I am contributing a text to the forthcoming occursus publication – a collection of responses by artists, writers and researchers to certain themes which emerged in the course of the last series of occursus’ Reading Loop. The book will be divided into themes; these are: ‘Spandrels’, ‘Re-visiting’, ‘Dis/con/sensus’, ‘Copying’, ‘Foam’ and ‘Animality’. My text will be included in the section 'Dis/con/sensus’ edited by Amanda Crawley-Jackson.
Amanda's introduction to the section reads as follows:
“Politics is litigious. It is a deviation from the normal order of things. It is a denaturalising gesture, a rupture and an interruption. (See Jacques Rancière, Dissensus).
Politics is dissensus. Consensus is the loss of thought. It is politics understood as the affair of government. The futility of noisy protests that everyone agrees with…? (That leads to more consensus.) Art as a means of disclosing the ‘necessary’ and ‘inevitable’ as contingent? (See Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism, p. 16). The denaturalising function of art. What constitutes consensus and dissent today? In what forms are they practised? What kinds of sociality do they entail? Doing is a torrent against all enclosure. Our power to do things differently, our power to create a different world, is a flow that exerts a growing force against the walls that hem us in, a constant breaching of these walls. Capital runs around mending these breaches (granting land reforms, redefining the norms of sexuality, for example), but the flow of our power will not be contained, simply because our collective life depends on it. (John Holloway, Crack Capitalism, p. 261). What are the links between art and politics? Is art (and can it be) political? Does it do? What is the place of the university? Is the university a consenting or dissenting institution?
dissent (vb): early 15c., from L. dissentire ”differ in sentiments, disagree, be at odds, contradict, quarrel,” from dis- ”differently” (see dis-) + sentire ”to feel, think” (seesense). Related: Dissented; dissenting.
dissension (n): early 14c., from O.Fr. dissension (12c.) and directly from L. dissensionem (nom. dissensio) “disagreement, difference of opinion, discord, strife,” noun of action from pp. stem of dissentire ”disagree”
consensus (n): 1854 as a term in physiology; 1861 of persons; from L. consensus ”agreement, accord,” pp. of consentire (see consent). There is an isolated instance of the word from 1633.”