What I Am Working Onby Camille de Toledo
Vertigo, in-between-ness, translation, expansion of the real, of what is named “real,” understanding our task, both as thinkers, poets, writers, artists, and political bodies, as an effort to expand our conception of the real, struggling against the domination of conservative narratives, not in the old terms of truth against falsehood, but remaining in the realm of what is constructed, “false,” and struggling, within this realm, fiction against fiction, conceiving our task, our Aufgabe, notre tâche, to endlessly work and live and act against the corpus of endings, to change the apocalypticdominant stream, into a stream of potentialities, working endlessly on the potentials, our capacities of transformation, adaptation, contributing to produce a horizon of change, not in the messianic way of the free, the emancipated, not in the technological messianic perspective of the Silicon boys, the geeks of the Valley, not in those transhumanist terms, nor in accelerationist terms, but using the speculative forces of imagination, and considering the potentials of time, thus, the need for transmission conceived as trans-mission, a mission to institutionalize the coming-to-life of all what could be, what would be, thus switching from the critical negativity of a Bartleby, I would prefer not to, to the affirmative potentiality of a “Bartleby of modern times,” that is, to a I could, we could, redefining the we as a form in expansion, the plasticity of the we, seeking to maximalize the transformative forces of political bodies, thus thinking beyond nations, beyond cultures, and proposing, in that sense, an old-new language as a paradigm to reform the ways we inhabit the world, not in terms of heimat, or home, beyond the opposition of the we’s, the here and the there, affirming “translation-as-language,” so as to expand our communities, to understand “belonging” in an expanded fashion, throughout the relations between multiple bodies of languages, poly-rhythms, poly-poetics, in the in-between of genders, of species, in the motion, founding our habitat on this po-ethics of vertigo, experimenting vertiginous forms of life, affirming the sensitive, the intellectual power of emotions, of sensations, thinking within the horizon of an object-oriented turn, but using the transformative force of our subjectivities, defending them against the constant assault of the useless, the unbearable, the watching dogs, and projecting them in the political field as spiritually rearmed alcoves, us, we, each of us, claiming for a space of secrecy, of intimate rebuilding, looking at the now, the contemporary, as a moment of turns, of metamorphosis, between zombie orders, full of phantoms, of resentment, and renaming the spectres, not as haunted spectralities, but as spectres of possibilities, fighting, within fiction, against the fictions of debts, in order to allow futures, opposing possibilities—the could be—of the à-venirs, to the occupied futures of capital projections, of debt burdens, thinking within our time of Anthropocene, towards a broader parliament, towards a right of things, to fight against the fictions of the capital itself, expanding, again, the real, empowering what is seen as things, allowing by translation the excluded to speak, to build a politics for the 21st century, a politics of translation, beyond borders, beyond old categories, understanding the theoretical repertoireas a repertoirefor actual modes of existence, and again, working, day after day, night after night, against our self-disposition to deception, to disappointment, making impatience patience, projecting ourselves beyond the cycles of defeat, making our position sustainable, that is, being ready to endure the hard times, the winter times of identities, by cultivating our certainty that the cynical age, the ironical age of the postmodern is behind us that the identity crisis, the hysteria of identities is a symptom of the past, a past that contaminates the present, and thus, looking at the past, as a time of dreams that could have been, and seeing the present and the future as a chance to follow those unachieved arrows of time, to maintain the hope that we can write the story, not just stories, but History itself, and thinking, endlessly, in the framework of hope, working with fiction, with belief, on the potential of art, beyond or before the market, focusing on the meaning, the deep meanings at work under the noise of the timely, of the news, challenging the discourse of fear, watching and following the constituency of an emerging consciousness, for ecology, for an open-to-genders-to-species politics, welcoming the decentralization of Europe, thinking French as a minority language, a language of the postcolonial, writing French like a Creole, in the terms of Glissant, thinking our Jewish heritage as that of the migrant, the weak, the hoping, stepping out of the self-destructive language of the former century, the grammatics of the impossible, of the impotent, shaping an odyssey of the trembling, following all what could be and making it the now, defining our time in terms of potentiality.
ContributorCamille de Toledo
CAMILLE DE TOLEDO is a writer, poet, thinker, and visual artist. He is the author of over ten books, each of which defines its own form. Amongst them: Visiter le Flurkistan ou les illusions de la literature monde (Visiting Flurkistan or the Illusions of World Literature, 2008); Oublier, trahir, puis disparaître (Forgetting, Betraying, then Disappearing, 2014).