Ep. 53 – Byung-Chul Han, The Burnout Society

In this episode of AAP, Rachel, Emily, and John tackle a special request from Patreon supporter Alex. We discuss Byung-Chul Han‘s The Burnout Society, positioning the account alongside other contemporary theories of neoliberalism. We interrogate the relationship of the disciplinary society to what Han posits as the achievement society, think through the consequences of his view for democracy, and question the ‘view from nowhere’ in the text. Along the way, we get into his engagements with Hannah Arendt and Friedrich Nietzsche, unpack his use of the terms ‘negativity’ and ‘positivity’ as they relate to violence and power, and tire ourselves out engaging his chapter on tiredness. And we, of course, ask our favorite AAP question – how (if at all) can the argument account for dynamics of race, class, gender, and (neo)colonialism? Plus! A very beautifully vivid dream that harkens back to a recent text discussion on mushrooms.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment, potentially provide episode transcripts, and more – plus, you may have the chance to jump your request to the top of the request queue. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here.Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music, and always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

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Cover of The Burnout Society

Byung-Chul Han
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Interview with Emily Martinez and Liat Berdugo on art, neoliberal subjectivity, and the sharing economy – Epistemic Unruliness 4

On this episode, James talks with Liat Berdugo and Emily Martinez, a duo of activists-artists from California currently working on the Making You, Making Others project. The conversation covers the sharing economy – what is it and how it reveals the anxious substratum of neoliberal subjectivity. We also discuss the neoliberal problem of approaching one’s life as an entrepreneurial venture that one “makes”, as well as how art can provide a venue for the construction of alternative subjectivities and momentarily undo normal perception to give a glimpse of other possible realities. This was a fun one!

Visit their project’s website here; view the first video from their project here. Find Emily and Liat online at Emily’s website; Liat’s website; Emily’s twitter, and Liat’s twitter.

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Ideas for interview? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. Thanks to Rocco & Lizzie and to B for the music.

 

How to Make Yourself into a Commissioning Body in 5 Easy Steps

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