Saturday, 27 February 2016

Leaves fall in Spring

Messthetics. In their physical appearance, all radical journals now resemble each other. But the replication of a meticulous, lawn-like design has also spread into the character of a content which, driven by the constraints of high specification production values, must attain the surface objectivity of professional standards. The clustering of sleek cover, obsessive attention to typeface and over-edited prose physically coheres as another iteration of leftism's delusional thematic of plausible realism. High-end design, a use-value interred within the drive to optimise media efficiency, expropriates the place of what otherwise would be anticipated as the ragged and self-limiting objects of witness. The editing out of vestigial elements of subjectivity, the disarrangement of its sentience, the splashes and smearings of its passage, realises a particularity of premature universalism where the bespoke product of a few committed individuals is made available as if it were to be consumed by all. Hitherto, the design mess through which radical publishing immediately confronted its readership was objectively enforced by restricted access to technology.  This restriction itself opened a separation between the voice of domination and that of those opposing it. But the fall in production costs of professional standard publishing, a seeming model of the potential for expropriating and socialising use-values, in practice is now symptomatic of the reproduction of the separated as another mechanism of recuperation. And moving in the opposite direction to the same end, the previously immediately recognisable voice of authority has incorporated components of the radical message (its relaxed form) and converted these into circuits of inclusion, polyvocal suggestion and soft control. As a result, the radicals have gained a capacity to present their works as compatible with the aesthetic expectations of the high street, but only at the cost of losing touch with their true content. This material content was never situated in the political message but lay in the radical's practical remoteness from existing communication channels. It is for this reason that there has never been, nor can there ever be, a successful revolutionary newspaper or television channel - success is an indicator of concession. Radical thought, being an expression of its own capture, is unable to supply a content that is not intrinsically compromised, but its objective value has hitherto lain in its suggestion of the potential for other terms that it is able to gesture towards but not possess or articulate. The points at which it has failed to fully articulate its resistance have, serving as a reizschutz, fortified the continuing possibility of resistance. Withholding the voice was the voice. Then, I would not anticipate that any radical utterance, if it is to resist its conversion into representation, should be read or otherwise engaged with by more than a handful of individuals. I would not anticipate that anything I had to say, and thus what anyone had to say, would have any relevance, mis-citing Debord, to more than a handful of individuals at any one time. Indeed, resistance to mechanical reproduction depends upon the masses not arranging themselves around the same messages. Then, I would not anticipate that anything I have ever written would gain more than a handful of readers when reading anyway was not the intended outcome. Unlike Debord, I am not considered, within any circles, to be 'an authority'. I have always sought to write without commands, my own or those of others. I have desired to write without, and outside of, Law. There is no positive structuring of the Father here, no authority, no mapping back onto precedents, no borrowed momentum, no reference to higher agency, nothing before, above, beneath or beyond. This is marginalia, nothing more, inky scratchings, random sparkings - the trace of a body not escaped but lying in a room, sitting in a cafe, standing on a bridge, riding on a bus - a passenger's discourse. It is writing without charisma. It is, at its conception, an artefact immediately in touch with the event of its own burial. Such utterances are not more than the discrete recordings of moments of weakness in the face of power. Upon rare occasions, perhaps, unexpected visitors will arrive at the record and then add their annotations, develop their own themes, modify, invert, dispute, and upon other terms, carry things on in secret

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