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Bassem Saad - Syscare

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Bassem Saad

“Before tear gas there was flaming trash. Neoliberal governance operates by distributing high systemic risk onto low-priority stakeholders while simultaneously shifting the onus of that risk away from a collective pooling and towards individual responsibility. A low-priority stakeholder in this formulation may be a population living in the vicinity of an incinerator, or an already immuno-compromised and non-productive portion of the citizenry in a pandemic. Resilience is a measure of the ability of a system to withstand shock and variation and still maintain its internal relationships. Resilience as a cultural discourse within neoliberal governance often comes to mean that communities and ecologies cannot pragmatically expect qualitative change or progress, but must channel labor into managing perennial crisis and risk.

If such is the constant functioning of governance machines, then why not write novel social contracts that don’t put up a pretense of total protection of the citizen by the sovereign? Why not call a spade a spade? To be sure, this is also a fantastic claim.”

Excerpt from Toxicity, Technocracy, Telos by Bassem Saad. Full text available at: https://weirdeconomies.com/contributions/toxicity-technocracy-telos


The virtual space was developed for the Planetary Glitch web residency of Akademie Schloss Solitude and ZKM Karlsruhe, curated by Mary Maggic. It is set on the rooftop of a building housing three art/design galleries in the industrial district facing the Port of Beirut.

Bassem Saad is an artist and writer born in Beirut on September 11th. His work explores historical rupture, infrastructure, and spontaneity, through film, performance, sculpture, and writing.

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