11.03.2006

Continental Drift II Nov 3-5

Topic(s): 16 Beaver | No Comments

Date/Time: 03/11/2006 12:00 am


We will be posting more info as it becomes available.
It will take place
November 3, 4, 5
Will include a host of people and roughly our focus will be
neoliberalism ; crisis; militarization; social
transformation?
Articulating the Cracks in the Worlds of Power
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.
See you on Nov 3, 4, 5?
best to all, BH

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