LABOR AND TRANSCENDENCE

For Salon Populaire’s second year, we have chosen Labor and Transcendence as topics to constitute the frame for our investigations.

In our neoliberal-capitalist system, economy is the layout for the production, treatment and exploitation of subjectivity. Labor provides us with an identity, a role and a place in society as entrepreneurs of the self. At the same time, we are assigned a mere functional position in the political, economic and social setup of the state. Amongst creative workers in particular, though much has been done to problematize the notion of labor, alternative scenarios of contemporary subjectivization are not in sight. Our strategy, therefore, is twofold: we intend to single out meaning, and successful moments in/of labor, in order to emphasize the intensity it brings us, against all odds. Second, we look for other structures, which could provide social relations, possibly creating a community, beyond the boundaries of all-engulfing capitalism. We might have to go all the way back to the secularized remnants of our Christian cultural heritage for this.

The common denominator of religious and philosophical understandings of transcendence is the reference to a reality that exceeds what is perceivable by the senses. Thus the understanding of the sensual transcends its perception towards a third thing that needs to be determined in its relation to the perceivable. This provision has a first perspective in the structure of being, i.e. an ontological one, and a second perspective in the structure of human cognition, thus addressing an epistemological dimension.

Transcendence is an indicator for an opening, or a void in our rationalized understanding of and relation to the world, the search for meaning or truth, or even the possibilities of cognition. We aim to produce different approaches to transcendence that can link rationale with strategies of cognition which surpass the sensible.

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