Keynote by Jodi Dean: The Incompatible Public is Occupied

Keynote by Jodi Dean: The Incompatible Public is Occupied

03.02.2012 18:00
(Image: Hobart and William Smith Colleges
(Image: Hobart and William Smith Colleges

in/compatible publics: This keynote deals with the keywords communicative capitalism and occupation before the background of the recent global political resistance. Distinguishing between occupation as form and occupation as tactic Jodi Dean examines the potential and the paradoxes of such collective acts.

in/compatible publics


Keynote by Jodi Dean (us)
Moderated by Krystian Woznicki (de/pl)


Hundreds of thousands of people have recently responded to capitalist dispossession by taking space, occupying sites that, ostensibly open and public, the process of occupation reveals as closed to the many and belonging to the few. As a tactic, occupation responds to communicative capitalism’s ideology of publicity. Communicative capitalism announces the convergence of democracy and capitalism in networked communication technologies that promise access and equality, urge participation, and celebrate creative engagement. Occupation accepts that promise. The resulting disturbance – pepper spray, riot gear, eviction – reveals the incompatibility at communicative capitalism’s heart. At this point, though, the tactic of occupation is compatible with the system it ostensibly rejects. Thus, it is necessary to consider the gap between occupation and its politicisation, between occupation as a tactic and occupation as a form.


(Image: Hobart and William Smith Colleges