If nature or God does not compel people to follow the law, violence is usually up to the task. Look at what has been happening for the last several months in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Portland, Chicago, Atlanta, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and so on; on campuses, on streets, on bridges, in parks, and elsewhere. Police maintain order by inciting chaos. Inalienable rights of speech and assembly are revoked in the name of the state. The times resound with songs for change and the law responds by restoring the same.

Paul Chan: A Lawless Proposition

But as winter takes hold in many parts of the world, another kind of doubt begins to set in, with a tinge of disappointment that circumstances in many places that saw the most intense uprisings have not actually been significantly transformed for the better. The removal of dictators has only peeled back the top layer of societies with endemic problems that must be addressed by a renewed sense of civic society. The 99% remains at the mercy of the 1%.

Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle: Americans against capitalism?

But neither in New York nor in London have black carnivals (as carried out in Trinidad or Brooklyn) and white carnivalesque (as performed in global protest movements) formed a lasting radical alliance that could combat the economic exploitation suffered by working class communities of color and, increasingly, the white middle class. Perhaps OWS will be the opportunity for such an alliance.

Claire Tancons: Carnival Against Capital?

An occupation is the opposite. An occupation keeps people busy instead of giving them paid labor. An occupation is not hinged on any result; it has no necessary conclusion. As such, it knows no traditional alienation, nor any corresponding idea of subjectivity. An occupation doesn’t necessarily assume remuneration either, since the process is thought to contain its own gratification. It has no temporal framework except the passing of time itself. It is not centered on a producer/worker, but includes consumers, reproducers, even destroyers, time-wasters, and bystanders—in essence, anybody seeking distraction or engagement.

Hito Steyerl: Art as Occupation

Only if we are able to disentangle the future (the perception of the future, the concept of the future, and the very production of the future) from the traps of growth and investment will we find a way out of the vicious subjugation of life, wealth, and pleasure to the financial abstraction of semiocapital. The key to this disentanglement can be found in a new form of wisdom: harmonizing with exhaustion.

Franco Berardi Bifo: The Future After the End of the Economy


One thought on “E-flux, Paul Chan, Claire Tancon, Hito Steyerl, Franco Berardi

  1. You might be interested in article I wrote, “Memories of the Future,” on a time when there actually was still a future. It engages with a number of recent writings on the subject by Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Slavoj Žižek, T.J. Clark, Owen Hatherley, Chris Cutrone, Max Ajl, Asad Haider, Salar Mohandesi, Ben Lear, and Malcolm Harris, which have been published by AK PRess, Zero Books, Jacobin, New Left Review, and others. Just thought you might want to check it out.

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