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Alternative Tomorrows Where Deterritorialization and Reterritorialization Meet II
4:00pm - 5:30pm
Session Chair: Nick Nesbitt
Alternative Tomorrows Where Deterritorialization and Reterritorialization Meet
4:00pm - 4:30pm
The quranic fold of surat al-isrāʾ: Islam and nomadic semiotics
Christoph Anthony Maria Rogers
Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
In Mille Plateaux in the passage on the passional post-signifying regime Islam is paralleled with the Jewish tradition of prophetism. In turning away from any despotic image of power, the monotheistic regime of signs reterritorializes the center of signification unto the black hole of subjectivity, thereby establishing a form of an interiorized relation between a lacking subject and an absent center of power. Territory as such is thereby redoubled by the worldly realm and the hereafter, not however without the mediation of scriptural revelation. Monotheistic Scripture thus functions as a necessary concomitant of holy and transcendent space. According to Deleuze and Guattari Islam takes the logic of a spiritual and geographical reterritorialization (the Kaʿba and Jerusalem) of intensive time and space via scripture to the extreme. The (re-)territorialization via ‘the book’ (kitāb) corresponds to a migratory project that seeks to reorganize the body in relation to geographically stratified space. However, such a movement remains trapped in the domain of the sedentary in establishing a regime that negates and judges ‘this world’. This implies that revelatory scripture excludes any possible relation to an ‘immanent outside’. However, since Deleuze and Guattari state that any regime of signs is always ‘mixed’ and thus never pure, in analyzing the language and structure of the Quran, is it not possible to extract lines of flight pointing to an intensive core of quranic expression that comes close to nomadic forms of expressivity? In examining the 17th sura, I will argue for such a possible reading.
4:30pm - 5:00pm
Dark migration: from territorialised Utopia to the Outside
National Technical University of Athens, Greece
In this paper I seek to highlight the possibility of a genre of utopian design (architectural and artistic), based on the notion of the Outside. Global world capitalism today, formulates an ever expanding present-based temporality that seeks to assemble power relations in a universal Inside. In this light, utopian designs of the 19th and 20th century in architecture and art are fossilized and made irrelevant in a world where revolutions appear as mere fancy. By restructuring Foucault’s ‘’Thought of the Outside’’, through the utilization of Deleuze’s concept of the Fold and Andrew Culp’s own notion of the Outside, I propose a series of concepts that can spark and develop alternative design processes. Such design tactics are both objects of conceptual formation (philosophical objects) but also objects of affective becomings (artistic objects). As such, the designs produced are experimental rather than applied in the strict technical sense, they are utopian rather than realistic. Their field of action is the politics of escape from a social reality of increasing striation and accelerated deterritorialisation/reterritorialization cycles. Two design concepts that migrate from different disciplines are outlined: The monster, based on Marco Frascari’s reading of Renaissance architecture and the doppelganger, based on Foucault’s companion, a notion derived from Blanchot’s writings. These are put in context through a brief analysis of Jordan Peele’s movie Us.
5:00pm - 5:30pm
Tall Waves and Smooth Seas: The Somali Pirates as the War Machinic Rejoinder to the Global State
Duquesne University, United States of America
Defined as ‘enemies of all in perpetual war with society,’ pirates have historically occupied a unique place in discussions of territoriality insofar as they are, by necessity of their existence, external to all States. While piracy’s Golden Age ended in the 17th century with the increasing striation of the seas, isolated acts of piracy continued in response to the spread of global capital. Indeed, despite Donald Trump’s 2017 claim that “there is no dark corner beyond our reach, no sanctuary beyond our grasp, and nowhere to hide on this very large Earth,” piratical terror has continued. Most notoriously, the pirates of Somalia have become the subject of UN resolutions and the so-called ‘Global War on Piracy.’ While historical pirates have been extensively written about, from attempted ethnographies to anarchistic praise of so-called ‘Pirate Utopias,’ the Somali pirates, despite existing for over three decades, have remained locked within the intellectual confines of international and maritime legal studies. My goal with this project is to shine a more theoretical light on the Somali pirates by looking at their relationship to global capitalism as they were forced to transition from pastoral nomads, to fisherpeople, to pirates. Further, while avoiding glamorization, I intend to use the work of Deleuze and Guattari to argue that the Somali pirates can be understood as extra-territorial peoples in a unique position of radical alterity whose very existence a) complicates traditional understandings of sovereignty and b) allows them to operate war machinically against the global State.