Massumi’s Semblance and Event Reading Group

I’ve briefly discussed the prospect of running a virtual reading group for Brian Massumi’s Semblance and Event with various people on Twitter. So far there is interest from Andrew Murphie, Matt Wall-Smith and Troy Rhoades. Any other takers?

Edit: Hollman Lozano is in.

I am imagining an event not unlike the kinds of ‘blog festivals’ that used to be hosted across a number of blogs 4 or 5 years ago. The basic structure of these events was organized around a series of relatively long engagements with a set text posted to the ‘host’ blog for that week. The schedule is circulated ahead of time to encourage readers to also prepare for that week’s ‘host post’. This mode of blog-based discussion also provides everyone the opportunity to lead discussion for a given week, which is a more organized (productive) and democratic/collaborative.

Now we need to agree on a schedule and a timeline. I suggest a basic fortnightly schedule with a post followed by a predetermined respondent a week later, with other participants (or whoever) posting/responding as they liked. I volunteer to go first if there are no other takers.

In terms of content, there is a spectrum from writing up notes on the text with limited commentary to reflecting on the arguments/themes/concepts of the text in the context of one’s own project. I am happy to read any engagements. I try to write somewhere in the middle, but more on the note-writing end. What do others think?

Also, there are a number ways to engage with the text and segment it in a suitable fashion. Following the structure of the book is the simplest method. Rather more complex is to read Massumi in a ‘Deleuzian’ way, isolating the problematics that he is engaging and for which he is developing concepts (‘semblance’, ‘fusion’, etc) to address (not ‘solve’ as much as reproblematise). Again, I think any engagement, appropriately contextualised, should be welcomed. Lastly, diversity of mode should also be welcome (text, image, video, audio, etc.).

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