Vanishing Space, Unhinged Time, and the Kenomatic Norm

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Our finite existence is a delicate meshwork of lived, dreamed, and intuited altitudes, latitudes, stretches and expanses; concave, convex, slow, and fast spaces; interstices, axes, and abysses. Our embodied memory is, likewise, a reservoir of countless cities, mountains, airy and watery landscapes, as well as a ceaseless dance of perspectives, scales, and velocities. The 2020-21 lockdowns and the ensuing ‘exile’ into the recesses of the cyberspace abruptly amputated space. Time, which, since the advent of the digital era, has been unhinged (no longer bound to emplaced events), alternated between inexorable precipitation (caused by frequent changes of rules), and swathes of waiting for ‘normality’ to return.

Based on Agamben’s work on the kenomatic law, which, unlike its pleromatic variant (that refers to the full powers of law), operates with ‘whatever it manages to catch within itself’ (2003), and the more recent work on ‘soft’ necropolitics, this paper explores the interrelation between three areas: 1) the spatio-temporal character of the new states of exception, as related to the violence of kenomatic normativity (which manifests, among other ways, through memory loss); 2) Bratton’s proposition for a positive biopolitics (2021), which is diametrically opposed to Agamben’s ‘negative’ variant; and 3) artistically-informed approaches to embodied, extended and enactive memory (Clark 2010) that range from Duchamp’s n+ dimensions, the Situationists’ psychogeography and intermedial matrixing to planetary sensing, and can be employed as a mode of resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021
EventNew Forms of Exceptionalism - The Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, New Media Department, University of Fine Arts, Belgrade, Serbia
Duration: 20 Nov 202121 Dec 2021


ConferenceNew Forms of Exceptionalism
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