What did Foucault mean by knowledge

Some fragments about machines

10 2005

Gerald Raunig

The following text is a preliminary work for a book on the theory of the machine, which will be published by Turia + Kant in spring 2008 in the series "It depends on". It was first published in: Grundrisse 17, 41-49.


"In the history of philosophy, the problem of the machine in general is considered to be a secondary component of a more general question, that of techne, of techniques. I would like to propose here a reversal of perspectives in which the problem of technology becomes a subset of a much broader machine problem This 'machine' is open to the outside world and its machinic environment and maintains all kinds of relationships to social components and individual subjectivities machinic structure to expand ... "[1]

Félix Guattari describes in a few words the extensification of one of the most central and at the same time most often misunderstood terms of his heterogeneous theory production. Like many terms in Guattari’s forge, the machine has been deliberately removed from everyday use. This practice of distorting terms and inventing terms leads in theoretical reception to the widespread, polemical hippie accusation against Guattari (and his colleague Gilles Deleuze) [2] and, with more benevolent interpretation, to interested perplexity with regard to the concept of machine. [3] The reinterpretation of the concept of machine is not so new and radical as to pin it on the flags of the French post-structuralists alone. Already at the time of the final expansion of the industrial revolution across Europe, Karl Marx can find the ones drafted in 1857/58 Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy with the “fragment about machines” [4] a clear movement in the direction that Guattari brought to a generalized machine thinking.

In this section Marx developed the Floor plans his thoughts on transforming the work equipment from a simple tool (which Guattari will call the proto-machine) into a dem capital fixe corresponding shape, that is, in technical machines and "machinery". In addition to the central concept of the machine, which Marx in capital Should later devote much broader space, a second term is negotiated here, which is of greater importance for another post-Marxist current of theory. The concept of General Intellect was the explicit starting point of the Italian (post) operatives, among other things, for their considerations on mass intellectuality and immaterial work. [5] The mutual references between French poststructuralism and Italian postoperaism are generally just as varied as both currents relate to Marx and at the same time differentiate themselves from him, but the concrete relationship between the two aspects of the small Marx fragment (machine-general intellect) continues lost on both sides. [6]

Machines at Marx

In general, Marx's machine is succinctly a “means of producing surplus value” [7], that is, by no means intended to reduce the labor of the workers, but rather to optimize their exploitation. Marx describes this function of the "machinery" in the 13th chapter of the Capital on the three aspects of expanding the number of people who can be employed as labor (especially women and child labor), lengthening the working day and intensifying work. But the machine also appears as an ever new effect of ever new strikes and protests by the workers, which capital not only opposes direct repression, but above all new machines. [8]

In the “fragment about machines”, Marx is primarily concerned with the negative aspects of a historical development, at the end of which the machine, in contrast to the tool, is by no means to be understood as a means of work for the individual worker: it rather includes the knowledge and skill of workers and scientists than objectified into itself and faces the scattered workers as the dominant power.

According to Marx, it is precisely the division of labor that is the precondition for the creation of machines. Only after the transformation of work into a still human, but increasingly mechanical, mechanized one, was the prerequisite for these mechanical tasks of the workers to be taken over by the machine in a further step: “Incorporated into the production process of capital, the means of work passes through but various metamorphoses, the last of which is the machine is or rather a machinery automatic system (System of machinery; the automatic is only the most perfect, most adequate form of the same and only transforms the machinery into a system), set in motion by an automaton, moving force that moves itself; this automaton consists of numerous mechanical and intellectual organs, so that the workers themselves are only determined as conscious members of it. "[9]

This Marx passage shows that the machine itself, as a purely technical one, not only as an automaton, as an apparatus, as a structure, in the last stage of the development of the means of work, structuralizes and notches the workers, but that they are at the same time differentiated from mechanical ones and intellectual Organs through which it is successively developed and renewed.

On the one hand, Marx formulates here the alienation of the workers from their means of work, their (alien) determination by the machines, the domination of living work by the objectified, and introduces the figure of the inverse relationship between man and machine: “The activity of Worker, limited to a mere abstraction of the activity [namely to protect the machine from disturbances], is determined and regulated in all directions by the movement of the machinery, not the other way around. Science, which by its construction forces the inanimate parts of the machine to function appropriately as an automaton, does not exist in the consciousness of the worker, but acts through the machine as an alien power, as the power of the machine itself. ”[10] The reverse of this The relationship between workers and work equipment and the rule of the machine over people is not only defined here via the hierarchy in the work process, but also understood as the reversal of the determination via knowledge. Through the process of objectifying the forms of knowledge in the machine, the producers of this knowledge lose their undivided competence and power over the work process, the work itself appears as divided, scattered, at many points of the mechanical system in individual living workers. “Knowledge appears in the machinery as something alien outside of itself [the worker]; and the living work subsumes under the independently acting objectified. "[11]

Even with the Marx of the machine fragment, however, the mighty, automatic machine is more than a technical mechanism. The machine appears here not only limited to its technical aspects, but as a mechanical-intellectual-social structure: technology and knowledge (as a machine) have a one-sided effect on the workers, but the machine is not just a chain of technology and knowledge, of mechanical ones and intellectual organs, but also of social organs, insofar as they coordinate the scattered workers.

In the machine, ultimately, the collectivity of the human intellect is also revealed. Machines are "Human brain organs created by the human hand; objectified power of knowledge. The development of the capital fixe shows the degree to which the general social knowledge, knowledge, for immediate productive force has become, and therefore the conditions of the social process of life have come under the control of the general intellect, and are rearranged according to it. To what extent the social productive forces are produced, not only in the form of knowledge, but as immediate organs of social practice; of the real life process. ”[12] On the meaning of the General Intellect I will come back further below, at this point the aspect should be emphasized that productive power corresponds not only to new technical machines, indeed not just to the concatenation of “mechanical and intellectual organs”, but also and above all to the relationship of the producers to one another and to the production process. Not only the inside of the technical machine is criss-crossed by mechanical and intellectual lines, social connections and relationships can also be seen on the outside, which become components of the machine. In the machine fragment there are not only the theses that knowledge and skill are “general productive forces of the social brain” [13] in the capital fixe are accumulated and absorbed and that the process of scientification of production is a tendency of capital, but also an indication of the reversal of this tendency: the chain of knowledge and technology is not exhausted in fixed capital, but also refers to the technical machine and the in their objectified knowledge extends to social cooperation and communication.

When the theater becomes a machine ...[14]

In Moscow's First Workers' Theater, Sergej Eisenstein and Sergej Tretjakov developed the “eccentric theater” and the “assembly of attractions” between 1921 and 1924, based on early attempts at mass production, biomechanics and constructivist stage mechanization by Vsevolod Meyerhold separate versions of production art strategies in film, theory and operational literature emerge. The inclusion of elements of the circus, the revue, the film meant in the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1920s an attack on the pure practice of bourgeois theater, carried out primarily through the means of “attraction”: in the “theater of attractions” goes it is about aggressive and physical moments of the theater, the effect of which is supposed to disrupt the mechanism of illusion and empathy. The assembly of the attractions does not mean a gimmicky accumulation of tricks and feats, but the further development of circus and variety elements for a materialistic, “scientific” theater. From the circus, the Proletkult-Theater takes on the artistry, but also the fragmentation through its number structure, the stringing together of “individual attractions that are not connected by a subject” [15]: Eisenstein and Tretjakov use this apparent lack of disconnection as a weapon against them Empathy. Against the totality of the subject, they assemble and molecularize the piece as a piece of individual attractions. Eisenstein writes: “I define an attraction in the formal sense as an independent and primary construction element of a performance - as the molecular (i.e. constitutive) unit of the effectiveness of the theater and the Theater at all. ”[16] In this respect, the attraction is more than a circus act, it is a situation that contains the conflicts as a molecular singularity. Eisenstein and Tretyakov want a collision with the audience produce.

The theater of attractions does not hide this attack on the audience as the “main material of the theater” [17]. Against the theater of illusions, which pseudo-participatory invites the audience to experience, it wants to establish a process of dismembered excitement. The aspect of assembly not only determines the macrostructure of the piecework, but also affects the composition of the individual attraction. “The actors, the things, the sounds are nothing more than elements from which an attraction is built” [18]: a structure of players who do not represent, but work - and of things: constructive frameworks and objects with which the Players work instead of decorations and props. [19] “The illusory theatrical act is viewed as an internally coherent phenomenon; but here we have the conscious attitude towards incompleteness and great activity on the part of the spectator, who must be able to orientate himself in the most varied of phenomena that take place in front of him. ”[20]

In his concept of theater as a machine, Tretyakov indicates the direction in which the relationship between human machines, technical machines and social machines should go: “The work on the scenic material, the transformation of the stage into a machine, the work of the actor as much as possible helps to develop broadly and in many forms, finds its social justification when this machine not only moves its pistons and withstands a certain workload, but also begins to carry out a certain useful work and to serve the ongoing tasks of our revolutionary time. ”[21] About the In addition to the aesthetic use of technical machines and constructions as decoration, an attempt is made to make the stage machinery of the theater transparent as a model of mechanization and to create flowing transitions between technical machines and the structural scaffolding and stage structures. Beyond Meyerhold's biomechanics, which trained the exact self-control of the human body as a machine, but easily degenerated into a danced sculpture, the players become elements of the attraction. And finally, a chain of technical machines (of things), the bodies of the players and the social organization of all those involved, including the audience, is developed using Taylorist ideas of the scientific management of work and the simple reversal of the human-machine relationship. These considerations about the interlocking of technical and social structures in the theater of attractions remain only superficially committed to a “theater of the scientific age”; the attempt to “calculate” such complex machines as those designed by Eisenstein and Tretyakov goes through a relationship of Outward appearance of technical machines and social collectives as well as far beyond purely mathematical-technical considerations.

Eisenstein describes the attraction as being based solely on something relative, on the reaction of the audience. Instead of depicting a given situation based on the subject and its development and resolution through collisions, which are logically connected to this situation and subordinate to the psychologism of the subject, there is the free assembly of autonomous attractions that are assembled towards a certain end effect and thus carry out a work on the audience. Eisenstein and Tretyakov want to change the order of emotions, organize them differently. The audience should become part of the machine they called the theater of attractions. They want to create “certain emotional shocks” in the audience through “experimental verification” and “mathematical calculation” [22].

The emphasis here is on certain Emotional shocks: In contrast to total emotion management in bourgeois theater, this means a utilitarian determined and precisely circumscribed arousal through precisely assembled impulses. This attempt “exact calculation” of emotions is an attempt to control and check the interaction between the cited reality of the signs, the physical work of the players and the bodies of the audience, against the bourgeois strategy of aesthetic fiction. A distinction must be made between the means of the old and the new theater model. In bourgeois theater jargon the theatrical performance would not be explicitly defined as a “process of processing the audience with the means of theatrical effect” [23], but implicitly the intention of “aesthetic education” amounts to something similar. The theater of attractions, however, wants its audience to calculate. That also means the attractions depending on the audience calculated, i.e. every performance requires new considerations, yes, that the performance finds its purpose in the audience, its material in the context of its life. How far Eisenstein's and Tretyakov's calculation experiments went is not known; Surveys were held among the viewers, their reactions closely observed and the findings carefully evaluated.The fact that their calculations had to / wanted to calculate with a considerable difference in target and consequence, at least with a far greater degree of uncontrollability than the performance practices of the 19th century, was not only due to the new audience classes won for the theater, but also to the experimental format of the attraction.

The performances of Tretyakovs Do you hear Moscow ?! in this context must have marked a climax at the end of 1923, when there were sometimes tumultuous situations in the theater. [24] As an extremely quickly written, organized and produced mobilization and agitation piece for a possible German revolution in the wake of the Hamburg uprising at the end of October 1923, it was premiered on the 6th anniversary of the October Revolution, on November 7, 1923. On the surface, the play by Eisenstein and Tretyakov failed, mainly because, as is well known, the revolution did not materialize. However, in the specific context of the performance of socialist society in Moscow, this portrayal of the revolution should have a different effect than in a revolutionary situation. Tretjakov and Eisenstein used the increasingly mounted attractions with such accentuations that more and more excitement must have spread in the audience: frequent heckling, spectators reaching for weapons and scuffles with extras who interfered in fictitious fights should have created an impressive chaos to have. And not only in the theater the angry spectators are said to have reacted violently, but also afterwards on the streets of Moscow: "[...] afterwards they marched through the streets, waving wildly at the shop window displays and singing songs." [25]

It will probably have to remain open how far the theater of attractions wanted to “reckon” with the spontaneity described above beyond the theater space. The calculation of the audience may well have gone so far as to want to plan, calculate and evaluate chaos and turmoil. In any case, Eisenstein and Tretjakov shifted the theater machine, precisely with their demands for exact social tasks and scientific approach, onto such a fluctuating terrain that no other artistic practice was to reach any other soon.

The new invention of the term machine

In the "Appendix" to the Anti-Oedipus Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari not only develop a "programmatic balance sheet for dream machines" [26], but also write their own concept of machines, dealing with Marx's considerations on machinery [27]. It is about an expansion or renewal of the term, in no way about the metaphorization of the machine. Deleuze and Guattari do not establish a “figurative sense” of the machine, but rather try to reinvent the term from a critical distance both to everyday meaning and to Marxist research: “We do not start from the metaphorical use of the word machine, but from an (unclear) hypothesis about their creation: the way in which any element is carried out Recursion and communication be made to be a machine. "[28]

Marx's machine theory is introduced here for the time being under the code "that classical scheme" and is only explicitly named in the third and last part of the appendix. [29] While Marx in the thirteenth chapter of the Capital Deleuze / Guattari attacked the linear conception of the first question as inadequate in many respects. In doing so, they question less the immanent logic of the transformation of the machine described by Marx, but rather the framework on which this logic is based, which Marx presupposes, a dimension of man and nature common to all social forms. The linear development from the tool (as an extension of the human being to relieve it) to an upheaval, in the course of which the machine finally makes itself independent of the human being, is determined by the machine as a selective aspect in a mechanical series. Such a scheme, “humanistic and abstract”, above all isolates the productive forces from the social conditions of their application.

Beyond this evolutionary scheme, the machine is no longer just a function in a series imagined by the tool that occurs at a certain point. Similar to how the techne term of antiquity meant both: material object and practice, the machine is not the only means of work in which social knowledge is absorbed and locked, it opens up in different social contexts to form different chains, connections, and couplings: "Man and nature are no longer present, only processes that generate one in the other and link the machines to one another." [31]

Instead of putting tool and machine in a row, the question is - Deleuze / Guattari's questioning corresponds to Marx's second question about the distinction between machine and tool - a more fundamental differentiation. This distinction could well be carried out in the form of a different genealogy than that of Marx, for example one that goes back to a prehistoric understanding of the “machina”, in which the separation of the organic and the mechanical was not yet relevant. in the Anti-Oedipus However, this difference is dealt with conceptually / theoretically: the machine is a communication factor, the tool - at least in its non-machinic form - in contrast to it, an extension or prosthesis without communication. Conversely, the concrete tool in its use of exchange / connection with humans is always more of a machine than the technical machine, which is conceived in isolation: “To become one piece with something else means something fundamentally different from lengthening, projecting or replacing to let. "[32]

This demarcation of the machine from something that simply extends or replaces man not only describes Deleuze and Guattari's refusal to affirm the common figure of the machine's rule over man. It also sets a difference to the all too simple and happy celebration of a certain form of machine, as it threatens to fade out the social in ever new combinations of the “man-machine” from futurism to cyber fans. [33] According to Deleuze / Guattari, the narrative of the adaptation of man to the machine, of the replacement of man by machine, misses the machinic, both in its critical, Marxist form and in its euphoric tendency. “It is no longer a question of confronting man and machine in order to assess the possible or impossible correspondences, extensions and replacements of one or the other, but rather of connecting both and showing how man and machine are or how he is with other things to one piece (one unit) becomesto constitute such a machine.“[34] The“ other things ”may be animals, tools, other people, statements, signs or wishes, but they only become machines in a process of exchange, not in the paradigm of replacement.

Take that fable from the Third policeman by Flann O'Brien, in which the Irish author makes precise calculations of when, due to the flow of molecules, what percentage of people on bicycles became bicycles, and vice versa, bicycles became people - with all the problems that this entails that people fall over if they don't lean against walls or that bicycles take on human traits. For an investigation into the machine, however, it is not about the changing quantities of identities on both sides (20% bicycle, 80% human or - even more worryingly - 60% bicycle, 40% human), but rather the exchange and flow of the machinic singularities and their interlinking with other, social machines: “On the other hand, we mean that the machine has to be understood in a direct relation to a social body and in no way to a human biological organism. Admittedly, it is no longer appropriate to judge the machine as a new segment that follows the tool in accordance with the development that begins with the abstract human being. Because man and tool are already machine parts on the full body of the respective society. The machine is first of all a social one, constituted by the machine-generating entity of a full body and by people and Tools that, in so far as they are distributed on this body, are machined. ”[35] Deleuze and Guattari thus shift the perspective from the question of the form in which the machine follows simpler tools, and people and tools are machined to those which social machine make the occurrence of specific technical, affective, cognitive, semiotic machines and their interlinking possible and at the same time necessary.

The main feature of the machine is the flow of its components: any extension or replacement would mean a lack of communication, and the quality of the machine is exactly the opposite of that of communication, exchange and openness. In contrast to the structure, to the state apparatus, which tend to be closed, the machinic corresponds to a tendency towards permanent opening. From the text "Machine and Structure" written in 1969 to the text "Machinic heterogenesis" published in 1992, Guattari repeatedly pointed out the different qualities of machine and structure, machine and state apparatus [36]: "The machine has something more than the structure." [37] It is not limited to the administration and notching of mutually closed entities, but opens up to other machines and moves machine structures with them. It consists of machines and penetrates several structures at the same time. It depends on external elements in order to exist at all. It implies a complementarity not only with the person who fabricates it, lets it function or destroys it, but is in itself in a relationship of alterity with other virtual or current machines. [38]

In addition to this theoretical approach to a simultaneously indifferent and ambivalent concept of the machine in the Anti-Oedipus and some Guattari texts of older and more recent dates, however, it is important not to ignore the historical context of a normative turn to the machinic. Guattari began to develop his concept of machine as early as the late 1960s, against the political background of left-wing organization attempts. These companies were initially directed against the harsh segmentarity of the real-socialist and eurocommunist left-wing states, were further investigated on the basis of the experiences of various subcultural and micropolitical practices, in the case of Guattaris mainly on the basis of antipsychiatric practice, and finally resulted in strenuous efforts after 1968 against structuralization and Closing the 68ers to appear and to think about in cadres, splinter parties and circles.

The problem that Guattari already deals with in his first machine text, written shortly after the experience of 1968, is the problem of an ongoing revolutionary organization: “that of the establishment of an institutional machine which is characterized by a special axiomatic and a special practice; What is meant is the guarantee that it is not closed off in the various social structures, in particular not in the state structure, which apparently forms the foundation stone of the prevailing relations of production, although it no longer corresponds to the means of production. ”[39] Both the“ prevailing relations of production ”and the current forms of resistance have taken on a machinic form, and structuralization and closure as a gesture of (self) protection ignore this fact. Machine institutions cannot reproduce the forms of the state apparatus, those provided by the paradigm of representation, they have to invent new forms of “instituting practices”: “The revolutionary project as 'machine activity' of an institutional subversion would have to uncover such subjective possibilities and them in each one Secure the phase of the struggle against their 'structuralization' in advance. But such a permanent recording of the machine effects acting on the structures could not be satisfied with "theoretical practice". It requires the development of a specific analytical practice that directly affects every stage of the organization of the struggle. ”[40]

General Intellect and the EuroMayday machine

Much of what Guattari formulated in his reflections on the machine against the background of the experience around May 1968 has been updated in recent years - perhaps more so than during the 1960s and 1970s - in the non-representational forms of movement, the took action against migration and border regimes, economic globalization and the precarization of work and life. [41] The latter is above all the topic of the EuroMayday movement [42], which, starting from Milan, has in recent years mainly pursued the reappropriation of May Day.

In this respect, quite similar to the theater-goers who were revolutionarily animated by Tretyakov's and Eisenstein's play “Are you listening to Moscow?”, The EuroMayday activists now and then even “waving wildly against the shop window displays and singing songs through the streets”. And that through the streets of now around twenty European cities, including London, Copenhagen, Maribor, Barcelona, ​​Hamburg and Vienna. [43] The shop window displays sometimes break, but more often they are painted, sprayed and covered with a layer of new signs. [44] The EuroMayday parades not only renew the revolutionary traditions of May 1st, but also use their bodies, images, signs and statements against the privatization of the urban publics. Such re-appropriation of the city takes place without stages or podiums, in an effort to oppose the paradigm of representation with the paradigm of the event.

But the EuroMayday machine has two temporalities. Not only that of the event, but also the long period of institutional practice, in which the connection between the machine as a movement against structuralization and the machine as “social productive force” becomes clear. Organizing for May 1st is not the only dimension of Mayday activists: Throughout the year, micro-actions and discursive events take place, regular communication on mailing lists and meetings in various - albeit limited by the wishes and time resources of those involved European cities for transnational exchange. In this context, an increasingly dense network of problematizing the precarization of work and life is emerging, not only in Europe.

This formation of an instituting practice is only just beginning to be recognized, however, as the movement has, as also the postoperaist philosopher Paolo Virno, “those forms of struggle which are suitable for transforming the situation of precarious, temporary and atypical work into subversive political capacity transform, not yet sufficiently bundled. ”[45] Such a bundling is now less based on the old forms of organization by“ state apparatus ”than on the interlinking of machinic forms of movement and post-Fordist forms of work and life. In his texts on this subject, especially in the Grammar of the multitude, connects Virno directly to the machine fragment and to the term "des." introduced there en passant by Marx General Intellect. If, in the era of industrialization, social knowledge was ever completely absorbed in the technical machines, that would be completely unthinkable in the post-Fordist context: “This aspect is of course of great importance, but it does not exhaust the problem. So you would have to go to that side of the General Intellect take into account that is not embodied in the system of machines (or better: that is not Metal shape assumes), but makes this an essential property of living work. ”[46] As postoperaist theory formulates following Guattari, it is precisely due to the logic of economic development itself that the machine is not understood as a mere structure that the workers notches and closes the social knowledge in itself. About Marx’s idea of ​​the im capital fixe Going beyond absorbed knowledge, Virno therefore sets his thesis of the simultaneously pre- and trans-individual social quality of the intellect: “Living work in post-Fordism has as raw material and means of production the thinking expressed through language, the ability to learn and communicate, the imagination, that is the faculties that characterize human consciousness. The living work embodies the General Intellect (the 'social brain'), which Marx called the 'cornerstone of production and wealth'. The General Intellect is no longer absorbed in fixed capital today, so it no longer only represents the knowledge contained in the system of machines, but the linguistic cooperation of a multitude of living subjects. "[47]

The inclusion of Marx’s term refers to the fact that “intellect” should not be understood here as the exclusive competence of an individual, but as a common bond and a basis of individuation that is always developing, as the social quality of the intellect. So here comes the preindividual human "nature" that lies in speaking, thinking, communicating, the transindividual aspect of the General Intellect In addition: It is not only the totality of all knowledge accumulated by the human species, not only the commonality of the previously common assets, it is also the between the cognitive workers, the communicative interaction, abstraction and self-reflection of living subjects, the cooperation, the coordinated action of living work.

Finally, with Virno, a connection between this new understanding of the General Intellect as collective thinking and language skills and a machine concept in the sense of Guattari. Knowledge as collective intellectuality is complementary to the machinic quality of production and movement. General Intellect, or the “public intellect”, as Virno develops the term further, is the other name for the expansion of the machine concept, which Guattari began, beyond and beyond the technical machine: “Within contemporary work processes, there are conceptual constellations that are themselves considered productive ' Machines' work without needing a mechanical body or a small electronic soul. "[48]

I would like to thank Martin Birkner, Isabell Lorey, Birgit Mennel and Stefan Nowotny for tips and critical advice.



Richard Barbrook, "The Holy Fools", in: Mute 11, London 1998, 57-65

Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, Frankfurt / Main 1977

Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, A thousand plateaus, Berlin 1997

“An experiment in theater work”, in: Peter Gorsen, Eberhard Knödler-Bunte, Proletkult 2. On the practice and theory of a proletarian cultural revolution in Soviet Russia 1917–1925, Stuttgart 1975, 111-116

Sergej Eisenstein, “The assembly of attractions”, in: Peter Gorsen, Eberhard Knödler-Bunte, Proletkult 2. On the practice and theory of a proletarian cultural revolution in Soviet Russia 1917–1925, Stuttgart 1975, 117-121

Félix Guattari, “Machine and Structure”, in: ders., Psychotherapy, politics and the tasks of institutional analysis, Frankfurt / Main 1976, 127-138

Félix Guattari, "About Machines", in: Henning Schmidgen (ed.), Aesthetics and machinism. Texts to and by Félix Guattari, Berlin 1995, 115-132

Félix Guattari, “Machinic heterogenesis”, in: ders., Chaos mosis. An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm, Bloomington / Indianapolis 1995, 33-57

Félix Guattari, "Capital as the Integral of Power Formations", in: ders., Chaosophy. Soft subversions, New York 1996, 202-224

"Do you hear, Moscow ?!", in: Peter Gorsen, Eberhard Knödler-Bunte, Proletkult 2. On the practice and theory of a proletarian cultural revolution in Soviet Russia 1917–1925, Stuttgart 1975, 127-129

Maurizio Lazzarato, “Intangible labor. Social activity under the conditions of post-Fordism ", in: Toni Negri, Maurizio Lazzarato, Paolo Virno, Wandering producers. Intangible labor and subversion, Berlin 1998, 39-52

Oliver Marchart, “The party crossed over”, in: Gerald Raunig (ed.), TRANSVERSAL. Art and Criticism of Globalization, Vienna 2003, 204-210

Karl Marx, "Fragment about machines, in: ders., Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy, MEW 42, Berlin 22005, 590-609

Karl Marx, The misery of philosophy, MEW 4, Berlin 111990, 63-182

Karl Marx, The capital, MEW 23, Berlin 191998

Angela Mitropoulos, "Precari-Us?", Http://www.republicart.net/disc/precariat/mitropoulos01_en.htm, October 16, 2005

Chantal Mouffe, Exodus and trench warfare. The future of radical politics, Vienna 2005

Antonio Negri, "The theory of wages and their development", in: Thomas Atzert / Jost Müller (eds.), Immaterial labor and imperial sovereignty, Münster 2004, 264-289

Gerald Raunig, “La inseguridad vencerá. Antiprecaritarian Activism and Mayday Parades ”, October 16, 2005, http://www.republicart.net/disc/precariat/raunig06_de.htm

Gerald Raunig, Art and revolution. Artistic activism in the long 20th century, Vienna 2005

Karl Reitter, "Gerald Raunig: Art and Revolution", in: Floor plans 14, Vienna Summer 2005, 60-62

Sergej Tretjakov, “The theater of attractions”, in: Peter Gorsen, Eberhard Knödler-Bunte, Proletkult 2. On the practice and theory of a proletarian cultural revolution in Soviet Russia 1917–1925, Stuttgart 1975, 121-127

Sergej Tretjakov, “Notes of a playwright”, in: ders., Faces of the avant-garde, Berlin / Weimar 1985, 98-101

Paolo Virno, "When the night is deepest ... Comments on General Intellect", in: Thomas Atzert / Jost Müller (ed.), Immaterial labor and imperial sovereignty, Münster 2004, 148-155

Paolo Virno, "A Performative Movement" in: Cultural cracks 02/2005, 6-9

Paolo Virno, Grammar of the multitude, Vienna 2005

Paolo Virno, “The angels and the General Intellect", in the S., Grammar of the multitude, Vienna 2005, 165-188


[1] Guattari, "About Machines," 118

[2] Cf. for example Barbrook, "The Holy Fools", Marchart, "Der durchkreuzte Ort der Party", 204 or Mouffe, Exodus and trench warfare

[3] see Reitter, “Gerald Raunig: Art and Revolution”, 61f.

[4] MEW 42, 590-609

[5] Cf. for a brief sketch of the various references of operaist and postoperaist generations to the machine fragment: Virno, "When the night is deepest ... Notes on the General Intellect"

[6] In Toni Negri's early book “Marx oltre Marx”, for example, which was published in 1978 from his Paris seminar on the Floor plans arises, there is no discussion of the machine (cf. the German version of the chapter on the “machine fragment” in Negri, “The theory of wages and their development”). The only exception here is Maurizio Lazzarato, who in his work on immaterial work on the one hand and video philosophy on the other hand has at least taken both aspects further.

[7] MEW 23, 391

[8] Cf. Marx, The misery of philosophy, MEW 4, 176: “In England, the strikes regularly gave rise to the invention and use of new machines. The machines were, it may be said, the weapon used by the capitalists to quell the revolt of skillful labor. The self-acting mule, the greatest invention of modern industry, knocked out the rebellious weirdos. ”; Marx, The capital, MEW 23, 459: "The machinery [...] will be the most powerful means of war to suppress the periodic workers' uprisings, strikes, etc. against the autocracy of capital."

[9] Marx, Floor plans, MEW 42, 592

[10] ibid., 593

[11] ibid., 595

[12] ibid., 602

[13] ibid., 594

[14] This fragment is an abridged version of the section “Theater machines versus representation. Eisenstein and Tretjakov in the gas works ”from Raunig,“ Art and Revolution ”, 134-147

[15] “An Experiment in Theater Work”, 113

[16] Eisenstein, “The Assembly of Attractions”, 118

[17] ibid.

[18] “An Experiment in Theater Work”, 112

[19] The chain of events and of players, things, sounds and spectators, as described here, comes astonishingly close to Guattari's concept of machines. in the Anti-Oedipus Deleuze and Guattari speak of the fact that in Russian futurism and constructivism, despite the collective appropriation of certain production relationships, these remained “external to the machine”, but the practice of the theater of attractions seems to refute this.

[20] “An Experiment in Theater Work”, 116

[21] Tretyakov, “Theater of Attractions”, 68

[22] see Eisenstein, “The Montage of Attractions”, 118

[23] “An Experiment in Theater Work”, 112

[24] see “Do you hear, Moscow ?!”, 128 f.

[25] Tretyakov, “A Dramatist's Notes,” 99

[26] Deleuze / Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, 497-521

[27] Im Anti-Oedipus Deleuze and Guattari seem to be consistently focused on this capital to refer, Guattari also refers to the machine fragment in "Capital as the Integral of Power Formations" (205).

[28] Deleuze / Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, 498

[29] ibid., 499 and 515ff.

[30] MEW 23, 391

[31] Deleuze / Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, 8

[32] ibid., 499

[33] At this point it should be pointed out that Guattari and Deleuze use the term machine in an indifferent to ambivalent manner throughout. At the same time, the downsides of machinization regularly emerge, as in the considerations on fascist and post-fascist forms of the war machine in A thousand plateaus (especially 582) or in Guattari's term of “machinic enslavement” in “globally integrated capitalism”, as Guattari called the phenomenon framed today under globalization back in the 1980s. “Machine enslavement” (Guattari, “Capital as the Integral of Power Formations”, 219-222) does not mean here, as with Marx, the subordinate relationship of humans to the technical machine objectifying social knowledge, but rather a more general form of collective management of knowledge and the need for permanent participation. To the traditional systems of direct oppression - here Guattari is close to the theories of neoliberal governmentality developed after Foucault - it is precisely the machinic quality of post-Fordist capitalism that adds a range of control mechanisms that require the complicity of the individual.

[34] Deleuze / Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, 498

[35] ibid., 516

[36] The related concept of the state apparatus goes far beyond conventional state concepts; as a counterpart to machines, state apparatuses are characterized by structures, notched spaces and hard segmentarity.

[37] Guattari, "About Machines" 121

[38] see Guattari, “Machinic heterogenesis”, 37

[39] Guattari, “Machine and Structure”, 137f.

[40] ibid., 138

[41] The social fora movement does not fall under this category, which falls behind this claim in form and content against the rejection of representation in its statutes.

[42] On the content of the movement (especially on the precarization of work and life) see the texts of the eipcp web journal under the title precariat http://www.republicart.net/disc/precariat/index.htm, on questions of terms especially Mitropoulos, "Precari-Us?"

[43] Cf. www.euromayday.org and on this site also various links to local EuroMayday sites

[44] on these aspects of the re-appropriation of the city as part of the EuroMayday Parades see Raunig, “La inseguridad vencerá. Antiprearitarian Activism and Mayday Parades "

[45] Virno, “A Performative Movement”, 6

[46] Virno, Grammar of the multitude, 88

[47] Virno, “The angels and the General Intellect“, 174

[48] ​​Virno, "When the Night is Deepest ... Notes on General Intellect," 154