...AND ...AND ...AND

THE TRANSVERSITY

2019

_______________________________

 

Contents:
0. invite, where, when
1. Introduction
2. Point of Orientation
3. The Open Invitation
4. Notes on The Transversity
5. Ten Notes on the Unmaking of Art...

 _______________________________
0. invite, where, when


where: Casa Cafausica, San Cesario Di Lecce, Italy
when: June 1- June 23 2019
what: Transversity

Dear Friends,

We would like to invite you this summer to the third edition of AND… AND… AND in Salento. We hope that you will join us between June 1 and June 23 at the Casa Cafausica. In the spirit of age old initiatives of self-organized learning and unlearning, living and caring, we convene these 3 weeks examining and thinking through some of urgent questions and maladies of our time.

We hope to do this gayly, recognizing that part of the political struggle, is also sensual, affective, physical, psychic and so any collective analytics will need to also break with the dominant modes of subjectivation.

In the most abridged version, in this occasion we hope for the following:

a.) to create a temporary situation of sharing research with and taking care of one another. b.) to further build a context for re-situating our research toward the forms of life and struggle we are imagining in the face of the political and ecological catastrophes surrounding us. c.) collectively contribute toward the development and theorization of this trans-local autonomous and collectively managed un/learning initiative, space, time, situation we call Transversity.

Below we offer notes on this idea of a Transversity and additional texts that try to share one of the threads which may animate or orient our thinking together in this summer’s meeting.

For those interested in taking part, proposing a particular inquiry, sharing a research, please write to transversity [the at sign] andandand.org

 


_______________________________
1. Introduction

 

More than an event, this meeting is the hope to continue elaborating and constructing what we have theorized as a Transversity.

The basic impulse has been to create centers, common places of encounter, through which we can, with time, construct longer term researches which can then be shared with one another.

But these are not academic researches, nor even merely artistic or philosophic studies whose endpoint would be works or books or production as such. But they would be researches which concern the basic challenges of life and propose within them ways of confronting them.

Moreover, these spaces, not forcing us through rent extraction or other modes of authoritarian determinations to censor ourselves and experiments, could be spaces of developing real practices of autonomy, our own modes of singularization and a circulation of knowledges which touch upon, concern, alter the form of life.

We have moved tenderly in this process and it has taken us many years and different kinds of experiments and experiences to arrive to such a formulation. We understand that long term, these meetings and encounters and the shifting of our bodies towards such spaces of autonomy is the way to produce a radical rupture in the composition and fabrication of normative subjects, lives, politics. We also understand that attempting to resolve whatever problems or challenges we encounter alone can only produce isolation, despondency, and impotence.

The challenge for us is to decolonize our own desires and to bring our most basic forces, our desires toward the construction of other social forms, other aesthetic and poetic experiences, other ways of relating to our environments and world.

Thus, we are looking for researchers, learners, listeners, storytellers, animators, animists, anarchists, feminists, communists, thinkers, poets, artists, gardeners, decolonialists, foresters and reforesters, permaculturalists, militants, agitators, barefoot architects, cooks, hackers, singers, dancers, philosophers, builders, destroyers, caretakers, writers, lovers, makers and unmakers of words and worlds to construct such spaces and temporalities of autonomy and social political ecological artistic experimentation.

For some background please visit: andandand.org

 

 
_______________________________
2. Point of Orientation

This Summer, we propose as one point of reference to our gathering, the following text, we welcome others:

Art, Life, Struggle in the Epoch of Post-Fascist Fascism

Since the financial crisis of 2008 and the uprisings that have migrated continents since 2011, most recently emerging in Sudan, Algeria, as well as France with the yellow gilets, the neoliberal fantasy of a world of market driven solutions to life has crashed into an existential crisis - revealing also the colonial, classist, racist, patriarchal, authoritarian subterranean underpinnings of its order. 

A popular discontent stands at the gates, but what does it want or seek? What forms of life and social relations do these movements aspire to create? And how do they avoid capture by new forms of militarism, authoritarianism and fascism?

The ecological degradation and the increasing inequalities have only made more desperate and disoriented the institutionalized forms of power.  

And the educational and cultural institutions, in the age of austerity, are ever more dependent economically on the very order which is in crisis.  And they are unable to wish or fight for anything other than the continuation of that order and their own relevance and survival.
And so it is no great surprise that we find ourselves in the desert looking for friends. 

Meetings, colloquia, seminars are organized with ever more fascinating themes only to turn the wheels of a cultural machine oblivious to the destruction which it, not-so-unwittingly, takes part in or momentarily alleviates. 

The institutions know only to reproduce themselves, not to explore their beyond, their own undoing, their own becoming irrelevant.

Since 2010, an initiative was formed, artistic, philosophical, and political in its aspiration to explore across different geographies, contexts, the relations between life, art and politics. That initiative was a line of flight from another entity, more sedentary and formed in 1999, in New York. Their names are not important here, but the intensity and force of the inquiry and the multiplicities which have animated them is what matters.

There are those that will always try to assign importance to one category of life and remark it as what is real. But experience teaches us that the real is what you make or unmake of it, not what already exists. 

This research toward autonomy and non authoritarian and non-capitalist modes of becoming and assembling through feminist, decolonial, anarchist, queer, transversal, communist imaginaries, measures and insights is at the heart of the art and life we are struggling to create. 

 


_______________________________
3. The Open Invitation

One could see what we are calling the Transversity as a centre of research, but a research that is not determined by the temporal and disciplinary limits of an institution nor the conditions of a forced competition and cooperation which we are habituated to seeing or being implicated in. Thus, ideally, the Transversity extends across the delimitations of our times or spaces of meeting. As it is a research that pours into and out of life experiences.

For the moment, we have liberated two sites of encounter and an open-ended situation of encounter which is not dependent on rent or any external institutional arrangement to exist. One in Salento and the other in the mountains in the Caucasus. Though the places exist, they are still under construction both physically, conceptually, and as communities. So even our notes on the Transversity and the very term itself shall be under revision and rethinking.

As an old friend once said, 'Organization is spontaneity that reflects upon itself. Otherwise it is impotence and defeat that try to justify (and we could add perpetuate) themselves.’ Thus our attempt at organizing another form of knowledge and life must remain constantly open to reflect upon itself. Without having this process of reflection turn toward bureaucratic or institutionalizing measures which would lose the spirit and force of spontaneity which gave life to them. Thus each new person who brings an experience into the process has the ability to change the ontological and compositional matrix of what we are trying to construct and deconstruct.

As every work of construction implies at least three domains. The site, the form, the program. We are searching for the researchers, animators, friends who will attend to these and other dimensions of the Transversity.

What we hope to build is a kind of machine or agencement to find friends who are interested via different means and measures to overcome the contradictions and destruction which we inherit through capitalist, colonialist, and patriarchal modes of thought, action, and relation. It is a research which goes to the heart of our ethical, psychic, ecological, political, social, cultural, material, philosophical and subjective limits.

We hope what we call the Transversity is also a space where art finds once again its possibility to confront the measure and dismeasure of the human-all-too-human condition. It is space-time for the experimentation in the field of the senses to find other circuits and means to alter our perceptions of the worlds we inhabit.

In the past years, some of us had thought about ways of proliferating a communism of the senses or the sensibilities of the common. And in the first year of convening at the Casa Cafausica (or as one of the youngest in the group has called it, The House of Everyone) we have tried to elaborate what could be the ethics of a care for a common place (un luogo comune). In that research, another friend once referred to what we were hoping to create as a cantiere, a shipyard of sorts where life, art, and struggle could be dismantled, constructed and deconstructed.

If capitalism feeds on separation, could we see this Transversity as the space-time of conjunction. If coloniality (and modernity) functions on the imposition of one world and one history at the expense and flattening of a multiplicity of worlds and temporalities, could we see the Transversity as the proliferation of worlds and temporalities? If patriarchy feeds on the disvaluation of reproduction and the exaltation of production, could we see the Transversity as the space where the very separation between these two realms is rendered indiscernible.

What we have been creating are places to engage in long term intergenerational and cultural conversations and friendships, to think and construct our forces to reclaim a possible autonomy, to reclaim a common, and to reclaim our capacities to invent our own processes of singularization.

Thus we see whatever we are calling the Transversity as a place to blur the lines between art, life, care, struggle. As a place to find and invite friends to share such experiences.

Transversity because it refuses to be reduced to one realm. It is always extending across, looking for its outside. It is a common place of assembly and thought. But it is also a possible experimental garden. It is research center, a school and de-school all at once, a decolonial, a communist, anarchist, feminist, queer desiring. It is a potential plane of consistency, a collective agencement of enunciation. It is a coming community.

As you can see, what we have been trying to create is not easy to describe. Maybe we can say, it is a precarious and vulnerable process, and what some of us who have been involved in initiatives like Oreste or 16 Beaver Group or …AND …AND …AND have tried, which is that of weaving together over time, multiple sites, communities, practices and situations which can hold and facilitate these new types of experimentation, research, becomings.

The Transversity is thus centrally a place where we find and invent our means of struggle against all the forms of oppression, both macro and micro political. But also where we find our means of the creation of joy and re-enchantment with worlds. A collective constructed machine resisting the proliferation of sad passions.

We have thought, as a kind of play or game, each of us who comes, can propose some depart-ment, dimension, faculty for this Transversity under construction. Different in-stitutes or de-stitutes, ex-stitues, para-stitutes which could populate, seminate, and take hold and over time de-velop, extending, elaborating, amplifying, resonating conjoining movements and processes further afield. These dimensions which each of us invent thus become autonomous elements cared for by those who take part, lines of flight, experiences of singularization which are not reducible to a one. Yet at the same time, taken together form and inform whatever could be called The Transversity.

Consider this an invitation to join. We are looking for friends. There is no application to enter, but we do need to know who may be coming when and what they may be interested to share as a research or process. The latter is also not an obligation as whatever research, conversations or processes are opened depend upon the engagement of a group of listeners and part takers who will inform its development.

If you are interested to contribute but unable to come on this occasion you can join our mailing list by writing to common-join [the at sign]andandand.org or email us at the above mentioned address.

 


_______________________________
4. Notes on The Transversity

Transversity names a movement across points, situations, contexts, processes, experiences, searches, competencies, modes of doing and researches.

The Transversity is a transversal time-space. It is transverse in that it stretches across different becomings. It is a becoming commune, a becoming university, a becoming clinic, a becoming atelier, a becoming monastery, a becoming garden, a becoming union, a becoming political and artistic movement without succumbing to their respective enclosures.

It is differentiated from the logic of intersection or meeting point, as it names more a dynamic and movement of crossing, over, about, through, within, horizontally and vertically, different axes, existential, theoretical, political, pragmatic, social, personal, impersonal, subjective, objective, material, immaterial.

Transversity as the antithesis to the dominant device of subject formation today, the university.

Not reducible to being a reaction or resistance to a dominant form, such as an anti-university, its genealogy is related more closely to other forms of knowledge creation and circulation within autonomous communities historically. But what distinguishes it from those experiences is the exigency it has to find ways of circulating those different orientations of knowledge in ways that can help confront the social, ecological, political urgencies of our time.

From the perspective of what we are attempting to create, it is not enough to say that knowledges of the enslaved, oppressed, colonized or not recognized have been excluded and we want them to enter the existing orders of knowledge. We have seen that even the most radical insights from such experiences can once again enter the objectified world of knowledge as commodity, immediately depotentiating them, and losing the force of an ethical injunction.

The factories of knowledge production and circulation, called universities, like the other instituted forms of care like hospitals or even the state itself, mangle and mutilitate the intentions and interests of those who take part in them through their elaborated bureaucratic, economic, and institutional self-preservation agendas.

The Transversity begins with the basis that knowledge itself is not one, it is aberrant, it is unruly, it is multiple, and must remain so.

The Transversity is not the site of domesticating knowledges. It is not a wildlife park for undomesticated and unrecognized knowledges. It is instead the possibility of knowledge production and circulation in situ. It is the possibility to rewild knowledges which never wanted to be housed inside the university, the clinic, the convent, the ashram, or any institutionalized form of care.

What kind of structures do we create for knowledges produced whether through art or other forms which retain affinity to their undomesticatability. What is it to create infrastructures of collective care, like communes, which do not institutionalize themselves or reproduce existing forms, which we know, inevitably mutilate the care which gave expression to them?

We can say that whatever we are calling the Transversity proposes a radical break in the imaginary of what learning and research can become. That the orientation and instrumentalization of knowledge today is the main engine of domination and capitalist accumulation has been elaborated in different ways and from different angles. We can further say that what is less clear is the forms that will need to be constructed to contest the dominant sources and means of the production, circulation, and orientation of that knowledge.

If the University was the engine of social and cultural development in a universalist horizon. And if universalism failed by reducing every singularity to one. Then maybe we can think of the Transversity as an engine of social and cultural transformation in a transversalist light.

Reflecting on the movements and limits of the 60’s, Felix Guattari tried in Les nouveaux espaces de liberté to draw some lessons and suggestions for future struggles. And he surmised that “new social practices of liberation will not establish hierarchical relations between themselves; their development will answer to a principle of transversality that will enable them to be established by ‘traversing’, as a ‘rhizome’, heterogeneous social groups and interests.”

For Guattari the transversality of social practices corresponds to their coefficient of openness and movement between different identities, positions, experiences, scales, classes, roles - resisting reductionism, sectarianism and authoritarian disciplines, formal hierarchies, orders of priorities decreed from above, and compulsory ideological references.

Wanting to avoid a ‘vanguard’ and major state parties, as well as the compartmentalization or hierarchization of certain militant practices over others, transversality names that capacity and movement across them. It is a movement of multiplication and proliferation which conjoin the exigencies and concerns that different communities encounter today as priorities.

Trans- also names a process which is in movement refusing any stabilization and fixing of identities.

If the university has been responsible for the flattening of knowledge, world, history into a single, homogenous and replicable form - irrespective of where and when through a principle of one world for all, one knowledge for all, one form of truth for all, one history for all (linear and progressive, of course). Then the Transversity is the possibility to open up to different histories, different knowledges, different worlds. More than that, as it is transversal, it is oriented toward a movement which crosses through these different worlds, experiences, realities attempting to discover diagrammatic resonances, alliances, new capacities for producing and reproducing life through these differences.

The Transversity is the passage between points which have been isolated or appear isolated through a process of exodus, seeking their autonomy. And like the conjunctive ‘and’, where the sense of belonging and contact is none other than the ‘and’, and the affirmation of that ‘and', the transversity becomes at once a potential point of contact, of many contacts between the different desert islands we inhabit, and at the same time a point of transmission, a thousand transmissions like a thousand plateaus, it is the attractor of affinities and concentrator and disseminator of forces and potencies, latent, submerged, clandestine, which seek for and go to the beyond, the beyond of capitalist life, the beyond of the institutionalized and commodified relations and existence.

Transversity forms part of a movement of destituting institutionalized art, institutionalized learning and institutionalized politics.

 
 


_______________________________
5. Ten Notes on the Unmaking of Art...

 

Ten Notes on the Unmaking of Art (In the Epoch of Civil War and a Post-Fascist Fascism)

(January, 2017)

1. To make anything, especially art today, one must first have a relation to the making’s unmaking.
2. Unmaking, asks of us, to not …
- hold back
- let a wave or two or even three pass
- do nothing (though this remains immanent in any doing)
rather it asks of us …
to radically question the conditions, merits, uses, futures, pasts of any making.
3. But this unmaking is no navel-gazing, it is neither an order, code or law, nor an injunction through guilt, coercion, duty - it is not a self-reflexivity for the sake of itself. It is not an ethics of stasis (standing, station, state, existing, stand, having stability) as of standing in place, remaining in place, a position not evolving but of dissension, insurrection, uproar. It looks at itself to confront its self, to disagree with what it does or makes.
4. Unmaking brings the war home, ‘so to speak’.
5. In the unmaking, the private principle of work is brought to a public which does not yet exist; it is without a demos, an a-demia, ‘the people is missing.’
6. It is neither a resolution of the dissension, of the conflict, nor its culmination, its representation, its absolution.
7. Unmaking is a ‘weighing-in’: a taking sides which has the potential to alter the sides, the sides which take part in this war, this stasis (here as civil war), in which they may not know, recognize themselves as part-takers.
8. When one is confronted with the conditions of an interminable unnameable assault, warfare on the land, on the peoples (understood as multitudes), on the difference, on the earth, on life, on the dead, on plants, and ants, on seas, bees, trees, and … in the name of economics, politics, security, police … any making is a taking sides with, on the side of, (tacitly) with those, who wage war in those names.
9. Unmaking is the unworking and making visible this silent complicity [of the makers of war and those other makers].
10. We are not able to make art in the midst of this ever extensive and de-territorializing war, we can only unmake it.