The indeterminacy of the past is what ensures the possibility of indecision arising within the present.
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دعوة للتجول
"The Conditions of Possibility" (2016) is an assemblage of texts, images, and conversations that explores the diverse histories circulating in the milieus of post-revolution/post-coup Cairo, Egypt. The project is based on fieldwork undertaken between 2013 and 2015, and is organized within five drifts, speculative navigations through the multiple temporal and spatial con/disjunctures of the city. Borrowing from the Situationist notion of the dérive, each drift elaborates on particular concepts that help to orient within the nonlinear dynamics of plural historical constellations.

Because of the worsening repression that is unfolding in Cairo alongside the release of this project, all of the included conversation materials have been anonymized, mixed together, and have had various identifying details such as individuals’ gender, age, and/or profession altered, added, or removed. Additionally, all of the photographs found in the drifts were taken clandestinely in order to avoid attracting the attention of security forces in Egypt. In this sense, "The Conditions of Possibility" can be thought of as a cryptodocumentary, a form of documentation that means to elucidate through the way that it obscures.

If you would like to know more about the way the project was produced and its history, you can visit the About section of the website. Otherwise, scroll down and choose where you would like to rhizomatically begin your drift through the project.


في الأوساط

In the project's preface, I describe my arrival to Cairo on the literal eve of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's coup. In the summer of 2013, my introduction to Egypt was marked by assembling crowds and roving military units that filled the streets and squares of the city.


الصورة الممكنة

In Cairo I adopted the practice of clandestinely photographing the city as the coup sporadically unfolded on its streets. In this Drift, I explore the experimental methodology I practiced in order to capture images, as well as the concept of the 'Possible Image.'


الإمكانية بوصفها قوة

In this Drift I reflect on the January 25th Revolution of 2011 and elaborate on how the encountering of difference in the assemblies of Midan Tahrir produced novel forms of power that radically transformed the conditions of possibility for practices of living and revolting in the city.


الأمن ضد الإمكانية

The project's third Drift examines how, following the July 3rd Coup of 2013, Sisi's military regime responded to the possibility of Tahrir's assemblies with fractalized security practices and the production of structured emptinesses across Cairo.


ذاكرة الإمكانية

In the final Drift, I explore how obscure and clandestine practices of remembering continue to give duration to the indeterminacies of the revolution's assemblies beneath the turbulent wakes of Sisi's military regime.

A Note Concerning Concepts

Throughout this project I'm using concepts as if they were tools or weapons. Concepts are less objects to be studied than they are verbs that are manifest only in their experimental activation. They aggregate and disaggregate, conjoin and disjoin, draw order from chaos and chaos into order, always contingently and relationally. This approach to concepts is indebted to Elizabeth Grosz's thinking when she writes:
"... philosophy gives life to concepts that live independent of the philosopher who created them, yet participate in, cut across, and attest to the chaos from which they are drawn ... Twin rafts over chaos, philosophy and art, along with their more serious sibling, the sciences, enframe chaos, each in its own way, in order to extract something consistent, composed, immanent, which it uses for its own ordering (and also deranging) resources" (Grosz, Chaos, Territory, Art, p. 8).
We can think of concepts in terms of their capacity to order and reorder the world, or alternatively, to decompose it. In this sense, concepts shouldn't be appreciated for what they are, but rather for what they do or might be capable of doing.

The Conditions of Possibility
شروط الإمكان

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