Continuous Crisis – Historical action and passion in Antonio Negri’s Insurgencies

Judicial hermeneutics
The truism that history is written by (or rather, on behalf of) conquerors is more respectable now than ever before among Sunday supplement intellectuals.  The reason  (where it goes beyond a simple, resentful wish to damn historical analysis per se as ‘irrelevant’) seems to be that victors’ history is easily opposed to that of victims, that ill-defined class in whose name a towering moral authority can always be claimed.  If it does nothing else, Antonio Negri’s book on constituent power, recently published in English as Insurgencies, wrecks this convenient opposition.  Its Italian title translates as “constituent power: essay on the alternatives within modernity”: in the shadow of this concept, Negri outlines a modern social and political  counter-tradition which, though defeated again and again, never attains the saintly glow of victimhood, for it has never acknowledged its project to be finished with.  From Machiavelli’s citizen millitia to the LA rioters of 1992 [1.], these historical agents refuse to become patients represented by the politics of empathy. [Read more →]

Interview with Christoph Fringeli by klav (2004)

Interview with Christoph Fringeli by klav
Published in french in SOMA magazine in 2004

Here’s the unedited english language interview
[Read more →]

Plague in this Town

rosso
Some time in 1997, the Mail on Sunday ran a tragic story. Apparently the Camorra, Naples’equivalent of the Mafia, has made the city too dangerous for English tourists who would like to gaze at its beautiful ruins. Or in other words, the Non Governmental Organization which for a century provided enough security to make heritage backpacking possible has lately adopted methods that tend to destroy passers-by. ‘We defeated the Red Brigades’, wailed the chief of Naples police, ‘but we can’t beat the Camorra because it grows out of the community. The only answer would be to bulldoze all the Camorra areas (i.e. the poorest in the city) and give them somewhere else to live.’ [Read more →]

Post-media Operators

1.
The record industry is in the process of being outflanked by means of the very processes that it has come to rely upon. Since the 60’s its continual efforts to create new needs has meant that it nurtured an everchanging musical soundscape that is now mutating at such a pace that it cannot keep track long enough to harness these musical evolutions in the direction of profit. [Read more →]

THE WORLD MADE FLESH

In Peckham a new city has been born. An arched bank of metal on struts covering a shallow stretched flight of steps for gospel singers and pissheads to air themselves on holds off the sky, turns it into barometric colour readings via floodlights, broken. An all slabs and no benches piazza; then the twin homes of the new heartland. Peckham Pulse, a sport and fitness centre and on the other side, the Library and Information Centre.

Libraries in South London are gothic barns with shambolic towers and crumbling steps dished out by Victorian philanthropists like Carnegie and Tate, working class men made good, making good. The new Peckham library is different, this minute’s last word in civic architecture [Read more →]