20190811

A US focused text but fun to read. I guess many of the arguments hold true across the globe: Gentrification Is a Feature, Not a Bug, of Capitalist Urban Planning (2019) Samuel Stein.

Capitalists have serious and specific demands of the state, without which they are unlikely to function in the long term, or even on a day-to-day basis. They want the state to make big, fixed-capital investments in infrastructures that enable their own profit-making. They also want government to ensure some degree of support for people’s social reproduction, in order to assure they have a living, breathing workforce to exploit in the first place. Without these investments — planned, paid for and coordinated by the state — they have little basis on which to operate.

[Gentrification] is surely an economic and social force, but it is also the product of the state — a planned process of channeled reinvestment and targeted displacement. […] Militant anti-gentrification movements can threaten real estate capital’s capacity to realize profits, and thus transform the housing crisis from one borne by tenants to one felt by landlords, developers, and investors. This is no easy task, but it is the one we face if we seek to unmake the real estate state.

An excerpt from Fully Automated Luxury Communism (2019) Aaron Bastani. Compared to the 2018 book “Täysin automatisoitu avaruushomoluksuskommunismi” [Fully Automated Space Gay Luxury Communism] by Pontus Purokuru this feels like an educative read. The Purokuru text felt more like the authors personal reasoning why they ought not to stress about not contributing to the present day development of the welfare state, then a manifesto for a communism to come (as it was proclaimed it to be).

While the average political commentator likes to cast Marx as an idealistic dreamer, the man himself repeatedly stated his distaste for describing what communism might actually look like – what he termed writing ‘recipes for the cook-shops of the future’.

He was certain about some features of the new society, however. One was that the arrival of communism would herald the end of any distinction between labour and leisure. More fundamentally, it would signal humanity’s exit from what he called the ‘realm of necessity’ and entrance into the ‘realm of freedom’.

[Marxs] view was that communism was only possible when our labour – how we mix our cognitive and physical efforts with the world – becomes a route to self-development rather than a means of survival. […] as information, labour, energy and resources become permanently cheaper – and work and the limits of the old world are left behind – it turns out we don’t just satisfy all of our needs, but dissolve any boundary between the useful and the beautiful. Communism is luxurious – or it isn’t communism.

20180807

Ore.e Refineries is featured on brutalistwebsites.com (here is a short interview and screen grab on flickr.com). Exchanged notes on “facebook-fuelled-complicatedness of fka. brutalist website designs” (mentioned earlier) with the site maintainer Pascal Deville.

I accidentally broke the Civil Defence Crusher. Debugged the problem (it took two days) and now it works even better! The lm386 amplifier circuit is louder then before. I think I suffered hearing damage… During the fix I send a burst of raw interference noise through the circuit to my tightly sealed headphones. I feel a constant pressure on my right ear.

Race and Capitalism – Welcoming Michael Dawson to the New School (2018) Mayra Cotta. See The Race and Capitalism project. There are podcasts too (or listen to Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.).

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20180719

Booked a trail riding session for next Tuesday 1pm!

Making art with plants, is abstract art – It requires an understanding of concepts and approaches derived from cell biology and theories concerning the climate (that there is oxygen etc.). People cannot build relationships to plants because our interdependency is an abstraction. You can respect a plant but the plant will never respect you – Which means that there is no mutual respect in the relationship.

Respect is a relationship, in which the well being of separate entities is rooted on a shared awareness of specific problems and skills an other entity has (face-to-horse-face). This supports the well-being of both entities: A horse needs human guidance for navigating contemporary landscapes (maps, social networks), a human needs the horses skills in moving in complicated terrain (four hooves, sensory awareness).

In this relationship both entities constantly contest each others limits, to set parameters for the collaboration. When entities work together, the work is a social process (the outcome is the surplus of a successful relationship). One entity cannot surrender decision making to the other, both must engage at all times (relaxation is an important form of engagement). This is what Arja Sulin is saying when she shouts: “Absolute focus!!!” to kids learning to ride. Following this logic it seems that people don’t necessary build relationships to each other either: Words develop institutions which make-us-make-sense of each other according to a predefined logic. This would mean that the only respectful relationships we can form are to animals with whom we cannot negotiate with using words. Weird… Lovecraftian?

Post-Capitalist Ecologies: Energy, ‘Value’ and Fetishism in the Anthropocene (2016) Alf Hornborg. The article has a chapter called “The Money Artifact as the Root of All Evil”, how cool is that? He’s citing Andreas Malm (who coined the term Capitalocene).

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20170119

Humans are not alienated, we are in our element because we are the element. #ॐ We don’t eat meat because we are unaware or the pain animals feel when they are slaughtered, we eat because we are aware of their pain. Our societies are unjust because we like them this way. By making the world unfair we get to excuse ourself from the real work ahead, the process of changing ourselves.

Catching up on Marx: Marxism by David L. Prychitko. A weird source but a nifty text.

I want to rehearse the skill of talking while listening. I want to have conversations in which both parties talk, listen and understand each other at the same time.

20160630

The hours I’ve spend in my life syncing audio to video. This indicates something about the natively fragmented nature of media. All editorial decisions are about molding coherence out of abstract experiences.

Can a new generation appropriate the culture of their parents? The war-generations traumas have been taken on by the children of the war generation. They claim the same victim status.

Reading Jason Hribals: “Animals are Part of the Working Class Reviewed” (2012). A clear text which is useful for our group for investigating horses relation to emotional labor (hobbyist and leisure riders approach horses as if it was a therapists) and to understand it’s value in relation to hierarchies of visual culture (being seen next to a horse makes you appear rich and noble). We’ve argued that the horse has successfully converted from a manual labor force to a cultural labor force and that it’s a role-model for the new-work precariat. It’s hull sets a venue, around which people gather to gossip, reflect their animal relations and skills – The contemporary work horse are professionals in facilitating this exchange.

The text offers the possibility to see anthropomorphism as an critical approach: “Marx called his book Capital, and not Working Class, because Marx wanted to show workers how capital looks on its own terms, from its structural characteristics, and we had to wait for the subsequent non-orthodox practitioners of historical materialism to invert it from below to see the other side of the struggle. The problem occurs when scholars do not recognize this. When there is no inversion, capital becomes all- powerful. Agency does not exist. The subject itself disappears. This is the fundamental problem with the discipline of animal studies.”