Notes from week 3, Ahmed and Reber

August 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Reber uses a foucauldian analysis of the function of affect, making it difficult for many of us to recognise an argument in her paper: the argument is in the methodology. She describes the current affective episteme (though aware of episteme being caught up in rationality), as currently hegemonic, “in which there is neither formal empire nor formal colony, but rather [an] all-encompassing systemic immanence”. This immanence (drawing on Spinoza) is compared with that of the Quaker system: God resides inside everyone, aka, the inner light, requiring no exogenous religious activity. The body, the soma, affects, replace the role of rationality, reason, the head. Free-market capitalism (or “liberal democracy”) is guided by an invisible hand, pursuing a homeostatic logic for capitalism. This does not imply that capital is not still exploitative of humans and the natural environment, but rather it stabilises within capital.

Ahmed begins with unpacking ‘happiness’, drawing on Aristotle’s ethics: the pursuit of happiness is the ethical mode of existence. Here, she illustrates that the ‘good life’ is not unfettered pleasure, rather pleasure that is derived from fulfilling social norms. She describes the kill joy feminist (vs. the ‘happy housewife’), and the bitterness of the oppressed, who in their not appearing cheerful are exposed as “mean, bitter, angry, dangerous” (i.e. lumpen). And in Queer literature, in which the parents are often unhappy about their child’s life decision because they are afraid it will bring them unhappiness, as they will not be able to live ‘fulfilling’ lives producing their very own nuclear family.

The ethical person, who lives the ‘good life’ in pursuit of happiness, exists as a functional member of the state (or dominant ideology). The happy person is a good heteronormative, nationalist consumer.

missing connections

August 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

missing connections

While shopping for snacks, the Vancouver host was consumed by the commodity, and unable to make it to her own party at 7:30PM SHARP. Our apologies (mostly mine). Please don’t feel discouraged!

AAB issue 2 / And I Didn’t Even Call the Police! / Sunday, April 28 2013 at 8pm / the STAG library

April 15, 2013 § Leave a comment


Sunday, April 28 2013 at 8pm

AAB / about a bicycle

And I Didn’t Even Call the Police!

issue 2 / winter 2013

“To overcome this crisis without questioning the meaning of consumption, production, and investment is to reproduce the preconditions of financial capitalism, the violence of its ups and downs, the philosophy according to which ‘time is everything, man is nothing.’ For man to be everything, we need to reclaim the time of his existence.”

From Christian Marazzi’s The Violence of Financial Capitalism

About a Bicycle trudged through the autumn and winter seasons with another prolific round of readings, focusing on the irreversible and violent 2008, to present, financial economic crisis. Our intent was to historicize the economic principles that have led to Capitalism’s current transmutations, and reflect on the pathologic effects of standardized time on labour, psychologies, communication, and avant-gardism. In many ways the lens turned back on ourselves and highlighted where we capitulate to Capitalistic pressures (via consumption, silence, bourgeois narratives), yet prove a threat (through socio-political boycotts, self-reflexive line breaks, and by establishing a strong understanding of our working ties) to Capitalism’s obscene superego.  We engaged in a genealogical understanding of our current economic state, bit by bit, better acquainting ourselves with the varying degrees of brutality inflicted upon us by financial capital and the bitter logic of Neoliberalism, in order to be better critically situated within Capitalist hegemony.

AAB is a group of self-identified women, with interest in reading and discussing interesting critical themes that are pertinent to the space and time of the readers.

Celebrate the launch of our second issue, entitled And I Didn’t Even Call the Police!, featuring performances by Anahita Jamali Rad, Danielle LaFrance, Patrick Morrison, Natalie Knight, Dorothy Trujillo Lusk, and Maria Wallstam. 

Hosted at the STAG: 826 East Pender Street, Vancouver BC, V6A 1W1

The issue will be available for $10 at the launch.

Capitalism’s final frontier: it always comes back to modes of life

March 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

We would love you all to join us this coming Thursday for the final session of AAB’s current project The Capital Labour/Capital Life Reading Group. We will be reading:

Ch.VI “The Buying and Selling of Labour-Power” + Ch.VIII “Constant Capital and Variable Capital” from Marx’s Capital

“From Capital-Labour to Capital-Life” – Maurizio Lazzarato

Please see schedule for .pdfs. Along the lines of reconfiguring labour as to acknowledge its function in everyday interstices, the principles pertaining to valuation must also be reaccessed. Where Marx spends time assessing capitalism’s roots in institutions, Lazzarato elucidates on modalities of sense and expression as the contemporary anchors enabling enterprises, without factories (organs), to create a world.

We also plan to discuss our proposal and shenanigans for the Rent Assembly and issue 2 of AAB (an email will be sent out promptly in regards to submissions).

See you all this Thursday!


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