André Dias – Animal Heterogenesis

 

 

Event Date 18 June 2012
Flett Lecture Theatre
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road (Exhibition Rd Entrance)
London SW7 5BD

The London Graduate School and the Centre for Arts and Humanities Research at the Natural History Museum London present:

Unruly Creatures 2 : Creative Revolutions

This is the second in a series of one-day conferences that analyse and discuss the various ways in which animals have been used in the humanities and contemporary arts, the political and theoretical implications of this use, and the manner in which animals have resisted this appropriation such that they might enter into political discourse. With examples taken from philosophy, history, and the arts, it will also examine whether there is an animal political identity, and even new ways of thinking about struggle, revolt, and revolution that might be called ‘animal’.

André Dias (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) – Animal Heterogenesis
Respondent: Richard Iveson (Goldsmiths)

Although terrifying, it should come as no surprise that an enlightened ‘genocider’ such as the Khmer Rouge Duch could recently evoke the poetic lessons of the ‘sublime animal’ on how to ‘die without complaint’. Being such an infamous problematic configuration, the animal—as it emerges from the biopolitical transversal cut and forceful redistribution of political phenomena—constitutes today the horizon for a hidden problem concerning an unachieved anthropogenesis. Drastically overheated by the management of all nature, the anthropological machine continues to work full steam ahead while irretrievably broken and unable to effectively reproduce its operative definitions separating human and animal. That is why its presupposed
double articulations are now more than ever in need to be challenged through a dismantling spiral of deactivation (Agamben) and heterogenesis (Deleuze/Guattari). For an approach to animal heterogenesis, a yet to come political cinephilia— acknowledging the animal as the last resort of realism—might be of help, if revisiting for instance Bresson’s ‘Au Hasard Balthazar’ perplexing scene of simultaneous exchange and revocation of gazes between a donkey and encaged wild beasts in the circus, with its emptying out of point of view into a multiplication of domesticity
degrees, its creation of heterogeneous’ differences in an impossible to occupy spectator’s place; and wondering what relation it might hold with the archaic Bazinian interdiction of editing—a function of the violent incompatibility of heterogeneous elements—in a time of deep loss of heterogeneity. Aren’t we then forced to confront ‘consistency, [the problem] of holding together heterogeneous elements’ or components ‘without them ceasing to be heterogeneous,’ if we are to comprehend the complex expressions of the animal problem today—against the tendency to homogenise the out of joint polarities in a new juridical-political space—and to consequently deactivate all hierarchy of beings in ‘a new existential edifice’? Still, a major uncertainty lingers: shouldn’t this ‘heterogenic machine’—providing ‘a synthesis of the heterogeneous as such’—be considered the effectual immanence of a
general will now governing nature?

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talk:

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Respondent: Richard Iveson (Goldsmiths)

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questions

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