, vouched for by incorruptible politicians. Again and again these political representatives would refer to the public as legitimizing their seizure of power. However, these same political players immediately excluded the public once they had assumed governmental power themselves. After the National Assembly moved to Paris, the public parliamentary galleries were initially made larger. The designs even indicate a competition between the architects to accommodate as many peo-

ple as possible in these galleries: Gisors found space for 1,400 spectators, while Vignon planned to accommodate 2,500. The 1793 Constitution gave the public the right to intervene in parliamentary debates and to submit petitions. This opportunity for intervention was also used by women to voice their demand for equal rights. Yet neither this architectural model of direct democracy nor the physical presence of the public was tolerated for any longer than was necessary for the members of the parliament to secure power. To the extent that the unhindered formation of associations and the participation of the people in political events are prevented, the literary public favored by Habermas constitutes a sedative. Press freedom has concealed the suppression of direct democracy and its public forms ever since Robespierres reign of terror in 1793 and 1794. It is no coincidence that freedom of the press has existed since the end of the eighteenth century, while limited freedom of assembly was not granted until over 100 years later. Even today, an unregistered gathering of people in a public space can be regarded as a riotous assembly and dispersed by the police.

which those who have no share disrupt the order of the visible. So the space for political activity would be the cleft between the parliament and the visitors gallery. What is also of interest, however, is the question as to how the conflict over the existence of a common stage can be settled in such a way that it is transformed into a legitimate democratic decision-making process. Our parliaments are too small for our large populations. Rousseau was able to counteract that argument by stating that even the Romans were not too numerous to assemble; they did not meet in a single parliament but at several coordinated locations spread across the Empire or on the Mars Field. However, since architectural structures facilitating meetings and communication regularly comprise areas of equality and thresholds of distinction, a public is generated at the same time. This is the nonsocialized, non-organized, non-identified part of the public. It is its scattered component, which has no place, clamors to be visible and is made to disappear as soon as a quantifiable order of perception and action is established.

V. IV. Rancire regards political activity in the narrow sense as the coming together of those who have no right to speak; it is the articulation of those whose voices do not count. Politics is neither the exercise of governmental authority nor the organization of power (which Rancire justifiably calls police) but rather the moment in From 1794 the National Assembly opted for an architectural limitation of participation, control and objection by the political public of the kind that was tried out during spontaneous gatherings, for example in the Circus of Truth that Abb Fauchet had organized in the Palais-Royal from October 1790. The circus pavilion there was the venue for the weekly meetings of

the Assemble fdrative des Amis de la Vrit, which staged an alternative version of the National Assembly, albeit with 4,000 to 5,000 spectators, without counting the female spectators who filled the circus galleries. It was clearly possible for a much larger number of people to take part in the political debate than appeared feasible in the semicircular structure. Moreover it was also possible for arguments, forms of participation and rules of order to be tried out in a relatively unregulated manner. Camille Desmoulins, who was very familiar with both parliaments, preferred the debates held in the circus in the Palais-Royal. The people who came together there had left their private lives behind them to participate in the spectacle of the Revolution, but not as passive spectators. He liked the fact that the audiences were as loud and active as those in the notoriously rebellious theater parterre, where the spectators were always prepared to whistle and boo as well as to praise and rejoice. Desmoulins claimed that in the Palais-Royal there was no formal differentiation between players and spectators, as there was in the National Assembly and even in the Assembles Primaires still. Here people were not obliged to ask the Speaker for the right to say something and then have to wait two hours to do so. They simply presented their suggestions, and if they met with support. the speaker concerned would stand on a chair. If he earned applause, he would write his suggestion down and pass it on. If what he said was rejected and he was booed, he would simply move on. Desmoulins considered it tyrannical and a hindrance to the progress of the arts that a crowd should be forbidden to voice lively criticism of an actor or

author. Equally, he felt it should be permitted to boo and hiss a lawyer or captain, who enjoyed no greater privileges than actors. In a happy nation, Desmoulins opined, the first article of freedom should be the freedom to boo; above all, it should be possible to boo the speaker to ones hearts content. The spectators galleries were the only antidote to tyranny, as they were incorruptible. Only in the galleries was there a revival of the concept of the peoples tribunes, who used to await the outcome of the Senates debates on the bench outside and enjoyed the right of veto. In contrast to such a space for parliamentary experimentation, representative democracy relies on the expectation that the order of speaking and rank - and hence the better argument - will assert itself in the debate. If that is the purpose of the debate, then either everybody who thinks he or she has something to contribute should be allowed to speak or only experts should. But that is clearly not the case. Speeches are made by members of a parliament who have no special qualifications apart from having been elected. This is neither elitism by dint of birth of the kind represented by the Roman Senate nor an educational aristocracy in compliance with the phantom of traditional political philosophy. Nor do the members of a parliament represent the people as deputies with an imperative mandate, as was the case at the time of the Estates General: They constitute a cross-section qualified by election. During debates these political players demonstrate what could take place anywhere: a universalizable as if la Kant, a verification of hypotheses using political experimental animals in the laboratory, a pilot scheme

involving selected examples of the nation, a random sample with which one makes do. But even if we had a direct democracy again we would have to distinguish between a political space and a public space and insist that the political public constitutes only a fraction of the overall public. That distinction is important for democracy, however. For it strikes me that democracy is distinguished not merely by the direct participation of all citizens in all decision-making processes. Another special characteristic of democracy is that it opens up to the public, which need not be a political public at all but could equally well be a ceremonial public, a sports public or an aesthetic public. Hence the task of the political public would be not only to make parliamentary work understandable and capable of criticism but also, vice versa, to incorporate people outside together with their views, assessments and arguments. In addition, as the example of Athens shows, people who are not even citizens could criticize the relevance of decisions, put other questions and raise issues that are different from those against which the parliamentary debating community measures the rationality of its power struggles. The press gallery, the spectators gallery, the television broadcasts and the glass architecture of modern parliament buildings neutralize this public to the extent that they merely symbolize it and prevent a performance. Yet even as a mere symbol this limited public is a constant reference to the universalistic tendency as well as to the local, physical anchoring of democratic decision-making processes.

The extension of the decision-making processes into the public space paves the way for a direct democracy. In return, the integration of the public space into the architecture of parliament buildings makes democracy both forward looking and consistently provisional. A parliament of the public would be the exact opposite of the state theater that is predetermined by the architecture of parliament buildings.

Translated from German by Robert Bryce and Ann-Cathrin Drews


Arhitectur performativ - cum se constituie o scen pentru aciunea politic

de Ludger Schwarte

I. Arhitectura este o aciune i, astfel, este dinamic, procesual i poate fi considerat ncheiat doar n funcie de felul cum este perceput, judecat i utilizat. Pe de o parte cldirile, ca produs specific al arhitecturii, snt rezultatul unor aciuni care la un moment dat se ncheie. Doar c anvergura unui edificiu nu se limiteaz la cldirea propriu-zis. Cldirile ofer posibilitatea de a aciona sau o elimin. Ele instituie circumstane, dar i acioneaz. Arhitecturile snt actori. Ele modeleaz activitile subiecilor crend realitate i snt legate de aciuni perceptive. Caracteristicile lor variaz n funcie de poziiile i direciile de micare ale celorlali actori, i au originea n experiene vizuale i kinestezice i snt produsul interaciunilor. Pe de alt parte ele snt performative, constituind un ansamblu de structuri prin configurarea, identificarea i expunerea subiecilor, a obiectelor i evenimentelor. Predetermin subiecii i prefigureaz percepia. n fine, ele constituie decorul, ce modeleaz raporturile actorilor cu interesul pe care l strnesc public i le face observabile.

Arhitectura este performativ prin structuri i obiecte materiale structurate, prin aciuni concretizatoare i concretizate. Totui, n loc s analizm aceste realizri ale arhitecturii din perspectiva regulilor a cror aplicare a fost generat de formularea lor, n loc s cutm sistemele de credine i de cunoatere care guverneaz expresia extern a arhitecturii, n loc s-i asociem fiecrei aciuni structuri universalizabile sau s ncercm s o explicm dintr-un context textual, ar trebui mai nti s le privim pe toate ca pe nite simple concretizri. Modelul ontologic respectat de toate aceste instrumente de analiz a aciunilor comunicative ne conduce doar la condiiile preliminare ale posibilitii i validitii lor, ignornd astfel sistematic realitatea i formarea respectivelor aciuni. Arhitectura fixeaz locul actelor performative i face posibil reprezentarea realizrii aciunilor. Spaiile construite configureaz domenii de activitate: ele pot s confere identitate, s simplifice i s fac inteligibile activitile ce au loc n interiorul lor, pot incorpora munca, o pot lua n posesie sau o pot expune public. Tot ele structureaz micri i percepii i evideniaz anumite zone de interes. n fine, ele creeaz puncte de unificare i confruntare. ntr-un sens mai restrns, spaiile snt performative atunci cnd nu execut pur i simplu aciunile respective, ci le interpreteaz sau interpreteaz ele nsele. Interpretarea arhitectural este elaborat pentru manifestri singulare. Ea structureaz percepii, micri i expresii i le pliaz unele n altele. Instituie posibiliti de ntlnire, confruntare i utilizare i, dincolo de asta, posibilitatea nedefinitului - ba chiar poate

spori probabilitatea subitului. Amplaseaz actorii n public. Aceast capacitate performativ a spaiilor reprezint potenialul generat de mediatizarea i punerea n scen a unui eveniment. n consecin, punerea n scen a spaiilor i crearea de situaii, care snt tehnici de nceput, se bazeaz pe procese arhitecturale, care le fac accesibile i, n primul rnd, le fixeaz. Elaborarea fazelor aciunii i a condiiilor iniiale necesare pentru manifestarea evenimentelor devin posibile doar prin identificarea dispersiei, prin poziionarea unui ansamblu unitar, prin armonizarea tensiunii, prin procesele de situare, deschidere i clarificare. Teoria clasic a aciunii analizeaz raporturile dintre intenii i procesele de execuie. Ea difereniaz procedurile ocazionale de aciuni prin definirea celor din urm drept aplicare a unor intenii. Ideea de arhitectur ca plan i execuie se bazeaz i pe concepia conform creia un subiect se evideniaz prin ducerea la ndeplinire a inteniilor sale. Oare planul desemneaz arhitectura? Sau mai degrab arhitectura promoveaz planificarea ca munc? Teoriile clasice ale aciunii privilegiaz subiectul ce intervine tactic i astfel nu numai c ignor fundamentele materiale - care n cel mai ru caz constituie manifestarea i mai ales o fac posibil -, ci, mai mult, ngrdesc manifestarea, considernd-o o activitate agresiv asupra exteriorului. Spaiul se nate ntotdeauna dintr-o multitudine de interaciuni. Numai c toate tipurile de aciune includ i pasivitatea, i o modificare a sinelui. Astfel, arhitectura nu const doar n demolri i nlri triumfale, n calcule i construcii, ci i n asumri, inserri,

retrageri i tenacitate. Nu include doar o reprezentare a voinei imperative, ci i una a transformrilor, fluiditii i micrii, a convertirii i transferului. Dac vrem s trecem dincolo de ideologia proiectrii din arhitectur, avem nevoie de o concepie a aciunii care nu se bazeaz pe acte cognitive, pe crearea de planuri i pe impunerea subiectului drept criterii pentru o realizare de succes, ci interogheaz modul i momentul n care lumea a fost creat i modificat. Arhitectura nu e doar o problem de talent. Prin urmare, cutarea fundamentelor aciunii ar trebui s aib ca scop capacitatea performativ ca potenial al procesului (de execuie) ce genereaz realitate i culturi ale formei. Un astfel de proces ia fiin ntr-o situaie n care o aciune s-ar putea propune de la sine, fr a fi impus. Capacitatea performativ depinde de situaii deschise. Unitatea aciunii ar putea fi perceput ca o catastrof, un accident, un eveniment sau o ntmplare, o fapt mrea sau o coinciden idioat. Oricum, ea nu se epuizeaz prin percepie, care o modeleaz, i nici prin micare, care o provoac sau la care rspunde. Aciunea este un proces, o transfomare, o schimbare, un flux, un instantaneu dezlnuit, i e caracterizat permanent de nemicare i de schimbare, adic de tensiunea ce difereniaz o situaie de o stare. ntr-o stare nu exist loc pentru aciuni, nici schimbri de structuri i nici evoluii, etape, praguri i tranziii imprevizibile, cci acestea snt reprezentative pentru situaii. Situaiile le permit actorilor s fac ceva. Respectivele oportuniti zac i rmn nerevendicate pn cnd snt preluate de cei capabili de aa ceva. Posibilitatea de a aciona, tenacitatea i

comportamentul individului se nasc dintro situaie. Aceast tensiune inerent ntr-o situaie deschis nu evoc doar subiectul uman al aciunii. Caracteristicile performative ale forelor, lucrurilor i creaturilor conteaz la fel de mult. Faptul c baza material structureaz situaii iese la iveal n special n arhitectura spaiului public. Pe de o parte acest gen de arhitectur urmrete s extrag aciuni din fore, lucruri sau creaturi i s devin interfaa interaciunilor. Prin urmare, trebuie s-i fac deschiderea vizibil, astfel nct persoanele, lucrurile sau forele s poat s apar i s se prezinte ntr-un mod care s nu fie predeterminat. Pe de alt parte ea trebuie s organizeze percepia acestor aciuni, n aa fel nct acestea s lase urme asupra realitii. Arhitectura spaiilor publice trebuie, aadar, s deschid o aren, trebuie s plaseze percepia la nivelul de ateptare la care o manifestare intr n scen i care totui, concomitent, surprinde. Aciunile se deosebesc clar de activiti prin faptul c nu snt previzibile i nici nu se supun unor reguli. O asemenea organizare nu poate fi realizat - aa cum cred cei ce se refer la fenomenologia modern sau la antropologia filosofic - de corp sau de mpletirea participrii cu distana n corporalitatea intermediar: procesele de execuie ale percepiilor se bazeaz deja pe condiiile preliminare contingente ale situaiei, care trebuie, mai nainte de orice, s permit, s acorde i chiar s evoce procese de execuie ale aciunii, adic activitatea i pasivitatea, aciunea i reaciunea. Simurile i modelele de activare pe care ni le dezvoltm reprezint reacia biologic fa de caracteristicile lumii unde locuim. Aceast reacie biolog-

ic, aceast cultivare a organelor percepiei depinde, aadar, de zonele libere, care pot fi folosite ca resurse pentru transformare. n acest sens arhitectura trebuie neleas drept crearea i configurarea senzualismului. Aadar, n centrul spaiului public se gsete o aciune, n sensul c arhitectura i ofer mai nti lucrului, forei sau creaturii un spaiu de manevr n cadrul cruia s acioneze diferit sau chiar s nu acioneze deloc. n consecin, arhitectura nu este doar un parametru structural, ci ceea ce o aciune las s apar - dar n nici un caz exclusiv cldiri, ci i, de exemplu, felul cum actorii se adun laolalt i se raporteaz unul la altul. Ea este modificat reciproc de fiecare aciune. Proiectarea, construirea, utilizarea i transformarea spaiului public snt ci de aciune similare. Aciunile interacioneaz i astfel modific spaiile interstiiale n care se desfoar. Astfel arhitectura acestei zone elaboreaz un eveniment din ceea ce rezult printr-o astfel de aciune performativ. Cea dinti consecin a analizei capacitii performative din perspectiva arhitecturii este aceea c aciunile depind de un set situaional de condiii. Ele faciliteaz diferenierea ntre operaiuni, evenimente i procese de execuie. Acest set de condiii determin modalitile unor astfel de diferenieri prin concretizare. n al doilea rnd diferenierile respective corespund unor modele specifice de interaciune. Modelele se cristalizeaz n urma concretizrilor i stabilesc cine acio-neaz i ce este socotit drept aciune. n al treilea rnd, de la aceast concepie asupra aciunii - innd cont i de eveniment - ajungem la prezumia c avem nevoie de o anticipare situaional, n caz c imprevizibilul s-ar putea materi-

aliza ntr-un mod observabil. Posibilitatea de a aciona intenionat este mai degrab un efect secundar al arhitecturii performative. Din aceast punere sub interogaie a conceptului de proiectare rezult idea c locurile, n msura n care au fost proiectate de un individ, nu au multe anse s devin spaii publice. Aciunea, n sensul punerii n aplicare a unui proiect, reprezint ncercarea de a impune n realitate scopul, funciile i structurile de sens, rezultatul fiind acela c realitatea generat situaional ajunge s reprezinte doar un criteriu auxiliar printre elurile unui individ sau ale unei societi. Pn la Leibniz capacitatea performativ a arhitectului n-a constituit nicidecum paradigma demiurgului, a zeului creator, dar ea este acum, concomitent, i modelul dictaturii politice, n care conteaz doar voina unei singure persoane. n Fizica sa Aristotel descrie arhitectonica drept arta lucrului cu un material, n vederea producerii unui obiect cu utilitate. Cel ce folosete obiectul respectiv trebuie s fie familiarizat cu forma sa. ns productorul obiectului, arhitectul su, trebuie s cunoasc i calitile materialului asociat unei funcii specifice. Prin urmare, arhitect nu este cel care fabric produsul sau cel care l folosete, ci acela care elaboreaz unitatea dintre forma i coninutul unui produs, proiectnd materia existenei sale nainte ca ea s existe acolo. Doar c proiectarea e doar una din versiunile arhitecturii. O structur specific a relaiilor sociale, o lume comun i artificial, este o condiie preliminar absolut necesar pentru existena aciunilor. O asemenea structur e de fapt condiia extern pentru fiecare natere, dar i pentru naterea

lucrurilor. Aciunea nseamn nceputul a ceva nou: Fiecare aciune declaneaz i pune n micare ceva n prezent [...], aciunea ncepe i continu ceva n sensul grecescului . Aciunea este efemer i trebuie (mai nti) s fie vzut, auzit, amintit i apoi transformat - adic reificat -, pentru a deveni parte component a lumii. Nu doar prezentul, percepiile i amintirile altor oameni reacioneaz la aciunile din cadrul concretizrilor. Lucrurile reacioneaz i ele la fiecare manifestare, o absorb i o transform. Ca evenimente dependente de prezentificare i concretizare, aciunile snt n esen nedeterminate. Dat fiind capacitatea unei fiine umane de a le iniia, ele evit orice form de predictibilitate. Capacitatea respectiv a oamenilor i disponibilitatea lucrurilor de a rspunde la ea este dat de spaiul public. Acest spaiu le strnge laolalt i toate formeaz o colectivitate n interiorul su, fr a fi produse sau interconectate funcional. Aciunea presupune o scen de aciune. Doar acolo puterea colectiv, ce poate iniia ceva nou, se manifest vizibil - dar fr violen, cci aceasta ar presupune subordonarea la nite scopuri existente. Caracteristicile pot fi inute sub control, adic pot rmne neobservate, n vreme ce violena, exprimat prin aciuni colective, nu poate fi ascuns.

Argumentaia este una fundamentat arhitectural. Ea presupune c deciziile politice se pot lua doar n parlament. i totui parlamentul este un nlocuitor al participrii directe. Cum ar arta un parlament deschis tuturor cetenilor? n ce msur o arhitectur parlamentar reuit oblitereaz absena majoritii populaiei? Din aceast perspectiv, trebuie s evideniem cel puin trei lucruri: a) numrul de oameni care pot intra n spaiul disponibil, b) structura, modul de aranjare i designul slilor parlamentare i c) gradul de transparen fa de cei din afar, observatori i simpli trectori. O cercetare a acestor aspecte ale cldirilor parlamentare pe o perioad ce merge pn n secolul al xVIII-lea dezvluie o evoluie treptat de la spaiile de adunare deschise la slile nchise. a) Atena

oraului, a acropolei, a cerului, a portului i, dincolo de el, a mrii. Aadar, pe de o parte amplasarea sa chiar n centrul Atenei instituia un forum public critic fa de ora, iar pe de alt parte acesta era deschis i celorlalte tipuri de public, n special celor lipsii de statutul de cetean (femeile, strinii, sclavii, minorii). b) Paestum n prezent cel mai cunoscut parlament circular din epoca antic este, probabil, ecclesia din Paestum, odinioar capitala coloniilor greceti din Italia i un ora democratic, organizat dup modelul Atenei. Spaiul circular de adunare avea un loc uor nlat, acolo unde se presupune c sttea vorbitorul. Ecclesia era o construcie deschis, cu vizibilitate din toate direciile. c) Roma

300 pn la 465 de participani la edinele senatului. O u nalt, plasat n faa locului de adunare, ddea direct nuntru, unde existau o tribun i diverse monumente religioase. Ca i n cazul republicilor populare din secolul xx, planul cldirii nchise a senatului (curia) i forul artau c nu se pune problema vreunui gen de controvers. Discursurile ctre popor erau de fapt hotrri oficiale. d) Westminster ncepnd din 1548, parlamentul englez s-a ntrunit ntr-o fost capel (a Sfntului tefan) din Westminster Palace. Amplasarea locurilor a fost rezultatul unei extinderi a bncilor corului i era la fel cu cea din curia roman. La captul estic al slii exista un podium nalt, cu Scaunul Vorbitorului, n faa cruia era plasat Masa Funcionarului. Membrii parlamentului se ntlneau acolo n spatele uilor nchise. Arhitectura parlamentar i constituia unui stat seamn prin influena pe care o exercit asupra potenialului activitii politice. O cldire parlamentar fixeaz n spaiu i identific aciunea politic. Ea difereniaz actorii de strini i activitile legale de cele ilegale. O bun aranjare a spaiului ajut membrii unui parlament s se neleag unul cu altul, sprijinind astfel i potenialele proceduri decizionale. ntr-o sal circular, n general toat lumea poate vedea i auzi pe toat lumea. n schimb, avantajul unei sli semicirculare este acela c mcar o persoan, vorbitorul, i poate vedea i auzi la fel de bine pe toi ceilali. Doar c rezultatul cel mai probabil l constituie apariia faciunilor, a contradiciilor

II. ntrebai de ce nu mai avem azi democraie direct. Rspunsul va fi de obicei acela c dimensiunea populaiei i distanele mari ce trebuie strbtute n statele moderne fac imposibil prezena tuturor cetenilor n parlament.

n Atena forumul de pe dealul Pnyx a fost construit n jurul anului 500 .Hr. i era o platform uria, creat n aa fel nct adunarea popular s poat fi transferat aici din agora. Forma sa era menit s permit o dezbatere democratic i un proces decizional inteligibil. Pnyxul a fost extins i mbuntit sistematic n dou faze distincte de construcie (404-403 .Hr. i 330-326 .Hr.). n cea de-a treia form a sa permitea accesul a pn la 24.000 de oameni. Dei ulterior n jurul su au fost ridicate ziduri, a putut fi vzut ntotdeauna - din agora, de exemplu. Pentru a menine modul acesta de aranjare, deasupra Pynxului au fost amplasate coridoare cu dou stoa, terase pe dou nivele, care ofereau o vizibilitate mai bun asupra adunrii populare a cetenilor dect prile laterale. Pynxul oferea o vedere nestnjenit asupra

Adunarea popular, comitium din forul roman, constituia punctul de pornire al republicii romane. Totui nu era vorba de o democraie, cci republica era condus de o elit politic. Senatul, format din oameni provenii din familiile de patricieni, era cel care dezbtea i aproba msurile politice, care erau anunate poporului din for, de la tribun (rostrum), pentru a fi aprobate prin aclamaii. Dei iniial constituia o form de votare, implicarea poporului n deciziile senatului a devenit cu timpul o simpl formalitate, iar oamenii au fost redui la rolul de spectatori i mai puin de actori n arena politic. Curia Iulia avea o tribun n fa, pentru preedinte. n unghiurile drepte ale tribunei i aezate fa n fa pe ambele laturi, existau trei nivele de galerii, care, n funcie de locuri, puteau adposti de la

i a distanrilor. Mai mult, orice prelungire a semicercului duce la formarea de puncte oarbe, din care e imposibil s vezi sau s fii vzut. Dac arhitectura parlamentar ar ine cont de principiile democratice, atunci ar trebui s le permit tuturor legiuitorilor s se fac auzii i nelei i s-i poat comunica opiniile. Tensiunea existent ntre arhitectur, care impune un anumit mod de utilizare i anumite modele de comportament, i dezbaterile desfurate n parlament confer puteri diferite actorilor parlamentari. Oricine ocup scaunul vorbitorului sau un loc pe bncile guvernului ori controleaz ceea ce se petrece n dosul scenei are n mod cert mai mult putere dect un parlamentar de pe locurile din spate. ns nu doar membrii parlamentului au puterea. Arhitectura o are i ea. Ea impune nu doar felul cum pot comunica unii cu alii membrii parlamentului, ci i cine cu cine vorbete i despre ce vorbete. Ea impune cine (i ce) vede i aude. Mai mult, impune i vocile care conteaz. ntro ncpere circular se poate (i e normal) ca fiecare s vorbeasc de pe locul lui sau al ei. Aa se impune exrpimarea unei singure opinii i prezentarea uneia dintre numeroasele perspective posibile, care contribuie la imaginea de ansamblu. Pe de alt parte, dac exist o tribun, vorbitorul se adreseaz unui public plasat n semicerc i se vede nevoit s ocupe unica poziie legitim de vorbitor. Btlia pentru arhitectura parlamentar arat c abilitatea de a vorbi i de a lua decizii depinde de posibilitatea de a participa, de a fi prezent, de a te face vzut i auzit. Existena conflictelor politice, acceptarea diverselor persoane (pe genuri, pe generaii), dezbaterea vie, puterea de propagare a multelor i

diverselor voci, declararea aprobrii sau a dezaprobrii, toate pot fi stnjenite sau consolidate prin mijloace arhitecturale. Hegemonia democraiei reprezentative se ntemeiaz pe modelul semicircular al amfiteatrului roman clasic nc din epoca Revoluiei Franceze. Modul de aranjare a locurilor concentreaz accentul pe tribun. Conform teoriei, spectacolele sub forma monologurilor snt cele ce dau form i glas mesajului spre popor, care, la rndul lui, i exprim voina prin reprezentanii si. Indiferent unde a fost introdus democraia reprezentativ, ea n-a fost rezultatul unui plebiscit, ci al unui decret emis de parlament, pentru care era nevoie (n medie) de cteva sute de membri. Numrul reprezentanilor nu este dat de dimensiunea populaiei sau de media statistic a presupusei elite politice, ci e pur i simplu egal cu numrul de locuri existente n acest tip de amfiteatru.

III. Criteriul esenial al politicului n filosofia politic tradiional pare s fie constituit de decizia luat pe baza unor calcule raionale. Acest criteriu poate fi ndeplinit n spatele uilor nchise. Oare desfurarea unei dezbateri nu e o simpl fars? Semicercul acela de parlamentari constituie un public mulumitor? Transmiterea televizat a dezbaterilor este suficient sau vorbim de o dezbatere popular instituit corect doar atunci cnd poporul se poate pronuna i i poate enuna criticile i cnd la edine poate s participe oricine vrea? Pentru a rspunde la asemenea ntrebri, este important s facem diferena ntre un spaiu public care strnge laolalt sau

desparte i spaiul politic, care e o component a spaiului social. Socialul se nate din spaii de comunicare ordonat i presupune c o asemenea adunare exist. Spaiul politic utilizeaz mijloace estetice, tiinifice i biologice pentru a plasa oamenii n anumite poziii. El se caracterizeaz prin condiii ale controlului, prin semne de apropriere i prin mecanisme de distanare, care identific subiecii i i fixeaz n relaiile ierarhice (genealogice .a.m.d.) pe care le au unii cu alii (cum se ntmpl n spitale, coli, nchisori sau parlamente). n consecin, n sfera politic puterea poate fi exercitat i reprodus, pe cnd spaiul public nu poate fi nici izolat i nici controlat. Dimpotriv, el nu este subiectul nici unui sistem de percepie neechivoc, ci permite o serie larg de intuiii profunde, ofer dreptul la anonimat i deschide canale de comunicaie pentru noi participani, noi distribuii i noi ntrebri. Galeria pentru public este un element strin de arhitectura clasic a amfiteatrului, cea n care se plaseaz membrii parlamentului. Asemeni unei pene de lemn, ea despic natura nchis a percepiei i participrii din sistemul parlamentar. Ptrunderea publicului n spaiul politic nu poate fi explicat dect prin curentele democratice radicale ale Revoluiei Franceze. Lucrrile parlamentului englez se desfurau odinioar n spatele uilor nchise, dac nu din alt motiv, cel puin pentru a decide msuri ndreptate mpotriva regelui i a curii sale. Reperai strinii era apelul oficial de nchidere a uilor Camerei Comunelor i de ndeprtare a posibililor strini. Din perspectiva analizei intelectuale, nu exist nici un motiv pentru care dezbaterea jurnalistic nu s-ar putea

raporta exclusiv la texte, de exemplu la declaraiile fcute de parlament sau de guvern, urmate de discutarea lor de ctre jurnalitii de profil. Totui este limpede c o asemenea situaie nu e mulumitoare nici pentru pres, nici pentru public. Rapoartele despre activitile parlamentare i evenimentele zilnice pot ntri sau submina suveranitatea unui parlament. De exemplu, n anul 1798 ministrul de rzboi britanic, William Windham, s-a plns despre relatrile necontenite din pres i a avertizat c prezentarea jurnalistic a dezbaterilor parlamentare va transforma inevitabil constituia englez dintr-una reprezentativ ntr-una complet democratic. Iar n 1826 Wellington scria: Discuiile cu uile deschise i publicarea dezbaterilor Adunrii Legislative, orict ar fi de oportune, nu snt absolut necesare pentru existena libertii sau a bunei guvernri n nici o ar din lume. Propriile noastre reglementri i principiile pe baza crora se ntemeiaz i se desfoar discuiile din camerele parlamentului stabilesc c ele snt private i nu snt menite s devin publice. Dar n ce sens pot fi considerate private discuiile desfurate ntre membrii parlamentului la sediul acestuia? Abia n anul 1831 a fost instalat un stal al presei vizavi de tronul Camerei Lorzilor i abia n 1852 n Camera Comunelor, unde a fost amplasat deasupra Scaunului Vorbitorului. Pn n 1875 publicul larg din Anglia nu avea dreptul s participe la edinele parlamentului, ci putea fi ndeprtat n orice moment dac vreunul din parlamentari repera un strin. Galeria deschis pentru privitori, la fel ca i Declaraia Drepturilor Omului, i are originea n Frana revoluionar. Adunarea Strilor Generale sa ntrunit n 1789 la Versailles, n Salle

des Menus-Plaisirs, care fusese reproiectat de arhitectul curii. Rndurile de scaune erau flancate de galerii care le permiteau celor din alaiul curii aristocratice s urmreasc desfurarea lucrrilor. Persoanele aflate n relaii apropiate cu deputaii reueau s se furieze i ei n snul adunrii. Iniial acetia puteau s se deplaseze att de liber printre deputai, nct pe 28 mai 1789 s-a anunat instalarea unor bariere, pentru a ine deoparte numrul mare de vizitatori i pentru a lsa liber interiorul slii. Deputaii aveau dreptul s cear edine cu uile nchise. De exemplu, pe 28 mai 1789 Malouet a cerut ca edina s fie secret, avnd n vedere importana subiectului n discuie, i a insistat ca intruii s fie scoi din sal. Iar Volney i-a rspuns: Strini? Exist strini printre noi? [...] Oare [votanii notri] nu snt interesai n cel mai nalt grad s stea cu privirea lor versat aintit asupra noastr? [...] Avei de gnd s v ferii de vederea lor n clipa cnd datoria voastr e s v justificai ideile i msurile luate? Totui cetenii de rnd, fr nici o atribuie special, erau n general exclui de la procedurile politice. n 19 iunie 1789 Adunarea Strii a Treia s-a mutat la Versailles, n Jeu de Paume. Printr-un pur accident arhitectural, deputaii s-au trezit c au n fa o galerie de unde odinioar spectatorii puteau s urmreasc jocurile cu mingea. Diverse desene i picturi - inclusiv faimoasa lucrare a lui Jacques-Louis David - i prezint pe membrii audienei stnd n galeriile ca nite ferestre la Serment du Jeu de Paume (Jurmntul de la Jeu de Paume). Prezena publicului s-a transformat brusc dintr-un accident arhitectural ntr-o necesitate politic, cci Serment du Jeu de Paume a fost con[192]

comitent i un fel de lovitur de stat, creia prezena ca martori a unui public de spectatori de toate soiurile i-a dat o anumit legitimitate. Deputaii prezeni la Jeu de Paume i-au anunat apelul la o constituie sub forma unui legmnt, jurnd s nu se lase pn ce aceast constituie nu e adoptat. Prin acest gest ei au mai fcut ceva: au renunat la tradiia Strilor Generale. De-acum nu se mai considerau nite reprezentani alei ai anumitor circumscripii, ci s-au constituit ntr-o Adunare Naional, ntruchiparea naiunii, garantat de nite politicieni incoruptibili. Aceti reprezentani politici se vor referi necontenit la publicul prezent, legitimndu-i prin el preluarea puterii. Numai c aceiai actori politici au exclus prezena publicului imediat ce au preluat friele puterii guvernamentale. Dup ce Adunarea Naional s-a mutat la Paris, galeriile parlamentare destinate publicului au fost iniial mrite. Proiectele sugereaz chiar o competiie ntre arhiteci pentru crearea a ct mai multe locuri pentru public n galeriile respective: Gisors a considerat c ar exista spaiu pentru 1.400 de spectatori, n vreme ce Vignon plnuia s permit accesul a 2.500 de oameni. Constituia din 1793 a dat publicului dreptul s intervin n dezbaterile parlamentare i s depun petiii. Posibilitatea de a interveni a fost folosit i de femei pentru a-i anuna pretenia la egalitatea n drepturi. Doar c nici acest model arhitectural de democraie direct i nici prezena fizic a publicului nu au fost tolerate dect atta timp ct le-au fost necesare membrilor parlamentului pentru a prelua puterea. n msura n care crearea nengrdit a asociaiilor i participarea oamenilor la evenimentele politice este mpiedicat, publicul literar aprat de

Habermas constituie un sedativ. Libertatea presei ascunde suprimarea democraiei directe i a formelor sale publice nc de pe vremea conducerii lui Robespierre i a domniei terorii din 1793 i 1794. Nu ntmpltor libertatea presei exist de la sfritul secolului al xVIII-lea, n vreme ce libertatea parial de asociere a fost acordat abia cu o sut de ani mai trziu. Chiar i astzi o adunare neautorizat de oameni ntr-un spaiu public poate fi considerat o mulime turbulent i poate fi mprtiat de poliie.

nprtiate pe tot ntinsul imperiului, sau pe Cmpul lui Marte. Totui, cum structurile arhitecturale ce facilitau adunrile i comunicarea includeau n mod sistematic spaii de egalitate i praguri de difereniere, s-a creat concomitent i un public. Este vorba de partea nesocializat, neorganizat i neidentificat a publicului. Este componenta sa volatil, care nu are un loc anume, se zbate s se fac vzut i e fcut s dispar imediat ce se instituie o structur cuantificabil de percepie i aciune.

IV. Rancire judec activitatea politic ntr-un sens restrns, drept adunarea laolalt a celor care nu au dreptul s vorbeasc, expresia celor ale cror voci nu conteaz. Politica nu reprezint nici exercitarea autoritii guvernamentale, nici modul de organizare a puterii (pe care Rancire l numete, pe bun dreptate, poliie), ci mai degrab momentul n care cei nereprezentai disloc ordinea vizibilului. Aadar, spaiul activitii politice ar fi fractura dintre parlament i galeria vizitatorilor. Interesant este i problema felului n care conflictul pe tema existenei unei scene comune poate fi aplanat n aa fel nct s fie transformat ntr-un proces decizional democratic legitim. Parlamentele noastre snt prea mici pentru populaiile masive pe care le avem. Rousseau a izbutit s contracareze afirmaia de mai sus, susinnd c nici romanii nu erau att de muli nct s nu se poat aduna laolalt. Acetia nu se ntlneau ntr-un singur parlament, ci n mai multe locuri de importan egal,

V. ncepnd cu anul 1794, Adunarea Naional a decis restrngerea arhitectural a posibilitii de participare, control i protest a spectatorilor politici, de genul celei experimentate pe timpul adunrilor spontane, cum s-a ntmplat la Circul adevrului, organizat de abatele Fauchet la Palais-Royal ncepnd din octombrie 1790. Pavilionul circului de acolo era scena ntlnirilor sptmnale ale Assemble fdrative des Amis de la Vrit, care se constituia ntr-o versiune alternativ a Adunrii Naionale, dei nu avea dect patru pn la cinci mii de spectatori, fr a numra i spectatoarele, care umpleau galeriile circului. Este limpede c la dezbaterile politice putea s participe un numr mult mai mare de oameni dect prea posibil n structura aceea semicircular. Mai mult, acolo se puteau desfura polemici i se puteau experimenta - ntr-o manier oarecum neorganizat - forme de participare i regulamente de ordine. Camille Desmoulins, care cunotea foarte bine ambele parlamente, prefera dezbaterile

organizate n circul de la Palais-Royal. Cei ce se adunau acolo i neglijau viaa privat pentru a participa la spectacolul Revoluiei, dar nu ca spectatori pasivi. Lui Camille Desmoulins i plcea faptul c spectatorii erau la fel de glgioi i de activi ca i cei din faimoasele partere zgomotoase de la teatru, unde spectatorii erau mereu gata s fluiere i s huiduie, dar i s elogieze i s se lase fermecai. El susinea c la Palais-Royal nu se fcea nici o difereniere oficial ntre actorii politici i spectatori, aa cum se ntmpla n Adunarea Naional i chiar i n Assembles Primaires (adunrile comunale). Aici oamenii nu erau obligai s i cear vorbitorului oficial permisiunea s spun ceva, iar apoi s atepte dou ore pn s-o poat face. i enunau pur i simplu sugestiile, iar dac ele se bucurau de susinere, atunci vorbitorul respectiv se urca pe un scaun. n cazul n care avea apoi parte de aplauze, i scria sugestia i o ddea mai departe. n cazul n care spusele sale erau dezaprobate i vorbitorul era huiduit, pur i simplu renuna. Desmoulins considera c a-i interzice unei mulimi s-i enune cu voce tare prerea despre un actor sau un autor reprezint un gest tiranic i o piedic n calea progresului artelor. El credea, n egal msur, n dreptul de a huidui i fluiera un avocat sau un cpitan, care nu se bucurau de privilegii mai mari dect actorii. ntr-o naiune fericit, aprecia Desmoulins, prima component a libertii ar trebui s fie libertatea de a huidui i n primul rnd posibilitatea de a huidui un orator dup placul inimii. Galeriile spectatorilor constituiau unicul antidot la tiranie, cci ele erau incoruptibile. Doar n galerii putea renvia conceptul de tribune ale poporului, unde cetenii ateptau rezultatul dezbaterilor

Senatului pe o banc de afar i se bucurau de dreptul de veto. Spre deosebire de acest gen de spaiu al experimentului parlamentar, democraia reprezentativ se ntemeiaz pe sperana c ordinea vorbirii i a importanei - i, n consecin, i argumentaia cea mai bun - se vor impune de la sine n dezbatere. Dac acesta este scopul dezbaterii, atunci ar trebui s li se acorde permisiunea de a vorbi tuturor celor care cred c au ceva de spus sau s vorbeasc doar specialitii. ns e limpede c lucrurile nu stau aa. Discursurile snt susinute de membrii parlamentului, care nu au alte calificri speciale, n afar de faptul c au fost alei. Nu avem de-a face aici nici cu un elitism impus prin origine, de genul celui reprezentat de senatul roman, nici de o aristocraie prin educaie, n conformitate cu fantoma filosofiei politice tradiionale. Iar membrii parlamentului nici nu reprezint poporul, ca delegai mputernicii cu mandat, cum se ntmpla n epoca Strilor Generale. Ei constituie o seciune a populaiei acreditat prin alegeri. Pe parcursul dezbaterilor aceti actori politici demonstreaz ce s-ar putea ntmpla oriunde: un universalizabil ca i cum la Kant, o verificare a ipotezelor prin intermediul cobailor politici de laborator, o schem pilot ce implic exemplare selectate ale naiunii, mostre alese aleatoriu, cu care se lucreaz att ct se poate. Dar chiar i dac am avea din nou o democraie direct, ar trebui s facem diferena ntre un spaiu politic i un spaiu public i s insistm asupra ideii c publicul politic constituie doar o prticic din ansamblul publicului. Aceast distincie este totui una important pentru democraie. Cci mi-am dat seama c democraia nu se evideniaz

doar prin participarea direct a cetenilor la toate procesele decizionale. O alt trstur specific a democraiei este aceea c ea se deschide spre public, care nu trebuie s fie unul politic, ci ar putea fi n egal msur unul ceremonial, unul sportiv sau estetic. Asta nseamn c sarcina publicului politic nu ar fi doar aceea de a face ca activitatea parlamentar s fie inteligibil i deschis criticii, ci i invers: s-i incorporeze pe oamenii din afar, laolalt cu concepiile, evalurile i argumentele lor. n plus, dup cum o dovedete exemplul Atenei, i cei care nu snt nici mcar ceteni ar trebui s poat critica relevana deciziilor, s pun ntrebri i s ridice probleme diferite de cele prin intermediul crora comunitatea polemic parlamentar msoar raionalitatea luptelor sale pentru putere. Galeria presei, galeria spectatorilor, transmisiunile televizate i arhitectura de sticl a cldirilor parlamentelor moderne neutralizeaz publicul respectiv pn ntr-acolo nct ajung doar s l simbolizeze i s mpiedice vreo aciune a sa. Totui, chiar i ca simplu simbol, acest public restrns trimite constant la tendina universalist i la determinarea fizic, local, a proceselor decizionale democratice. Extinderea proceselor de luare a deciziilor n spaiul public deschide calea spre o democraie direct. n schimb, integrarea spaiului public n arhitectura cldirilor parlamentelor face ca democraia s fie concomitent vizionar i n mare msur provizorie. Un parlament al publicului ar fi exact opusul teatrului statului, care e predeterminat de arhitectura sediilor parlamentelor.


From Realpolitik to Dingpolitik - or How to Make Things Public*

strut about the public stage. Astrology, however, is as precarious an art as political science; behind the nefarious conjunctions of hapless stars, other much dimmer alignments might be worth pondering. With the political period triggering such desperation, the time seems right to shift our attention to other ways of considering public matters. And "matters" are precisely what might be put center stage. Yes, public matters, but how? While the German Reich has given us two world wars, the German language has provided us with the word Realpolitik to describe a positive, materialist, no non sense, interest only, matter-of-fact way of dealing with naked power relations. Although this "reality," at the time of Bismarck, might have appeared as a welcome change after the cruel idealisms it aimed to replace, it strikes us now as deeply unrealistic. In general, to invoke "realism" when talking about politics is something one should not do without trembling and shaking. The beautiful word "reality" has been damned by the too many crimes committed in its name. What is the res of Respublica? By the German neologism Dingpolitik, we wish to designate a risky and tentative set of experiments in probing just what it could mean for political thought to turn "things" around and to become slightly more realistic than has been attempted up to now. A few years ago, computer scientists invented the marvelous expression of "object-oriented" software to describe a new way to program their computers. We wish to use this metaphor to ask the question: "What would an

object-oriented democracy look like?" The general hypothesis is so simple that it might sound trivial -but being trivial might be part of what it is to become a "realist" in politics. We might be more connected to each other by our worries, our matters of concern, the issues we care for, than by any other set of values, opinions, attitudes or principles. The experiment is certainly easy to make. Just go in your head over any set of contemporary issues: the entry of Turkey into the European Union, the Islamic veil in France, the spread of genetically modified organisms in Brazil, the pollution of the river near your home, the breaking down of Greenland's glaciers, the diminishing return of your pension funds, the closing of your daughter's factory, the repairs to be made in your apartment, the rise and fall of stock options, the latest beheading by fanatics in Falluja, the latest American election. For every one of these objects, you see spewing out of them a different set of passions, indignations, opinions, as well as a different set of interested parties and different ways of carrying out their partial resolution. It's clear that each object - each issue generates a different pattern of emotions and disruptions, of disagreements and agreements. There might be no continuity, no coherence in our opinions, but there is a hidden continuity and a hidden coherence in what we are attached to. Each object gathers around itself a different assembly of relevant parties. Each object triggers new occasions to passionately differ and dispute. Each object may also offer new ways of achieving closure without having to agree on much else. In other words, matters in dispute - taken as

by Bruno Latour

"The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'' 1 Some conjunctions of planets are so ominous, astrologers used to say, that it seems safer to stay at home in bed and wait until Heaven sends a more auspicious message. It's probably the same with political conjunctions. They are presently so hopeless that it seems prudent to stay as far away as possible from anything political and to wait for the passing away of all the present leaders, terrorists, commentators and buffoons who

so many issues - bound all of us in ways that map out a public space profoundly different from what is usually recognized under the label of "the political." It is this space, this hidden geography that we wish to explore through this catalogue and exhibition. It's not unfair to say that political philosophy has often been the victim of a strong object-avoidance tendency. From Hobbes to Rawls, from Rousseau to Habermas, many procedures have been devised to assemble the relevant parties, to authorize them to contract, to check their degree of representativity, to discover the ideal speech conditions, to detect the legitimate closure, to write the good constitution. But when it comes down to what is at issue, namely the object of concern that brings them together, not a word is uttered. In a strange way, political science is mute just at the moment when the objects of concern should be brought in and made to speak up loudly. Contrary to what the powerful etymology of their most cherished word should imply, their Res-publica does not seem to be loaded with too many things. Procedures to authorize and legitimize are important, but it's only half of what is needed to assemble. The other half lies in the issues themselves, in the matters that matter, in the res that creates a public around it. They need to be represented, authorized, legitimated and brought to bear inside the relevant assembly. What we call an "object-oriented democracy" tries to redress this bias in much of political philosophy, that is, to bring together two different meanings of the word representation that have been kept separate in theory although they have

remained always mixed in practice. The first one, so well known in schools of law and political science, designates the ways to gather the legitimate people around some issue. In this case, a representation is said to be faithful if the right procedures have been followed. The second one, well known in science and in technology, presents or rather represents what is the object of concern to the eyes and ears of those who have been assembled around it. In this case, a representation is said to be good if the matters at hand have been accurately portrayed. Realism implies that the same degree of attention be given to the two aspects of what it is to represent an issue. The first question draws a sort of place, sometimes a circle, which might be called an assembly, a gathering, a meeting, a council; the second question brings into this newly created locus a topic, a concern, an issue, a topos. But the two have to be taken together: Who is to be concerned; What is to be considered? When Thomas Hobbes instructed his engraver on how to sketch the famous frontispiece for Leviathan, he had his mind full of optical metaphors and illusion machines he had seen in his travels through Europe.2 A third meaning of this ambiguous and ubiquitous word "representation," the one with which artists are most familiar, had to be called for to solve, this time visually, the problem of the composition of the "Body Politik." Up to now it has remained a puzzle: How to represent, and through which medium, the sites where people meet to discuss their matters of concern? It's precisely what we are tackling here.3 Shapin and Schaffer might have renewed Hobbes's problem even more tellingly when they

redrew his monster for their frontispiece and equipped his left arm not with the Bishop's crosier, but with Boyle's airpump.4 From now on, the powers of science are just as important to consider: How do they assemble, and around which matters of concern? But in addition to the visual puzzle of assembling composite bodies, another puzzle should strike us in those engravings. A simple look at them clearly proves that the "Body Politik" is not only made of people! They are thick with things: clothes, a huge sword, immense castles, large cultivated fields, crowns, ships, cities and an immensely complex technology of gathering, meeting, cohabiting, enlarging, reducing, and focusing. In addition to the throng of little people summed up in the crowned head of the Leviathan, there are objects everywhere. To be crowded with objects that nonetheless are not really integrated into our definition of politics is even more tellingly visible in the famous fresco painted by Lorenzetti in Siena's city hall.5 Many scholars have deciphered for us the complex meaning of the emblems representing the Good and the Bad Government, and have traced their complex genealogy. But what is most striking for a contemporary eye is the massive presence of cities, landscapes, animals, merchants, dancers, and the ubiquitous rendering of light and space. The Bad Government is not simply illustrated by the devilish figure of Discordia, but also through the dark light, the destructed city, the ravaged landscape, and the suffocating people. The Good Government is not simply personified by the various emblems of Virtue and Concordia, but also through

the transparency of light, its well-kept architecture, its well-tended landscape, its diversity of animals, the ease of its commercial relations, its thriving arts. Far from being simply a dcor for the emblems, the fresco requests us to become attentive to a subtle ecology of Good and Bad Government. And modern visitors, attuned to the new issues of bad air, hazy lights, destroyed ecosystems, ruined architecture, abandoned industry, and delocalized trades are certainly ready to include in their definition of politics a whole new ecology loaded with things.6 Where has political philosophy turned its distracted gaze while so many objects were drawn under its very nose? A new eloquence In this show, we simply want to pack loads of stuff into the empty arenas where naked people were supposed to assemble simply to talk. Two vignettes will help us focus on those newly crowded sites. The first one is a fable proposed by Peter Sloterdijk.7 He imagined that the U.S. Air Force should have added to its military paraphernalia an "inflatable Parliament" which could be parachuted at the rear of the front, just after the liberating forces of the Good had defeated the forces of Evil. On hitting the ground, this parliament would unfold and be inflated just like your rescue dingy is supposed to do when you fall in the water. Ready to enter and take your seat, your finger still red from the indelible ink that proves you have exerted your voting duty, Instant Democracy would thus be delivered! The lesson of this simile is easy to draw. To imagine a parliament without its material set of complex instruments, "air-condition"

pumps, local ecological requirements, material infrastructure, and long held habits is as ludicrous as to try to parachute such an inflatable parliament into the middle of Iraq. By contrast, probing an object-oriented democracy is to research what are the material conditions that may render the air breathable again. The second vignette is the terrifying one offered by the now infamous talk former Secretary of State Colin Powell gave to the United Nations on February 5th, 2003 about the unambiguous and undisputable fact of the presence of weapons of mass destructions in Iraq.8 No doubt, the first half of the representation -namely the assembly of legitimate speakers and listeners- was well taken care of. All of those sitting around the UN Security Council horse shoe table had a right to be there. But the same can't be said of the second half, namely the representation of the facts of the matter presented by the Secretary of State. Every one of the slides was a blatant lie -and the more time has passed the more blatant it has become. And yet their showing was prefaced by these words: "My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence" (my emphasis). Never has the difference between facts and assertions been more abused than on this day. To assemble is one thing; to represent to the eyes and ears of those assembled what is at stake is another. An object-oriented democracy should be concerned as much by the procedure to detect the relevant parties as to the methods to bring into the center of the debate the proof of what it is to be debated. This sec[200]

ond set of procedures to bring in the object of worry has several old names: eloquence, or more pejoratively, rhetoric, or even more derogatory, sophistry. And yet these are just the labels that we might need to rescue from the dustbin of history.9 Mr. Powell tried to distinguish the rhetoric of assertions from the undisputable power of facts. He failed miserably. Having no truth, he had no eloquence either. Can we do better? Can we trace again the frail conduits through which truths and proofs are allowed to enter the sphere of politics? Unwittingly, the Secretary of State put us on a track where the abyss between assertions and facts might be a nice "rhetorical" ploy, but it has lost its relevance. It would imply, on the one hand, that there would be matters-of-fact which some enlightened people would have unmediated access to. On the other hand, disputable assertions would be practically worthless, useful only insofar as they could feed the subjective passions of interested crowds. On one side would be the truth and no mediation, no room for discussion; on the other side would be opinions, many obscure intermediaries, perhaps some hecklings. Through the use of this indefatigable clich, the Inflatable Parliament is now equipped with a huge screen on which thoroughly transparent facts are displayed. Those who remain unconvinced prove by their resistance how irrational they are; they have unfortunately fell prey to subjective passions. And sure enough, having aligned so many "indisputable" facts behind his position, since the "dispute" was still going on, Powell had to close it arbitrarily by a show of unilateral force. Facts and forces, in spite of so

much vibrant declarations, always walk in tandem. The problem is that transparent, unmediated, undisputable facts have recently become rarer and rarer. To provide complete undisputable proof has become a rather messy, pesky, risky business. And to offer a public proof, big enough and certain enough to convince the whole world of the presence of a phenomenon or of a looming danger, seems now almost beyond reach -and always was.10 The same American administration that was content with a few blurry slides "proving" the presence of non-existing weapons in Iraq is happy to put scare quotes around the proof of much vaster, better validated, more imminent threats, such as global climate change, diminishing oil reserves, increasing inequality. Is it not time to say: "Mr. Powell, given what you have done with facts, we would much prefer you to leave them aside and let us instead compare mere assertions with one another. Don't worry, even with such an inferior type of proof we might nonetheless come to a conclusion and this one will not be arbitrarily cut short."?11 Either we should despair of politics and abandon the hope of providing public proofs altogether, or we should abandon the much worn out clich of incontrovertible matters of fact. Could we do better, and manage to really conclude a dispute with "disputable" assertions? After all, when Aristotle -surely not a cultural relativist! - introduced the word "rhetoric" it was precisely to mean proofs, incomplete to be sure but proofs nonetheless.12 This is what we wish to attempt: where matters-of-facts have failed, let's try what I have called matters-of-concern. What

we are trying to register here in this catalogue is a huge sea change in our conceptions of science, our grasps of facts, our understanding of objectivity. For too long, objects have been wrongly portrayed as matters-of-fact. This is unfair to them, unfair to science, unfair to objectivity, unfair to experience. They are much more interesting, variegated, uncertain, complicated, far reaching, heterogeneous, risky, historical, local, material, and networky than the pathetic version offered for too long by philosophers. Rocks are not simply there to be kicked at, desks to be thumped at. "Facts are facts are facts"? Yes, but they are also a lot of other things in addition.13 For those who, like Mr. Powell, have been used for ages to get rid of all oppositions by claiming the superior power of facts, such a sea change might be met with cries of derision: "relativism", "subjectivism", "irrationalism", "mere rhetoric", "sophistry"! They might see the new life of facts as so much subtraction. Quite right! It subtracts a lot of their power because it renders their life more difficult. Think of that: they might have to enter into the new arenas for good and finally make their point to the bitter end. They might actually have to publicly prove their assertions against other assertions, and come to a closure without thumping and kicking, without alternating wildly between indisputable facts and indisputable shows of terror. We wish to explore in this catalogue many other realist gestures than just thumping and kicking. We want to imagine a new eloquence. Is it asking too much from our public conversation? It's great to be convinced, but it would be even better to be convinced by some evidence.14

Our notions of politics have been thwarted for too long by an absurdly unrealistic epistemology. Accurate facts are hard to come by and the harder they are, the more they entail some costly equipment, a longer set of mediations, more delicate proofs. Transparency and immediacy are bad for science as well as for politics; they would make both suffocate.15 What we need is to be able to bring inside the assemblies divisive issues with their long retinue of complicated proof-giving equipment. No unmediated access to agreement; no unmediated access to the facts of the matter. After all, we are used to rather arcane procedures for voting and electing. Why should we suddenly imagine an eloquence so devoid of means, tools, tropes, tricks and knacks that it would bring the facts in the arenas through some uniquely magical transparent idiom? If politics is earthly, so is science.

old word "Thing" or "Ding" designated originally a certain type of archaic assembly.16 Many parliaments in Nordic and Saxon nations still activate the old root of this etymology: Norwegian congressmen assemble in the Storting; Icelandic deputies called the equivalent of thingmen' gather in the Althing;17 Isle of Man seniors used to gather around the Ting;18 the German landscape is dotted with Thingstatten and you can see in many places the circles of stones where the Thing used to stand.19 Thus, long before designating an object thrown out of the political sphere and standing there objectively and independently, the Ding or Thing has for many centuries meant the issue that brings people together because it divides them. The same etymology lies dormant in the Latin res, the Greek aitia, and the French or Italian cause. Even the Russian soviet still dreams of bridges and churches.20 Of all the eroded meanings left by the slow crawling of political geology, none is stranger to consider than the Icelandic Althing since the ancient "thingmen" what we would call "congressmen" or MPs- had the amazing idea of meeting in a desolate and sublime site which happens to sit smack in the middle of the fault line that marks the meeting place of the Atlantic and European tectonic plates. Not only Icelanders manage to remind us of the old sense of Ding, but they also dramatize to the utmost how much these political questions have also become questions of nature. Are not all parliaments now divided by the nature of things as well as by the din of the crowded Ding? Has the time not come to bring the res back to the Respublica?21 This is the reason why we have tried to build the

provisional and fragile assembly of our show on as many fault lines from as many tectonic plates as possible. The point of reviving this old etymology is that we don't assemble because we agree, look alike, feel good, are socially compatible, wish to fuse together, but because we are brought by divisive matters of concern into some neutral, isolated place in order to come to some sort of provisional makeshift (dis)agreement. If the Ding designates both those who assemble because they are concerned as well as what causes their concerns and divisions, it should become the center of our attention: Back to Things! Is this not a more engaging political slogan? But how strange is the shape of the things we should go back to. They no longer have the clarity, transparency, obviousness of matters-of-facts; they are not made of clearly delineated, discrete objects that would be bathing into some translucent space like the beautiful anatomical drawings of Leonardo, or the marvelous wash drawings of Gaspard Monge, or the clear cut isotypes devised by Otto Neurath.22 Matters-of-fact now appear to our eyes as depending on a delicate aesthetic of painting, drawing, lighting, gazing, convening, something that has been elaborated over four centuries and that might be changing now under our very eyes.23 There has been an aesthetic of matters-of-fact, of objects, of Gegenstand. Can we devise an aesthetic of matters-of-concern, of Things? This is one of the (too many!) topics we wish to explore.24 Gatherings is the translation that Heidegger used to talk about those

From objects to things It's to underline this shift from a cheapened notion of objectivity to costly proofs that we want to resurrect the word "Ding" and use the neologism Dingpolitik as a substitute for Realpolitik. The latter lacks realism when it talks about power relations as well as when it talks about mere facts. It does not know how to deal with "indisputability." To discover one's own real naked interest requires probably the most convoluted and farfetched inquiry there is. To be brutal is not enough to turn you into a hard-headed realist. As every reader of Heidegger knows, or as every glance at the English dictionary under the heading "Thing" will certify, the

Things, those sites able to assemble mortals and gods, humans and nonhumans. There is more than a little irony in extending this meaning to what Heidegger and his followers loved to hate, namely science, technology, commerce, industry, and popular culture.25 And yet this is just what we intend to do in this book: the objects of science and technology, the aisles of supermarkets, financial institutions, medical establishments, computer networks -even the cat walk of fashion shows!-26 offer paramount examples of hybrid forums and agoras, of the gatherings that have been eating away at the older realm of pure objects bathing in the clear light of the modernist gaze. Who could dream of a better example of hybrid forums than the scale models used by architects all over the world to assemble those able to build them at scale one?27 Or the thin felt pen used by draughtsman to imagine new landscapes?28 When we say "Public matters!" or "Back to Things!" we are not trying to go back to the old materialism of Realpolitik, because matter itself is up for grabs as well. To be materialist now implies that one enters a labyrinth more intricate than that built by Daedalus. In the same fatal month of February 2003, another stunning example of this shift from object to things was demonstrated by the explosion of the shuttle Columbia. "Assembly drawing" is how engineers call the invention of the blueprint.29 But the word assembly sounds odd once the shuttle has exploded and its debris has been gathered in a huge hall where inquirers from a specially designed commission are trying to discover what happened to the shuttle. They are now provided with an "exploded view" of a

highly complex technical object. But what has exploded is our capacity to understand what objects are when they have become Ding. How sad that we need catastrophes to remind us that when Columbia was shown on its launching pad in its complete, autonomous, objective form that such a view was even more of a lie than Mr. Powell's presentation of the "facts" of WMD. It's only after the explosion that everyone realized the shuttle's complex technology should have been drawn with the NASA bureaucracy inside of it in which they too would have to fly. The object, the Gegenstand, may remain outside of all assemblies, but not the Ding.30 Hence the question we wish to raise: What are the various shapes of the assemblies that can make sense of all those assemblages? Questions we address to the three types of representation brought together in this show: political, scientific, and artistic. Through some amazing quirk of etymology, it just happens that the same root has given birth to those twin brothers: the Demon and the Demos -and those two are more at war with one another than Eteocles and Polyneices have ever been.31 The word "demos" that makes half of the much vaunted word "democracy" is haunted by the demon, yes the devil, because they share the same IndoEuropean root da- to divide.32 If the demon is such a terrible threat, it's because it divides in two. If the demos is such a welcome solution, it's because it also divides in two. A paradox? No, it's because we ourselves are so divided by so many contradictory attachments that we have to assemble.

We might be familiar with Jesus's admonition against Satan's power,33 but the same power of division is also what provides the division/divide, namely the sharing of the same territory. Hence the people, the demos, are made up of those who share the same space and are divided by the same contradictory worries. How could an object-oriented democracy ignore such a vertiginous uncertainty? When the knife hovers around the cake of common wealth to be divided in shares, it may divide and let the demon of civil strife loose, or it may cut equal shares and let the demos happily apportioned. Strangely enough, we are divided and yet might have to divide, that is to share, even more. The "demos" is haunted by the demon of division! No wonder that this show offers, I am afraid, such a pandemonium. Politics is a branch of teratology: from Leviathan to devils, from Discordia to Behemoth, and soon a whole array of ghosts and phantoms. Tricks and treats all the way down.

A demon haunts politics but it might not be so much the demon of division -this is what is so devilish about it- but the demon of unity, totality, transparency, and immediacy. "Down with intermediaries! Enough spin! We are lied to! We have been betrayed." Those cries resonate everywhere and everyone seems to sigh: "Why are we being so badly represented?" Columnists, educators, militants never tire of complaining of a "crisis of representation." They claim that the masses seem no longer to feel at ease with what its elites are telling them. Politicians, they say, have become aloof, unreal, surrealistic, virtual, and alien. An abysmal gap has opened between the "political sphere" and the "reality that people have to put up with." If this gap is yawning under our feet much like the Icelandic fault line, surely no Dingpolitik can ignore it. But it might also be the case that half of such a crisis is due to what has been sold to the general public under the name of a faithful, transparent and accurate representation.35 We are asking from representation something it cannot possibly give, namely representation without any representation, without any provisional assertions, without any imperfect proof, without any opaque layers of translations, transmissions, betrayals, without any complicated machinery of assembly, delegation, proof, argumentation, negotiation, and conclusion. In 2002 in the course of another exhibition called "Iconoclash", many of the same authors have tried to explore the roots of a specific form of Western fanaticism. If only there was no image -that is, no mediation- the better our grasp of

Beauty, Truth and Piety would be. We visited the famous iconoclastic periods from the Byzantine to the Reformation, from Lenin's Red Square to Malevich's Black Square, to which we added the less wellknown struggles among iconoclasts and iconodules in mathematics, physics and the other sciences.36 We wanted to compare with one another the various interference patterns created by all those forms of contradictory attitudes toward images. Scientists, artists, and clerks have been multiplying imageries, intermediaries, mediations, representations while tearing them down and resurrecting them with even more forceful, beautiful, inspired, objective forms. We reckoned that it was not absurd to explore the whole Western tradition by following up such a ubiquitous double bind. Hence the neologism Iconoclash to point at this ambivalence, this other demonic division: "Alas, we cannot do anything without image!" "Fortunately, we cannot do anything without image!" Iconoclash was not an iconoclastic show, but a show about iconoclasm; not a critical show but a show about critique. The urge to debunk was no longer a resource to feed from, we hoped, but a topic to be carefully examined. Like the slave who was asked to remind emperors during their triumphs that they were mere mortals, we had asked an angel to come down and suspend in mid-air the arm that held the hammer, an angel that could mutter in the ear of the triumphant idolbreakers: "Beware! Consider what you strike at with so much glee. Look first at what you might risk destroying instead!" Once the destructive gesture was suspended, we discovered that no iconoclast had ever struck at the right target. Their

No representation without representations Michael Frayn's play Democracy begins with the grating noise of a worm, a little annelid that at the onset is supposed to make the whole decadent West crumble like a wooden house eaten up by termites while the sturdy and united DDR emerges from chaos.34 The same noisy worm is heard again at the end of the play, but this time it's the whole Soviet Bloc that, unexpectedly, lies in dust while democracy - "the worst form of government, except for all the others," as Churchill famously said - keeps on munching and worming along.

blows always drifted sideways. For this reason, even Saint George, we thought, looked more interesting without his spear.38 Our aim was to move the collective attention, as the subtitle of the show, "beyond the image wars in science, religion and art," clearly indicated. This "beyond" was drawn, very simply, by taking into consideration the other half of what they were all doing: those we were following were never simply tearing down idols, burning fetishes, debunking ideologies, exposing scandals, breaking down old forms but also putting ideas onto pedestals, invoking deities, proving facts, establishing theories, building institutions, creating new forms, and also destroying unexpectedly and unwittingly other things they did not know that they cherished so much. By bringing destruction, blunder, plunder, and construction together we hoped to foster a new respect for mediators. Obviously, there is something in the way flows of images create access to Beauty, Truth and Piety that has been missed by idol-breakers over the ages. To summarize our attempt in one simile, I proposed to say that Moses, in addition to being tongue-twisted, might have also been a little hard of hearing and that's why he had understood "Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image" when he had been told: "Thou shall not freeze frame." If you stick to them, images are dangerous, blasphemous, idolatrous; but they are safe, innocent, indispensable if you learn how to jump from one image to the next. "Truth is image, but there is no image of Truth."39 This solution might offer, we thought, a possible cure against

fundamentalism, that is, the belief that without any representation you would be represented even better. Iconoclash, however, carefully excluded politics. This was done on purpose. There is no activity where it is more difficult to pay due respect to mediators; no calling more despised than that of politicians; no sphere more inviting for irony, satire, debunking, derision than the political sphere; no idols more inviting for destructions than the Idols of the Forum; no discourse easier to deconstruct. On political rhetoric, critique has a field day. By kindergarten, toddlers have already grown cynical on all political matters. In a show that was about critique, adding politics would have skewed the whole project and visitors would have left even more iconoclast than when they had entered. But once we have moved beyond the image wars, once we have regained a good grasp of the masses of intermediaries necessary to represent anything, once we have moved back to things, could we extend the same attention for mediators to the most despised activity, namely political spin? Is it possible now to tackle the question of political representation with care and respect? Even more extravagant: Is it possible to tackle it uncritically? Just try to imagine a show about politics that would not be about debunking, exposing, revealing, or smashing the idols down. Do you really want to take politics positively? Indeed.

at the Gorgonian face of politics, is that we seem to delight in adding to it some even more distorting traits. Not happy with Frankenstein, we want to hybridize it with Quasimodo. Monstrous it is, yet this is not a reason to transform it into a painting by Hieronymus Bosch. Or rather, Bosch is painting our own internal Hell which might not bear that much of a relation with the specific monsters of politics.40 What frightens us so much in collective action, the reason why we delight so much in despising it, is that we might see reflected in its distorted mirror our own grimacing faces. Are we not asking from the assembly something it cannot possibly deliver, so that talking positively of politics horrifies us because it's our limitations that we are not prepared to accept? If it's true that representations are so indispensable and yet so opaque, how well prepared are we to handle them? When hearing the call for assembling at the Thing, are we able to accept that we are radically and basically unfit to take a seat in it? Do we have the cognitive equipment required for this? Are we not, on the whole, totally handicapped? Instead of the radiant citizen standing up and speaking his mind by using his solid common sense, as in Rockwell's famous painting "Freedom of speech", should we not look for an eloquence much more indirect, distorted, inconclusive? In this show, we want to tackle the question of politics from the point of view of our own weaknesses instead of projecting them first onto the politicians themselves. We could say that the blind lead the blind, the deaf speak eloquently to the deaf, the crippled are leading marches of dwarfs, or rather, to avoid those biased words, let's say that we are all politically-chal-

lenged. How would it look if we were chanting this more radical and surely more realistic slogan: "Handicapped of all nations, unite!"?41 After all, was not Demosthenes, as much as Moses and many other legislators, speechimpaired?42 Are we not all when our time comes to speak up? The cognitive deficiency of participants has been hidden for a long time because of the mental architecture of the dome in which the Body Politik was supposed to assemble. We were told that all of us upon entering this dome, this public sphere - had to leave aside in the cloak room our own attachments, passions and weaknesses. Taking our seat under the transparent crystal of the common good, through the action of some mysterious machinery, we would then be collectively endowed with more acute vision and higher virtue. At least that was the idea, no matter if the machinery was the social contract or some other metamorphosis: the selfish narrow-minded worm will reemerge as a brightly colored collective butterfly.43 During the Enlightenment, architects took this virtual reality so literally that they actually drew and sometimes built those domes, globes and palaces.44 Later, during the time of revolutions, other builders gave a shape to this public sphere that was no longer limited to deputies and congressmen, but included the whole people or the proletariat or the volk.45 They distributed speech differently, they imagined another way to compose the body, the procedures were modified, they arrayed much vaster masses, but it was still under a dome that they marched and chanted. From Boulle to Speer, from

"Disabled persons of all nations, unite!" What makes it so difficult to stare straight

Pierre-Charles L'Enfant to the new Scottish parliament, from John Soane to Norman Foster, it seemed possible for architects to provide a literal rendition of what it means to assemble in order to produce the common will.46 Individuals might be corrupted, feeble, deficient, but above their weak heads there was a heaven, a sphere, a globe under which they all sat. Just before the French Revolution, Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyes imagined a parliament so big -and so virtual- that it extended to the whole of France, tiers after tiers, all the way to the furthest provinces.47 Unfortunately, much like the Tower of Babel, those "palaces of reason" -to use the name of many city halls in northern Italy- are no longer able to house the issues they were supposed to gather. Commentators of the "events" of May 1968 in France were amused to see that the turbulent demonstrating crowds passed by the National Assembly without even looking at it, as if its irrelevance was so great that it could not even invite abuses. How irrelevant they might seem now that the global has become the new name of the Body PolitiK. Where would you assemble the global? Certainly not under golden domes and kitsch frescoes where heroic senators and half naked Republics are crowned by laurels descending from clouds. Why are politics always about imitation? There is Robespierre imitating Cicero, Lenin mimicking Robespierre. In the name of the common good, forests of Greek columns have been erected across the Western world -while the "mother of all parliaments" in Westminster remained faithful to the dark, cramped, uncomfortable cave of stalls, spires and gargoyles. Neo[208]

gothic, neo-classic, neo-modern or neopostmodern, those spaces were all "neo", that is, trying to imitate some venerated past.48 But you might need more than imitation to build the new political assemblies. Covering the Reichstag with a transparent dome -in effect fully opaqueas Foster did, doesn't seem nearly enough to absorb the new masses that are entering political arenas. If it's true that a parliament is a complex machinery of speech, of hearing, of voting, of dealing, what should be the shapes adjusted to a Dingpolitik? What would a political space be that would not be "neo"? What would a truly contemporary style of assembly look like? It's impossible to answer this question without gathering techniques of representation in different types of assemblies. The effect we wish to obtain is to show that parliaments are only a few machineries of representations among many others and not necessarily the most relevant or the best equipped. It's likely that fundamentalists will not like our show: they think they are safer without representation. They really believe that outside of any assembly, freed from all those cumbersome, tortuous and opaque techniques, they will see better, farther, faster and act more decisively. Inspired directly by the Good, often by their God, they despise the indirectness of representations. But realists might appreciate it because if we are all politically-challenged, if there is no direct access to the general will, if no transparent dome gives any global visibility, if, at best, blind lead blind, then any small, even infinitesimal innovation in the practical ways to represent an issue will make

a small, that is, huge difference. Not for the fundamentalist, but for the realists. Ask the blind what difference it makes to have a white cane or not. Ask the deaf what difference it makes to be instrumented with a hearing-aid or not. Ask the crippled, the advantage they see in having a slightly better adjusted wheelchair. If we are all handicapped, or rather politically-challenged, we need many different prostheses. Each object exhibited in the show and commented in the catalogue is such a crutch. We promise nothing more grandiose than a store of aids for the invalids who have been repatriated from the political frontlines -and haven't we all been badly mauled in recent years? Politics might be better taken as a branch of disability studies.

are decided upon, prove, are being convinced. Each has its own architecture, its own technology of speech, its complex set of procedures, its definition of freedom and domination, its ways to bring together those who are concerned -and even more important those who are not concerned - and what concerns them, its expedient way to obtain closure and come to a decision. Why not render them comparable to one another? After all, they have never stopped exchanging their properties: churches became temples before becoming city halls;49 heads of state learned from artists how to create through publicity a public space;50 it is deep inside convents that the complex voting procedures have been prepared and constitutions been written;51 while laboratories are migrating to forums, the tasting of products borrows heavily from laboratory;52 supermarkets are taking more and more features that make them look like contested voting booths;53 but even the most abstruse models of physics have to borrow heavily from social theories.54 On the other hand, financial institutions seem to gather more information technologies than parliaments.55 The quietest sites of nature have become some of the most contested and disputed battlegrounds.56 As for the World Wide Web, it begins by being a mess and slowly imports all sorts of virtual architectures but only very few reproduce the even more virtual space of the original parliaments;57 artistic installations borrow more and more from scientific demonstrations;58 technical know how absorbs more and more elements from law.59 There is no river that flows anymore from mountain to sea without being as equipped in speech making instruments

From an Assembly of Assemblies... An exhibition cannot do much, but it can explore new possibilities with a much greater degree of freedom because it is so good at thought-experiments, or rather Gedankenaustellung. One of those attempts is to design not one assembly but rather an assembly of assemblies, so that, much like in a fair, visitors or readers can compare the different types of representation. This is what we have attempted here. Scientific laboratories, technical institutions, marketplaces, churches and temples, financial trading rooms, internet forums, ecological disputes - without forgetting the very shape of the museum inside which we gather all those membra disjecta - are just some of the forums and agoras in which we speak, vote, decide,

as humans are through opinion polls.60 Such is the constant commerce, the ceaseless swapping, the endless crisscrossing of apparatuses, procedures, instruments and customs that we have attempted to weave through this show and this catalogue. To collect such an assembly of assemblies, we have not tried to build around them an even bigger, a more all-encompassing dome. We have not tried to imagine that they would all be reducible to the European tradition of Parliaments. On the contrary, we have offered to show how much they differ from one another by linking them through the humble and mundane back door of their representation machineries. We would like visitors and readers to move from one to the other by asking every time the three following questions: How do they manage to bring in the relevant parties? How do they manage to bring in the relevant issues? What change does it make in the way people make up their mind to be attached to things? We hope that once this assembly of assemblies is deployed, that which passes for the political sphere, namely the parliaments and the offices of the executive branches, will appear as one type among many others, perhaps even a rather ill-equipped type. This approach to presenting the representation technology of parliamentary life will not seek to ridicule its antiquated ways nor to criticize the European way of imagining public space. On the contrary, in the object-oriented conception, "parliament" is a technical term for "making things public" among many other forms of producing voices and connections among people.

By this comparative visit, we seek to learn how parliaments -with a small pcould be enlarged or connected or modified or redrawn.61 Instead of saying that "everything is political" by detecting dark forces hidden beneath all the other assemblages, we wish on the contrary to locate the tiny procedures of parliamentary assent and dissent, in order to see on what practical terms and through which added labor they could, one day, become pertinent. In this show, we hope visitors to shop for the materials that might be needed later for them to build this new Noah's Ark: the Parliament of Things. Don't you hear the rain pouring relentlessly already? And Noah for sure was a realist.

seems that the whole world aspires to become one under the aegis of democracy, transparent representation, and the rule of law. But what if every time this inflatable parliament was being dropped in, many other voices were raised: "No Politics Please!", "No representation!", "Not with you", "No democracy, thanks", "Would you please stay as far away as possible", "Leave us alone", "I'd rather not", "I prefer my king?".62 What if the disagreements were not the sort of issues that divide people in the normal state of things, but were bearing instead on the very way to assemble at all? What if we had to imagine not an assembly of assemblies, not even an assembly of ways of assembling, but an assembly of ways of dissembling? Would not that be a call for disassembling instead? And yet this is just what happens when you begin to listen to other voices. Not because they are exotic, far fetched, archaic, irrational, but because they too claim that making things public might be a much more protracted affair than entering into the realm of politics -even widely enlarged. Under the thin veneer of "democracy for all" will soon appear another crisis of representation, one much wider and deeper because it will strike at the heart of what it is to represent at all. Listen to the Japanese tradition: the very word representation strikes their ears as quaint and superficial.63 Listen to the Jivaros: their highly complex rhetoric of agonistic encounters aim at not meeting in the same assembly.64 Listen to the Jihadists calling for the extension of the Oumma. The word "demokrata" remains an imported vocabulary that resonates

... to an Assembly of Dissembling There might just be another reason than the weak imagination of architects for not having a well-designed dome under which to assemble: getting together might not be such a universal desire after all! No matter how wide you stretch it, the political horizon might be too small to encompass the whole Earth. Not only because parliaments are too tiny, not only because a parliament of parliaments would require the use of many different machineries now dispersed among different gatherings, but because the very idea of a political assembly might not be shareable in the end. The urge for political representation might be so much of a Western obsession that other people might object to being thus mobilized or called for. And this objection too has to be registered in our show. If you read the UNESCO literature, it

more like a term of abuse than any deeply cherished value.65 There are many other ways to assemble than under the aegis of a political intent.66 And when highlanders of New Guinea assemble to vote using a complex procedure imported by helicopter from Australian-trained scrutinizers, can we measure how much they have transformed it?67 Even in our own lands obsessed by the transparent republic, much effort is put into doing just the opposite, that is, in making things secret.68 What if one of the causes of fundamentalism was that all those other ways of gathering find themselves, in the end, badly represented? As if the usual garment of politics was too narrow for them? As if they never had room to assemble with the other things they are attached to, such as their gods, their divinities, their scruples of conscience. It's as if the whole definition of politics inherited from the conflicts between church and state had to be discussed again.69 To see politics as a problem of collecting, where if you don't manage it properly you disappear into chaos, seems to be the problem of only a fraction of humanity, i.e. those obsessed by the link between their cosmic and social order.70 And even among those, the idea of politics as speaking one's mind in the middle of an assembly seems to be a rather provincial notion. According to Franois Jullien, the Chinese tradition seems to ignore it entirely.71 The Chinese, at least in their ancient learned tradition, don't want simply to add their differences to other differences. They are more than happy to take their seats in the global amphitheatre of multiculturalism -similarly seated but with a tiny difference of angle to witness the

same spectacle- but wish to remain indifferent to our own, meaning Western, ways of being all encompassing. Differences we could absorb -we thought we could absorb under the decaying but still solid dome of the Holy Roman Empire- but indifferences? To the possible dismay of political scientists, the very idea of a political assembly does not gather much interest. This is where things become really complicated and thus interesting: How to devise an assembly of ways of dissembling instead of sending a convocation to gather under the common dome of "One Politics Size Fits All"? Can we enlarge our definition of politics to the point where it accepts its own suspension? But who can really be that open-minded?72 And yet, do we have another course of action? It would be too easy simply to recognize the many contradictions as if we could be content with the absence or the demise of all political assemblies. As if we could abandon for good the task of composition. There must be some alternative to cheap universalism ("but surely every human is a political animal") and to cheap relativism ("let everyone gather under one's own flag, and if they have no flag then let them hang themselves!"). That we have to find a way out is forced upon us by what is called "globalization": even though the Jivaros, the Chinese, the Japanese, the faithful members of the Oumma, the born-again Christians, etc. don't want to enter under the same dome, they are still, willingly or unwillingly, connected by the very expansion of those make shift assemblies we call markets, technologies, science, ecological crises,

wars and terrorist networks. In other words, the many differing assemblages we have gathered under the roof of ZKM are already connecting people no matter how much they don't feel assembled by any common politics. The shape of the dome might be contested, because it does not allow enough room for differences and indifferences, but that there is something at work that is called "global" is not in question. It's simply that our usual definitions of politics have not caught up yet with the masses of linkages already established. In this catalogue we want to probe further into this historical paradox. In earlier times, say during the Enlightenment, there existed a metaphysical globe to use Sloterdijk's expression,73 even though globalization was barely beginning. But now that we are indeed globalized, there is no globe anymore! To take an example, when the cartographer Mercator transformed Atlas from a distorted giant supporting the Earth on his shoulder into a quiet and seated scientist holding the planet in his hand, this was probably the time when globalization was at its zenith. And yet the world in 1608 was barely known and people remained far apart. Still, every new land, every new civilization, every new difference could be located, situated, housed, without much surprise into the transparent house of Nature. But now that the world is known, people are brought together by violent deeds, even if they wish to differ and not be connected. There is no global anymore to assemble them. The best proof is that there are people setting up demonstrations against globalization. The global is up for grabs. Globalization is simultaneously at its maximum and the globe

at its nadir. There are lots of blogs but no globe. And yet, we are all in the same boat, or at least the same flotilla. To use Neurath's metaphor, the question is how to rebuild it while we are cruising on it? Or rather, how can we make it navigate when it's made of a fleet of diverging but already intertwined barges? In other words, can we overcome the multiplicity of ways of assembling and dissembling, and yet raise the question of the one common world? Can we make an assembly out of all the various assemblages in which we are already enmeshed?

The Phantom Public The cry is well known: "The Great Pan is dead!" Nature, this huge and silent parliament where all the creatures would be arrayed tier after tier from the biggest to the smallest, this magnificent amphitheatre offering to the clumsy politicians a perfect and successful original of what is rational and what is irrational, this great parliament of nature has crumbled down much like the Tower of Babel.74 Political philosophy has always tried to prop up its frail intuitions onto the solid and powerful pattern of some other science: it seems everything from the metaphor of the organism to that of the brain has been tried. It has been a continuous undertaking: How to replace the dangerous trade of politics by the serious and safe knowledge of some better established science? And it has continuously failed. A crisscrossing of metaphors from Menenius's "Fable of the Member and the Stomach"75 to contemporary socio-

biology and cybernetics,76 has tried to fasten the poor assemblies of humans to the solid reality of nature. All the organs of the body have been tried out to probe the making up of the monstrous Body Politik.77 All the animals have been invoked in turn: ants, bees, sheep, wolves, bugs, worms, pigs, chimps, baboons, etc. to establish a firmer ground for the whimsical assemblies of humans. And yet to no avail, since they are many ways to be a body, since sheep don't flock,78 wolves are not as cruel as humans,79 baboons have an intense social life,80 brains have no central direction.81 It seems that nature is no longer unified enough to provide a stabilizing pattern for the traumatic experience of humans living in society. No doubt, the Body Politik is a monster -so much so that it's not even a body. But which type of monster is it? This is what we wish to find out. We might have transformed politics into a monstrous activity because we have tried to make it exist in a form, borrowed from nature, which it could not possibly take. "The answer was not acceptable in the 19th century, when men, in spite of all their iconoclasm, were still haunted by the phantom of identity," wrote Walter Lippmann in a stunning book called the Phantom Public.82 In many ways our exhibition is an effort in teratology, an experiment in trying to pry apart two ghostly figures: the Leviathan and the Phantom of the Public. (Sorry there is no way to talk about politics and to speak of beautiful shapes, elegant silhouettes, heroic statues, glorious ideals, radiant futures, transparent information -except if you want to go through, once again, the long list of grandiose ceremonies held by var[213]

ious totalitarianisms which, as we are all painfully aware, lead to the worst abominations. The choice is either to speak of monsters early on with care and caution, or too late and end up as a criminal. O Machiavelli, how right you were, let us pray that we heed your cautious lessons in realism.) According to Lippmann and to the philosopher John Dewey in response to his book,83 most of European political philosophy has been obsessed by the body and the state. They have tried to assemble an impossible parliament that represented really the contradictory wills of the multitude into one General Will. But this enterprise suffered from a cruel lack of realism. Representation, conceived in that total, complete and transparent fashion, cannot possibly be faithful. By asking from politics something it could not deliver, Europeans kept generating aborted monsters and ended up discouraging people to think politically. For politics to be able to absorb more diversity ("the Great Society" in Dewey's time and what we now call "Globalization"), it has to devise a very specific and new type of representation. Lippmann calls it a Phantom because it's disappointing for those who dream of unity and totality. Yet strangely enough, it is a good ghost, the only spirit that could protect us against the dangers of fundamentalism. Long before the United States degenerated into its present conservative revolution, it had a much more sturdy and contemporary tradition. Those American philosophers call their tradition pragmatism, meaning by this word not the cheap realism often associated with being "pragmatic," but the costly realism requested by making politics turn toward pragmata [214]

the Greek name for Things. Now that's realism! In this exhibition, we try the impossible feat to give flesh to the Phantom of the Public. We want to make the visitors feel the difference there is between expecting from the Body Politik something it cannot give -and that surely creates a monsterand being moved by the Phantom Public. The idea is to take the word Phantom and to grant this fragile and provisional concept more reality -at least more realismthan the phantasmagorical spheres, globes, common good and general will that the Leviathan was supposed to incarnate. In other words, the problem of composing one body from the multitude of bodies - a problem that is reviewed here by many exhibits- we want to tackle it again, but this time with contemporary means and media. The Phantom designed by Michel Jaffrenou and Thierry Coduys is an invisible work of art. It's activated by the movements of the visitors throughout the show so that each spectator is simultaneously an actor in the show and the only screen on which the whole spectacle is projected. By moving through the various exhibits, the visitors will trigger various captors that will be used as so many inputs to trigger outputs which will give a vague and uneasy feeling that "something happens" of which the bystanders are responsible but in a way that is not directly traceable. Politics will pass through you as a rather mysterious flow just like a phantom. Moreover, the input/output relation will vary according to the time of day, the number of people in the show, the answers given to the various queries, the cumulative effect of past

visitors, the somewhat invisible presence of the web visitors. At times the relation will be traceable in a sort of one-to-one connection ("I did this and here is what happens"), but at other instances the whole effect will be entirely lost ("I did nothing and here is what happened"), while at some other times the effect will be direct but on some other visitors. Through this complex, invisible (and expensive!) work of art rendered possible by the complex technology infrastructure of ZKM,84 we hope to substitute in the mind of the visitor the light spirit of the Phantom to the crushing weight of the total Body Politik. Unfortunately, the catalogue has to render through the lay out the experience of what it is to be caught by the passage of this Phantom Public. It's to the flow of words and images that we have to confide the task of imitating the ghostly but spirited figure of politics. Why do we attach so much importance to the difference between Body Politik and Phantom? It is due to the fact that for the new eloquence to become a habit of thought, we must be able to distinguish two ways of speaking. To raise a political question often means to reveal a state of affairs whose presence was hitherto hidden. But then you risk falling into the same trap of providing social explanations and do exactly the opposite of what is meant here by political flow. You use the same old repertoire of already gathered social ties to "explain" the new associations. Although you seem to speak about politics you don't speak politically. What you are doing is simply the extension one step further of the same small repertoire of already standardized forces. You might feel the pleasure of providing a "powerful explanation," but that's just the

problem: you yourself partake in the expansion of power, not the re-composition of its content. Even though it resembles political talks, it has not even begun to address the political endeavor since it has not tried to assemble the candidates into a new assembly adjusted to their specific requirements. "Drunk with power" is an expression not only fit for generals, presidents, CEOs, mad scientists and bosses - it can also be used for those commentators who are confusing the expansion of powerful explanations with the composition of the collective. This is why we might need still another slogan: "Be sober with power." In other words, abstain as much as possible from using the notion of power in case it backfires and hits your explanations instead of the target you are aiming to destroy. No powerful explanations without checks and balances.

Politics of time, politics of space Going back to things and speaking positively of the phantom of the public, is this not, in the end, terribly reactionary? It depends on what we mean by progressive. Imagine that you have the responsibility of assembling together a set of disorderly voices, contradictory interests and virulent claims. Then imagine you are miraculously offered a chance, just at the time when you despair of accommodating so many dissenting parties, to get rid of most of them. Would you not embrace such a solution as a gift from heaven? This is exactly what happened when the contradictory interests of people could be differentiated by using the following shib[215]

boleth: "Are they progressive or reactionary? Enlightened or archaic? In the vanguard or in the rearguard?" Dissenting voices were still there, but most of them represented backward, obscurantist or regressive trends. The cleansing march of progress was going to render them pass. You could safely forget two thirds of them and so your task of assembling them was simplified by the same amount. In the remaining third, not everything had to be taken into account either since most of the positions were soon made obsolete by the passage of time. Among the contemporary parties to the dispute, progressive minds had to take into consideration only those few seen as the harbingers of the future to come. So, through the magical ordering power of progress, politics was a cinch since ninety percent of the contradictory passions had been spirited away, left to linger in the limbo of irrationality. By ignoring most of the dissenters, you could reach a solution that would satisfy everyone, namely those who made up the liberal or revolutionary avant-garde. In this way, the arrow of time could safely thrust forward. Philosophers define time as a "series of successions" and space as a "series of simultaneities." Undoubtedly, while we filed away everything under the power of progress, we lived in the time of succession. Kronos would eat away all that was archaic and irrational in his own progeny, sparing only those predestined for a radiant future. But through a twist of history that neither reformists nor revolutionaries ever anticipated, Kronos has suddenly lost his vora[216]

cious appetite.85 Strangely enough, we have changed time so completely that we have shifted from the time of Time to the time of Simultaneity. Nothing, it seems, accepts to simply reside in the past, and no one feels intimidated any more by the adjectives "irrational," "backward" or "archaic." Time, the bygone time of cataclysmic substitution, has suddenly become something that neither the Left nor the Right seems to have been fully prepared to encounter: a monstrous time, the time of cohabitation. Everything has become contemporary. The question is no longer: "Are you going to disappear soon? Are you the telltale sign of something new coming to replace everything else? Is this the seventh seal of the Book of Apocalypse that you are now breaking?" An entirely new set of questions has now emerged: "Can we cohabitate with you? Is there a way for all of us to survive together while none of our contradictory claims, interests, and passions can be eliminated?" Revolutionary time, the great Simplificator, has been replaced by cohabitation time, the great Complicator. In other words, space has replaced time as the main ordering principle. It's fair to say that the reflexes of politicians, the passions of militants, the customs of citizens, their ways to be indignant, the rhetoric of their claims, the ecology of their interests, are not the same in the time of Time and in the time of Space. No one seems prepared to ask: What should now be simultaneously present? How different, for instance, to deal with religion if you wait for its slow disappearance in the faraway land of fairies, or if it

explodes under your very eyes as what makes people live and die now -now and also tomorrow. What a difference it makes if nature, instead of a huge reservoir of forces and a bottomless repository of waste, turns suddenly into something that interrupts any progression: something to which you cannot appeal and can't get rid of. "Comment s'en dbarrasser?" Ionesco asked during the "Glorious Thirties".86 It has now become the worry, the Sorge, the souci of almost everyone in all languages. We can get rid of nothing and no one. Ecology has probably ruined forever the time of Succession and has ushered us into the time of Space. Yes, everything is contemporary. Progress and succession, revolution and substitution, neither are part of our operating system any longer. And yet where is the alternative OS? Who is busy writing its lines of code? We sort of knew how to order things in time, but we have no idea of the space in which to collect ourselves.87 We have yet to channel new political passions into new habits of thought, new rhetoric, new ways of being interested, indignant, mobilized, and pacified. Whenever we are faced with an issue, the old habits still linger and the voice of progress still shouts: "Don't worry, all of that will soon disappear, they're too archaic and irrational." While the new voice can only whisper: "You have to cohabit even with those monsters, because don't indulge yourself in the naive belief that it will soon fade away; space is the series of simultaneities, all of that has to be taken into account at once." This does not mean that there is no progress in the end, or that no arrow of

time can be thrust forward. It means that we slowly proceed from a very simpleminded form of cohabitation -such as the evolutionary or revolutionary ones- to a much fuller one, where more and more elements are taken into account. There is progress but it goes from a mere juxtaposition to an intertwined form of cohabitation: How many contemporary elements can you build side by side, generating the series of simultaneity? Communism might have been wrong not in the quest for the community, but in the hasty way it imagined what is the Common World to be shared.

What is Dingpolitik? Back to things. Back to this fragile and provisional pandemonium: a show, a catalogue. Demon and demos, as I said earlier, have the same etymology. If you follow the first division, you multiply the occasions to differ and to dissemble; if you follow the second division, you multiply the occasions to agree, to compose, to assemble, to share. The difference between the two is as thin as a knife. In both cases the Ding will disband -and so will this exhibit. If the "demon of politics" has taken you over a certain pattern will emerge: too much unity, too much disunity. But if you manage to feel the passage of the "phantom public" through your actions, another patter will emerge: less claims to unity, less beliefs in disunity. The quest for composition has began again just as in the times of Father Nicron. This is at least the effect we wish to produce upon visitors and readers. So what is Dingpolitik in the end? It is the

degree of realism that is injected when: a- politics is no longer limited to humans and incorporates the many issues to which they are attached; b- objects become things, that is, when matters of fact give way to their complicated entanglements and become matters of concern; c- assembling is no longer done under the already existing globe or dome of some earlier tradition of building virtual parliaments; d- the inherent limits imposed by speech impairment, cognitive weaknesses, and all sorts of handicaps are no longer denied but that prostheses are accepted instead; e- it's no longer limited to properly speaking parliaments but extended to the many other assemblages in search of a rightful assembly; f- the assembling is done under the provisional and fragile Phantom Public, which no longer claims to be equivalent to a Body, a Leviathan or a State; g- and finally Dingpolitik may become possible when politics is freed from its obsession with the time of Succession. Such is the experiment that we have undertaken with this show and catalogue. Needless to say, the authors assembled here don't have to agree with one another, nor with this introduction! But accepting a fragile and provisional roof to probe one another's attachment to things? Perhaps.

If fundamentalism is the conviction that mediations may be by-passed without cost, then it's the ultimate "ding-less" mode of doing politics. In the end, one question really has interested us: Can fundamentalism be undone? When will the horsemen of Apocalypse stop meddling in politics?

Notes [1] "Without a Doubt" Ron Suskind in New York Times, October 17 2004. [2] Horst Bredekamp, Thomas Hobbes Visuelle Strategien. Der Leviathan: Das Ulbid des modernen Staates Werkillustrationen und Portraits, Akademie Verlag, Berlin, 1999; Simon Schaffer this volume xx about the Nicron's machine: Jean-Franois Nicron, La perspective curieuse Paris chez Pierre Billaine Chez Jean Du Puis rue Saint Jacques la Couronne d'Or avec l'Optique et la Catoptrique du RP Mersenne du mesme ordre Oeuvre trs utile aux Peintres, Architectes, Sculpteurs, Graveures et tous autres qui se meslent du Dessein, 1663. [3] Dario Gamboni this volume xx. [4] Steven Shapin, and Simon Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump. Hobbes, Boyle and the Experimental Life, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1985. [5] Quentin Skinner, Ambrogio Lorenzetti : the Artist as Political Philosopher, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1986; AnneMarie Brenot, Sienne au xIV sicle dans les fresques de Lorenzetti: la Cit parfaite, L'Harmattan, Paris, 1999; Giovanni Pavanello, Il Buono et il Cattivo Governo. Rappresentazioni nelle Arti dal Medioevo al Novecento (catalog of an exhibition), Fondazione Cini, Marsilio, Venice, 2004 and his paper in this volume xx. [6] Peter Sloterdijk, Sphren III- Schume, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt, 2004 and his chapter in this volume xx. [7] Personal communication or chapter xx. [8] Full text is available at .htm [9] Barbara Cassin, L'effet sophistique, Gallimard, Paris, 1995 and her chapter in this volume xx. [10] Simon Schaffer, [long chapter] this volume xx. [11] See the complex set of assertions offered by Hans Blix, Disarming Iraq, Pantheon Books, New York, 2004. [12] Enthymem' is the name given to this type of incomplete proof: Aristotle, Treatise on

* Although I cannot thank all the people whose thoughts have contributed to this paper without listing this entire catalogue, I owe a very special thank to Noortje Marres whose work on Lippman and Dewey has been central during the three years of preparation for this show.

Rhetorics, prometheus Books, New York, 1995. [13] Hans-Jorg Rheinberger, Toward a History of Epistemic Thing. Synthetizing Proteins in the Test Tube, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1997 and Hans Jorg Rheinberger and Henning Schmidgen, this volume xx. [14] It's a striking feature of the 2004 American election to have witnessed the drift of the meaning of the word convinced' from an objective to a subjective status: one now designates by it the inner wholesomeness of an interior soul and no longer the effect on one's mind of some indirect and risky evidence: the convinced' Bush won over the flip-flopper' to-beconvinced Kerry. [15] Ann-Rose Shell, this volume about Marey's instrumentarium xx; Peter Galison about the Walls of Science, this volume xx. [16] See the Oxford Dictionary: "ORIGIN: Old English, of Germanic origin: related to German Ding. Early senses included meeting' and matter, concern' as well as inanimate objects'.?" Martin Heidegger, What is a thing? (Translated by W. B. Barton, Jr., and Vera Deutsch), Chicago, 1968; Graham Harman, this volume xx. [17] Gisli Palson, this volume xx. [18] Elizabeth Edwards and Peter James on Benjamin Stone's photographs, this volume xx. [19] Barbara Doelemeyer, this volume xx. [20] Oleg Kharkodin, this volume xx. [21] "When [the res] appears in this function, it is not as a seat where the unilateral mastery of a subject is exercised ... If the res is an object, it has this function above all in a debate or an argument, a common object that opposes and unites two protagonists within a single relation" (p. 417), Yan Thomas. "Res, chose et patrimoine (note sur le rapport sujet-objet en droit romain)." Archives de philosophie du droit 25, 198O, pp. 413-426; and, further on: "Its objectivity is ensured by the common agreement whose place of origin is controversy and judicial debate" (p. 418) [22] Wiebe Bijker, this volume xx, Frank Hartmann this volume xx. [23] Lorraine Daston, and Peter Galison. "The Image of Objectivity." Representation (40),

1992, pp. 81-128 and Lorraine Daston, this volume xx, Jessica Riskin, this volume xx. [24] Peter Weibel, this volume xx. [25] Richard Rorty, this volume xx; Graham Harman, this volume xx. [26] Pauline Terreehorst and Gerard de Vries, this volume xx. [27] Albena Yaneva and Ole Scheeren, this volume xx. [28] Emilie Gomart, this volume xx. [29] Wolfang Lefvre, Picturing Machines 1400-1700, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass, 2004. [30] Wiebe Bijker, this volume xx. [31] Marcel Detienne, (ed.), Qui veut prendre la parole?, Le Seuil, Paris, 2003. [32] Pierre Lvque. "'Repartition et democratie propos de la racine da-''." Esprit (12), 1993, pp. 34-39. [33] "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand; and if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? (Matt, 12, 26-27). [34] Michael Frayrn, Democracy, Methuen Drama, London, 2003. [35] Noortje Marres, this volume. [36] Bruno Latour, and Peter Weibel, (eds.), Iconoclash. Beyond the Image Wars in Science, Religion and Art, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass, 2002. [37] Kindly provided by Erica Naginski "The Object of Contempt" in Yale French Studies, No. 101, Fragments of Revolution. (2001), pp. 32-53 [38] Jerry Brotton "Saints Alive: The Iconography of St Georges" in Bruno Latour, B. and Peter Weibel, P. op.cit. pp. 155. [39] Marie Jos Mondzain "The Holy Shroud. How Invisible Hands Weave the Undecidable" idem pp. 324-335. [40] Joseph Leo Koerner. "Impossible Objects: Bosch Realism." Res (46 Autumn), 2004, pp. 73-98. [41] Michel Callon, this volume. [42] "How then should Pharaoh heed me a man of impeded speech" (xx) According to Marc Shell (personal communication) all great statesmen had some speech defect [43] Chantal Mouffe, this volume.

[44] Jean-Philippe Heurtin, L'espace public parlementaire. Essais sur les raisons du lgislateur, PUF, Paris, 1999 and chapter, this volume; Ludger Schwarte, this volume xx. [45] Anna Miljaki, this volume. [46] Deyan Sudjic, Architecture and Democracy, Lawrence King Publishing, Glasgow, 2001. [47] See excerpt p. xx [48] Christine Riding, and Jacqueline Riding, The Houses of Parliament. History, Art, Architecture, Merrell, London, 2000. James A. Leith, Space and Revolution: Projects for Monuments, Squares, and Public Buildings in France, 1789-1799, McGill-Queens University Press, Montral, 1991. [49] Joseph Koerner, this volume xx. [50] Lisa Pon, this volume xx. [51] Christophe Bourreux, this volume xx. [52] Antoine Hennion et Genevive Teil, this volume xx. [53] Franck Cochoy and Catherine Grandclment, this volume xx. [54] Pablo Jensen, this volume xx. [55] Fabian Muniesa, Daniel Beunza and Alex Preda, this volume xx. [56] Vinciane Despret; Isabelle Mauz & Julien Gravelle, this volume xx. [57] Richard Rogers and Noortje Marres, this volume xx. [58] Natalie Jeremijenko; x-Periment, this volume xx. [59] Susan Silbey, this volume xx. [60] Christelle Gramaglia, xx; Cordulla Kropp, xx; Jean Pierre le Bourhis this volume xx. [61] Delphine Gardey, this volume xx; Michael Lynch & Stephen Hilgartner, and Carin Berkowitz this volume xx. [62] Isabelle Stengers, this volume xx. [63] Masato Fukushima, this volume xx. [64] Philippe Descola and Anne-Christine Taylor, this volume xx. [65] Gilles Kepel, Fitna. Guerre au coeur de l'Islam, Gallimard, Paris, 2004. [66] Anita Herle and Amiria Henare, this volume xx. [67] Pierre Lemonnier and Pascale Bonnemre, this volume xx. [68] Peter Galison, this volume xx. [69] Christin, this volume xx.

[70] Philippe Descola, in press xx. [71] Franois Jullien, this volume excerpt from xx. [72] Compare Isabelle Stengers' definition of politics (this volume xx) with Ulrick Beck, Der kosmopolitische Blick, Munich, Suhrkamp, 2004. [73] Peter Sloterdijk, Sphren, Kt., Bd.2, Globen, Munich, Suhrkamp, 2004. [74] John Tresch, this volume xx. [75] Shakespeare excerpt this volume xx. [76] Eden Miller, this volume. [77] Francisco Varela, et al. "The Brainweb: Phase Synchronisation and Large-Scale Integration." Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2, 2001, pp. 229-239; Michael Hagner on the brain Soviet politics, this volume xx. [78] Vinciane Despret, this volume xx. [79] Didier Demorcy, this volume. [80] Shirley Strum, Almost Human. A Journey Into the World of Baboons, Random House, New York, 1987 and excert this volume xx. [81] Varela xx. [82] Noortje Marres, this volume xx. [83] John Dewey, The Public and Its Problems, Ohio University Press, Athens, 1927 1954. [84] Peter Cornwell, this volume xx. [85] Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, Free Press, New York, 1992, was right in diagnosing the end of history but wrong to believe it would simplify the political tasks ahead: exactly the opposite happened. Simultaneity is much harder to crack than succession because you can't get rid of any contradictions. [86] Eugne Ionesco: Amde ou Comment s'en dbarrasser, 1954. [87] Witness how clumsy is the effort of Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of World Order, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1998 to project into geography the history that Fukuyama had declared moot.


De la Realpolitik la Dingpolitik sau Cum s faci lucrurile publice*

by Bruno Latour

Asistentul mi-a spus c inii asemenea mie se includ n ceea ce noi numim comunitatea centrat pe realitate, pe care o definea ca fiind una a oamenilor care cred c soluiile apar n urma unui studiu aplicat asupra realitii vizibile. Am dat din cap aprobator i am murmurat ceva despre principiile iluministe i despre empirism. El mi-a tiat-o. Acum lumea nu mai funcioneaz aa, a continuat el. Acum sntem un imperiu, iar atunci cnd acionm, crem propria noastr realitate. i n vreme ce voi studiai acea realitate - temeinic, aa cum v st n fire -, noi vom aciona iari, crend noi realiti, pe care le putei apoi studia, i astfel se structureaz totul. Noi sntem actorii istoriei... iar vou, tuturor, nu v rmne dect s studiai ce facem noi.1 Astrologii spuneau odinioar c unele conjuncii ale planetelor snt att de ru prevestitoare, c ar fi mai sigur s stai acas, n pat, i s atepi pn cnd Cerul o s trimit un mesaj mai benevolent. Probabil c la fel se ntmpl i cu conjunciile politice. La ora actual snt att de lipsite de speran, nct pare mai prudent s stai ct mai departe de orice

ine de spaiul politic i s atepi dispariia tuturor liderilor, teroritilor, comentatorilor i bufonilor contemporani care opie pe scena public. Altfel, astrologia cu greu poate fi numit o profesie, aa cum e politologia. n spatele conjunciilor nefavorabile ale stelelor nenorocoase s-ar putea s se gseasc alte alinieri, mult mai discrete, care s merite luate n calcul. Cum politica epocii actuale declaneaz atta disperare, pare un moment potrivit pentru a ne ndrepta atenia spre alte metode de evaluare a problemelor de interes public. Iar problemele snt exact lucrul care ar trebui s devin centrul ateniei. Da, probleme de interes public, dar cum? n vreme ce Reichul german ne-a procopsit cu dou rzboaie mondiale, limba german ne-a oferit cuvntul Realpolitik pentru a descrie o metod concret, materialist, pragmatic, dominat de interes i lipsit de absurditi, pentru a aborda raporturile de putere nude. Cu toate c aceast realitate - la acea vreme realitatea lui Bismarck - s-ar putea s fi prut o schimbare binevenit dup idealismele crude pe care urmrea s le nlocuiasc, n prezent ne izbete prin profunda ei lips de realism. n general, invocarea realismului atunci cnd vorbeti despre politic e un lucru ce n-ar trebui fcut fr frisoane i drdieli. Frumosul cuvnt realitate a fost condamnat de mult prea numeroasele crime nfptuite n numele lui.

Ce nseamn res publica? Prin neologismul german Dingpolitik vrem s definim un set de experimente riscante i provizorii prin care s cercetm pur i simplu ce ar

putea reprezenta pentru gndirea politic rsturnarea lucrurilor i s devenim puin mai realiti dect s-a ncercat pn acum. n urm cu civa ani specialitii n computere au inventat minunata sintagm de software orientat spre obiect, prin care descriau un nou mod de programare a computerelor. Noi vrem s utilizm metafora respectiv pentru a pune urmtoarea ntrebare: Cum ar arta o democraie orientat spre obiect? Ipoteza de baz este att de simpl, nct ar putea prea chiar banal - dar banalitatea ar putea s fac parte din ceea ce nseamn s devii realist n politic. Am putea fi mai legai unii de alii de temerile noastre, de grijile noastre, de problemele de interes general, dect de orice set existent de valori, opinii, atitudini sau principii. Experimentul e oricum uor de fcut. nirai-v pur i simplu n minte orice set de probleme contemporane: intrarea Turciei n Uniunea European, vlul islamic n Frana, proliferarea organismelor modificate genetic n Brazilia, poluarea rului de lng casa voastr, topirea ghearilor din Groenlanda, venitul diminuat al fondurilor voastre de pensii, nchiderea fabricii unde lucra fiica voastr, reparaiile ce trebuie fcute n apartament, creterea i cderea bursei de aciuni, decapitrile fcute recent de fanaticii din Fallujah, recentele alegeri din America. La fiecare din aceste obiecte vedei cum rsar din ele seturi din cele mai diverse de pasiuni, revolte i preri, laolalt cu diverse grupuri de tabere interesate, fiecare cu diversele sale moduri de ndeplinire a deciziei sale prtinitoare. E limpede c fiecare obiect fiecare problem - genereaz un set diferit de emoii i rupturi, de acorduri i dezacorduri. S-ar putea ca n opiniile

noastre s nu existe nici o continuitate, nici o coeren, dar exist o continuitate ascuns i o coeren ascuns n lucrurile asociate lor. Fiecare obiect strnge n jurul lui un ansamblu diferit de pri interesate. Fiecare obiect strnete noi ocazii de dispute i divergene nfocate. De asemenea, fiecare obiect poate oferi noi moduri de a ajunge la un acord final fr a cdea de acord asupra multor altor lucruri. Cu alte cuvinte, motivele de disput - considerate tot attea probleme - ne leag unii de alii n moduri care cartografiaz un spaiu public profund diferit de ceea ce e recunoscut de obicei sub eticheta de politic. Tocmai acest spaiu, aceast geografie ascuns e zona pe care vrem s-o explorm prin intermediul acestui catalog i a expoziiei de fa. N-am grei dac am spune c filosofia politic a fost adesea victima unei puternice tendine de evitare a obiectului. De la Hobbes la Rawls i de la Rousseau la Habermas, s-au elaborat numeroase strategii de adunare laolalt a prilor interesate, de autorizare a nelegerii dintre ele, de verificare a gradului lor de reprezentativitate, de descoperire a condiiilor ideale de discuie, de detectare a acordului final legitim, de scriere a unei constituii bune. Dar atunci cnd se ajunge la problema concret, adic la obiectul de interes care ne-a strns laolalt, nimeni nu mai spune nimic. n chip ciudat, politologia amuete exact n momentul n care obiectul interesului su trebuie introdus i pus s se exprime zgomotos. n ciuda a ceea ce ar trebui s implice puternica etimologie a celui mai preuit cuvnt al politologilor, res publica lor nu pare s fie dotat cu prea multe lucruri. Procedurile de autorizare i de legitimare snt importante, dar ele reprezint doar jumtate din ceea ce e

necesar unei adunri. Cealalt jumtate o reprezint problemele n sine, chestiunile care conteaz, res care creeaz publicul din jurul lui. Ele trebuie s fie reprezentate, autorizate, legitimate i aduse s-i exercite influena n interiorul unei adunri relevante. Ceea ce numim democraie orientat spre obiect ncearc s contracareze aceast tendin predominant din filosofia politic, adic s reuneasc dou nelesuri diferite ale cuvntului reprezentare, care au fost separate n teorie, dei n practic ele au rmas mereu combinate. Cel dinti, bine-cunoscut n colile de drept i de tiine politice, desemneaz metodele de adunare a persoanelor ndreptite n jurul unei anumite probleme. n acest caz se spune despre reprezentare c este una fidel atunci cnd s-au respectat procedurile corecte. Cea de-a doua, binecunoscut n tiinele exacte i n tehnologie, descrie - sau mai degrab reprezint - obiectul de interes pentru ochii i urechile celor adunai n jurul acestuia. n acest caz se spune despre o reprezentare c este corect dac problemele n discuie au fost conturate cu precizie. Realismul pretinde ca ambelor aspecte ce constituie o problem s li se acorde acelai grad de atenie. Primul aspect delimiteaz un fel de loc, uneori un cerc, pe care l-am putea numi adunare, reuniune, ntlnire, consiliu; al doilea aduce n acest locus proaspt creat un subiect, o tem, o problem, un topos. Dar cele dou trebuie luate mpreun: Cine trebuie s fie interesat? i Ce trebuie luat n considerare? Atunci cnd Thomas Hobbes ia ndrumat gravorul asupra modului n care s deseneze faimosul frontispiciu al Leviatanului, mintea lui era plin de metafore optice i de mainrii de iluzion-

ism, pe care le vzuse n cltoriile sale prin Europa.2 Noi trebuie s facem apel la un al treilea sens al acestui cuvnt ambiguu i ubicuu, reprezentare, sensul cel mai familiar artitilor, pentru a rezolva - de data aceasta vizual - problema compoziiei acelui Corp Politic (Body Politik). Pn acum aici a rmas o enigm: cum i prin ce mijloc s reprezini locurile concrete unde oamenii se adun ca s discute problemele lor de interes? Exact aceast tem o abordm noi aici. S-ar putea ca Shapin i Schaffer s fi remprosptat, cu un plus de expresivitate, problema lui Hobbes atunci cnd au redesenat mosntrul lui pentru frontispiciul lor i i-au nzestrat braul stng nu cu o crj de episcop, ci cu pompa de aer a lui Boyle.3 De-acum nainte forele tiinei snt la fel de demne de luat n calcul: cum se adun ele i n jurul cror probleme de interes? ns, pe lng enigma vizual a asamblrii unor corpuri distincte, n acele gravuri exist nc o enigm ce ar trebui s ne ocheze. O simpl privire asupra lor dovedete limpede c acest Corp Politic nu e format numai din oameni! Toate snt nesate cu obiecte: haine, o spad gigantic, nite castele masive, ntinse cmpuri cultivate, coroane, corbii, ceti i o tehnologie extraordinar de complicat a adunrii, ntlnirii, coabitrii, lrgirii, reducerii i concentrrii. Pe lng mulimea de omulei adunai n ncoronatul Leviatan, vedem pretutindeni i obiecte. nghesuiala de obiecte care nu snt totui cu adevrat integrate ntr-o definiie a politicii este vizibil i mai gritor n faimoasa fresc pictat de Lorenzetti n primria din Siena.4 Numeroi cercettori au descifrat semnificaia complex a emblemelor

reprezentnd Buna Guvernare i Proasta Guvernare i au urmrit complicata lor genealogie. Dar faptul cel mai surprinztor pentru privitorul contemporan este prezena masiv a cetilor, peisajelor naturale, a animalelor, negustorilor i dansatorilor, precum i omniprezenta redare a luminii i a spaiului. Proasta Guvernare nu este reprezentat pur i simplu prin figura diavoleasc a Discordiei, ci i prin lumina ntunecat, prin cetatea distrus, prin peisajul pustiit i prin oamenii sufocai. Buna Guvernare nu e personificat banal prin diversele embleme ale Virtuii i Concordiei, ci i prin transparena luminii, prin arhitectura ngrijit, prin peisajul aranjat, prin varietatea de animale, prin simplitatea relaiilor comerciale i prin nflorirea artelor. Departe de a fi un simplu decor pentru emblemele respective, fresca ne cere s fim ateni la subtilul echilibru ecologic existent la Buna i Proasta Guvernare. Iar vizitatorii moderni, sensibili la noile probleme existente (aerul poluat, ceurile industriale, ecosistemele distruse, cldirile ruinate, industria abandonat i afacerile delocalizate), snt gata s introduc n propria lor definiie asupra politicii un echilibru ecologic complet nou, ncrcat de lucruri.5 ncotro i-a ndreptat privirea distrat filosofia politic, n timp ce de sub nasul ei au zburat att de multe obiecte?

O nou elocin n expoziia de fa nu vrem altceva dect s ngrmdim o grmad de materiale n nite arene goale, unde se presupune c nite oameni dezbrcai s-au strns pur i simplu ca s discute. Dou viniete ne vor ajuta s ne concen[225]

trm asupra acestor amplasamente populate de curnd. Prima este o snoav conceput de Peter Sloterdijk6. El i-a imaginat c Forele Aeriene ale Statelor Unite i-ar aduga la arsenalul lor militar un parlament gonflabil, care ar putea fi parautat n spatele frontului imediat ce forele eliberatoare ale Binelui au nfrnt forele Rului. Cnd ajunge la sol, acest parlament va fi desfurat i umflat, la fel cum ar trebui s se ntmple cu o vest de salvare atunci cnd cineva cade n ap. Astfel, cu oameni pregtii s intre n scen i s-i ocupe locul desemnat, cu degetul nc rou de la cerneala permanent ce dovedete c acetia s-au ndeplinit sarcina de a vota, oferim Democraia Instant! E uor de dedus care e morala acestei fabule. S-i imaginezi un parlament n afara setului concret de instrumente complexe ce-i snt absolut necesare, cu pompele lui de aer condiionat, condiiile locale, infrastructura material i obiceiurile ncetenite ale locului, este ceva la fel de ridicol ca i ncercarea de a parauta un asemenea parlament gonflabil n mijlocul Irakului. La cellalt pol, analiza unei democraii orientate spre obiect nseamn studierea condiiilor materiale ce pot face ca aerul s devin iar respirabil. A doua viniet este una terifiant i ne e oferit de discursul - deacum scandalos - inut la Naiunile Unite pe 5 februarie 2003 de fostul secretar de stat Colin Powell, avnd ca tem realitatea nendoielnic i indiscutabil a existenei n Irak a armelor de distrugere n mas.7 Desigur c prima jumtate a reprezentaiei - adic adunarea de vorbitori i asculttori legitimi - a fost una bine organizat. Toi cei ce stteau n jurul mesei n form de potcoav de la

sediul Consiliului de Securitate al Naiunilor Unite aveau dreptul s fie acolo. Dar nu acelai lucru se poate spune i despre a doua jumtate, adic de descrierea faptelor concrete prezentate de secretarul de stat. Fiecare din planele prezentate acolo era o minciun flagrant - i cu ct trece mai mult timp, cu att mai flagrante devin acele minciuni. i totui prezentarea lor a fost prefaat de urmtoarele cuvinte: Dragi colegi, fiecare afirmaie pe care o voi face astzi este susinut de dovezi, dovezi temeinice. Acestea nu snt nite supoziii. V prezentm aici fapte i concluzii bazate pe investigaii temeinice (subl. mea). Diferena dintre fapte i supoziii na fost siluit niciodat att de flagrant ca n acea zi. A strnge laolalt e una; a descrie pentru ochii i urechile celor adunai acolo miza pus n joc e deja altceva. O democraie orientat spre obiect ar trebui s fie preocupat n egal msur de procedura de detectare a prilor interesate i de metodele de aducere n centrul dezbaterii a dovezilor relevante pentru tema dezbtut. Al doilea set de proceduri, necesare pentru prezentarea obiectului dezbaterii, are cteva nume mai vechi: elocin sau unul depreciativ - retoric ori -chiar peiorativ - sofistic. i totui exact acestea snt etichetele pe care s-ar putea s trebuiasc s le salvm din groapa de gunoi a istoriei.8 Domnul Powell a ncercat s diferenieze retorica supoziiilor de incontestabila for a faptelor. A euat n mod lamentabil. n absena adevrului, i-a lipsit i elocina. Ne-am putea descurca noi mai bine? Am putea contura iari fragilele trasee pe care adevrurile i dovezile pot ptrunde n sfera politicii? Fr s vrea, secretarul de stat

american ne-a direcionat ntr-o zon unde hul dintre supoziii i fapte ar putea constitui o manevr retoric istea, dar care i-a pierdut relevana. Pe de o parte asta ar sugera c exist unele realiti imediate, la care anumii oameni luminai ar avea acces nemijlocit. Pe de alt parte afirmaiile discutabile ar deveni, practic, fr valoare, devenind utile doar n msura n care pot alimenta patimile subiective ale mulimilor interesate. Pe de o parte am avea adevrul i absena intermedierii i a spaiului de discuie, iar pe de alt parte am avea opiniile, numeroii intermediari dubioi i, poate, unele interpelri ruvoitoare. Prin utilizarea acestui infatigabil clieu, Parlamentul Gonflabil este acum dotat cu un ecran gigantic, pe care snt prezentate n detaliu fapte limpezi. Cei care rmn neconvini i dovedesc iraionalitatea prin opoziia lor: din nefericire, au czut victime pasiunilor subiective. i, desigur, cum poziia lui era blindat cu att de multe fapte indiscutabile, n timp ce disputa nc mai continua, Powell a fost nevoit s o ncheie n mod arbitrar, printro etalare unilateral a forei. n ciuda attor declaraii emoionante, faptele i forele acioneaz ntotdeauna n tandem. Problema este c faptele limpezi, nemijlocite i incontestabile au devenit n ultima vreme din ce n ce mai rare. S furnizezi dovezi complete i incontestabile a devenit o problem mai degrab nclcit, scitoare i riscant. i s oferi o dovad public, suficient de puternic i de evident ca s convingi ntreaga planet de prezena unui fenomen sau a unui pericol iminent, pare astzi ceva aproape irealizabil - cum a fost ntotdeauna. Aceeai administraie american, care a fost mulumit cu cte-

va imagini nceoate ce dovedeau prezena n Irak a unor arme inexistente, pune cu plcere sub semnul ndoielii dovezile referitoare la nite ameninri mai ample, mai bine documentate i mai iminente, cum ar fi schimbrile climatice planetare, epuizarea rezervelor de petrol i accentuarea inegalitii ntre oameni. Oare nu e momentul s spunem: Domnule Powell, din moment ce ai terminat cu faptele, am prefera mai degrab s le lsai deoparte i s ne permitei s comparm simplele supoziii. Nu v facei griji, vom putea ajunge la o concluzie chiar i cu un asemenea tip inferior de dovad, iar aceasta nu va fi lsat deoparte n mod arbitrar?9 Fie renunm complet la politic i renunm la sperana de a furniza orice fel de dovezi publice, fie renunm la mult prea uzatul clieu al realitilor imediate. Ne-am putea descurca noi mai bine, astfel nct s reuim s ncheiem ntr-adevr o disput folosind supoziii discutabile? La urma urmei, atunci cnd Aristotel - care nu era n nici un caz un relativist cultural! - a introdus cuvntul retoric, s-a referit tocmai la dovezi - desigur, incomplete, dar totui dovezi.10 Asta dorim s ncercm: acolo unde realitile imediate eueaz, haidei s abordm ceea ce eu am numit problemele de interes. Ceea ce ncercm s nregistrm n catalogul de fa este o transformare masiv a concepiilor noastre despre tiin, a modului de evaluare a faptelor, a nelegerii obiectivitii. Obiectele au fost descrise prea mult vreme drept realiti imediate. E nedrept fa de ele, nedrept fa de tiin, nedrept fa de obiectivitate, nedrept fa de experien. Ele snt mult mai interesante, mai diversificate, mai incerte, mai complicate, mai cuprinztoare, mai etero[227]

gene, mai riscante, mai istorice, mai locale, mai materiale i mai relaionale dect n versiunea jalnic oferit de atta vreme de filosofi. Pietrele nu exist doar pentru a le trage uturi i nici bncile doar pentru a le zgli. Faptele snt fapte nseamn fapte? Da, dar nseamn multe alte lucruri n plus.11 Cei asemeni domnului Powell, care s-au obinuit de o grmad de vreme s scape de toate opiniile adverse susinnd fora superioar a faptelor, ar putea ntmpina o asemenea schimbare radical cu zbierete batjocoritoare: relativism, subiectivism, iraionalism, retoric banal, sofistic! S-ar putea ca ei s vad n noua via a faptelor mai degrab o decdere. Gndii-v astfel: sar putea vedea nevoii s intre cu adevrat n noile arene i s trebuiasc s-i susin punctul de vedere pn n pnzele albe. S-ar putea s fie silii s-i dovedeasc afirmaiile, crora li se vor contrapune alte afirmaii, i s ajung la un rezultat final fr attea zbateri i scandaluri, fr oscilaii necontrolate ntre realiti evidente i spectacole terifiante evidente. n catalogul de fa dorim s explorm multe alte gesturi realiste, pe lng zbateri i scandaluri. Vrem s imaginm o nou elocin. Cerem prea mult de la conversaia noastr public? E foarte bine s fii convins, dar ar fi i mai bine s fii convins de nite dovezi.12 Concepiile noastre despre politic au fost obstrucionate prea mult vreme de o epistemologie absurd de nerealist. E greu s ajungi la fapte precise, iar echipamentul necesar e cu att mai costisitor, irul de intermediari cu att mai lung i dovezile cu att mai subtile cu ct gradul de dificultate e mai ridicat. Transparena i caracterul nemediat nu fac bine nici tiinei, nici politicii, ci le

sufoc pe ambele. Noi trebuie s fim capabili s prezentm n faa adunrilor probleme controversate, nsoite de un lung cortegiu de instrumente complicate pentru strngerea dovezilor necesare. Nici acordul nu trebuie realizat nemediat, nici realitile concrete nu trebuie accesate nemediat. La urma urmei, cu toii folosim nite proceduri mai degrab esoterice atunci cnd votm i alegem. De ce ne-am imagina dintr-odat c elocina ar deveni att de lipsit de mijloace, instrumente, tropi, trucuri i mecherii care s aduc faptele n arenele publice printr-un soi de idiom unic, magic i transparent? Politica e ceva lumesc, dar nici tiina nu e altfel.

De la obiecte la lucruri Vrem s renviem cuvntul Ding i s utilizm neologismul Dingpolitik ca nlocuitor al lui Realpolitik pentru a sublinia aceast deplasare de la o concepie devalorizat a obiectivitii la dovezi costisitoare ale ei. Atunci cnd vorbete de raporturile de putere, ca i atunci cnd se refer pur i simplu la fapte, termenului Realpolitik i lipsete realismul. Nu tie cum s trateze incontestabilitatea. Pentru a descoperi interesul pur al cuiva, ar fi nevoie, probabil, de cea mai nclcit i mai deplasat investigaie posibil. Nu e suficient s fii brutal ca s devii un realist dur. Aa cum tie orice cititor al lui Heidegger sau aa cum se poate dovedi la o cutare n dicionarul limbii engleze a cuvntului thing (lucru), termenul vechi Thing sau Ding denumea iniial un anumit tip de adunare arhaic.13 n multe din parlamentele naiunilor saxone sau nordice nc se mai face simit vechea rdcin

etimologic: congresmenii norvegieni se adun n Storting, deputaii islandezi denumesc echivalentul adunrii Thingmen prin Althing, seniorii din insula Man obinuiau s se adune n jurul a ceea ce ei numeau Ting, teritoriile germane snt nzestrate cu Thingstatten i n multe locuri se pot vedea cercurile de piatr unde sttea pe vremuri Thing (Lucrul). Astfel, cu mult nainte s desemneze un obiect aruncat din sfera politic i rmas aa, obiectiv i independent, Ding sau Thing a reprezentat vreme de multe secole ceva ce i aduna pe oameni laolalt pentru c i desprea. Aceeai etimologie zace latent n cuvntul latin res, n grecescul aitia i n franuzescul ori italianul cause. Pn i rusul sovietic nc mai viseaz la poduri i biserici. Din toate sensurile erodate rmase n urma trului lent al geologiei politice, nici unul nu este mai straniu dect islandezul Althing, de vreme ce vechii thingmen - ceea ce azi am numi congresmeni sau parlamentari - au avut ideea uluitoare de a se ntlni ntr-un loc superb i pustiu, care, accidental, este plasat exact n mijlocul faliei care marcheaz locul de ntlnire al plcii tectonice atlantice cu cea european. Islandezii nu se limiteaz s ne aminteasc vechiul sens al lui Ding, ci i dramatizeaz la maximum felul n care aceste probleme politice au devenit n egal msur i probleme naturale. Oare nu toate parlamentele snt mprite azi att de natura lucrurilor, ct i de zarva din aglomeratul Ding? Oare n-a venit timpul s aducem res napoi n respublica?14 De aceea ncercm noi s cldim adunarea provizorie i fragil constituit de expoziia noastr pe ct mai multe falii ale ct mai multor plci tectonice. Esena revigorrii acestei eti-

mologii vechi este aceea c oamenii nu se adun pentru c snt de acord, pentru c seamn, se simt bine, snt compatibili social i doresc s se apropie unii de alii, ci pentru c nite interese divergente ne strng laolalt n nite locuri izolate i neutre, unde s ajungem la un soi de (dez)acord temporar i provizoriu. Dac Ding i semnific att pe cei care se adun pentru c au probleme, ct i cauzele problemelor i divergenelor lor, iat care ar trebui s devin centrul ateniei noastre: napoi la Lucruri! Nu e acesta un slogan politic mai atrgtor dect altele? Dar ce ciudat e forma lucrurilor la care ar trebui s ne ntoarcem! Nu mai au claritatea, transparena i certitudinea realitilor imediate. Nu mai snt formate din obiecte individuale, clar delimitate, care s se scalde ntr-un spaiu translucid, precum superbele desene anatomice ale lui Leonardo Da Vinci, minunatele acuarele ale lui Gaspard Monge sau izotipurile bine conturate stabilite de Otto Neurath. Realitile imediate ne apar acum n faa ochilor ca fiind dependente de o estetic delicat a picturii, desenului, iluminrii i asocierii, ca un lucru conceput de-a lungul a patru secole i care s-ar putea transforma chiar i acum, n clipa de fa.15 A existat o estetic a realitilor imediate, a obiectelor, a unui Gegenstand. Am putea concepe o estetic a problemelor de interes, a Lucrurilor? Iat una din (mult prea numeroasele) teme pe care am vrea s le explorm. Adunrile snt traducerea a ceea ce Heidegger spunea despre aceste Lucruri, aceste locuri capabile s adune laolalt muritorii i zeii, umanul i non-umanul. Extinderea nelesului acesta la ceea ce Heidegger i adepii lui urau

cu pasiune, adic tiina, tehnologia, comerul, industria i cultura popular, e mai mult dect o simpl ironie. i totui exact asta intenionm s facem n lucrarea de fa: obiectele tiinei i ale tehnologiei, coridoarele supermarketurilor, instituiile financiare, aezmintele medicale, reelele de computere - ba chiar i podiumul de la prezentrile de mod - ofer exemple supreme de forumuri i agore hibride, de adunri care au erodat ncetul cu ncetul trmul mai vechi al obiectelor pure ce se scldau n lumina pur a privirii moderniste. Cine sar putea gndi la un exemplu mai bun de forum hibrid dect modelele la scar folosite de arhitecii din toat lumea pentru a-i strnge laolalt pe cei capabili s le construiasc la scara unu pe unu? Sau markerul folosit de desenator pentru a imagina noi peisaje? Atunci cnd spunem Probleme publice! sau napoi la lucruri!, nu ncercm s ne ntoarcem la vechiul materialism reprezentat de Realpolitik, deoarece materia nsi e i ea la dispoziia tuturor. S fii materialist azi nseamn s intri ntr-un labirint mult mai complicat dect cel construit de Dedal. n aceeai lun fatal, februarie 2003, un alt exemplu ocant de deplasare dinspre obiect spre lucruri a fost prezentat de explozia navetei Columbia. Plan de asamblare - aa numesc inginerii inventarea schiei.16 Dar cuvntul asamblare sun ciudat, de vreme ce naveta a explodat, iar rmiele ei au fost adunate ntr-o sal imens, unde membrii unei comisii speciale ncearc s descopere ce s-a ntmplat cu ea. Acum li s-a pus la dispoziie o imagine explodat a unui obiect tehnologic de mare complexitate. Dar de explodat a explodat capacitatea noastr

de a nelege ce snt obiectele atunci cnd au devenit Ding. E trist c avem nevoie de catastrofe ca s ne reaminteasc faptul c atunci cnd Columbia a fost prezentat pe rampa ei de lansare, n forma ei integral, autonom i obiectiv, o astfel de imagine era i mai mincinoas dect prezentarea de ctre domnul Powell a faptelor legate de armele de distrugere n mas. Abia dup explozie oamenii au neles c acel complex proiect tehnologic al navetei ar fi trebuit desenat cu birocraii NASA nuntrul lui, astfel nct s fi zburat i ei odat cu ea. Obiectul, Gegenstand, poate s rmn n afara tuturor adunrilor - dar nu i sus-pomenitul Ding. Astfel apare ntrebarea pe care vrem s-o punem: Care snt diversele forme de adunri care pot explica toate aceste asamblri? Snt ntrebri ce se refer la cele trei tipuri de prerezentare strnse laolalt n aceast expoziie: politic, tiinific i artistic. Printr-un uimitor capriciu al etimologiei, aceeai rdcin a dat natere, accidental, la doi gemeni: demon i demos - iar acetia snt nite dumani mult mai nverunai dect au fost vreodat Eteocle i Polynice17. Cuvntul demos, care reprezint jumtate din mult ludatul cuvnt democraie, e bntuit de demon, de diavol, pentru c ambele cuvinte au aceeai rdcin indoeuropean da-, a mpri, a diviza18. Dac demonul reprezint o ameninare att de teribil, e din cauz c i el divide, mparte n dou. Dac demosul e o soluie att de bun, e din cauz c i el divide, mparte n dou. Paradoxal? Nu, pentru c noi nine sntem att de divizai de numeroasele loialiti contradictorii pe care trebuie s le asamblm laolalt. S-ar putea s avem cunotin de avertismentul lui Iisus cu privire la put-

erea Satanei19, dar aceeai for separatoare creeaz divizarea/linia despritoare, adic mprirea aceluiai teritoriu. Aa se face c poporul, demosul, e format din oamenii ce mpart acelai spaiu i snt divizai de aceleai griji contradictorii. Cum ar fi posibil ca o democraie orientat spre obiect s ignore o incertitudine att de ameitoare? Atunci cnd cuitul se nvrte n jurul tortului comun, pentru a-l mpri n porii, ar putea s-l taie proporional i s elibereze demonul conflictelor civile sau s taie pri egale i s mulumeasc demosul cu distribuia fcut. E ciudat, dar, dei sntem divizai, s-ar putea s trebuiasc s ne divizm i mai tare, adic s mprim i mai mult. Demosul este bntuit de demonul divizrii! Nu-i de mirare c expoziia de fa prezint (din pcate) un astfel de pandemoniu. Politica e o ramur a teratologiei: de la Leviatan la demoni, de la Discordie la Behemoth i, mai apoi, la un ntreg ir de strigoi i fantome. Groaz i distracie pretutindeni.

Nici o reprezentaie fr reprezentri Piesa Democracy (Democraie) a lui Michael Frayn ncepe cu sunetul enervant fcut de o rm, o mic anelid despre care la nceput se crede c va face ca ntreg Occidentul decadent s se prbueasc precum o cas de scnduri mncat de termite, n vreme ce din haos rsare solida i unita Republic Democrat German.20 Aceeai rm glgioas se aude i la sfritul piesei, dar de data asta ntreg blocul sovietic zace prvlit n ruin, n vreme ce democraia - cea mai proast form de guvernare, cu excepia tuturor celorlalte, cum spunea Churchill - continu s

mestece i s se trasc mai departe. Un demon bntuie politica, dar sar putea s nu fie chiar demonul divizrii - i tocmai n asta const demonismul su -, ci demonul unitii, al totalitii, al transparenei i al contactului nemediat. Jos cu intermediarii! Gata cu nvrtelile! Sntem minii! Am fost trdai! Aceste strigte rsun pretutindeni i toat lumea pare s ofteze: De ce sntem att de prost reprezentai? Editorialitii, formatorii de opinie i militanii se plng nencetat de criza de reprezentare. Ei susin c masele populare nu par s mai fie satisfcute de ceea ce le spun elitele. Politicienii, afirm ei, au devenit distani, ireali, suprarealiti, prefcui i nstrinai. A aprut o falie imens ntre sfera politic i realitatea cu care se confrunt oamenii. Dac aceast falie se casc sub picioarele noastre la fel ca falia islandez, nici un soi de Dingpolitik n-o poate ignora. Dar s-ar putea la fel de bine ca jumtate dintr-o astfel de criz s fie provocat de ceea ce i s-a oferit publicului sub numele de reprezentare fidel, clar i precis. Noi i cerem unei reprezentri ceva ce ea n-are cum s ne ofere, adic s fie o reprezentare fr reprezentare, fr nici un fel de supoziii provizorii, fr vreo dovad imperfect, fr vreun strat opac de traduceri, transmisii ori trdri, fr un mecanism complicat de adunare, delegare, dovedire, argumentare, negociere i concluzie. n 2002, pe parcursul unei alte expoziii, intitulate Iconoclash, muli dintre autorii de aici au ncercat s exploreze originile unei forme specifice de fanatism occidental: percepia noastr asupra Frumuseii, Adevrului i Credinei ar fi mai bun dac n-ar exista nici un fel de imagine - adic nici un fel de

mediere. Am prezentat epocile iconoclaste faimoase, de la cea bizantin pn la Reform, de la Piaa Roie a lui Lenin la Piaa Neagr a lui Malevici, la care am adugat mai puin cunoscutele btlii dintre iconoclatii i iconodulii din zona matematicii, fizicii i a altor tiine.21 Am vrut s comparm ntre ele diversele modele de interferen create de toate acele forme de atitudini contradictorii fa de imagini. Savanii, artitii i clericii au multiplicat imagistici, intermediari, medieri i reprezentri chiar n timp ce le nimiceau i le-au fcut s renvie n forme i mai eficace, mai frumoase, mai inspirate i mai obiective. Am socotit c n-ar fi deloc absurd s explorm ntreaga tradiie occidental, pornind pe urmele acestui dublu impas omniprezent. Prin urmare, am folosit neologismul Iconoclash pentru a evidenia aceast ambivalen, aceast nou divizare demonic: Vai, nu putem face nimic fr imagine! i Din fericire, nu putem face nimic fr imagine! Iconoclash nu a fost o reprezentaie iconoclast, ci una despre iconoclasm. N-a fost o reprezentaie critic, ci una despre critic. Imboldul de a demitiza n-a mai reprezentat o resurs din care s ne alimentm, ci - speram noi - un subiect pe care s-l studiem cu atenie. Asemenea sclavului cruia i s-a cerut s le aminteasc mprailor n timpul momentelor lor de triumf c snt totui muritori, i-am cerut i noi unui nger s coboare din ceruri i s opreasc la jumtatea drumului braul care ine ciocanul, s murmure n urechea triumftorului distrugtor de idoli: Ai grij! Gndete-te bine n ce izbeti cu atta veselie. Mai bine uit-te mai nti ce riti s nimiceti! Odat ce gestul distructiv a rmas n suspensie, am descoperit c

nici un iconoclast n-a nimerit vreodat inta potrivit. Loviturile lor s-au abtut mereu n lturi. Din acest motiv ne-am gndit c pn i Sfntul Gheorghe ar arta mai interesant fr lancea sa.23 Scopul nostru a fost s deplasm atenia colectiv dincolo de rzboaiele imaginii din tiin, religie i art, dup cum o arta clar subtitlul expoziiei. Acest dincolo de a fost stabilit foarte uor, lund pur i simplu n consideraie cealalt jumtate a ceea ce fceau aceti oameni: cei pe care i-am studiat nu se limitau niciodat s distrug idoli, s ard fetiuri, s demitizeze ideologii, s declaneze scandaluri i s distrug forme nvechite, ci mai i ridicau pe piedestal alte idei, invocau zeiti, dovedeau fapte, elaborau teorii, cldeau instituii, creau forme noi i, de asemenea, distrugeau pe neateptate i fr s vrea alte lucruri, pe care nici nu bnuiau c le preuiau att de tare. Aducnd laolalt distrugerea, eroarea, jaful i construcia, am sperat s declanm apariia respectului fa de mediatori. E evident c n modul n care fluxurile de imagini creeaz o cale de acces spre Frumusee, Adevr i Credin exist ceva ce le-a scpat distrugtorilor de idoli pe parcursul veacurilor. Rezumnd ncercarea noastr ntr-o comparaie, a zice c e ca i cum Moise, pe lng faptul c era gngav, ar fi fost i un pic fudul de urechi, aa c el a neles S nu-i faci chip cioplit, cnd de fapt i s-a spus S nu nepeneti pe un chip. Dac te ataezi de ele, imaginile snt periculoase, blasfematoare, idolatre, dar dac nvei cum s sari de la o imagine la urmtoarea, ele snt sigure, nevinovate i indispensabile. Adevrul e imagine, dar nu exist o imagine a Adevrului.24 Soluia aceasta ar putea

oferi, credem noi, un posibil tratament mpotriva fundamentalismului, adic a convingerii c omul ar fi reprezentat i mai bine n absena oricrei reprezentri. Doar c Iconoclash ocolete cu grij politica. O face intenionat. n nici o alt bran respectul datorat mediatorilor nu e mai greu de artat, nu exist profesie mai dispreuit dect cea a politicienilor, nici domeniu mai predispus la ironii, satir, batjocur i ridiculizare ca sfera politicii, nici idoli mai plcut de nimicit ca idolii forumului i nici vreun alt discurs mai uor de deconstruit. n zona retoricii politice critica nflorete i prosper. nc de la grdini copilaii i dezvolt cinismul fa de toate problemele politice. ntro expoziie avnd ca tem critica, politica ar fi deturnat ntreg proiectul, iar vizitatorii ar fi plecat i mai iconoclati dect au venit. Dar dup ce am depit aceste rzboaie ale imaginii, dup ce am redobndit o bun nelegere a maselor de intermediari de care e nevoie pentru a reprezenta orice, dup ce am revenit la lucruri, am putea s acordm la fel de mult atenie mediatorilor din cea mai dispreuit bran, cea a comunicatorilor din politic? Am putea aborda de-acum cu grij i respect problema reprezentrii politice? Sau, ca s fim i mai excentrici: am putea s-o abordm necritic? ncercai numai s v imaginai un spectacol despre politic n care s nu fie vorba de ridiculizarea, denunarea, demascarea sau demolarea idolilor. Vrei ntr-adevr s evalum politica n mod pozitiv? Chiar aa.

Persoane cu dizabiliti din toate rile, unii-v!

Greutatea cu care reuim s privim drept n fa chipul de Gorgon al politicii const n aceea c, din cte se pare, ne face plcere s-l mpodobim cu alte i alte trsturi deformante. Nu sntem mulumii de Frankenstein, ci vrem s-l mperechem cu Quasimodo. E un chip monstruos, dar nu i un motiv pentru a-l transforma ntr-o pictur de Hieronymus Bosch. Sau mai degrab Bosch picteaz Iadul nostru interior, care s-ar putea s nu aib chiar att de mult legtur cu montrii concrei ai politicii.25 Ceea ce ne sperie teribil n cadrul aciunii colective, motivul pentru care ne place att de mult s dispreuim politica, e faptul c am putea s vedem reflectate n oglinda ei strmb propriile noastre chipuri rnjitoare. Oare nu cumva pretindem de la adunare ceva ce nu are cum s ne ofere, aa c o discuie n termeni pozitivi despre politic ne ngrozete din pricina propriilor noastre limite, pe care nu sntem dispui s le recunoatem? Dac e adevrat c reprezentrile snt extrem de indispensabile i totui extrem de opace, ct de pregtii sntem s le manevrm? Cnd auzim apelul pentru adunare la Lucru, avem noi oare puterea s acceptm c sntem nepotrivii n mod radical i fundamental s ocupm un loc acolo? Avem echipamentul cognitiv necesar pentru asta? Nu sntem oare, pe ansamblu, complet handicapai? n locul ceteanului nflcrat care se ridic i i spune opiniile, folosindu-se de solidul su bun-sim, ca n vestita pictur a lui Rockwell Libertatea cuvntului, n-ar trebui oare s cutm un gen de elocven mult mai indirect, mai deformat, mai neconcludent? n expoziia de fa ncercm s abordm problema politicii din perspectiva propriilor slbiciuni i nu s le proiectm mai

nti asupra politicienilor nii. Am putea spune c orbul ndrum alt orb, surdul vorbete cu elocven altui surd, mutilatul conduce maruri de pitici - sau mai bine, pentru a evita astfel de termeni depreciativi, hai s spunem c sntem cu toii handicapai politic. Cum ar suna dac am intona cu toii acest slogan mai radical i, n mod cert, mai realist: Handicapai din toate rile, unii-v!? La urma urmei, n-a fost Demostene blbit, la fel ca Moise i muli ali legiuitori?26 i nu sntem oare cu toii astfel cnd vine momentul s lum atitudine? Deficiena cognitiv a participanilor a rmas secret mult vreme din pricina arhitecturii mentale a domului n care trebuia s se adune Corpul Politic. Ni s-a spus c, atunci cnd intrm n acest dom, n aceast sfer public, trebuie s ne lsm cu toii la garderob simpatiile, pasiunile i slbiciunile proprii. Dup ce ne vom ocupa locul sub cristalul transparent al binelui comun, vom fi cu toii nzestrai, la nivel colectiv - prin aciunea nu tiu crui mecanism misterios -, cu o viziune mai ptrunztoare i o virtute superioar. Cel puin asta era ideea, indiferent dac mecanismul era contractul social ori vreun alt gen de metamorfoz: viermele egoist i ngust la minte va aprea sub forma unui fluture colectiv viu colorat. n epoca iluminist arhitecii au luat aceast realitate virtual n sensul ei propriu i nc ntr-o msur att de mare, nct chiar au desenat i, uneori, au cldit respectivele domuri, globuri i palate.27 Ulterior, n epoca revoluiilor, ali constructori au dat sferei publice o form care s nu mai fie limitat la deputai i congresmeni, ci s includ ntreaga naiune, ntreg proletariatul sau poporul (Volk). Ei au distribuit discursurile n mod

diferit, au imaginat un alt mod de organizare a corpului public, au modificat procedurile i au ordonat mase mult mai mari, dar au mrluit i au cntat tot sub un dom. De la Boulle pn la Speer, de la Pierre-Charles L'Enfant pn la noul parlament scoian, de la John Soane pn la Norman Foster, arhitecii au avut impresia c ar putea s ofere o transpunere concret pentru ceea ce nseamn a aduna laolalt n vederea crerii voinei comune28. Indivizii pot fi corupi, slabi, incompeteni, dar deasupra capetelor lor slabe exist un paradis, o sfer, un glob sub care stau cu toii. Exact nainte de Revoluia Francez, Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyes a imaginat un parlament att de mare - i att de virtual , nct acoperea ntreaga Fran, n iruri dup iruri, pn n cea mai ndeprtat provincie. Din nefericire, ca i n cazul Turnului Babel, acele palate ale raiunii - ca s folosim numele dat multor primrii din nordul Italiei - nu mai snt capabile s adposteasc problemele pe care trebuia s se adune acolo. Comentatorii evenimentelor din mai 1968, din Frana, au observat cu amuzament c mulimile glgioase de demonstrani au trecut pe lng sediul Adunrii Naionale fr s-i arunce mcar o privire, ca i cum lipsa lui de relevan era att de mare, nct nici mcar nu strnea cheful de agresiune. Ct de irelevante vor fi prnd acum, cnd noul nume al Corpului Politic este globalismul! Unde s aduni laolalt globalul? n mod sigur nu sub domurile aurite i lng frescele kitsch unde senatori eroici i Republici pe jumtate dezbrcate snt ncoronai cu lauri czui din nori. De ce politica nseamn mereu imitaie? Robespierre l imit pe Cicero, Lenin l imit pe Robespierre. n numele binelui

comun, pe tot ntinsul lumii occidentale au fost nlate pduri de coloane greceti, n vreme ce mama tuturor parlamentelor din Westminster a rmas credincioas peterii ntunecate, nghesuite i inconfortabile, cu staluri, turle i gargui. Neogotice, neoclasice, neomoderne sau neopostmoderne - toate aceste spaii snt neo, adic ncearc s imite un trecut venerat.29 Dar poate c imitaia nu este suficient pentru a construi noi locuri de adunare politic. S-ar zice c acoperirea Reichstagului cu un dom transparent care e de fapt complet opac -, aa cum a fcut Foster, nu pare s asimileze nici pe departe noile mase care intr n arenele politice. Dac e adevrat c parlamentul este un complex mecanism de discursuri, audieri, votare i negociere, care ar fi formele adecvate pentru Dingpolitik? Cum ar arta un spaiu politic care nu e neo? Cum ar arta un stil cu adevrat contemporan de spaiu de adunare? Nu putem rspunde la aceast ntrebare fr s strngem laolalt tehnici de reprezentare din diverse tipuri de adunri. Efectul pe care vrem s-l obinem este acela de a arta c parlamentele snt doar cteva din numeroasele mecanisme de reprezentare existente i nu neaprat cele mai relevante sau cele mai bine dotate. Probabil c fundamentalitilor nu le va plcea expoziia noastr: ei consider c snt mai n siguran fr reprezentare. Ei cred cu adevrat c dac rmn n afara oricrui fel de adunare, dac nu depind deloc de toate acele tehnici greoaie, nclcite i opace, vor avea o viziune mai bun, mai ampl i mai rapid i vor aciona mai eficient. Fiind inspirai direct de Bine, adesea chiar de Dumnezeul lor, ei dispreuiesc caracterul indirect al reprezentrilor. Dar

realitii s-ar putea s-o aprecieze, pentru c dac sntem cu toii handicapai politic, dac nu exist nici o cale de acces direct la voina general, dac nici un dom transparent nu ne ofer o viziune global, dac, n cel mai bun caz, orbul ndrum alt orb, atunci pn i cea mai mrunt - fie i infinitezimal - inovaie a metodelor practice de reprezentare a unei probleme va nsemna ceva - adic teribil de mult. Nu pentru fundamentaliti, ci pentru realiti. ntrebai un orb ct conteaz pentru el dac are un baston alb sau dac nu-l are. ntrebai un surd ct conteaz dac e sau nu dotat cu un aparat pentru mbuntirea auzului. ntrebai-i pe paralitici dac li se pare c i-ar ajuta cu ceva un scaun cu rotile un pic mai performant. Dac sntem cu toii handicapai - sau, mai bine zis, persoane cu dizabiliti politice - avem nevoie de mai multe proteze diferite. Fiecare obiect prezentat n aceast expoziie i descris n catalog e o astfel de crj. Nu promitem nimic mre, nimic altceva dect un magazin cu proteze pentru invalizii care au fost repatriai de pe fronturile de lupt politic. i n-am fost oare cu toii ciomgii zdravn n ultimii ani? Ar fi mai bine ca politica s fie considerat o ramur a studiilor dizabilitilor.

De la o Adunare a Adunrilor... O expoziie nu poate face mare lucru, dar e capabil s exploreze posibiliti noi, beneficiind de un grad de libertate mai ridicat, deoarece se pricepe foarte bine la experimente ale minii - sau mai degrab la Gedankenaustellung. Una din ncercrile propuse este aceea de a concepe nu o adunare, ci mai degrab o adunare a adunrilor, astfel

nct vizitatorii sau cititorii s poat compara diversele tipuri de reprezentare, cam ca la un trg. Asta am ncercat noi aici. Laboratoarele tiinifice, institutele tehnice, pieele, bisericile i templele, sediile de comer i finane, forumurile de pe Internet, polemicile ecologiste - fr a uita nsi forma muzeului n interiorul cruia ne adunm noi, toi membra disjecta - snt doar cteva din forumurile i pieele publice n care vorbim, votm, impunem decizii i ni se impun decizii, convingem i ne lsm convini. Fiecare are propria ei arhitectur, propria ei tehnologie a discursului, propriul set complex de proceduri, propria definiie a libertii i dominaiei, propriile metode de a-i aduna pe cei interesai - i, lucru i mai important, pe cei neinteresai -, laolalt cu lucrurile care i preocup, metodele de a obine acordul i de a ajunge la adoptarea unei decizii. De ce nu le-am oferi ocazia de a se compara unele cu altele? La urma urmei, n-au ncetat niciodat s fac schimb de caracteristici: bisericile au devenit temple nainte s devin primrii; efii de state au nvat de la artiti cum s creeze un spaiu public cu ajutorul publicitii; n tainiele profunde ale mnstirilor au fost elaborate proceduri complexe de votare i au fost scrise constituii; laboratoarele migreaz spre piee, n vreme ce gustul produselor e influenat puternic de laboratoare; supermarketurile dobndesc tot mai multe caracteristici ce le fac s semene cu nite cabine de vot concurente; ba chiar i cele mai absconse modele din fizic snt influenate puternic de teoriile sociale. Pe de alt parte, instituiile financiare par s colecteze mai mult tehnologie informaional dect parlamentele. Extrem de tcutele cadre naturale au devenit unele dintre cele mai

vnate i mai disputate cmpuri de btlie. n ceea ce privete World Wide Web, reeaua informaional global, la nceput a fost ceva haotic, iar apoi, ncetul cu ncetul, a importat toate genurile de arhitectur virtual existente, dei doar foarte puine reproduc spaiul i mai virtual al parlamentelor originale. Instalaiile artistice imit din ce n ce mai mult demonstraiile tiinifice, iar specialitiii n tehnologie se pricep s asimileze din ce n ce mai multe elemente de drept. Nici un ru nu mai curge de la munte nspre mare fr s fie la fel de bine dotat cu instrumente creatoare de discurs cum snt oamenii n cadrul sondajelor de opinie. Acesta este comerul constant, schimbul nentrerupt, amestecul necontenit de aparate, proceduri, instrumente i obiceiuri pe care am ncercat s-l structurm n acest catalog i n aceast expoziie. Cnd am decis s strngem laolalt o asemenea adunare a adunrilor, nu am ncercat s cldim n jurul ei un dom mai mare i mai atotcuprinztor. Nu am ncercat s ne imaginm c toate vor fi reductibile la tradiia parlamentelor europene. Dimpotriv, ne-am oferit s artm ct de tare difer unele de altele, conectndu-lse prin umila i pmnteana u din dos a mecanismelor lor de reprezentare. Ne-ar face plcere ca vizitatorii i cititorii s se deplaseze de la unul la altul i s pun de fiecare dat urmtoarele trei ntrebri: Cum reuesc ele s adune laolalt prile interesate? Cum reuesc s adune laolalt problemele relevante? Cum schimb modul n care oamenii iau decizii faptul c acetia snt asociai lucrurilor? Noi sperm c, odat ce aceast adunare a adunrilor e structurat, ceea ce trece drept sfer a

politicii, adic parlamentele i birourile ramurilor executive, va fi considerat doar un tip printre multe altele - poate chiar unul prost dotat. Aceast abordare, n care prezentm tehnologia reprezentrii vieii parlamentare, nu va urmri s ridiculizeze metodele sale nvechite, nici s critice stilul european de concepere a spaiului public. Dimpotriv, n concepia orientat spre obiect parlamentul este un termen tehnic ce nseamn a face lucrurile publice, unul dintre numeroasele forme diferite de producere a opiniilor i a conexiunilor ntre oameni. Prin acest excurs comparativ, vrem s aflm cum am putea face ca parlamentele - cu p mic - s fie dezvoltate, conectate, modificate sau reorganizate. n loc s spunem c totul e politic i s detectm fore obscure ascunse n spatele tuturor celorlalte asamblri, noi vrem, dimpotriv, s determinm mruntele proceduri ce declaneaz acordul i dezacordul parlamentar, pentru a vedea n ce condiii concrete i cu ce plus de efort ar putea s devin i ele relevante n viitor. Noi sperm c n acest magazin vizitatorii vor cumpra materiale pe care s le foloseasc mai trziu pentru a construi acea nou Arc a lui Noe: Parlamentul Lucrurilor. Nu auzii cum ploaia iroiete deja necontenit? Iar Noe a fost n mod cert un realist. o Adunare a Dezbinrii Poate c exist i un alt motiv, n afar de slaba imaginaie a arhitecilor, din pricina cruia nu avem un dom bine proiectat sub care s ne adunm: s-ar putea ca de fapt dorina de a ne strnge laolalt s nu fie tocmai una universal! S-ar putea ca orizontul politic s fie prea

ngust pentru a cuprinde ntreg Pmntul, orict de mult l-am ntinde. i asta nu doar pentru c parlamentele snt prea mrunte, nu doar pentru c un parlament al parlamentelor ar impune utilizarea unor mecanisme numeroase i diverse, care n prezent snt mprtiate prin numeroase adunri, ci i pentru c, pn la urm, nsui conceptul de adunare politic ar putea s nu fie mprtit de toat lumea. Nevoia de reprezentare politic ar putea fi n mare msur o obsesie occidental, iar ali oameni ar putea s obiecteze la ideea c snt mobilizai sau ndemnai s-o adopte. Obiecia lor trebuie s apar i ea n prezentarea noastr. n caz c citii textele UNESCO, o s avei impresia c ntreaga planet aspir s se uneasc sub egida democraiei, a reprezentrii transparente i a domniei legii. Dar dac de fiecare dat cnd acest parlament gonflabil este lansat undeva, se nal numeroase alte voci care spun Nu mai vrem politic!, Nu reprezentativitii!, Nu cu voi!, Nu vrem democraie, mulumim, V rugm s v ndeprtai ct mai mult, Lsai-ne n pace!, Mai bine nu! sau l prefer pe regele meu. Dar dac dezacordurile nu snt genul de probleme care i dezbin pe oameni n situaii normale, ci snt de fapt legate exact de modul de realizare a adunrii? Dar dac ar trebui s ne imaginm nu o adunare a adunrilor i nici mcar o adunare a modalitilor de adunare, ci o adunare a modurilor de dezbinare? Oare n-ar fi acesta un apel la dezbinare? i totui exact asta se ntmpl atunci cnd ncepi s asculi alte voci, alte opinii. Nu pentru c snt exotice, exagerate, arhaice ori iraionale, ci pentru c i ele susin c aducerea lucrurilor n public

ar putea fi o problem mult mai de durat dect intrarea pe trmul politicii - fie el i extins. Sub poleiala subire a democraiei pentru toi va aprea curnd o alt criz a reprezentrii, una mult mai ampl i mai profund, pentru c va lovi de fapt esena a ceea ce trebuie s reprezinte. Uitai-v la tradiia japonez: nsui cuvntul reprezentare li se pare straniu i superficial. Uitai-v la indienii jivaros: retorica extrem de complex din ciocnirile lor polemice are ca scop evitarea ntlnirii n aceeai adunare. Uitai-c la jihaditii care cer extinderea comunitii lor, umma. Cuvntul demokrata rmne un lexem importat, care sun mai degrab ca un termen agresiv dect ca o valoare preuit profund.30 Exist multe alte moduri de adunare pe lng cea realizat sub semnul unei finaliti politice. Iar atunci cnd locuitorii din munii Noii Guinee se adun ca s voteze i folosesc o procedur complicat, importat prin intermediul elicopterului de la observatorii electorali instruii n Australia, putem oare evalua ct de mult au modificat-o acetia? Chiar i n rile noastre, obsedate de republica transparent, se depune mult efort pentru a face exact invers, adic pentru a face lucrurile n secret. i dac una dintre cauzele fundamentalismului a fost faptul c n toate celelalte moduri diferite de adunare s-au vzut pn la urm prost reprezentai? Ca i cum vemntul obinuit al politicii ar fi prea strmt pentru ei. Ca i cum n-ar fi avut niciodat spaiul necesar pentru a se aduna laolalt cu celelalte lucruri de care snt ataai, adic zeii lor, divinitile lor, scrupulele contiinei lor. S-ar zice c ntreaga definiie a politicii, motenit n urma conflictelor ntre biseric i stat, trebuia rediscutat.

Politica vzut ca o aciune de adunare a aderenilor, unde cel ce nu reuete s-o fac n mod adecvat dispare n haos, pare a constitui o problem de interes doar pentru o mic parte a omenirii, i.e. pentru cei obsedai de legtura dintre ordinea cosmic i ordinea lor social. Chiar i unora dintre acetia ideea c politica ar fi exprimarea liber a opiniilor n snul unei adunri li se pare o concepie oarecum provincial. Conform afirmaiilor lui Franois Jullien, tradiia chinez pare s-o ignore complet. Chinezii - cel puin conform viziunii tradiionale a crturarilor antici - nu vor s-i adauge pur i simplu diferenele lor la diferenele altora. Ei snt foarte fericii s-i ocupe locurile alocate n amfiteatrul global al multiculturalismului - plasate astfel nct s poat asista la acelai spectacol, ns cu o mrunt diferen de perspectiv -, dar vor s rmn indifereni la metodele noastre, adic ale occidentalilor, de a ngloba totul. Putem asimila diferenele credeam c o putem face i sub decadentul, dar nc solidul dom al Sfntului Imperiu Roman -, dar indiferenele? Spre poteniala groaz a politologilor, nsi ideea unei adunri politice nu mai strnete mult interes. Abia de-acum lucrurile devin cu adevrat complicate i, astfel, interesante: Cum s concepem o adunare sub domul comun O singur politic potrivit pentru toi? Am putea extinde definiia politicii pn n punctul n care aceast s-i accepte propria punere n suspensie? Dar cine poate fi chiar att de lipsit de prejudeci?31 i totui exist vreun alt curs al aciunii? Ar fi mult prea uor s recunoatem pur i simplu numeroasele contradicii existente, ca i cum am putea fi mulumii cu absena sau dispariia

tuturor formelor de adunare politic. Ca i cum am putea renuna de-a binelea la sarcina realizrii acordului. Trebuie s existe vreo alternativ la universalismul de duzin (Dar bineneles c orice fiin uman e un animal politic!) i la relativismul ieftin (S se adune cu toii sub drapelul cuiva, iar dac nu au nici un drapel, s se duc naibii!). Sntem obligai s gsim o ieire din acea realitate numit globalizare: chiar dac indienii jivaro, chinezii, japonezii, credincioii umma, cretinii renscui etc. nu vor s stea cu toii sub acelai dom, snt totui legai unii de alii, vrnd-nevrnd, tocmai prin extinderea acelor adunri paliative pe care le numim piee, tehnologii, tiine, crize ecologice, rzboaie i reele teroriste. Cu alte cuvinte, numeroasele i diversele ansambluri pe care le-am strns laolalt sub acoperiul ZKM (Zentrum fr Kunst und Medientechnologie din Karlsruhe) conecteaz deja oamenii, indiferent de msura n care acetia se simt legai unii de alii de vreun crez politic comun. Forma domului poate fi contestat, fiindc nu ofer suficient spaiu pentru diferene i indiferene, dar nu se ndoiete nimeni c aici acioneaz ceva numit global. Pur i simplu definiiile pe care le dm de obicei politicii nc nu s-au sincronizat cu masele de conexiuni deja create. n catalogul de fa ncercm s analizm mai profund acest paradox istoric. n epoci anterioare, cum ar fi Iluminismul, a existat un glob metafizic ca s folosim expresia lui Sloterdijk32 -, chiar dac globalizarea era abia la nceput. ns acum, cnd sntem cu adevrat globalizai, nu mai exist nici un glob! De exemplu, atunci cnd Mercator la transformat pe Atlas dintr-un gigant diform, care susinea pe umerii si

Pmntul, ntr-un savant tcut, aezat pe scaun, care inea planeta n mn, acela a fost, probabil, momentul cnd globalizarea era la zenit. i totui n 1608 lumea era puin cunoscut, iar oamenii triau foarte izolai. Cu toate acestea fiecare nou teritoriu, fiecare nou civilizaie, fiecare nou diferen puteau fi detectate, localizate i asimilate n casa transparent a Naturii, fr s ofere mari surprize. ns acum, cnd lumea este cunoscut, oamenii snt unii de violene, chiar dac vor s se diferenieze i nu s se apropie. Nu mai exist ceva global care s-i strng laolalt. Cea mai bun dovad e aceea c exist oameni care organizeaz demonstraii mpotriva globalizrii. Globalul e la ndemna oricui. Concomitent, globalizarea a atins nivelul maxim, iar globul e la nadirul su. Exist nenumrate bloguri, dar nici un glob. i totui sntem cu toii n aceeai barc - sau cel puin n aceeai flot. Ca s folosim o metafor de-a lui Neurath, problema care se pune e cum so reconstruim n timp ce navigm cu ea? Sau mai degrab cum putem s navigm cu o flot constituit din barje divergente, dar n acelai timp legate unele de altele? Cu alte cuvinte, putem oare trece peste nenumratele moduri de asociere i disociere i totui s punem problema unei lumi unice i comune? Putem s formm o adunare din toate ansamblurile diverse n care sntem deja implicai?

Publicul fantom Strigtul Marele Pan e mort! e unul bine-cunoscut. Natura, acest gigantic i tcut parlament unde toate creaturile snt aezate ir dup ir, de la cea mai mare pn la cea mai mrunt, acest

magnific amfiteatru ce ofer politicienilor stngaci un model perfect i izbutit pentru ceea ce e raional i iraional, acest mre parlament al naturii s-a prbuit exact ca Turnul Babel. Filosofia politic a vrut mereu s-i susin fragilele intuiii cu ajutorul unui model ferm i solid, preluat de la alte tiine. S-ar putea spune c a ncercat totul, de la metafora organismului pn la cea a creierului. A fost o provocare continu: cum s nlocuieti periculoasa ndeletnicire a politiciii prin cunoaterea serioas i sigur a unei tiine mai bine statornicite? i a euat permanent. O combinaie ntre metaforele din Fabula mdularelor i a stomacului a lui Menenius i sociobiologia i cibernetica epocii noastre a ncercat s lege srmanele adunri ale oamenilor de realitatea ferm a naturii. Toate organele corpului au fost folosite n ncercarea de a crea monstruosul Corp Politic.33 n ncercarea de a institui un teren solid pentru capricioasele forme de adunare ale oamenilor, au fost invocate, pe rnd, toate animalele: furnicile, albinele, oile, lupii, insectele, rmele, porcii, cimpanzeii, babuinii etc. i totul a fost inutil, cci exist numeroase ci de constituire a unui corp comun, oile nu se adun ntr-o turm, lupii nu snt att de cruzi ca oamenii, babuinii au o via social intens34, iar creierele nu au un centru de comand. S-ar prea c natura nu mai este suficient de unificat ca s ofere un model stabilizator pentru experiena traumatic a fiinelor umane ce triesc n societate. Nendoielnic, Corpul Politic e un monstru - i nc ntr-o msur att de mare, nct nici mcar nu e un corp. Totui ce tip de monstru e acesta? Asta vrem s aflm i noi. Este posibil s fi transformat politica ntr-o activi[240]

tate monstruoas pentru c am ncercat s-o face s existe ntr-o form mprumutat din natur, pe care i este imposibil s o ia. Rspunsul acesta nu era unul acceptabil n secolul al xIx-lea, cnd oamenii, n ciuda iconoclasmului lor, nc mai erau bntuii de fantoma identitii, scria Walter Lippmann ntr-o carte uluitoare, intitulat Phantom Public (Publicul fantom). n mai multe privine, expoziia noastr este o ncercare teratologic, un experiment n care ne strduim s scrutm separat dou figuri fantomatice: Leviatanul i Fantoma Publicului. (mi pare ru c nu putem discuta altfel despre politic i c nu vorbim despre forme frumoase, siluete elegante, statui eroice, idealuri glorioase, viitoruri luminoase i informaii transparente asta dac nu cumva vrei s parcurgem nc o dat lunga list de ceremonii grandioase organizate de diversele sisteme totalitare, care, dup cum tim cu toii dureros de bine, au dus la cele mai nfiortoare acte de cruzime. Avem de ales ntre a vorbi despre montri anticipat, cu atenie i precauie, sau de a vorbi despre ei prea trziu, ajungnd s fim etichetai drept infractori. O, Machiavelli, ct dreptate aveai! S ne rugm ca nvmintele tale prudente s fie ascultate cu realism.) Conform spuselor lui Lippmann i a celor din rspunsul filosofului John Dewey la lucrarea celui dinti35, aproape ntreaga filosofie politic european a fost obsedat de corp i de stat. Toi au ncercat s asambleze un parlament imposibil, care s reprezinte cu adevrat voinele contradictorii ale unei mulimi printr-o unic Voin General. Dar o asemenea ntreprindere suferea de o acut lips de realism. Reprezentarea, conceput ntr-o manier att de radical,

de complet i de transparent, nu are cum s fie una fidel. Cernd de la politic un lucru pe care ea nu-l putea oferi, europenii au continuat s dea natere unor montri avortai i au ajuns pn la urm s-i descurajeze pe oameni s gndeasc politic. Pentru ca politica s poat incorpora mai mult diversitate (Marea Societate din epoca lui Dewey i ceea ce numim azi globalizare), ea trebuie s conceap un tip de prezentare complet nou i foarte specific. Lippmann a numit-o fantom pentru c e ceva dezamgitor pentru cei care viseaz la unitate i completitudine. i totui, n mod ciudat, e o fantom bun, singurul spirit care ne poate apra de pericolele fundamentalismului. Cu mult timp nainte ca Statele Unite s degenereze n actuala lor revoluie conservatoare, ea avea o tradiie mult mai robust i mai contemporan. Filosofii americani despre care vorbim i numeau tradiia pragmatism, nelegnd prin acest cuvnt nu realismul ieftin asociat de obicei cu pragmatismul individului, ci realismul costisitor impus de nevoia de a faceooplitica s se ndrepte spre pragmata - numele grecesc pentru Lucruri. Iat ce nseamn cu adevrat realism! n expoziia de fa ne-am pornit n imposibila ncercare de ntrupare a Fantomei Publicului. Vrem s-i facem pe vizitatori s simt care este diferena ntre a atepta de la Corpul Politic ceva ce nu poate s ofere - ceea ce ar crea n mod sigur un monstru - i a fi impulsionat de Publicul Fantom. Ideea ar fi s iei cuvntul Fantom i s nzestrezi acest concept fragil i provizoriu cu mai mult realitate - sau mcar cu mai mult realism - dect au alte concepte fantasmagorice, precum sferele, globurile, binele comun i voina general, pe care se presupune

c le-ar ntruchipa Leviatanul. Cu alte cuvinte, vrem s abordm nc o dat problema crerii unui corp unitar dintr-o mulime de alte corpuri - o problem evaluat aici de o mulime de exponate -, dar de data aceasta cu mijloacele i metodele contemporane. Fantoma conceput de Michel Jaffrenou i Thierry Coduys este o oper de art invizibil. Ea e activat de deplasarea vizitatorilor prin expoziie, astfel nct fiecare spectator este, simultan, un actor inclus n spectacol i unicul ecran pe care spectacolul este proiectat. Deplasndu-se printre diversele exponate, vizitatorii vor declana diferii senzori, care vor fi folosii ca tot atia stimuli pentru declanarea unor reacii ce vor oferi senzaia vag i inconfortabil c se ntmpl un lucru de care cei ce trec pe acolo snt responsabili ntr-un mod imposibil de detectat n mod direct. Politica va trece prin voi ca un fel de efluviu misterios, adic exact ca o fantom. Mai mult, relaia stimul/reacie va fi una variabil, n funcie de momentul zilei, numrul de oameni prezeni n expoziie, rspunsurile date la diversele interogaii, efectul cumulativ al vizitatorilor anteriori, prezena ntructva invizibil a vizitatorilor de pe Internet. n unele momente relaia va fi detectabil printr-un soi de conexiune unu-la-unu (Am fcut asta i uite ce se ntmpl), pe cnd n altele efectul va fi direct, dar va fi direcionat asupra altor vizitatori. Prin aceast oper de art elaborat, invizibil (i costisitoare!), a crei realizare a fost posibil graie complexei infrastructuri tehnologice de la ZKM, sperm s nlocuim n minile vizitatorilor spiritul lipsit de greutate al Fantomei cu greutatea strivitoare a Corpului Politic integral. Din nefericire, catalogul trebuie s prezinte n imaginile

sale experiena trit odat cu trecerea acestui Public Fantom. Trebuie s ncredinm efluviului de cuvinte i imagini sarcina imitrii figurii fantomatice, dar nsufleite, a politicii. De ce acordm atta importan diferenei dintre Corpul Politic i Fantom? Din pricina faptului c, pentru ca noua elocin s devin un reflex al gndirii, trebuie s putem distinge ntre dou moduri de vorbire. A pune o ntrebare politic nseamn adesea a dezvlui o stare de lucruri a crei prezen a fost pn n acel moment ascuns. ns atunci riti s cazi n vechea capcan, s furnizezi explicaii sociale i s faci exact invers dect ceea ce se nelege aici prin efluviu politic. Foloseti acelai vocabular nvechit, de legturi sociale deja adunate, pentru a explica noile asociaii. Dei dai impresia c vorbeti despre politic, nu vorbeti politic. Ceea ce faci reprezint pur i simplu extinderea cu un pas a aceluiai repertoriu mrunt de fore deja standardizate. Poate c simi plcerea furnizrii unei explicaii de for, dar tocmai asta e problema: eti prta tu nsui la extinderea puterii, nu la re-structurarea coninutului ei. Chiar dac rspunsul respectiv seamn cu discursurile politice, nici mcar n-a nceput s se ocupe de demersul politic, deoarece n-a ncercat s strng candidaii ntr-un nou tip de adunare, adecvat la cerinele lor specifice. Beat de putere e o expresie ce nu se aplic doar la generali, preedini, directori executivi, savani nebuni i lideri politici. Ea poate fi folosit i n cazul comentatorilor politici care confund extinderea explicaiilor de for cu structurarea spaiului colectiv. Iat de ce s-ar putea s avem nevoie de nc un slogan: Nu v mbtai de putere. Cu alte cuvinte, abinei-v ct mai mult s

folosii conceptul de putere, ca nu cumva s ricoeze i s nimereasc explicaiile pe care le-ai dat, nu inta pe care voiai s-o distrugei. Nu cutai explicaii de for n absena echilibrul puterilor.

Politica timpului, politica spaiului Revenirea la lucruri i prezentarea pozitiv a fantomei publicului nu snt de fapt teribil de reacionare? Depinde de ceea ce nelegem prin progresist. Imaginai-v c avei sarcina de a aduna laolalt un grup de voci distonante, interese opuse i declaraii violente. Imaginai-v apoi c exact atunci cnd v-ai sturat pn peste cap de ncercarea de a armoniza numeroasele tabere adverse, vi se ofer n chip miraculos o ans de a scpa de cele mai multe dintre ele. Nu v-ai repezi la soluia respectiv ca la un dar picat din ceruri? Exact aa se ntmpl atunci cnd interesele contradictorii ale oamenilor pot fi difereniate cu ajutorul urmtoarei grile interpretative: Snt ele progresiste sau reacionare? Luminate sau nvechite? n avangard sau n ariergard? Vocile distonante snt nc acolo, dar cele mai multe reprezint tendine napoiate, obscurantiste sau retrograde. Marul purificator al progresului le va face s devin anacronice. Poi ignora linitit dou treimi din ele, iar astfel sarcina realizrii ansamblului va fi simplificat n aceeai proporie. Nici din treimea rmas nu trebuie luat totul n calcul, fiindc majoritatea poziiilor adoptate se nvechesc repede, odat cu trecerea timpului. Minile progresiste trebuie s aleag dintre taberele contemporane intrate n polemic doar pe acelea, puine la

numr, care snt considerate vestitorii viitorului. Astfel, cu ajutorul magicei fore ordonatoare a progresului, politica e ceva rezolvat, de vreme ce nouzeci la sut din pasiunile contradictorii au fost ndeprtate pe cale raional i au rmas s pluteasc n limbul iraionalitii. Ignornd majoritatea contestatarilor, se poate ajunge la o soluie care s mulumeasc pe toat lumea, adic pe cei care constituie avangarda liberal sau revoluionar. Astfel sgeata timpului poate fi lansat fr griji. Filosofii definesc timpul ca pe o serie de succesiuni, iar spaiul - o serie de simultaneiti. Desigur c n vreme ce am arhivat totul din perspectiva forei progresului, am trit ntr-o perioad a succesiunii. Cronos a nghiit tot ce era nvechit i iraional printre propriile progenituri, lsndu-le n via doar pe cele predestinate unui viitor luminos. Dar printr-o ntorstur a istoriei pe care nici reformitii i nici revoluionarii n-au prevzut-o vreodat, Cronos i-a pierdut brusc apetitul devorator.36 n chip ciudat, am modificat att de complet timpul, nct am trecut de la un timp al Timpului la un timp al Simultaneitii. S-ar zice c nimic nu accept s locuiasc n trecut i nimeni nu se mai simte intimidat de adjective ca iraional, napoiat sau nvechit. Timpul, timpul apus al nlocuirii catastrofice, a devenit brusc ceva pentru care nici Stnga, nici Dreapta nu par s fi fost ntru totul pregtite: un timp monstruos, timpul coabitrii. Totul a devenit contemporan. ntrebarea ce se pune nu mai este O s disprei curnd? Sntei un semn gritor pentru apariia a ceva nou, care s nlocuiasc tot restul? Voi rupei acum a aptea pecete din Cartea Apocalipsei? Acum se ivete un set complet nou de ntrebri: Putem coabita

cu voi? Exist vreo metod prin care s putem supravieui cu toii laolalt, cu toate c nici una dintre preteniile, interesele i pasiunile noastre contradictorii nu pot fi eliminat? Timpul revoluionar, marele Simplificator, a fost nlocuit de timpul coabitrii, marele nclcitor. Cu alte cuvinte, spaiul a nlocuit timpul n postura de principiu ordonator central. Trebuie s admitem c reflexele politicienilor, pasiunile combatanilor, obiceiurile cetenilor, modurile n care se indigneaz, retorica preteniilor lor sau ecologia intereselor lor nu snt identice n timpul Timpului i n timpul Spaiului. Nimeni nu pare pregtit s ntrebe: Ce ar trebui acum s fie prezent simultan? De exemplu, n cazul n care te ocupi de religie, ce diferen mare e ntre religia pe care o atepi s dispar lent n inutul ndeprtat al basmelor i religia care i explodeaz chiar n faa nasului i devine azi o problem de via i de moarte - azi, dar i mine! Ce diferen mare ar fi dac natura, n loc s rmn un imens rezervor de fore i un nesfrit depozit de gunoaie, s-ar transforma brusc n ceva ce ntrerupe orice progres, ceva la care nu mai poi apela i de care nu mai poi scpa! "Comment s'en dbarrasser?" se ntreba Ionesco n timpul glorioilor ani treizeci.37 Asta a devenit acum ngrijorarea, Sorge, souci pentru aproape toi oamenii, n toate limbile. Nu putem scpa de nimic i de nimeni. Ecologia a distrus - probabil pentru totdeauna - timpul Succesiunii i ne-a aruncat n timpul Spaiului. Da, totul e contemporan. Progresul i succesiunea, revoluia i nlocuirea - nici una nu mai face parte din sistemul nostru de operare. i totui unde e sistemul de operare alternativ? Cine se ocup de scrierea liniilor sale de cod? Ne pricepem

ntructva s ordonm lucrurile n timp, dar nu tim absolut nimic despre spaiul n care le adunm.38 Mai trebuie s ne direcionm noile pasiuni politice n noi reflexe de gndire, noi moduri de a fi interesai, indignai, mobilizai i potolii, plus o nou retoric. Ori de cte ori ne vedem n faa unei probleme, vechile obiceiuri nc mai struie, iar vocea progresului nc mai strig Nu v facei griji, toate acestea vor disprea curnd, cci snt nvechite i iraionale!, n vreme ce noua voce abia poate s opteasc Trebuie s coabitezi chiar i cu montrii, pentru c nu te poi lsa prad credinei naive c acetia vor pieri curnd. Spaiul este o serie de simultaneiti i totul trebuie luat n calcul dintr-odat. Asta nu nseamn c, pn la urm, nu exist progres sau c nu putem lansa n fa sgeata timpului. nseamn doar c pornim ncetul cu ncetul de la o form de coabitare foarte simplist - cum snt cele evoluioniste sau cele revoluionare - i ajungem la una mai complet, unde lum n calcul tot mai multe elemente. Progresul exist, dar el pornete de la o simpl alturare i ajunge la o form ntreesut de coabitare: cte elemente contemporane pot fi cldite unul lng altul pentru a da natere unei serii simultane? S-ar putea ca greeala comunismului s nu fi fost reprezentat de propensiunea spre comunitate, ci de graba cu care i-a imaginat c ar trebui mprtit Lumea Comun.

Ce este Dingpolitik? ntoarcerea la lucruri. ntoarcerea la acest pandemoniu fragil i provizoriu: un spectacol-expoziie, un catalog.

Aa cum am spus deja, demon i demos au aceeai etimologie. Dac urmai prima direcie, nmulii ocaziile de dezacord i de dezbinare; dac urmai a doua direcie, nmulii ocaziile de acord, de combinare, de adunare i de participare. Diferena dintre cele dou e subire ca lama unui cuit. n ambele cazuri Ding va dezbina - aa cum va face i expoziia aceasta. Dac v-a cucerit demonul politicii, atunci va aprea un anumit model: prea mult unitate, prea mult dezbinare. Dar dac reuii s simii n aciunile voastre influena publicului fantom, atunci se va nate un alt model: mai puine pretenii de unitate, mai puine idei de dezbinare. Cutarea structurii unitare a nceput iar, ca n epoca printelui Nicron. Sau cel puin acesta e efectul pe care vrem s-l producem asupra vizitatorilor i cititorilor. Aadar. ce este pn la urm Dingpolitik? Este gradul de realism injectat atunci cnd: a) politica nu mai este limitat la oameni, ci incorporeaz numeroasele probleme asociate acestora; b) obiectele devin lucruri, asta nsemnnd c problemele concrete las locul nclcitelor lor legturi i devin probleme de interes public; c) procesul adunrii laolalt nu se mai realizeaz sub un glob sau dom deja existent, ce aparine unei tradiii mai vechi a construciei de parlamente virtuale; d) limitele inerente impuse de defectele de vorbire, de afeciunile cognitive i toate genurile de handicap nu mai snt negate, acceptndu-se n schimb folosirea protezelor; e) nu ne mai limitm la parlamentele propriu-zise, ci ne extindem la numeroasele alte tipuri de ansamble, pentru a gsi

tipul de adunare potrivit; f) procesul adunrii laolalt se face sub semnul provizoriului i fragilului Public Fantom, care nu mai pretinde c este echivalentul Corpului, al Leviatanului ori al Statului; i, n fine g) Dingpolitik devine posibil atunci cnd politica se elibereaz de obsesia timpului Succesiunii. Acesta este experimentul ntreprins de noi prin expoziia i spectacolul de fa. Nu mai e cazul s spunem c autorii adunai aici nu trebuie s fie de acord unii cu alii i nici cu introducerea aceasta! Eventual s accepte o cupol fragil i provizorie care s investigheze legturile unuia sau altuia cu lucrurile? Poate c da. Dac fundamentalismul nseamn convingerea c medierile pot fi ignorate fr nici un risc, atunci el reprezint maniera politic complet lipsit de Ding. Pn la urm exist o ntrebare esenial care ne intereseaz: fundamentalismul poate fi eradicat? Cnd vor nceta cei patru cavaleri ai Apocalipsului s se mai amestece n politic?

* Dei nu le pot mulumi tuturor celor ale cror idei m-au ajutat la aceast lucrare fr s nir un ntreg catalog de nume, i datorez mulumiri n special lui Noortje Marres, a crui lucrare despre Lippman i Dewey a jucat un rol fundamental n cei trei ani de pregtire ai acestui

spectacol. Note: 1. Ron Suskind, Without a Doubt, n New York Times, 17 octombrie 2004. 2. Horst Bredekamp, Thomas Hobbes, Visuelle Strategien. Der Leviathan: Das Ulbid des modernen Staates Werkillustrationen und Portraits, Akademie Verlag, Berlin, 1999; despre mainria lui Nicron: Jean-Franois Nicron, La perspective curieuse Paris chez Pierre Billaine Chez Jean Du Puis rue Saint Jacques la Couronne d'Or avec l'Optique et la Catoptrique du RP Mersenne du mesme ordre Oeuvre trs utile aux Peintres, Architectes, Sculpteurs, Graveures et tous autres qui se meslent du Dessein, 1663. 3. Steven Shapin, Simon Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump. Hobbes, Boyle and the Experimental Life, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1985. 4. Quentin Skinner, Ambrogio Lorenzetti : the Artist as Political Philosopher, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1986; AnneMarie Brenot, Sienne au xIV sicle dans les fresques de Lorenzetti: la Cit parfaite, L'Harmattan, Paris, 1999; Giovanni Pavanello, Il Buono et il Cattivo Governo. Rappresentazioni nelle Arti dal Medioevo al Novecento (catalog de expoziie), Fondazione Cini, Marsilio, Veneia, 2004. 5. Peter Sloterdijk, Sphren III- Schume, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt, 2004. 6. Relatare transmis personal. 7. Textul integral disponibil online la .htm 8. Barbara Cassin, L'effet sophistique, Gallimard, Paris, 1995. 9. Vezi complexul set de afirmaii prezentat de Hans Blix n Disarming Iraq, Pantheon Books, New York, 2004. 10. Acest tip de silogism incomplet e numit entimem. Vezi la Aristotel, n: Aristotle, Treatise on Rhetorics, Prometheus Books, New York, 1995. 11. Hans-Jorg Rheinberger, Toward a History of Epistemic Thing. Synthetizing Proteins in the Test Tube, Stanford University Press,

Stanford, 1997. 12. O caracteristic izbitoare a alegerilor americane din 2004 este aceea c am putut asista atunci la deplasarea sensului cuvntului convins dinspre un statut obiectiv spre unul subiectiv. De-acum este folosit pentru a desemna sntatea interioar a unui spirit individual i nu efectul exercitat asupra minii cuiva de nite dovezi indirecte i incerte, ca pn acum. Convinsul Bush l-a nvins pe ovielnicul neconvins Kerry. 13. Vezi Oxford Dictionary: ORIGIN - din engleza veche, cuvnt de origine germanic, nrudit cu germanul Ding. Printre sensurile mai vechi se numr i meeting (ntlnire), matter (problem, lucru), concern (preocupare, interes, grij), precum i cel de lucru nensufleit. V. Martin Heidegger, What is a thing?, trad. de W. B. Barton jr. i Vera Deutsch, Chicago, 1968; Graham Harman, n volumul de fa. 14. Atunci cnd [res] apare n aceast poziie, nu o face n chip de loc unde se exercit un control unilateral asupra subiectului... Dac res este un obiect, ntr-o dezbatere sau o polemic el are n primul rnd aceast funcie, de obiect comun care contrapune i unete doi protagoniti n cadrul unui singur raport (p. 417), n Yan Thomas, "Res, chose et patrimoine (note sur le rapport sujet-objet en droit romain)", n Archives de philosophie du droit, nr. 25/1980, pp. 413-426. Apoi, n continuare: Obiectivitatea sa e asigurat printr-un acord comun, care i are originea n controvers i n dezbaterea judiciar (p. 418). 15. Lorraine Daston i Peter Galison, "The Image of Objectivity", n Representation, nr. 40/1992, pp. 81-128. 16. Wolfang Lefvre, Picturing Machines 1400-1700, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2004. 17. Marcel Detienne (coord.), Qui veut prendre la parole?, Le Seuil, Paris, 2003. 18. Pierre Lvque, "'Repartition et democratie propos de la racine da-'', n Esprit, nr. 12/1993, pp. 34-39. 19. Orice mprie care se dezbin n sine se pustiete, orice cetate sau cas care se dezbin n sine nu va dinui. Dac Satana scoate pe Satana, s-a dezbinat n sine; dar

atunci cum va dinui mpria lui? (Noul Testament, Evanghelia dup Matei, 12, 2627). 20. Michael Frayrn, Democracy, Methuen Drama, Londra, 2003. 21. Bruno Latour i Peter Weibel (coord.), Iconoclash. Beyond the Image Wars in Science, Religion and Art, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2002. 22. i datorm mulumiri pentru material Erici Naginski, "The Object of Contempt", n Yale French Studies, nr. 101, Fragments of Revolution, 2001, pp. 32-53. 23. Jerry Brotton, "Saints Alive: The Iconography of St Georges", n Bruno Latour, B. i Peter Weibel, P. op.cit., pp. 155. 24. Marie Jos Mondzain, "The Holy Shroud. How Invisible Hands Weave the Undecidable", idem, pp. 324-335. 25. Joseph Leo Koerner, "Impossible Objects: Bosch Realism.", n Res, nr.46/ toamn 2004, pp. 73-98. 26. Conform spuselor lui Marc Shell (ntr-o discuie privat), toi marii oameni de stat au suferit de un defect oarecare de vorbire. 27. Jean-Philippe Heurtin, L'espace public parlementaire. Essais sur les raisons du lgislateur, PUF, Paris, 1999. 28. Deyan Sudjic, Architecture and Democracy, Lawrence King Publishing, Glasgow, 2001. 29. Christine Riding i Jacqueline Riding, The Houses of Parliament. History, Art, Architecture, Merrell, Londra, 2000; James A. Leith, Space and Revolution: Projects for Monuments, Squares, and Public Buildings in France, 1789-1799, McGill-Queens University Press, Montral, 1991. 30. Gilles Kepel, Fitna. Guerre au coeur de l'Islam, Gallimard, Paris, 2004. 31. Vezi definiia politicii la Ulrick Beck, Der kosmopolitische Blick, Mnchen, Suhrkamp, 2004. 32. Peter Sloterdijk, Sphren, Kt., Bd.2, Globen, Mnchen, Suhrkamp, 2004. 33. Francisco Varela et al., The Brainweb: Phase Synchronisation and Large-Scale Integration, n Nature Reviews Neuroscience nr. 2/ 2001, pp. 229-239. 34. Shirley Strum, Almost Human. A Journey

Into the World of Baboons, Random House, New York, 1987. 35. John Dewey, The Public and Its Problems, Ohio University Press, Athens, 1927 1954. 36. Francis Fukuyama, n The End of History and the Last Man, Free Press, New York, 1992, a avut dreptate cnd a proclamat sfritul istoriei, dar am grei dac am crede c asta va uura viitoarele sarcini politice. Lucrurile stau exact invers. Simultaneitatea e mult mai greu de nvins dect succesiunea, pentru c aici nu putem scpa de contradicii. 37. Eugne Ionesco, Amde ou Comment s'en dbarrasser, 1954. 38. Urmrii ct de stngaci este efortul lui Samuel Huntington de a proiecta n geografie istoria pe care Fukuyama o declarase ipotetic - vezi Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of World Order, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1998.


Agonistic Democracy and Radical Politics

by Chantal Mouffe

The political between antagonism and agonism What is the best way to envisage democratic politics? Until a few years ago, the most fashionable model in political theory was that of deliberative democracy defended, in different forms, by John Rawls and Jrgen Habermas. But another model, which proposes an agonistic way of conceiving democracy, is steadily gaining influence, and I believe it is useful to examine what its representatives have in common. As I myself belong to the agonistic camp, I have chosen to highlight the differences that exist between my conception of agonism and that of a certain number of theorists who have other sources of inspiration. I will begin by presenting the main principles of the theoretical framework that informs my reflection. I have suggested distinguishing between the political, which is linked to the dimension of antagonism present in human relations - an antagonism that manifests itself politically in the construction of the friend/enemy

relation and that can emerge from a large variety of social relations -, and politics, which aims to establish an order and to organise human coexistence under conditions that are marked by the political and thus always conflictual. We find this distinction between the political and politics in the other agonistic theories, though not always with the same signification. We can in fact distinguish two opposing conceptions of what characterises the political. There are those for whom the political refers to a space of liberty and common action, while others view it as a site of conflict and antagonism. It is from this second perspective that my work proceeds, and I will demonstrate how it is on this point that the fundamental divergence between the different agonistic theories rests.

impossibility of reconciling all points of view, and it is what leads it to negate the political in its antagonistic dimension. I myself argue that only by taking account of the political in its dimension of antagonism can one grasp the challenge democratic politics must face. Public life will never be able to dispense with antagonism for it concerns public action and the formation of collective identities. It attempts to constitute a we in a context of diversity and conflict. Yet, in order to constitute a we, one must distinguish it from a they. Consequently, the crucial question of democratic politics is not to reach a consensus without exclusion which would amount to creating a we without a corollary they - but to manage to establish the we/they discrimination in a manner compatible with pluralism. According to the agonistic pluralism model that I developed in The Democratic Paradox (London: Verso, 2000) and On the Political (London: Routledge, 2005), pluralist democracy is characterised by the introduction of a distinction between the categories of enemy and adversary. This means that within the we that constitutes the political community, the opponent is not considered an enemy to be destroyed but an adversary whose existence is legitimate. His ideas will be fought with vigour but his right to defend them will never be questioned. The category of enemy does not disappear, however, for it remains pertinent with regard to those who, by questioning the very principles of pluralist democracy, cannot form part of the agonistic space. With the distinction between antagonism (friend/enemy relation) and agonism (relation between adversaries) in place,

Politics and antagonism One of the principal theses that I have defended in my work is that properly political questions always involve decisions which require a choice between alternatives that are undecidable from a strictly rational point of view. This is something the liberal theory cannot admit due to the inadequate way it envisages pluralism. The liberal theory recognises that we live in a world where a multiplicity of perspectives and values coexist and, for reasons it believes to be empirical, accepts that it is impossible for each of us to adopt them all. But it imagines that these perspectives and values, brought together, constitute a harmonious and non-conflictual ensemble. This type of thought is therefore incapable of accounting for the necessarily conflictual nature of pluralism, which stems from the

we are better able to understand why the agonistic confrontation, far from representing a danger for democracy, is in reality the very condition of its existence. Of course, democracy cannot survive without certain forms of consensus, relating to adherence to the ethico-political values that constitute its principles of legitimacy, and to the institutions in which these are inscribed. But it must also enable the expression of conflict, which requires that citizens genuinely have the possibility of choosing between real alternatives.

expression of a particular structure of power relations, and it is from here that its political character stems. Every social order that at a given moment is perceived as natural, together with the common sense that accompanies it, is in fact the result of sedimented hegemonic practices and never the manifestation of an objectivity that one could consider external to the practices through which it was established. What is at stake in the agonistic struggle is the very configuration of the power relations that structure a social order and the type of hegemony they construct. It is a confrontation between opposing hegemonic projects that can never be reconciled rationally. The antagonistic dimension is therefore always present but it is enacted by means of a confrontation, the procedures for which are accepted by the adversaries. The agonistic model that I propose acknowledges the contingent character of the hegemonic articulations that determine the specific configuration of a society at a given moment; as pragmatic and contingent constructions, they can always be disarticulated and transformed by the agonistic struggle. Unlike the liberal models, such an agonistic perspective takes account of the fact that every social order is politically instituted and that the ground on which hegemonic interventions occur is never neutral for always the product of previous hegemonic practices. Far from envisaging the public sphere, as for example Habermas does, as fertile ground in the search for consensus, my agonistic approach conceives it as the battlefield on which hegemonic projects confront one another, with no possibility whatsoever of a final reconciliation.

Which agonism? My disagreement with Habermas is not surprising given that it is partly in opposition to his deliberative democracy model that I developed my agonistic conception. But I would now like to examine the differences that exist between my approach and the one found within a certain number of conceptions that also adopt an agonistic perspective. Beyond the family resemblance linking these conceptions, there are important points of divergence, which similar vocabulary tends to conceal. I will begin with the case of Hannah Arendt. Arendt is often considered a representative of agonism, and her references to the Greek Agon can justify such a reading. But the conception of agonism that can be derived from her work is very different to the one I defend. Indeed, we discover in Arendt what I would call an agonism without antagonism. By this I mean that, although she insists a good deal on human plurality and conceives politics as dealing with the community and with reciprocity between different beings, she never recognises that this plurality is at the origin of antagonistic conflicts. According to Arendt, to think politically consists in developing the ability to see things from a multiplicity of perspectives. As indicated by her reference to Kant and his notion of enlarged mentality, the pluralism she advocates is finally not so different to Habermass, also resting as it does on the horizon of intersubjective agreement. It is clear that what she seeks in the Kantian critique of aesthetic judgement is a procedure to obtain intersubjective agreement in the public

Politics and hegemony It is necessary at this point to introduce the category of hegemony, which will enable us to identify the nature of the agonistic struggle. To understand the political as the ever present possibility of antagonism, the absence of a final foundation and the undecidability that pervades every order must be acknowledged. It is precisely to this that the category of hegemony refers, and it indicates that every society is the product of practices that seek to institute an order in a context of contingency. Every social order is therefore hegemonic in nature, and its origin political. The social is thus constituted by sedimented hegemonic practices, that is, practices that conceal the originary acts of their contingent political institution and that appear to proceed from a natural order. This perspective reveals that every order results from the temporary and precarious articulation of contingent practices. Things could always have been different and every order is established through the exclusion of other possibilities. It is always the

sphere. Despite the differences in their respective approaches, I therefore believe that Arendt, like Habermas, envisages the public sphere as a place where consensus can be established. Obviously, in her case, this consensus will be the result of an exchange of voices and opinions (in the Greek sense of doxa), rather than the rational Diskurs found in Habermas. As noted by Linda Zerilli in Feminism and the Abyss of Freedom (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2005), while for Habermas consensus emerges through what Kant calls disputieren, an exchange of arguments bound by logical rules, for Arendt it is a matter of streiten, where agreement is produced by persuasion and not based on irrefutable proofs. But neither of the two manages to acknowledge the hegemonic nature of every form of consensus in politics or the ineradicable character of antagonism, the moment of Widerstreit, that which Lyotard calls the diffrend. My conception of agonism must also be distinguished from Bonnie Honigs, which is clearly influenced by Arendt. In her book Political Theory and the Displacement of Politics (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993), Honig criticises liberal conceptions for being too consensual and she advances the emancipatory potential of political contestation, which enables established practices to be questioned. She defends a conception of politics centred on virt, and places agonistic contestation at its heart, thanks to which citizens are able to keep open a space of debate and prevent the confrontation of positions from drawing to a close. The permanent questioning of dominant identities and ideas is central to the agonistic

struggle as conceived by Honig. Thus, in an article titled Towards an Agonistic Feminism: Hannah Arendt and the Politics of Identity (Feminist Interpretations of Hannah Arendt, edited by Bonnie Honig, The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995), she declares that the importance of Hannah Arendts work for feminists is to provide them with an agonistic politics of performativity. While acknowledging that Arendt never identified with feminism, Honig asserts that her agonistic politics of performativity is crucial for a feminist politics because it enables feminism to be envisaged as a site of contestation over the meaning, practice and politics of gender and sexuality. The appropriation of Arendts ideas should, according to Honig, enable feminists to understand that identities are always performative productions and to thereby question the existing positions of subject and liberate the identity of woman from the restrictive categories in which we try to enclose it. The idea of an identity suitable for women and that would serve as a starting point for a feminist politics is replaced by a multiplicity of identities constantly produced in an agonistic space, opening the way for feminist emancipation. We can observe that the agonistic struggle is, according to Honig, reduced to the moment of contestation. It is important for her to guarantee the expression of plurality and to prevent the closure of the questioning process. However, I myself consider that this is but one of the dimensions of the agonistic struggle, which cannot be limited to contestation. The second moment, involving the construction of new hegemonic articulations, is fundamental in politics. It is for this rea[252]

son that I regard Honigs conception of agonism as inadequate for envisaging democratic politics. I have a similar problem with the conception of William Connolly, another theorist of agonism. Connolly is influenced by Nietzsche rather than Arendt, and he has endeavoured to render his Nietzschian conception of the Agon compatible with democratic politics. In his book Pluralism (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005) he argues for a radicalisation of democracy through the development of a new democratic ethos among citizens. He conceives this ethos as one of permanent engagement in agonistic contestation that would make all attempts to bring closure to debate impossible. The central notion of Connollys work is that of agonistic respect, which he presents as originating in our common existential condition, itself linked to our struggle for identity and the recognition of our finitude. Agonistic respect constitutes for him the cardinal virtue of the type of pluralism he advocates and he considers it the most important political virtue in the pluralist world we live in today. Of course, I agree with Connolly when he insists on the role respect must play between adversaries engaged in an agonistic struggle. But I believe it is necessary to question the limits of this agonistic respect. Can all antagonisms be transformed into agonism? In other words, must all positions be considered legitimate and must they be granted a place inside the agonistic public sphere? Or must certain claims be excluded because they undermine the conflictual consensus that constitutes the symbolic framework in which opponents recognise themselves as legitimate adversaries? To put it another way, can

one envisage pluralism without antagonism? This is in my opinion the properly political question that Connollys approach is not able to ask. It is for this reason that I do not consider his conception of agonism any better placed than Honigs to serve as a framework for democratic politics. In order to think and act politically, we cannot escape the moment of decision and this requires establishing a frontier and determining a space of inclusion/exclusion. Any perspective that evades this moment renders itself incapable of transforming the structure of power relations and of instituting a new hegemony. I certainly do not intend to deny the importance of a democratic ethos but I think it would be a mistake to reduce democratic politics to the promotion of an ethics of agonistic respect. Yet this appears to be what Connolly proposes and, rather than a new conception of democratic politics, what we find in his work is a new form of pluralist ethics. It undoubtedly has its merits but is not sufficient to envisage the nature of a hegemonic democratic politics and the limits the latter must impose on pluralism. The fundamental difference between my conception of agonism and those that I have just examined resides in the absence in the cases of Arendt, Honig and Connolly of the two dimensions central to my approach and which I believe are indispensable to think the political: antagonism and hegemony. The principal objective of these authors is to prevent the closure of debate and to give free rein to the expression of plurality. Their celebration of a politics of destabilisation ignores the phase of hegemonic struggle,

which consists in the establishment of a chain of equivalence between democratic struggles in order to construct another hegemony. However, it is not enough to disturb the dominant procedures and disrupt existing arrangements to radicalise democracy. Once we accept that antagonism can never be definitively eliminated and that every order is hegemonic in nature, we cannot avoid the central question in politics: what are the limits of agonism, and which institutions and configurations of power must be transformed to radicalise democracy? This requires the moment of decision to be confronted and necessarily implies a form of closure. It is the price to pay for acting politically. To finish, I would like to suggest that this inability to account for the nature of the political decision in the authors I have just examined is linked to the way they conceive the political as common action and envisage pluralism on the mode of the valorisation of multiplicity. This is what leads them to elude the constitutive role of conflict and antagonism. On the contrary, the other vision of the political, the one from which my work proceeds, recognises the constitutive character of social division and the impossibility of a final reconciliation. The two conceptions affirm that in modern democracy the people can no longer be considered as one; but whereas in the first perspective it is seen as multiple, in the second it is understood as divided. The thesis I defend is that only once the ineradicable character of division and antagonism is recognised does it become possible to think in a properly political manner.

Democraia agonistic i politica radical

de Chantal Mouffe

nilor n condiii ce snt impregnate de politic i, astfel, snt permanent conflictuale. Gsim aceast distincie ntre politic i politic i n alte teorii agonistice, ns ea nu are peste tot aceeai semnificaie. De fapt putem distinge dou concepii opuse asupra specificului politicului. Pentru unii politicul trimite la un spaiu al libertii i al aciunii comune, n vreme ce alii vd n el un teritoriu al conflictului i antagonismului. Studiul meu are la baz a doua perspectiv i, pornind de la ea, voi demonstra aici n ce const divergena fundamental dintre diversele teorii agonistice.

Politicul ntre antagonism i agonism Care e cel mai bun mod de a concepe politica democratic? Pn n urm cu civa ani modelul cel mai popular din teoria politic era cel al democraiei deliberative, susinut, sub diferite forme, de John Rawls i Jrgen Habermas. ns acum un alt model, care propune un mod agonistic de judecare a democraiei, cucerete ferm tot mai mult teren i eu consider c ar fi util s analizm ce au n comun reprezentanii si. Cum i eu nsmi aparin taberei agonistice, m-am hotrt s evideniez diferenele existente ntre concepia mea asupra agonismului i cea a unui anumit numr de teoreticieni, care au alte surse de inspiraie. Voi ncepe prin a prezenta principiile de baz ale cadrului teoretic ce modeleaz viziunea mea. Eu am propus s facem distincia ntre politic, concept legat de dimensiunea antagonismului existent n relaiile dintre oameni - un antagonism care se manifest la nivel politic n construirea raportului prieten/duman i care poate s apar dintro imens varietate de relaii sociale -, i politic, cea care urmrete s instituie o ordine i s organizeze coexistena oame[254]

Politic i antagonism Una din principalele teze pe care am aprat-o n lucrarea mea este aceea c problemele politice autentice implic ntotdeauna decizii ce pretind o alegere ntre alternative, alegere ce nu se poate face dintr-o perspectiv strict raional. Din pricina modului inadecvat n care concepe pluralismul, viziunea teoretic liberal nu poate accepta aa ceva. Teoria liberal recunoate c trim ntr-o lume n care coexist o multitudine de perspective i de valori i, din motive pe care le consider empirice, e de acord c ar fi imposibil ca fiecare din noi s le adopte pe toate. Dar i imagineaz c aceste perspective i valori, puse laolalt, constituie un ansamblu armonios i non-conflictual. Aa se face c acest mod de gndire nu e capabil s explice natura inevitabil conflictual a pluralismului, care i are sorgintea n imposibilitatea reconcilierii tuturor punctelor de vedere, iar acest lucru duce la negarea politicului n dimensiunea sa antagonic. Eu, personal, susin c doar dac inem cont de politic n dimensiunea sa antagonic, putem nelege provocarea

democratic cu care trebuie s se confrunte politica. Viaa public nu se va putea dispensa niciodat de antagonism, pentru c acesta este legat de aciunea public i de formarea identitilor colective. El ncearc s constituie un noi ntrun context caracterizat prin diversitate i conflict. Doar c, pentru a constitui un noi, trebuie s l difereniem de un ei. Prin urmare, problema esenial a politicii democratice nu este aceea de a ajunge la un consens fr excludere - care ar presupune crearea unui noi fr un ei ulterior -, ci de a reui instituirea diferenei noi/ei ntr-o manier compatibil cu pluralismul. Conform modelului pluralismului agonistic, pe care l-am prezentat pe larg n lucrrile The Democratic Paradox (Paradoxul democratic, Verso, Londra, 2004) i On the Political (Despre politic, Routledge, Londra, 2005), democraia pluralist se caracterizeaz prin introducerea unei distincii ntre categoriile duman i adversar. Aceasta nseamn c n cadrul acelui noi care constituie comunitatea politic oponentul nu este considerat un duman ce trebuie distrus, ci un adversar cu o existen legitim. Ideile lui vor fi contracarate cu toat vigoarea, dar dreptului su de a i le apra nu va fi pus nici o clip la ndoial. ns categoria dumanului nu dispare, pentru c rmne relevant n cazul acelora care nu pot deveni o component a spaiului agonistic din pricina faptului c pun la ndoial tocmai principiile democraiei pluraliste. Odat ce am stabilit diferena dintre antagonism (raportul prieten/duman) i agonism (raportul dintre adversari), putem nelege mai bine de ce confruntarea agonistic e departe de a reprezenta un pericol pentru democraie, fiind n realitate tocmai condiia fundamental a existenei sale. Desigur, democraia

nu poate supravieui fr unele forme de consens, legate de adeziunea la anumite valori etico-politice, care constituie principiile legitimrii sale, i la instituiile care le adopt. Dar ea trebuie s permit n egal msur i exprimarea conflictului, ceea ce impune ca toi cetenii s aib cu adevrat posibilitatea s aleag ntre nite alternative reale.

Politic i hegemonie n acest moment trebuie s introducem categoria de hegemonie (influen predominant - n.t.), care ne permite s identificm natura luptei agonistice. Pentru a nelege c politicul reprezint posibilitatea permanent prezent a antagonismului, trebuie s acceptm absena unui fundament definitiv i imposibilitatea de a decide, ce se regsete n orice ordin. Exact la acest lucru se refer categoria hegemoniei i ea arat c orice societate este produsul practicilor care caut s instituie o ordine ntr-un cadru contingent. n consecin, orice ordine social este hegemonic prin natura ei, iar originea ei este una politic. Astfel, planul social se constituie prin practici hegemonice sedimentate, adic practici care ascund aciunile originare ale instituiei politice asociate lor i care par s decurg dintr-o ordine natural. Aceast perspectiv dezvluie faptul c orice ordine se nate n urma articulrii temporare i nejustificate a unor practici asociate. ntotdeauna lucrurile ar fi putut arta altfel, iar orice ordine instituit apare n urma excluderii altor posibiliti. Ea este permanent expresia unei structuri specifice a raporturilor de putere i aici i are originea i caracterul su politic. Orice ordine social perceput la un moment dat drept natural, laolalt cu bunul-sim care o nsoete, este de fapt rezultatul

unor practici hegemonice sedimentate i nu reprezint niciodat o manifestare a unei obiectiviti pe care am putea-o considera exterioar practicilor prin care acea ordine a fost instituit. Miza n lupta agonistic este reprezentat tocmai de configurarea raporturilor de putere ce structureaz o ordine social i de tipul de hegemonie pe care l construiesc ele. Este o confruntare ntre proiecte hegemonice adverse, care nu poate fi reconciliat niciodat n mod raional. Aadar, dimensiunea antagonic este permanent prezent, doar c ea este materializat prin intermediul unei confruntri, procedur care face s fie acceptat de adversari. Modelul agonistic pe care l propun recunoate caracterul contingent al articulrilor hegemonice care determin structura specific a societii la un anumit moment. Fiind nite construcii pragmatice i contingente, ele pot fi oricnd demontate i transformate de lupta agonistic. Spre deosebire de modelele liberale, o astfel de perspectiv agonistic ine seama de faptul c orice ordine social este instituit politic i c temeiul n baza cruia au loc interveniile hegemonice nu este niciodat unul neutru, pentru c e ntotdeauna produsul unor practici hegemonice anterioare. Departe de a vedea sfera public drept un teren fertil pentru realizarea consensului, aa cum face - de exemplu - Habermas, abordarea mea agonistic o concepe ca pe un cmp de btlie n care proiectele hegemonice se confrunt unele cu altele i unde nu exist n nici un caz posibilitatea vreunei reconcilieri finale.

Care agonism? Desprirea mea de Habermas nu este una surprinztoare dac inem

cont de faptul c mi-am elaborat concepia agonistic n opoziie - cel puin parial cu modelul su de democraie deliberativ. ns acum a vrea s analizez diferenele existente ntre abordarea mea i cea pe care am gsit-o ntr-o serie de concepii ce adopt i ele o perspectiv agonistic. Dincolo de aerul de familie ce leag respectivele concepii, exist i importante puncte divergente, pe care utilizarea unui vocabular similar tinde s le ascund. Voi ncepe cu cazul lui Hannah Arendt. Arendt este considerat adesea o reprezentant a agonismului, iar trimiterile sale la grecescul agon pot justifica o asemenea interpretare. ns concepia asupra agonismului, aa cum rezult ea din opera lui Arendt, este foarte diferit de cea susinut de mine. Cci, iat, descoperim la Arendt ceea ce eu a numi un agonism fr antagonism. Vreau s spun c, dei ea insist puternic asupra pluralitii umane i consider c politica se ocup de comunitate i de reciprocitatea existent ntre fiine diferite, nu recunoate niciodat c aceast pluralitate st la originea conflictelor antagonice. Dup prerea lui Arendt, a gndi politic nseamn a-i dezvolta abilitatea de a vedea lucrurile dintr-o multitudine de perspective. Aa cum sugereaz trimiterea pe care o face la Kant i la conceptul acestuia de mentalitate lrgit, pluralismul pe care l apr ea nu este pn la urm att de diferit de cel al lui Habermas, cci i el se ntemeiaz pe orizontul acordului intersubiectiv. Este limpede c ea caut n critica kantian a facultii estetice o procedur prin care s obin acordul intersubiectiv n cadrul sferei publice. n consecin, n ciuda diferenelor dintre abordrile respective, eu cred c pentru Arendt, ca i pentru Habermas, sfera public este conceput ca un loc n care se

poate crea consensul. Evident c n cazul ei consensul va fi mai degrab rezultatul schimbului de voci i de opinii (n sensul grecesc al cuvntului doxa) i nu raionalul Diskurs ce apare la Habermas. Dup cum remarc Linda Zerilli n Feminism and the Abyss of Freedom (Feminismul i abisul libertii, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2005), n vreme ce la Habermas consensul apare prin intermediul a ceea ce Kant numete disputieren, un schimb de argumente controlat de legi logice, la Arendt el este o problem de streiten, caz n care acordul este obinut prin persuasiune i nu prin fundamentarea lui pe nite dovezi irefutabile. ns nici unul din cei doi nu reuete s accepte natura hegemonic a oricrei forme de consens din politic sau caracterul imposibil de eradicat al antagonismului, momentul de Widerstreit, pe care Lyotard l numete diffrend. Concepia mea asupra agonismului trebuie difereniat i de aceea a lui Bonnie Honig, care este influenat n mod clar de Arendt. n cartea ei Political Theory and the Displacement of Politics (Teoria politic i nlocuirea politicii, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1993) Honig acuz concepiile liberale c snt prea consensuale i sugereaz potenialul eliberator al contestaiei politice, care permite punerea sub interogaie a unor practici instituite. Ea susine o viziune asupra politicii centrate pe virt i plaseaz n miezul acesteia contestaia agonistic, graie creia cetenii pot s menin un spaiu liber al dezbaterii i s mpiedice o ncheiere a confruntrii dintre poziiile implicate. Punerea permanent sub interogaie a identitilor i ideilor dominante este fundamental pentru lupta agonistic, aa cum e ea vzut de Honig. Astfel, ntr-un articol intitulat Towards an Agonistic Feminism: Hannah Arendt and the Politics of Identity (Pentru un femi[257]

nism agonistic: Hannah Arendt i politica identitii, n volumul Feminist Interpretations of Hannah Arendt, coord. Bonnie Honig, The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995) ea afirm c pentru feministe importana operei lui Hannah Arendt const n faptul c le furnizeaz o politic agonistic a performativitii. Dei admite c Arendt nu s-a identificat niciodat cu feminismul, Honig susine c politica sa agonistic a performativitii este esenial pentru o politic feminist, deoarece permite ca feminismul s poat fi vzut ca un loc al contestaiei n ceea ce privete semnificaia, practica i politica genului i a sexualitii. Conform spuselor lui Honig, preluarea ideilor lui Arendt ar trebui s le permit feministelor s neleag care identiti snt ntotdeauna producii performative i, n consecin, s pun sub interogaie poziiile existente ale subiectului i s elibereze identitatea de femeie din cadrele restrictive ale categoriilor n interiorul crora ncercm s le ngrdim. Ideea existenei unei identiti adecvate femeilor i care s slujeasc drept punct de plecare pentru o politic feminist este nlocuit de o multiplicitate de identiti, produse n mod constant ntrun spaiu agonistic, ceea ce deschide calea emanciprii feministe. Putem remarca aici c la Honig lupta agonistic se reduce la momentul contestaiei. Pentru ea important este ca exprimarea pluralitii s fie garantat, iar ncheierea procesului de punere sub interogaie s fie blocat. Totui eu, personal, consider c aceasta e numai una din dimensiunile luptei agonistice, lupt ce nu poate fi limitat la contestaie. Al doilea moment, cel care implic elaborarea unor noi forme de articulare hegemonice, joac un rol fundamental n politic. Din acest motiv consider c viziunea lui Honig asupra agonismului este inadecvat pen[258]

tru conceperea politicii democratice. O problem similar apare la concepia lui William Connolly, un alt teoretician al agonismului. Connolly este influenat mai degrab de Nietzsche dect de Arendt i s-a strduit s fac din concepia lui nietzschean despre agon una compatibil cu politica democratic. n lucrarea sa Pluralism (Duke University Press, Durham, 2005) el aduce argumente n favoarea radicalizrii democraiei prin elaborarea unui nou ethos democratic n rndul cetenilor. Connolly concepe acest ethos ca pe unul de angajare permanent n procesul de contestaie agonistic, ceea ce ar face ca toate ncercrile de a ncheia dezbaterea s devin imposibile. Conceptul de baz al lucrrii sale este acela de respect agonistic, pe care el l prezint ca avndu-i originea n condiia noastr existenial comun, care e ea nsi legat de lupta noastr pentru identitate i de acceptarea finitudinii noastre. Pentru Connolly respectul agonistic constituie virtutea cardinal a genului de pluralism pe care l susine i el l consider drept cea mai important virtute politic din lumea pluralist n care trim astzi. Bineneles c snt de acord cu Connolly atunci cnd insist asupra rolului pe care trebuie s-l joace respectul n cazul unor adversari implicai ntr-o lupt agonistic. ns cred totui c trebuie s determinm limitele acestui respect agonistic. Oare toate antagonismele pot fi transformate n agonism? Cu alte cuvinte, toate poziiile trebuie s fie considerate legitime i trebuie s li se acorde un loc n interiorul sferei publice agonistice? Sau anumite revendicri trebuie excluse, din cauz c submineaz consensul conflictual ce constituie cadrul simbolic n interiorul cruia oponenii se recunosc pe ei nii ca adversari legitimi? Ori, altfel spus, putem concepe pluralismul fr antagonism?

n opinia mea, tocmai aceasta este problema politic pe care abordarea lui Connolly nu reuete s o pun n discuie. i, din acest motiv, nu consider c viziunea lui despre agonism ar fi mai potrivit s slujeasc drept cadru pentru politica democratic dect cea a lui Honig. Pentru a putea gndi i aciona politic, nu trebuie s scpm din vedere momentul deciziei, ceea ce impune stabilirea unei frontiere i conturarea unui spaiu de includere/excludere. Orice perspectiv ce eludeaz momentul respectiv devine incapabil s transforme structura raporturilor de putere i s instituie o nou hegemonie. Nu doresc n nici un caz s neg importana unui ethos democratic, dar cred c ar fi o greeal s limitm politica democratic la promovarea unei etici a respectului agonistic. i totui aa ceva pare s propun Connolly, aa c, n loc s gsim n lucrarea lui o nou concepie asupra politicii democratice, descoperim mai degrab o nou form de etic pluralist. Ea are, n mod cert, meritele sale, dar nu e suficient pentru a determina specificul unei politici democratice hegemonice i limitele pe care ea le impune pluralismului. Diferena fundamental dintre concepia mea asupra agonismului i cea a cercettorilor analizai mai sus const n cazurile lui Arendt, Honig i Connolly n absena a dou dimensiuni eseniale pentru abordarea mea i pe care le consider indispensabile gndirii asupra politicului: antagonismul i hegemonia. Obiectivul principal al acestor autori este de a mpiedica ncheierea dezbaterii i de a da fru liber exprimrii pluralitii. Elogiul adus de ei unei politici a destabilizrii ignor etapa luptei hegemonice, care const n instituirea unui lan de echivalene ntre luptele democratice, n vederea elaborrii unei noi hegemonii. Doar c nu

e suficient s dezorganizezi procedurile dominante i s subminezi aranjamentele existente pentru a radicaliza democraia. Odat ce acceptm c antagonismul nu poate fi eliminat niciodat definitiv i c orice ordine este hegemonic prin natura sa, nu mai putem ocoli ntrebarea esenial a politicii: care snt limitele agonismului i care snt instituiile i structurile de putere ce trebuie modificate pentru a radicaliza democraia? Aceast ntrebare impune intervenia unui moment al deciziei i implic n mod necesar o form de ncheiere. Este preul ce trebuie pltit pentru a aciona politic. n ncheiere a vrea s sugerez c incapacitatea autorilor analizai aici de a explica natura deciziei politice se leag de felul n care concep ei politicul ca aciune comun i judec pluralismul dup modul de valorizare a multiplicitii. Asta i face s ignore rolul constitutiv jucat de conflict i de antagonism. Dimpotriv, cealalt viziunea asupra politicului, cea de la care pornete studiul meu, recunoate caracterul constitutiv al diviziunii sociale i imposibilitatea unei reconcilieri finale. Cele dou concepii afirm c n democraia modern poporul nu mai poate fi considerat drept unul, numai c n prima perspectiv el este vzut ca multiplu, n vreme ce n a doua este considerat divizat. Teza pe care o susin eu este c vom putea gndi ntr-o manier politic adecvat numai dup ce vom recunoate caracterul imposibil de eradicat al diviziunii i al antagonismului.


Financial Imaginaries: Toward a Philosophy of the City

by Reinhold Martin

Parisian arcades as paradigmatic of the circulation of both commodities and dream images through the interstices of modern life, primarily through the literary device of allegory. This insight would eventually be inverted and transformed in that same city into the Situationist drive, with the help of which a later cohort of urban thinkers, from Lefebvre to De Certeau, would draw their lines in the sand: sous les pavs, la plage. But this tradition, which extracted general principles from what late twentieth century urbanists would eventually call the historical center of European cities (for which the barricades of May 1968 are an ironic emblem), has become a rather quaint, if not entirely irrelevant, vantage point from which to approach the world around dynamics of today, to borrow a term from the idiosyncratic lexicon of Buckminster Fuller. We can let Fuller stand here as a late representative of the counterproposition, incipient in modern architecture and urbanism and thoroughly manifest in mid-century modernization discourse and the policies and practices that it generated, that the modern city was a node in a much larger network that could only be apprehended and managed from above. Just as the inside-out, bottom-up view of the city and of modernity in general, from Benjamin to the Situationists, was enabled by technologies of perception that ranged from the reading glasses of the dandified, pedestrian flneur, to the plate glass in which the arcades were enclosed, to the vividly painted panoramas that destroyed perspective and enfolded distant horizons, so too did the aerial, eventually planetary view have its technical media. These also had partial roots in the European nine-

teenth century, in aerial photography (as Benjamin intuited) and in imperial cartography, but they would only be fully expressed in the multi-screen, computerized war rooms of the Cold War, mirrored in the control rooms of NASA or the Soyuz programs, and eventually miniaturized in GIS and Google Earth. The globe, as a dynamic object of perception and manipulation quite distinct from its antecedents in the history of cartography, is a prerequisite for the concept of globalization, and the design problems that it generates, from the problem of visualizing in real time the rapid pulsations of world around financial markets to the problem of predicting long term weather patterns, are its materialization. However, it is important to recognize that historically, our two vantage points, from the street and from the control room, develop simultaneously rather than in sequence. Though it may be tempting, therefore, to assign to each a valence negative for the dominating, leveling perspective from above, positive for the situated, everyday perspective from below and hence to oppose them as two terms in a dialectic of modernization, we would do better to recognize the inherent limitations of the analytical frame thereby described. This requires a theorization of media that exchanges the eschatology of a McLuhan or, for that matter, the millenarianism of a Baudrillard or a Virilio, for the rigorous materialism generally associated with the term archaeology as elaborated by Foucault and others. The archaeological perspective, which emphasizes the interaction between ways of seeing and ways of knowing,

For over a century, the social relations of the metropolis have been linked analytically to capitalist circulation, a link that is still clearly audible in the term global city. This applies in both the narrow, deterministic sense that would privilege the mechanisms of techno-economic globalization, and in the broader, more inclusive sense that would assign to social and cultural processes a semistructural role in shaping the pulsations and interchanges of economic life. In either sense, the city itself seems to stand as a receptacle, a sort of archaeological site for holding these dynamics in place long enough and firmly enough to study them in all their complexity. This scenario was inherited in part from the great thinkers of modern, metropolitan experience, from Simmel to Weber to Benjamin, with Marx and Engels just over the horizon. Their cities, Berlin and Paris, with London, Moscow, and New York just outside the frame, gave the term metropolis its phenomenological texture. For his part Benjamin, reading Baudelaire, was able to imagine the

including the politics embedded therein, demystifies the endgame that opposes the street to the control room. Far from harboring a ludic freedom diametrically opposed to the panopticism initiated by Haussmann, the street in all its iterations has become a privileged realm of microphysical surveillance. While the control room (and the corporate-state apparatus to which it is appended) is not merely an a priori of despotic power; it is, like Benthams empty tower, a vacuum with theological antecedents, and therefore subject to a demystification as thorough as that accomplished by Zarathustra and his mountain.

--About fifty years passed before interpreters of modern architecture, such as the historian Manfredo Tafuri and his colleagues in Venice, most notably the philosopher Giorgio Cacciari, had internalized the Simmelian/Weberian analysis of the modern metropolis. Ironically, perhaps, by this time that very sociological tradition had been transformed, particularly in the North American academy, into the systems sociology associated with Talcott Parsons, or later in Germany, with Niklaus Luhmann. Thus the asynchronic character of strategic interdisciplinarity: lines of thought engaged in untimely exchanges. In this case, Tafuris and Cacciaris trenchant decodings of the metropolis by way of the itineraries of the modernist avant-gardes were made possible by an earlier sociology of the city that was at the time being absorbed into the very same systems model from which the Italians recoiled in the architecture, city planning, and politics of their own

time. Much was learned from these decodings accomplished in the 1970s, which concentrated on the fundamental negativity of metropolitan experience, and hence on the helplessness of the revolutionary or reformist avant-gardes when confronted with the full force of capitalist development. Nevertheless, their historical field of vision was restricted to the northern transatlantic, and they did little to account for the pulsating, dynamic globe that echoes through the term globalization. In the hands of someone like Fuller, who remains an anomaly for many historians, and whose eccentricities are paradigmatic rather than exceptional, this globe was a system of systems to be designed and managed. In that sense, we might even say that the geodesic dome and its underlying databases are to the global or mega- city what the arcades, street signs, and curios were to the modern metropolis. Not only because Fullers dome optimized the mass production techniques that Benjamin, reading the architectural historian Sigfried Giedion, saw in the iron and glass enclosures of his Passagen. And not only because the geodesic dome, as an air-conditioned space frame built (more often than not) for the military-industrial complex, represented the purest, most Platonic instance of the airy claustrophobia sublimated into the glass-enclosed corporate lobby. But also because it was, first and foremost, an object of the architectural and urban imaginary projected at the scale of the planet, and realized in the great, cosmological tradition of Western dome-building since the Renaissance: an object that was entirely rational and entirely magical at once.

Understood as media, such objects can be seen through to reveal the dynamics of a world that otherwise appears exterior to them. Gazing through them as we might a crystal ball oriented toward past and future at once, we find ourselves with what seems like an entirely different set of problems, posed from an entirely different set of vantage points, from those that confronted early twentieth century metropolitan thought. Still, to learn from that thought is to learn to read the control room as though it were the street, and vice versa. Architectural analysis can accomplish this, but only if it updates the toolkits inherited from the European avant-gardes and their philosophers. Among these is the device, and the phenomenon, known as abstraction. Abstraction is modern architectures answer to circulatory capital, wherein the supposed lifelessness of the commodity form is given an aesthetic language of its own. Not the Werkbund or even the Bauhaus, but the Bauhaus Corporation, which was set up to enable the circulation of the various lamps, household fittings, and pieces of furniture prototyped in Weimar and later in Dessau, would be its most fitting representative. Alongside this in the urban realm might stand the Siedlungen, or functionalist, middle class housing estates built outside of Berlin and Frankfurt during that same period to train a multitude of Simmelian strangers in the protocols of mechanized domesticity. But how, if at all, does the abstraction that we associate with modernization continue to operate aesthetically in todays cities, and not only in those architectural artworks characterized by a degree of self-consciousness unavailable in the

urban scene more generally? Is this merely a question of progressive, sequential development, whereby the synchronized, geometrical mass ornament that Siegfried Kracauer found in Weimar-era spectacles and the factories that supported them, is now to be found in the repetitive hum of business inscribed into Shanghai, with the Siedlungen replaced, in the imaginary and on the ground, by the hundreds of cities by which the urbanization of the Chinese countryside is now being accomplished? To be sure, there is insight to be gained from such a transposition. However, not only does its developmentalist narrative (from Berlin to Shanghai) leave too many symptomatic assumptions intact, it fails to recognize the historicity of abstraction itself, along with associated concepts like disenchantment (and re-enchantment), or alienation and estrangement. We could begin instead by collecting a set of worldwide architectural equivalents to circulatory, global capital and its many outgrowths and mutations, in a manner similar to what Fredric Jameson has done with his Benjaminian reading of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. Still, though Jameson offers many clues, we would not yet have fully approached a central transformation in the history of modern (and modernist) abstraction. That is, quite simply, that the mimetic relation between architecture and the city, figured unconsciously in the arcades and semi-consciously in the Siedlungen, has become an apparent non-relation. In other words, the relation between architecture and the city has become abstract. And the aqueous dreamworlds of the modern, European

metropolis in which the outlines of an entire epoch could be discerned in distorted form, have not simply been frozen into the opaque mirror-worlds of postmodernity so poignantly captured in the self-referential corporate hotel. As Jameson intimates but does not fully develop, they have been displaced onto a different plane, to which architecture provides only indirect access. So we cannot be content to compare the hotel lobbies of Pudong circa 2000 to the hotel lobbies of Berlin circa 1930. Instead, we must read architecture and urban form not only as tangible, material evidence of the abstraction of modern life, but also as abstraction itself. Take Mumbai, or New York. In many ways these two cities epitomize the workings of what we can call the financial imaginaries of globalization, which we can think of as a modification of what Simmel called the Nervenleben, or mental life, of the modern metropolis. Financial imaginaries are cultural constructions through which circulate other cultural constructions, like money, credit, and architecture. All imaginaries belong to the realm of social practice, and my use of the term relies on its development in the work of such figures as Cornelius Castoriadis, Benedict Anderson, Arjun Appadurai, and Charles Taylor. Taylor in particular has emphasized the practical dimensions of what he calls modern social imaginaries in making sense of social institutions in a way that enables these institutions to work. The economy is one such institution, but the workings of what we can call the imaginary institution of architecture, especially with respect to the sociallyproduced experience of the economy

as a collective, social institution, is still not very well understood. To begin with, we must be clear what we mean when we expand the notion of social imaginarieswhich again, I take to mean all of those everyday ways in which a society imagines itself as a societyin the direction of cultural or aesthetic practices like architecture. Like social practices, cultural practices help to define what we mean, for example, when we speak of finance capital, which is widely understood as a key factor in shaping global cities and mega-cities. Finance capital courses through skyscrapers and slums alike; its presence or absence defines these physical forms but is also defined by them. As the raw material out of which what Appadurai has called finanscapes are made, finance capital is much more, but also (by virtue of its abstraction) much less, than the sum total of the material goods and services in which it ostensibly trades. It is, strictly speaking, imaginary, though in a very real and practical sense rather than in the sense of a mere ideological illusion. It circulates differently in Mumbai, New York, or So Paulo, constructing relationships between cities while defining each citys relative uniqueness, and the different conflicts and communities that each city harbors. In this and other respects, architecture and urbanism form one element in a complex network of cultural practices that make financial globalizationand, by extension, its crisesnot only visible but also imaginable (and therefore possible) to begin with. Or to put it more bluntly, in todays cities, the construction and circulation of cultural meaning through architecture and other aesthetic forms is a primary characteristic of political-eco-

nomic processes, rather than a secondary effect. In this give and take, site-specific particulars constantly trade places with general axioms, in a process that can best be described philosophically. Here I again refer to Simmel, whose work contains much in it that can be called philosophical. In particular, Simmels famous essay of 1903, The Metropolis and Mental Life, extrapolates a set of principles regarding the modern (and for him, Western) metropolis in general, out of the empirical qualities of early metropolitan life. These qualities include permanent restlessness, nervous energy, mechanical movement, and a heightened sense of abstraction associated with the money economy. For Simmel, these elicit a sort of archetypal psychological reaction on the part of the metropolitan subject, which he calls a blas attitude. And in an equally important essay of 1908, Simmel designated as the bearer of this attitude the stranger, a prototypical urban figure who, as Simmel says, comes today and stays tomorrow, without ever really settling down or fitting in. These ideas were, in turn, based on arguments that Simmel had developed in his magnum opus of 1900, The Philosophy of Money. There, he argued that the forms of abstract monetary exchange associated with industrial capitalism found their social equivalents in a generalized objectification of everyday urban experience that reflected the calculating character of modern times. Recent events in the world markets, tied as they are to the financing of real estate, should make clear enough the contemporary relevance of Simmels philosophy of

money, though it should be equally clear that today we are speaking of a credit crisis rather than a monetary one. But it would be a mistake to limit ones understanding of these events, and of the historical context in which they have occurred, to a kind of crude economic determinism, whereby harsh economic realities have finally broken through the phantasmagorical screens of globalization materialized in such metaphysical constructions as iconic buildings and writ large in places like Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Instead, we might look more closely at those architectural and urban ciphers in which the logic or syntax of the global economy, which we can now describe as the syntax of credit, becomes visible. Because, far more than in Simmels time, during the recent phase of accelerated growth, relationships between two forms of abstraction, architecture and credit, have structured our understanding of the contemporary city. In New York as elsewhere, one result of this discursive restructuring has been the elevation of the private real estate developer to near-mythical status, as occurred in the wake of 9/11 with the intense media attention lavished on the World Trade Centers developer-owner, Larry Silverstein. And, as also occurred with the subsequent architectural competition for Ground Zero, this fetishizing of the developer has been accompanied by a comparable elevation (if we can call it that) of the architect to the status of a kind of movie star, especially in the case of the so-called signature architects who now populate the international scene. Generally, the relationship between these two phenomena is very poorly understood: the rise of the devel[265]

oper and the rise of the signature architect go hand-in-hand, but not only in the sense of one serving as client or patron for the other. Much more significantly, and following Simmel, I want to argue that the rise of these two iconic figures has something to do with a certain, hidden religiosity that architecture and money still share, a religiosity that becomes clearer when we recognize the hidden affinities between so-called iconic buildings and the visual icons that characterize many but not all religious traditions. These affinities are based on a common language of faith. To the extent that the financial crisis is ultimately a crisis of faith, in the crypto-religious sense of faith in higher forces, such as the self-regulating, autopoetic financial markets that seem to lie outside of human control but are nevertheless constructed as benevolent, this language acquires the force of law. In the context of a city like New York that has witnessed an intense privatization of its physical infrastructures as well as of its civic discourse, declarations of faith give us a way into the problem of the abstract relationship between architecture and money, understood at a philosophical level. We have also heard many times now that half of the worlds population lives in cities. What we have not heard much of, however, is how the consequent growth in cities around the world fuels another kind of competition at the level of the urban imaginary. At that level, cities are largely imagined in terms of naturalized cycles of growth, much like living organisms. This is an old story, which correlates with the supposed laws driving various local, regional, and inter-regional

economies toward unlimited (and typically, under-regulated) expansion. Thus the recent competition between developers and architects in different cities to build the tallest building in the world is not merely a question of egotism; it is the logical, symbolic fulfillment of the organicist myth of unlimited growth: the tallest tree in the unsustainable forests of expansionist capital. So far, then, we have the idea of a quasireligious faith in the markets, accompanied by an economic organicismthe supposedly natural law of unregulated, competitive expansion. But the crux of Simmels philosophy of money lies in the interplay between abstraction and objectification. In his account, money is by turns what we would call today a floating signifier and a concrete social (and technical) form. In that sense, we can call money a concrete abstraction. Disregarding Simmels ambivalent tendency to resolve the contradictions that are laid bare by his own work, this is of particular relevance to his description of persons engaged in an exchange of credit. He describes such persons as united in what he calls a new, more abstract and comprehensive synthesis. This synthesis is paradoxically defined by increased distance as well as increased proximity. Rather than exchanging goods or even cash, people here are exchanging credit. As a result, they must trust one another more intimately than if they had exchanged more tangible things. Here is Simmels further explanation: In credit transactions the immediacy of value exchange is replaced by a distance whose poles are held together by trust in the same way as religiosity is more

intense the greater the distance between God and the individual soul in order to call forth the most considerable degree of belief so as to bridge the distance between them. Thus, the more abstract markets are the more difficulty we have, say, in understanding todays credit marketsthe more they require emotions like trust, belief, and even a quasi-religious faith to function. Moreover, just as the concrete abstractions of the money economy allowed Simmel a window onto the inner, psychic life of the modern, metropolitan subject, so too does architecture, analyzed in a particular way, offer a window onto the psychic life of the post-modern, post-metropolitan city dweller, a psychic life that, however, has now moved largely outside, into the light of day. Though it may seem, however, that those who live in what Mike Davis has called the planet of slums remain relatively indifferent to the mathematical abstractions on which this economy is built, they too are subject to them psychically, and not merely as depersonalized quanta. Take the Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA) in Mumbai, which oversees the implementation of so-called Slum Rehabilitation Schemes (SRS) such as the one currently proposed for Dharavi, which is famously Asias largest slum. First, it is necessary to understand the intense pressure on real estate in Mumbai, which is at the heart of this legislative effort to incentivize the private sector to solve the citys massive housing crisis while simultaneously releasing valuable land for speculative development. By law, the SRA treats every slum structure existing prior to 1 January 1995

as a protected structure, and every inhabitant of such structure is eligible for what is called rehabilitation. Rehabilitation proceeds as follows (as described by the SRA): 1. A minimum of 70% of eligible slum dwellers in a slum pocket come together to form a co-operative housing society for implementation of Slum Rehabilitation Scheme. (SRS) 2. The underlying land is used as a resource for the SRS. 3. The slum dwellers appoint a developer for execution of SRS. 4. The developer puts in resources in the form of money, men and material for construction of free houses for the slum dwellers. 5. The developer is compensated for his efforts in the form of free sale component. In other words, the developer is effectively hired by the slum dwellers such that he may legally exploit them, by treating their claim to housing as a form of property that can be traded, rather than as a political right that is administered by the state. In return for replacing every eligible slum structure with a 225 square foot bare minimum tenement unit (a material improvement on the existing shanties, to be sure), the developer gets development rights on what amounts to 50% of the land occupied by the slum. And such deals are indeed made, with much political gamesmanship and bullying, simply because Mumbais real estate market has made them quite profitable, and is very likely to continue to do so in the foreseeable future. In addition to contriving to make it seem

like the market simply takes over from the state in providing for the basic needs of the population (which even the developers admit is impossible for the city as a whole), this scheme has built into it a curious urban and architectural contradiction. For it does not so much resolve the underlying class conflict as abstract it into a general principle. A vivid example of this is to be found in the pair of luxury high-rise residential towers designed by the architect Hafeez Contractor on a slum-rehabilitation site in Mumbais Tardeo neighborhood. This is not a particularly accomplished work of architecture, and indeed, for Hafeez Contractor architecture is a game that is played to win rather than a refined art form. In this case, the game involved making the SRA legislation work on the site by balancing the socio-economic demands of the luxury real estate market against the political demands of slum dwellers. The result is a monumental fissure running right through the site that divides the very wealthy from the very poor. The architecture of the building, which consists mainly of overwrought, neo-Deco ornamentation above and functionalist regimentation below, is used simultaneously to produce and to cover up this fissure. But more importantly, despite the domineering posture of the projects twin towers, their architecture and that of the rehabilitated slum over which they hover stand starkly separated from one another not only for their contrast of garish to humble, but essentially, for their contrast of an architecture (that of the towers) that attempts to communicate and another architecture (that of the tenements) that does not. Conventionally, this would be described as a contrast of figurative to abstract. But

it would be more accurate to describe the projects stark, built-in divide as the result of an abstraction of another sorta higher level of abstraction comparable to the abstractions of credit. Since credit, as we have just been reminded, is built around trust, belief, and a quasi-religious faith in this case, the faith that the real estate market will resolve the citys housing crisis. Moreover, the classic movement from use value to exchange value is turned on its head here. Exchange value, in the form of luxury real estate, is made to seem capable of yielding surplus use value, in the form of the utilitarian tenements. This inversion, which is also the principle according to which many public-private partnerships work, naturalizes the politico-economic proposition underlying the SRA legislation, by repositioning the slum dwellers (and by extension, the public at large) as beneficiaries from whom the markets ask only trust and faith. Enabled by the state, the market thus takes over as the biopolitical agent par excellence, and the slum dwellers are caught in a double bind of paternalism and primitive accumulation. In terms of urban realpolitik, they are also pitted against one another and forced to engage in Faustian bargaining for additional square feet based on the leverage acquired by holding out. Thus the slum rehabilitation scheme taken as a whole can be described as a fetish: a quasi-religious object with seemingly magical powers that, like Fullers equally metaphysical domes, is the product of rational calculation, rather than its opposite. --It is uncontroversial to suggest that, in cities like New York but also around the

world, architecture has more generally become a kind fetish for the speculative real estate market. What may be more controversial is to say exactly what this means. Since for architecture, it means buildings that inspire faith. In other words, it means iconic buildings, the degraded form of which these Hafeez buildings are paradigmatic. The culture industry in which such buildings operate is managed aesthetically by a broad spectrum of producers, at the far end of which stand any number of signature architects, such as Jean Nouvel or Frank Gehry. And while the associated phenomenon of accomplished architects working with large developers is not particularly new, during the first decade of the twenty-first century it has been elevated to a new kind of norm. Rather than being the exception (marked, for example, by the association between I.M. Pei with the developer William Zeckendorf in the late 1950s), the thought that architecture as an art form is not only possible under the global real estate markets, but is actually stimulated by them, has become commonplace. The most articulate architect working on or around this problem remains Rem Koolhaas. But here too, even Koolhaass self-conscious irony is limited merely to reflecting the mainstream identification of architecture with finance capital, as in his firms imaginative yet quite accommodating parody of the market-driven desire to maximize residential floor areas under strict zoning regulations in a recent proposal for 23rd Street in Manhattan. Faced with such a juggernaut, we are forced to ask how architecture actually worksespecially as an artwork

designed for the urban real estate market by architects like Koolhaas. But I have already alluded to the beginnings of an answer, and therefore to the beginnings of what we might describe as a philosophy of the contemporary city written from an architectural perspective. Today, architecture still works the way it has for millennia: as a fetish, an object with special powers, the prime example of which is a religious object, like the hundreds of temples, churches, and other religious monuments that constitute the foundation of any given architectural canon, whether Western or otherwise. But what does it mean to understand the relationship between architecture and capital as, at least in part, a religious one? It means, again, that this relationship is not just a matter of patronage (the developer as client) or of analogy (that, say, the virtuality of contemporary architecture somehow mimics the virtuality of contemporary finance), though both of these are factors. Nor does it simply mean that Architecture (with a capital A), costly though it is, is now considered profitable, along the lines of a model promising higher returns per square foot that was actually invented in the 1980s in Houston by the developer Gerald Hines in collaboration with Philip Johnson. Instead, it means that, as with Hafeez Contractors SRA scheme, architecture has become more than just a useful object turned a commodity in the earlier, Marxian sense. Under the conditions of European industrialization, Simmel and his interpreters, including Frankfurt School critics like Benjamin and Kracauer, took up the increasing degrees of abstraction of the

money economy, and especially, the increased distance between humans and their artifacts introduced by commodification. Following Marx to a certain degree, these analysts saw commodification as a process of objectificationthe conversion of useful objects into alienating abstractions, whose main attributes were quantitative and numerical. Commodities were manufactured in large quantities in anonymous factories, stored in anonymous warehouses, and sold in anonymous department stores. Moreso than Simmel or Weber, Benjamin and Kracauer were able to see that this entailed not only a process of disenchantment (i.e. of abstraction, and of objectification), but also a process of reenchantment. Thus Benjamins fascination with the dreamworlds harbored by the shopping arcades, which could properly be described as temples of commodities that anticipated the newer, more mythic, and more visibly enchanted department stores themselves. But if the combination of these two earlier building typesthe department store and the arcadewould eventually yield the shopping mall, it is unclear that todays malls carry the same sense of enchantment for todays shoppers. Instead, in another turn in the cycle of disenchantment and re-enchantment, these have given way to representations of sheer quantity, sheer enumeration, as in the big-box megastores strewn across the suburban United States and beyond. But these spaces, like the mathematical or statistical techniques that structure many academic attempts to analyze the urban phenomena to which they belong, are hardly neutral. In fact, seen together with a general fascination with all things

gigantic or indeed global, the new tendency toward quantity can be said to conjure something like a mathematical or statistical sublime. Here, of course, I am referring to the analytic of the sublime formulated by Kant in the late eighteenth century in his third Critique, The Critique of Judgment. There, as is well known, Kant, following Edmund Burke, distinguished the category of the beautiful from that of the sublime, arguing that in the case of the beautiful our liking is connected with the presentation of quality, but in the case of the sublime [it is connected] with the presentation of quantity. Kant thus defined the mathematically sublime as follows: We call sublime what is absolutely large. For Kant, the sublime is pure quantity, so terrifyingly large as to exceed comparison to any known and graspable object or, as he says, large beyond comparison. Where beautiful things are finite and therefore, can be framed and represented, whether in painting or in architecture, the sublime is infinite and by definition, unrepresentable. But this does not mean that it is inconceivable. On the contrary, Kant goes to some lengths to distinguish between the powers of the senses and the powers of the mind, to the degree that the sublime is as much a form of thought as it is an aesthetic experience. As an experience it is threatening, for example, when we are presented with the sublime force of nature in a turbulent storm, since this force cannot be fully captured in a finite representation. But for Kant, it is precisely this threat to the senses, and indeed, to human reason, that gives the sublime its special status, yielding a distinctly mental form of comprehension that can intuit but not quite rep-

resent to itself (or picture) the scale of the phenomenon. The result is, in Kants words, that the object is apprehended as sublime [and not merely beautiful] with a pleasure that is possible only by means of a displeasure. On the basis of this philosophical digression, we can begin to grasp more fully the workings of faith to describe the feeling shared by architects and developers with respect to an unpredictable global real estate market. Since, the global financial markets are not simply conduits, channels for the circulation and mediation of mathematical abstractions like derivatives. The markets are themselves abstract, in the sense that like the globe, they are imagined at some level to lie outside representation. This does not mean that the global financial markets cannot be accurately described, represented, or indeed, demystified. However, the proliferation of numbers, data, and charts describing the circulation of finance capital, and the design problems they pose, ultimately correspond with a largely unconscious effort to represent the imagined boundlessness and arbitrary force of the markets themselves, and with them the city that they have produced and that, in turn, has produced them. So while it is true that so-called developer architecture is commodified, this description only scratches the surface of what architecture has become under globalization. Even more than commodities circa 1900, when Simmel was composing his philosophy of money, and even more than money itself, architecture has effectively become a concrete abstraction. By this I mean that it has

become a kind of real virtuality, in which, from the point of view of the markets and those who manipulate them, the actual, tangible existence of anything that can plausibly be called a useful object (i.e. a real building) has been superceded by a set of representations. These representations are, strictly speaking, abstract, in the same way that commodities prices are only distantly related to the commodities underlying them, and are tied more to their conditions of circulation, to speculative future value, and so on. But precisely by virtue of their capacity to circulate, these abstractions have also become concretereal, tangible, and visiblein their own right. Therefore, they carry with them their own spatial and psychic equivalents, just as money did for Simmel. At the level of both cognition and aesthetic experience, the category of the sublime as elaborated by Kant still captures best the concrete effects of the new abstractions. Correspondingly, like a nineteenth century landscape painting that tries to capture the vastness of nature, the abstraction that we call developer architecture presents its many constituents with a system of systems so vast and encompassingand ultimately, so threateningthat it has become sublimely pleasurable to contemplate it. With this spectaclewhich is the spectacle of the contemporary city proper, whether we are speaking of New York or Mumbai comes a sense of awe but also, if Kant is right, mastery. This experience can be compared to a similar sense of mastering the wrenching effects of deindustrialization that preceded the conversion of cities like New York or London into the headquarters of global finance. Such psychic mastery is, for example, quite

palpably figured in the enchanting conversion of former industrial buildings into luxury condominiums (as in Manhattans Chelsea warehouses), or into sublime, crypto-religious artworks (as in a recent installation by Olafur Eliasson at the Tate Modern, a former power plant converted into a museum). Such artworks notwithstanding, however, thus far my architectural examples have been highly commercial, and so it might be objected that architecture circumscribed as an autonomous artwork overcomes these limitations by transcending the vulgarities of marketing or commodification. But Kant, too, can be credited for having formalized the notion of the autonomy of art (and by extension, of architecture), as it has been passed down through generations of historians, critics, and architects, to become a commonplace of architectural discourse and practice, and a precondition for socioeconomic immanence rather than a prescription for artistic withdrawal. Take an example from New York by way of Los Angeles. As his own house in Santa Monica abundantly demonstrates with its re-assembly of suburban detritus into an enchanted refuge for individual creativity, Frank Gehry epitomizes the figure of the architect-as-artist. And yet, as he has done throughout his career, in New York he was until recently to be found collaborating with the developer Forest City Ratner, in a massive redevelopment of Brooklyns Atlantic Yards. But where that project now rests on uncertain financial footing, Gehry has already completed another project in Manhattan: the headquarters of Barry Dillers InterActive Corporation (or IAC), on the citys far

West Side. At one level, this minor Gehry building might seem unworthy of the kind of critical attention usually reserved for serious architecture. Still, there is much to learn from its attempt to inject cultural meaning into what is essentially a generic office building. Not designed as a speculative building for a real estate developer but rather, as a headquarters for a multimedia corporation, Gehrys IAC nevertheless adheres to the constraints of many speculative buildings, especially in its emphasis on an architecturally articulate skin wrapping an otherwise unremarkable floor plan. This strategy, which in its generic form is called shell-andcore, is used by developers to hedge against market fluctuations, by configuring most of the available space in such a way that it can be rented or sold should business decline or needs change. It will not be surprising to learn that Barry Dillers partner in building the IAC headquarters was The Georgetown Company, a rather mysterious commercial developer. Nor will it be surprising that Gehrys client in Brooklyn, the developer Forest City Ratner, partnered with The New York Times on that companys new, Renzo Piano-designed skyscraper on 41st Street, approximately half of which is rentable office space. At first glance, more prosaic realizations of shell-andcore, like those that constitute northern Californias Silicon Valley, might seem to resemble the mass-produced dreams of the Grosstadt decoded by Tafuri in the work of architects like Walter Gropius or Ludwig Hilberseimer: very mechanical, very repetitive, very empty, very monotonous. As analyzed by Simmel, however, the early twentieth century European city was also the site of overstimulationa

cacophony of noise, movement, and productive energy that generated an equally nervous response among urban dwellers. In New York at around the same time, the physiologist George Beard called this phenomenon American Nervousness, a disease (neurasthenia) that he diagnosed as the result of city-dwellers constant exposure to the competitive stress of modern life. But where Simmels prototypical metropolitan subjects responded to the onslaught of external stimuli in the city with a kind of blank starethe blas attitudethe banality of todays shelland-core has produced a different kind of nervous reaction. If Gehrys building can serve as a guide (and I think it can), the problem for the post-modern city is not the abundance of external stimuli but rather, a sort of persistent emptiness. Beneath all of the irrational exuberance of financial globalization, what becomes most evident in the rather desperate attempts of even the most adventurous developers to produce architecturally interesting buildings, is how little they amount tojust an empty shell with a dried-up core, wrapped in an anxious skin. In aesthetic terms we can call this phenomenon empty form. And it is exactly this emptiness, this structural absence of meaning, which Gehrys building shares with money, especially as the latter is further abstracted into the social relations of credit. It is also this emptiness, this abstraction-degree-zero, which Gehrys architecture strenuously attempts to overcome by injecting an excess of cultural meaning, thus attempting magically to re-enchant the buildings disenchanted shell-and-core. This gesture replicates the theological underpinnings of a faith-based credit system, of

which the SRA legislation in Mumbai is representative in its conversion of slums into abstractionsinvestments that seem magically to resolve a structural crisis even as they reproduce it. But what money and architecture have in common today is the fact that they both mean nothing. Literally. So how does the Gehry building perform its magic, and thus cause us to believe that it is the bearer of cultural meaning? To begin with, as in many such examples, the building is not designed by Gehry alone; the San Francisco-based firm of Studios Architecture, who had previously designed the Silicon Valley headquarters of Silicon Graphics (now the Googleplex), 3Com, Excite@Home, and many others, designed the interiors. This division of labor is important, since Studios are experts in converting the alienating banalities of everyday office life, which is in fact organized around the accumulation of capital, into a set of ideologically meaningful social experiences. At IAC, this begins with the coffee bars and break-out rooms on every floor, and a cafeteria on the roof, all vaguely oriented around a set of nautical metaphors that reflect the buildings site on the Hudson River, opposite a dock where the CEO docks his yacht. Outside, Gehry supplies the architectural clichs that reconfirm these corporate poetics, with an undulating, bent-glass shell that has been dutifully compared by critics to billowing sails, or clouds. Here we note the meteorological metaphors, which are a common feature of financial imaginaries. Whether or not it was intended (and he argues that it was not), Gehrys sophisticated rendering of

the buildings pulsating shell has allowed for if not encouraged meteorological readings of a more benign sort than those that refer to the gathering storms of crisis. However, seen less metaphorically, and in more strictly formal (i.e. Kantian) terms, its dynamism even more clearly points to something that, like the weather itself, eludes representation. A mysterious set of forces seem to have shaped this particular shimmering shell just this way; it seems to be the work of a ghostly agent that can be compared, in economic terms, to Adam Smiths invisible hand. Except that in this case, the invisible hand of architecturesigned by the hand of the signature architecthas taken over from the invisible hand of the markets to give this building its distinctive form. Reflecting whatever is left of the age-old tension between art and money, the Darwinian laws of the real estate market nevertheless remain visible in the buildings overall volume, which sets awkwardly its site like an overweight figure in an ill-fitting suit. Still, however ungainly, the building somehow moves as you move past it or around it, thus recovering its mystique. Benign and unthreatening as this may seem, the building can nevertheless be said to point toward Kants mathematical sublime. Like representations of the weather, there are numbers behind itsquare footages, office space requirements, and riskreward ratios. But unlike the average shell-and-core developer building, Gehrys building stands as a monument to the ineffable: both the abstract corporate networks to which it belongs, and the empty abstraction of architecture-assuch. In this monument, which can there[274]

fore be compared (however dimly, and unfavorably) to the cosmological efforts of a Boulle or to the meteorological fervor of a Turner, the vicissitudes of multinational capitalism are converted into the gentle rippling of a summer breeze. Gehrys building therefore performs the oldest trick in the book of capital, a trick as old, at least, as the one performed a century earlier in lower Manhattan by Cass Gilbert with his Woolworth Building, nicknamed at its dedication ceremony in 1913 by the Reverend S. Parkes Cadman as a cathedral of commerce. Like Gilberts, Gehrys building makes emptiness meaningful. In its gestures toward the ineffable forces that seem to animate it, the IAC building may not be a cathedral, but that does not prevent us againfrom detecting something religious about it. The difference may be that where Gilberts Woolworth Building stretched a distorted neo-Gothic skin around a distorted neo-Gothic volume, thus sublimating the architecture of the Christian church into the supposedly secular architecture of capitalist modernization, Gehry goes one degree further. At IAC as elsewhere, his architecture does not promise a specific set of meanings through an anachronistic iconography. It promises meaning as such, in the form of a concrete, sensible object. The ultimate emptiness of this object is covered over not by mere beauty or picturesque effect (though Gehry can certainly be accused of that), but by the mathematical sublime of the global economyand with it, the violence issuing daily from the numbers that swirl through itwhich Gehrys building converts from an ominous threat into a promise of redemption.

Nevertheless, Gehrys building fails to deliver fully on this promise, which suggests that the sealing-off of the city in a gigantic atrium of neoliberal fantasy is not yet complete. Nor has the sublimely unrepresentable invisible hand fully reanimated the shell-and-core of metropolitan abstraction. This is the truth about architecture: its ultimate failure to deliver meaning in the contemporary city. Far from eternal, like the city itself and the virtualities on which it is built, this sort of truth is as ephemeral and as fleeting as that uncannily recurring sense of solidarity among strangers with which the modern city was initially defined. Such truths have been overtaken in cities from Mumbai to New York by those crypto-religious representations of deregulated flows that have become the lingua franca of so many attempts to convert the sheer quantities of the contemporary city into an ode to the mathematical sublime of the markets, in a sliding scale of artistic merit that recapitulates a counterthesis to Benjamins notion of the decline of the aura. Contrary to the expectation that commodification, mass production, and circulatory abstraction empty out cultural meaning into a disenchanted mirror-play of surface effects, aura tends to increase in direct proportion to abstraction. As Simmels calculating character of modern times approaches the mathematical or statistical sublime of the credit economy, meaning is permanently promised but alsoa general law of circulation permanently deferred. Hence, valuable as local or site-specific knowledge may be, equally valuable is a type of knowledge that can account for the circulatory abstractions that make up the contemporary city. We can call this

knowledge philosophical not to imply that it is universal or absolute, but rather, because it is a type of thought that can confront the statistical sublime on its own terms. These are the terms that underlie the dominant financial imaginaries of globalization. In briefly sketching their outlines through the looking glass of architecture, I hope to have at least given the impression that a properly critical philosophy of the city is not only possible, but required, in order to comprehend the transformations undergone by the city as an idea as well as a phenomenon, from one end of the century to the other.


Imaginaruri financiare pentru o filosofie a oraului

de Reinhold Martin

Vreme de mai bine de un secol raporturile sociale din metropol au fost legate analitic de circulaia capitalist, legtur care se simte clar n sintagma ora global. Ea e valabil att n sensul ngust, determinist, care ar privilegia mecanismele globalizrii tehno-economice, ct i ntr-un sens mai larg i mai cuprinztor, care atribuie proceselor sociale i culturale un rol semistructural n modelarea pulsaiilor i schimburilor reciproce din viaa economic. n ambele sensuri oraul pare s se constituie ntrun receptacol, un soi de sit arheologic ce menine aceste dinamici suficient de ferm i pentru destul de mult timp pentru a le putea studia n toat complexitatea lor. Scenariul amintit a fost transmis parial de marii gnditori ai experienei moderne, metropolitane, de la Simmel la Weber i Benjamin, cu Marx i Engels doar la doi pai mai ncolo. Oraele lor, Berlinul i Parisul, cu Londra, Moscova i New York-ul prezente chiar la marginea cadrului, au nzestrat termenul de metropol cu textura sa fenomenologic. n ceea ce-l privete pe Benjamin, acesta, dup lectura lui Baudelaire, a

putut s conceap galeriile comerciale pariziene ca fiind paradigmatice att pentru circulaia mrfurilor, ct i pentru circulaia imaginilor de vis prin interstiiile vieii moderne, n principal graie procedeului literar al alegoriei. Aceast viziune va fi n cele din urm rsturnat i transformat, n acelai ora, n hoinreala (drive) situaionist, cu ajutorul creia o cohort de gnditori urbani de mai trziu, de la Lefebvre la De Certeau, aveau s i traseze n nisip liniile lor directoare: sous les pavs, la plage. Dar aceast tradiie, ce i culege principiile generale din ceea ce urbanitii de la sfritul secolului douzeci vor numi ulterior centrul istoric al oraelor europene (pentru care baricadele din mai 1968 snt o emblem paradoxal), a devenit o viziune integratoare nvechit, dac nu chiar complet irelevant pentru abordarea dinamicii actuale a lumii din jur - pentru a mprumuta un termen din idiosincrasicul lexicon al lui Buckminster Fuller. l putem prezenta aici pe Fuller drept un reprezentant ntrziat al poziiei contrare - incipient n urbanismul i arhitectura moderne i complet vizibil n discursul despre modernizare de la mijlocul secolului i n practicile generate de el -, poziie conform creia oraul modern e un nod dintr-o reea mult mai larg, ce poate fi neleas i administrat numai de deasupra. Aa cum, de la Benjamin pn la situaioniti, perspectiva ascendent asupra oraului i a modernitii n general, ca i cea inversat, au fost facilitate de tehnologiile percepiei, de la ochelarii de vedere ai plimbreului dandy i vitrinele ce nchid galeriile comerciale pn la panoramele viu colorate ce distrug perspectiva i ncastreaz n ele orizonturi ndeprtate, tot astfel i perspectiva aerian, iar apoi cea planetar au beneficiat i ele de propriile mijloace

tehnice. i acestea i au parial originile n Europa secolului al nousprezecelea, n fotografia aerian (cum a intuit Benjamin) i n cartografia imperial, dar i vor gsi expresia complet abia n centrele de comand militar computerizate, cu ecrane multiple, din timpul Rzboiului Rece, duplicate n centrele de control ale NASA ori ale programelor Soiuz i n cele din urm miniaturizate n GPS-uri i Google Earth. Globul, ca obiect dinamic al percepiei i manipulrii, complet diferit de predecesorii si din istoria cartografiei, este o condiie prealabil a conceptului de globalizare, iar problemele de compunere pe care le genereaz, de la cea a vizualizrii n timp real a pulsaiilor rapide specifice pieelor financiare ale lumii din jur pn la cea a prognozelor moteorologice pe termen lung, reprezint materializarea sa. Totui e important s recunoatem faptul c, din punct de vedere istoric, cele dou perspective ale noastre, din strad i din centrul de control, se dezvolt mai degrab simultan, nu secvenial. Prin urmare, dei ar fi tentant s i aloci fiecreia o valen - negativ pentru perspectiva dominant i nivelatoare de deasupra, pozitiv pentru perspectiva amplasat la nivelul inferior, cel cotidian i astfel s le opui, ca i cum ar fi doi termeni ai unei dialectici a modernizrii, ar fi mai bine s admitem limitrile inerente ale cadrului analitic descris astfel. Avem nevoie aici de o teoretizare a mediilor, care nlocuiete escatologia lui McLuhan sau, din aceeai perspectiv, milenarismul lui Baudrillard sau al lui Virilio cu materialismul riguros, asociat n general cu termenul de arheologie, aa cum a fost el teoretizat, printre alii, de Foucault. Perspectiva arheologic, ce pune accent pe interaciunea dintre modurile de privire i modurile de

cunoatere, incluznd i politica implicat n context, demistific categorisirea ce opune strada centrului de control. Strada e departe de a adposti o libertate ludic diametral opus supravegherii panoptice concepute de Haussmann, ci a devenit, n toate manifestrile sale, un trm privilegiat al supravegherii microfizice. Pe de alt parte centrul de control (i aparatul corporatist-etatist cruia i este anexat) nu e pur i simplu un dat aprioric al puterii despotice, ci reprezint, ca i turnul gol al lui Bentham, un vacuum cu antedecente teologice, fiind astfel supus unei demistificri sistematice, precum cea realizat de Zarathustra i muntele su. A fost nevoie de aproximativ cincizeci de ani pn ca interpreii arhitecturii moderne, precum istoricul Manfredo Tafuri i colegii lui din Veneia, dintre care se remarc filosoful Giorgio Cacciari, s asimileze analiza lui Simmel/ Weber asupra metropolei moderne. Poate prea paradoxal, dar n acel moment, n special n spaiul academic nord-american, nsi tradiia sociologic a fcut trecerea la sociologia sistemelor, asociat cu Talcott Parsons sau ulterior, n Germania, cu Niklaus Luhmann. Astfel apare i caracterul asincronic al interdisciplinaritii strategice: direcii de gndire angajate n schimbri inoportune. n cazul de fa decodificrile tranante ntreprinse de Tafuri and Cacciari asupra metropolei cu ajutorul itinerariilor avangardelor moderniste au devenit posibile graie unei sociologii mai timpurii a oraului, asimilat la vremea aceea exact acelui model sistemic pe care italienii l-au ocolit n arhitectura, planificarea urban i politica propriei lor epoci. Aceste decodificri realizate n anii 1970, care s-au concentrat pe negativismul fundamental al experienei metropolitane i, n consecin, pe ineficaci[278]

tatea avangardelor revoluionare sau reformiste n faa forei brute a dezvoltrii capitaliste, au permis aflarea multor lucruri. Totui spaiul perspectivei lor istorice s-a limitat la nordul transatlantic i cei implicai nu s-au aplecat foarte tare asupra unei analize a globului dinamic i vibrant ce transpare n termenul globalizare. n minile cuiva ca Fuller, care pentru muli istorici rmne o excepie i ale crui excentriciti snt mai degrab paradigmatice dect ieite din comun, globul planetar constituie un sistem de sisteme ce trebuie proiectate i administrate. Din aceast perspectiv am putea spune chiar c domul geodezic i bazele de date aferente reprezint pentru oraul global sau mega- ceea ce reprezint galeriile comerciale, indicatoarele stradale i gadgeturile pentru metropola modern. i asta nu doar pentru c domul lui Fuller a optimizat tehnicile produciei de mas pe care Benjamin, dup ce l-a citit pe specialistul n istoria arhitecturii Sigfried Giedion, le-a vzut n spaiile nchise din fier i sticl din lucrarea sa Passagen. Nici doar pentru c domul geodezic, ca structur spaial cu aer condiionat, construit (cel mai adesea) pentru complexe militaro-industriale, reprezint cea mai pur i mai platonic mostr de claustrofobie aerian, sublimat ntr-un spaiu corporatist mbrcat n sticl. ns el reprezenta, nainte de orice, un obiect aparinnd imaginarului arhitectural i urban, proiectat la scar planetar i realizat conform mreei tradiii cosmologice occidentale a construciei de domuri, existent nc din Renatere - un obiect care era concomitent complet raional i complet magic. nelese ca intermediari, aceste obiecte pot fi studiate pentru a descoperi dinamica unei lumi care altfel pare exterioar lor. Cnd ne uitm prin ele, aa cum

ne-am uita printr-un glob de cristal orientat concomitent spre trecut i spre viitor, ne trezim cu ceva ce aduce cu un set complet diferit de probleme, puse dintr-un set complet diferit de perspective dect cele utilizate de gndirea metropolitan la nceputul secolului douzeci. Totui ceea ce te nva acea gndire este s evaluezi centrul de control asemenea strzii - i invers. E ceva ce se poate realiza prin analiza arhitectural, dar numai dac ea i actualizeaz seturile de instrumente motenite de la avangardele europene i de la filosofii acestora. Printre ele se numr instrumentul - i, totodat, fenomenul - cunoscut sub numele de abstraciune. Abstraciunea este rspunsul arhitecturii moderne la circulaia capitalului, prin care presupusa nensufleire a formei mrfii este nzestrat cu un limbaj estetic propriu. Cel mai reprezentativ exemplu posibil nu este nici Werkbund i nici mcar Bauhaus, ci Corporaia Bauhaus, care a fost creat pentru a permite circulaia diverselor lmpi, accesorii casnice i piese de mobil concepute n Weimar, iar ulterior n Dessau. Pe lng aceasta, am putea meniona n spaiul urban i stilul Siedlung sau funcionalist, utilizat n construcia de case familiale pentru clasa de mijloc la marginea Berlinului i a Frankfurtului cam n aceeai perioad, pentru a iniia o mulime de strini simmelieni n protocoalele domestice mecanicizate. Dar abstraciunea asociat de noi cu modernizarea continu oare s acioneze estetic n oraele contemporane i nu doar n acele lucrri de art arhitectural caracterizate printr-un grad de contiin de sine inexistent n peisajul urban general? i dac da, cum o face? E cumva doar o problem de dezvoltare progresiv, secvenial, prin care ornamentul de mas sincronizat i geometric,

descoperit de Siegfried Kracauer n spectacolele din epoca Weimar i n fabricile ce le susineau, poate fi gsit azi n zumzetul repetitiv al afacerilor nregistrate n Shanghai, iar Siedlungen este nlocuit n imaginar i n spaiul concret - de sutele de orae prin care se realizeaz la ora actual urbanizarea zonei rurale a Chinei? Evident, o asemenea transpunere ofer o viziune mai profund. Numai c progresul evolutiv al naraiunii implicate (de la Berlin la Shanghai) las deoparte prea multe prezumii simptomatice i nu reuete s recunoasc tocmai istoricitatea abstraciunii n sine, laolalt cu conceptele asociate ei, cum ar fi dezvrjirea (i re-vrjirea) sau alienarea i nstrinarea. n loc de asta, am putea ncepe prin colectarea unui set de echivaleni arhitecturali planetari ai capitalului circulator global i ai numeroaselor sale extensii i mutaii, ntr-o manier asemntoare cu cea utilizat de Fredric Jameson n interpretarea sa benjaminian asupra hotelului Westin Bonaventure din Los Angeles. Numai c, dei Jameson ofer multe sugestii, tot nu am ajunge s abordm integral o transformare esenial petrecut n istoria abstraciunii moderne (i moderniste). Asta nseamn, simplu spus, c relaia mimetic dintre arhitectur i ora, ilustrat incontient de galeriile comerciale i semicontient de Siedlungen, a devenit o non-relaie evident. Cu alte cuvinte, relaia dintre arhitectur i ora a devenit una abstract. Iar apoasele lumi de vis ale metropolei europene moderne, n care pot fi distinse, ntr-o form distorsionat, toate contururile unei ntregi epoci, nu au ngheat pur i simplu n lumile de oglinzi opace ale postmodernitii, reprezentate cu atta acuitate n autoreferenialul hotel corporatist. Dup cum sugereaz Jameson,

fr a dezvolta complet ideea, ele au fost deplasate ntr-un plan diferit, la care arhitectura ofer acces doar n mod indirect. Aadar, nu ne putem mulumi s comparm lobby-urile de hotel din Pudong-ul anului 2000 cu lobby-urile de hotel din Berlinul anilor 1930. Trebuie s interpretm arhitectura i forma urban nu doar ca pe o mrturie material tangibil a abstraciunii vieii moderne, ci i ca pe o abstraciune n sine. S lum, de exemplu, oraele Mumbai sau New York. n multe privine, aceste dou orae condenseaz modurile de aciune a ceea ce am putea numi imaginarurile financiare ale globalizrii, pe care le putem gndi ca pe o transformare a ceea ce Simmel numea Nervenleben sau viaa mental a metropolei moderne. Imaginarurile financiare snt construii culturale prin care circul alte construcii culturale, cum snt banii, creditul i arhitectura. Toate imaginarurile aparin trmului practicii sociale, iar modul n care utilizez acest termen se bazeaz pe elaborarea sa n operele unor personaliti precum Cornelius Castoriadis, Benedict Anderson, Arjun Appadurai i Charles Taylor. Taylor a fost cel care a evideniat n mod special dimensiunile practice a ceea ce el numete imaginaruri sociale moderne n procesul de structurare a instituiilor sociale ntr-un mod care s le permit acelor instituii s funcioneze. O astfel de instituie este economia, dar aciunile a ceea ce numim instituia imaginar a arhitecturii, n special n ceea ce privete experiena de sorginte social a economiei ca instituie social, colectiv, nu snt nc foarte bine studiate. Pentru nceput trebuie s lmurim clar ce urmrim atunci cnd extindem noiunea de imaginaruri sociale care trebuie, la rndul ei, neleas ca

ansamblu al tuturor modurilor n care o societate se imagineaz astzi ca societate - n zona practicilor culturale sau estetice cum este arhitectura. Asemenea practicilor sociale, practicile culturale ne ajut s definim clar ce vrem s spunem atunci cnd vorbim, de exemplu, de capitalul financiar, considerat n general un element esenial n modelarea oraelor globale i a mega-oraelor. Capitalul financiar curge n egal msur printre zgrie-nori i printre mahalale. Prezena ori absena lui definete aceste forme materiale, dar este i definit de ele. Deoarece reprezint materia brut din care se creeaz ceea ce Appadurai numete peisaje financiare (finanscapes), capitalul financiar reprezint mult mai mult, dar i (graie caracterului su de abstraciune) mult mai puin dect suma serviciilor i a bunurilor materiale pe care le comercializeaz fi. Este ntradevr imaginar, dei ntr-un sens foarte real i pramatic, nu n sensul unei simple iluzii ideologice. Circul n moduri diferite n Mumbai, New York ori So Paulo, construind relaii ntre diverse orae n timp ce definete unicitatea relativ a fiecruia, precum i diversele conflicte i comuniti existente n fiecare ora. n aceast privin - i n altele - arhitectura i urbanismul formeaz un singur element n complexa reea de practici culturale ce fac ca globalizarea financiar - i, prin extensie, i crizele sale - s fie n primul rnd nu doar vizibil, ci i imaginabil (i astfel posibil). Sau, mai tranant, n oraele contemporane construirea i circulaia semnificaiei culturale prin intermediul arhitecturii i al altor forme estetice este mai degrab o caracteristic fundamental a proceselor politico-economice, nu un efect secundar al lor. Dat fiind acest schimb permanent, caracteristici definitorii ale unui loc

nlocuiesc i snt nlocuite permanent cu axiome generale, ntr-un proces ce poate fi descris cel mai bine n manier filosofic. Aici m refer iari la Simmel, a crui oper conine n ea multe elemente ce pot fi numite filosofice. Astfel, faimosul su eseu din 1903, Metropola i viaa mental, extrapoleaz o serie de principii referitoare, n general, la metropola modern (i, pentru el, occidental), pornind de la caracteristici empirice ale vieii metropolitane timpurii. Aceste caracteristici includ agitaia permanent, energia nervoas, deplasarea mecanic i un sim acut al abstraciunii, asociat cu economia monetar. n opinia lui Simmel, ele determin un soi de reacie psihologic arhetipal a locuitorului metropolitan, pe care o numete atitudine blazat. Apoi, ntr-un eseu la fel de important, aprut n 1908, Simmel l numete drept purttor al acestei atitudini pe strin, o figur urban prototipic, care, dup cum scrie Simmel, vine astzi i st mine, fr a se stabili cu adevrat acolo i fr a se adapta. La rndul lor, astfel de idei se fundamentau pe argumentele elaborate de Simmel n lucrarea sa de cpti din 1900, Filosofia banilor. Aici el susine c formele de schimb monetar abstract, asociate cu capitalismul industrial, i au echivalentul ntr-o reificare generalizat a experienei urbane cotidiene, ce reflect caracterul calculat al vremurilor moderne. Evenimentele recente de pe pieele lumii, dependente de proprieti imobiliare sau financiare, ar trebui s dovedeasc limpede relevana filosofiei banilor propuse de Simmel n contemporaneitate, dei e la fel de clar c azi vorbim mai degrab de o criz a creditelor dect de una monetar. Ar fi ns o greeal dac ne-am mulumi s nelegem evenimentele respective, precum i contextul istoric n care s-au manifestat, ca pe un

gen de determinism economic crud, conform cruia nemiloasele realiti economice au ptruns n cele din urm dincolo de ecranele fantasmagorice ale globalizrii, materializat prin construcii metafizice de genul cldirilor reprezentative, foarte vizibile n locuri ca Dubai ori Abu Dhabi. Am putea n schimb s studiem mai atent codurile arhitecturale i urbane unde se face vizibil logica sau sintaxa economiei globale, pe care acum o putem descrie drept o sintax a creditului. Asta deoarece n recenta faz de cretere economic accelerat relaiile existente ntre cele dou forme de abstraciune, arhitectura i creditul, au modelat felul nostru de a nelege oraul contemporan ntr-o msur mult mai mare dect pe vremea lui Simmel. n New York, ca i n alte locuri, unul din rezultatele acestei restructurri discursive a fost ridicarea dezvoltatorului imobiliar privat la un statut cvasi-mitic, aa cum s-a ntmplat dup 11 septembrie 2001, cnd dezvoltatorul i proprietarul Turnurilor Gemene, Larry Silverstein, s-a bucurat de atenia dezlnuit a canalelor mediatice. i, cum s-a ntmplat ulterior i cu concursul de proiecte arhitecturale pentru Ground Zero, fetiizarea dezvoltatorului a fost nsoit de o ridicare similar (dac putem s-o numim astfel) a arhitectului la statutul de star de cinema, mai ales n cazul aa-numiilor arhiteci de marc, care populeaz azi scena internaional. n general relaiile dintre aceste dou fenomene snt foarte prost nelese: afirmarea dezvoltatorului i afirmarea arhitectului de marc merg mn n mn, dar nu doar n sensul c unul este clientul sau angajatorul celuilalt. Un lucru mult mai semnificativ, pe care vreau s-l argumentez, pornind de la Simmel, e acela c afirmarea acestor dou figuri reprezentative este legat ntructva de o anumit

religiozitate ascuns, pe care arhitectura i banii o mprtesc, o religiozitate ce devine mai limpede atunci cnd recunoatem afinitile tainice ntre aanumitele cldiri reprezentative i reprezentrile vizuale ce caracterizeaz multe confesiuni religioase - dei nu pe toate. Aceste afiniti se bazeaz pe un limbaj comun al credinei. n msura n care criza financiar este n esen o criz a credinei, n sensul cripto-religios de credin n anumite fore superioare, cum snt pieele financiare, ce se modeleaz i se regleaz singure i par independente de controlul uman, dar snt percepute totui ca fiind benefice, acest limbaj dobndete putere de lege. n contextul unui ora ca New York-ul, martor al unei privatizri accentuate a infrastructurii sale materiale, precum i a discursului su civic, declaraiile de credin ne ofer o perspectiv asupra problemei raportului abstract dintre arhitectur i bani, neles la un nivel filosofic. De asemenea, ni s-a spus n multe rnduri c jumtate din populaia planetei locuiete n orae. Pe de alt parte ns nu ni s-au spus prea multe despre felul cum aceast dezvoltare a oraelor de pe ntinsul globului alimenteaz un alt gen de competiie la nivelul imaginarului urban. La acest nivel oraele snt concepute n mare msur dup tiparul ciclurilor naturale de cretere, asemenea organismelor vii. Asta se ntmpl de mult vreme i se coreleaz cu presupusele legi ce dirijeaz extinderea nelimitat (i de obicei nereglementat) a diverselor economii locale, regionale i inter-regionale. Astfel, recenta competiie dintre dezvoltatorii imobiliari i arhitecii din diferite orae pe tema construirii celei mai nalte cldiri de pe planet nu e doar o problem de orgoliu, ci i o realizare logic i simbolic a mitului organicist al

creterii nelimitate: e vorba de cel mai nalt copac din pdurile instabile ale capitalului expansionist. Aadar, pn acum am prezentat ideea credinei cvasi-religioase n piee, nsoit de un organicism economic prezumtiva lege natural a expansiunii concureniale nereglementate. Dar esena filosofiei monetariste a lui Simmel const n interaciunea reciproc dintre abstraciune i reificare. n prezentarea sa banii snt, pe rnd, ceea ce am numi azi un semnificant flotant i o form social (i teoretic) concret. Din aceast perspectiv putem numi banul o abstraciune concret. Lsnd la o parte tendina ambivalent a lui Simmel de a soluiona contradiciile evideniate chiar de propria lui lucrare, acest fapt este relevant n special n descrierea pe care o face indivizilor angajai ntr-un transfer de credit. El spune despre asemenea indivizi c snt unii n ceea ce numete o sintez nou, mai abstract i mai cuprinztoare. Sinteza respectiv este definit, n mod paradoxal, prin creterea distanei i prin sporirea apropierii. n loc s i transfere bunuri sau chiar bani ghea, aici oamenii i transfer credit. Rezultatul este acela c gradul de ncredere dintre ei sporete mai mult dect dac ar fi schimbat ntre ei nite obiecte mai concrete. Iat cum explic Simmel lucrurile: n tranzaciile cu credite caracterul nemediat al transferului de valoare este nlocuit de o distan ai crei poli snt inui laolalt graie ncrederii, tot astfel cum religiozitatea este cu att mai intens, cu ct distana este mai mare... ntre Dumnezeu i sufletul individual, pentru c astfel gradul de religiozitate ce se nate e unul maxim i astfel distana dintre ei va fi anulat. Astfel, cu ct pieele snt mai abstracte - cu ct ne vine mai greu (s

zicem) s nelegem pieele de credit de astzi -, cu att mai mare e nevoia lor de emoii precum ncrederea, convingerea i chiar un gen de credin cvasi-religioas pentru a putea s funcioneze. Mai mult, aa cum abstraciunile concrete din economia monetar i-au permis lui Simmel s arunce o privire asupra vieii interioare, psihice, a individului modern, metropolitan, tot astfel i arhitectura, analizat ntr-o manier specific, ofer posibilitatea unei priviri asupra vieii psihice a locuitorului oraului postmodern i post-metropolitan, o via psihic ce, de altminteri, s-a deplasat n mare msur n exterior, la lumina zilei. Dei s-ar putea crea impresia c locuitorii a ceea ce Mike Davis numea planeta mahalalelor rmn relativ indifereni la abstraciunile matematice pe care este cldit aceast economie, snt i ei supui lor la nivel psihic, nu doar ca nite cantiti depersonalizate. S lum, de exemplu, Autoritatea pentru Refacerea Mahalalelor (Slum Redevelopment Authority - SRA) din Mumbai, care supravegheaz punerea n aplicare a aa-numitelor Planuri de Reabilitare a Mahalalelor (Slum Rehabilitation Schemes - SRS), cum este cel propus n prezent pentru Dharavi, cunoscut drept cea mai mare mahala din Asia. Mai nti e nevoie s nelegem presiunea intens ce se exercit n Mumbai asupra proprietilor imobiliare, cci ea st la baza efortului legislativ de stimulare a sectorului privat n direcia soluionrii masivei crize a locuinelor existent n ora, combinat cu efortul concomitent de eliberare a terenurilor valoroase pentru dezvoltri imobiliare. Conform legii, SRA trateaz fiecare cartier de mahala existent nainte de 1 ianuarie 1995 ca pe un ansamblu protejat, iar fiecare locuitor al respectivului ansamblu este eligibil pentru aa-

numita reabilitare. Reabilitarea se desfoar dup cum urmeaz (conform descrierii fcute de SRA): 1. Un minimum de 70% dintre locuitorii eligibili dintr-un ansamblu periferic de tipul mahalalei se asociaz i formeaz o societate imobiliar cooperativ, n vederea punerii n aplicare a Planului de Reabilitare a Mahalalei (SRS). 2. Terenul aferent este folosit ca resurs pentru SRS. 3. Locuitorii mahalalei aleg un dezvoltator imobiliar pentru aplicarea SRS. 4. Dezvoltatorul investete resurse sub forma banilor, a oamenilor i a materialelor pentru construirea de case gratuite destinate locuitorilor mahalalei. 5. Dezvoltatorul este recompensat pentru eforturile sale sub forma unei componente gratuite din vnzare. Cu alte cuvinte, dezvoltatorul este practic angajat de locuitorii mahalalei ntr-un asemenea mod nct el i poate exploata legal, tratnd pretenia lor la adpost ca pe o form de proprietate ce poate fi comercializat, nu ca pe un drept politic administrat de stat. n schimbul nlocuirii fiecrei maghernie eligibile cu o unitate de locuit de minimum 21 metri ptrai (ceea ce totui ar nsemna n mod cert o mbuntire concret fa de situaia existent), dezvoltatorul obine drepturi de dezvoltare imobiliar pentru 50% din terenul ocupat de mahala. Iar astfel de afaceri se ncheie cu multe manevre i presiuni politice, pentru c piaa imobiliar din Mumbai le-a fcut pur i simplu profitabile i este foarte probabil ca tendina s continue i n viitorul previzibil. Pe lng faptul c a creat impresia fals c piaa preia pur i simplu o sarcin a statului, cea de satisfacere a nevoilor minimale ale populaiei (ceea ce

chiar i dezvoltatorii recunosc c e imposibil la nivelul ntregului ora), schema respectiv include i o ciudat contradicie urban i arhitectural. Ea nu rezolv cu adevrat conflictul de clas implicit, ci mai degrab l transform ntrun principiu general. Un exemplu viu al acestei situaii l ofer perechea de turnuri rezideniale nalte, cu apartamente de lux, proiectate de arhitectul Hafeez Contractor pe un teren provenit din reabilitarea unei mahalale plasate n cartierul Tardeo din Mumbai. Nu avem de-a face cu o oper arhitectonic foarte reuit, cci n realitate pentru Hafeez Contractor arhitectura e mai mult un joc din care poi ctiga bani dect o form rafinat de art. n cazul de fa jocul a constat n aplicarea eficient la faa locului a legislaiei SRA prin contrapunerea cerinelor socio-economice ale pieei imobiliare a locuinelor de lux cu cerinele politice ale locuitorilor mahalalei. Rezultatul este o fractur monumental creat exact pe locul mahalalei, care i desparte pe cei foarte bogai de cei foarte sraci. Arhitectura cldirii, ce const n mare parte din ornamente din fier forjat, neo-deco, n partea superioar i uniformitate funcionalist n partea inferioar, e folosit concomitent pentru a provoca i pentru a acoperi fractura respectiv. Dar lucrul cel mai important e acela c, n ciuda poziiei dominante ocupate de turnurile gemene din proiect, arhitectura lor i cea a mahalalei reabilitate deasupra creia se nal acele turnuri le separ tranant unele de altele - i nu doar din pricina contrastului dintre opulent i umil, ci, n esen, din pricina contrastului dintre o arhitectur (cea a turnurilor) care ncearc s comunice i o alt arhitectur (cea a csuelor) care nu o face. n mod convenional situaia de mai sus s-ar descrie ca fiind un contrat ntre figurativ i abstract. Dar ar fi mai

corect s descriem seciunea solid i unitar a proiectului drept o abstraciune de un alt gen - un nivel superior de abstraciune fa de abstraciunile creditului. Cci creditul, dup cum tocmai ne-am reamintit, e cldit n jurul ncrederii, al convingerii i al unei credine cvasi-religioase - n cazul de fa credina c o pia imobiliar va rezolva criza de locuine din ora. Mai mult, clasica deplasare dinspre valoarea de utilizare spre valoarea de schimb este abordat ntr-un mod complet diferit. Valoarea de schimb, sub forma proprietii de lux, ajunge s par capabil s produc un surplus de valoare de utilizare sub forma adposturilor utilitare. Aceast inversare, care este i principiul conform cruia funcioneaz multe parteneriate publicprivat, adapteaz propunerea politicoeconomic ce st la baza legislaiei SRA, repoziionndu-i pe locuitorii mahalalei (i, prin extensie, publicul n general) n postura de beneficiari, crora pieele le cer doar ncredere i credin. Astfel, fiind autorizat de stat, piaa preia controlul, ca agent biopolitic par excellence, iar locuitorii mahalalei snt prini ntr-o dilem irezolvabil, ntre paternalism i acumularea primitiv. Din perspectiva unei Realpolitik urbane, ei snt nvrjbii unii mpotriva altora i snt nevoii s ncheie un pact faustian pentru un surplus de metri ptrai, n funcie de mprumutul obinut n urma ofertei de pia. Astfel, luat ca un ntreg, planul de reabilitare a mahalalei poate fi prezentat drept un feti: un obiect cvasi-religios cu aparente puteri miraculoase care, asemenea domurilor la fel de metafizice ale lui Fuller, este rezultatul unui calcul raional i nu invers. Nu contrariez pe nimeni dac sugerez c n orae precum New York-ul, dar i n restul lumii, arhitectura a devenit tot mai mult un feti benefic pentru piaa

speculaiilor imobiliare. Ce ar putea contraria este semnificaia precis a acestui lucru. Fiind vorba de arhitectur, el nseamn cldiri care inspir credin. Cu alte cuvinte, nseamn cldiri reprezentative, iar forma lor degradat e ilustrat paradigmatic de respectivele cldiri ale lui Hafeez. Industria cultural n care se manifest astfel de cldiri este administrat estetic de un spectru larg de creatori, spectru la al crui capt ndeprtat se gsesc numeroi arhiteci de marc, cum ar fi Jean Nouvel sau Frank Gehry. i, cu toate c fenomenul asociat acestei realiti, cel al arhitecilor recunoscui care lucreaz cu mari dezvoltatori imobiliari, nu este neaprat unul nou, n prima decad a secolului douzeci i unu el a fost ridicat la rangul de norm de tip nou. Ideea c arhitectura nu numai c se poate manifesta ca form de art n cadrul pieelor imobiliare globale, ci chiar este ncurajat de acestea, nu mai reprezint excepia (marcat, de exemplu, de asocierea dintre I.M. Pei i dezvoltatorul imobiliar William Zeckendorf de la sfritul anilor 1950), ci a devenit un loc comun. Cel mai coerent arhitect care a studiat sau a menionat problema de mai sus rmne Rem Koolhaas. Dar n cazul de fa pn i ironia contient a lui Koolhaas e limitat la reflectarea identificrii general acceptate a arhitecturii cu capitalul financiar, cum se ntmpl cu imaginativa i totui concilianta parodie realizat de firma sa ca rspuns la dorina impus de piaa imobiliar de a extinde la maximum terenul zonelor rezideniale, respectnd planurile zonale stricte, ce apare ntr-o propunere de proiect recent pentru 23rd Street din Manhattan. Confruntai cu un asemenea moloh, ne vedem nevoii s ne ntrebm cum funcioneaz de fapt arhitectura -

mai ales ca oper de art proiectat pentru o pia imobiliar urban de arhiteci precum Koolhas. Dar am fcut deja aluzie la nceputurile unui rspuns i, n consecin, la nceputurile a ceea ce am putea numi filosofia unui ora contemporan, scris dintr-o perspectiv arhitectural. Azi arhitectura funcioneaz n continuare aa cum a fcut-o de milenii: ca feti, ca obiect cu puteri speciale, unde cel mai bun exemplu este acela de obiect religios, cum snt sutele de temple, biserici i alte monumente religioase ce constituie temelia oricrui canon arhitectural, fie el occidental sau de orice alt tip. Dar ce nseamn s nelegem relaia dintre arhitectur i capital drept una - fie i parial - religioas? nseamn (iari) c aceast relaie nu e doar o chestiune de patronaj (cu dezvoltatorul n postura de client) sau de analogie (adic, s zicem, virtualitatea arhitecturii contemporane imit cumva virtualitatea tiinelor financiare contemporane), dei ambii factori snt prezeni n ecuaie. i nici nu nseamn pur i simplu doar c Arhitectura (cu A mare), orict ar fi ea de costisitoare, e considerat azi profitabil, n conformitate cu un model ce promite venituri mai mari pe metru ptrai dect cel inventat de fapt n anii 1980 n Houston de dezvoltatorul Gerald Hines, n colaborare cu Philip Johnson. nseamn n schimb c, aa cum s-a vzut la proiectul SRA al lui Hafeez Contractor, arhitectura a devenit mai mult dect un obiect util transformat ntr-o marf n sensul anterior, marxist, al cuvntului. n condiiile industrializrii din Europa, Simmel i interpreii si, inclusiv critici din coala de la Frankfurt ca Benjamin i Kracauer, au fost preocupai de creterea gradelor de abstraciune ale economiei monetare i n special de sporirea distanei dintre indivizii umani i

artefactele introduse de ei prin obiectificare. Urmndu-l pn la un punct pe Marx, aceti analiti au vzut n obiectificare un proces de reificare - transformarea unor obiecte utile n abstraciuni strine, ale cror atribute principale erau cele cantitative i numerice. Mrfurile erau produse n cantiti mari n fabrici anonime, erau ngrmdite n depozite anonime i apoi vndute n magazine anonime. Benjamin i Kracauer au vzut mai bine dect Simmel i Weber c acest fapt implic nu doar un proces de dezvrjire (i.e. de abstraciune i de reificare), ci i unul de re-vrjire. De aici vine i fascinaia lui Benjamin fa de lumile de vis adpostite de galeriile comerciale, care ar putea fi descrise foarte bine ca temple ale mrfurilor, ce anticipeaz magazinele nsele, care snt mai noi, mai mitice i mai pline de farmec vizibil. Dar dac aceast combinaie de dou tipuri de construcii mai vechi - magazinul i galeria comercial - au avut drept rezultat mallul comercial, nu e deloc sigur c mallurile contemporane le transmit cumprtorilor de azi aceeai senzaie de vraj. n loc de asta, pe o nou bucl din ciclul dezvrjirii i re-vrjirii, ele au cedat locul reprezentrilor cantitii pure, enumerrii pure, cum se ntmpl n lanurile de super-magazine nirate de-a lungul zonei suburbane a Statelor Unite i dincolo de ea. ns aceste spaii, ca i tehnicile matematice sau statistice care structureaz numeroasele ncercri academice de analiz a fenomenelor urbane crora le aparin ele, nu snt tocmai neutre. De fapt am putea spune c, judecat mpreun cu fascinaia general exercitat de toate lucrurile gigantice sau cu adevrat globale, aceast nou tendin spre cantitate invoc un soi de sublim matematic sau statistic. Aici m refer, desigur, la analitica sublimului elaborat

de Kant la sfritul secolului al optsprezecelea n a treia sa Critic, Critica facultii de judecare. Aici, dup cum se tie, Kant, pe urmele lui Edmund Burke, difereniaz categoria frumosului de cea a sublimului, argumentnd c n cazul frumosului plcerea noastr este legat de reprezentarea calitii, pe cnd n cazul sublimului [este legat] de reprezentarea cantitii. Astfel, Kant definete sublimul matematic dup cum urmeaz: Numim sublim ceea ce este mare n mod absolut. Pentru Kant sublimul este cantitate pur i att de nfricotor de mare, nct refuz orice comparaie cu vreun obiect cunoscut i perceptibil sau, cum spune el, mare dincolo de orice comparaie. n vreme ce lucrurile frumoase snt finite i, n consecin, pot fi delimitate i reprezentate, fie n pictur, fie n arhitectur, sublimul este infinit i, prin definiie, imposibil de reprezentat. Dar asta nu nseamn c este i imposibil de conceput. Dimpotriv, Kant aloc destul spaiu analizei diferenei dintre facultile simurilor i facultile intelectului, artnd c sublimul este n egal msur o form de gndire i o experien estetic. Ca experien, el este amenintor atunci cnd, de exemplu, sntem confruntai cu fora sublim a naturii n timpul unei furtuni rvitoare, de vreme ce aceast for nu poate fi prins integral ntr-o reprezentare finit. Dar pentru Kant exact aceast ameninare la adresa simurilor i, pn la urm, a raiunii umane este cea care i confer sublimului statutul su special, dnd natere unei forme mentale distincte de comprehensiune, ce poate intui, dar nu i reprezenta pentru sine (i nici ilustra) anvergura fenomenului. Rezultatul este acela c, dup cum spune Kant, obiectul este perceput ca sublim [i nu doar frumos] cu o plcere care este

posibil doar prin intermediul unei neplceri. Pe baza acestei digresiuni filosofice, ncepem s nelegem mai clar influenele credinei i astfel putem descrie sentimentul mprtit de arhitecii i dezvoltatorii imobiliari fa de o pia imobiliar global imprevizibil. Cci pieele financiare globale nu snt nite simple conducte sau canale destinate circulaiei i confluenei abstraciunilor matematice de genul derivatelor. Pieele snt ele nsele abstracte, n sensul c i ele, ca i globul pmntesc, snt considerate la un anumit nivel ca fiind plasate dincolo de reprezentare. Asta nu nseamn c pieele financiare globale nu pot fi descrise, reprezentate sau chiar demistificate cu precizie. Numai c proliferarea cifrelor, datelor i graficelor ce descriu circulaia capitalului financiar, ca i problemele de elaborare pe care le pun acestea, corespund n esen cu un efort n mare msur incontient de reprezentare a imaginatei nemrginiri i prezumtivei fore arbitrare a pieelor n sine i, odat cu ele, a oraului pe care l-au creat i care, la rndul lui, le-a creat pe ele. Astfel, dei e adevrat c aanumita arhitectur de dezvoltare imobiliar e una obiectificat, o asemenea caracterizare abia dac sugereaz vag ce a devenit arhitectura n urma globalizrii. Arhitectura s-a transformat cu adevrat ntr-o abstraciune concret ntr-o msur mai mare dect mrfurile de la 1900, cnd Simmel i elabora concepia filosofic asupra banilor, i chiar mai mult dect banii nii. Vreau s spun c a devenit un gen de virtualitate real n care, din punctul de vedere al pieelor i al celor care le manipuleaz, existena real, tangibil, a ceva ce poate fi numit n mod credibil un obiect util (i.e. o cldire real) a fost

nlocuit de un set de reprezentri. Aceste reprezentri snt de fapt abstracte, n acelai mod n care preurile mrfurilor au numai o legtur vag cu produsele asociate lor i snt dependente mai degrab de condiiile lor de circulaie, de valoarea speculativ viitoare i aa mai departe. ns, tocmai graie capacitii lor de a circula, aceste abstraciuni au devenit concomitent i concrete - reale, tangibile i vizibile - n sine. Prin urmare, poart cu ele propriile echivalente spaiale i psihice, aa cum fceau i banii la Simmel. La nivelul experienei cognitive i al celei estetice tot categoria sublimului, aa cum a fost ea definit de Kant, e cea care surprinde cel mai bine efectele concrete ale noilor abstraciuni. Asemenea unui peisaj pictat n secolul al nousprezecelea i care ncearc s surprind imensitatea naturii, abstraciunea pe care am numit-o arhitectur de dezvoltare imobiliar i nzestreaz numeroasele sale componente cu un sistem de sisteme att de imens i de cuprinztor - i, pn la urm, att de amenintor -, nct contemplarea ei se transform ntr-o plcere sublim. Respectivul spectacol - care este spectacolul oraului contemporan propriu-zis, indiferent dac vorbim de New York sau de Mumbai - declaneaz o senzaie de respect nfiorat, dar, dac I. Kant are dreptate, i una de dominaie i control. Experiena respectiv poate fi comparat cu senzaia similar de control asupra efectelor dureroase provocate de dezindustrializarea ce a precedat metamorfozarea unor orae ca New York sau Londra n cartiere generale ale lumii financiare. Un astfel de control psihic este reprezentat foarte clar n transformarea vrjit a fostelor cldiri industriale n complexe rezideniale de lux (cum s-a ntm[287]

plat cu depozitele Chelsea din Manhattan) sau n opere de art sublime i cripto-religioase (ca n recenta instalaie creat de Olafur Eliasson la Tate Modern, o fost central electric convertit n muzeu). Oricum, n ciuda tuturor acestor opere de art, pn acum exemplele arhitecturale oferite de mine au fost extrem de comerciale, astfel nct s-ar putea obiecta c arhitectura circumscris ca oper de art autonom depete aceste limitri prin transcenderea trivialitii marketizrii sau a obiectificrii. ns trebuie s menionm i meritul lui Kant, care a teoretizat conceptul de autonomie a artei (i, prin extensie, al arhitecturii), transmis apoi de la o generaie la alta de istorici, critici i arhiteci i devenind ulterior un loc comun al discursului i practicii arhitecturale i o condiie prealabil pentru imanena socio-economic, dar nu neaprat o reet a detarii artistice. S lum un exemplu din New York, cu o escal n Los Angeles. Dup cum o ilustreaz din plin propria lui cas din Santa Monica, unde a reasamblat resturi suburbane, dnd natere unui refugiu pentru creativitatea individual, Frank Gehry reprezint figura tipic a arhitectului artist. i totui pn de curnd putea fi gsit - ca, de altfel, pe parcursul ntregii lui cariere - la New York, n postura de colaborator al dezvoltatorului Forest City Ratner, ntr-un proiect masiv de restructurare imobiliar a triajului Atlantic din Brooklyn. ns cum la ora actual exist anumite incertitudini legate de finanarea proiectului, Gehry a realizat un alt proiect n Manhattan: sediul central al InterActive Corporation (IAC), condus de Barry Diller, sediu amplasat la captul cartierului West Side. La un anumit nivel, aceast cldire nesemnificativ proiectat de Gehry pare s nu merite genul de atenie

critic rezervat n mod normal creaiilor arhitecturale serioase. i totui avem multe de nvat din aceast ncercare de injectare a unei semnificaii culturale n ceea ce este, n esen, o cldire de birouri generic. Dei n-a fost proiectat ca o cldire menit speculaiilor financiare ale unui dezvoltator imobiliar, ci ca sediu central al unei corporaii multimedia, cldirea IAC proiectat de Gehry se supune constrngerilor specifice multor cldiri de tip investiional imobiliar, n special prin accentul pus pe caracterul unitar din punct de vedere arhitectural al suprafeei exterioare ce acoper un plan al cldirii altfel banal. Aceast strategie, care n forma sa generic este numit shell-and-core (structur plus faad), este folosit de dezvoltatori pentru a se asigura mpotriva fluctuaiilor pieei prin configurarea a ct mai mult din spaiul disponibil ntr-un asemenea mod nct s poat fi nchiriat sau vndut n cazul n care afacerea intr n declin sau trebuie reorientat. Nu va constitui deci nici o surpriz faptul c partenerul lui Barry Diller n proiectul de construire a sediului IAC a fost The Georgetown Company, un dezvoltator comercial oarecum misterios. Cum nu va fi o surpriz nici faptul c angajatorul lui Gehry din Brooklyn, dezvoltatorul Forest City Ratner, a realizat un parteneriat cu The New York Times pentru noul zgrie-nori al companiei de pe 41st Street, proiectat de Renzo Piano i din care aproximativ jumtate va fi format din spaiu de nchiriat pentru birouri. La prima vedere numeroase construcii prozaice shell-and-core din zona Silicon Valley, n nordul Californiei, par s semene cu visele unui Grossstadt cu construcii de serie, decodificate de Tafuri n opera unor arhiteci precum Walter Gropius sau Ludwig Hilberseimer: foarte mecanice,

foarte repetitive, foarte gunoase i foarte monotone. Totui, conform analizei lui Simmel, oraul european de la nceputul secolului douzeci era n acelai timp i un spaiu al agitaiei extreme - o cocafonie de zgomote, micare i energie productiv care genera o reacie nervoas pe msur a populaiei urbane. Cam n aceeai perioad, n New York, fiziologul numea fenomenul respectiv nervozitate american (neurastenie), boal ale crei cauze le-a diagnosticat n expunerea constant a locuitorilor oraului la stresul concurenial al vieii moderne. Dar n vreme ce subiecii tipici ai metropolei studiai de Simmel reacionau la atacul agresiv al stimulilor externi din ora cu un fel de privire goal - atitudinea blazat -, banalitatea construciilor uniforme, shelland-core, de astzi produce un gen diferit de reacie nervoas. Dac acea cldire a lui Gehry poate servi drept model (i eu cred c da), atunci problema oraului postmodern nu este abundena stimulilor externi, ci mai degrab un soi de goliciune persistent. Dincolo de toat aceast exuberan iraional a globalizrii financiare, ceea ce se observ foarte clar n ncercrile oarecum disperate, ntreprinse chiar i de cei mai ndrznei dezvoltatori, de a crea cldiri interesante din punct de vedere arhitectural este rezultatul meschin la care se ajunge: un schelet gunos, cu o structur impersonal, totul mbrcat ntrun nveli apstor. n termeni estetici fenomenul respectiv poart numele de form goal. i exact aceast goliciune, aceast lips structural de semnificaie e elementul pe care l are n comun cldirea lui Gehry cu banii, mai ales c acetia din urm devin i mai abstraci n urma raporturilor sociale de creditare. Iar aceast goliciune, acest grad zero al abstraciunii e i lucrul pe care arhitectura lui Gehry se

strduiete din rsputeri s-l depeasc prin injectarea unui exces de semnificaie cultural, ncercnd astfel s re-vrjeasc n chip miraculos structurile reci ale cldirii dezvrjite. Gestul su reproduce fundaiile teologice ale unui sistem de creditare ntemeiat pe credin, al crui model reprezentativ l constituie legislaia SRA din Mumbai, ce convertete mahalalele n abstraciuni, n investiii ce par s rezolve n mod miraculos o criz structural chiar n timp ce o perpetueaz. Dar ceea ce au astzi n comun banii i arhitectura e faptul c ambele nu mai nseamn nimic. Chiar aa. Dar oare cldirea lui Gehry i exercit vraja i reuete s ne conving c e purttoarea unei semnificaii culturale? n primul rnd, ca n numeroase alte exemple, acea cldire nu este proiectat exclusiv de Gehry. Interioarele ei au fost proiectate de firma Studios Architecture din San Francisco, care a proiectat anterior i sediul din Silicon Valley al companiei Silicon Graphics (azi Googleplex), dar i de 3Com, Excite@Home i multe altele. Diviziunea muncii e un lucru important, de vreme ce Studios snt specialiti n transformarea banalitilor alienante ale vieii cotidiene de birou - care este de fapt structurat n jurul acumulrii de capital - n seturi de experiene sociale semnificative din punct de vedere ideologic. La IAC se pornete de la cafenelele i vestiarele angajailor de la fiecare etaj i bufetul de pe acoperi, toate fiind centrate aproximativ n jurul unui set de metafore nautice, care s reflecte amplasamentul cldirii pe malul fluviului Hudson, vizavi de un chei unde i ancoreaz iahtul directorul executiv. n exterior Gehry a nlocuit clieele arhitecturale ce reconfirm poeticile corporatiste cu o carapace ondulat de sticl curbat, care a fost comparat de criticii respectuoi cu nite

pnze de corabie umflate de vnt sau cu nite nori. Remarcm aici metaforele meteorologice, care snt o trstur comun a imaginarurilor financiare. Indiferent dac a intenionat sau nu aa ceva (iar el susine c nu a fcut-o), sofisticata execuie de ctre Gehry a carapacei pulsnde a cldirii a permis, ba poate chiar a ncurajat interpretri meteorologice de un gen mai benign dect cele ce vorbesc despre apropiatele furtuni ale crizei. Oricum, dinamismul su, evaluat mai puin metaforic i n termeni formali (i.e. kantieni) mai radicali, trimite i mai clar la ceva care, asemeni vremii nsei, eludeaz reprezentarea. S-ar zice c un misterios complex de fore a modelat respectiva carapace strlucitoare exact n felul acesta. Ea pare a fi opera unui operator fantomatic ce poate fi comparat, folosind un termen din economie, cu mna invizibil a lui Adam Smith. Numai c n cazul de fa mna invizibil a arhitecturii - ce poart semntura de marc a arhitectului de marc - a nlocuit mna invizibil a pieelor pentru a da cldirii forma ei distinctiv. Dei reflect doar unele rmie din tensiunea veche de secole dintre art i bani, legile darwiniene ale pieei imobiliare rmn vizibile n dimensiunea integral a cldirii, care e aezat stngaci pe amplasamentul ei, asemenea unei siluete supraponderale mbrcate ntr-un costum prost croit. i totui, atunci cnd treci pe lng ea sau prin jurul ei, cldirea se mic i ea cumva, chiar dac dizgraios, i astfel i redobndete vraja. Orict de panic i de inofensiv ar prea ea, putem spune totui c aspir spre sublimul matematic al lui Kant. Ca i reprezentrile vremii, n spatele ei se gsesc numere: metri ptrai, necesarul de spaii pentru birouri, raporturi risc-benefi[290]

ciu. Dar, spre deosebire de cldirile de birouri obinuite ale dezvoltatorilor imobiliari, cea a lui Gehry reprezint un monument al inefabilului - att al celui ce ine de reelele corporatiste abstracte creia i aparine, ct i al abstraciunii goale care este arhitectura n sine. Prin urmare, n acest monument, care poate fi comparat (chiar dac aproximativ i defavorabil) cu eforturile cosmologice ale unui Boulle sau cu fervoarea meteorologic a unui Turner, variaiunile capitalismului multinaional snt convertite n fonetul blnd al unui vnticel de var. n consecin, cldirea lui Gehry ne prezint cel mai vechi truc din cartea capitalului, un truc cel puin la fel de vechi precum cel prezentat cu un secol n urm de Cass Gilbert n Lower Manhattan, cu a sa Woolworth Building, supranumit de reverendul S. Parkes Cadman la ceremonia de consacrare din 1913 o catedral a comerului. Cldirea lui Gehry, ca i cea a lui Gilbert, nzestreaz golul cu sens. Poate c, n ciuda nzuinei sale spre forele inefabile ce par s o nsufleeasc, cldirea IAC nu e totui o catedral, dar asta nu trebuie s ne mpiedice - iari s percepem c are ceva religios. Diferena s-ar putea s conste n faptul c la Gilbert Woolworth Building are o suprafa exterioar de un neogotic distorsionat, ce nvelete un corp de cldire de un neogotic distorsionat, sublimnd arhitectura bisericii cretine ntr-o presupus arhitectur laic a modernizrii capitaliste, n vreme ce Gehry merge cu un pas mai departe. n cazul cldirii IAC, ca i n altele, creaia sa arhitectural nu ofer nici un fel de set specific de semnificaii prin intermediul unei iconografii anacronice. Ea promite semnificaia n sine, sub forma obiectului concret, palpabil. Goliciunea fundamental a obiectului nu este acoperit de simpla frumusee

sau de efectul pitoresc (dei Gehry poate fi acuzat n mod cert de aa ceva), ci de sublimul matematic al economiei globale i, odat cu el, de violena provocat zilnic de numerele ce se nvrt n jurul ei -, pe care cldirea lui Gehry o transform dintr-o ameninare teribil ntr-o promisiunea a mntuirii. Cu toate acestea cldirea lui Gehry nu reuete s-i respecte pe deplin promisiunea, ceea ce sugereaz c izolarea oraului ntr-un atriu gigantic al fanteziei neoliberale nu e nc total. i nici acea mn invizibil, cu sublimul ei imposibil de reprezentat, nu rensufleete integral structura i faada abstraciunii metropolitane. Iat care este adevrul arhitecturii: eecul su fundamental de a nzestra cu semnificaie oraului contemporan. Acest gen de adevr nu e n nici un caz etern, ca i oraul nsui i virtualitile pe care este cldit, ci la fel de efemer i de instabil ca acel ciudat de recurent sentiment de solidaritate dintre strini prin care s-a definit iniial oraul modern. n oraele de acum, de la Mumbai la New York, astfel de adevruri au fost nlocuite de reprezentrile criptoreligioase ale influxurilor dereglementate care au devenit lingua franca a attor ncercri de a converti cantitile pure, specifice oraului contemporan, ntr-o od a sublimului matematic specific pieelor, pe o scal ajustabil a meritului artistic care reia teza opus concepiei lui Benjamin asupra declinului aurei. n ciuda presupoziiei conform creia obiectificarea, producia de mas i abstraciunea circulatorie vor epuiza semnificaia cultural, transformnd-o ntr-un dezvrjit joc de oglinzi al efectelor superficiale, aura are tendina s creasc direct proporional cu abstraciunea. Cum caracterul calculat al vremurilor moderne teoretizat de Simmel se apropie de sublimul matematic sau

statistic al economiei bazate pe credit, semnificaia este permanent promis, dar i - o lege general a circulaiei - permanent amnat. Prin urmare, orict de valoroase ar fi cunotinele specializate sau locale, la fel de valoros este un gen de cunoatere ce poate justifica abstraciunile n circulaie i care compun oraul contemporan. Putem numi acest gen de cunoatere una filosofic, fr a sugera prin asta c ar fi universal sau absolut, ci doar c este un tip de gndire ce poate nfrunta sublimul statistic folosind propriii si termeni. Acetia snt termenii ce stau la baza imaginarurilor financiare dominante ale globalizrii. Trasndu-le aici rezumativ contururile n oglinda arhitecturii, sper c mcar am creat impresia c o filosofie critic valid a oraului nu este numai posibil, ci i necesar, n vederea nelegerii transformrilor suferite de ora ca idee i ca fenomen, de la un capt al secolului pn la cellalt.


The language of things

by Hito Steyerl

Who does the lamp communicate with? The mountain? The fox? Walter Benjamin

What if things could speak? What would they tell us? Or are they speaking already and we just dont hear them? And who is going to translate them? Ask Walter Benjamin. In fact he started asking those quite bizarre questions already in 1916 in a text called: "On Language as Such and on the Language of Man". Of all weird texts by Benjamin, this is definitely the weirdest. In this text he develops the concept of a language of things. According to Benjamin this language of things is mute, it is magical and its medium is material community. Thus, we have to assume that there is a language of stones, pans and cardboard boxes. Lamps speak as if inhabited by spirits. Mountains and foxes are involved in discourse. High-rise buildings chat with each other. Paintings gossip. There exists even, if you will, besides the language communicated by telephone a language of the telephone itself. And, according to Benjamins triumphant conclusion, nobody is responsible for this silent cacophony but G-D himself. But, you may ask: what is the point of this

eccentric plot? Lets pretend that the point is translation. Because obviously, the language of things has to be translated in order to become intelligible for those of us who are dumb for its silent splendour. But the idea of translation, which Benjamin has in mind, is a completely different concept of translation than the one we are used to. Because, from the most ordinary to the most sophisticated translation theories, one thing is usually taken for granted: that translation takes place between different human languages or the cultures, which are supposed to nurture them. Thus, languages are assumed to be an expression of different cultures and nations. This combination is hastily identified as the political aspect of translation and even language as such. And on this level standard translation theory is always already implicated in political practice and governmental strategies. But Benjamins idea of translation - at least in this text - boldly ignores this obvious and perhaps banal feature of translation. And thus, an entirely different concept of a politics of translation emerges. Instead of national languages, which are only mentioned passingly in this text, he focuses on what I would call languages of practice: the language of law, technology, art, the language of music and sculpture. And more importantly: translation doesnt take place between them, but within them. That is: between the language of things and the language of men, at the base of language itself. Thus, a few very important modifications are introduced with regard to traditional translation theory: firstly language is defined not by common origin, belonging or nation, but by common practice. Secondly, translation primarily takes place within language not

between languages. And thirdly, translation addresses the relationship of human language and thing language. Since Benjamin was perfectly aware of the romantic translation theories, which focussed on concepts like the national spirit, his feigned ignorance has to be seen as more then a bold political statement. It is a blatant declaration of irrelevance of culturalist approaches. Instead of nations and cultures, his perspective on translation takes matter and God as first reference points. And this theologicomaterial concept of translation radically shifts the definition of a politics of translation. It does not hover around organicist notions of community and culture. But it bluntly locates translation at the core of a much more general practical question: how do humans relate to the world? Instead of a politics of the original content - like the nation state, the culture, the Volksgeist or national language Benjamin argues for a politics of form. And the form will decide about the politics of language as such.

Potestas and Potentia But what exactly are the political processes involved in this type of translation? Lets look at it more closely. Two languages are mediated within this process. The language of things is an inherently productive language - according to Benjamin because it contains the residue of the word of God, which created the world by talking. On the other hand there is the human language, which can either try to receive, amplify and vocalise this language by naming things, or else clas[293]


sify, categorise, fix, and identify its components in what Benjamin calls the language of judgement. If we were to map this juxtaposition on more recent debates, we could also say that translation can take place within the two different spheres known as power and force - or more pompously potestas and potentia. While the language of things is full with potential, the language of humans can either try to engage in this potential or become a tool of force. And thus translation takes place in the mode of creation as well as of force, and usually both modes are mixed with each other. And thus, politics are played out in the forms in which the translation between the language of things and the language of men takes place. In the worst case, this relationship can take on the form of an epistemological dictatorship. That humans decided to rule over things and to disregard their message led to the disaster at Babylon. To start listening to them again would be the first step towards a coming common language, which is not rooted in the hypocrite presumption of a unity of humankind, but in a much more general material community. In this case, translation does not silence the language of things but amplifies it potential of change. It is now clear, that in this perspective translation is highly political, because it directly addresses issues of power within language formation. It concerns the relationship of humans to the world as a whole. It addresses the emergence of practice and the languages, which correspond to it. Thus, Benjamin relates translation directly to power - by looking at the form of the translation, not its content.

The respective form of translation will decide, if and how the language of things with its inherent forces and energies and its productive powers is subjected to the power/knowledge schemes of human forms of government or not. It decides, whether human language creates ruling subjects and subordinate objects or whether it engages with the energies of the material world. While this may still sound completely unpractical for anybody, the contrary is the case. One might even say, that most human practice is constantly engaged in this process of translation. Let me give you now one very obvious example of such a translation from the language of things into the one of humans. And that is the example of the documentary form.

The documentary form as translation A documentary image obviously translates the language of things into the language of humans. On the one hand it is closely anchored within the realm of material reality. But it also participates in the language of humans, and especially the language of judgement, which objectifies the thing in question, fixes its meaning and constructs stable categories of knowledge to understand it. It is half visual, half vocal, it is at once receptive and productive, inquisitive and explanatory, it participates in the exchange of things but also freezes the relations between them within visual and conceptual still images. Things articulate themselves within the documentary forms, but documentary forms also articulate things. And it is also obvious, how Benjamins

politics of translation functions with regard to the documentary image. In documentary articulations, things can either be treated as objects, as evidence for human plots, or they can be subjected to the language of judgement and thus overruled. I have once referred to this condition as documentality, that is the way in which documents govern and are implicated in creating power/knowledge. Or else, the forces, which organise the relationships between them, can be channelled in view of their transformation. The documentary form can also let itself be seduced and even overwhelmed by the magic of the language of things although we will see, that this is not necessarily a good idea. But basically, this is how the relation between potestas and potentia is articulated within the documentary form. It is the relationship of productivity vs. verification, of the asignifying vs. the signified, of material reality vs. their idealist interpretation. But let me make one thing very clear: to engage in the language of things in the realm of the documentary form is not equivalent to using realist forms in representing them. It is not about representation at all, but about actualising whatever the things have to say in the present. And to do so is not a matter of realism, but rather of relationalism - it is a matter of presencing and thus transforming the social, historical and also material relations, which determine things. And if we focus on this aspect of presencing instead of representation, we also leave behind the endless debate about representation, which has left documentary theory stuck in a dead end.

The power of things But why, you may ask, is Benjamin so in love with the language of things in the first place? Why should anything that things have to say be so special? Lets simply disregard the reason, which Benjamin himself gives in his text: that the word of God shines forth through the mute magic of things. While this may sound poetical, it is rather an expression of Benjamins pompous perplexity, then a convincing case. Lets instead remember the role that material objects took on in Benjamins thought later on, when he started deciphering modernity mainly by sifting through the wake of trash it left behind. Modest and even abject objects became hieroglyphs in whose dark prism the social relations lay congealed and in fragments. They were understood as nodes, in which the tensions of a historical moment materialised in a flash of awareness or grotesquely twisted into the commodity fetish. In this perspective, a thing is never just something, but a fossil in which a constellation of forces is petrified. According to Benjamin, things are never just inert objects, passive items or lifeless shucks at the disposal of the documentary gaze. But they consist of tensions, forces, hidden powers, which keep being exchanged. While this opinion borders on magical thought, according to which things are invested with supernatural powers, it is also a classical materialist one. Because the commodity, too, is not understood as a simple object, but a condensation of social forces. Thus things can be interpreted as conglomerates of desires, wishes, intensities and power relations. And a thing language,

which is thus charged with the energy of matter can also exceed description and become productive. It can move beyond representation and become creative in the sense of a transformation of the relations, which define it. While Benjamin seems to hope for this kind of event, he also foresees a darker possibility of its realisation, which he calls conjuration.1 If there is so to speak a white magic of things, bristling with creativity and power, there is also a black one, charged with the dark powers of the taboo, illusion and the fetish. The power of conjuration tries to tap into the forces of things without proper reflection, or as Benjamin calls it: without interruption by the inexpressive.2 And it is on these unmediated and uninterrupted chaotic powers, that capitalist commodification and general resentment thrives. And to come back to the documentary mode in which those forces of conjuration can be unleashed by as well: propaganda, revisionism and relativism are all examples, of how conjuration that is creativity without reflexive interruption - functions within the documentary form. They engage with the forces of resentment, hysteria, individual interest and fear, which are all powerful, unmediated urges. But they do so to speak without proper translation, and thus contaminate all modes of communication with their malignant drive.

to documentarism? But there is also an external aspect, which is relevant for the discussion of the documentary form as translation. And this aspect addresses the documentary form as an example of a transnational language of practice. Because, although the documentary form is based on translation, in a sense it also seems to have moved beyond translation. Its standard narratives are recognised all over the world and its forms are almost independent of national of cultural difference. Precisely because they operate so closely on material reality, they are intelligible wherever this reality is relevant. This aspect was recognised as early as the 20es, when Dziga Vertov euphorically praised the qualities of the documentary form. In the preface of his film The man with the movie camera he proclaimed, that documentary forms were able to organise visible facts in a truly international absolute language, which could establish an optical connection between the workers of the world. He imagines a sort of communist visual adamic language, which should not only inform or entertain, but also organise its viewers. It would not only transmit messages, but connect ist audience to an universal circulation of energies which literally shot through their nervous systems. By articulating visible facts, Vertov wanted to shortcircuit his audience with the language of things itself, with a pulsating symphony of matter. In a sense, his dream has become true, if only under the rule of global information capitalism. A transnational documentary jargon is now connecting people within global media networks. The standardised

language of newsreels with its economy of attention based on fear, the racing time of flexible production, and hysteria is as fluid and affective, as immediate and biopolitical as Vertov could have imagined. It creates global public spheres whose participants are linked almost in a physical sense by mutual excitement and anxiety. Thus the documentary form is now more potent then ever, and in a sense precisely because it conjures up the most spectacular aspects of the language of things and amplifies their power. At this point I would like to come back to the cautious remark made earlier: to tap into the language of things is not always a good idea and its potential is not necessarily a potential for emancipation. The asignificant flows of compressed information translate without interruption and reflection. Their forms completely ignore the different languages of things. If they are not culturally specific, they are not specific to different material realities and practices either. They only translate the requirements of corporate and national media machines. But does this form of documentary translation have any other political potential then the one for propaganda and product placement? Yes, and here we are back to the point of the beginning. The documentary form is no national language and not culturally specific either. Thus it is able to sustain non-national public spheres and therefore also the seeds for a political arena beyond national and cultural formations. But at the moment this sphere is entirely controlled by the dynamics of a general privatisation. It is as Paolo Virno has recently argued: a non-public public sphere.

The non-public public sphere We have seen several modes of how an internal politics of the translation affects the documentary form. How do humans relate to things? What does creativity mean in this regard? And why is it not necessarily a good idea, when it comes

But this does not necessarily have to be the case. And we see in experimental documentary production, that different relations to things and the social conditions in which we relate to them are possible. The reason is very simple. The rise of importance of global documentary jargons rests on the material base of information capitalism, which is defined by digitalisation and flexibility. And any documentary form, which really articulates the language of those things, also articulates precisely these conditions, that is the conditions of precarious symbolic production. The new documentary forms of production with home computers and unconventional forms of distribution thus can be understood as articulations, which reveal the outline of new forms of social composition. This form of image production is largely based on digital technology and thus tends to merge more and more with other fields of mass symbolic production. They represent so to speak a negative of a coming public sphere, which has to be developed, in order to become functionable. This form of the public has left behind its entanglement with local and national mythologies and is characterised by similar precarious and often transnational forms of work and production. And the political articulation or social composition of these mostly still dispersed and wildly heterogenous points of view and groups is anticipated in the complex montages and constellations of contemporary documentary experimental forms. But again: their politics are not determined by content but by form. If they just try to mimick the corporate standards of the large capitalist and national affective machines, they will also to a certain

extent take over their politics. As Benjamin would put it: their modes of translation are at once to immediate and not immediate enough. Only if documentary forms translate the incongruities, the inegalities, the rapid change of speed, the disarticulation and dizzying rhythms, the dislocation and the arythmic pulsations of time, if they mortify the vital drives of matter and deaden them by inexpressiveness, will they engage with the contemporary community of matter. Only if this form of translation is being achieved, will the documentary articulation reflect and thus amplify the language of those things, which are dragged across the globe on road to commodification at neck breaking speed or again tossed away and discarded as useless junk. And by reflecting on the conditions of production in which this documentary translation is being achieved, new forms of a-national public spheres and postcapitalist production circuits might emerge. Obviously, whatever I said does not apply only to the documentary form but also to other languages of practice. One might make a similar argument about the practice of curating, which could translate the language of things into aesthetic relationalities. And we have also seen these past decades, how the fetish of the art object has been deconstructed and traced back to social and other relations. But in this field, a cautionary remark applies as well: to simply represent those relations in the art field is not enough. Translating the language of things is not about eliminating objects, nor about inventing collectivities, which are fetishised instead. It is rather about creating unexpected articulations, which do not represent precarious modes of living or the social as such,

but rather about presencing precarious, risky, at once bold and preposterous articulations of objects and their relations, which still could become models for future types of connection. If Benjamins concept of translation could tell us one thing, it is that translation is still deeply political, if we literally put it to practice. Only that we need to shift our attention from its content to its form. We need to shift the focus from the languages of belonging to the language of practice. We should stop to expect that it should tell us about essence but instead about transformation. And we need to remember, that the practice of translation only makes sense, if it leeds to much needed alternative forms of connection, communication, and relations - and not of new ways of innovating culture and nation.


1 Walter Benjamin, " Goethe's Elective Affinities," trans. Stanley Corngold, Selected Writings 1913 - 1926, ed. Marcus Bullock & Michael W. Jennings, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press (Bellknap), 1996, pp. 297 - 360. 2 P., 297

Limbajul lucrurilor

by Hito Steyerl

Cu cine comunic felinarul? Cu muntele? Cu vulpea? Walter Benjamin

Ce-ar fi dac lucrurile ar putea vorbi? Ce ne-ar spune ele atunci? Sau poate c ele vorbesc deja, numai c noi nu le auzim? i cine o s ne traduc spusele lor? ntrebai-l pe Walter Benjamin. De fapt el a nceput s-i pun ntrebrile acestea destul de bizare nc din 1916, ntr-un text intitulat Despre limbaj n genere i despre limbajul omului. Dintre toate textele stranii scrise de Benjamin, acesta este cu siguran cel mai straniu. n el autorul dezvolt conceptul de limbaj al lucrurilor. Dup prerea lui, acest limbaj al lucrurilor e unul mut, e magic, iar mediul lui de propagare e comunitatea material. Astfel, trebuie s presupunem c exist un limbaj al pietrelor, al tigilor i al cutiilor de carton. Lmpile vorbesc ca i cum ar fi locuite de spirite. Munii i vulpile snt implicate n discurs. Cldirile multietajate stau la taclale una cu alta. Picturile brfesc. Pe lng limbajul transmis prin telefon, exist, dac vrei, i un

limbaj al telefonului nsui. i, conform concluziei triumfala a lui Benjamin, nimeni nu este responsabil pentru aceast cacofonie tcut, n afar de Dzeu nsui. V-ai putea ns ntreba: care e sensul acestui scenariu excentric? Haidei s presupunem c sensul e traducerea. E evident c limbajul lucrurilor trebuie tradus, pentru a putea fi neles de aceia dintre noi care snt insensibili la splendoarea lui tcut. Numai c ideea de traducere, aa cum o gndete Benjamin, e un concept complet diferit de cel cu care sntem obinuii. Asta deoarece n toate teoriile traducerii, de la cele mai banale pn la cele mai elaborate, exist un lucru considerat subneles: acela c actul traducerii are loc ntre limbaje umane diferite sau ntre culturile ce se presupune c le adpostesc. Astfel, se consider c limbile reprezint expresiile unor culturi sau naiuni diferite. Combinaia respectiv e etichetat la repezeal drept aspect politic al traducerii i chiar al limbajului n sine. Iar la acest nivel teoria standard a traducerii e ntotdeauna implicat deja n practica politic i n strategiile guvernamentale. ns concepia lui Benjamin asupra traducerii ignor cu ndrzneal aceast caracteristic evident i, poate, banal a traducerii. i astfel apare un concept complet diferit de politic a traducerii. n locul limbilor naionale, care snt menionate doar pasager n text, el se concentreaz pe ceea ce a numi aici limbaje ale practicii: limbajul legii, al tehnologiei, al artei, limbajul muzicii i al sculpturii. i nc ceva, mult mai important: traducerea nu are loc ntre ele, ci n interiorul lor. Adic ntre limbajul lucrurilor i limbajul oamenilor, la baza limbajului nsui. Se introduc astfel cteva modificri impor-

tante la teoria tradiional a traducerii. Mai nti limbajul nu este definit de comunitatea de origine, apartenen sau naiune, ci de practica sa comun. n al doilea rnd traducerea are loc n principal n interiorul limbii, nu ntre limbi. Iar n alt treilea rnd traducerea se refer la raportul dintre limbajul uman i limbajul lucrurilor. De vreme ce Benjamin cunotea foarte bine teoriile romantice ale traducerii, ce se concentrau pe concepte precum spiritul naional, ignorana lui simulat a fost considerat n acel moment mai degrab o declaraie politic ndrznea. Este o afirmare sfidtoare a irelevanei abordrilor culturaliste. n loc s se refere la naiuni i culturi, perspectiva sa asupra traducerii adopt drept puncte de referin principale materia i pe Dumnezeu. Iar acest concept teologico-material de traducere deplaseaz radical definiia unei politici a traducerii. Ea nu se mai nvrte n jurul conceptelor organiciste de comunitate i cultur, ci plaseaz tranant traducerea n miezul unei ntrebri practice mult mai generale: cum se raporteaz oamenii la lume? n locul unei politici a coninutului original - cum ar fi statul-naiune, cultura, Volkgeist-ul sau limba naional -, Benjamin susine o politic a formei. Iar forma va hotr politica limbajului.

Potestas i potentia ns care anume snt procesele politice implicate n acest tip de traducere? Haidei s-o cercetm mai ndeaproape. n cadrul respectivului proces snt puse n legtur dou limbaje. n opinia lui Benjamin, limbajul lucrurilor este n mod inerent un limbaj productiv,


deoarece conine o rmi din cuvntul Domnului, cel care a creat lumea prin cuvnt. Pe de cealalt parte avem limbajul uman, care poate fie s recepioneze, s amplifice i s articuleze acest limbaj numind lucrurile, fie s clasifice, s categorizeze, s stabileasc i s identifice componentele sale prin ceea ce Benjamin numete limbajul judecii. Dac ar trebui s judecm aceast alturare n lumina dezbaterilor mai recente, am putea spune i c traducerea poate avea loc n interiorul a dou sfere diferite, cunoscute sub numele de putere i for - sau, mai preios, potestas i potentia. Cum limbajul lucrurilor este ncrcat de potenial, limbajul oamenilor poate ncerca fie s se cupleze la acest potenial, fie s devin un instrument al forei. i astfel traducerea are loc concomitent n modul creaiei i n cel al forei, iar de obicei ambele moduri snt combinate unul cu altul. i astfel politica se desfoar n formele n care are loc traducerea ntre limbajul lucrurilor i limbajul oamenilor. n cel mai ru caz, aceast relaie poate lua forma unei dictaturi epistemologice. Faptul c oamenii au hotrt s stpneasc lucrurile i s le ignore mesajul a dus la dezastru n Babilon. Dac ncepem s le ascultm iar, ar nsemna s facem un prim pas nainte n vederea crerii unui limbaj comun, care s nu-i aib rdcinile n presupoziia ipocrit a unitii omenirii, ci a unei comuniti materiale mult mai generale. n acest caz traducerea nu reduce la tcere limbajul lucrurilor, ci i amplific potenialul de schimbare. Este limpede acum c, din aceast perspectiv, traducerea este extrem de politic, deoarece se refer

direct la problemele puterii din interiorul formrii limbajului. Ea este interesat de raporturile oamenilor cu lumea ca ntreg. Se ocup de apariia practicii i a limbajelor ce i corespund acesteia. Astfel, Benjamin leag traducerea direct de putere - uitndu-se la forma traducerii, nu la coninutul ei. Respectiva form de traducere va decide dac i n ce mod limbajul lucrurilor, cu forele i energiile implicite lui i cu puterile lui productive, este sau nu supus schemelor de putere/ cunoatere ale formelor umane de guvernare. Ea decide dac limbajul uman creeaz subiecte stpnitoare i obiecte supuse sau dac se confrunt cu energiile lumii materiale. Dei s-ar putea ca asta s par ceva complet nepractic, lucrurile stau exact invers. Am putea spune chiar c majoritatea aciunilor umane snt implicate constant n acest proces de traducere. Dai-mi voie s v prezint un exemplu foarte clar de traducere de acest gen, din limbajul lucrurilor n cel al oamenilor. Este un exemplu de form documentar.

Forma documentar ca traducere O imagine documentar traduce n mod evident limbajul lucrurilor n limbajul oamenilor. Pe de o parte ea este ancorat puternic n trmul realitii materiale. Ea particip ns i la limbajul oamenilor, mai ales la limbajul judecii, care obiectiveaz lucrul ntr-o ntrebare, i stabilete nelesul i elaboreaz categorii stabile de cunoatere pentru a-l nelege. Este pe jumtate vizual, pe jumtate vocal, este concomitent receptiv i productiv, interogativ i explicativ, particip la schimbul de lucruri, dar n acelai timp nghea raporturile dintre ele n interiorul

imaginilor statice vizual i conceptual. Lucrurile se structureaz nuntrul formelor documentare, ns formele documentare structureaz i ele lucruri. Este de asemenea limpede cum funcioneaz politica traducerii lui Benjamin n ceea ce privete imaginea documentar. n exprimrile documentare lucrurile pot fi tratate fie ca obiecte, ca mrturii ale planurilor oamenilor, fie pot fi supuse limbajului judecii i, astfel, luate n stpnire. Am numit odat aceast condiie documentalitate, adic maniera n care documentele controleaz crearea puterii/cunoaterii i se implic n proces. O alt posibilitate este aceea ca forele, care organizeaz raporturile dintre ele, s fie canalizate n vederea transformrii lor. De asemenea, forma documentar se poate lsa sedus sau chiar copleit de vraja limbajului lucrurilor - dei, dup cum vom vedea, aceasta nu e neaprat o idee bun. Dar, n esen, n modul acesta se articuleaz raportul dintre potestas i potentia n cadrul formei documentare. Este vorba de raportul de tipul productivitate vs. verificare, nesemnificant vs. semnificant, realitate material vs. interpretarea lor idealist. Dar un lucru trebuie neles foarte limpede: utilizarea limbajului lucrurilor pe teritoriul formei documentare nu este totuna cu folosirea formelor realiste pentru reprezentarea lor. Aici nu e deloc vorba de reprezentare, ci de actualizarea a tot ceea ce au de zis lucrurile n prezent. Iar o asemenea aciune nu ine de realism, ci mai degrab de relaionare - e o problem de prezen i, astfel, de transformare a relaiilor sociale, istorice, dar i materiale, care influeneaz lucrurile. Iar dac ne concentrm mai degrab pe acest aspect al

prezenei, nu pe cel al reprezentrii, depim i nesfrita polemic asupra reprezentrii, care a blocat teoria documentar ntr-un punct mort.

Puterea lucrurilor V-ai putea ntreba ns n primul rnd de ce Benjamin e att de ataat de limbajul lucrurilor. De ce spusele lucrurilor acelea ar fi att de importante? Haidei s lsm deoparte argumentul pe care l ofer Benjamin nsui n text: acela c n vraja mut a lucrurilor strlucete cuvntul lui Dumnezeu. Dei sun poetic, e mai degrab o expresie a perplexitii pompoase a lui Benjamin i abia apoi o explicaie convingtoare. S ne amintim n schimb rolul pe care l capt obiectele materiale n gndirea lui Benjamin ceva mai trziu, cnd el ncepe s decodifice modernitatea n principal prin filtrarea gunoaielor rmase n urma ei. Obiecte modeste i chiar mizerabile devin hieroglife n a cror prism ntunecat raporturile sociale zac congelate i fragmentate. Ele snt nelese ca noduri n care tensiunile unui moment istoric se materializeaz ntr-o strfulgerare a contiinei sau iau forma grotesc a unui bun de consum fetiizat. Din aceast perspectiv un lucru nu e niciodat doar ceva, ci o fosil n care zac pietrificate o constelaie de fore. n opinia lui Benjamin, lucrurile nu snt niciodat doar nite obiecte inerte, nite articole pasive sau nite cochilii moarte, aflate la dispoziia privirii documentare. Ele snt constituite din tensiuni, fore i puteri ascunse, pe care le schimb permanent ntre ele. Dei convingerea aceasta are atingere cu gndirea magic, conform creia lucrurile snt investite cu

puteri supranaturale, ea este n egal msur i una materialist clasic, deoarece nici marfa, bunul de consum, nu e neles ca un simplu obiect, ci ca o concentrare de fore sociale. Aadar, lucrurile pot fi considerate nite conglomerate de dorine, nzuine, concentraii i raporturi de putere. Iar un limbaj obiect, care e ncrcat cu energia materiei, poate fi mai puternic dect descrierea, devenind astfel productiv. El poate trece dincolo de reprezentare i poate deveni creativ n sensul transformrii raporturilor care l definesc. Benjamin pare s spere n apariia unui astfel de eveniment, ns, pe de alt parte, prevede i o variant mai sumbr a realizrii acestuia, pe care o numete invocaie.1 Dac exist, ca s zicem aa, o magie alb a lucrurilor, doldora de creativitate i de putere, exist i una neagr, ncrcat de puterile ntunecate ale tabuului, iluziei i fetiului. Puterea invocaiei ncearc s se conecteze la forele lucrurilor fr s stea i s cumpneasc sau, cum spune Benjamin, fr s se lase nfrnat de inexpresivitate.2 i exact graie acestor puteri haotice, nenfrnate i nemediate, prosper obiectificarea capitalist i resentimentul generalizat. i - pentru a reveni la zona documentar, unde aceste fore ale invocaiei pot fi dezlnuite la fel de bine - propaganda, revizionismul i relativismul snt toate exemple ale modului n care invocaia (deci creativitatea fr nfrnarea reflexiv) funcioneaz nuntrul formei documentare. Ele se asociaz cu forele resentimentului, ale isteriei, ale interesului individual i ale fricii, care snt toate porniri puternice i nemediate. ns ele fac asta pentru a vorbi fr o traducere adecvat, contaminnd astfel toate modurile de comunicare cu energia lor malign.

Sfera public non-public Am enumerat cteva moduri prin care o politic intern a traducerii influeneaz forma documentar. Cum se raporteaz oamenii la lucruri? Ce nseamn creativitatea din aceast perspectiv? i de ce nu e neaprat o idee bun n cazul documentarismului? ns mai exist i un aspect extern, care e relevant pentru discuia asupra formei documentare ca traducere. Iar acest aspect se refer la forma documentar ca la un exemplu de limbaj transnaional al practicii. Asta deoarece, dei forma documentar se bazeaz pe traducere, ntr-un anumit sens ea pare s fi trecut dincolo de traducere. Naraiunile sale standard snt recunoscute pe tot globul, iar formele sale snt aproape independente de diferenele culturale sau naionale. i tocmai pentru c acioneaz att de aproape de realitatea material, ele snt inteligibile oriunde aceast realitate este relevant. Acest aspect a fost observat nc din anii 1920, cnd Dziga Vertov a elogiat plin de avnt calitile formei documentare. n prefaa la filmul su Omul cu aparatul de filmat (The Man with the Movie Camera) acesta declar c formele documentare pot s structureze faptele vizibile ntr-un limbaj perfect i cu adevrat internaional, ce ar putea crea o conexiune optic ntre muncitorii planetei. El imagineaz un gen de limbaj adamic vizual comunist, care nu se limiteaz s informeze sau s distreze, ci i i organizeaz privitorii. Acest limbaj nu s-ar mrgini s transmit mesaje, ci i-ar conecta spectatorii la un sistem universal de circulaie a energiilor, care ar fi injectate direct n sistemele lor nervoase. Vertov vrea ca, prin transmiterea coerent a unor fapte vizibile, s i scurtcircuiteze publicul folosind chiar

limbajul lucrurilor, ntr-o simfonie vibrant a materiei. ntr-un anumit sens, visul lui a devenit realitate, chiar dac sub domnia capitalismului informaional planetar. Un jargon documentaristic transnaional i conecteaz azi pe oameni prin intermediul reelelor mediatice globale. Limbajul standardizat al jurnalelor de tiri, cu un sistem de partajare a ateniei, concentrat pe team, isterie i pe timpul accelerat al produciei flexibile, este la fel de fluid, de emoional i de imediat i biopolitic cum i l-ar fi imaginat i Vertov. El creeaz sfere publice globale, ai cror participani snt legai - aproape n sens fizic - de un sentiment reciproc de team i excitare. Astfel forma documentar este mai plin de putere ca niciodat i, ntr-un anumit sens, tocmai pentru c invoc aspectele cele mai spectaculoase ale limbajului lucrurilor i le amplific puterea. n acest punct a vrea s revin la remarca precaut fcut mai sus: a ncerca s te conectezi la limbajul lucrurilor nu e ntotdeauna o idee bun, iar potenialul su nu e neaprat un potenial de emancipare. Fluxurile nesemnificante de informaie comprimat se traduc fr nfrnare i fr reflecie. Formele lor ignor complet diversele limbaje ale lucrurilor. Ele nu au un specific cultural, dar nu snt specifice nici diverselor realiti i practici materiale. Ele doar traduc cerinele impuse de mainriile mediatice corporatiste i naionale. Dar aceast form de traducere documentar are vreun alt potenial politic, n afar de cel de propagand i de vnzare de produse? Da, are - iar aici ne ntoarcem de unde am plecat. Forma documentar nu este un limbaj naional i nu are nici o specificitate cultural. Prin urmare, ea poate s sprijine sferele pub-

lice non-naionale i, pe cale de consecin, poate semna smburii unei arene politice n afara cadrelor naionale i a modelelor culturale. Numai c n prezent aceast sfer este controlat integral de dinamica privatizrii generalizate. Este exact aa cum a numit-o recent Paolo Virno: o sfer public nonpublic. ns lucrurile nu trebuie s stea neaprat aa. i am vzut n producia de documentare experimentale c diversele relaii cu lucrurile i condiiile sociale n care ne raportm la ele snt posibile. Motivul e unul foarte simplu. Sporirea importanei pe care o au jargoanele globale ale documentarelor se sprijin pe baza material a capitalismului informaional, care e definit prin digitalizare i flexibilitate. Iar orice form documentar care exprim cu adevrat limbajul acelor lucruri exprim cu precizie i condiiile respective, condiiile produciei simbolice precare. Astfel, noile forme de producie documentare, cu computere personale i moduri neconvenionale de distribuie, pot fi nelese ca forme de articulare ce dezvluie conturul noilor forme de structurare social. Aceast form de producie a imaginii se bazeaz n mare msur pe tehnologia digital, aa c tinde s se amestece din ce n ce mai mult cu alte domenii ale produciei simbolice de mas. Respectivele forme reprezint, ca s spunem aa, un negativ al unei sfere publice viitoare, care trebuie dezvoltat pentru a deveni funcional. Acest model de public a lsat n urm tribulaiile sale cu mitologiile naionale i locale i este caracterizat prin forme de munc i de producie la fel de precare i, adesea, transnaionale. Iar modul de exprimare politic sau structura social a acestor grupuri i perspective, n mare

parte nc dispersate i teribil de eterogene, snt anticipate de montajele complexe i constelaiile de forme documentare experimentale de astzi. ns, repet, politicile lor nu snt determinate de coninut, ci de form. Dac vor ncerca doar s imite standardele corporatiste ale masivelor mainrii de emoii capitaliste i naionale, vor ajunge s preia ntr-o anumit msur i politicile lor. Sau, cum ar spune Benjamin: modurile lor de traducere snt, concomitent, imediate i nu suficient de imediate. Formele documentare ar putea s devin parte a comunitii de materie contemporane numai dac vor traduce incompatibilitile, inegalitile, rapidele schimbri de vitez, dezarticularea i ritmurile buimcitoare, dislocarea i pulsaiile aritmice ale timpului i numai dac vor bloca impulsurile vitale ale materiei i le vor amui prin inexpresivitate. Doar dac se ajunge la aceast form de traducere, expresia documentar va reflecta i, n consecin, va amplifica limbajul acestor lucruri, care snt trte pe tot ntinsul globului, cu o vitez ameitoare, n drumul spre obiectificare, sau snt iari aruncate i prsite, devenind gunoaie inutile. Iar n urma refleciei asupra condiiilor de producie n care se realizeaz traducerea aceasta documentar, ar putea aprea noi forme de sfere publice i de circuite de producie postcapitaliste nonnaionale. Evident c tot ce spun aici nu se aplic numai la forma documentar, ci i la celelalte limbaje ale practicii. S-ar putea dezvolta o argumentaie similar asupra practicii curatoriale, care poate traduce limbajul lucrurilor n moduri estetice de relaionare. Iar n ultimele cteva decenii am vzut cum fetiul obiectului artistic a fost deconstruit i i s-au analizat

retrospectiv raporturile de tip social i de alte genuri. ns n acest domeniu e valabil i o remarc cu caracter de avertisment: nu e suficient s reprezentm pur i simplu acele raporturi ale obiectului artistic. Traducerea limbajului lucrurilor nu are legtur cu eliminarea obiectelor i nici cu inventarea colectivitilor fetiizate n locul acestora. Ea e legat mai degrab de elaborarea unor forme de articulare surprinztoare, care s nu reprezinte moduri de via precare sau socialul ca atare, ci mai degrab s prezinte articulri ale obiectelor i ale relaiilor acestora care s fie precare, riscante, ndrznee i, n acelai timp, revolttoare i care s poat totui deveni modele ale unor viitoare tipuri de conexiune. Dac din concepia lui Benjamin despre traducere putem afla ceva, atunci acel ceva e faptul c traducerea e n continuare o activitate profund politic dac o punem n practic literal. Doar c trebuie s ne mutm atenia de la coninutul la forma acesteia. Trebuie s ne deplasm centrul de interes de la limbajele apartenenei la limbajul practicii. Ar trebui s nu mai ateptm ca ea s ne vorbeasc despre esen, ci despre transformare. i trebuie s ne amintim c practica traducerii are sens doar dac ne conduce la extrem de necesarele forme alternative de conexiune, comunicare i relaionare, nu la noi moduri de nnoire a culturii i naiunii.
Note: 1. Walter Benjamin, Goethe's Elective Affinities, n Selected Writings 1913 - 1926, coord. Marcus Bullock i Michael W. Jennings, trad. n engl. Stanley Corngold, Harvard University Press (Bellknap), Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1996, pp. 297-360. 2. Ibidem, p. 297.

What we produce is always way ahead of what we think

tinent in this process and, especially, what is it used for? entering in a brand new context, the influx of new stimuli that can always become old, isolation from an already known system. participation, detrimental to a piece of reflection, means assumability. otherwise we fail. The ethics of failure is a norm for the limits of thinking, another way of manifesting the extreme nomadism. The tragic knowledge; to be able to see and yet not to see further. There will always be a "further" and a "closer" you won't be able to perceive otherwise, but as you suppose they are, as you think they are there, somewhere, and you know, as a final certainty, that you can't reach them. And the horizon shows itself, and you are chasing it, while finding merely other new and newer definitions. Always further. Forever. The ethics of failure is a way of surviving as nomad. It is the impetus of your existence; it is the haunting through forgotten or too present times and spaces, so recent that you cannot even name them yet. The ethics of failure is a closure you conclude with, a hypothesis you start with. It is the realization of the infinite limits and of an infinite limited strictly to the present experience. It is a certainty that has to hang over you, as a looming, inevitable danger whose moment of arrival is unknown to you. You have to keep always with you a trace of doubt, the certainty of doubt, the certainty of your nomadism. The ethics of failure is a moral of the things that have to be avoided, of those that have not to be avoided, and of those

that cannot be avoided. It is a moral of designing, of cropping the inner labyrinth. Traps you are setting for yourself, dead ends you can't get out of, sharp edges you are sticking into, turns where you don't know what you are going to see behind, precipices you throw yourself in, roots you stumble against (you pick them up), footprints you have to follow, abysses you are staying above in a fleeting balance, terrific chasms, cliffs you try to hang on, so as to fall towards the sky, parallel universes, extinct beasts that are devouring you, all the peoples bestiaries, creatures out of smoke and fairy tales, rocks that hurt you, mires you sink into, branches you hang on to, peaks you stick into, twirling over the whirlpool, giants from the legends of the future worlds, crushing your body at your slightest mistake,momentary illusions, lifetime illusions, hatches hidden under silk veils, thickets you are cutting your way through while wrenching off with your own hands the roots that are growing endlessly, penetrating your body, liana curling over your body, dragging you back and forth, fires bursting under your soles, hot liquids melting your minds and thought, sticky substances that won't let you step further, brisk waterfalls that freeze your guts in glass steams, matter that swallows you, earth wanting you, sky rejecting you, all the good and evil of the world in one word, ideals and longings, delusions and new ideas, ideas and new delusions, continuous escape inside you, momentary desires crumbling down as some illusory castles in the sand of the old times memory, time leaking on the frozen back of a Venus de Milo, unreal and fantastic, artificial paradises and temporary hells, penitences and recollections, delirium of

by Eugen Rdescu

what we produce is always way ahead of what we think, Karl Marx said.

without being a Marxist or even savoring his theology, I cannot but agree with this statement. we produce before thinking. we produce thinking even before we think. the material elements are produced as a result of an adjacent function of thinking, but not by the thinking itself. production/ participation are a priori. no more traditionalist attitudes, no more undermining of the infrastructure, no more noncompetitive superstructures. infrastructure = the structuralism of the society and its forces of production superstructure = the social sphere of the ideology, that comprises religion, art, politics, legislation, tradition (Marx). tension can create a possibility. tension of existing without possibility. there is a meaning of pressure that indistinctly denotes the superb value of the participation. which is the proper meaning of a participation? what becomes per-


the reality you are only remembering moment by moment, deluding yourself with words, lying yourself in words, with words, without words, verbs freezing between the parentheses of abstraction, logics erasing your own reality right in front of you face, dialectic that drowns you slowly, effortlessly suffocating you, letting you breathe your own air, excesses and reasons, useless heroism and rapturous weariness, katharsis that isnt self-contained, walls tightening around you in dizzying circles, and all you can do is to drain yourself among the rigorous rocks, toward the next circle, chaoses and worlds perishing after one eyes bat, unseen sides of the things, abysses barely suspected with the inner eyes, permanently closed drawers, terraces under the sun and underground caves, the search for a later support, for a further support, benchmarks you clumsily stumble upon, papers with burned edges, always a new stage, and more, and more, you think you are a rocket and youre nothing but a satellite around a point, deficient lung, pandemonia of dreams, pandemonia of desire, doors that will never open for you, doors you will never know about, miraculous guides and unique places, virtual paradises, hallways you could walk on forever, chaos of the primality of unspeakable words, of unthinkable words, edges meeting each other somewhere at the end, margins you are slipping on when without even realizing it, smells of subterranean herbs, the ether in a vial, trees in an outer scenery, Dionysian music harassing you, muses stalking you everywhere, lent Orphei on the lakeshore, falsified Gods who don't believe in themselves anymore, time elevating you and crushing you afterwards, Minotaurs and the eter[310]

nal labourers of the alternative infernos, everything and nothing, now and never, here and nowhere, nomadism pushed to the papers limits of endurance, freedom that never let you stop, never let you put an end to it, never We offer the chance of the un-failures. we actively join in the creation of the contexts allowing us to take action and to take part. the public sphere issues the necessary key factors for this process all we need now is the wish.


ntotdeauna ceea ce producem este cu mult nainte de ceea ce gndim

de Eugen Rdescu

ntotdeauna ceea ce producem este cu mult nainte de ceea ce gndim, spunea Karl Marx.

fr a fi un marxist, i fr mcar ai gusta teologia nu pot s nu fiu de acord cu acest propoziie. producem naintea gndirii. producem gndire chiar nainte de a gndi. elementele materiale sunt produse ca urmare a unei funcii adiacente a gndirii, dar nu de ea nsi. producerea/participarea sunt apriori. la o parte cu atitudinile tradiionale, gata cu subminarea infrastructurii, la o parte cu suprastructurile necompetitive. infrastructura = structuralismul societii i forele sale de producie suprastructura = sfera social a ideologiei care include religia, arta, politica, legislaia, tradiia (Marx) tensiunea poate crea o posibilitate. tensiunea de a exista fr posibilitate. exista un sens al tensiunii care denot, vag, superba valoare a participrii. care este sensul adecvat al unei participri? ce devine relevant n acest proces i, mai ales, la ce folosete? ptrunderea ntr-un context eminamente nou, influxul de noi stimuli ce pot deveni oricnd vechi, izolarea fa de un sistem deja cunoscut. participarea, n detrimentul unei doze de reflexivitate, nseamn asumare. altfel, ne ratm. Etica ratrii e o norm a limitelor gndirii, un alt mod de manifestare a nomadismului extrem. Cunoaterea tragic, s poi vedea i totui s nu vezi mai departe. Oricnd va exista un "mai departe", un "mai aproape" pe care nu le vei putea percepe altfel dect aa cum le bnuieti, cum doar crezi c sunt acolo, undeva, i tii, o ultim certitudine, c nu poi ajunge la ele. i se arat ori-

zontul, i alergi dupa el, gsind doar, noi i noi, alte definiii. Mereu mai departe. La infinit. Etica ratrii e un mod de a-i supravieui ca nomad. E motorul existenei tale, e bntuirea prin spaii i timpuri uitate sau prea prezente, att de recente nct nici nu le poi numi, nc. Etica ratrii e o concluzie cu care inchei, o ipotez cu care ncepi. E realizarea limitelor infinite i a infinitului strict limitat la experiena prezent. E o certitudine care trebuie s planeze asupra ta, ca un iminent i de ne-evitat pericol ce nu tii cnd va veni. Trebuie s-i pstrezi mereu asupra ta o urm de ndoial, certitudinea ndoielii, certitudinea nomadismului tu. Etica ratrii e o moral a lucrurilor ce trebuie evitate, a celor ce nu trebuie evitate, i a celor ce nu pot fi evitate. O moral a desenrii, a decuprii labirintului interior. Capcane pe care i le ntinzi, fundturi din care nu poi iei, coluri ascuite n care te nfigi, ziduri de care te izbeti, coturi n spatele crora nu tii ce te ateapt, prpstii n care te arunci, rdcini in care te mpiedici (le culegi), urme pe care trebuie s calci, abisuri deasupra crora stai ntr-un echilibru de-o clip, genuni inspimnttoare, stnci de care ncerci s te agi pentru a cdea nspre cer, lumi paralele, animale disprute ce te devoreaz, bestiarele tuturor popoarelor, creaturi de basm i de fum, pietre n care te loveti, noroiuri n care te afunzi, crengi de care te agi, vrfuri n care te nfigi, rsucindu-te deasupra vltoarei, uriai din legendele lumilor viitoare ce-i zdrobesc trupul la cea mai mic greeal, iluzii de-o clip, iluzii de-o via, trape ascunse sub valuri de mtase, hiuri n care-i croieti drumul smulgnd cu minile rdcini ce cresc mereu, ptrunzndu-i n trup, liane ce i se ncolcesc pe trup, ce te trag napoi i te trsc nainte, focuri ce-i izbucnesc de sub tlpi, lichide fierbini ce-i topesc minile i gndul, substane cleioase ce nu te mai las s faci nici un pas, cascade rapide ce-i nghea curajul n aburi de sticl, materie ce te nghite, pmnt ce te vrea i cer ce te refuz, tot binele i rul lumii ntr-un cuvnt, idealuri i aspiraii, amgiri i idei noi, idei i amgiri noi, evadare continu n tine, dorine de-o secund ce se nruie ca ireale

castele n nisipul memoriei de altdat, timp ce se scurge pe spatele ngheat al unei Venus din Milo, ireal i fantastic, paradisuri artificiale i iaduri de moment, penitene i amintiri, delir al realitii pe care nu faci dect s i-o aminteti clip de clip, amgindu-te cu vorbe, minindu-te n cuvinte, cu cuvinte, fr cuvinte, verbe ce nghea ntre parantezele abstraciei, logica ce-i anuleaz n fa propria realitate, dialectica ce te neac ncet, sufocndu-te fr efort, lsndu-te s-i respiri singur aerul, excese i raiuni, eroism inutil i blazare extatic, katharsis ce nu-i ajunge siei, perei ce se strng n jurul tu n cercuri ameitoare, i nu-i rmne dect s te scurgi printre pietrele riguroase nspre cercul urmtor, haosuri i lumi ce pier dup doar o clipire a ochiului, fee nevzute ale lucrurilor, abisuri abia bnuite cu ochii minii, sertare mereu nchise, terase sub soare i grote subterane, cutarea unui sprijin pentru mai tirziu, pentru mai departe, repere de care ajungi s te mpiedici stngaci, hrtii cu margini arse, mereu o nou etap, i nc, i nc, te crezi o rachet i nu eti dect un satelit n jurul unui punct, plmn insuficient, bolii visate, tnjite, ui la care nu i se va deshide niciodat, ui de care nu vei ti niciodat, cluze miraculoase i locuri nemaintlnite, paradisuri virtuale, culoare pe care mergi la nesfirit, haos al primordialitii cuvintelor de nerostit, de negndit, coluri ce se ntlnesc la capt, undeva, margini de pe care aluneci cnd nici nu-i dai seama, mirosuri de ierburi subpmntene, eterul ntrun flacon, copaci dintr-o natur exterioar, muzici dionisiace care nu-i dau pace, muze ce te urmresc peste tot, orfei de mprumut pe marginea lacului, dumnezei falsificai ce nu-i mai cred lor nilor, timp ce te strivete, dup ce te nal, minotauri i eternii truditori ai infernurilor alternative, totul i nimic, acum i niciodat, aici i niciunde, nomadism mpins la limitele rezistenei hrtiei, libertate ce nu te las s te opreti, s pui punct, niciodat Oferim ans neratrilor. participm activ la crearea contextelor care s ne permit s acionm i s participm. sfera public emite prghiile necesare acestui proces tot ce ne mai trebuie este dorina.


Notes for a Declaration of the Rights and Responsibilities of Story-Tellers

not an artist. The story-teller is an artisan of narration.

RIGHTS A story-teller that complies with the responsibility to refute the stereotypes cited above has the right to be left in peace by those that earn their daily bread by spreading those same stereotypes (society columnists, cultural gobetweens, etc etc...). Any strategy of defense against intrusions should be based on not supporting this logic. Whoever wants to act as a star, posing in absurd photography sessions or responding to questions on any issue, has no right to lament the intrusion. Story-tellers have the right not to appear in the media. If a plumber decides not to appear, no one throws it in his face or accuse him of being a snob. Story-tellers have the right not to convert themselves into trained animals in a media cage, objects of literary gossip. Story-tellers have the right not to respond to questions that they consider as not pertinent (private life, sexual or gastronomic preferences...). Story-tellers have the right not to feign expertise on any material. Story-tellers have the right to use civil disobedience to oppose the pretensions of those (publishers included) who want to de- prive them of their rights.

RESPONSIBILITIES Story-tellers have the responsibility of not believing themselves superior to their fellow humans. Any concession to the obsolete idealist and romantic image of the story-teller as a more sensitive creature, in contact with a more elevated dimension of being (even when writing about absolutely quotidian banalities) is illegitimate. At bottom, the most ridiculous and comical as- pects of the business of writing are based on a degraded version of the myth of the artist, which converts the artist into a star because he is believed to be somehow superior to common mortals, less wretched, more interesting and sincere in a certain heroic sense, since he endures the torments of creation. The stereotype of the tortured and tormented artist rouses greater interest in the media and has greater weight of opinion than the labor of those who clean septic tanks. This proves the degree to which the present scale of values is distorted. The story-teller has the responsibility to not confuse fabulation, the story-tellers principle mission, with an excess of obsessive autobiography and narcissistic ostentation. Renouncing these attitudes permits the story-teller to save the authenticity of the moment, to have a life instead of a character to interpret compulsively.

by Wu Ming

PREAMBLE Who is a story-teller and what are a story-tellers rights and responsibilities? A story-teller is someone who tells stories and re-elaborates myths, i.e. stories with symbolic referents shared - or at least known, or even put into question - by a community. To tell stories is a fundamental activity for any community. We all tell stories, without stories we would not be conscious of our past nor of our relations with our neighbors. Quality of life would not exist. But story-tellers make telling stories their activity, their specialization; it is like the difference between the hobby of DIY repair and the work of a carpenter. The story-teller recovers - or should recover - a social function comparable that of the griot in African villages, the bard in Celtic culture or the poet in the classical Greek world. Telling stories is a peculiar work, that can benefit the one who develops it, but it is always a labor, as integrated into the life of the community as putting out fires, ploughing fields, attending to the disabled ... In other words, the story-teller is

Translated by Nate Holdren & WM1


Note pentru o declararaie a drepturilor i responsabilitilor povestitorilor

aa cum snt stingerea incendiilor, aratul cmpurilor, ngrijirea handicapailor... Cu alte cuvinte, povestitorul nu este un artist. Povestitorul este un artizan al naraiunii.

Drepturi Un povestitor care accept responsabilitatea de a respinge stereotipurile citate mai sus are dreptul s fie lsat n pace de cei care i ctig pinea propagnd exact respectivele stereotipuri (editorialiti de publicaii mondene, misii culturali etc., etc.). Orice strategie de aprare mpotriva imixtiunilor trebuie s se bazeze pe refuzul susinerii logicii respective. Cel ce vrea s devin vedet, s pozeze n edine foto absurde sau s rspund la orice fel de ntrebri, pe orice tem, nu are nici un drept s se plng de imixtiuni. Povestitorii au dreptul s nu apar n spaiul mediatic. Dac un instalator decide s nu fac aa ceva, nimeni nu i bate obrazul i nici nu-l acuz de snobism. Povestitorii au dreptul s nu se transforme n animale dresate dintr-o cuc mediatic sau n obiecte ale brfelor literare. Povestitorii au dreptul s nu rspund la ntrebri pe care nu le consider relevante (despre viaa lor privat, preferinele sexuale sau cele gastromonice...). Povestitorii au dreptul s nu se pretind experi n cazul nici unui material. Povestitorii au dreptul s utilizeze nesupunerea civic pentru a se opune preteniilor tuturor celor care vor s-i deposedeze de drepturile lor (inclusiv editorilor).

Responsabiliti by Wu Ming Povestitorii au responsabilitatea s nu se cread superiori semenilor lor. Orice concesie fcut imaginii nvechite, idealizate i romantice, a povestitorului ca fptur cu o sensibilitate sporit, care e n contact cu o dimensiune superioar a existenei (chiar i atunci cnd scrie despre lucruri cotidiene absolut banale), este nelegitim. n esen, cele mai ridicole i mai caraghioase aspecte ale trudei scrisului se ntemeiaz pe o versiune degradat a mitului artistului, care l transform pe artist ntr-o vedet, pentru c acesta este considerat cumva superior muritorilor de rnd, fiind mai ferit de neans, mai interesant i mai sincer ntr-un sens oarecum eroic, de vreme ce ndur chinurile creaiei. Stereotipul artistului chinuit i frmntat strnete un mare interes n spaiul mediatic i are o greutate de opinie mai mare dect munca celor care cur fose septice. Este o dovad a gradului de distorsiune a scrii de valori existent n prezent. Povestitorul are responsabilitatea de a nu confunda fabulaia - principala sa misiune - cu excesul de autobiografism obsesiv i cu parada narcisist. Renunarea la astfel de atitudini i ofer povestitorului ansa de a pstra autenticitatea momentului i de a avea o via, nu un personaj pe care s-l interpreteze compulsiv.

Preambul Ce este un povestitor i care snt drepturile i responsabilitile povestitorului? Un povestitor este cineva care spune poveti i reformuleaz mituri, adic poveti cu refereni simbolici mprtii - sau cel puin cunoscui sau chiar privii cu reinere - de o comunitate. Povestitul este o activitate fundamental pentru orice comunitate. Toi spunem poveti, cci fr poveti n-am fi contieni de trecutul nostru i nici de raporturile noastre cu vecinii. Calitatea vieii n-ar exista. Dar povestitorii fac din povestit activitatea lor, specializarea lor. E ca i diferena dintre hobby-ul reparaiilor casnice i munca unui dulgher. Povestitorul acoper - sau ar trebui s acopere - o funcie social comparabil cu cea a unui griot (djeli) din satele africa