Foucault Lab

 

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MODULE 3

 

 

The Paranoid Ontology of the Gaze

Foucault as an epistemological revolt against apparency, liberal humanism, the unified Cartesian subject, the teleological progression of history. Foucault paints a bleak world of “mindfuck” where subjects are complicit with their subjugation, and where agency, free will, and emancipation are a mirage. Not like 1984, a system of brute repression, but like Brave New World, where people have internalized and seek out their own oppression as normalcy, Foucault no longer depicts repressive power as merely negative (curtailment) but as productive (producing subjects, docile bodies, truth regimes). External constraints and violence-as-spectacle have merely been replaced by more insidious, pervasive, internalized violence. He turned inside out the threshold at which we engage in social analysis, transforming what was off limits, marginal and despised (the deliquent, the insane) to be the entry point at which we enact an upheaval of the foundations of our discursive formations.

Foucault Lab is a laboratory for visual and performing artists to engage with GENEALOGY AS METHOD: geneaology as an oppositional epistemology that takes as its starting point that there are grave flaws to the narratives and the categorical formations with which we think and structure perception. Tracing developments in architectural and urban space on the one hand and institutional and conceptual space on the other, Foucault’s greatest reversal is not an attack of a concrete institution, state, or government, but in reversing intangibles, such as the point of entry at which we enter critique and dismantling assumptions we thought were universal.