Matter discourse

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Fig. 1. Toolkit for distillation

“Matter, like meaning, is not an individually articulated or static entity.” (Barad 2003:821)

“Material conditions matter, not because they “support” particular discourses that are the actual generative factors in the formation of bodies but rather because matter comes to matter through the iterative intra-activity of the world in its becoming.”(Barad 2003:823)

““Humans” do not simply assemble different apparatuses for satisfying particular knowledge projects but are themselves specific local parts of the world’s ongoing reconfiguring.”(Barad 2003:829)


Distillation is a simple chemical process of separating the component substances from a liquid mixture by selective evaporation and condensation.

The oldest described distillation equipment dates from about 5500 b.c. which was a pot with top on which sponges where mounted and just squeezed after boiling. Common uses of Distillation are extracting gasoline from petroleum and producing Ethanol. On this we will focus in this workshop.

There are several reasons for producing spirits by yourself.

First it's for your pleasure. You can use homegrown fruits from your garden or balcony, but you can pick also wild raspberries in the forest or pears and apples from the abandoned trees along a road. A very common material on the Balkan is to use the left over of the wine production. After the wine is filtered you take the mash, add sugar – like you usually do with all the other fruits as well – and let it grow again. So you get double pleasure out of the grapes. In all cases you will get a unique schnaps., which has a higher value then any purchased brandy.

And in fact, again on the Balkan it is also an important product which can be traded at the local subsistence economies. For example Taco is not climbing the roof without having a glass of Rakia before, but little reparations can be paid also with spirits.

This model of trading without money, developed out of need and hunger, can have also an impact on changing the society and solve the problems with abstract currencies and useless financial markets.

This leads us to the third and most important reason for the Do-It-Yourself distillation: Be yourself, without any state.

The production and trading of alcohol is one of the most regulated, controlled and taxed activities in the most states of the world. So, producing (illegally) alcohol by yourself in a bigger scale – at least 150 liter per year – will rob the taxes from the state, make the people drunk and not working, which means self-determined humans, which is revolution!


  • Barad, Karen (2003). “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter” in SIGNS.