excerpts from Sylvère Lotringer, in interview, with diverse illustrations

– “Mene tekel peres,” from 1975

We’re in a society where nothing is simply what it is. All the more reason to try and drive a wedge, in concrete situations, between active and reactive forces.

The Nothing Nothings, Thom Puckey, 2006

The art market … is so bloated at the core that it doesn’t seem able anymore to digest all the data. It is on its way to surpass its function. … First it absorbed photography, … then it moved to architecture, fashion, and design. … it has integrated ‘outsider art’, abolishing its own internal limit, and put together ubiquitous ‘installations’ … it has grabbed anything that could be used for its own purpose, recycling garbage,

Collateral, Dane Mitchell

forging communities, investigating political issues and perfumes, tampering with biology etc., simultaneously appearing and disappearing with an ambiguous promiscuity.

– Portrait by Johnathan Yeo

… The only thing left for art to do is ‘auto-dissolve’ … All it would take is to cut off the umbilical cord that still ties art to the market…

It requires quite a mental jump to equate the immateriality of sub-prime speculation – signs spinning on signs – and the huge devastation that it dealt on the entire planet in just a matter of hours. This is the violence of capitalism. And the worst is still to come, in this or other ways, ecological disasters on the scale of continents yet as abstract in our minds as this crisis in liquidity was, all caused by the terrorism of greed and neglect. So it did help remind me that, for all the freedom it promises, capitalism is on its way to destroy everything that made life worth living on this planet, art included. Capitalism isn’t just something that is happening outside, it is also polluting people’s minds. What I like about theory is that it spares us disasters. We don’t need to see the worst to understand what it is about. It gives us a handle on the way contemporary society operates, and what place we occupy in it, where it is going and how we could possibly affect it. It is one of the ways we have been able to survive for so long in the interstices of the ‘system’, and make something out of it.

– Sylvère Lotringer, interview with Nina Power, in Frieze here