Workgroup Discussion

Glossary of Subsumption: Collective Edition

with: Oliver Lerone Schultz

Sun, Feb 1, 2015
11 am–2 pm
Free admission

Would a collective “Glossary of Subsumption" be a meaningful way for registering enclosures and subsumptions in our hypermodern present?

The originally marxist term of (real) subsumption is currently circulating anew as it allows for descriptions of capitalist power and ‚enclosure’ beyond simplistic ideas of coercion, corruption or exploitation. Its idea of capitalism capturing all that is outside existing capitalist valorization and of internalising it by different and historically specific means seems immensely helpful at a time where new post-digital and post-democratic grids of power enclose us anew – and sometimes in new ways. As a term also open to non-marxist semantics – see the notion of 'subsumption architecture' describing frameworks for distributed post-cybernetic control – it can prove to be especially helpful when collating different types, formats and layers of power, including current digital re-articulations thereof.

The project will kick off with a presentation under the heading Glossary of Subsumption: Enclosed Athens Disclosed. It will be given by a group of researchers, artists and architects that by now have formed an open-ended working-group. This first assembled in Athens last November during a workshop initiated by Oliver Lerone Schultz, with the aim to trace old and new subsumptions of urban space. The initial concept, their goals and follow-up projects will unfold while outlining the fate of an avatar named Andrea/s, a semi-fictitious figure whose lifetime is related to fundamental elements of our general metropolitan ‚story‘ of subsumption such as energy, time, sleep, sounds, landscapes, the extended mind, or the ‚public/private bi-polar‘.

These elements will also inform the second event, the Glossary of Subsumption: Collective Edition workshop. Taking into consideration the findings of the first workshop, a new workgroup will cluster those with other existing ideas and keywords. There will also be some fleeting 'methodological devices' (like the Hybrid Letterbox) that will capture conceptual noise and enlist circulating issues and terms throughout the festival.

The goal would ultimately be to collectively build a Glossary of Subsumption and reflect on the possibilities, stakes and potential (social) formats of such an endeavour. This is also to ask: what is a social way of constructing theory and the ‘knowledge commons’ – one that mediates different experiences and concepts of enclosure.

The audience is invited to join the workgroup discussions and participate in the overall process.

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