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Geopower: a panel on Elizabeth Grosz’s "Chaos, Territory, Art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth"

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Environment and Planning D: Society and Space
Issue number6
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)971–988
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventAAG Annual Meeting - Hawaii
Duration: 1/03/1999 → …


ConferenceAAG Annual Meeting
Period1/03/99 → …


Rather than understand art as cultural accomplishment, Elizabeth Grosz argues that it is born from the intensities of chaos and disruptive forms of sexual selection—a corporeality that vibrates to the hum of the universe. Grosz contends that it is precisely this excessive, nonproductive expenditure of sexual attraction that is the condition for art’s work. This intimate corporeality, composed of nonhuman forces, is what draws and transforms the cosmos, prompting experimentation with materiality, sensation, and life. In the book Chaos, Territory, Art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth (2008, Duke University Press, Durham, NC), that is the subject of this panel discussion, Grosz sets out an ontology of art, looking at its forms of emergence as territorialising force, sexual selection, and nonhuman power. In Grosz’s terms, art is an art of existence. This is not a narrow understanding of art as a practice that is about taste, cultural accomplishment, or a reflection of society, but an art that is—at its most provocative—an extraction from the universe and an elaboration on it. This ‘geoaesthetics’, that is both biospheric and biopolitical, presents a formable challenge to geographers interested in art, sexuality, time, and the territorialisation of the earth. How might we understand this distinctly different kind of biopolitics? And what might Grosz’s concept of ‘geopower’ offer in terms of a renegotiation of a more active ‘geo’ in geopolitics? Grosz argues that art is not tied to the reproduction of the known, but to the possibility of the new, overcoming the containment of the present to elaborate on futures yet to come. In this rethinking of sexual selection Grosz suggests an intensely political role for art as a bioaesthetics that is charged with the creation of new worlds and forms of life. Grosz makes a radical argument for a feminist philosophy of the biosphere and for our thinking the world otherwise.