Mind your Manners. Agamben and Phish
In the final volume of his Homo Sacer series Giorgio Agamben develops the concept of destitu-ent power, a power that unworks itself in every constitution and renders itself inoperative in its every operation. This concept helps elucidate Agamben’s more enigmatic notion of form-of-life. Whereas the power of sovereign biopolitics is constitutive, i.e. constituting a determinate actual bios out of the indefinite potentialities of zoe, form-of-life exemplifies the power of rendering actual and determinate forms inoperative or destitute. Rather than attempt to devise a ‘proper’ form of life, Agamben seeks to free life from the gravity of all tasks or vocations imposed on it by privileged forms. What matters to Agamben is less the form itself but rather the manner, in which it is lived. Whereas style designates a consistent model that defines a form of life in its recognizable identity, manner refers to a failure or refusal to fully appropriate or identify with this style. The article traces the development of the idea of form-of-life in Agamben’s work, discusses the ontological implications of Agamben’s argument in The Use of Bodies and concludes by discussing the American jam band Phish as the paradigm of Agamben’s form-of-life.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Sergei Prozorov, "Mind your Manners. Agamben and Phish" in: "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2020) XXII/3", EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, Trieste, 2021, pp. 235-246
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