Theory of the multitude

volume 4, number 3
August, 2004
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The breeze blowing from Seattle and Genova broke the immovable air of the desert that, like a television screen, was suffocating sense of life. It gave a voice to the life that was lying underneath: muttering, groaning and complaining, but also living, working and producing new forms of life which before these events seemed unattainable. The voice was that of a new kind of subjectivity, the multitude. As a word multitude is both old and young. It was cast out in the dawn of modernity but it never ceased to haunt its political and economic organization. As a concept it makes a giant leap over the modern world into the past and destructs the carefully guarded distinctions between past and future, theory and practice, necessity and possibility, nature and culture.

The desert is now buzzing with life that wants to create the world in its own image. But as an image it risks to remain a purely extensive and descriptive category, only an image of thought. What ephemera wants to do is to go beyond this image, into that what is spoken under the visible and touch that which constitutes the body of the multitude giving it intensity, depth and memory.