Tag Archives: utopia

DERRIDEAN DECONSTRUCTION WITHOUT DERRIDA

30 Apr

DERRIDEAN DECONSTRUCTION WITHOUT DERRIDA

Date: Thursday, April 29, 2010
Time: 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Location: Beaubourg268, San Francisco

Description

On April 1993 Jacques Derrida delivered a lecture titled Specters of Marx at an academic symposium sponsored by the University of California at Riverside on the topic “Whither Marxism?” Since then a slew of critics and commentators, from Aijaz Ahmad to Terry Eagleton to Richard Rorty (to name only a few), have reproached the Sephardic-Jewish Algerian Marxist for the effective indifference and utter contentlessness of his post 1989 approach to a Marxism without Marxism, which is to say a Marxism deprived of its malevolent historical content. Upon re-reading Derrida’s Specters of Marx in today’s post 2008 Credit Collapse, post 9/11 political landscape, one can’t help but agreeing with the anti-derrideans of the 90s; not only has Derrida passed away, his theoretical specter too seems impotent – without substantial force or relevance in the short twenty first century.

But is there then a way to save Derrida without Derrida? which is to say a derridean deconstruction that doesn’t defer to the specter of a purely imaginary “New International”, one “without status, without title, and without name . . . without party, without country, without national community”? More pointedly: what would a positive hauntological manifestation that didn’t rely on Derrida’s empty, formalistic messianism, look like? How would an institution that embraced the specter of an effective utopia function?

This is the first of three talks that will make up a 150 page text on The Becoming Resurrection.

This event is free but capacity is limited.

Advertisements

A Communist Utopia?

23 Feb

A Beaubourg268 Workshop & Extensive Explorative

A Communist Utopia?
Sunday 1 – 3:10pm  

Instructor: Gina Clark                           

Office Hours: Wed 8am – 2pm,  San Francisco.
Email: sledovane_fotografie@hotmail.com

QUOTE HERE

Course Summary

According to the filmmaker Jiri Menzel,  

This course will combine Marx’s fundamental mistake that a new, higher social order (Communism) is possible – and run with it, not by reading Marx, but by making an 8 foot paper mache Karl Marx bust, as shown in Dusan Makavejev’s Sweet Movie (Criterion Collection) (1974). Weekly screenings of para-Communist flicks such as Sweet Movie will hopefully underline the point that Marxian Communism destroyed and inspired so many different countrires; nevertheless, this bodily notion of a society of pure unleashed productivity outside the frame of Capital (a body without organs as Deleuzians would say) is still operative in maintaining Albert Meister’s utopian vision of the beaubourg – a place that acts as both the ideal art school and the perfect Commune (a Tarkovskyian zone where all of your authentic desires become actualized).

Virtually everyone today “knows that” Communism was the central catastrophe of the XXth century – but how many of us “knows how” to repeat Marx’s mistake – to sensually actualize unbridled productivity as something that is ultimately independent of the concrete capitalist social formation? We are all too aware that an 8 foot, gray, paper mache sculpture of the head of Marx will not resuscitate Marxian Communism – nor would we want to; nonetheless, we’d like to not only celebrate Marx – but underline the influence of a certain Marxian Communism in cinema and the utopian symbolic order.

Today it is

Tentative Film Screenings

Oblomov (KINO Video) (1979), Nikita Mikhalkov(Director), 142 mins (M. also directed Burnt by the Sun)
Capricious Summer (Facets Video) (1967), Jiri Menzel (Director), 74 mins,                                                           Closely Watched Trains (Criterion Collection) (1966), Jiri Menzel (Director), 93 mins.                                       Skrivánci na niti ( Larks on a String ) (1969), Jiri Menzel (Director).
The Flat (Kimstim Collection) (1968), Jan Svankmajer (Director), 13 mins.
Stalker (Russian Cinema Council) (1979), Andrei Tarkovsky (Director), 163 mins, color.
Sweet Movie (Criterion Collection) (1974), Dusan Makavejev (Director), 98 mins, color.
WR: Mysteries of the Organism (Criterion Collection) (1971), Dusan Makavejev (Director), 85 mins, color.
The Omega Man (1971), Boris Sagal (Director) Color
XXY (2007) , Lucía Puenzo (Director), 86 mins, color                                                                                                           The Firemen’s Ball, (1967), Milos Forman (Director), 73 mins.

Course Requirements
– Faithful attendance / meetings and office hours negotiable
– Regular weekly viewings

General Policies
1. Attendance: Absences may be offset with meetings and office hours
2. Office hours: Please feel free to contact me so we may arrange an alternate time to meet.

Provisional Schedule
TBA

Beaubourg 268: Understanding Contemporary East Asian Nihilism

17 Jan

beaubourg 268

Understanding Contemporary East Asian Nihilism
MW 1:10-2:30
Maxi Kim
Office Hours: Wed 3-4
 San Francisco
Email: maximuskim@hotmail.com

“When Bertolt Brecht saw a Japanese mask of an evil demon,
he wrote how its swollen veins and hideous grimaces ‘all betake /
what an exhausting effort it takes / To be evil.’ The same holds
for violence which has any effect on the system.”
-Slavoj Zizek

Course Summary

This course is designed to explore a certain nihilistic dimension in contemporary East Asia – the hikikomori phenomenon in Japan, the pitilessness in New Korean Cinema, the increasing influence of guangchang giant malls in China, etc, etc – through its art, texts, and films. We will begin by discussing issues of violence, utopia, and “evil” as they relate to the disavowed ghosts that haunt East Asia: North Korean totalitarianism, the psychic deadlocks discernible in otaku culture, the specter of the revolutionary Chinese future from the first sentence of The Communist Manifesto. In Jonathan Romney’s May 2006 Artforum article on the South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, Romney makes a series of observations about Park’s oeuvre. His stories evoke “absurdity, futility, inevitability: Park’s characters are, as it were, always destined to shoot themselves in the head, and although it will always be the right head-the one that hurts-it will also be the wrong one, for all action in Park’s universe is doomed to catastrophe.” It is precisely against this background that this course will pay particular attention to the nihilistic moments when the Absolute appears in all its “absurdity, futility, inevitability:” from Park’s last man who discovers that familial piety is an illusion, to Kim Jong-il’s obscene familial investment in the figure of the Leader; from the extremely fragile cognitive mapping cultivated by Takashi Murakami’s Tokyo Girls, to the subversion of the cyborg-comic mode of existence guaranteed by Giant Robot; in all of these examples, we will hopefully see how the implicit reference to some traumatic kernel keeps the dream of a utopian universe alive.

Suggested Texts
Michael Zielenziger, Shutting out the sun: how Japan created its own lost generation
Kim Jong Il, On the Art of the Cinema
Dai Jinhua, Cinema and Desire: Feminist Marxism and Cultural Politics in the Work of Dai Jinhua
Ryu Murakami, Piercing
Banana Yoshimoto, NP
Chun Sue, Beijing Doll
Guy Delisle, Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea
Hyok Kang, This is Paradise! My North Korean Childhood

Course Requirements
– Faithful attendance / meetings and office hours negotiable
– Regular weekly readings
– Take-home Midterm Creative Project / Essay
– Take-home Final Creative Project / Essay

General Policies
1. Attendance: Absences may be offset with meetings and office hours
2. Deadlines: Creative assignments are due at the beginning of workshops. Constructive criticisms only; the group will not tolerate personal attacks. Workshops will not accept any papers more than one week late.
3. Format: All essays must be typed, double-spaced with one-inch margins, paginated and stapled (please do not use folders or report covers). Feel free to use MLA format as outlined in MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (fifth edition).
4. Office hours: All students are greatly encouraged to visit me during my office hour throughout the quarter. If you are unable to visit me at this time, please feel free to contact me so we may arrange an alternate time to meet.

Schedule
2/22 Shutting out the Sun; after class optional screening of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Bright Future (2003)
2/24 Shutting out the Sun; after class optional screening of Tekkonkinkreet (2007)
3/1 Workshop
3/3 Workshop
3/8 On the Art of the Cinema; after class optional screening of Paprika (2007)
3/10 On the Art of the Cinema; after class optional screening of The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (2006)
3/15 On the Art of the Cinema; Workshop
3/17 Workshop
3/22 Cinema and Desire
3/24 Cinema and Desire
3/29 Piercing
3/31 Piercing
4/5 Piercing & NP; Midterm due
4/7 NP
4/12 NP & optional workshop
4/14 Beijing Doll & optional workshop
4/19 Beijing Doll
4/21 Pyongyang & This is Paradise!
4/26 Pyongyang & This is Paradise!
4/28 Workshop
5/3 Final paper