On giving up on this world: an interview with Andrew Culp

by thomasdekeyser


When I first read Andrew Culp’s Dark DeleuzeI was deeply overwhelmed. I had not been ‘touched’ on such visceral register by critical theory probably since I read Michel Serres’ Malfeasance: Appropriation through Pollution? four years ago. The work the latter did for me is almost ungraspable: it gave me the final courage I required to flee the advertising industry. Dark Deleuze sparked something different, but of equal intensity: it passionately set ablaze the ideas of ‘affirmative politics’ that I had been unconformable with for awhile. Affirmative politics felt and sounded still too much like the supposed ‘creative ethos’ that reverberates in the offices of the contemporary advertising industry. With Dark Deleuze, I found tools for exploring anarchy and anarchism. To sharpen these tools, I interviewed Andrew Culp for Society and Space. You can read it here.

I propose something not dissimilar to Foucault’s methodological suggestion in The History of Sexuality: An Introduction (1978), that power can be coded through either law or war. As an anarchist, I never really developed a taste for the law, so I choose war.

What might it mean, Andrew Culp asks in Dark Deleuze, to “give up on all the reasons given for saving this world” (Culp, 2016b: 66)? In response, the interview explores the pathways offered by a “dark” Deleuze, a politics of cruelty, Afro-Pessimism, partisan knowledges, destituent power, and tactics of escape.