In terms of the general shift from thinking of individuals as isolated from the “world” to thinking of them as nodes on networks, the 1990s may well be remembered as the beginning of the cyborg era.
We’re talking about whole new forms of subjectivity here. We’re talking seriously mutated worlds that never existed on this planet before. And it’s not just ideas. It’s new flesh.
In the manifesto, Haraway argues that the cyborg – a fusion of animal and machine – trashes the big oppositions between nature and culture, self and world that run through so much of our though. Why is this important? In conversation, when people describe something as natural, they’re saying that it’s just how the world is; we can’t change it.
…if women (and men) aren’t natural but are constructed, like a cyborg, then, given the right tools, we can all be reconstructed. Everything is up for grabs, from who does the dishes to who frame the constitution. Basic assumptions suddenly come into question, such as whether it’s natural to have a society based on violence and the domination of one group by another.
You Are Cyborg, Wired magazine
“In The End of Capitalism, they make a compelling (and often very funny) argument that we should stop focusing on capitalism so much (seeing it everywhere, spending lots of our energy critiquing it)—they call this tendency “capitalistocentrist” and say that such a focus is self-defeating in that it sustains a notion of capitalism as ubiquitous, inevitable, or as super-powerful. Instead, in a queer theory vein, they argue that we should develop our eye for the diversity of economic life, and recognize the extent to which non-capitalist transactions (household work, lending practices, stealing, for example) mark our lives and relationships.”
User: Cricket from goodreads
Same goes for the art world. Less talk about the art market and more about what works move you, what didn’t. Art always win in the end.
“As info-workers are exposed to a growing mass of stimuli that cannot be dealt with according to the intensive modalities of pleasure and knowledge, acceleration leads to an impoverishment of experience. More information, less meaning. More information, less pleasure.”
Franco Berardi Bifo, “Cognitarian Subjectivation,” e-flux journal Are You Working Too Much?, 2011, p. 136.
“…capital operates through the production of subjectivities and thrives on extracting surplus value from the generation of social difference and individualization, not to mention the important ideological role played by self-actualization over and against collective identifications.”
Rory Rowan, “SO NOW!: On Normcore,” e-flux journal #58, October 2, 2014.
Tyler Akers: What is the function of using separate names Peter Lamborn Wilson and Hakim Bey?
Peter Lamborn Wilson: I call it ambulatory schizophrenia. You know, foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of etcetera etcetera. I just needed several identities, and those aren’t the only ones.
“…you can’t use violence because violence is completely monopolized by the state. We live in a police state, in communities that are occupied by armed forces…and we have welcomed them into our communities and it’s okay to have these guys going around with guns and guard dogs because we’ve accepted it. So. where’s the revolutiorion?”
Art and mediation:
“I think that every artwork is striving to break down mediation. That was the problem for me with traditional theater, and why I was interested in the avant-garde theater was the whole question of proscenium, the division between the audience and the performer. I’ve always said that the only solution is to get rid of the audience all together.”
“So after years of working on the radio and using lots of recorded music, I decided to take the step of eliminating it from my own house so that when I hear live music it really goes right to my heart and I pay full attention.”
In conversation with Peter Lamborn Wilson, The Brooklyn Rail, Octer 4, 2012
“Adorno writes in Negative Dialectics that the concept of origin signifies the “seigniorial, the confirmation of him who stands first because he was there first; of the autochthon against the immigrant, of the settled against the migrant.” To evoke the concept of origin is to assert a demand for first rights. In speaking for origin, the primacy of history is claimed, but it is the unquestioned sovereignty of who is speaking that matters. It is as clear as it is cruel: he who speaks on behalf of origin proclaims dominion over the which follows him.”
Paul Chan, “Progression as Regression,” e-flux journal #22, January 1, 2011
On originality. Kill your father.
“As Deleuze and Guattari had it, the problem with capitalism is not that it breaks up reality; the problem with capitalism is that it isn’t schizophrenic and proliferating enough. In other words, it frees desire from traditional libidinal patterns (of family and religion and so on), but it will always want to recapture these energies through profit.
According to this conclusion, one way to circumnavigate capitalism would be to encourage its semiotic excess and its speculation in affect. Capitalism is not a totalitarian or tyrannical form of domination. It primarily spreads its effects through indifference (that can be compared to the zombie’s essential lack of protagonism). It is not what capital does, but what it doesn’t do or have: it does not have a concept of society; it does not counteract the depletion of nature; it has no concept of citizenship or culture; and so on. Thus it is a slave morality that makes us cling to capital as though it were our salvation–capitalism is, in fact, what we bring to it. Dramatization of capital through exacerbation and excess can perhaps help distill this state of affairs.”
Lars Bang Larsen, “Zombies of Immaterial Labour: The Modern Monster and the Death of Death,” e-flux journal, Are You Working Too Much, 2011