The exhibition Machinations traces the influence of the machine concept developed by Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze in contemporary art within the context following May ’68 in France. Pivotal to putting together the show has been the research work of a scientific committee made up of philosophers Gerald Raunig and Stevphen Shukaitis and cultural theorist Brigitta Kuster, who have created, respectively, three interconnected conceptual themes: namely, machines related to anti-systemic social movements (War Machines), machines related to schizoid and nomadic thought opposite utilitarian reasoning (Schizo Machines) and machines related to affective cinema and care (Cinema Machines of Care). In this round-table discussion, moderated by Raúl Sánchez Cedillo, each guest will present their research, while contemporary proposals to read and mobilise today will be presented, particularly around the thinking of Guattari, the author of benchmark works such as The Three Ecologies (1989) and Chaosmosis (1992).
In Chaosmosis Guattari writes: “In the haze and vapour that darken our end of millennium, the question of subjectivity returns today as a leitmotif. Subjectivity is not a natural fact, like air and water. How can we produce it, capture it, enrich it, and permanently reinvent it so as to make it compatible with mutant Universes of value? How can we work for its liberation; that is, for its re-singularisation? Psychoanalysis, institutional analysis, film, literature, poetry, innovative pedagogies, urbanisms and creative architectures? All disciplines will have to marry their creativity to avert situations of barbarism, mental implosion and chaosmic spasm which are shaped on the horizon, and to transform them into unpredictable wealth and enjoyment with promises that are, ultimately, equally tangible”.
Brigitta Kuster is a cultural researcher and professor at Humboldt-Universität in Berlin. Her work is framed inside visual and cinema studies, anti/post/decolonial approaches and research into migration on European borders. Some of her most recent projects include Ndana! (2014), Rester et partir (Musée de Bamako, 2011) and Traces the Sand Left in the Machine (Berlinale, 2010)
Gerald Raunig is a professor of Philosophy at Zurich University of the Arts, and the co-editor of the journals Transversal and Kulturrisse. His work addresses the relationship between producing art and knowledge within the context of cognitive capitalism. Some of his most recent publications include Art and Revolution (Semiotext(e), 2007), Dissemblage. Machinic Capitalism and Molecular Revolution (Autonomedia/Minor Compositions, 2022) and Dividuum. Machinic Capitalism and Molecular Revolution (Cactus, 2022), among others.
Raúl Sánchez Cedillo is an activist, essayist and translator who has been a member of the Foundation of the Commons since 2011. He has published the prologues to books by Félix Guattari, Antonio Negri and Paolo Virno, in addition to articles and essays in publications such as Diagonal, El Salto and Ctxt. He is also the author of Lo absoluto de la democracia. Contrapoderes, cuerpos-máquina, sistema red transdividual (Subtextos, 2021) and Esta guerra no termina en Ucrania (Katakrak, 2022).
Stevphen Shukaitis is a lecturer in Sociology at the University of Essex who centres his work on cultural production inside capitalism and its social and political imaginaries. Some of his recent publications include Combination Acts: Notes on Collective Practice in the Undercommons (Autonomedia, 2019), The Composition of Movements to Come: Aesthetics & Cultural Labor After the Avant-Garde (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2016) and Gee Vaucher: An Introspective (Minor Compositions, 2016).