MANIFESTO

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Manifestos are written in a moment: they are attempts to be performative, to make a moment that doesn't exist yet. We have a manifesto on feeltankchicago.net. It begins:


We are a feel tank, but this does not mean that we do not think. We are governed by outrage that our desires and demands for a less bad life and a better good life continue to go unrecognized. We desire and demand to think beyond what's deemed possible. We want to interfere with the reproduction of economic, racial, and sexual privilege - to practice a commitment to an impractical sense of justice. We could adopt the pose of outraged common sense, or of rational thought in an irrational world. Instead, we aim for an emotional epistemology. We propose a visceral intelligence to enable alliances with others against the rationalized wrongs of contemporary life in the U.S. and globally.

This screed feels dated, not because we no longer believe it, but because it was what we managed (writing as a collective) to say at the time. It feels wrong, because what we managed to say at the time was only partly what we were hoping, dreaming, and standing in for.

The manifesto is an affective form: the form of the need made into demand. It is a rational form: but because its analysis always claims to provide an alternative to common sense, its rationality is always invested in something beyond the empirical--a project. It is a utopian form: can language make an opening into a new world? But above all it takes the temperature of the political in the idiom of an insistence, a demand to be heard, imagined with, taken in, supposed.

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