Video School

Tiqqun, excerpt from Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young Girl — “The Young Girl as War-Machine”

Who is the new subject of advanced capitalism? Is it the reprogrammed human biocomputer, the -dividual, the transhuman, the post-species life-form, the cultural cyborg, or the Intermorph? The anonymous philosophical-activist circle that forms the journal Tiqqun, collective authors of The Coming Insurrection and Introduction to Civil War, advance the metaphor of the “Young Girl” as yet another thought-exercise to help articulate the simulated subjectivities embodied under advanced capitalism. The Young Girl captures a certain ontological imaginary that today’s market economy attempts to summon to life: “she” is a set of values, gestures, practices, and language forms, represented in the figure of a beautiful young female. And yet, within the terms set by the Sameness Project, in which quantitative differences bear no qualitative difference, “she” no longer needs be a representation, “she” must no longer be a young girl. The Young Girl is, in this sense, also the hipster, the bro, the jock, the junkie, the star, the queen, or any other subjectified incorporation of privilege and agency that has been prefabricated through mechanisms of marketing, control, and design within the audiovisual marketplace of information-identity exchange. “She” is a living simulation. This video dictates a chapter from the book Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young Girl, where the Young Girl’s alignment of image-politics with the war machine is made explicit: amongst her many tricks of the trade, the Young Girl is a dictator of appearances, a purification business, a terrorist of entertainment, a member of the lifestyle police. She summons us all to our worthiness of images, to be images. She is obsessed by security, perfection, cleanliness, total control over the everyday, the total acculturation of the self. She competes to reformat humanity as a “positive,” affirmative entity, all the while being a servant to a specific politics, one that aims to exterminate beings capable of love. She is the animated image, the emptied soul, the incessant selfie. She is horrified by negativity, and wages war on reality—on all that does not fit into the schizophrenic logic of Empire’s “personalized, user-friendly” self-image.

Tiqqun is a French collective of authors and activists formed in 1999. The group published two journal volumes in 1999 and 2001 (in which the collective author “The Invisible Committee” first appeared), as well as the books Théorie du Bloom and Théorie de la jeune fille.

Ashkan Sepahvand‘s program We are the Intermorphs explores the notion of the “human” within advanced capitalist civilization, speculating on the possible “future” of a species undergoing transition.