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‘You are Just in the Middle of the Beginning’ is a curatorial project exploring ideas of the temporalities of now, particularly attentive to the intersections of technology with politics and their entanglement in our comprehension of time. The project will unfold over a period – researching, developing and ultimately making public both artistic and theoretical articulations, to open fresh angles of vision to think critically about the present.

Focussing on the psychic and social affects and desires that are generated by the constant pressures to perform exerted upon us by an ‘always on’ culture, the project will explore what it means to live a life increasingly mediated through a relationship to the digital.

Globalisation in its development since 1989, through the now ubiquitous neoliberal governance of a victorious West and the development of the World Wide Web, bringing with it the increasing digitalisation of our interactions, has seen dramatic shifts in our understandings of geography. However what is becoming increasingly apparent today is that whilst this territorial shift was happening another potentially more radical shift was taking place in our understanding of time, whether it be the collapse of work and leisure time into playbouring on Facebook in bed or the endlessly fractalising time of the project. This collapse of time has lead to a new set of subjectivities and intimacies emerging. As we are overawed by the amount of information now available and the correlative diminution in the time available to synthesise this into applicable knowledge, we enter into a panicked state leading ultimately to exhaustion.

Technologies once venerated for their emancipatory potentials are now showing their dark side when appropriated into the flows of capitalist production. In the 60s a vision of the future existed in which we were released from the immiseration of work through the development of machines to replace the functions of manual labour. This in a sense has come to pass and the machine has largely replaced the human in production of material goods. However what wasn’t taken into account in those predictions was the wage-labour relation intrinsic to the capitalist mode of production. Now the subject of exploitation within labour has shifted from the worker’s body to the worker’s affect.

Additionally one thing that it is important to state is that this is not a call for a retreat to a romanticised supposedly pre-lapsarian time, but rather an attempt to lay some groundwork towards becoming conscious of the current conditions we find ourselves entangled within.

About the curator

Benjamin Fallon is an independent curator, writer and designer currently based in Stockholm where he is part of the CuratorLab programme at Konstfack. He served as co-director of Embassy Gallery between 2008 and 2010, was a member of Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s Artistic Programme Committee from 2006 to 2008, and ran his self-initiated project ONEZERO between 2005 and 2008. Ben is an occasional visiting lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art and Edinburgh College on the Contemporary art practice course.

http://www.theopenseas.org

Contact

i@m-o-t-b.net

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19.04.2013

‘Accelerationism’ and the Cybernetic Cultures Research Unit

Mark Fisher
Index - The Swedish Foundation for Contemporary Art
18:00 - 20:00

K-tactics is not a matter of building the future, but of dismantling the past.
Meltdown Nick Land

The Cybernetic Cultures Research Unit (CCRU) existed for a brief period (1995 2001) in a parasitic relation to the University of Warwick, UK. It comprised of a loose grouping of theorists, writers, artists and musicians including Nick Land, Steve Goodman (Kode9), Mark Fisher and Kodwo Eshun. Infused with a sense of productive possibilities that might emerge from the de-subjectifying character of neoliberal capitalism as well as the dark flows of the rave and jungle scenes, the CCRU produced a ‘theory fiction’ from which the concept of ‘accelerationism’ emerged. The meaning of this term presents competing claims but, broadly speaking, can be understood as an attempt to collapse capitalist logics under the weight of their internal contradictions. The CCRU emerged at a time when digital technology still had an alien quality in our lives, while a badly bruised but not yet beaten welfare system was still in place. In this event, curated by Benjamin Fallon and hosted by Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Fisher will introduce the concepts and histories of this organisation.

Mark Fisher is a writer, theorist and educator who has written and spoken widely on politics, media and culture. He is the author of ‘Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?’ (2009, Zer0 Books) his new book ‘Ghosts of my Life’ will be published later this year. He is currently Programme Leader of the MA in Aural and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths London and a lecturer at University of East London.