Thursday, March 17, 2005

Foucault's Heir, again

An interesting new translation of something Agamben has recently uttered (apparently he and "Toni" are the most disagreeing of palls) (via Mark Woods):

These are my questions :

Do we have to keep using the concept of movement ? If it signals a threshold of politicisation of the unpolitical, can there be a movement that is different from civil war ? or

In what direction can we rethink the concept of movement and its relation to biopolitics ?

Here I won’t give you any answers, it is a long term research project, but I have some indications :

The concept of movement is central to Aristotle, as kinesis, in the relaiton between potenza and act. Aristotle defines movement as the act of a potenza as potenza, rather than the passage to act. Secondly he says that movement is ateles, imperfect act, without an end. Here I would suggest a modification to his view, and maybe Toni might agree with me for once on this : that movement is the constitution of a potenza as potenza. But if this is true then we cannot think of movement as external or autonomous in relation to the multitude. It can never be subject of a decision, organisation, direction of the poeple, or element of politicisation of the multitude or the people.

Another interesting aspect in Aristotle is that movement is an unfinished act, without telos, which means that movement keeps an essential relation with a privation, an absence of telos. The movemetn is always constitutively the relation with its lack, its absence of end, or ergon, or telos and opera. What I always disagree with Toni about is this emphasis placed on productivity. Here we must reclaim the absence of opera as central. This expresses the impossibility of a telos and ergon for politics. Movement is the indefiniteness and imperfection of every politics. It always leaves a residue.

In this perspective the motto I cited as a rule for myself might be reformulated ontologically as this : the movement is that which if it is, is as if it wasn’t, it lacks itself (manca a se stesso), and if it isn’t, is as if it was, it exceeds itself. It is the threshold of indeterminacy between an excess and a deficiency which marks the limit of every politics in its constitutive imperfection.

Transcribed and translated by Arianna Bove from audio files available here.

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