Monday, July 20, 2015

Over Identified

A strategy of overidentification thus provides one possible antidote to what Peter Sloterdijk refers to as “cynical reason”, or a condition where people know that there is something fundamentally wrong but continue to act as if this is not the case. It is this cynical distance that Jeffrey Goldfarb diagnosed as so prevalent in the US, creating a sort of “legitimation through disbelief,” although one could easily argue that this is much more widespread and just the condition that a strategy of overidentification aims to address and intervene within. One can certainly contest the desirability and effectiveness of such an approach, and such strategies have and continue to create a great deal of debate within political, artistic, and academic circles. Nevertheless, even if the conclusion is eventually reached that such is not an acceptable choice of interventionist strategy in most cases, it nonetheless seems valuable to learn from, especially in making a transition out of a time frame or frame of mind that is paralysed to find any method of intervention because all strategies are already caught in varying webs of power and therefore argued to be compromised. A strategy of overidentification operates precisely by turning this already-caughtness into an advantage by deploying and redirecting energies of capture and constituted power against themselves.
Stevphen Shukaitis, "Overidentification and/or bust?"

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