Sunday, May 15, 2022

I've updated this a few times. The shooter in Buffalo is a self-described "accelerationist", a fan of Nick Land. The aestheticization of politics etc. 
The below turned into a ramble, but that's ok. 

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The above has been sitting for a while. Still watching the same drift, change, adaptation, acclimation, forgetting.  I'd read enough Lorentzen to know what to expect, mostly. Ruby was the source for my reference to Zegna: a young Irish poet, writing his won copy, posing in a fashion spread. Now he rts an author celebrating a review "it's like the first day I woke up married, not really any differOMG THE NEW YORK TIMES". 
“Saint Sebastian’s Abyss,” by Mark Haber, and “The Longcut,” by Emily Hall, are sparkling comic novels about art, told from the sobbers’ point of view. It never occurs to the nameless, neurotic narrators — an art historian and a conceptual artist — that art could be about anything besides profound truth. Though well past college age, both have a kind of sophomore-year humorlessness, which makes them very funny and also a little terrifying: Their brains are nice places to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there. The intensity of their devotion to art has almost cut them off from the rest of humanity, but they talk to themselves in such similar accents they could almost be talking to each other.
The authors of the books reviewed are making fun of themselves and the fantasies they'll never leave behind, the in-jokes for a dying self-consciously elite culture. Emily Hall has been writing for Artforum, since 2003. That made me laugh. 

"ah america, the land where having lots of cultural capital and no economic capital is elitist."

That is in fact the definition of cultural capital: the one capital you can never lose.
But back to Tocqueville, again, and Lefebvre,
and lawyers.
“Doing these cases, I began to find myself in a dangerous situation as an advocate. I came to believe in the truth of what I was saying."
I should give the NLR its own tag.  As always, it's not the conflicts, just the obliviousness. 
Conversely, commercial art has given us much that is vulgar or snobbish (two aspects of the same thing) to the point of loathsomeness...

The books reviewed above are commercial and snobbish, mocking and memorializing their authors' fantasies of something they themselves don't really understand, like Rachel Dolezal or a drag queen's fantasies of women. 

All of this because Ruby just published a piece on Gary Indiana.

I've mentioned him once. There should be more. I remember a Bush Tetras show where all he talked about was the Richard Speck prison video; he was disgusted but couldn't let go. I remember his opening a few years later, a large photograph of Bulle Ogier, high on the wall, next to a self-portrait, on his back looking up at a hustler's cock in his ass, his bare feet at the top corners of the page. He's a writer not a photographer. He can be cheap and indulgent, clear eyed and observant. He tells a great story about Barbet Schroeder's accountant. He's great on self-hating faggot fascists. He could be one if he wanted and sometimes he does. He's honest. Ron Vawter's Roy Cohn was something I'll never forget. He's not a leftist. He's not a liberal except by default, knowing where the other side ends up.

Looking at this and remembering the end.

And now I found out Lorentzen wrote the introduction to Indiana's Selected Essays.
That's fitting. Indiana is a snob disgusted by snobbery. It's the doubleness that interests me, not the self-portrait with the cock in his ass. I'm betting some things will last, and others won't. I argue my preferences.

From an essay in an earlier collection. Indiana's divided loyalties, 
That culture might be powerless to affect the movement of history was a perception Viennese society held in abeyance for half a century, by endorsing every avant-garde that appeared in its arts and literature. These were received as the challenging aesthetic byproducts of industrial and commercial progress. The scandals caused by the Secession could only have occurred in a society anxious to assimilate them for tonic purposes. It’s true that a large reactionary element resisted cultural innovation, and often went on the attack. When the certainties of the codified professions were questioned—in medicine, physics and jurisprudence, for example—this resistance turned violent and ugly. But among the enlightened newly rich and established upper classes, art enjoyed such esteem that even its most radical practitioners (along with its most patent mediocrities) were given the honor of excited debate and the security of responsible patronage. 
It was a period of liberal complacency, an era of ornament. Man would be perfected by technical progress, and the civilizing presence of Art. Art wouldn’t simply hang on walls; the practical, material stuff of daily life would become art, as artists in increasing numbers applied their talents to silverware and glass design, tea-services and carpets, furniture and interiors. 
Ornament had its double in the information field. The feuilleton, an impressionistic mélange of literary fantasy and journalism, provided a veil of illusion between reader and raw event. Facts, in the land of Kakania, became matters of opinion. The imprecision of public discourse injected the moral flab of the status quo into reportage, government decree and legal statute alike. While the Baroque had fallen away a century before, during the Napoleonic Wars, the spirit of the Baroque returned in Austria-Hungary with a vengeance, tarted up as stylistic innovation. It disguised the nature of the age for an aspiring middle class. For those who knew better, it kept the inevitable at arm’s length, like heroin.

Ruby, from the NLR to "Gawker"

Since moving to Berlin in 2014, I have become a regular watcher of Eurovision, the televised song-and-dance competition known the world over as the height of frivolity and schlock. Whenever my German friends find this out about me — a person they otherwise consider an unrepentant snob — they think I am mocking them. They are not entirely mistaken.

Indiana

That culture might be powerless to affect the movement of history was a perception Viennese society held in abeyance for half a century, by endorsing every avant-garde that appeared in its arts and literature. 

It reminded me

Like Land, Plant and Fisher had both read the French accelerationists and were increasingly hostile to the hold they felt traditional leftwing and liberal ideas had on British humanities departments, and on the world beyond. Unlike Land, Plant and Fisher were technophiles: she had an early Apple computer, he was an early mobile phone user. “Computers ... pursue accelerating, exponential paths, proliferating, miniaturising, stringing themselves together,” wrote Plant in Zeroes and Ones, a caffeinated 1997 book about the development of computing. Plant and Fisher were also committed fans of the 90s’ increasingly kinetic dance music and action films, which they saw as popular art forms that embodied the possibilities of the new digital era.

With the internet becoming part of everyday life for the first time, and capitalism seemingly triumphant after the collapse of communism in 1989, a belief that the future would be almost entirely shaped by computers and globalisation – the accelerated “movement of the market” that Deleuze and Guattari had called for two decades earlier – spread across British and American academia and politics during the 90s. The Warwick accelerationists were in the vanguard. 

Mark Fisher, tragic schoolboy fantasist. I thought I must have put something here about Vorticism and British vanguardism repeating itself. So stupid. 

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