The Ruin to Come: Essays from a Protracted War is published by Motto Books in collaboration with Taipei Biennial 2016.
Book launch and reading by the author: January 13, 2017 in the frame of the Taipei Biennial Symposium.
For further information,see link.
The Ruin to Come: Essays from a Protracted War are written over a period of 10 years between 2006 and 2016. These collected essays look at the conditions of living under a temporality theorized as the “protracted now” of a civil war structurally capable of renewing the conditions of its longevous dominance. This protracted now, the essays argue, is kept intranquil by the many unfinished strains of a past that resist falling back into a distant and settled past. Through various critical lenses, the essays approach the consequences of living under the conditions of a protracted now and the possibilities opened by interruptions for those who live still: the survivors or over-livers. What unites the many essays of this book is an investment in the concept of labor understood to be both interminable and historical: the labor of lingering in the presence of the corpse; the labor of ruin; the labor of seeing by way of death; and the labor of missing. Interminable, they persist in a disinclination to join the various calls for regeneration and resurrection implicit in statesanctioned and market-driven projects of reconstruction. Historical, they position this disinclination within an anti-historicist conception of history open to non-linear memory that seeks to give names to the many pasts slighted by a forward-looking rush towards better futures. Together, these labors accrue into a critique of hope as a reactionary sentiment that numbs collective action in the present with a moral belief in personal betterment as a prerequisite for a deferred justice to come. In proposing that within the folds of war lie moments of political significance that can be recovered and thought through, these labors affirm the necessity of erupting through this protracted now and of initiating a livable living built with the unwelcome knowledge shouldered by unreconciled over-livers.