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The Common in the Time of Creative Reproductions: On Gerald Raunig’s Factories of Knowledge, Industries of Creativity

What relationship is there between the work of art and communication? None at all. A work of art is not an instrument of communication. A work of art has nothing to do with communication. A work of art does not contain the least bit of information. In contrast, there is a fundamental affinity between a work of art and an act of resistance.

—Gilles Deleuze

After Art and Revolution, A Thousand Machines, and texts and interventions in defense of public education, heterotopias, and the right to movement, of which some have been published in the journal Transversal, the book Factories of Knowledge, Industries of Creativity appears as a summary of Gerald Raunig’s long-standing research into radical theories and practices of cultural resistance. Now Raunig’s two main inspirations, critical theory and French poststructuralism—in particular Foucault, Deleuze, and Guattari—are combined with post-operaist immanentism. The book includes a short afterword by Antonio Negri emphasizing the importance of this “countermelody” for building resistance and solidarity in the common. As I will argue, in this combination, all sides gain: operaismo obtains a concept of the common enriched by some aspects of the more traditional notion of the public; critical theory gains a way of overcoming the impasse of nostalgia; and poststructuralism benefits from a more materialist notion of critique and resistance, a vision of practice allowing the new heterotopias to come.

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