The Nietzsche Circle is a philosophical community whose primary concern is to interrogate all dimensions of aesthetics, to respond to the crisis of art and reflect on art’s bearing on life, which concerned Nietzsche from his first to his last works. The Nietzsche Circle is devoted to the question: What kind of art is vital to our existence?
The NC is a not-for-profit organization based in New York City which brings together a variety of workers of Geist (philosophers, artists, writers, poets, filmmakers, et cetera) to engage with Nietzsche's work. As Foucault said of Nietzsche, “the only valid tribute to his thought . . . is precisely to use it, deform it, to make it groan and protest.” We are not interested in sanctifying Nietzsche, but in following our own paths and transforming his work, of living with the questions which he raised and pursuing them further.
To date, the NC has staged musical, literary, and cinematic events from philosophical vantage points. In October of 2006, the NC staged its first Greek-style symposium, an experiment it will continue to conduct in different forms, and in December of 2006, the NC will investigate the relationship between painting and philosophy with Lebanese artist Chawky Frenn.
Through festivals, workshops, lectures, and conferences as well as other events, we will continue to explore and investigate Nietzsche’s work and the various manifestations it leads to in the arts and sciences. Out of this engagement with Nietzsche’s philosophy, we seek not only more acute understanding of his work, but to instigate the creation of entirely new works, whether theoretical, or artistic, in different fields of culture.
Presently, NC publishes one journal through its website: The Agonist: A Nietzsche Circle Journal The Agonist features essays, interviews, and book reviews. The website contains information on NC activities and biographical and bibliographical information on Nietzsche.
In the future, with the reception of the necessary funding, we intend to publish the journal in paper form, though the fate of print journals may alter the nature of our publications. Aside from standard essays, we encourage the use of the fragment and the aphorism and other experimental forms in order to embody and put into practice experimental modes of writing that Nietzsche himself engaged in. Through our various activities and online resources, artists, scholars, students, and others who are interested in Nietzsche and such work can explore his ideas and the manifestation of those ideas.
Primary goals of the society include the refinement of this web site; staging a major festival in the near future to celebrate the anniversary of Zarathustra which would respond to the question, What would Zarathustra have to say to us today?; if there is sufficient funding, scholarships will be provided for graduate students who are focusing on Nietzsche in their doctoral dissertations (though all work on Nietzsche will be considered, dissertations which explore Nietzsche's conception of aesthetics will have priority); Lecture trips may be organized to study Nietzsche’s works in the places where he lived and traveled (Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and France), embodying Nietzsche’s spirit of thinking before the earth, not merely in cloistered academic cells – through this work, we intend to develop relationships with any international centers, such as the Nietzsche Haus in Sils-Maria, and encourage a more global consciousness, keeping in mind Nietzsche’s idea of the “good European.”
Finally, the Nietzsche Circle will seek to dispel many of the apocryphal myths, propaganda, and misconceptions which surround Nietzsche and his work, encouraging more direct and thorough engagement with Nietzsche’s texts to help open up new relations with them; it is only through such intimacy with his ideas that there will be clearer understanding of them.