Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"Dahlem Humanities Center: Hegel Lecture II - Judith Butler, Frames Of War"

As I announced earlier, I attended Judith Butler's lecture yesterday. Boy, it was crowded. I was kind of amazed by the fact that you could already tell on the train who was going to listen to her - even though the crowd was VERY heterogenous. But something that has to do with their appearance seemed to be similar. I have trouble finding out what it was. Maybe they performed similar, maybe it was a common attitude. Aura? Maybe you know what I mean by now.

The auditorium was fully booked, as well as the other lecture halls inside Henry Ford Bau - where they put up screening for those who came late.

With this screening, we are in the middle of her mindset.

This is what I took out of the lecture, it is by far not everything you could take out of it, but maybe it provides some insights to you anyhow.

ONE: the "I" is not singular

TWO: doublication of shape is necessary for self-consciousness

THREE: life itself means resistance to normality

FOUR: we need to conduct a social anthology of the body in order to understand the dynamics of performance

FIVE: we exist in both substituatbility and singularity, there is no Hegelian synthesis to this paradox, yet this is what it means to be human (among various other notions...)

SIX: framing and contextualizing became impossible with the new media, as an example: war photography or poetry from guantanamo is circulating through the net, the frame falls into pieces everytime the context changes

SEVEN: this circulability is destroyed by censorship

EIGHT: with Walter Benjamin (reproducable artwork blabla), this reproducability means breaking from context

NINE: "to be framed" means to be subjected to a con, to be accused and judged in advance

TEN: circulation is necessary for the establishment of hegemony though

ELEVEN: what makes a life a life worth living? numerical recognition? lives that count? 1400 Palestinian deaths? is a numerical recognized life automatically a grievable life? how is effect being produced by numerical framing?

TWELVE: precariousness is no effect of recognition, it implies living socially, exposure to the Other and other, dependency on strangers, obligation to the unknown

THIRTEEN: the non-commonality of the "we" is the basis of obligations, there is NO necessity for a "common we"

FOURTEEN: grievability is the marker for "worth" of life

FIFTEEN: our common responsibility is the sustainability of conditions in order to sustain life

SIXTEEN: denial of precariousness means denial of being bound to one another

SEVENTEEN: survival is only possible in states of interdependency

EIGHTEEN: precarity is an individual condition, precariousness is universal

NINETEEN: the feeling of threat only leads to the establishment of power structures

TWENTY: using humans as living shields like it happened in Gaza makes them arsenals of war, makes their life ungrievable, yet a necessity to protect the living? no. this is a clear misunderstanding of the "we".

You can read more about her here, too. She based most of her thoughts on Hegel, so for a better understanding, my friend S suggested reading Hegel first, an all-nighter, two cans, one filled with coffee, the other with black tea.

[ The only thing I found rather needless was the fact that she spoke in English. She was told it would be more polite, and she said she was irritated by this, but of course wants to be polite. I didn't care much, but I know many students who are not bilingual, and they would have taken out more of this Berlin-lecture if it was held in German, actually. I suppose none of the organizers are following my blog anyways, but I thought I should leave this impression here, too. On a personal note, homie. ]

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