Introduction III to Continental Drift
We are pleased to invite you to our second chapter of Continental
Drift. This is an event organized with Tangent University and
Brian Holmes. The seminar was initiated last year, both to take
ownership of and experiment with different modes of learning/pedagogy.
Our subject matter is vast in that we attempt to collectively
locate some of the huge political and economic shifts taking place
under our own feet and in turn map out the micro-cartographies
This session will cover a tremendous amount of ground, from theoretical
insights and discussions related to neoliberalism, cybernetics,
oursourcing, uneven development, privatization of military, militarization,
immigration, ghettoization, camp as paradigm & state of exception.
We will then look at specific cases of cultural and political
actions which attempt to resist or map out resistance to some
of these alarming trends.
To get a wider sense of the presentations, we have descriptions
on the website. The events will begin this evening with two presentations,
a discussion, and a dinner together at the space.
Followed by two days of discussions, workshops, and presentations
by various participating artists, cultural workers, and activists.
All of the events this weekend will be taking place at 16 Beaver
Street, 4th floor. There is a sliding fee of $25-50 we are asking
to support the entire effort including our meals together. But
this fee SHOULD NOT be a barrier for anyone who is interested
and cannot afford to pay.
We look forward to seeing you.
Introduction II to Continental Drift
Is there such a thing as a national Skid Row? What happens
when the hegemonic country goes on a multibillion-dollar binge,
drinks itself blind on the fictions of power, loses control, collapses
in public, hits bottom with a groan?After its first anniversary,
the slow-motion blowback of Hurricane Katrina seems finally to
have carried the war all the way home to the USA, water-slogged
and banal, drenched in the flow of time, choking on the stupid
truths that the blazing spectacle of the Twin Towers pushed outward
for years, beyond unreal borders. Yes, the levees broke. Yes,
the New Economy was a fitful dream. Yes, there were no WMD. Yes,
the invasion of Iraq was a terrible mistake. Yes, it's not over.
Yes, it takes some kind of care for others to make a world livable.
In September and October of 2005, at 16 Beaver Street in New York's
financial district, the first sessions of Continental Drift tried
to put together a set of lenses to examine the present condition
of Empire, with its Anglo-American foundations stretching back
to WWII and its normative models projected across the planet,
beneath the guise of neoliberalism. We wanted to have a collective
try at mapping out the world that our divided labor helps to build.
But at the same time as we carried out this cartographic project,
all of us struggled to see how the imperial condition inexorably
cracks, along the great continental fault lines that increasingly
separate the earth's major regions, but also at the heart of the
very ties of belief, habit, complicity and sheer affective numbness
that keep the silent majorities convinced that somewhere there
is still something "normal."That was before the last
war in Lebanon.
If cynicism has no bounds, if it is well known that the imperial
partners will do everything they can to prove that
the present mode of development is sustainable - even by destroying
it - should we not have infinitely more audacity to imagine another
life, and to give it expression? New York, like any huge city
on planet earth in 2006, is a crossroads of worlds, an antheap
of civilizations, a labyrinth of intersecting and diverging micro-experiences
that resonate with the entire planetary space, no matter how far
removed its deep wells and endlessly receding horizons may be.
The project for this Drift is to continue mapping the operating
systems of Empire, but above all, to open up the few square meters
of 16 Beaver to individual or group testimonies, artistic visions
and intellectual debates that can articulate - put into words,
but also knit together, weave into unforeseen combinations - a
number of the singular cracks that are appearing in the worlds
of power: not only in the obsessively American world, but also
in other worlds, in Asia, Latin America, Europe, Africa, the
Middle East, the former Soviet space and in your head, where the
worlds collide every day. Yes, it's another modest ambition for
the calm, serene, imperturbable times in which we live.
Introduction I to Continental Drift
Continental Drift is modular and experimental seminar which has
embarked upon the "impossible" task of articulating
the immense geopolitical and economic shifts which took place
between 1989-2001, the effects of those changes on the emerging
bodies of governance (i.e., the formation of economic blocs like
EU or NAFTA) and in turn the effects on subjectivity today.
We seek individuals who are concerned about what is taking place
around us in the name of politics. We may be activists, artists,
cultural workers, non-aligned subjects, whatever singularities
seeking possible lines of flight which may be collective. Our
goal is to use these seminars to take our inquiries beyond self-interest
and contribute to this pool that some have called the general
intellect. We hope in sharing our thoughts, research and experiments,
we may initiate further experimentations with collective research/action
and actually connect to various movements.
We completed the first Chapter of Continental Drift, which was
divided into two parts, with a September and October session in
2005. We continue this year with Chapter 2 and look forward to
realizing further possibilities for informing and sharing our