[NetBehaviour] My name is [Your Name Here] and I am an Accelerationist

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Fri Apr 29 06:37:57 CEST 2016

On 24/04/16 02:42 PM, BishopZ wrote:
> My name is Bishop Zareh and I don't know much about the topic, but like
> what I have read so far.
> I really connected with the 3D Additivist Manifesto and its description
> of a Junk Body, the body left behind by technology and obsolescence -
> the biological equivalent of Koolhaus' Junk Space - a shopping mall
> forever under construction.

I'm a bit biased regarding Additivism because a descendant of my Urinal
(3D model by Chris Webber) is in the still for the video. :-)

They have a Facebook group that has lots of good stuff as well (linked
from their website).

Their mention of "The Radical Outside" ties in with themes of exit and
escape that some other Accelerationists have been criticised for. They
seem much more grounded in the *negative* consequences of technology and
the concept of the Anthropocene than the more Cosmism-inspired branches
of Accelerationism.

> Visually, the images associated with these works are the most
> distinctive aesthetic to come from theory journals since Glitch. I
> created a pinboard for
> them: https://www.pinterest.com/eduatx/accelerationist-additivist-accelerationism/

Hey that's really good! Some great examples.

> I see a lot of connection to Virilio's work. Even before Dromology, in
> War & Cinema Virilio writes about the apparatus of perception control.
> As we move from Mass Media to Mass Technology, the same apparatus
> appears. The Internet's always-on resilience is also a product of
> military invention. Left Accelerationism seems to make a call to action
> towards creating a beneficial technology with remnants of the corrupted
> commercial systems.

Yes that's a good characterisation.

> Are they attempting a middle path between the extremes of "use the
> API" and "get off the grid"?

Maybe it's API hacking? Or a mash-up:

"3.1 [...] an accelerationist politics seeks to preserve the gains of
late capitalism while going further than its value system, governance
structures, and mass pathologies will allow"

That "further" isn't one of technology-for-technology's sake, rather
it's the creation of:

"3.19 [...] A positive feedback loop of infrastructural, ideological,
social and economic transformation, generating a new complex hegemony, a
new post-capitalist technosocial platform."

I'd emphasize the "social" part of that. I'm sympathetic to criticism of
these goals as a bit lofty or abstract. There are some suggestions in
the MAP for how to achieve them, and "Inventing The Future" goes into
great detail about them.

> From Alan's question:
>     does accelerationism deal with issues of pollution, extinction, and
>     so forth? Can one wait for accelerationism? Has one already waited?
> My guess is that they also split a middle path between Kurzweil-style
> utopian futurism and doomsday dystopia. Saying something like, The
> future is set, we are going there anyway, lets just get on with it
> already. I could be completely wrong.

Yes a positive and realistic middle path into a better future. As the
MAP ends:

"The future needs to be constructed. It has been demolished by
neoliberal capitalism and reduced to a cut-price promise of greater
inequality, conflict, and chaos. [...] The future must be cracked open
once again, unfastening our horizons towards the universal possibilities
of the Outside."

There's that Outside again...

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