“The supreme mystery of despotism, its prop and stay, is to keep men in a state of deception, and with the specious title of religion to cloak the fear by which they must be held in check, so that they will fight for their servitude as if for salvation.”
Spinoza, ‘Tractatus Theologicopoliticus’, 1670
“There is an ecology of bad ideas, just as there is an ecology of weeds”
Gregory Bateson, ‘Steps to an ecology of mind’, 1972
“There is only desire and the social, and nothing else.”
Gilles Deleuze-Felix Guattari, ‘Anti-Oedipus’, 1972
“The question of subjectivity is now returning as a leitmotiv. It’s not a natural given any more than air or water. How do we produce it, capture it, enrich it, and permanently reinvent it in a way that renders it compatible with universes of mutant value? How do we work for its liberation that is for its resingularization?
Felix Guattari, ‘Chaosmosis’, 1992
“A revolution is as much a reorientation of our affective relations as it is of social relations and cannot be one without the other.“
Jason Read, ‘Economies of Affect / Affective Economies’, 2013
Every block, a.pass organizes ‘b-workshops’ that focus on the basic principles of a.pass as a collaborative artistic research environment.
This B-workshop ‘Ecology of Affects’ wants to address critically the production of subjectivity. We will put into discussion Spinoza’s theory of Affect in the ‘Ethics’ and Guattari’s critique of Capitalism's exploitation of Desire by reading closely a series of texts from the 17th up to the 21st century. With the help of two guests, Pierre Joachim and Geert Opsomer, we will study these philosophical and critical key notions but also discover how Pierre and Geert put them into practice and consequently how we can do so as well.
Can we associate sadness with the outcomes of our capitalist world?
Are we affected so much by capitalism that we can only sadly survive in what seems to have become its ‘nature’?
Can we still affect the world?
What could a joyful passion mean today?
Is a joyful passion subversive?
How can we create the conditions for joy to be possible?
Is it by re-allocating desire that new joys can emerge?
Can artistic researches produce a change?
How can agency be created with aesthetic means?
Could we critically re-combine ethics and aesthetics to reclaim the transformative power of our researches?
What could be the nature of an ecology of affects that has the potential to produce a change?
The workshop will make use of an elaborate reader that will be shared with the participants well in time for the workshop.
The workshop is curated by Pierre Rubio
Geert Opsomer is a German philologist, theatre scientist and dramaturg, teacher at the director’s department of the RITS and artistic collaborator of the arts centre CAMPO. Between 2001 and 2007 he was the artistic director of Nieuwpoorttheater in Ghent, which in 2008 fused with the theatre company Victoria to become CAMPO. Within CAMPO Geert Opsomer organizes the Plateau/Platform for Artistic Nomads, which is the artistic research department of CAMPO.
An extension of this research platform turned into the celebrated CAMPO production ‘A l’attente du Livre d’Or’, selected for the Dutch Theaterfestival in 2010. Together with Johan Dehollander and a strong Belgian-Congolese cast, Opsomer made a joyful-anarchistic assemblage piece about Congolese comedy and Western tragedy. The jury praised the piece as a pioneer in the construction of connections between local and international practices, allowing them to strengthen one another.
Pierre Joachim studied architecture (la Cambre, Belgium) and philosophy (ULB, Belgium). He has been exploring interactions between ‘theory’ and various practices, from architecture to pedagogy, social work, or dramaturgy. Rather driven by collaborations born from joyful encounters than any specific field of expertise, his main recent activities are writing and research collaborations with psychoanalyst Kathleen Rochlenko, performance and installation creation with Alexandre Le Petit (Verso Natura) and architectural conception. He is actually working on a blog and inquiry project. Spinoza’s Ethics have often offered him a precious tool for thought and collaboration.