“The animal of the molecular revolution will be neither mole nor snake, but a drone-animal-thing that is solid, liquid, and a gas.”
As the philosophical, religious, and historical systems that have produced the “individual” (and its counterparts, society and community) over the years continue to break down, the age of “dividuality” is now upon us. Gerald Raunig charts a genealogy of the concept “dividuum” and develops a philosophy of dividuality as a way of addressing contemporary modes of production and forms of life. Through its components of dispersion, subsistence, and similarity, dividuality becomes a hidden principle of obedience and conformity, but it also brings with it the potential to realize disobedience and noncompliant con/dividualities.
Raunig’s bad news is that dividuality is responsible for much of the intensified exploitation and subservience in contemporary machinic capitalism. Algorithms, derivatives, big data, and social media technology all contribute to the rampant expansion of divisive management strategies and desires for self-division. The good news, however, is that this same terrain of dividuality and subsistential division presents an opportunity for a new kind of resistance, one that can be realized in the form of con/division.
Gerald Raunig is a philosopher and art theorist. He works at the Zürich University of the Arts, Zürich and the EIPCP (European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies), Vienna. He is coeditor of the multilingual publishing platform Transversal Texts and the Austrian journalKamion. He is the author of Art and Revolution, A Thousand Machines, and Factories of Knowledge, Industries of Creativity, all published by Semiotext[e].
Sarah Kanouse, respondent, as Associate Professor of Media Arts & Interdisciplinary Arts at Northeastern University.
Sergio Galaz-Garcia, discussant, is a PhD candidate in Sociology at Princeton University.
ACT’s fall 2016 lecture series is conceived by Gediminas Urbonas, ACT director, and developed and coordinated by Ashley Rizzo Moss, ACT Senior Communications & Public Programs Assistant and Lucas Freeman, ACT Writer in Residence, in conversation with ACT graduate students.