I will be summarising and commenting Les Aveux de la chair, Foucault’s fourth volume in the history of sexuality tetralogy philosophically. In this first substantial post I wish to show how the first few pages conform to the theses that can be extracted from the sketch for an introduction appended in Annex 1.

The book’s first, and longest, chapter has for title: “The formation of a new experience”, which situates it as a demonstration of the thesis of the mutability of experience.

This is at first sight an epistemological thesis (there is no “raw” experience), but we must not forget that it is also a political (prescriptions for conduct can be neither legitimated nor invalidated by an appeal to constituted experience) and an ontological one (Being scinds experience, rescinds its authority, and prescinds it from exteriority).

The title of the first part of the first chapter is “Creation…

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Orbital Life on the International Space Station (2018)

Damjanov, K. and Crouch, D. (2018) ‘Orbital Life on the International Space Station’ Space and Culture First Published January 9, 2018

DOI: 10.1177/1206331217752621

The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest object in the earth’s orbit and currently the only environment that harbors human life outside the planet. This habitable satellite operates as a sophisticated scientific laboratory and is a complex and costly technological endeavor in expanding our extraplanetary presence. The ISS constitutes a unique living space—a sociotechnical arrangement that encloses humans and nonhumans in a highly regulated and experimental setting that anticipates the orbital order of terrestrial ways of life. This article draws upon Michel Foucault’s work on power and space to frame the ISS as a form of “heterotopia” and explore it as a site in which technologically inflected inscriptions of the human incubate distinct material and social relations. It suggests that these orbital effects configure the practices underpinning the strategic spatialization of life and its governance beyond the globe.

Journal articles