KAFKAMACHINE is a collective assemblage in progress inspired by notes made by Félix Guattari during the 1980s and only recently published under the title Projet pour un film de Kafka.

“Our desire behind the KAFKAMACHINE project is mainly to experiment and study a possible organization for coming communities at a moment when such a project seems totally impossible. We wish to produce becomings that would summon a people with whom minor organization connects. Kafkamachine is a metamodel, without any messianic politics. The starting point is the project plan Guattari wrote to use it as a tool: we use the project organization and production method outlined in the plan as a general backbone and coordinating device for the workshops and the film. Yet Guattari’s visualizations and directions concerning the actual scenes need to be rethought starting from our own premises, problems, hopes, fears and existential territories, our precarious life at the mercy of arbitrary power.
(from the KAFKAMACHINE MANIFESTO – December 2010)

Never realised, Guattari’s plan was to elaborate a project for a film that would be, he insisted, not about Kafka but by Kafka (with its numerous submissive and slightly sinister little helpers). Such a project seems potentially fruitful today in the context of research on new forms of domination, exploitation and self-exploitation, immaterial labour and precarity.

“On a trop longtemps décrit Kafka comme un litterateur du XIX siècle ; en fait, son abord des processus de l’inconscient social le situe peut-être au niveau du XXI siècle, au niveau de ce que pourrait être un cinema du XXI siècle.”
(Félix Guattari, Projet pour un film de Kafka)

In this project Guattari was not so much interested in the actual plots or characters of Kafka’s literary machine but in finding ways to translate (relationally and visually) the systems of intensities, gestures, postures, gazes, refrains, and above all what he called the “jouissance bureaucratique” that characterises the power relations played out in the short stories and novels.
Guattari planned to develop the project in 3 phases. The first was to consist of a series of workshops involving different research groups and using heterogeneous approaches (this processual phase was obviously the most important for him). Secondly, there would be the writing of a screenplay and finally, perhaps, the production of a film.

* * * * * * * *

1. Workshop, Performing Arts Forum, St.Erme France, December 2010
2. Workshop, Aalto University, Helsinki Finland, April 2011 (with Franco Berardi Bifo)
3. Workshop, Future Art Base, Helsinki Finland, April 2011 (with Peter Pal Pelbart)
4. Workshop/ Presentation, HAUSE DER KULTUREN DER WELT, Berlin, October 2011
5. Workshop/ Performance, Casa Conveniente, Lisbon, November 2011
6. Workshops/ Transatlantic crossing, Ship from Lisbon to Sao Paolo 25.11-9.12.2011

* * * * * * * *

2011-2012 So far KAFKAMACHINE has been taking different forms and directions: a theatre play, a series of workshops and publications as well as installations, performances and sound works.

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