SO CALLED EURACA
“I wanna make a terrorific and disturbing euraca masterpiece”
(diamela eltit hacked)
broadcasting from PIGLAND TO DA WORLD – SOVEREIGNTYLESSNESS
sometimes it was called “poetry”, … sometImes, it was simply
euraca calling (sub) (sud) the souths are inside and back
“Euraka poetry” [the word processor with which I am writing this does not tolerate the word it corrects it again and again substituting «euraca» for “eureka”] “eureka”: searching for a word discovery in the process of proccesing words
More Language, Broadening, AWHIPING, whrithing, transcripting, overhearing, give me more, do we have something to lose?
¡¡¡¡¿¿IF WE HAVE THE INTERNET ,, WHAT DO WE WANT PARENTS FOR ??!!!!
: and if you don’t know now you now, nigger THE NOTORIOUS BIG dixit
No longer a spot for dictating, perhaps
a position of naming The People yet to come
Rescue can be resignified if performed through dispossession: euraca as an ethical, political and aesthetical project of enunciation claims for a mutuality of nomadic subjectivities, freed from inhuman institutional management and heading new infrastructural assemblages, affordable and situated ecologies of different(iated) bodies – departing from their tongues. It is an attempt of reconnection to the sources of our affirmation, to the sources of our potentia. Assemblages are made of such connections, and it is urgent now for our presently embodied sustainability to claim, name, do it — mutually.
Euraca Seminar is a research proyect on
available languages, readings and procedures, letters and
books, and in something like the lyrique commons.
Aiming to write in other terms our, blurred otherness, more Wildy timely.
It’s also a reception device for texts, recitals, poets, radical poetics, radical
poetry, verbal flows, verbal wonders, lenguajeos & castrapos from the Souths
of Europe and Latinoamerica.
Euraca is, or mainly is, a collective learning
experiment in the search for a pig pidgin, an ultralocal romance to be written
in MadriZ in the days of revolt.
Looking for an eureka!, seekin a discovery by
the language processor, we are trying to cooperate
thinking and writing a
till now, euraca unfolded seven syllabus:
: here it is our production or conOXIon in or with the English language :
Luis Moreno-Caballud, Cultures of Anyone. Studies on Cultural Democratization in the Spanish Neoliberal Crisis. Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press, 2015. Cultures of Anyone studies the emergence of collaborative and non-hierarchical cultures in the context of the Spanish economic crisis of 2008. Among other collective projects, this book describes Seminario Euraca (vid: 6.4. ‘Making Us Be’: The Question of Forms of (Self-)Representation – 6.4.1. ‘Occupying language’ to exist: The Euraca Seminar) . Luis Moreno Caballud is Assistant Professor of the Romance Language Department of UPenn (Philadelphia), a social activist and a member of the Seminario Euraca mail list.
Conceptualismos yankis. Third syllabus of the Seminar, which took place in July 2013, during the visit of Rib Fitterman and Kim Rosenfield in Madrid. You can find all the texts and materiales we read for that occasion on its own blog page. We also produced a few translations to spanish:
>> A selection of some of Rob Fitterman and Vanessa Place’s Notes on conceptualism (2011) translated to spanish by Elia Maqueda: Notas sobre los conceptualismos. 2013.
>>A sample from Rob Fitterman’s «No wait. Yep. Definitely still hate myself « translated to spanish by Elia Maqueda: «No, espera. Sí. Definitivamente, sigo odiándome».
>> “Robo de identidad”, a translation of «Identity as theft» (Rob Fitterman’s Rob the plagiarist (2012) introduction) by Enrique Esteban.
a vertical triplet that horizontally
a medium of a quartier of a plane to say
a composition of worlds works as a settlement for words
A language zone that exists on the frontier of temporalities: in between the no longer, and the not yet. Inhabiting both of them. This is what makes it strongly affirmative.
Strong enunciations by weak tongues.
How did we get to this point? Let’s return now to those young people introduced by El País as ‘Nimileuristas,’ about whom I talked at the beginning of this book. If we pay close attention, if we look a little more closely or, simply, another way, we’ll see that the photos in the news article show fairly ‘normal’-looking figures (makeup, hair, clothes) against a supposedly ‘neutral’ background: white.
This was the way the Euraca Seminar (EURACA 2012)—which initially appeared to be a seminar on contemporary poetry and poetics—looked at the ‘Nimileuristas’ in its initial interventions, in October 2012. The opening group of this collective investigation wanted to exemplify with these images on a neutral background an operation of meaning that is fundamental to understanding what is in play in what I have been calling ‘cultures of anyone.’ It’s a specific way of exerting the ‘establishment of reality’ Michel de Certeau speaks of. He reflected on the preconception of accepting as real only what can be shown to be visible, but in this modality, as Euraca asserts, what passes as real is not only visible, but ‘transparent.’ That is, it is passed off as something perfectly legible, whose meaning should be abundantly clear, ready-made, ready for consumption. The poets María Salgado and Patricia Esteban, founders of the Euraca Seminar, proposed as one of the premises of their ‘research on language and languages in the final days of the Euro’ the need to question this type of operation. Taking inspiration from a text by the historic Oulipo poet Jacques Roubaud (1998), they have connected this ‘transparent’ language to the existence of something like a ‘muesli language’ of global capitalism, well mixed so that it can flow everywhere. The epitome of this language would come to be that type of completely instrumentalized, rapid, ‘standardized’ ‘airport English’ that is occupying more and more terrain in the construction of the collective experience under neoliberalism. Cultures of Anyone Euraca is opposed to this ‘transparent’ language, and to operations of ‘soft representation’ in general, like those of the newspaper El País and its ‘Nimileurista generation.’ Instead, what Euraca proposes is to recover the materiality of languages, their capacity to be located in bodies and geographical spaces that give them a concrete existence and a multiplicity of meanings which is exactly the opposite of that supposed ‘transparency.’ As an example of forms of resistance to the ‘muesli language’ that are supported by the materiality of languages, Euraca took as its point of departure the work of some Argentine poets from the nineties who built a poetics based on the appropriation of colloquial, lower-class, teen slang, or ‘street’ languages. Their point was not to attempt to represent those who spoke them, but to produce an unfamiliarity in which the rhetorical operations typical of literary language were still present. It was therefore not about ‘imitating’ the language of others, but rather using the materiality of located languages, strongly marked, to destabilize the standardized and supposedly ‘transparent’ language that is invading everything. Salgado and Esteban summarized the value of this type of operation with the help of a phrase from the critics Selci and Kesselman (2008), who analyzed one of the key Argentine poetry collections, La zanjita by Juan Desiderio: ‘The characters of La zanjita barely have names, they’re only vaguely described, and the story that frames them is barely intelligible. Nevertheless, they speak in such a unique way, so oddly but authentically, that the reader immediately believes in their existence.’ It is precisely that ‘belief of existence,’ that verisimilitude based on their material uniqueness, of which speech and language are sometimes undeniable proofs, that El País denied to the generation of young Spanish people suffering from the neoliberal crisis. It turned them into a kind of photogenic stereotype floating in a dehistoricized, decontextualized emptiness (the blank white background). In order to question that attempted neutrality, Euraca embarked on an intense trip in which questions were posed about the normalizing effects of the mesocratic ideal and consumerist society on language and the production of meaning in the Spanish state. These questions will be familiar to readers, as they are similar to some of those raised in the first part of this book, and also in dialogue with the historians Germán Labrador and Pablo Sánchez León. At the same time, on its journey Euraca approached multiple Creole, hybrid, and resistant border areas in other latitudes, from the Caribbean to the banlieus of the great European metropolises, on the way moving through racially mixed Tijuana and other afro and native Latin American conclaves. In among all that plurality, they also emphasized two places that were, perhaps, more of arrival, or at least nearer that poetic and political ‘Euraca’ position they were attempting to interrogate. The first was the poetry of Luz Pichel in the Castrapo dialect, a mixture of Castilian and Gallego associated with the popular classes; the second was Luis Melgarejo’s poetry in ‘Andalusian.’ Both problematize ‘muesli languages’ as much as national frameworks and their venerated representative ‘high’ literatures. Another way to explain what Euraca proposes and investigates, and which is also close to central themes of these reflections on ‘cultures of anyone,’ would be to say that in all its work with ‘marked,’ located, semi-opaque languages, there is a discovery of the language of ‘ordinary people,’ of those people who don’t belong, in each case, in each context, to the tacit group of ‘those in the know.’ The elites that try to monopolize meaning production would have moved, in Euraca’s analysis, from preferring ‘official or high languages’— wooden languages, as Roubaud says, basically referring to rigidly normative languages—to also using the fluidity of the ‘muesli’ approach. But their purpose is always as a strategy to exert a policing control on the overflowing materiality of ordinary language, of the language of ‘those in the dark.’ Before, the uncouth barbarian was unable to rise to the sophistication of ‘cultured’ languages, and remained unable to understand its exclusive codes. Now he is the one who remains too attached to his ‘lects,’ his own particular speech varieties, to the local specificity of his territory, his accent or his body, too slow to be incorporated into the speed of the global commerce of meaning. The barbarian is now the one who soils and infects that international, immaculate language of airports and nonplaces with his irremediable belonging to material, located, imperfect, ordinary ways of producing meaning. But when neoliberalism enters as deep a crisis as that happening in the Spanish state, its muesli language does, too. And then all those ‘barbaric ordinary’ languages proliferate, filling the common space with improper noises, dissonances, and meanings. When the authorities that try to control language by making it transparent confront such an intense crisis of cultural legitimacy as what is spreading through Spanish institutionality, we are often left with the strangeness of the everyday. ‘The ordinary always has something of the extraordinary,’ said Salgado when she introduced Euraca. You go out in the street of any barrio in Madrid and you’ll find a street vendor saying, ‘fantastic red garlic, I sell for one euro what others’ll give you for four.’ You go on the Internet and you get a plurilingual flood of text, mostly English, but it’s an English ‘bastardized’ by 1,000 accents, slangs, and ignorance, as the poet Kenneth Goldsmith says. You listen to the voice of your great-grandmother on cassette recordings and you discover that without realizing it, you have been using the word ‘shirt’ in the same, now archaic sense that was completely ordinary for her: as a metonym for ‘dressy clothes.’ In the face of the supposed transparency of the dominant languages, ordinary language appears today, perhaps more than ever, as that ‘ship of fools’ on which we all are hopelessly stuck, and of which Wittgenstein, Merleau-Ponty, and de Certeau spoke: We are subject to, although not identified with, ordinary language. As on the ship of fools, we have embarked without any chance of an aerial view or any means of totalizing. It is the ‘prose of the world’ that Merleau-Ponty dealt with. This includes all discourse, even if human experiences aren’t reduced to what can be said about them. In order to constitute themselves, scientific methods are allowed to forget this fact, and philosophers think to master it, and thus to be authorized to talk about it. (de Certeau 11). Perhaps it is the Euraca Seminar’s ability to focus on this overflowing dimension acquired by ordinary language when the permitted forgetfulness of the Expert and the attempted mastery of the Philosopher no longer work, that has turned it into an ‘experimental epistemic community’ capable of generating an intense desire and learning all around it. Certainly, the seminar quickly transcended the possible identity or ‘sectorial’ limits that its special link with poetry could have imposed upon it. As explained by one of its participants, Rafael SMP, Euraca ‘posed a problem that affected many of us who aren’t poets. It has to do with a battle of words, a crisis of language. It has to do with how we name ourselves, with what we say about ourselves.’ Indeed, it seems to me that of the communities of living experimentation to arise from Spain’s neoliberal crisis, Euraca more directly and deliberately proposes the need to equip the emerging ‘cultures of anyone’ with languages that allow the self-management of their meaning production. And perhaps for that reason, it has attracted and strengthened, as can be confirmed in its activities archive and its frenetic mailing list, an impressive plurality of abilities, themes, and points of view that range from poetry and poetics itself, to activism, passing on the way through discourse analysis, work with urban spaces, cultural historiography, chronicles, music, film, architecture, and an impressively long list of et ceteras. Instead of assuming that existing languages or forms of meaning production are good, and therefore always being ‘borrowed’ to a certain extent by emergent cultures from other traditions and communities—such as, notably, those of social movements, free culture, countercultures, or the long tradition of the ‘political left’—Euraca has raised the question of how these present-day emergent cultures can represent themselves in trying to respond to the unique situation brought about by neoliberalism’s cultural and institutional crisis. Perhaps the value of its eminently experimental vocation resides in this question. In order to think the unique situation of the cultural crisis of neoliberalism, Euraca has used the confrontation between the ‘muesli’ language and the ‘marked’ languages. Euraca has put forward the need to look for these ‘marked’ languages that could also become, in some always problematic way, ‘common languages’ that are not transparent.
Luis Moreno Caballud