Update page-Where to now?

SCPRSocialist cultural production?
If we acknowledge the need for an independent form like the Communist Gallery how do we continue? To create a space of discourse requires that we periodically are able to occupy space.
Suggestions so far include:-

  • We make the mobile gallery t.v booth more more mobile, something which could be taken around and parked with or without permission at events would be good. Wheels and a fold up model which could be taken on the tube are required.
  • This mobile form could include space for literature.
  • A space for people to work in a pull out tent like shelter.

Not only that, the discourse that develops needs to be linked to previous knowledge so that we are forming something outside of the normal bourgeois art space or university symposium and more importantly it continues to alienate its method of production from these, for the reason that it is important to have a body of knowledge formed through the medium of art that is not compromised by the hidden agenda of reproduction in either gallery or academic settings.

For this reason the website , probably the magazine page needs to be better coordinated.

Any suggestions and thoughts?


I include a video here sent to me by John Cussans, of particular interests is what he says about the Sophist short circuit, how do we move beyond this?


One Response to Update page-Where to now?

  1. enda deBurca says:

    There are no non-communist ways to communism; hence communization is communism is communization. We make communism by making communism. Benjamin Noys.
    We can understand the desire to emphasise the moment of the act or activity which attempts to move away from the programme of an ‘-ism”.The risk of the aesthetics of communisation nonetheless, becoming de-politicised I feel is real. Theorié Communiste (TC) propose the end of programmatism and the end of privileged art practices and the avant-garde and correctly identifys the problem of repetition in relation to practice which merely expresses a nostalgia for an avant garde, particularly that of the Situationists, which through it’s reification of a moment in the past, abstracted from it’s historical conditions, it’s social relations and it’s modes of production only reproduces the fetishised, repetitive symptom. Any repetition and sublimation of this nature can only lead to a suppression of antagonism and desire and so remains locked inside the fantasy’s socio-symbolic perameters, the fantasy constructiof the freedom of the abstract wage labourer of the political economy. The commodification of the avant garde defends the political relations of the bourgeoisie,capital. Objective figures such as Immanence in relation to spatial configurations of communisation, instantenity in relation to the temporal, and acceleration and dispersion can be used not only to graph the figures of flow/destination of capital but also of our subjective responsibilities and acts in relation to the flow, our attempts act in ways which will have the effect of resisting and changing our relations of production rather waiting for the ideal end’game in repeated analyses of the totalising systemics of Capital. It is important is that we remain agents and accept subjective responsibility in relation to the objective figures of communisation. Working with negation, with local resistance and non programmatic actions can allow a way forward in which the challenge of the political act will be one that does not repeat the failures of past false revolutions( Marx criticises the French revolution’s reliance on figures of Classical Rome and Luther’s re-imagining of St Paul). i The posters work as art and also have a pedagogical element regarding Marxes analyse of capitalist structure. I also think that the history of manifesto’s is important here in their potential relations between the political and the aesthetic, the poetry of the future. Marx himself uses a poetic and richly symbolic language at times to animate his communism. Two figures of the manifesto, the speech act and the revelation can shed light on this potential. The manifesto e.g Debord;s manifestos reveals or articulates a certain moment in history that reflects particularly a new challenge thrown up by new social configurations which have come about from the emergence of new forms of relative surplus value increases,stemming either from new technological development increasing the abstractions of value and of organisational restructurings which is driven by capitals compulsion to accumulate and it’s homogenising effects regarding the production and reproduction of human subjectivity. David Harvey describes very clearly the advances and intensifications we have experienced in the last thirty years, today’s moment of acceleration, exploitation intensification of neo-liberal driven modernisation, the outsourcing of services which followed the outsourcing of production, and the introduction of politically driven austerity haircuts which threaten once stable categories of employment and allows the professional classes identify as the proletariate. As practising artists we respond to these new intensifications of exploitation.We wish not to act in order to repeat a reaction but to respond to the new barbarism of shameless capital whose abstract tropes of fictional capital and the imposition of the credit system have transmorgified into the austerity measures of reparation,the social exclusion and the criminalising of youth and those once considered the most vulnerable in our society along with the forced relocation/cleansing of swathes of our population, inner city residents to the peripheries through rent increases and benefit caps. Can we act in a way that does not shy away from the real political antagonisms? If we can then we will not repeat the acting out of the failings of past avant garde simulations. In these days of cynical awareness of our impotence, the question seems too naive to even pose, hence the bleakness, the negativity which can become a crippling castration in itself. How do we assume subjective responsibility which can affect change? This is the question Marx poses to the philosophers. Rather than outrightly rejecting transition and passively waiting for Godot, for Babylon to instantaneously burn in accelerated spontaneous combustion we respond in a way which resists and exposes the mechanism of objective antagonism, today’s very real material exploitation. Reality of the Capitalist System and Possibility of the Human Subject At the heart of the capitalist machine beats an objective, cynical, compulsion to repeat the intensifications of accumulation, Marx points this out in biblical imagery,in volume one “Accumulate, Accumulate that is Moses and the prophets”. This is an unrelenting imperative which cares nothing for the relationship between persons but only in sustaining the wage labourer’s body at alevel where he/she can produce at a competetive level.This is the unrelenting drive of capital, the dispassionate commitment to the law of accumulation for accumulation’s sake,a sadean reduction of the other to the object of an administered jouissance, surplus value, surplus enjoyment, the symptom of capital, the reduction of the other to the administration of routine in the repetition compulsion of capital explosion and labour congealment. Freud too remarked on the drive and it’s problematic relation to subjective desire. This is a repetition compulsion which exposes the symptom as being bound by the fundamental fantasy of subjective construction, bound to an articulation of power as language’s failing efforts to dominate the body (without organs in Artaud) in the social bind of subjective formation. This death drive is the repeated disruption of the fantasy, and the symptom is a manifestation of the subject’s attempt to renegotiate with the socio-symbolic perameters of desire but it will never accept the compromise as Freud’s analyses repeatedly crashed on be the bedrock of castration. Something in the symptom which absolutely resists it’s accomodation in the structures of the fantasy and the production of desire. So it repeats it relentless compulsion in compromised formation. The therapeutic post Freudian reading attempt to domesticate the radical nature of the death drive but it’s un erring compulsion destroys the smart plans and pleasure principle fantasies of social planning, psychology, sociology and therapy. As the therapeutic model replaces the political model in contemporary neo-liberal democratic relations there remains a radical potential in the Freudian death drive, the repetition of trauma which does not seek reparation ,and does not fall back on a compromised symptom of a crushing desire but that points to the new configurations of the socio-symbolic perameter, a configuration that points to the beyond of the compulsion to accumulate. So if the communisation leads to a withdrawal from practice and Benjammin is highly pessimistic (though not nihilist) about any alternative to act outside of capital. It would be good to elaborate from Alberto’s excellent contributions a way to make the connection between his philosophical musings, and our practice (and it’s relations to class struggle). Then how are we to articulate our own position regarding the book/posters art practice and in relation to communisation? Maybe we don’t need to. We are thinking of discourse and the idea of developing a discourse that evolves from diverse groups input, to build our understanding. This is important as it’s easy to think fuck communisation, it’s a load of bourgeois cynicism but as Benjamin Noys points out it does bring up real difficulties with regards capital’s ability to make additional capital out of art and theory, punk etc and also the rupture to the once generic working class. Alan Badiou says something interesting about his first involvement in politics and this was to do with his personal conviction to be involved in the Algerian war. You have to do something when you think it is a necessity’ and the point being not to question whether or not you should do it according to popular consensus or theory. This is close to the ethical act in analysis which takes us away from the desire of the Other. The second conviction that Badiou politically acted upon was around 1968 and after, organising something like direct relations between intellectuals and workers, this was important in Maoism of the seventies. So two fundamentals of political action for Badiou 1) has to be a process which is a process of principles/convictions and 2)the necessity for direct relations between intellectuals and workers. With the privatisations and takeovers of once public services and work spaces, the running of universities, schools and housing associations measured on cost efficiency, fund raising and profit making, models of strategic planning and competetive outcomes, squeezing evermore capital out of workers it would be enlightening to get some people from work to come along and talk about restructuring and changes effecting their everyday work practises. Another reason that it might be good to bring workers and intellectuals together would be so that the language would have to resonate and we could take it away from the discourse of university and allow discourse in a less reified space. This is important because it tends to be the more educated philosophers who are so positive that there is nothing we can do in the political field today. I find this attitude can reiterate the cynicism of capital production and can also a misrepresent the production of ‘knowledge’ as discourse, (discourse of the university in lacan’s theory of the discourses). The conventional framework of revolutionary politics and the ideas of class struggle, party, proletariate and party have all lost the certainty that they once they had. So the very idea of revolution is obscure today. As David harvey points out, we have entered a new phase of brutal primitive accumulation which is far closer to the conditions of capitalism in the 19th century so I think we have to do as Marx did, take a step away from radical philosophy and into radical subjectivity which is far more politically dangerous but real. What are the new responses to capitalism after the Party is no longer adequate and how do we respond to the ruptures and heal the weakness of the disunity of workers, leftist intellectuals, trade unionists and emancipatory politics. There is no unified field so the solution to Capital’s fearless brutalism will be finding and creating new collective configurations, work together in local experiments, build new social relations,new philosophical economic concepts e.g regarding reproduction that will form a new synthesis in response to the historical rupturing of the unified field that was Marxes generic identity of the working class.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s