Giorgio Agamben: What is an Apparatus?

Understanding Empire has a nice little post describing what Agamben means by “apparatus.” Also, the site also provides great resources on U.S. drone attacks throughout the world.

Understanding Empire: Technology, Power, Politics

Before most of these writing notes make it to cutting floor (a process that always makes me shriek a little), I thought I’d post them here. On Agamben’s 2009 “What is an Apparatus” essay (which can be found online).

It’s really an excellent, thought-provoking essay.

For Giorgio Agamben the situation today is clear. Society is overrun with apparatuses that control and dominate the individual subject. Here, apparatus is understood historically: its emergence from the Greek term oikonomia (the management of the home, and later the religious management of the mortal realm) into its Latin translation as Disposito, from which the French term dispotif derives. The significance of this history is that each describes a set of measures designed to control the behaviors and thoughts of human beings—oikonomia became a term common to both Michel Foucault and Martin Heidegger.[i] Foucault uses the term dispotif, from which…

View original post 652 more words