[NetBehaviour] Accelerationist aesthetics
ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org
Sat Apr 23 15:54:12 CEST 2016
Here Baruch Gottlieb reviews “Inventing the Future”by Srnicek &
Williams (co-authors of the Accelerationst Manifesto)
"visions or projects for teleportation, nano-surgery and socialist Mars
colonies, are not going to convince capitalists to stop attacking
socially produced value every way they can. We need more fundamental
knowledge about how the present is reproduced in this first place, the
legacy of colonialism, imperialism, patriarchy and slavery in the very
devices we use to understand such things, and we need social and
cultural technologies to integrate that consciousness into new
behaviours, new sociabilities, new modes of exchange."
On 23/04/16 13:15, ruth catlow wrote:
> So is this the accelerationist aesthetics question?
> Q. How can we as artists and people use the logics & tools of
> automation and markets as part of making better art and better life
> for us all?
> : )
>>>> when it appeared that the prognostications of the first wave of
> accelerationists had partly came true: namely, that the accelerations
> inherent in capitalism, specifically the tendency to mobilize more
> surplus labour and resources at greater rates of efficiency and
> abstraction, would exacerbate the system's inherent contradictions to a
> catastrophic point. Only partly came true though: the system did not
> collapse but massively reorganized itself (all those would-be John Galts
> suddenly all too happy to accept government bail-outs, massive
> expropriation of assets from the poor). This required a recalibration of
> the theses of that first wave of accelerationists, a recalibration that
> perhaps either is reflected in art, or in which<<<
> The unfettered development of automation and market-forces is
> currently seen as the preserve of people on the political right (who
> seek to preserve the status quo or enhance their wealth and power).
> But who may at some points ask for time-out (and bail-outs) in order
> to re-set their position of advantage.
> Rob said
> If I was trolling I'd argue that if you're on the left you're either a
> conscious or an unconscious accelerationist. But it's possible to do
> things in an un-Accelerationist way - it's not an inescapable or
> inevitable cultural condition.
> Yes, this is why I declared myself an Accelerationist- it was not a
> proud declamation (a la 'I'm a feminist and I'm proud') more an
> admission (a la, the declaration at meetings of people participating
> in the 12 step programme).
> What I think is worth reflecting on (even if only idly) in this
> discussion is whether there is anything in one's own life or work that
> this strategy would be productive for. What could each of us better
> understand and reason about (in some sense) so as to be able to better
> change it?
> Both these points indicate something that Left Accelerationism has been
> criticised for from various angles - it is a *selective* acceleration.
> Left Accelerationists are critiqued as these social-power-tools (of
> automation and market-forces) are seen as inherently dehumanising and
> destructive of solidarity and freedom?
> On 23/04/16 02:49, Rob Myers wrote:
>> On 22/04/16 03:27 AM, ruth catlow wrote:
>>> Not that we all need to be in an unending frenzy of communication and
>>> exchange. More that we have ever-more nuanced ways to sense the
>>> significance of different kinds of participation: in a loop of
>>> participation and active collaboration and organisation.
>> I think this (and Simon & Pall's conversation) raises two important
>> points about "Accelerationism".
>> The first is that contemporary society appears to have speeded up
>> anyway. We can debate whether progress or the economy has stalled, but
>> our experience of life seems to involve the compression of time by
>> technology and by socioeconomic demands.
>> The obvious critic of this kind of speed and acceleration, as Paul
>> mentioned, is Virilio. Who I think relates speed to power in a way that
>> makes sense of our experience of it as disenfranchising.
>> Wanting to slow down from *this* kind of acceleration isn't a bad thing
>> and is in fact the end point of MAP/Fixing The Future -style
>> Accelerationism: let's get the machines to do the busy-work so we can do
>> something actually useful with our time instead.
>> The second is that Accelerationism isn't a historical epoch like
>> postmodernism or globalisation. It's a *strategy*.
>> If I was trolling I'd argue that if you're on the left you're either a
>> conscious or an unconscious accelerationist. But it's possible to do
>> things in an un-Accelerationist way - it's not an inescapable or
>> inevitable cultural condition.
>> What I think is worth reflecting on (even if only idly) in this
>> discussion is whether there is anything in one's own life or work that
>> this strategy would be productive for. What could each of us better
>> understand and reason about (in some sense) so as to be able to better
>> change it?
>> Both these points indicate something that Left Accelerationism has been
>> criticised for from various angles - it is a *selective* acceleration.
>>> I am currently showing a live networked video piece, I created with
>>> Gareth Foote, called /Time is Speeding Up/ at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre
>>> up in Scunthorpe as part of the show We Are Not Alone. I have no idea
>>> whether this is an Accelerationist artwork.
>> It's increasing our ability to perceive and reason about our situation,
>> so quite possibly.
>>> I agonized about the aesthetics of the work- at first- so un-"cool", so
>>> un-cyber - because the humans are so alive AND they make the work.
>>> But now I'm really happy with it and would like to assert a place for
>>> this almost folksy aesthetic (rather than a rush to slick, black
>>> fluidity) in post-capitalist art.
>> Bladerunner's lived-in street-culture future is paradigmatically cyber,
>> but I do know what you mean. The work is qualitative (or has a strong
>> qualitative element), and this is in contrast to the strong quantitative
>> bias of shiny information graphics and *some* proposals for
>> Accelerationist aesthetics.
>> - Rob.
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>> NetBehaviour at netbehaviour.org
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