January 2014

passing the threshold of the middle class: capitalism’s unhaltable rise and culture’s unstoppable fall

culture now reaches lower and higher than ever before. Academic critical effort is continually levelled at annexing more and more of what was previously low culture, and klo culture, reaching lower and lower to capitalise at higher and higher societal echelons. In this sense it mirrors, or is instigated in its sense of pursuit by, mainline capitalist culture. Once we accept that the middle is disappearing with the eradication of social democracy and the middle class, the classic bourgeois being relegated to historic artifact, it’s possible to see that culture – as in the industry, aided and abbetted by fashion – is following in a way that fashion really shouldn’t if its destiny really were as promised, as hoped for, to fill the vacuum left by the former left avant-garde. Which shows nothing but that things can always get worse. And that with identitarian difference insisting that there be no longer highs nor lows but just difference – subsisting as a remainder of social justice – if a vacuum appear it is the mediocrity will rush to fill it, expanding as it arrives in order to hide the fact of the extinction of culture’s former enemy, who, with the exhaustion of the former proletariat, are now predated upon, the middle, the lukewarm God once vomited out. It turns out capitalism resembles God in this. Obvious really. And the values crisis we are happy to accept others saying we suffer now is no more than symptomatic of what is slipping from our grasp, we the middle class who rose and rose and rose, having our party in the total war that followed parts one through the series and living armageddon every day. Because the crisis in contemporary values is no more than a crisis in bourgeois values, the way for which was being prepared culturally over one hundred years ago. Meanwhile shit and trash, waste and anomie is celebrated with thousand dollar bottles of champagne, and the high and low meet as under and over on a circular bed surrounded by media mirrors in the cultural arena.

CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
detraque
textasies

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are you sitting on a goldmine 2013:12:29 14:58:10 – 2014:01:13 11:27:10 survey mark and the invention of twerking

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Excerpts – the first, fractal time as evinced in the exhibition, Time and Motion, according to a review thereof; the second, Maria Vargas Llosa refuting the idea that poverty is anything other than the choice of those poor countries and something produced internally rather than evidence of their victimhood – evincing a strange twist on the master-slave trope native to neoliberalism

Time and Motion focuses primarily on a particular demographic of labourer (generally the global information worker), and paints the picture of a tertiary lifestyle which involves multitasking without control over a narrative of time use, and habitual fractured thinking – where non-stop interactivity (a digital version of Taylorist motion) is crack cocaine for the drones. For this category of workers, the workplace is everyplace – diffuse, unfamiliar, a zone of insecurity. We are left with a “thin democracy” in which people are disengaged from political activity except when jolted into consciousness by a shocking event or celebrity meltdown witnessed virally on Youtube during office hours. As more work and labour takes place outside the pre-determined workplace – in the hybrid environments of cafes, trains and across the domestic landscape – the very idea of a work/life balance seems like an alien ideal to aspire to.In an open tertiary society, the industrial model of time, and the bureaucratic time management of factories and office blocks, breaks down. There is no stable time structure and we are increasingly losing our grip on our own time. Time and Motion at FACT interrogates the impact of this fragmentation on the aesthetic forms of contemporary art, and contemplates how artists might offer a critique of our neo-Taylorist predicament.

– from here

It is not true that the rich countries are wealthy because other countries are poor and, inversely, that the misery of the Third World is the result of the abundance of the First World. This was true, relatively speaking, in the past. In the present, it is not. And nothing does more harm to underdeveloped and wretched countries of the planet as this false doctrine, that exonerates them from guilt relative to their condition and transfers all the responsibility for the hunger and helplessness that their poor suffer to the developed countries, those that would feed on them sucking their riches, like vampires do to their victims … The truth is that today poverty is produced, as is wealth, and that both are options available to any country. Many underdeveloped countries, due to the infinite corruption of their ruling classes, the demential dilapidation of their resources, and the unreasonable economic policies of their governments, have become very effective machines that produce the atrocious conditions in which people live.

– Maria Vargas Llosa, in Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Día, 1994

…note also the timeline Maria Vargas Llosa alludes to of a past when it was true that poor nations were poor because rich nations are rich and of a present when this is no longer true – and is itself the great mistake bringing misfortune -, a present that presents an infinity of corruption. Perhaps these two excerpts do reflect on one another then, in so far as they both show scenes in which time is managed. In the first, time is unmanageable, auguring a new reality or fractal vision of ‘our’ workaday world; in the second, time, from past and present, opens onto an infinity that halts its progress, which manages, according to Llosa, to be its true meaning.

CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
luz es tiempo
pique-assiettes

Comments Off on Excerpts – the first, fractal time as evinced in the exhibition, Time and Motion, according to a review thereof; the second, Maria Vargas Llosa refuting the idea that poverty is anything other than the choice of those poor countries and something produced internally rather than evidence of their victimhood – evincing a strange twist on the master-slave trope native to neoliberalism

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