Month: October 2014

Rosi Braidotti on Speculative Realism and Nomadism

In Frieze Magazine here. Her critique focuses on the lack of attention to 70s feminism and Deleuze:

What they don’t see, or don’t want to see – for I certainly think there is some chicanery involved here – is that the switch to Spinoza is a switch to the radical materiality of the body; the entire body thinks. You don’t think with the mind; you think with the entire fleshed existence. So they start from an assumption about correlationism that is overdetermined by a number of deletions and flagrant bibliographical ommissions. It is a very narrow point. And I don’t understand why they do this to everybody: Deleuze isn’t good; feminism isn’t good; media theory (however much they use it) isn’t good. We disagree on what the unit of reference for thinking is. For me, it’s the body immersed in radically immanent relations. 

I think the omissions are demonstrably true, though not in such thinkers I cover in Speculative Realism: Problems and Prospects as Jane Bennett and Liz Grosz. Catherine Malabou is attempting her own thinking of immanentism, but in general it’s true–not just in speculative realism, but Continental in general–that neo-Spinozism is a major track often ill understood by those who came up through the line of phenomenology and post-phenomenology.

Gabriel Rockhill’s new book reviewed at NDPR

I have this on order, but in any case it looks to be an excellent book using the link between art and politics to think through a radical historicism:

It specifies the differences between such historicism and what he calls respectively ‘selective’ and ‘reductive’ versions of historicism. These versions are inadequate conceptualisations of the ‘sheer flow of time’ that, on Rockhill’s view, defines history. He likens this sheer flow of time to a ‘universal acid’ that dissolves the supposed stability of cherished categories (37). Selective history ‘postulates the existence of a fixed kernel behind historical change’ (36). It is selective because it exempts this kernel from change. The reductive version ties historical development to specifiable historical determinants (36). According to Rockhill, ‘all of our practices . . . are fundamentally historical, but . . . this does not mean that they are somehow reducible to a unique set of historical determinants’ (36-37). In contrast to such a view, he explains his radical historicism with reference to Foucault’s preference for an ‘analytic’ of how power operates rather than a ‘theory’ of what power is (37): the idea, transposed to Rockhill’s project, is that there is no art or politics in general but ‘immanent practices that are qualified as “artistic” or “political” in variable sociohistorical conjunctures’ (37).

Radical History and the Politics of Art // Reviews // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // University of Notre Dame.