CuMMA Discourse Series # 19
Stefan Nowotny: Suspending the Archive
24th of September 2014
Node Space, Hämeentie 135 C (5th floor)
Archives have an epistemological or ‘logological’ function just as much as they have an empirical function. That is, they do not only collect andconserve materials on which
knowledges can be built. They also disallow others and regulate the very ways in which knowledges can be formulated. Thus, the archive silences as it allows for discourses and narratives to be constructed. According to Michel Foucault, it is what ‘separates us from what we
can no longer say, and from that which falls outside our discursive practice.’ But then, isn’t the task of actualizing the archive a highly paradoxical task? Doesn’t it involve the task of suspending the archive, of rendering it inoperative rather than making it operate in new ways? And
what if many things were, regardless of the archive,
constantly being said and the ask was to listen to them
even though ‘we’ cannot say them? How, then, would
‘we’ have to rearticulate or recompose ‘our’ discursive
Stefan Nowotny is a philosopher based in London (Goldsmiths College) and a member of the eipcp (http:// eipcp.net). He has been part of the eipcp’s transnational projects transform and translate (2005–2008) and done research and taught at universities in Belgium (Louvain-la-Neuve), Germany (Lüneburg) and Austria (Klagenfurt) since 2001, alongside various other project involvements and collaborations with both visual and performance artists.
He has published widely on philosophical and political
topics, co-edited several anthologies, translated a number of texts from both French and English into German, and co-authored the volumes Instituierende Praxen. Bruchlinien der Institutionskritik (w/ G. Raunig, 2008) and Übersetzung: Das Versprechen eines Begriffs (w/ B. Buden, 2008). He is also a co-editor of the book series “Es kommt darauf an. Texte zur Theorie der politischen Praxis”,
started in 2005. Since 2011 he is a tutor at Goldsmiths,
University of London. He is also part of the eipcp’s research project „Europe as a Translational Space. The Politics of Heterolinguality“.