Viscous Expectations

Justice, Vulnerability, The Ob-scene

By (author) Cara Judea Alhadeff

Paperback - £67.95

Publication date:

15 May 2014

Length of book:

522 pages


Atropos Press

ISBN-13: 9780988517066

Orchestrating text and color photography through the lens of vulnerability, Cara Judea Alhadeff explores embodied democracy as the intersection of technology, aesthetics, eroticism, and ethnicity. She demonstrates the potential for social resistance and a rhizomatic reconceptualization of community rooted in difference—and a socio-erotic ethic of ambiguity that disrupts codified normalcy. Within the context of global corporatocracy, international development, the pharma-addictive health industry, petroleum-parenting, and arts-as-entertainment, she scrutinizes the emancipatory possibilities of social ecology, post-humanism, and the pedagogy of trauma. Confronting hegemonies of convenience culture, she lays the groundwork for a reticulated citizenry that requires theory-becoming-practice. Alhadeff’s primary text and footnotes become parallel narratives, reflecting their intermedial content. As she integrates the personal and theoretical with the visual and textual, she mobilizes a comprehensive exploration of our bodies as contingent modes of relation. She cites philosophers and artists from Spinoza to Audre Lorde, Louise Bourgeois, and Édouard Glissant, who have explored collaborative and uncanny conditions of becoming vulnerable. In the context of multiple constituencies, creativity becomes a political imperative in which cognitive and somatic risk-taking gives voice to social justice.

“With enormous energy and theoretical appetite, Cara Judea Alhadeff exposes her thought to the most difficult and most radical contemporary thinkers, contesting them with her own experience and insights. Her thought is unlimitedly ambitious and vulnerable. It issues in making vulnerability central—rather than individual autonomy or collective enterprise, rather than the subject of rights or the construction of institutions—and opens a new perspective on justice and democracy.”

—Alphonso Lingis, Pennsylvania State University, author of Violence and Splendor, Dangerous Emotions, and Trust