Monday, March 21, 2011

The Inoperative Police

“...inoperativity is not inert; on the contrary, it allows the very potentiality that has manifested itself in the act to appear. It is not potentiality that is deactivated in inoperativity but only the aims and modalities into which its exercise had been inscribed and separated... We are not dealing here with a simple and insipid absence of a purpose, which often leads to a confusion in both ethics and aesthetics. Rather, at stake here is the rendering inoperative of any activity directed toward an end, in order to then dispose it toward a new use, one that does not abolish the old use but persists in it and exhibits it...” (Giorgio Agamben, "The Glorious Body," in Nudities)

Follow the link below to a pretty neat example of inoperativity: a live feed of the New York Police Department radio layered over random ambient tracks. Listen to it as you read a book, cook dinner, or fold your laundry.

1 comment:

Saul said...

"Whereas the first form interruption of work is violent, since it causes only an external modification of labor conditions, the second, as pure means, is nonviolent. For it takes place not in readiness to resume work following external concessions and this or that modification to working conditions, but in the determination to resume only a wholly transformed work, no longer enforced by the state, an upheaval that this kind of strike not so much causes as consummates. For this reason, the first of these undertakings is lawmaking but the second anarchistic." -- Walter Benjamin, Critique of Violence (1996), 246.