Feeltank has a complicated relationship to FAILURE. We embrace failure, believe it's necessary to risk and navigate it in order better to imagine and to make change. We are also embarrassed, and shamed by it - including our own failures of creativity, energy, TIME, and will to produce the kinds of collectivities and openings we imagine. (We _imagine _a lot, maybe we're too much in our heads, or maybe we overvalue the kinds of heroic praxis from which inspiring documentaries are made.) And we always criticize, as well as invoke, the "political common-sense that posits an always-already identification of FAILURE with UTOPIA. Anachronism isn't failure, time is always out of joint. But past failures and unrealized potententials haunt the present.
There was a meeting. The topic, the aesthetics of failure: acknowledging it, navigating it, occupying it; taking the slapstick angle on the "not always pleasurable prospects of falling on your face." Here are the minutes of failure.
1. In which political failure is revealed never to be Absolute--even for the totalitarians and the hegemons, there's only incomplete success. Instability is the rhythm of politics, the incitement to exercise power again. For radical political project politics is only becoming-realized, never complete. But it can always be stood outside of and judged as an episode, an event, a thing that worked, or catastrophically not.
2. Our moment disparages "failed revolutions" as though backlash and the ordinary resistances of entrenched and normative power amount to an idea or a movement's failure rather than, say, it's unfinished business. Politics is about becoming, not being. See above.
3. What are "the failures of the left"?. The anti-war movement, feminism, socialism?
4. Failure is the imaginary friend of risks. We are good students. We want to learn from our mistakes, ineffectiveness, lameness, skewed relation to the pragmatic. We feel stung by charges that we are anti-polished, anti-professional; recuperating failure. Local defeats in going up against power. Vs. the Alinsky model. Necessity of embracing IMPOSSIBLE demands. Things that have changed earlier were seen as IMPOSSIBLE. Making the impossible possible by embracing it. demoralization. Feeling like you've failed.
5. The meeting fragmented:
Link to "oui
deliberate "badness anti-bourgeois mobilization- the non-polished matter out of place
failures of the left
inability to qualify
misrecognition of backlash as failure
failure as a necessary step in taking risks; the difference between local defeats and achieving an end
some [68 poster]
The necessity of raising IMPOSSIBLE demands
FEAR of failing
Failurophobia, not ailurophobia!
Failure and feel tank (show our seams).