art history

June 1, 2015

Surplus Values: The Political Economy of Prints

Abstract. Beneath the churning apocalyptic surface of Planet Accelerate is there an unexplored reformist core? In this paper I argue the answer is “yes.” Focusing on Robert Rauschenberg’s printed works of the 1960’s, I explore that core, asking what a politically engaged aesthetic project premised on reform might look like. Making the most of Accelerationism’s permission to speak using capitalism’s own terms while troubling the movement’s more determinist tendencies, I show how accidents of capitalism can be seized interpretively to generate what I call “surplus values” which can then be leveraged in other areas of social and political life.

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The Persian Empire & the Question of Democracy in Herodotus’s Histories

Political debates surrounding the question of democracy versus elite despotism has an interesting history. As a Persian, I find the passages 80-87 from Herodotus’ Histories demonstrating how these debates predate modern Europe and are rooted, at least in written text, in the struggle between Persia and Greece for civilizational hegemony: 80. And now when five […]

Nick Land & Accelerationism

This is Nick Land, one of the most important philosophers of the last 20 years, and one the most innovative thinkers on the subjects of cybernetics and late capitalism. He is also one of the theorists of NRx, and is one of accelerationism’s primary figureheads. Nick Land didn’t always belong to the Right. Initially, he […]

The Ontology of Finance Redux

“The Ontology of Finance Redux” is an abridged version of Suhail Malik’s long essay “The Ontology of Finance: Price, Power, and the Arkhéderivative” published in Collapse Volume VIII Edited by Robin Mackay. Interweaving the works of Johnathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler, Elena Esposito and Elie Ayache, Malik provides a tour de force critique of the […]

#AltWoke Manifesto

Introduction: There is no term more ubiquitous, obnoxious, and self-serving in our current lexicon as “woke.” Woke is safety-pin politics, masturbatory symbolism, and virtue signaling of a deflated Left insulated by algorithms, filter bubbles, and browser extensions that replace pictures of Donald Trump with Pinterest recipes. Woke is a misnomer — it’s actually asleep and […]

Brief Notes on Ideological Complicity

Ideology is a cynical self defence against the subject’s inability to reconcile themselves with their social existence, the selection between ideal adaptations to the world.* It is neither a surface effect or ‘false consciousness’ of an exterior force with which the subject [subjectum] contends, nor a material substrate of subjection. It is rather the means […]