WTF did we talk about?
So good to be back and finally have an opportunity to discuss the chaos that’s been unfolding over the last few weeks. The main topics of our third WTF session were COVID, conspiracy and the storming of the US Capitol. Our recommended reading and listening this week was inspired by the role of conspiracy in recent political developments in the states. Baudrillard’s notion of the “real America” and the role of scandal were particularly fruitful to our discussions about how violence at the Capitol played out and was subsequently reported on.
“The denunciation of scandal always pays homage to the law.”Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulations
We also had a fascinating discussion about the populism of affect and how feelings, particularly melancholia and feelings of loss, unite and activate groups and individuals – thanks to Ctrl N member Jemma for this, we hope to hear more from her on this idea!
For anyone who missed this session and is interested to learn more, we had some excellent recommendations for further reading from the group – see below.
WTF are people reading?
Benjamin Noys, Malign Velocities, 2014 – Particularly Chapter 5 ‘Apocalyptic Accelerationism’.
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (ed.), Novel Gazing: Queer Readings in Fiction, 1997 – In particular, her introduction, ‘Paranoid reading and reparative reading, or, You’re so paranoid, you probably think this introduction is about you’.
Tiqqun, This is Not a Programme – Semiotext(e), 2011 – Revolution and resistance, from French collective Tiqqun.
The French Group, ‘THE ENVIRONMENTAL WITCH-HUNT’, Mute Magazine, 2008 – Also see Martin Beck’s 2008 exhibition “Nothing better than a touch of ecology and catastrophe to unite the social classes…”.
Rodrigo Nunes, ‘ARE WE IN DENIAL ABOUT DENIAL?’, Public Books, 25th Nov 2020 – Crisis, conspiracy, and the denial of the left.
Wendy Brown, ‘Resisting Left Melancholy’ boundary 2, 26:3, 1999, p. 19-27 – An oldie but a goldie, Brown’s article on left melancholy keeps popping up!
Odds and ends
‘Man arrested after Trump riots must be fed ‘organic food’ after refusing jail food for 3 days, judge rules’ – This is the world we live in now.
WTF is next?