‘Control’ is the name which in 1990 Deleuze gave to the ‘new monster’ that is now our present. He said then, and it resonates still, that the most important question of our time is where and how we will find ‘new forms of resistance’.
The old societies of discipline, which Deleuze saw as the predecessor to those of control, operated through spaces of confinement and enclosure. Their crisis gave way to a different type of spatial organization of power: instead of discreet enclosures, we find ourselves in open spaces and within a continuous network. The subject of control is not the molded body in confinement anymore, but a faceless sample, a crowd in constant modulation.
The enclosed and isolated body of the prison has given way to bodies in ‘open prisons’ of connected programs, binary digital systems and their many tools – resulting in a nomadic psyche that carries the panopticon with(in) itself. Like the watchwords of the discipline society, control operates with passwords that regulate space through access/rejection to various types of flows, such as money, information, knowledge, or art.
However, like disciplinary societies, spaces of control offer their own avenues for resistance. Resistance is never simply a reactive force. Indeed, as Deleuze and Guattari remind us, ‘resistance comes first’. The concepts of line of flight, war machine, micropolitics, deterritorialization, rhizome, becoming-minoritian, or becoming-woman, testify to the importance of thinking resistance in terms of an active force. This thought of the outside is more pertinent now than ever, because as Deleuze once protested, ‘resistance to the present’ is what we lack the most.
Whether one works in architecture, music or cinema, philosophy, art or science, politics, economics or literature, ecology and geography, entertainment, medicine and sport, or issues of race, gender, and sexuality, the question is the same: what is the nature of the form of power we are exposed to today and where can we find real potential for change? How can we think and construct spaces that would act as areas of resistance against the oppressive strategies of control?
The conference aims to show how an engagement with the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari contributes to the project of discovering emancipatory dimensions of space. We welcome explorations of the way philosophy, art, or science create spaces that allow escape and counterattacks? In what way can music, art, or travel act as areas that would not be re-captured by the contemporary network of control? How can internet phenomena, such as piracy or viruses, assist us in scrambling the digital flows of controlled data? Are there perhaps creative potentials even in history, where archaisms would not only feed the mechanisms of control, but also provide avenues for chaosmotic becomings? Or are there arts of control, as Deleuze once suggested, that could also function as forms of resistance?
By turning to these questions, we aspire to enrich the broad field of Deleuze and Guattari studies with new and original insights: across in the disciplines of political and social theory, ethics and logic, psychoanalysis, Anthropocene studies, metaphysics and the theories of new materialisms, epistemology and aesthetics following the affective turn.
We invite paper and panel proposals from scholars of all disciplines, as well as performance and installation proposals from artists related to the theme of the Conference. We also kindly ask students interested in the Camp to send us their applications.