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Launch: What's Love (or Care, Intimacy, Warmth, Affection) Got to Do with It?

September 14, 2017

What's Love (or Care, Intimacy, Warmth, Affections) Got to Do with It? (featuring a contribution by Paul Chan)

What's Love (or Care, Intimacy, Warmth, Affections) Got to Do with It? (featuring a contribution by Paul Chan)
September 14, Time TBD
Featuring a response by David Kim and a lecture-performance by Tavi Meraud

311 E. Broadway
New York, NY 10002

“Over the past few decades, it has often been said that we no longer have an addressee for our political demands. But that’s not true. We have each other. What we can no longer get from the state, the party, the union, the boss, we ask for from one another. And we provide.”
—Brian Kuan Wood, “Is it Love?”

Greetings Dear Ones,

There are so many of you, our fellow creatures-in-arms. Thank you for being part of the small circle of light in these dark times. How does e-flux love you? Let us count the ways.

When refugees flee to nowhere while drones make corpses of civilians and buildings alike; when ancient cities are reduced to dust and the deep state bureaucracy openly calls its shots; when the old machinery of death rumbles, reanimated, toward an uncertain future, at such times, talk usually turns to war and rumors of war, not love.

What has love got to do with this landscape—one filled with subatomic police states and state-sanctioned acceptance of alternative facts on pain of violence? Is it lust or devotion we seek these days from our colleagues, lovers, patron sheikhs? How does collective bargaining work when it comes to emotional labor? Should we organize a union or just call a general strike? Who is heading those gatherings up, and who will we find crossing the picket lines the next day?

Is the twenty-first century too much or not enough? A decade and a half—almost two decades—into the bonfire, the trash pile, the exhibition, this motocross rally we’ve found ourselves both at and in, we wonder. Is the beleaguered consciousness picking up this book post-human, post-reality, pre-internet, post-it, pre-collapse, pre-fabricated according to a bespoke set of algorithmic preferences, or just here in the name of love? Let’s examine how need and care and desire and admiration have been cross-examined, called as witness, put on parole, made the subject of caring inquiry by e-flux journal authors since 2009.

What’s Love (or Care, Intimacy, Warmth, Affection) Got to Do with It, the eleventh title in the e-flux journal reader series with Sternberg Press, features contributions by Paul Chan, Keti Chukhrov, Cluster, Antke Engel, Hu Fang, Brian Kuan Wood, Lee Mackinnon, Chus Martínez, Tavi Meraud, Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, Elizabeth A. Povinelli and Kim Turcot DiFruscia, Paul B. Preciado, Martha Rosler, Virginia Solomon, Jalal Toufic, Jan Verwoert, and Slavoj Žižek.

In the spirit of these authors’ collected words, we will launch the title by standing in celebration, critical probing, and/or defense of love.

Please join us in Berlin on Friday, July 14 for a mini-symposium featuring a “Love Letter from Berlin” delivered by AA Bronson, a conversation between Julieta Aranda and Antonia Majaca, an updated reading from the essay “Is it Love” by Brian Kuan Wood, and a talk by Elvia Wilk titled “Ask before you bite: roleplay as love beyond recognition.”

What’s love got to do with it indeed? In the current climate of political disarray and 4chan-style trolling, it appears that love is in short supply. So we would be led to believe. The “monopoly of hate” (as Florian Cramer recently called it) is something factions from both sides of the political spectrum appear willing to claim and re-claim and hurl at one another. Replicating each other’s hatred makes for a feedback loop that can result in many outcomes, but communication is definitively not one of them.

Divisive, polarizing politics may be useful to create clear allegiances, but they can also destroy if taken too far. Affective economies are not only care-based, feel-good exchanges. Aggression, anger, and Trump rallies are also affective economies. And taking a close look at them is enough to make us decide that we are interested instead in the various economies of love.

We know that you are too. We see your commitment to treating love as a subject worthy of critical attention, and we look forward to spending an evening—and the course of this new book's lifetime—with you.

Love always,
the e-flux journal editors

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