Sunday, 22 September 2013


 Spoliation entails a forcible transfer of ownership. The spoliated object [animal, person, monument or culture] is denuded of its portable assests [skin, wealth, ornament, artistic patrimony] and the assets - the spolia - are taken as booty or salvaged. Spolia are survivors of violence, about which they might be mute [if they bear no visible signs] or eloquent.

kinney / reuse value

The fact is that history and prehistory, united in origin, at a certain point separate irrevocably:
In the history of every organism there comes the time in which the boundaries which separate it from the world are not any longer subject to change. In this moment, prehistory and emergence-history (Entstehungsgeschichte) separate from history. Thence the similarity that likens this moment to death, and the ease with which we can identify, in any history in the usual sense of the term, the signs of a history of decadence (Verfallsgeschichte). Verfallsgeschichte dissolves the bonds that prehistory had created between elements ... If, therefore, in the realm of things that have a life and a historical efficacy, one has to distinguish between their pre-historical epoch and the historical one, it is prehistory which lays the foundations of their historical efficacy (ibid., p. 53).
Not only prehistory and history are distinct and nonetheless connected: the historical efficacy of a phenomenon itself is inseparably linked to this distinction.

agamben / philosophical archaeology / 2009 / overbeck

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