Dronedeutung: Introduction

The promise of modernity’s drone-assisted conquest of air space is far from uncomplicated. As unmanned air vehicles become more ubiquitous, with implementations ranging from intelligence-gathering and covert military attacks to cultural production and everyday logistics, this special issue of Krisis captures the technical, aesthetic, economic, psychic, and political challenges facing the rise of the drone. Attending to the multiple deployment and employment of drones, the various contributions to this issue sustain a critical engagement with the conceptual confusions and practical contradictions in related debates, thus collectively generating a counterpoint to reductionist accounts of scientific determinism, drone fetishism, and political spectacle.

To invoke and provoke the everyday, “These Cryptical Skies” by Rob Stone (Emily Carr University of Art and Design) opens the issue by bringing home the unease of displaced technologies through sonic imagination and biomimicry. Moving from patterned cacophonies to discursive shifts, “Drone Visions: Tomas van Houtryve’s Blue Sky Days and the Rhetoric of Precision” by Øyvind Vågnes (University of Copenhagen) evaluates the role of euphemism in shaping public perception of the so-called War On Terror. Echoing the kind of precarious aesthetic that can lead to the uninvention of precision suggested by Vågnes, the next article tackles the prominent image of the drone operator as PlayStation killer head-on—“Embodiment, Subjectivity, Affect in a Digital Age: Understanding Mental Illness in Military Drone Operators” by Alex Edney-Browne (University of Melbourne), by questioning the assumption that the virtualization of violence yields a decrease in empathy, argues that mediation can also constitute feelings of proximity and stimulate peer-recognition. 

Continuing with the construction of complex understandings of drone capabilities, “Those Who Feel the Fire Burning: Drone Perception and the Aesthetico-Political Image” by Halbe Kuipers (University of Amsterdam) reflects on the metaphysical and ethical implications of image-making when drones participate in filmic world-making. To investigate the phenomenon of the drone further still, a 2015 debate transcript follows, in which Krisis’s own Eva Sancho Rodriguez (University of Amsterdam) moderates a discussion between Willem Schinkel (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Rogier van Reekum (Erasmus University Rotterdam and Krisis member) in the context of Drift, an annual festival of contemporary philosophy organized by students of the University of Amsterdam. The issue ends with two book reviews: Sigmund Bruno Schilpzand (University of Amsterdam) on Grégoire Chamayous’s A Theory of the Drone and Tobias Burgers (Freie Universität Berlin) on Ian Shaw’s Predator Empire: Drone Warfare and Full Spectrum Dominance.

Editorial

Krisis has a long tradition of introducing and discussing the work of representatives of Critical Theory. Over the years contributions dedicated to the work of for instance Theodor W. Adorno, Jürgen Habermas, Axel Honneth and Albrecht Wellmer were published. Some of them also published contributions in Krisis. This issue discusses the critical theory of Hauke Brunkhorst. The focus is on two of his recent books: Critical Theory of Legal Revolutions and Das Doppelte Gesicht Europas (‘The two faces of Europe’). An introduction to the work of Brunkhorst is followed by critical contributions on both books by Tannelie Blom, Darryl Cressman, René Gabriëls , Matthew Hoye, Sjaak Koenis, Pieter Pekelharing,  Willem Schinkel and Ludek Stavinoha. Finally, this dossier finds its closure with Brunkhorst’s reply to his critics.    

In addition to the dossier on the critical theory of Brunkhorst, this issue of Krisis contains three articles. In her article, Lieke van der Veer analyses and evaluates forms of border-crossing and residency that are considered problematic. She shows that states govern unwanted migration through the so-called ‘responsibilization’ of non-state actors. Further, Jess Bier explores in her article the documentary histories of Caribbean pirates. She argues for greater attention to the material boundaries of language to understand the entanglements between texts and the world. Lastly, François Levrau’s article is an intervention in the ongoing debate about multiculturalism. He critically reflects on Will Kymlicka’s political philosophy. This issue of Krisis also includes two book reviews. David Hollanders reviews David Graeber’s  The utopia of rules. On technology, stupidity, and the secret joys of bureaucracy (2015). Additionally, Frieder Vogelmann reviews Daniel Zamora’s Critiquer Foucault (2014) as well as Mitchell Dean’s and Kaspar Villadsen’s State Phobia and Civil Society (2016).

This new issue of Krisis is accompanied by an entire new digital environment. In order to make Krisis more accessible it is redesigned and equipped with an entire new website. However, with regard to the content nothing changed.  As this issue shows, Krisis stays a platform for articles that discuss issues in contemporary social, political and cultural thought, and also seeks to make the work of classic authors relevant to current social and cultural problems. Furthermore, it upholds its function as a forum for current critical thought on public affairs.

Mobilizing Anger: the Political Potential of a Dangerous Affect

“Anger does not in itself produce political programs for change, but it is perhaps the most basic political emotion. Without it, there is no hope”, as Frantz Fanon’s biographer David Macey wrote in 2000. Since deliberative politics, and in particular parliamentary consensus seeking, show themselves increasingly incapable of addressing a widening set of issues, the relevance of political anger has only intensified in recent years.  But what is the role of anger in contemporary politics? Often described as pre-political, anger can both legitimise and delegitimise political action. It may brand political acts as ‘dangerous’ or ‘irrational’, but may also provide them with ‘authenticity’ and ‘conviction’. How can we take ‘the politics of anger’ seriously? And how can we understand the operation of anger in politics?

It is with this problematic in mind that Krisis invites contributions that explore anger and its political potential. Relevant questions include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

1. Anger as a Political Affect: Where are we to place anger in the larger field of political affectivity? How do people get angry and what happens when they do? What sustains, inflects and dramatizes political anger? Should we understand political action as a move into or out of anger? Is anger always already political and, conversely, should politics be reducible to anger? When is anger politically productive, when destructive? What is the contribution of philosophical research into affects (from Spinoza to Massumi) to current political struggles? What role may be played by art or scholarship in the production and mobilization of anger?

2. Representation, Demonstration, and Risk: Can anger truly be represented? How does anger play out in the dynamic and sometimes fraught relationships between represented collectives and their spokespersons? Whose anger is made to matter, and to whom? Bearing Audre Lorde’s emphasis on the dangerous ‘uses of anger’ in mind, we want to pay attention to the relationship between anger, political representation, and risk. Demonstration – a different modality of political action – raises slightly different questions with regards to anger: How is it possible to build upon sometimes fleeting demonstrations of anger, to make it outlive its momentary expression and channel it into a political and social movement?

3. Anger and its Discontents: Anger is not without its affective consequences for those in anger. Is it possible to inhabit it without it metastasizing into either hate or resentment? How to inhabit it without it, to paraphrase David Foster Wallace, ‘eating you alive’? Can individual and collective agents cultivate their anger in ways that create political links rather than boundaries?

Krisis welcomes essays, research articles, and book review proposals.

Krisis also accept Dutch language contributions.

Word limits, excluding bibliographies, are as follows :
Articles (peer-reviewed): 7000 words;
Essays (non-peer reviewed): 5000 words;
Review essays: 4000 words;
Book reviews: 2000 words.

See ‘Submissions’ tab for additional information on submissions. Please send submissions to: info@krisis.eu

Editorial

The first Krisis of 2016 will be the last issue before the re-launch and redesign of Krisis online. With a new website, Krisis will continue to publish articles that focus on contemporary issues as well as those that engage classic authors in a new light.

The articles of our current issue reflect both these aims. Femke Kaulingfreks opens the issue and analyses street protests, like the one in the Netherlands in reaction to the death of Mitch Hernandez in 2015, as cases of unruly politics. This opens the possibility of recognition for the politics of rioting and signals gaps in current structures of representation. Thomas Wells proposes in his article to ‘exile the rich’ by pointing to how democracy is undermined by unlimited accumulated wealth. The main problem for Wells is the way the rich gain independence from and command over others, instead of simply finding ways to curb wealth.

Sina Talachian dissects the shifting relationship between universalism and particularism in the work of Karl Marx. His article shows how a close reading of Marx’ work can still be relevant for contemporary debates on post-colonialism and intersectionality. In his essay, Merijn Oudenampsen considers the controversial but inescapable role of ‘utopia’ in the Dutch political and intellectual sphere. Through a critical reading of More’s classic text on utopia, Oudenampsen argues the need for utopian thinking in politics today.

In addition to articles, this issue Krisis presents a never before published interview with Richard Rorty by Mark Koster en Dennis Schulting. The American philosopher spoke about multicularism, right-wing and left-wing politics and intellectualism in the Spring of 1997, when he was Spinoza chair. The enduring pertinence of Rorty and this interview is introduced by Jappe Groenendijk.

Four reviews of new books of philosophy will close this issue. Beatrijs Haverkamp will review German philosopher Rahel Jaeggi’s Alienation. Eva Meijer read Animal Deliberation by Clemens Driessen. Sarah Ahmed’s latest monograph Wilful Subjects is reviewed by Eliza Steinbock. Finally Ilios Willemars will consider the newly published texts by Michel Foucault in Wrong-doing, truth-telling

Issue 1, 2016

The first Krisis of 2016 will be the last issue before the re-launch and redesign of Krisis online. Femke Kaulingfreks opens the issue and analyses street protests, like the one in the Netherlands in reaction to the death of Mitch Hernandez in 2015, as cases of unruly politics. Thomas Wells proposes in his article to ‘exile the rich’ by pointing to how democracy is undermined by unlimited accumulated wealth. Sina Talachian dissects the shifting relationship between universalism and particularism in the work of Karl Marx. In his essay, Merijn Oudenampsen considers the controversial but inescapable role of ‘utopia’ in the Dutch political and intellectual sphere. In addition to articles, this issue Krisis presents a never before published interview with Richard Rorty by Mark Koster en Dennis Schulting, introduced by Jappe Groenendijk. Four reviews of new books of philosophy close this issue. Beatrijs Haverkamp reviews German philosopher Rahel Jaeggi’s Alienation. Eva Meijer read Animal Deliberation by Clemens Driessen. Sarah Ahmed’s latest monograph Wilful Subjects is reviewed by Eliza Steinbock. Finally Ilios Willemars will consider the newly published texts by Michel Foucault in Wrong-doing, truth-telling

Sponsor

Krisis aims to be completely accessible to everyone who is interested. All contributions are freely available. Although we are commited to low-budget publication, we still need money to keep this journal running. In particular, we appreciate working with a fairly-paid editorial assistant and a professional copy editor in order to guarantee the quality of Krisis. The board of editors does not get compensated.

In order to keep the reading of this journal free of charge, we would appreciate your support, either by donation or by advertisement.

Krisis is financially supported by the Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam and the Department of Philosophy, Maastricht University. The digital archive was supported by the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund.