Archives du mot-clé power

Benjamin Boretz

Benjamin Boretz

“-forming: crowds and power”


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.pdf in english
(7p, letter, 45Ko)
.pdf en français
traduction de Jean-Charles François
(7p, A4 portrait, 350Ko)


Culture in the Plural

Culture in the plural

1. Extract from Culture in the Plural by Michel de Certeau

2. Slam by Jean-Charles François inspired by Michel de Certeau’s text


Michel de Certeau (Culture in the Plural, trans. Tom Conley, Minneapolis, London: The University of Minnesota Press, 1997, pp. 133-139) :

“A first impression, a persisting malaise: culture is soft. Analysis slips everywhere over the uncertainty that proliferates in the gaps of prediction as soon as the certainty of the illusory statistics of objective signs (behavior, images, etc.) slips away. Thus the styles or ways of practicing space flee the control of city planners. Able and ready to create a composition of places, of full and empty areas that allow or forbid passage, city planners are incapable of imposing the rationality of reinforced concrete on multiple and fluid cultural systems that organize the living space of inner areas (apartments, stairways, and the like) or public domains (streets, squares, etc.) and that innervate them with an infinite number of itineraries (…)

The same is true for ways of living time, reading texts, or seeing images. What a practice does with prefabricated signs, what the latter become for those who use or receive them – there is an essential point that still remains, for the most part, unknown. (…)

In fact this soft region is silently exploited by its opposite, the hard. Culture is the battlefield of a new colonialism; it is the colonized of the twentieth century. Contemporary technocracies install whole empires on it, in the same way that European nations occupied disarmed continents in the nineteenth century. Corporate trusts rationalize and turn the manufacture of signifiers into a profitable enterprise. They fill the immense, disarmed, and almost somnolent space of culture with their commodities. All forms of need, all the rifts of desire get “covered,” that is, inventoried, dealt with, and exploited by the media. (…)

From then on, culture appears as the field of a multiform battle between the forces of the soft and the hard. It is the outrageous cancerous symptom of a society divided between the technocratization of economic progress and the folklorization of civic expression. It makes manifest an inner dysfunction: the fact that the appropriation of productive power by privileged organisms has as a corollary a political disappropriation and regression of the country, that is, the disappearance of the democratic power to determine the organization and representation of the labors that a society exerts on itself. (…)

The theory and practice of culture accede to honesty when we cast away the pretention of overcoming, by way of generalities the rift that separates the places where an experience or an event can be uttered. From scientific knowledge (when it is exclusive), all the way up to indigent discourses on “values” or on “humanism”, countless ways of eliminating other existences can be named. The common trait is that of the drive to establish unity, that is, a totalizing vision. Culture in the singular always imposes the law of a power. A resistance needs to be directed against the expansion of a force that unifies by colonizing, and that denies at once its own limits and those of others. At stake is a necessary relation of every cultural production with death that limits it and with the battle that defends it. Culture in the plural endlessly calls for a need to struggle.”



Jean-Charles François, slam inspired by Michel de Certeau’s text:

Culture in the singular always imposes the law of a power

Culture in the singular always imposes the law of a power

Culture in the regular always imposes the flaw of a power

Culture in the best regularity always imposes the good coleslaw on a pauper

Sanctified culture always imposes its claw on some flower

Culture with the secular arm imposes its credo in a tower

Culture with the secular arm implodes its credo in a shower

A vulture with the regular arm Interpol its paw on some order

A sculpture with the angular arm interposes its blows against older laws

A scripture with the interfering arm exposes its gloves on polder lawns

The capture of the arm in her offering reposes in hundred days lost in lone Lombard

The structure of the Barthes-signified reposes straight out on syntagm and wombat

The suture of the farthest ignited bona fides imposes some turns “salsa and rumba”

The capture of the Roland-enrolled (modified-modifier, ratified-retriever,

falsified-salsify fryer, satisfied-sadist flyer, defied-deft ire, mystified-misty feel air, petrified-

petty fire, humidified-humiliated midfielder, simplified-sample amplifier) imposes facing the

exemplum, persuasive mode by induction, the group of modes by deduction: the argumenta.


The rupture of the tortured arm, exposed by Foucault, decomposition of the global gesture

The rapture of the spied out frolics, exported by Foucault, the right arm should be away from

the body by about three fingers, caramba!

The body, upright, should in three steps accomplish the act of the right arm

The boldly bright shoulder in three biceps accomplice to the fact of the tight arm

The boarding bored stiff dig the bock beer at the derby three times “diddlediddledee”

The upright body grips tightly the old bolshie bobby high alright bowing deep


Not so sure that Ferdinand, tongs on each foot, was semio-astigmatic


Note the sauce sour and sweet, colored tongue that labio-masticates

Know about the post future throng creating immediately labo-massive stakes

Know the posture of the wrong good guy

Know the posture of the trounced hard good cat in combat

Know the curly tune of the trembled cumquat

Now, the pure prude plump gal handles the mess of a crumbled quell

The sulfur tumbles out of the scar, and blesses us nonetheless with a grumble yell

The sepulture in the thunder al Dantesque (O hell!) scolds with a lurid gurgle

Crude failure in subliminal sudden slumber endlessly (Oh well!) calls for a bid to stumble

Cult texture in frugal lumps less friendly chokes on a bit of Strudel

Cruel lure in the rural dead end lastly in essence leads us all to a struggle

Culture in the plural endlessly calls for a need to struggle

Culture in the plural endlessly calls for a need to struggle

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