Accelerate: becoming-Ovlov

Apparently, an interview (with a Japanese scholar, Watanabe, also the name of some famous mag wheels!!) where Foucault talks about being a (Nietzschean) thinker of the event in terms of theatre has not been translated into English. It has been translated into Spanish and I have been communicating with a fellow from Mexico on the Foucualt email list about it. Apprently Foucault talks about the event in terms of ‘scenes’!!!! I need to somehow get this article (#234 of the dits er e’crits), it is entitled “La scène de la philosophie” (1978) DE III pp 571-595. It does not really surprise me that such an apparently crucial interview where Foucault talks about the ‘event’ has not been translated into English as most of the work of self-identifying Foucault scholars that I have read doesn’t talk about the ‘event’ at all.

Diss: over 41,000 words done.

I have just finished writing a tricky bit where I introduce the connections between Foucault’s eventalization, Latour’s ANT fieldwork, and Deleuze’s conception of the event, and if this works it will feel like a bloody miracle. It is constructed across my reading of about a dozen key texts and two dozen others. My arguments are initially constructed like how race car engineers build top fuel dragsters. They are forever on the edge of letting go. Top fuelers and nitro funny cars are adventures of calculated destruction. How much explosion can I get away with? But they only have to ‘win’. Scholars don’t really win or lose and they are meant to build the equivalent of Volvo arguments: “They’re boxy but they’re good.” I’ve got nothing against Volvo-arguments. (Except I’d call them Ovlovs, because that is what they are called in Street Machine.) Can you have a nitro funny car Ovlov? The Swedes probably do. The arguments will become less ‘grenade’ and more ‘sound’ the more I rewrite them, of this I am confident.

Accelerate: becoming-Ovlov!!

EDIT: 2am update. Over 42,000. I am killing this shit!!! Absolute murder. (I’m sorry, did I take Massumi to heart when he wrote about resuscitating the philosophical underpinnings of Foucault’s Archeology of Knowledge?)

Having an iPod dance every 20 minutes (or every paragraph of written text, whichever comes first) is extremely important at this time of the day (or morning or night, or night-morning, but watch that cause it sounds like a Russian scifi-vampire flick). iPods are teh awesomest for listening to loud music loud at condensed 2am moments of insane will-to-phd. Yeah, and then dancing… s-l-o-w… a-nd-jer-ky…andfast…and…aw–ay…and…

KKD mofos mofos!

6 replies on “Accelerate: becoming-Ovlov”

  1. Glen, I’m sure you’re aware that mainstream Anglo-Foucauldian scholarship has attempted to bring Foucault and ANT together. Most of this work has been rather uncritical and has largely been used in a rather haphazard way: “Wait a second! Foucault doesn’t seem to talk about “government at a distance,” but Latour talks about “action at a distance,” so let’s forget the differences between Latour and Foucault and the differences between “action” and “government” and pretend that I can insert one concept in the place of another!” Nik Rose is likely the worst when it comes to this sort of shoddy theorization. See his “Political Power Beyond the State” in the BJS from the early/mid nineties and his “Governing Economic Life” from Economy & Society (1990, I think). He continues this line in the “theoretical” chapter of his Powers of Freedom. His discussion of the relation – or, rather, the co-opting of ANT by Foucauldians – is rather standard and representative. A more sophisticated view can be found in the first couple chapters of Bruce Curtis’ Politics of Population. Nik and Bruce had a fight over this in the BJS over the “state” in the mid-nineties. Worth checking out because some of the “Foucault & ANT” stuff has been done.

  2. “Wait a second! Foucault doesn’t seem to talk about “government at a distance,” but Latour talks about “action at a distance,” so let’s forget the differences between Latour and Foucault and the differences between “action” and “government” and pretend that I can insert one concept in the place of another!”

    lol! that is like foucault scholars finding panopticons everywhere. I’d be a bad deleuzian if it was simply a question of homology or resemblance 😉

    my connection is across a number of fronts but very precise. Deleuze’s work functions as a ‘mediator’. I find various levels of interconnection between FOucault- Deleuze, Deleuze-Latour connections. It largely stems from Foucault’s description of part of Deleuze’s argument in The Logic of Sense as an ‘incorporeal materialism’ in one direction, then describing part of his own work using this phrase, and then in the other direction following up some rather off-hand references by Latour in various places to both Foucualt and Deleuze (and others, and the connections to Deleuze’s references to these others). I am certainly using the work of all three in particular ways, so it is not a straightforward fit up. Basically I read all three in terms of the ‘event’.

    thankyou for the references. I had looked at some of Rose’s work. I’ll have a look for the Curtis, I have a feeling though that I have already had a read of it. (Maybe only through ‘look inside’ or something.)

  3. I should point out that Rose – but not Curtis – also puts in a bunch of Deleuze when he can’t find what he needs in Foucault or Latour. He especially uses “the diagram.” It’s the worst sort of theoretical eclecticism – and he’s the head of the anglo-Foucauldian school!

Comments are closed.