“A concept is a brick. It can be used to build the courthouse of reason. Or it be can thrown through the window.”
—Brian Massumi, Translator’s Foreword, A Thousand Plateaus
QUIVER is an attack on how philosophy now picks over Deleuze’s corpus like a doctor performing an autopsy. Its purpose is to liberate concepts.
Recall the conversation between Foucault and Deleuze, in which they declare ideas to be “tools” in a “toolbox.” The suggestion was meant to break them from esoteric systems and exclusive clubs (schools, factions). But it also made them ripe for exploitation, as their significance was left up to the user. Our task is to recover ideas’ critical edge. As such, we view ideas as stinging like arrows. These concepts are weapons with embedded points of view that intervene with force.
Foucault was right to approach knowledge as “made for cutting.” But we depart from his genealogical method, which looked to the past to construct histories of the present. Our experimental method collects fragments of the present and future, sharpening them into points.
We open with three lines of attack:
1) A reading group collecting concepts.
A regular reading series of texts – some new, some old. The idea is less to understand, and more to explore how they can be raided for new conceptual weapons. The target is power in all of its manifestations.
2) A series of experimental interventions.
Practical, literal disruptions of received ideas biology, networks, politics, and more. Examples include biohacking workshops, deploying offline sharing networks, constructed situations outside the purview of the state, and other approaches historically undertaken by the avant-garde.
3) A conference.
Given the ongoing health crisis, we intend on holding a gathering of people online. Its focus is neither hanging out nor rigid presentations of fact. But rather, the common goal is to sharpen dull concepts into fine points.
Organized by Andrew Culp and Dana Papachristou.
QUIVER is sponsored by the School of Critical Studies and the MA Program in Aesthetics and Politics at the California Institute of the Arts, and the University of Thessaly.