Video School

Fred Moten: Blackness and Poetry

Considering West’s call for a deeper education, one that is not taught in a great many institutional arenas that tend to be linked to business and to capital in ways that preclude this kind of questioning, Fred Moten’s work here unearths the philosophical connections between possession and subjectivity that contaminate the very notion of the subject itself, always already. In his lecture at the University of California, Berkeley’s Mixed Blood Project, Moten suggests that the territorial possession that undergirds capitalist structures may be so embedded in the forms of knowing we inherit that phenomenology itself can be understood as bearing links to settler colonialism. He delivers this extraordinary formulation that “settler colonialism is a philosophical stance, it’s a stance towards the Earth, it’s a way of understanding one’s subjectivity as being bound up with what one possesses, it’s a way of understanding knowledge as possessing … so that that transcendental clue we get when we say, do we have a grasp on something, is connected to this. It’s a way of situating yourself in relation to the Earth.” The problematics that arise from Moten’s analysis demand new forms of thinking and knowing, new ways of being in relation to ourselves, to one another, and to the planet from which we are ultimately indistinguishable.

Fred Moten lives in Los Angeles, where he teaches at the University of California, Riverside.

Litia Perta‘s contribution to video school considers the possibility of “deep education” in arts and humanities