Paul B. Preciado

  • ON THE VERGE

    APRIL 23, PARIS

    IT’S HARD TO SAY HOW IT STARTED, whether the beginning of this revolution was the first #MeToo hashtag or the 1975 occupation of Lyon’s Saint-Nizier Church by some one hundred sex workers, or if we should cite as the origin point the moment when African American feminist Sojourner Truth stood up at a convention of white women in Akron, Ohio, in 1851 and resoundingly demanded, “Ain’t I a woman?”—thereby laying claim to the freedom and voting rights of racialized women for the first time in history. It depends on whether you see things from an individual or cosmic perspective, a

  • slant May 07, 2020

    The Impossible Dedication

    DURING CONFINEMENT, in the time of the coronavirus, between the disorder of time and the reorganization of daily tasks caused by the general shutdown, I acquired a new habit. Every day at 8:30 PM, after going out on the balcony to applaud or shout, I answer the videoconference call from my parents. They are in a city in the north of Castile in Spain, and I am in a district of Paris. Before the coronavirus, we talked once every two months, at important events, parties, birthdays. But now the daily call is like a blast of oxygen. This is what my mother, who has always had a talent for melodrama,

  • LEARNING FROM THE VIRUS

    IF MICHEL FOUCAULT had survived AIDS in 1984 and had stayed alive until the invention of effective antiretroviral therapy, he would be ninety-three years old today. Would he have agreed to confine himself in his apartment on rue de Vaugirard in Paris? The first philosopher of history to die from complications resulting from the acquired immunodeficiency virus left us with some of the most effective tools for considering the political management of the epidemic—ideas that, in this atmosphere of rampant and contagious disinformation, are like cognitive protective equipment.

    The most important thing

  • slant March 26, 2020

    The Losers Conspiracy

    I GOT SICK IN PARIS on Wednesday, March 11, before the French government ordered the confinement of the population, and when I got up on March 19, a bit more than a week later, the world had changed. When I went to my bed, the world was close, collective, viscous, and dirty. When I got out of bed, it had become distant, individual, dry, and hygienic. During the sickness, I was unable to assess what was happening from a political and economic point of view because the fever and the discomfort took hold of my vital energy. No one can be philosophical with an exploding head. From time to time, I

  • slant April 21, 2019

    Notre Dame of Ruins

    “IT’S A SPACESHIP,” the artist Alejandro Jodorowsky told me long ago. “An astronomical technology designed to measure the power of light and of darkness. An architectural machine made to take off, destined to fly and to take our souls and our dreams beyond the Earth.” He was speaking about Notre Dame. Looking at the cathedral from its rear, Jodorowsky compared the stone buttresses to the arms that attach to a shuttle on its launchpad, meant to open one day to let the ship rise into the sky. I had a hard time understanding his theory then. But suddenly we were there, together with hundreds of

  • BAROQUE TECHNOPATRIARCHY: REPRODUCTION

    THE EARTH IS TRANSITIONING. Power is transitioning. We are going through a paradigm shift that, when all is said and done, may turn out to be as consequential as the set of epochal ruptures conventionally grouped under the rubric “early modernity.” Yet we have no systematic diagnosis for the changes we’re experiencing. Before we can develop effective strategies of resistance, we have to draw a cartography of already-operating power techniques, and to forge a critical language commensurate with our circumstances. And this, in turn, necessitates a shift in the focus of our critique.

    Most studies

  • slant May 07, 2015

    Pop Quiz: Paul B. Preciado on the Bruce Jenner interview

    As Diane Sawyer’s much-publicized interview with Bruce Jenner on April 24th illustrates, gender continues to be both highly individuated and highly regulated—“troubled,” to cite Judith Butler’s prescient queer proclamation—subject to a complex rehearsal of disciplinary patterns and emancipatory narratives that continue to seduce and evade pure cognition. In an effort to briefly think recent mediations of transgender bodies, we invited Paul B. Preciado, author of Testo Junkie: sex, drugs, and biopolitics in the pharmacopornographic era (2013) and a curator of the controversial MACBA exhibition