Promiscuous blog

The infrastructure of translation

08 August 2011

I recently met someone who once occupied the position of Research Associate Knowledge Translation (KT) and Communications at the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre in Regina. According to the website, the job is to assist "IPHRC in developing strategies for translating health research outcomes into meaningful and practical health service responses through innovative and culturally appropriate communication methods." Practically, it seemed to consist in translating the communities' needs into a language that is better understood by the university in order to secure funding for the projects, and presumably vice versa. I wonder how this simple principle (of creating this kind of position) could be adapted to a variety of other contexts...

Capitalism is not in Crisis : Capitalism is the Crisis

08 August 2011

Capitalism Is The Crisis: Radical Politics in the Age of Austerity is a new documentary film by Michael Truscello.

From the website:

The 2008 “financial crisis” in the United States was a systemic fraud in which the wealthy finance capitalists stole trillions of public dollars. No one was jailed for this crime, the largest theft of public money in history.

Instead, the rich forced working people across the globe to pay for their “crisis” through punitive “austerity” programs that gutted public services and repealed workers’ rights.

Austerity was named “Word of the Year” for 2010.

This documentary explains the nature of capitalist crisis, visits the protests against austerity measures, and recommends revolutionary paths for the future.

Special attention is devoted to the crisis in Greece, the 2010 G20 Summit protest in Toronto, Canada, and the remarkable surge of solidarity in Madison, Wisconsin.

It may be their crisis, but it's our problem.

Other resources on the facebook page.

'Starter quotes' from GtI readings

23 July 2011

The emotion transcends the present in two ways. It issues from, and it issues towards. It is received, it is enjoyed, and it is passed along, from moment to moment. Each occasion is an activity of concern, in the Quaker sense of that term. It is the conjunction of transcendence and immanence. The occasion is concerned, in the way of feeling and aim, with things that in their essence lie beyond it; although these things in their present functions are factors in the concern of that occasion. Thus each occasion, although engaged in its own immediate self-realization, is concerned with the universe.
Alfred North Whitehead (1938). "Nature Alive" Lecture Eight, in Modes of Thought. (p. 167)

The paradox of the same experience figuring in two consciousnesses seems thus not a paradox at all. To be 'conscious' means not simply to be, but to be reported, known, to have awareness of one's being added to that being; and this is just what happens when the appropriative experience supervenes.
William James (1912). "How Can Two Minds Know One Thing", in Essays in Radical Empiricism.

Obviously, I have a very different kind of delocalization in mind: to bring into existence the experience of here and there, the experience of a here that, by its very topology, affirms the existence of a there, and affirms it in a way that excludes any nostalgia for the possibility of erasing differences, of creating an all-purpose experience. My hypothesis is that the concepts of requirement and obligation can serve as vectors for this experience to the extent that they shift attention from visions of the world and the great metaphysical questions that claim to be valid for each and every one of us, to the singularity of what "matters" here and not somewhere else, to the "technical details" that no one but the practitioners involved would deem worthy of interest but which, for them, are the difference between "worth" and failure.
Isabelle Stengers (2010). "Introductions", in (trans. Robert Bononno) Cosmopolitics I. (p. 62)

Mais plutôt que de sujet, peut-être conviendrait-il de parler de composantes de subjectivation travaillant chacune plus ou moins à leur propre compte. Ce qui conduirait nécessairement à ré-examiner le rapport entre l'individu et la subjectivité et, en tout premier lieu, d'en séparer nettement les concepts. Ces vecteurs de subjectivation ne passent pas nécessairement par l'individu; lequel en réalité, se trouve en position de "terminal" à l'égard des processus impliquant des groupes humains, des ensembles socio-économiques, des machines informationnelles, etc. Ainsi, l'intériorité s'instaure-t-elle au carrefour de multiples composantes relativement autonomes les unes par rapport aux autres et, le cas échéant, franchement discordantes.
Félix Guattari (1989). Les trois écologies. (p. 24)

"You work for us; we don’t work for you"

28 June 2011


The following short comment to this post is worth analyzing for its acrobatics and for its providing perhaps a window into symptoms of our "contemporary culture".

This piece only succeeds as satire.

If this author speaks for the “Art Community,” artists have utter contempt for the democratically elected representatives of the people of the Netherlands yet they demand the respect (and don’t forget the 200M Euros) of those they scorn.

Dutch art will probably be improved by responding to people who actually value it enough to spend their own money on it rather than taking money from all to be delivered to artists by a bureaucrat who is comfortable with the concept that works of art have a right to exist while ordinary people don’t have a right not to pay for them. Leave alone that the self-stated goals of many of these works are to mock (I mean “challenge”) their patrons.

Silly artists, you work for us; we don’t work for you.

Dutch cultural funding (fiasco) infographics

28 June 2011

Taken from this post + more infographics @ Mediamatic's website.

These are infographics from a series made by Abel, Niels and Willem at Mediamatic. Based on an idea by Ruben Pater.


Critique of Creativity: Precarity, Subjectivity and Resistance in the ‘Creative Industries’

28 June 2011

Interesting book just came out: some chapters might be relevant for a little reading circle during our residency eventually? Have yet to come across North American/Canadian/Quebec based/focused literature on these issues...

The publisher is also worth checking out...

Critique of Creativity
Precarity, Subjectivity and Resistance in the ‘Creative Industries’

Gerald Raunig, Gene Ray and Ulf Wuggenig (eds)
London: mayfly 2011, 234 pages

Creativity is astir: reborn, re-conjured, re-branded, resurgent. The old myths of creation and creators – the hallowed labors and privileged agencies of demiurges and prime movers, of Biblical world-makers and self-fashioning artist-geniuses – are back underway, producing effects, circulating appeals. Much as the Catholic Church dresses the old creationism in the new gowns of ‘intelligent design’, the Creative Industries sound the clarion call to the Cultural Entrepreneurs. In the hype of the ‘creative class’ and the high flights of the digital bohemians, the renaissance of ‘the creatives’ is visibly enacted. The essays collected in this book analyze this complex resurgence of creation myths and formulate a contemporary critique of creativity.

With contributions by: Brigitta Kuster, Maurizio Lazzarato, Esther Leslie, Isabell Lorey, Angela McRobbie, Raimund Minichbauer, Monika Mokre, Stefan Nowotny, Marion von Osten, Gerald Raunig, Gene Ray, Suely Rolnik, Vassilis Tsianos, Paolo Virno, Ulf Wuggenig

Read online, download for free or purchase a paperback copy:

Liste de trucs à acheter / se procurer en date du 17 juin 2011

24 June 2011
  • gomme bleue (ou blanche)
  • étiquettes pour identifier nos livres (ou apporter notre étampe)
  • carte mémoire (enregistrement audio)
  • petite caméra vidéo
  • cartes d'affaires
  • ruban adhésif électrique
  • petits cartons
  • petites pinces pour documents papier
  • punaises transparentes
  • plastiques pour documents papier
  • cartables?
  • cadre doré cheap

* gomme bleue (ou blanche)
* étiquettes pour identifier nos livres (ou apporter notre étampe)
* carte mémoire (enregistrement audio)
* petite caméra vidéo
* cartes d'affaires
* ruban adhésif électrique
* petits cartons
* petites pinces pour documents papier
* punaises transparentes
* plastiques pour documents papier
* cartables?
* cadre doré cheap


past events

Promiscuous Infrastructures (Phase 2): Finissage + The Awesomest Foundation + Boncha Immigrantz
14 April 2012 @ 6pm

The Montreal Sandbox
7 April 2012 @ 12pm

Think We Must / Con-Vocation
31 March - 1 April 2012 @ 12pm

Art, activism and movements for social change in Montréal
29 March 2012 @ 6pm

Typographic Poster Workshop
17 March 2012 @ 12pm

Skollège: Vive la crise!
13 March 2012 @ 7pm

How do we negotiate the promiscuity of infrastructures in Montréal?
10 March 2012 @ 12pm

Promiscuous Infrastructures (Phase 2)
9 March - 14 April 2012
Skol (372 Ste-Catherine W., suite 314)
"Drop-in hours" by Artivistic for y/our pleasure every Saturday 12-5pm

Promiscuous Infrastructures (Phase 2): Opening!
9 March 2012 @ 5.30pm

DiO (Do-it-Ourselves): OpenSpace on alternative financing
6 August 2011 (all day)
+ FUSE magazine launch party

knowledgeshare #2 : Infrastructure Design with Kenneth Bailey (DS4SI)
9 July 2011 @ 7.30pm

knowledgeshare #1 : The Promiscuous Infrastructures of Protest Camps
29 June 2011 @ 6pm

live stream from Paris : Monetary Utopia Seminar
17 June 2011 @ 1pm

(auto)formation sur des méthodes de coconstruction de savoirs
11 June 2011 @ 10am