Per Illner (Ed.), Unworking (2020)

Peer Illner

(ed.)

Unworking

August Akademie

With contributions by Kathrin Busch, Alexander Garcia Düttmann, Alison Hugill, Anthony Iles, Peer Illner, Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, Gertrud Koch, Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen, Jose Rosales, Marina Vishmidt, Evan Calder Williams

 

Désœuvrement, variously translated as unworking or inoperativity is a notion that haunts contemporary political theory and practice. Unworking overturns the typical valuation of work and action and opens an avenue to think radical passivity and inactivity as aesthetic and political practices that question the modernist mantra of purposeful production and ceaseless activity. At its most basic, unworking is the critique of work in all its variations: Not only wage labour, as Marxism would have it, but also the work of art, the work of community-building, and even psychoanalysis imagined as ‘working through’. This collection of essays is dedicated to unworking in its various political, aesthetic and philosophical guises – exploring its potentiality as well as its dead ends and dangers. It unites a range of contemporary thinkers that embrace negation, negativity and withdrawal as political strategies, turning unworking into a “paradigm of the coming politics.” (Giorgio Agamben)

Peer Illner studied sociology, philosophy, and visual culture at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His PhD thesis at the Copenhagen Center for Disaster Research (University of Copenhagen) examined American disaster relief as a problem for social reproduction. Currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Excellence Cluster The Formation of Normative Orders, Illner is a frequent guest lecturer at the Architectural Association, School of Architecture in London and at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Copenhagen.

About anti

Anthony Iles is currently a doctoral candidate at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University. A founder member of the Full Unemployment Cinema. A contributing editor with Mute / Metamute since 2005. He is the author, with Josephine Berry-Slater, of the book, No Room to Move: Art and the Regenerate City (Mute Books, London 2011), contributing editor to the recent publications, Anguish Language: writing and crisis (Archive Books, Berlin, 2015), and Look at Hazards, Look at Losses (Mute/Kuda, 2017) and a contributor to Brave New Work: A Reader on Harun Farocki’s Film A New Product. Recent essays have been published in Mute, Radical Philosophy, Rab-Rab: Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in Art and Logos.
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2 Responses to Per Illner (Ed.), Unworking (2020)

  1. Julien Tolosa says:

    Alors pourquoi n’es-tu pas plus paresseux?

    • anti says:

      Parce que je ne détermine pas le taux de temps de travail socialement nécessaire. Because, to my misfortune, it is not me who determines the rate of socially necessary labour time.

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