Author Archives: Eirini Atmatzidi



PART ONE: The Logic of Sovereignty

4.         Form of Law



Keywords: ban, abandonment

  • The law affirms itself with the greatest force precisely an the point where it no longer prescribes anything; as pure ban/abandonment.



Keywords: revelation, force, significance

  • Kafka: “The Nothing of Revelation”: a state in which revelation does not signify, yet still affirms itself by the fact that it is still in force.
  • Being in force without significance: the structure of the sovereign ban is that of a law that is in force but does not signify.



Keywords: modernity, respect, principle, transcendal object

  • Kant: being in force without significance first appeared in modernity.
  • Leaving the form of law force as an empty principle is both the strength but also the limit of Kant’s ethics. Being in force without significance in the realm of ethics is the equivalent of a transcendal object in the realm of knowledge.
  • The transcendal object is not a real object, just the idea of relation…
  • Respect = the condition of one living under a law that is in force without signifying.
  • Such a law, neither prescribes nor forbids any determined end. Therefore the motivation that a man has before a certain end is proposed to him can only be the respect inspired by the law itself.
  • Life in such a state is the equivalent of life in a state of exception. However in this case, the smallest mistake can have serious consequences.



Keywords: tradition of the oppressed

  • The traditionof the oppressed teaches us that the ‘state of exception’ in which we live is the rule.
  • There must come a point in history that corresponds to that fact; at that point we will have before us the task of creating the real state of exception.



Keywords: provocation, paradox

  • “No one else can enter here since this door was destined for you alone. Now I will go and shut it”
  • If one gives the name ‘provocation’ to the strategy that compels the potentiality of law to become actuality, then his (i.e. the youngster’s helping Christ enter a wide open doorway) is a paradoxical form of provocation. That is the only form of provocation adequate to a law that is in force without signifying or a door that allows no one to enter on account of being too open…
  • Generally when something is given to us too freely we tend to disregard it… We have the tendency to prefer things that are either hard to get or forbidden.
  • One of the paradoxes of the state of exception is that it is impossible to distinguish between transgression of the law and execution of the law.




Keywords: destitution, abandoned Being

  • One always abandons the law.
  • The destitution of the abandoned Being is measured by the limitless severity of the law to which it finds itself exposed.
  • Turned over to the absolute aspect of the law the abandoned one is thereby abandoned completely outside the law’s jurisdiction.
  • Abandonment respects the law, it has no choice.
  • The experience of abandonment is truly experienced as such only when it is free from every concept of law and destiny.



Keywords: oscillation, violence, counterviolence, sovereign violence

  • The oscillation between violence suggesting the law and violence in order to preserve the law resides in the fact all law preserving violence weakens the lawmaking violence through the suppression of hostile counterviolence.
  • The violence exercised in the state of exception neither preserves nor suggests the law, but rather conserves it in suspending it and proposes it in excepting itself from it.
  • Sovereign violence opens a zone of indistinction between law and nature, outside and inside, violence and law. However sovereign is precisely the one who maintains the possibility of deciding between the two up to the point of making them indistinguishable. As long as the state of exception is distinguished from the normal case, the dialectic between the violence that suggests law and the violence that preserves remains unbroken and the sovereign decision is simply a means of passing from one to the other.
  • Lawmaking pursues  as its end, with violence as its means, what is to be established as law.




PART ONE: The Logic of Sovereignty

3.         Potentiality and Law



Keywords: constituted power, constituting power

  • Constituting power   VS       Constituted power: the first is outside the state and the second is inside the state.
  • Constituting power is more and more reduced to the power of revision that is foreseen in the constitution.
  • Sovereign power presumes itself as the power of the state of nature (is that the same as the natural state???), which is maintained in a relationship of being banned from the state of law. In the same way, it also divides itself into constituting and constituted power all the while maintaining a relation to both by positioning itself precisely at their point of indistintion.



Keywords: alterity

  • During the French Revolution when sovereignty was demanded it resulted in a vicious cycle.
  • The problem was how to clearly differentiate constituting from constituted power.
  • The  fact, however, that constituting power is neither derived from nor limited to instituting the constituted order still fails to provide any real information the alterity of the constituting power in relation to sovereign power…




Keywords: dynamis, energeia, potentiality.

  • If constituting power stands for what Aristotle called “dynamis”(potential) and constituted power for what he called “energeia”(action) then the relationship between the two depends on how we perceive the existence and autonomy of potentiality.
  • According to Aristotle, potentiality proceeds actuality and conditions it, while at the same time remaining subordinate to it.
  • In order for potentiality to have an autonomous existence it needs to have the option of NOT passing into actuality, it needs to maintain the possibility of im-potentiality.
  • Potentiality sustains itself in relation to actuality in the form of its suspension. It is capable of an act but in not realizing that act it is sovereignly capable of its own im-potentiality.
  • Something is potential when it has the capability of both of being and of not being realized.


Potentiality, preschool graduation


Timon Beyes 8/8 – Creative Potentiality of Urban Space – Leuphana Digital School


Ο Αριστοτέλης και η ψυχή


Μια Ανάγνωση της Μοναδολογίας του Leibniz, Γ



PART ONE: The Logic of Sovereignty

2. ‘Nomos Basileus’



  • Pindar defines the sovereignty of the “nomos” (νόμος = law) by means of justification of violence. Nomos is the force that achieves the paradoxical union of violence (βία – “via”) and justice (δίκη/δικαιοσύνη – “dike”).
  • Hesiod: “Nomos divides violence from law in the same principle that it divides animal from man.”
  • Solon: “There is an interconnection between violence and justice.”
  • Pindar: Joins the two concepts in the concept of sovereign law and by doing so threatens them with indistinction.
  • Nomos Basileus = threshold between violence and law.

Violence ——————-Nomos Basileus——————-Law



  • Plato: “Justification of violence” can also be translated as “doing violence to the most just”
  • The axiom that places the strongest one in the position of ruler is common to all of nature. However strength comes also in the form of intelligence, so the intelligent should lead and the ignorant follow. It is not against nature, it does not occur through violence but according to nature, according to the power of the law over those who accept it.
  • Physis and nomos (φύση και νόμος, nature and law):  Plato neutralizes both.

Physis = body and elements that we “erroneously” say are of nature.

Nomos = soul and that which belongs to the soul (intellect, art, law).

  • “Law must rule over men and not men over law.”




Keywords: sovereign violence, exteriority, political system

 soph and hob

  • AS A RESULT: Sovereignty is the indistinction between nature and society between violence and law and this is what precisely constitutes sovereign violence.
  • The state of nature is “being in potentiality” of the law, it is the law’s presupposition as natural law.
  • Exteriority: law of nature + survival instinct, it is the concept that the core of a political system lives off the exception.




Keywords: sovereign nomos, localization, topological process.

  • Schmitt wishes to establish the superiority of the sovereign nomos. However he does show the link between localization and ordering constitutive of the “nomos” of the earth and the zone that that it implies that is excluded from the law.
  • So long as it is sovereign, the nomos is connected both with the state of nature and the state of exeption.
  • Both are sides of the same topological process in which it is impossible to tell between what is internal and what is external.
  • BUT they are merging and the exception is becoming more and more the rule… Therefore, everything is possible.



I have to say that this chapter was far from understandable to me… I got a vague notion of the concepts but it is not yet clear and was not at all enjoyable.. Oh Zizek we had a good thing going you and I, why leave it for this?!?!?!?!?



PART ONE: The Logic of Sovereignty

1.      The paradox of Sovereignty


Keywords: Sovereign, “in toto”, state of exception, juridical order, situational law

  • Sovereign is the one to whom the juridical order grants the power to proclaim a state of exception. He belongs to the juridical order but stands outside it.
  • The law is outside itself,
  • The exception:  it is that which cannot be incorporated, it defies general codification.  It appears when the question of creating conditions where juridical law can have validity arises. It is more interesting than the “regular” case as it proves everything. The exception is what we have to look for when we want to shed light onto the general. It is “the ultimate configuration of facts”.
  • Esteemed jurist is he who, with a clear mind and sharp judgment can, knows how to look into a case and see the ultimate circumstances of facts that deserve unbiased consideration and exception from the general rules.



Keywords: exclusion, suspension, threshold, chaos

  • “The exception is a kind of exclusion”.
  • Exception is NOT the chaos before order but the RESULT of the order’s suspension.
  • That which is excluded from the general rule is simply an individual case; it still has a relation to the rule by way of being the rule’s suspension. The rule’s way of applying to the exception is it’s withdrawal.
  • Chaos cannot be interiorized by the juridical order.
  • “Sovereignty only rules over what it can interiorize”
  • The only way for chaos to be included in the juridical order is through the exception: the state residing between chaos and the normal, between what is outside and what is inside the juridical order. What is outside is included in the very act of the juridical order’s withdrawal from the exception and its abandonment of it. Very much like what Zizek wrote about the fact that truth can be seen in a lie, in the very act of lying itself…
  • The situation created through the exception is that of a threshold between what is right and what is factual. The exception is neither and it is both… Exception itself is unrealizable.
  • The issue arises of creating and defining a space where the juridical/political order has validity. That is where the sovereign decision on the exception comes in.



Keywords: transgression of rule, sovereign exception, juridical rule

  • A juridical rule in order to maintain its authority must be legitimate independently of the individual case.
  • In the same way that language presumes the non-linguistic as that with which it needs to maintain a virtual relation in order to be defined, so must the law presume the non-juridical, that is the state of exception.
  • “The sovereign exception is the presupposition of the juridical reference in the form of its suspension.” That presupposed exception is inscribed in every rule and as part of the rule; it is the offence that would under normal circumstances bring about the transgression of the particular rule.



Keywords: exception, example, inclusive exclusion, exclusive inclusion


the rule

  • Exception forms a system with the example; the two constitute the two symmetrical modes by which a set (of rules) obtains its own coherence.
  • A class can contain everything (providing it abides to the rules of said class) except its own paradigm. That is, the one object the comparison to which decides whether or not any other particular object belongs to the class. The example is therefore excluded from the class (or the normal case) precisely because it shows its own belonging to it…

 example and exception




set theory 



  •  The exception is a fourth category. It cannot be included where it is a member, it cannot be a member where it is included. It cannot be both…





  • Sovereignty (according to Schmitt) is the right to make the decision on the exception.
  • The law has the regulative character “if… then… (else…)”, it is a rule primarily because it creates the sphere of its own reference  and makes that  reference regular.
  • The sovereign decides the “normal structuring of life relations” which the law needs.
  • The juridical order constitutes itself through the repetition of the same transgressive act without any sanction, that is as an exceptional case.
  • Guilt is what it all revolves around. It refers NOT to the transgression BUT to the law’s simple reference to something.
  • Sovereignty is in the threshold, where life is both in and out of the juridical order.
  • “The rule lives off the exception alone” > the law on its own cannot exist, it relies in its being part of the life of men.



Keyword BAN:  he who has been banned has been abandoned by the law. He is neither in nor out of it and at the same time he is both.





the exception

Which one do you notice more?? THE EXEPTION!!!

In relation to my own practice I love symbols, math theories, and pedicate logic… When I insist that choreography is math, this is what I mean!

Set Theory Symbols


Inflexions  – A journal for research creation


William Forsythe – One flat thing reproduced 01/03


7.         The Perverse Subject of Politics: Lacan as a Reader of Mohammad Bouyeri


Perversion, states Lacan, is an inverted effect of phantasy. The subject puts himself in the position of an object and when that object becomes the object of another’s will then what we have is sadomasochism, where the sadist himself occupies the place of the object without knowing it and for the jouissance of another.

Based on this notion, political totalitarianism can be defined when I, as political figure, inflict pain on others, on humanity, not as myself but as part of the big Other’s plan or will.  I am therefore absolved from any guilt, shame or responsibility over my actions (or that is what I tell myself). The subject in this case is seemingly not guilty since all he does is realize an “objective, externally imposed necessity”. However, the sadistic pervert takes it a step further and actually rejoices in the act finding an obscene enjoyment in what he does. It is indicative that the Nazis told knew very well the suffering they brought upon their victims but portrayed it as a burden they had to endure in order to fulfill their duty; the violation of  the spontaneous ethical instinct to pity and those suffering was in its fake form of ‘I had no choice, they made me do it, it was my job to do it and I endured the consequences of it’ transformed onto proof of ethical grandeur…

Similar is the case of Islamist extremist Mohammad Bouyeri who after murdering the filmmaker Theo van Gogh wrote a letter to Hirshi Ali, a member of the Dutch parliament and strong supporter of the rights of Muslim women, in which he in effect imputed terror her as his opponent. In it he accused her of not having the courage of her convictions and challenges her to wish for death as proof that she indeed does. “I shall wish this wish for you” he writes and in this shows that the sadistic attitude that invokes terror and suffering in its addressee is possible only in the case where the sadist subject makes himself the instrument-object of another’s will.

Nearing the end of Zizek’s book we read about belief and what constitutes it. It does not concern facts so much as it gives expression to an axiomatic, unconditional ethical commitment. Liberal/skeptical cynics along with (religious) fundamentalists have BOTH lost the ability to believe…It has come to a point where traditional secular humanists are the ones connected to belief and religious fundamentalists to knowledge. For the latter, belief has been reduced to knowledge by way of their continuing way of presenting religious statements as quasi-empirical statements of direct knowledge, of seeing (to put it roughly) religion and science as belonging to the same sort of positive knowledge.

In closing I would like to leave you, dear reader, with Zizek’s statement that at the end of the day, the stuff ethics is made of is the simple persistence against all odds…


Links and kinks…


Mohammad Bouyeri[term]=mohammed%20bouyeri&filters[primary]=images&filters[secondary]=videos&sort=1&o=0


‘Laughing Killer’: Bouyeri and the Murder of Theo van Gogh –>I am only including this link because of the performativity of its title… A laughing killer is provocative, it implies someone not only guiltless but also ENJOYING what he did.  As a title it leads readers to have a certain reaction from the start… The importance of “appearance” is obvious to me here and not necessarily completely in tune with the truth…


Speech by Imam Abu Laban in Copenhagen after murder of Theo van Gogh –>how can it be that they can find excuses for taking a human life? Is it because it was done in the name of the big Other in the guise of religious honor?


Pèreversion and ImmèresionIdealized Corruption in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and The Picture ofDorian Gray  –> found through “find it at Lincoln”  an interesting approach to Lacans wordplay. 


Walt Disney & Illuminati : Subliminal Perversion Exposed (2013) –>a very curious result when I typed “perversion” in YouTube…  I am not sure how to link it to Lacan and Zizek but I did feel there was a link…  I cannot put my finger on it but I know it is there… Perhaps that notion is inself the link to all I have read so far on Lacan by Zizek…  


Slavoj Žižek on Sex, Desire, Fantasy, Reality


jew ritual murder of gentiles (GOYIM)//Blood Libels & Sacrifice




The Mask–>a mask that when put on turns you into the version of you that you dream of being…  it is not then what is hidden behind the mask that matters, but what is hidden behind/inside the person wearing the mask, it is the wearer’s secret fantasy.


Eugenie: Story of Her Journey into Perversion (1970) trailer



Personal Thoughts…

“I shall wish this for you”…  A very ineresting title for a performance of project based on audience interaction. How does a performer understand the other’s wishes? How would they be translated and brought to life? Is my wish mine? Is it  yours? Is it the Other’s? And if you don’t want to wish the wish I ask of you, then how can I manipulate you into thinking it is your own wish and acting upon it? And if you put on the mask of another is it really an act? Or is it your secret wish to be the other? to have the other? to have the other desire you? to have the other want to be you?


Let’s put on a mask and walk through town. Let’s see what we do differently…


So long Zizek, it was a nice ride… I am sure we’ll meet again 😉