From Exodus to Creativity: The Performative War Machines of Alterglobalization Movements
Through the first cycle of global resistance movement, the alterglobalization movement (1994-2003), a hot pot of social experimentation took shape. During this long decade, new forms of struggle and political subjectifications emerged and led to a performative turn in radical politics: a contact point of long traditions of war machines and theatre machines, as Gerald Raunig conceptualizes it. But how is a performative war machine assembled, in what sense it is performative, and in what sense a war machine? This research paper will deal with these problems, starting from conceptualizing war machines and performative machines through a tradition of thought which traverses Deleuze/Guattari, Hardt/Negri, Italian (post)autonomists, Butler, and Gerald Raunig among others. The concept of “machinic exodus” will be introduced to show how the alterglobalization movement not only tried to exit the State apparatuses and other manifestations of constituted power (representative order, creative and culture industries, and …) but also sought to invent and create alternative relations and new forms of practice. It then continues to show how the movement of exodus is simultaneous with, and indeed included in the performative war machines, which have war as their secondary object and primarily are “performativizing” their alternative conceptions of the idea of the political. In other words, performative war machine of those who were engaged in these movements was a way to live and perform a future away from capitalism, to create the alternative – although temporarily. There will different cases mentioned in the course of writing this paper, such as Carnival against Capital (and different groups active in it), Mujeres Creando, Association of Autonomous Astronauts (AAA), PublixTheatreCaravan, Tute Bianche, and so forth.
Iman Ganji is a PhD candidate in International Research Training Group Interart, Institute of Theatre Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. He obtained his first Master’s degree in the Philosophy of Arts, in Tehran University of Arts. His thesis, “Collective Art: the Concatenation of Art and Politics”, provides a comparative study between art theories in Allen Badiou, Jacques Ranciere, and Antonio Negri which concludes in favor of the Italian philosopher. His second Master’s degree in International Performance Research (MAIPR) was obtained through an Erasmus Mundus program between Amsterdam University, Warwick University, and Belgrade University of Arts. The title of his final dissertation was “The War-Machine of Performance” and studied the alterglobalization movements and radical performance art groups that took part in them from 1994 to 2003. He has worked as a translator, writer, and activist in Iran, and has co-translated books by Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Antonio Negri, George Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, and Walter Benjamin, among others.