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Reading Testo Junkie
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Immaterial, cognitive, precarious labour, neoliberal regime of production and control: there seems to hardly be anything immaterial about post-Fordist mode of production. And yet, we continue to describe these realities as if they were abstract categories. Precarious life and sexuality. Is it really so abstract as it sounds? From the spectacle to the commodity, through language, our bodies and sexuality are affects by a rather very material apparatus. System of control. Is it really abstract as it sound? Birth control through the use of pills, improvement of men sexual performance via Viagra, then anti-depressants, nicotine straps, alcohol and drug consumption, egg implants, plastic surgeries, not to mention excitation, anxieties, hormonal explosions, physical and mental exhaustion and all the libidinal energies invested into our work and professions. How do we experience the apparatus and what is the place of the body in it? How does the system of control affect our sexualities? In her thought-provoking Testo Junkie, first appeared in Spanish (her native language) in 2008 and then published in English by The Feminist Press, New York in 2013, Preciado outlines a new cartography of sexuality in what s/he calls “pharmacopornographic” regime, a bio-political mode of governmentality in which sexuality is controlled through the capitalist production of drugs and spectacle. In-between the account of a personal experience with self-administration of testosterone, a slow process of psycho-somatic transformation, and a cultural analysis, Testo Junkie is a “political and pharmacological experiment”. What does pornography tells us about the current regime of capitalist production? Testo Junkie offers us an in-depth bodily and erotic analysis of the current mutation of capitalism. By insisting on pornography as paradigmatic of post-Fordist mode of production, Beatriz Preciado foregrounds pornographic techniques as a field of possible political intervention. I would like to propose a reading group on Testo Junkie. I imagine to read together a selection of excerpts from the book and discuss some of the ideas sketched out in the book.
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