Sentiments of fidelity. Production of subjectivity, trust and neoliberal capitalism.

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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The focus of this thesis is on the production of subjectivity and more precisely on generating new and alternative forms of production of subjectivity and the role trust can play in it. In order to produce something new we need to understand what is the current situation and mode of production, so we can consider and produce alternatives to it. Therefore, in this thesis I first borrow Felix Guattari's understanding of subjectivity, which questions the causal and structural deterministic conceptualizations. Guattari proposes instead a rather multiple and more fluid subjectivity that vanishes the sharp separation between the individual and the collective. Such conceptualization underlines the individual and collective's agency and capacity to actively explore and produce particular forms of subjectivity. Subjectivity here is seen as an existential territory, in which we can become active cartographers and create new territories. I then go through some aspects of the dominant and established form of production today, the neoliberal capitalist one, and the biopolitical technologies of power discussed by Michel Foucault. The fact that the biopolitical forms of power nowadays address in a large extent directly to the production of subjectivity, makes it necessary to integrate such considerations within any attempt to explore particular forms of production. It is important to note that one of the main ways biopolitics work is by individualization, breaking down reality into elements in order to make them more controllable in accordance with state and market interests and logics. It sets social relations into the logics of the enterprise and competence, which, drawing upon Suely Rolnik's ideas, silences our sensibility to the other and our sense of mutual vulnerability. The latter is developed by Judith Butler towards the notion of mutual precariousness and responsibility. This leads me to go back to Guattari, now to his call to fight capitalism by producing new singularities, a way to expand our existential territories of experience. I continue with Rolnik's discussion of deterritorialization and her concept of 'resonant body' as a way to reactivate our sensibility to the other, diminished by capital neoliberalism. Finally, within this general frame on the production of subjectivity, I discuss the role trust plays in capital neoliberalism and biopolitics. This allows me to argue other ways of understanding trust that can contribute to foster disruptive and singular forms of subjectivity in social life and in the context of 'art spaces' -such as exhibition spaces and art institutues. The last part of this thesis includes the description, discussion and documentation of the artistic production that constitutes the whole of this thesis. The artistic work of this project is a cross-media site-specific installation that has been exhibited in summer of 2013 in Rauma Art Museum. Pictures of the exhibition documentation are included in this text, and a DVD is attached to this print including the digital files of the video and sound pieces.
Laakso, Harri
Thesis advisor

trust, self, production of subjectivity, neoliberal capitalism, subjective cartographies, micropolitics
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