Monday, December 24, 2012

dispatch from spain

[Last autumn, a new and awful form of protest came to Spain. A string of homeowners on the verge of eviction by court orders and the riot police (antidisturbios) committed suicide by leaping from the windows of their mortgaged houses. The growing anti-eviction movement has altered the dynamic of social protest in Spain, broadening and deepening the opposition to austerity already manifested in the 15M and 25S movements. In the general strike of 14 November, called for by the largest unions, ‘everyone except the Partido Popular and Basque nationalist unions’ poured into the streets. Darío Corbeira, editor of Brumaria, sends the following reflection on the context of the unfolding social struggle. Many thanks to him for taking the time, and to Maria Adelaida Samper for the fine translation. –GR]

Hermeneutic Antidisturbios: 25S, the Anti-Eviction Movement and the 14 November General Strike in Context

By Darío Corbeira

On 25 September, several thousand citizens responded to an anonymous call to surround Madrid’s Congress of Deputies: ‘Surround the Congress, remain there indefinitely. Desert and break with the current regime, demand the dissolution of the entire government, courts and heads of state, and abolition of the existing Constitution. Begin constituting a new system of political, economic and social organization.’ The gathering citizens aimed to convey to the parliamentarians their deep opposition to the austerity program of Mariano Rajoy Brey’s governing Partido Popular (PP) and to the interventions of the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and European Union. Framing it was a radical critique of the parliamentarism that came out of the so so-called Transition to democracy. As made clear in their manifestos, proclamations and chants, the protesters saw that form of democracy as utterly bankrupt. What began that day has become known as the 25S movement, distinct from but clearly related to its predecessor 15M and the other movements that have emerged from the neighbourhoods, universities, hospitals, cultural centers, and manufacturing areas. All were questioning the perverse effects of neoliberal policies designed by financial capitalism and applied to the letter by the governing authorities. Those effects have shaken the fragile ‘welfare state’ slowly built up since Franco’s death and have undermined all it has achieved by way of diminishing the gaping social and economic disparities that persist in Spain despite the governments of the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party/PSOE).

Thursday, December 13, 2012

re third text

There is no more point in mincing words: the journal Third Text has been hijacked by its own Board of Trustees. The fiats of this administrative regime have, over the last two years, shut out founder Rasheed Araeen and turned over editorial control to a usurper whose abilities inspire little confidence and whose politics are dubious. This, in the name of bureaucratic values: "professionalization" and neo-liberal "governance." In the background, publisher Taylor & Francis and funding agency Arts Council England may have welcomed such changes, but for all those who know the history of this journal and value its committed critical vision, this takeover is unacceptable. 

Rasheed Araeen at Asia Art Archive, 2009

In the 1970s, artist Rasheed Araeen emerged as a leader in the struggle against institutionalized racism in the London art world. Positions first expressed in his 1975/6 "Preliminary Notes for a BLACK MANIFESTO," were developed in the late 1970s into the anti-imperialist Black Phoenix, and eventually, in 1987, into Third Text. Through the 1990s and into the new century, this journal nurtured many new voices, including my own, and was truly a forum for global critical perspectives on contemporary art and culture. Its feisty spirit was fed by its origins in struggle, and practical amnesia from above will not make this history disappear.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

review: lilley et al on catastrophism

Review: Sasha Lilley, David McNally, Eddie Yuen and James Davis, Catastrophism: The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth (PM Press, 2012)

     This is the end. My only friend: the end. - JM

Capitalist governance is hardly thinkable today outside the shifting contours of the politics of fear. Terror pulses and surges within the global social process, and anxiety shapes the very forms of contemporary subjectivity. The logic of accumulation dominates through a flexible mix of enjoyment and enforcement. Under the pressures and miseries of social and ecological crises, fantasies of doom animate both the dream machines of the culture industry and the political imaginaries of divergent social movements. To experience collective self-destruction as a supreme aesthetic pleasure, Benjamin noted back at the opening of the new era of terror, is bad politics.

Catastrophism: The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth offers a superb and needed critical overview of current tendencies toward an aestheticizing politics of doom. Evolving out of discussions catalyzed by Iain Boal and the Retort collective, these essays by Lilley, McNally, Yuen and Davis survey and analyze the traps and delusions involved when catastrophe scenarios are deployed as a mobilizing political figure. Clearly, we need to understand these pitfalls, for as Yuen observes, our moment ‘is saturated with instrumental, spurious, and sometimes maniacal versions of catastrophism – including right-wing racial paranoia, religious millenarianism, liberal panics over fascism, leftist fetishization of capitalist collapse, capitalist invocation of the “shock doctrine,” and pop culture cliché’(pp. 15-16).

Friday, November 2, 2012

science in the force field

Climate scientists have not yet reached consensus about whether global warming will tend to increase or decrease the total number of hurricane-strength storms. But there is strong agreement that warming creates the conditions for larger and more powerful hurricanes: warmer sea surface temperatures, higher sea levels and more moisture in the atmosphere. These general tendencies interact with other local and regional factors to produce the local weather.

Climatologist Kevin Trenberth parses the specific conjuncture that intensified Hurricane Sandy: ‘The sea surface temperatures along the Atlantic coast have been running at over 3C above normal for a region extending 800km off shore all the way from Florida to Canada. Global warming contributes 0.6C to this. With every degree Celsius [of warming], the water holding of the atmosphere goes up 7%, and the moisture provides fuel for the tropical storm, increases its intensity, and magnifies the rainfall by double that amount compared with normal conditions.’

In the week or so before Hurricane Sandy pummeled the northeast US, the warming denial industry was hard at work. The right-wing, Koch-funded Cato Institute (publishers of In Defense of Global Capitalism, among other dismal screeds) attempted to sabotage a US government assessment of climate change impacts by issuing what poses as an ‘addendum’ to the original. The 2009 report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, was prepared by the US Global Change Research Center and presented to Congress as a summary of the ‘best science’ on the subject. The authoring federal entity is itself a conglomeration of thirteen departments and agencies, including the National Science Foundation, NASA and the Smithsonian Institution,  but also others, like the Environmental Protection Agency, that are routinely contained by hostile political appointments, as well as a battery of agencies straightforwardly in the business of promoting or defending the status quo of accumulation (Departments of Commerce, Interior, Energy, Defense and State, and the Agency for International Development). One can only imagine the pressures and internal struggles that shaped the publication of this report.

Monday, October 29, 2012

administering biodiversity

‘Extinction rates are rising by a factor of up to 1,000 above natural rates. Every hour, three species disappear. Every day, up to 150 species are lost. Every year, between 18,000 and 55,000 species become extinct. The cause: human activities.’
- Ahmed Djoghlaf, head of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

The problem, again: The interconnected ecosystems that make up the biosphere are all dependent on the capture, conversion and distribution of the sun’s energy through the planetary cycling of carbon. The biosphere has proved to be fairly resilient. Within the constraining parameters of life on earth, however, changes in climate can have enormous consequences. Interventions, human or non-human, that impact ecosystems and the carbon cycle can result in irreversible losses of biodiversity and trigger abrupt and uncontrollable climate changes. The contemporary form of human society – the global social process we know as capitalist modernity – has initiated both a new mass extinction event and global warming. As a result, tens of thousands of life forms will be ‘disappeared’ and millions of people will lose, directly or indirectly, their lives, health or homes through famine, drought, illness and war. These processes are already unfolding. The urgent question is: how far will they go?

Put differently, the problem is the dominant social process and the difficulty in changing it. The social process, organized to maximize capital accumulation and channeled through a rivalrous interstate system, compels all individuals to compete for places in a national economy and compels all states to promote and defend one national economy against all others. Growth, measured in Gross Domestic Product, is a given. By this logic, capital and biosphere are caught in a relation of antagonism, setting up endless and dreary struggles between the claims of jobs and environment, profits and endangered species, consumption and biodiversity. Through this optic, climate change and mass extinction are simply matters of national security and risk assessment. It is taken for granted that science and technology will enable human adaptation to ecological degradation and the weather. The national security-surveillance state is oriented toward enforcing the current social logic, not changing it. The state’s concern is: who can dominate in the new climate scenario? Or in other words: what must be changed, in order to keep in place the current regime of accumulation and logic of domination? Seen from below, however, the problem is how to change that very logic.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

greening documenta?

Kristina Buch, The Lover, 2012
Radical Camouflage at Documenta 13

by Julian Stallabrass


Documenta, held every five years in the central German city of Kassel, is the art world’s equivalent of the Olympics. While its scale may be rivalled by Venice, its five-yearly timetable and large budget allow curators time to develop an elaborate vision, and it has often been used to test the temperature of contemporary art production. Some previous editions have been very influential in changing the direction of the art world—for instance, Catherine David’s Documenta X and Okwui Owenzor’s Documenta XII did much to push it towards documentary and a greater engagement with politics.

The unusual situation and history of Documenta has haunted many of its editions, including the one currently on show. Kassel is a smallish industrial city set in hilly and forested countryside. In the Second World War, it produced planes and tanks, and it is still a production centre for Germany’s main battle tank, a fact that has not escaped Kassel’s Occupy protestors. The city was repeatedly bombed by the RAF, and extensively destroyed, with thousands killed and many more made homeless. As with so many German cities, its modern centre is the product of that destruction, and its few older buildings were those considered worth restoring from ruin. Documenta, founded in 1955, was from the beginning seen as a restoration of Nazi cultural wrecking, and its first edition showed works of classical modernism which had, of course, been condemned by the Nazis as ‘degenerate’. They were shown in what remains the main venue of Documenta, the Fridericianum, which then still bore some of the marks of war damage.

The current Documenta—or dOCUMENTA (13) if you follow the rubric of its branding—is a vastly ambitious attempt to influence the course of art and culture as a whole. Its curator, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, using a frame of reference that takes in phenomenology, quantum theory, feminist thinking and psychoanalysis, wants to push the centre of human cultural concerns away from simple subject-object oppositions towards a perspective that would take in the viewpoints of all entities, living and inorganic. If matter has an intricate connection with information, at least at the quantum level, then all entities may be said to communicate and even to have will. In recounting a failed attempt to have the world’s heaviest meteorite shipped across the world for display at Documenta, Christov-Bakargiev is led to ask, not just what she wanted or what the rock’s custodians (the indigenous Moqoit people in Argentina) wanted, but what it wanted:

'It had traveled through vertiginous space before landing on Earth and settling. Would it have wished to go on this further journey? Does it have any rights, and if so, how can they be exercised? Can it ask to be buried again, as some of the Moqoit argue, or would it have enjoyed a short trip to an art exhibition, rather than a science or world’s fair?'

This thinking is used to prop up a series of gestures towards radical positions: environmental, activist, participatory, anti-war, and in the defence of various minorities. In all this, it is paramount that there must be no ‘closure’, no settling and no agreement: rather a dissonant dance of beings and objects in which all perspectives are acknowledged in an ‘anti-logocentric’ frame.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

reflexive domination and plastic soup

Photo: Mandy Barker
Truth is timeful; history is its core and index. So taught the first generation of Frankfurt Institute thinkers - Benjamin, Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse. In keeping with this temporal truth notion, critical theorists today continuously rethink and revise their concepts in light of a dynamically unfolding social process. The master logic of that process may persist as a static essence of domination, but its specific appearance-forms emerge within a lived spectacle of kaleidoscopic flux. In a stimulating essay included in Critical Ecologies (Toronto UP, 2012), Christoph Görg discusses some recent efforts to rethink the dialectic of enlightenment.

Görg thinks the human relation to the biosphere is changing in some subtle ways, and he calls for a nuanced analysis of the domination of nature. As the ecological crises become increasingly undeniable, he argues, elites are responding in ways that cannot be characterized as simple denial or disavowal. In the post-Fordist phase of capitalist accumulation, the historical attempt to achieve utter or complete mastery of nature is finally understood to be impossible, according to Görg. Instead, technocrats and CEOs now try to master the unintended negative consequences of the failing forms of the attempted mastery of nature. But this ‘mastery of secondary effects’ or ‘reflexive domination of nature’ is a strategy of risk management that does not give up the goal of capital accumulation. The master logic remains the same, but the degrading biosphere is now addressed as an assessable risk or ‘security problem’ that must be coped in order to sustain the expectation of high returns on investment.

Photo: Mandy Barker
This reflexive domination of nature increasingly takes the form of so-called ‘ecological modernization’ and ‘greening of capitalism’. Techno-fixes are sought for the new problems that emerge continuously from the violent interface with the biosphere, which still is not acknowledged as a non-identical end-in-itself. In critiquing these pseudo-solutions, then, we need to acknowledge that capitalist technocracy does not have a single, unified position or strategy with regard to biospheric meltdown. A vast range of responses are being put into play, which must be analyzed within the specifics of local contexts and social force-fields. The emerging tendency, a reading of Görg suggests, is risk management through the ad hoc remediation of negative consequences, as these come into view.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

on the mattering of silence and avowal

Arman, untitled combustion, 1964
Plight of the After: Further Notes on Cage, Silence, Arman, Beuys, Adorno, Beckett, Trauma, Rememoration and Negative Presentation in Post-1945 Visual Art

by Gene Ray

Beuys, Plight, 1985
Two works by Joseph Beuys, or more precisely, two contrasting moments in his output: the first, a proposal for a Holocaust memorial produced in 1958, a feeble misfire; the second, the installation Plight, made and exhibited in 1985, a forcefully effective work of historical avowal. These two moments document the impressive development of one German artist. But more than that, they indicate the whole painful struggle within the visual arts to confront and respond to the Nazi genocide, a crime of state terror for which the place-name ‘Auschwitz’ has come synecdochically to stand. For visual artists willing to risk such a confrontation, the means and strategies with which to do so were by no means clear or obvious in 1958; if, after 1985, such means and strategies were established and available, that was due to the work of many, in a collective development that was absorbed and synthesized in Plight.
Beuys’ proposal for a memorial at Auschwitz-Birkenau, submitted in March 1958 to the juried competition organized by an association of camp survivors, was a failure by any standard. His offer to overshadow the camp with a monumental ‘monstrance’ derived from Roman Catholic ritual was wildly, monstrously inappropriate. I register this moment of misfire only to establish Beuys’ relatively early concern with the meaning, legacy and representation of Auschwitz. Beuys was one of 426 artists who submitted proposals to the jury convened in 1956 by the Comité international d’Auschwitz. For it, he produced numerous drawings and models in wood, pewter and zinc. None are compelling or evince much insight. Some were later incorporated into various installations and vitrines, including Auschwitz Demonstration 1956-1964; the dates in the title of the latter indicate the artist’s retrospective desire to establish his continuous engagement with the Nazi genocide and the problem of its artistic representation. This desire is significant, especially given Beuys’ evident reticence with regard to Nazism and its crimes. These early sketches and models, loaded with the Christian symbolism of sin, guilt, sacrifice and forgiveness, may betray the stirrings of the artist’s own unresolved conflicts in facing this history. They certainly illuminate a profound confusion before the crisis of representation imposed on art ‘after Auschwitz’, to use the phrase of Theodor W. Adorno. This confusion was hardly unique at the time; it marks a moment when the dialectic between genocidal history and representation was felt by some European visual artists as the pressure of a still unclarified problematic.
Beuys, Auschwitz Demonstration, 1964
The negative presentation of Auschwitz through the indirect material linkages and evocative strategies deployed so effectively in Plight – the environment he installed in the London gallery of Anthony d’Offay in 1985 – was only possible after the investigation of negative presentation in the visual arts had reached a certain point of development. The artistic strategy evident in this work manifests an understanding of the potentials of negative evocation to respond to historical trauma and catastrophe, as well as an at least minimally conscious control of the sculptural means for such evocation. With regard to artistic means, all the techniques used by Beuys in Plight had probably been developed by other artists by the end of 1961, although their potentials would not have been immediately clear to all.[1] The necessary historical disclosures no doubt took longer to circulate and fully sink in; the critical processing of those disclosures is by no means complete today.

Plight is a culminating work, in the precise sense that it consolidates this collective investigation and development that took place in the visual arts between 1945 and the end of 1961 in a way so compelling that it establishes a new standard for artistic approaches to Auschwitz. The negative memorials that in the 1990s would become the institutionally preferred model for monumental public remembrance are prefigured by Plight and are, by and large, merely echoes or variations on it. I am not concerned in this essay to treat Beuys’ personal development or career in any detail, beyond what I have done elsewhere.[2] Here I focus on Plight, in order to unfold from this one work the outlines of a larger history – the discovery and development, in the visual arts, of negative, dissonant strategies for representing catastrophic history in the aftermath of World War II.

Friday, October 5, 2012

review: wilson on the mass extinction

Review: Edward O. Wilson, The Future of Life (Little, Brown, 2002)

‘Although it is possible to predict species extinction for the near future – say, over the next decade or two – such a projection is impossible for the more distant future. The obvious reason is that the trajectory depends on human choice. If the decision were taken today to freeze all conservation efforts at their current level while allowing the same rates of deforestation and other forms of environmental destruction to continue, it is safe to say that at least a fifth of the species of plants and animals would be gone or committed to early extinction by 2030, and half by the end of the century. If, on the other hand, an all-out effort is made to save the biologically richest parts of the natural world, the amount of loss can be cut by at least half.
     – Edward O. Wilson, The Future of Life (pp. 101-2)

This is, I am obliged to say right away, my first reading of a book by Edward O. Wilson. I can’t say it is my first encounter, for I have met this name many times already. Wilson is one of those prolific scientists whose presence and influence has grown far beyond his area of specialization (myrmecology, the study of ants) and has attained enough aura and eminence, within the mediations of spectacular culture, to enable him to act as that rarity, a public intellectual: someone whose views and assessments are widely disseminated and may actually count for something in the deliberations of policymakers and even, perhaps, in the formation of so-called public opinion.

I read this book to learn more about the loss of biodiversity and the extinction of species. In particular, I wanted to know what is behind Wilson’s assertion, often cited in the literature around extinction, that if nothing is done to counteract current trends, we can expect to lose half of all present life-forms by the end of the twenty-first century. This book certainly clarifies his position and provides all the evidence and steps that led him to this shocking prognosis. The gyst is in the citation above, and I discuss Wilson’s prescriptions for the conservation of global biodiversity at the end of this review.

Friday, September 28, 2012

review: nicholsen on the bio-meltdown

Shierry Weber Nicholsen, The Love of Nature and the End of the World: The Unspoken Dimensions of Environmental Concern (MIT Press, 2002)

Those concerned and alarmed by the biospheric meltdown need to understand the obstacles that are blocking effective responses. These obstacles are mainly of two kinds: social and psychological. The unsustainable logic of accumulation that drives our contemporary capitalist society is also driving the biospheric crisis. But to change this logic would be to change the form of society itself. To do that, we would have to overcome formidable processes of social reproduction, including the addictive enjoyments of commodified life and the coercive enforcements of war machines and state terror.

The psychological blockages are no less formidable. To respond effectively to catastrophic ecocide, we would first need to bring it fully to awareness and attention. The extent of the damage being done is staggering and the implications are intimidating. We would need to acknowledge the destructiveness of our current way of life and our own deep implication in the global social process. Such awareness is painful and distressing. The feelings of fear, anxiety and guilt it may arouse are so threatening, in fact, that they provoke all our psychic defenses: we avoid this awareness by repressing and disavowing it, or by projecting it outward in the form of more violence or self-violence.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

elegy for an albatross

A juvenile albatross desiccate on sand, feathers cupping the fist of flotsam that starved it. As the biosphere melts down and species disappear forever, Chris Jordan documents the real appearance-forms of accumulation. On Midway Atoll (Pihemanu Kauihelani in Hawaiian), in the middle of the North Pacific, he photographed the carcasses of albatrosses killed by plastic. These are hard images, documents of barbarism in Benjamin’s sense: alarms that call us to awake.

This archive, which Jordan subtitles Message from the Gyre, is a lesson in dialectics. In a forensic sense, these images are evidence of a deadly process: capitalist modernity interacting with and transforming ‘nature’. In the commodity, capital animates and inspirits dead things with living relations: they are made to move and dance and flow on a global scale. Here, in these images, we can see in a flash the terrible, indifferent truth of this social process: accumulation, our master, grows within life like an incubus. The commodity – or its traces and refuse – acquires its life at the expense of life, a process that ends in the starvation of living things and the slow disappearance of life-forms. Modernity has launched a new mass extinction event, which now, steadily, comes into view.

Friday, September 21, 2012

capital and biosphere

Modernity and Biospheric Meltdown:
Rethinking Exits, Austerities and Biopolitics

by Gene Ray

In setting out the agenda for this conference, Yannis Stavrakakis calls for a critical and postcolonial reflection on the Greek crisis. He asks us to think about the current politics of debt and austerity within the historical force-fields of “Heterodox Modernity”: “A global crisis provides the opportunity for the enforcement of one more project of ‘modernizing’ Greek culture under circumstances of a quasi-state of emergency.” The terms constellated in this formulation point me to the emerging crisis within modernity itself.
My thesis here is that modernity exists but cannot be sustained. It stands exposed today as untenable and unviable – indeed, terminally so. Why? For all the good old reasons set out by critical theory long ago, but also, now, for some new ones. Today, biospheric or ecological meltdown and mass extinction announce the end of modernity. Our challenge now is to rescue ourselves from it: we need an exit from the logic it imposes, not a fix that would prologue it.
Given the stakes, which I clarify below, this challenge should be at the very center of political discourse and debate. It should be included now in every serious discussion about the so-called sovereign debt crisis, or art, or the postcolonial. Instead, we continue to leave it out. For many reasons, we’re avoiding this challenge. It’s too huge, too unthinkably catastrophic, too difficult and uncomfortable on so many levels. But avoidance and disavowal won’t make the biospheric crisis go away. It will impose itself now as the absolute material limit of modernity – the real constraining objectivity that will shape all politics, all possible futures.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

postcolonial studies

from Kleio's notebook: on Troikas, debts & Protecting Powers 

'The insurgent Greeks had contracted loans, on disadvantageous terms, in the City of London during the war of independence and in 1832, the three Protecting Powers [that agreed to recognize Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire and selected a monarch to rule over the new nation, the 17-year old second son of Ludwig I of Bavaria], Britain, France and Russia, guaranteed a loan of 60 million francs, much of the proceeds of which were expended on the army, on King Otto's Bavarian bureaucracy and on the service of the loan. 

'In the 1880s, further loans, totalling 630 million drachmas, were contracted, the service of which came to consume a third of the revenues of the state. 

'When, in 1893, there was a collapse in world demand for her principal export, currants, Greece was forced greatly to reduce interest payments and was effectively bankrupt.

Monday, September 17, 2012

overidentification and the greek crisis

Rethinking Overidentification:
On Some Activist Practices in the Greek Crisis.

by Kostis Stafylakis

Discussion about practices of ‘overidentification’ has to start by rejecting the idea that overidentification is, or can be, a concrete strategy for assaulting the forms of metapolitical and postdemocratic administration prevalent in today’s societies. Overidentification is not some full-on avant-garde attack on social systems of power and control. It is rather a ‘symptom’ of the ideological uncertainties and identity dislocations of late capitalism. That said, overidentification is a term for those impure moments within cultural practices when subjects can try out the consequences of their identifications, attachments and orientations of desire. The overidentifying subject embraces the risks involved in these games. To overidentify is to accept that one is fully imbricated in a social bond, in a field that does not pose neat and unproblematically clear choices between resistance and conformism. Overidentification is related to forms of critical cultural practices; its ‘criticality’ is generated when ‘subjects of overidentification’ begin to admit and embrace the fact that their subjectivity is deeply interwoven with and by social discourses, power, authority, heteronomy – and is structurally involved in their reproduction. In this respect, practices of overidentification can potentially foster a critical interrogation of current social dogmas to the extent that an unconscious part of one’s own attachment to the social apparatus is (re)enacted. In this gaming or acting out, the ‘over’ or surplus of overidentification is the movement beyond the safe, controlled, supervised representation of identity.

Since the late 1990s, significant theoretical approaches have contextualized the relation between cultural activism and grassroots social movements resisting the deregulation of societies and economies associated with globalization and neoliberal policies. In the late 1990s and early 2000s activist practices unwrapped an agenda of tactics and strategies against the neoliberal exploitation of public space, the waning of the welfare state, and the control of information and mass media by powerful corporations. Reclaim The Streets took back public spaces, the Yes Men tried to de-legitimize the politics of WTO and the managerial discourse of big corporations, and Critical Art Ensemble interrogated late capitalist eugenics and biopolitics. In a similar fashion, Geert Lovink and David Garcia coined the term ‘tactical media’ in 1997 to address the new nomadic and tactical zeitgeist of networked cultural resistance.