Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Anti-Electra

The Radical Totem of the Girl

2019
Author:

Elisabeth von Samsonow
Translated by Anita Fricek and Stephen Zepke

Anti-Electra

A close examination of the relationship between media, art, and the “Electra complex”

The feminist counterpart to Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus, Anti-Electra asserts that focusing on the escape of “the girl” from the Oedipus complex leads to a fundamental shift in our most common views on media and art. It offers a new view on gender, the contemporary world dyed by symbolic girlism, and the (universal) girl in critical dialogue with media, ecology, and society.

The feminist counterpart to Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus, Anti-Electra is a philosophy of “the girl” as a model of contemporary transgressive subjectivity. Elisabeth von Samsonow asserts that focusing on the girl’s escape from the Oedipus complex leads to a fundamental shift in our most common views on media and art.

Presenting an interpretation of contemporary technics, Anti-Electra argues that technology today encompasses Electra’s gadgets and toys. According to von Samsonow, satellite drive technologies such as wireless telephones, WLAN, and GPS echo the “preoedipal constellation” that the girl specializes in. And with the help of the girl, the cartography of overlapping zones between humankind and animals, as well as between humankind and apparatuses, is redesigned through what the book holds as a “radical totemism.” Anti-Electra ultimately offers a new view on gender, the contemporary world dyed by symbolic girlism, and the (universal) girl in critical dialogue with media, ecology, and society.

Anti-Electra

Elisabeth von Samsonow is an artist, writer, curator, and professor of philosophical and historical anthropology at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Two of her books have been translated into English: Transplants and Epidemic Subjects—Radical Ontology.

Anita Fricek is an Australian artist based in Vienna.

Stephen Zepke is an independent researcher and author of Sublime Art: Towards an Aesthetics of the Future.

Anti-Electra

Contents
Acknowledgments
Preface to the English Language Edition
Introduction
1. Electra as Female “Oedipus”
Positive Unrelatedness and Exogamy
Constitutive Strangeness or Primary Exoticism
Schizogamy
Xenological Anamnesis
Totemistic “Objectification”
2. Radical Totemism and Automatism
Theogenesis and the Twilight of Machines
Totem and Xenocracy
Animal Mummy and the Apparatus-Function
Anthropomorphization of the Deity
Apparatus or Weak Totem
3. Totemism and Sculpture: Preliminaries to a Theory of Schizosoma
Metabolism and Therapeutic Schizosoma
Pre-oedipality as a “Plastic Phase”
Excursus: Plasma, Forming, Sculpture
The Statue Delivering Oracles
The Two-Body Doctrine
The One and the Many
Social Sculpture
4. The Labyrinth: General Theory of Schizosoma
Pasiphae’s Cow
The Satellite
5. The Four Pre-oedipal Objects
Failing Equalization and the Emergence of the Complex
Electrification
Appendix
Index