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BecomingCommon:PrecarizationasPoliticalConstituting|eflux

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IsabellLorey

BecomingCommon:PrecarizationasPolitical
Constituting
PoliticalCulturalQueerings
Thediscourseonprecarizationthathasemergedinthepastdecade,primarilyinEurope,restsonan
extremelycomplexunderstandingofsocialinsecurityanditsproductivity.Thevariousstrandsofthis
discoursehavebeenbroughttogetheragainandagaininthecontextoftheEuropeanprecarious
movementorganizedunderEuroMayDay.1Thistransnationalmovement,inexistencesincetheearly
2000s,thematizesprecariousworkingandlivingconditionsasthestartingpointforpoliticalstruggles
andseekspossibilitiesforpoliticalactioninneoliberalconditions.Whatisunusualaboutthissocial
movementisnotonlythewayinwhichunderitsauspicesnewformsofpoliticalstrugglesaretested
andnewperspectivesonprecarizationdevelopedratherandthisisstrikinginrelationtoother
socialmovementsitishowithasqueeredtheseeminglydisparatefieldsoftheculturalandthe
politicalagainandagain.Inthepastdecade,conversationsconcerningboththe(partlysubversive)
knowledgeoftheprecarious,andasearchforcommons(inordertoconstitutethepolitical),has
conspicuouslytakenplacemoreofteninartinstitutionsthaninsocial,political,orevenacademic
contexts.
In2004,forexample,theresearch,exhibition,andeventprojectAtelierEuropaintheKunstverein
Munichbroughttheoristsandartiststogethertoexchangeideasaboutprecariouslivingandworking
conditionsandpossibleresistancetothem.2Theprojectfocusedontheincreasingnumberandvariety
offormsofprecarizationnotonlyinthefieldofculturalproduction,butalsoinsocialfields,
especiallythecaregivingandreproductionworkstilllargelyassignedtowomen.3Thefeminist
activistgroupfromMadrid,Precariasaladeriva,providedanimportantcontributioninthis
respect.4

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Anotherexamplefrom2004:onthedaybeforeMay1,activistsfromIndymediagroupsfromallover
SpainmetattheinvitationoftheBarcelonaMuseumofContemporaryArt(MACBA)toconductan
intensivedebateabouttheirmediaactivismpractices.OnMay1theynotonlytookpartinthe
EuroMayDaydemonstrationbutalsocarriedtheproblematizationofprecariousworkingconditions
backtoMACBA.Itbecamepossibletoarticulateacritiqueoftheambivalentroleofartinstitutions:
ontheonehand,institutionsintheartfieldwerethesiteofcriticaldiscussionsofneoliberal
transformationprocessesontheother,suchinstitutionswereimportantplayersinthegameof
cognitivecapitalismandincreasingprecarizationtendencies.5
Asafinalexample,InJanuary2005theinternationalconferenceKlartext!tookplaceinBerlinin
theKnstlerhausBethanienandtheVolksbhneamRosaLuxemburgPlatz,devotedtotheStatusof
thePoliticalinContemporaryArtandCulture.6Manyofthoseinvitedwerealsoactivistsinthe
transnationalEuroMayDaynetworkwhohadmetonthedaybeforetheconferenceinBerlin.They
broughtthecurrentproblematizationsofprecarizationintotheconference(andwereabletohavetheir
travelcostsreimbursed).
Beyondtheseexamples,theoreticalanalysesofprecarizationlinkedtoactivistpractices(suchasin
thecontextoftheEuroMayDaynetwork)wereincreasinglycarriedoutinonlinejournalsconjoining
art,politicaltheory,andactivism,suchasMutemagazineortransversalmanyyearsbeforeprecarity
becameamajorthemeininstitutionalizedsocialscienceresearch.7

NormalizingandSteeringDifferences
Precarizationisbynomeansaphenomenonthatfirstaffectssocialgroupsimaginedtobeatthe
marginsbeforemovingintothecentertoaffectthesocalledmiddleclassthosewhohavesecured
theirpositionwithinthecapitalistproductionregime,andwhoarethereforeabletofortifyand
improvetheirsocialposition.Amodelofthiskind,basedonprecariousmarginsandathreatened
center,doesnotdojusticetotheremodelingandoutrightdismantlingofsocialsecuritysystemsin
Europe.Itisadevelopmentthatreachedthesocalledcenteralongtimeago,withthemassive
reductionofpermanentemploymentcontractsandtheincreaseintemporaryjobssometimescalling
forahighdegreeofmobility,withorwithoutminimalsocialsecuritybenefitssuchashealth
insurance,paidholidays,orpensions.
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Inthecontextofsuchchanges,precarizationcanbeseenasaneoliberalinstrumentofgovernance.
Neoliberalsocietiesarenowgovernedinternallythroughsocialinsecurity,whichmeansprovidingthe
minimumpossiblesocialsecurity.Precarizationiscurrentlyinaprocessofnormalization,takingits
cuefromadministrativestrategiesthatwereproblematicevenbeforeFordism.JustastheFordist
socialwelfarestaterepresentsahistoricalexception,sotoocanprecariousworkingconditionsbe
understoodasananomalyordeviation.8
Whiletheartofgoverningcurrentlyconsistsofintroducingalackofsecurity,normalizingageneral
conditionofprecariousnessalsodoesnotproduceanyformofequalityinthemidstofinsecurity.For
goodreason,neoliberallogicwantsnoreduction,noendtoinequality,becauseitnecessarilytoyswith
hierarchicaldifferencesandgovernsonthebasisofthem.Thisadministrativelogicnolongerfocuses
onregulatingfixeddifferencesinidentity,butregulatestheabsolutepovertythatcouldprevent
individualsfrombeingcompetitive.10Ifweunderstandprecarizationinthissenseasthe
normalizationandsteeringofdifferencesinthemidstofinsecurity,thenitbecomespointlessto
constructspecializedgroupswithcriticalemancipatoryintentionsaroundnotionsofprecarity,as
divisionsintoluxuryprecarityandimpoverishedprecarityultimatelyonlyreproduceneoliberal
dynamicsofcompetitivenessbetweendifferentdegreesofprecarization.
Ifprecarizationhasbecomeagovernmentalinstrumentofnormalizationsurpassingspecificgroups
andclasses,thensocialandpoliticalbattlesthemselvesshouldnotassumedifferentialseparationsand
hierarchies.Rather,thosewhowagesuchbattlesshouldlookspecificallyforwhattheyhavein
commoninthemidstofnormalization:adesiretomakeuseoftheproductivityofprecariousliving
andworkingconditionstochangethesemodesofgoverning,ameansofworkingtogethertorefuse
andeludethem.

DebatesoverNewPoliticalPractices
Soasnottofurtherisolatethemanifoldprecariat,inthepastdecadecriticaldiscoursesandresistant
practicesinthecontextofprecarizationhaverepeatedlyconcentratedonwhattheprecariousinhave
incommon.Thiskindofsearchforcommonalitybeginsfromdifferencesanddoesnotendin
uniformityrather,itisaccompaniedbypermanentdebatesaboutwhatcountsasthecommon.
Thetheoreticalreflectionsarrayedagainstprecarizationderiveagreatdealofinspirationfrom
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poststructuralistandPostOperaistthinking,indicativeofasearchforpracticesoutsidetherealmof
traditionalpoliticsofrepresentation.Thesepolitics,inwhichrepresentationisprimarilyunderstoodas
astandin,arenotonlyevidentinparliamentarydemocracies,butalsoinformleftistpoliticalnotions
ofacollectivesubjectthatshouldbeabletoarticulatedemands(representationally)withonevoice,as
istypicalofpoliticalpractices.Yetwhenitisamatterofsearchingforthecommoninthevarious
formsofprecarization,forpossibilitiesofcomingtogethertoformalliancesthroughdifference,then
identitary,subjectorientedpoliticsareobviouslynotsuitablefortheirhinderingofwhatiscommon
indifference.11
Inaddition,particularlyamongleftists,onehastoberemindedthatexpressionsofsolidaritywiththe
mostlymigrantothersnotonlyleaveonesownpositionunquestioned,butalsovictimizethe
poorothersanddenythemtheirowncapacityforpoliticalaction.Withintheframeworkof
EuroMayDay,ratherthansealingoffidentitycategoriesbetweenprecariouscreativesontheonehand
andtheexcludedprecariousworkersontheother(thewhitelowerclass,migrants,orillegalized
persons),alliancesbetweenclassandstatuswereforgedtobringtogetherprecariouscultural
producers,knowledgeworkers,migrantorganizations,initiativesoftheunemployed,organizationsof
illegalizedpersons,andalsounions.Thusthesubjectofrepeateddebatesconcernedhowmodesof
refiguringthesubjectandthusidentitarylogicscouldbedeconstructedtofindanewlanguageof
politicscapableofwideningthefieldofpoliticalpossibilities.

ProductivitythatCannotBeCompletelyEconomicized
Thereisanimportantpresuppositionforbothapoliticalandatheoreticalperspectiveofthecommon:
thenewfigureofworkbasedoncommunication,knowledge,creativity,andaffectisbynomeans
productiveonlyforanewphaseofcapitalistaccumulation.12Theeconomizationofthesocial,the
confluenceofworkandlife,thedemandstoinvolvethewholepersoninimmaterialandaffective
workinotherwords,thecapitalizationofmodesofsubjectificationarenottotal,comprehensive,
orwhollydetermined.Therearealwayssurpluses,possibilitiesforarticulation,andpotentialitiesof
resistance.Modesofsubjectificationarenotcompletelyabsorbedintothenormativestate,orinto
economicinterpellationsofflexibility,mobility,andaffectiveandcreativelabor.Ininsecure,
flexibilized,anddiscontinuousworkingandlivingconditions,subjectificationsarisethatdonot
whollycorrespondtoaneoliberallogicofexploitation,whichalsoresistandrefuse.
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Precarizationthussymbolizesacontestedfield:afieldinwhichtheattempttostartanew
cycleofexploitationalsomeetsdesiresandsubjectivebehaviorswhichexpressthe
refusaloftheold,socalledfordistregimeoflaborandthesearchforanother,better,we
canevensayflexiblelife.12
Theprocessesofprecarizationareacontestedsocialterrainonwhichthestrugglesoftheworkersand
wishesforotherformsoflivingandworkingarearticulated.Buttheseprocessesarenotonly
productiveinthesenseofeconomicexploitation.InpostFordistprecariousworkingconditions,new
formsoflivingandnewsocialrelationshipsareconstantlydevelopedandreinvented,andprocessesof
precarizationarealsoproductiveinthissense.13
Thevalueproducedbyformsofworkprimarilybasedincommunicationandaffect,onexchangewith
others,cannotbeentirelymeasured,astheseactivitiestransgressthetermsrequiredbyFordist
industriallabor.14Whatisunforeseen,contingent,andalsoprecarious,emergesatmanymomentsin
theprocessofprecarization,andaninherentaspectofthisprecarizationisthecapacityforrefusal,and
henceprecarizationisaprocessofrecomposingworkandlife,ofsociality,whichthuscannotbenot
immediately,notsoquickly,andperhapsnotevenatalleconomicized.Intheserecompositions,
interruptionsoccurintheprocessofnormalizingprecarity,thatis,inthecontinuityofexploitability.
Inthissense,theassemblageofmeaningsassociatedwithprecarizationinthediscussionduring
EuroMayDaydoesnotneedtohaveanegativeconnotation,becauseitalsocarriesthepotentialfor
commonrefusals,thepotentialforexodusandreconstitution.15

TheKnowledgeofthePrecariousandthePracticeofQueering
Productiveinterruptionsthefoldingoftheprecariousintothepotentialityofconstitutingthe
commoncannotsimplybestatedtheoretically,ofcourse,butmustinsteadbefoundandinventedin
socialandpoliticalconfrontations.Whatwasneededintheearly2000s(andisstillneededtoday)was
knowledgeaboutbothdifferentformsofprecarizationandthepracticesofrefusalandsubversion
newlyemerginginthem.Manymilitantinvestigationswerecarriedoutforinstanceinculturaland
artisticcontexts(suchasthatofkpD16)orinvarioussocialcontexts(suchasbyPrecariasalaDeriva)
inordertobringtogetherthedifferentstrandsofknowledgeamongaamontheprecarious.The
practiceofmilitantresearch,includingthatpursuedascoresearch,tiesintotheworker(self)surveys
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asconductedprimarilyinthe1970sinconjunctionwithItalianOperaismo.Conditionsofdomination
andexploitationweretobeinvestigatedbythosemostaffected(thatis,bytheexpertsthemselves,
withtheirspecificknowledgeofsubversivepractices),andmadearticulable.Thesekindsofmutual
surveysbyworkersare,accordingtoMartaMalofromPrecariasalaDeriva,thebasisforapolitical
intervention.17Thepracticeofmilitantresearchseekstoinitiateinterest,emancipation,debates,
socialstruggles,andtoamplifymovementssearchingforbetterwaysoflivingandworking.The
underground,andfrequentlyinvisible,trajectoryofeverydaylifeuneasinessandinsubordinations18
istobeexplored,sothatthecapacity,thepotentiaoftheprecariouscanassembleaconstituent
power.19
Theprecarioushavenocommonidentity,onlycommonexperiences.Precarization,accordingtokpD,
canbeunderstoodbeyondjusttheeconomicdimensionasamanifoldexperienceemergingfrom
anonfunctioningidentitaryascription/appealanditsassociateddisambiguations,which
neverthelessmaterializeinsubjectificationconditionsincertainways....Various
professional,statusrelated,gendered,sexualandethnicizingpositions,whicharesocially
verycontradictory,frequentlyhavetobetakenatthesametimeoroneafteranother.20
Precarizationreferstotheverylaboriouspracticeofqueeringmultiplepositionsandappealsatthe
sametimeandoneafteranother.21Takenthisway,precarizationalsoindicatestheimpossibilityof
disambiguation,theimpossibilityofanidentitarystandstill.Hereprecarizationalsomeansthe
experienceofdealingwithsimultaneousmultiplicities,withtheheterogeneityofascriptionsand
interpellations.Differentsingularitiesarenotconstitutedthroughindividuality,throughinseparability,
butratherthroughthatwhichtheysharewithothers,whattheytakepartin,towhatextent,andhow
theybecomecommonwithothers,howtheybecomeaconstituentpower.

AProcessofConstitutingInsteadofanOntological
ConstitutionoftheCommon
Tobeabletoimaginethisbecomingcommonaspoliticalagency,ratherthanregardtheconceptof
thecommonasasocialontologicalconstitution(asMichaelHardtandAntonioNegrimostrecently
suggestedagaininCommonwealth22),IwouldliketofocusonanotherconceptfromNegrithathas
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meanwhiledroppedoutofsightsomewhat,namelytheconceptofconstituentpower.23Inmaking
demandsforpoliticalandsocialrights,itcancertainlybenecessaryto(strategically)refertoan
ontologicallygroundedcommon,thecommonthatstrivesforequality,forequalopportunitiesinthe
midstofdifference.Buttobeabletoacttogetherwithothersatall,thiscommonhastomean
somethingotherthanabasicontologicalcategory.Becausethiscommonissomethingthatmust
firstemerge,thathasfirsttobeputtogether,thatdoesnotyetexist.Thereisnocommunitythat
emergeshere,noassociationoropportunityfordisambiguation,butratheraconstituencyinthe
processoffleeingfromnotionsofcommunity.
Thiskindofconstitutingistobeunderstoodlikeamosaic,asajoiningtogetherofmanysingle,
alreadyexistingpieces,singularities,allowingsomethingnewtoemergeinthemannerofthe
arrangement.24Itisnotthearrangementitselfthatisinnovative,butrathertheconfrontationsthat
ariseinthedifferentcompositions.Thedevelopmentofaconstituentpowerisnotwithoutconflict,
andisthereforepoliticalinthefundamentalsense.Thefundamentalaspectisnotthecommon,and
thusnottheconsensus,butrathertheconflict.
Conflictsandconfrontations,however,arenotthesolebasisforthecommon.Confrontationsinthe
senseoftakingapartandtakingsidesbehinddifferentfrontsareanexpressionofrefusalsand
resistances,onthebasisofwhichaconstituentpowerisfirstabletodevelop.Withoutconflicts,
withoutsocialstruggles,constituentpower,whichisneededtosetaprocessofconstitutinginmotion,
remainsasetofmerelylatent,singularpotentialities.

PrecariousnessandPrecarity
Withthisbackgroundinmind,letusreturntothetopicofprecarizationandlinkthediscussionwith
somerelevantideasfromJudithButler.Shehassuggestedanontologicalconceptofprecariousness,
ofexistentialvulnerability,whichcanbeproductivelyconsideredtogetherwithHardtandNegris
ontologicalconceptofthecommon.25Inconclusion,itbecomesclearthattheontologicalcommonof
precariousnessisnotsufficienttodevelopapoliticalunderstandingofprecarity.
Butlerconceivesthegeneralprecariousnessoflife,thevulnerabilityofthebody,notsimplyasa
threatoradanger,fromwhichprotectionisabsolutelyneeded.Precariousnessdistinguishesthat
whichmakesuplifeingeneralhumanaswellasnonhuman.Butlerformulatesanontologythatcan
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onlybeunderstoodasembeddedinsocialandpoliticalconditions.Vulnerabilitybecomesan
extensionofbirth,becauseinitialsurvivalalreadydependsonsocialnetworks,onsocialityand
labor.26
Tosaythatlifeisprecariousisthustopointoutthatitdoesnotexistindependentlyand
autonomously,thatitcannotbegraspedwithanyidentitiesderivedfromthis.Instead,liferequires
socialsupportandpoliticalandeconomicconditionsthatenableittocontinue,inorderforthatlifeto
beliveable.Anontologyofindividualismisnotcapableofrecognizingtheprecariousnessoflife.27
AccordingtoButler,asocialontologyofprecariousnesscallsexactlythisindividualismintoquestion.
Weare...socialbeingsfromthestart,dependentonwhatisoutsideourselves,onothers,on
institutions,andonsustainedandsustainableenvironments,andsoare,inthissense,precarious.28
Theconditionsthatenablelifeare,atthesametime,exactlythosethatmakeitprecarious.Forthis
reason,asButlerargues,theremustbeafocusonthepoliticaldecisionsandsocialpracticesunder
whichsomelivesareprotectedandothersnot.Butlercallsthesocialandmaterialinsecuritythat
arisesfromthesekindsofdecisionsandpracticesprecarity.
Thisprecaritycanbeunderstoodasafunctionaleffectofthepoliticalandlegalregulationsthatare
expectedtoprovideprotectionfromgeneralprecariousness.Precarityarisesfromcertainstructuresof
dominationthathavebeenlegitimizedinhegemonicWesternpoliticalthinkingsinceThomasHobbes
asprotectionfromprecariousness,andareatthesametimebasedontheprecarityofallwhoare
constructedasotherandalien.Precarityasafunctionaleffectofspecificsecuritysystemsisnot
limitedtoanationalpoliticalphenomenon,butextendstoaglobalscale.29ReferencingtoAchille
Mbembe,Butlerstatesthatprecarity
isatonceamaterialandaperceptualissue,sincethosewhoselivesarenotregardedas
potentiallygrievable,andhencevaluable,aremadetobeartheburdenofstarvation,
underemployment,legaldisenfranchisement,anddifferentialexposuretoviolenceand
death.30
Precarityor,inmyterms,precarizationasaneffectofspecificconditionsofdominationmeans,on
theonehand,thatthisisnottheontologicalconceptofprecariousness,butratherapoliticalconcept
(asButlermakesclear).Yet,ontheother,precarityisthereforenottobeunderstoodasdeterminate
but,onthecontrary(althoughButlerdoesnotmakethissufficientlyclear)asdecidedlyproductive:in
itsproductivityasaninstrumentofgovernanceandaconditionofeconomicexploitation,andalsoas
aproductive,alwaysincalculable,andpotentiallyempoweringsubjectification.31
Eventhoughshedoesnotimaginethepoliticalagencyofsingularitiesinthecontextofprecarity,
Butlersuppliesanextremelyimportantargumentwithregardtohowprecariousnessandprecarityare
interwoven:thefactthatprecarityisexpandinginsteadofcontractingmeansandthisisButlers
politicalfocusthatthegenerallysharedvulnerabilityoflifeprecariousnessisnotrecognized,
andcannotthereforefunctionasastartingpointforpolitics.Forthisreason,Butlercallsespeciallyon
leftistpoliticstorecognize(common)sharedprecariousnessandtoorientnormativeobligationsof
equalityanduniversalrightstowardthis.32Unlikeontologicalprecariousness,politicalprecarity
crossesallcategoriesofidentityandcannotbecontainedwithinthem.
TheEuropeanmovementsoftheprecariousandtheirassociatedtheoreticaldiscourseshavebeenable
toidentifycommonalitiesthroughprecarizationunreasonabledemandsaswellasopportunities
andhaveleftidentitypoliticsbehind.EvenifitnowappearsasthoughatleasttheEuroMayDay
movementstimehaspassed,itisimportanttorememberitnotonlyascontextfromwhichnewforms
ofthepoliticalemerged,butalsoinwhichimportantmosaicpatternswerecomposed,settingin
motionaprocessofcommonpoliticalempowerment.Evenifthesecompositionsdissolveagain,their
experiencesandknowledgewillremain.Evenifthemovementappearstobelosingitsforcetoday,it
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isnottobemourned.Tomeitseemsmuchmoreinterestingtofindtheprocessesofconstituting
continuetogeneratefurtherinterruptionsandunforeseeablebreakselsewhere.

TranslatedfromtheGermanbyAileenDerieg.
AllimagesbyMarionvonOsten.

2010efluxandtheauthor

MarionvonOsten
EditorialInSearchofthePostcapitalistSelf
AnArchitektur
OntheCommons:APublicInterviewwithMassimoDeAngelisandStavrosStavrides
TomHolert
HiddenLaborandtheDelightofOtherness:DesignandPostCapitalistPolitics
NataschaSadrHaghighian
WhatstheTime,Mahagonny?
JeskoFezer
DesignforaPostNeoliberalCity
FlorianZeyfang
ABriefHistoryofPoorMansExpression
ManuelaBojadijevandSerhatKarakayal
RecuperatingtheSideshowsofCapitalism:TheAutonomyofMigrationToday
IsabellLorey
BecomingCommon:PrecarizationasPoliticalConstituting
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JudithHopf
Contratentreleshommesetlordinateur
FahimAmir,EvaEgermann,MarionvonOsten,andPeterSpillmann
WhatShallWeDo?
SebastianLtgert
DownandOutinAlltheWrongPlaces(Berlin2010)
AntkeEngel
Desirefor/withinEconomicTransformation
1Since2001EuroMayDayparadeswithupto150,000participantshavetakenplaceinovertwenty
EuropeancitiesonthetraditionalInternationalWorkersDay,May1,tocallattentiontothe
precarizationoflivingandworkingconditions.Theactivistscomefromthemostdiversesocial
positions.Theparades,however,areonlyoneactivityamongmanyorganizedbythenetworkoverthe
courseoftheyear,includingsurveysandpublications.EuroMayDayinvolvesnewformsof
organizingandcommunicationaboutdifferentmodesofprecarizationandcollectiveknowledge
production.Seealsoissuesoftransversal,eipcpsmultilingualwebjournal,includingPrecariat
(July2004),,andMilitantResearch(April2006),MutemagazinesPrecariousReader
(November2005),GeraldRaunig,AThousandMachines:AConcisePhilosophyoftheMachine
asaSocialMovement,trans.AileenDerieg(LosAngelesandNewYork:Semiotext(e),2010).
2InitiatedbyMarionvonOstenandAngelaMcRobbiesee.
3ParticularlyinfluentialhavebeenthepracticesanddiscoursesoftheIntermittentsduSpectaclein
France.SeeGlobalProject/CoordinationdesIntermittentsetPrcairesdledeFrance,Spectacle
InsidetheStateandOut:SocialRightsandtheAppropriationofPublicSpacesTheBattlesofthe
FrenchIntermittents(March2004),trans.AileenDerieg,transversal,Precariat,Antonella
CorsaniandMaurizioLazzarato,IntermittentsetPrcaires(Paris:ditionsAmsterdam,2008).
4SeePrecariasalaDeriva,AdriftThroughtheCircuitsofFeminizedPrecariousWork(April
2004),transversal,Precariat,.
5SeeRaunig,AThousandMachines.
6OrganizedbyMarinaSorbelloandAntjeWeitzel,see.SeealsoAnotherRelationality(second
part):OnaCureinTimesDivestofPoetry/OnPoetryinIncurableTimes,organizedbyMarcelo
ExpsitoandJorgeRibaltaincooperationwiththeeipcpatMACBAinBarcelona(March1718,
2006),WORKTODO!SelforganisationinPrecariousWorkingConditions:AnExhibition
Projectin3Chapters,organizedbySnkeGauandKatharinaSchlieben,ShedhalleZrich
(2007/2008).InthecontextofeducationseeforexampleUniversidadNmadainSpain,Radical
EducationCollectiveinLjubljana,ChtoDelat,,andStreetUniversity,,inSaintPetersburg
Free/SlowUniversityofWarsaw,EduFactory,.
7Seenote1.
8SeeMitropoulos,Angela,PrecariUs?(March2005),transversal,Precariat,BrettNeilson
andNedRossiter,PrecarityasaPoliticalConcept,or,FordismasException,Theory,Culture&
Society25,no.78(2008):5172.
9MaurizioLazzarato,Legouvernementdesingalits:Critiquedelinscuritnolibrale(Paris:
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ditionsAmsterdam,2008).
10SeealsoAntonioNegri,LogicandTheoryofInquiry:MilitantPraxisasSubjectandasEpisteme
(April2003),trans.NateHoldrenandAriannaBove,transversal,MilitantResearch,.
11SeeMaurizioLazzarato,ImmaterialLabor,inRadicalThoughtinItaly:APotentialPolitics,ed.
MichaelHardtandPaoloVirno(Minneapolis:UniversityofMinnesotaPress,1996),133147
MichaelHardtandAntonioNegri,Empire(Cambridge,MA:HarvardUniversityPress,2000).The
termsimmaterialoraffectivelaborhavebeenrepeatedlycriticizedespeciallyfromthefeminist
side,becausetheydescribelaboronceagainfromtheperspectiveofcapitalistaccumulationand
insufficientlyreflectonnonwork,carework,theproductionofthesocial,andsoforth.(Seethe
dossierontheexhibitionAtelierEuropa,asupplementtoDrucksacheKunstvereinsMnchen,no.4
(2004)seealsoPrecariasalaDeriva,AdriftThroughtheCircuitsofFeminizedPrecarious
WorkGeorgeCaffentzisandSilviaFederici,NotesontheEdufactoryandCognitiveCapitalism
(May2007),transversal,KnowledgeProductionandItsDiscontents,.
12FrassanitoNetwork,Precarious,Precarization,Precariat?Impacts,TrapsandChallengesofa
ComplexTermanditsRelationshiptoMigration,January5,2007,.
13SeeMichaelHardtandAntonioNegri,Commonwealth(Cambridge,MA:HarvardUniversity
Press,2009).
14Ibid.
15Onexodusandconstituting,seePaoloVirno,VirtuosityandRevolution(1994),trans.EdEmory
(2003),IsabellLorey,AttempttoThinkthePlebeian:ExodusandConstitutingasCritique,
trans.AileenDerieg,inArtandContemporaryCriticalPractice:ReinventingInstitutionalCritique,
ed.GeraldRaunigandGeneRay(London:BPRPublishers,2009),131140(alsoavailableat)
IsabellLorey,CritiqueandCategory:OntheRestrictionofPoliticalPracticethroughRecent
TheoremsofIntersectionality,InterdependenceandCriticalWhitenessStudies(October2008)trans.
MaryONeill,tranversal,Critique,.
16kpDistheabbreviationforthefeministresearchandactivistgroupsmallpostfordistdrama
(kleinespostfordistischesDrama)basedinBerlin.kpDareBrigittaKuster,KatjaReichard,Marion
vonOsten,andtheauthor.
17MartaMalodeMolina,CommonNotions,Part1:Workersinquiry,Coresearch,Consciousness
raising(April2004),transversal,MilitantResearch,.
18MalodeMolina,CommonNotions.
19SeeAntonioNegriandMichaelHardt,TheLaborofDionysus:ACritiqueoftheStateForm
(Minneapolis:UniversityofMinnesotaPress,1994)AntonioNegri,Insurgencies:ConstituentPower
andtheModernState,trans.MauriziaBoscagli(Minneapolis:UniversityofMinnesotaPress,1999).
20kpD,PrecarizationofCulturalProducersandtheMissingGoodLife(June2005),trans.Aileen
Derieg,transversal,MilitantResearch,.
21SeealsoRenateLorenzandBrigittaKuster,Sexuellarbeiten:EinequeerePerspektiveaufArbeit
undprekresLeben(Berlin:B_books,2007).
22SeeHardtandNegri,CommonwealthseealsoNegri,LogicandTheoryofInquiry.
23Seenote19.
24FromtheLatinwordconstituoseealsoGeraldRaunig,InstituentPractices,No.2:Institutional
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Critique,ConstituentPower,andthePersistenceofInstituting,trans.AileenDerieg,inArtand
ContemporaryCriticalPractice:ReinventingInstitutionalCritique,ed.GeraldRaunigandGeneRay
(London:BPRPublishers,2009),173186,176.
25JudithButler,PrecariousLife:ThePowersofMourningandViolence(LondonandNewYork:
Verso,2004)seealsoIsabellLorey,PrekarisierungalsVerunsicherungundEntsetzen:
Immunisierung,NormalisierungundneueFurchterregendeSubjektivierungsweisen,in
PrekarisierungzwischenAnomieundNormalisierung?Geschlechtertheoretische
Bestimmungsversuche,ed.AlexandraManskeandKatharinaPhl(Mnster:Westfaelisches
Dampfboot,2010),4881.
26JudithButler,FramesofWar:WhenisLifeGrievable?(LondonandNewYork:Verso,2009),1
32.Butlersideasrefernotonlytotheexistentialsignificanceofreproductiveworkprecariousness
alsounderlinestheradicalreplaceabilityofeverylife.
27Butler,FramesofWar,19.
28Ibid.,23.
29SeeIsabellLorey,FigurendesImmunen:ElementeeinerpolitischenTheorie(ZrichandBerlin,
2010).
30Butler,FramesofWar,25.
31ElsewhereIhavecalledthismanifoldproductivitygovernmentalprecarization(Lorey,
PrekarisierungalsVerunsicherungundEntsetzen).

32SeeButler,FramesofWar,2829.
IsabellLoreyisguestprofessorattheHumboldtUniversity,Berlin,andforGenderStudies,
Biopolitics,andPostcolonialStudiesattheFacultyforSocialScience,ViennaUniversity.From
20012007shewasassistantprofessorofGenderandPostcolonialStudiesattheUniversityofthe
ArtsBerlinandlecturerattheCenterforTransdisciplinaryGenderStudiesattheHumboldt
University,Berlin.SheisamemberofthegroupkleinepostfordistischesDrama(kpD).Shehas
writtennumerouspublicationsonfeministandpoliticaltheory,biopoliticalgovernmentality,critical
whitenessstudies,politicalimmunization,andprecarization.

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