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Catastrophic Anesthesia: Immunities and the Promise of Community

Public Talk

Nov '21

Raqs Media Collective

Catastrophic Anesthesia: Immunities and the Promise of Community

Raqs Media Collective turn against soothsaying by conceptualizing the infinite, the impossible as necessarily present, not as that which awaits us in some determinate, post-apocalyptic future  (The Necessity of Infinity, 2017). Raqs work on the contemporary as always-already pathological, the apocalypse as having happened, and toxicity as the structure of the present that begs dismantling (Toxicity, current). The collective was formed in 1992 in Delhi -- a time of the ‘great Indian’ opening of capital to the rest of the world -- and the word ‘raqs’ registers the double meaning of revolution: a whirling return to the same as well as the production of difference through that repetitive return. A ‘kinetic contemplation’, Raqs has produced restless entanglement with the world and time with a celebrated practice across several media: installation, sculpture, video, performance, text, lexica, and curation.