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Published with AR + = ADDING, Szczecin, PL 2010 

/> In the post-fordist context, in which language has become in every respect an instrument of the production of commodities and, therefore, the material condition of our very lives, the loss of the ability to speak, of the “language capacity,” means the loss of belonging in the world as such [1]                                                                                                                 

The contours of language and culture are indistinct – belonging to a hybrid union, history has produced a relentless theamatization of its operations that continues to both edify and collapse its own conditions. In our contemporary condition regulated by the speed of corporate, fast-capitalist turnover and a concomitant packaged reproduction of everyday life, language must constantly attempt to negotiate the boundary where experience may begin to defy description.

Today key words like ‘diversity’ and ‘flexibility’ are commonly used descriptors of a post-fordist valorization of exchange. The increasing abstraction of the labour practices in the transition from analogue to digital from striated to smooth renders the ability to identify and articulate labour’s diffused representations deeply problematic. In an attempt to collect this condition of diffusity a necessary shift has occurred in the field of semantics bringing forth the Precariat. In previous usage precariat – precarity – precarization, literally meant ‘precariousness that which is unsure, uncertain, difficult, and delicate’[2]. From one point to another, from adjective to a noun, the substratum, or language capacity of the word has taking on a political dimension. It is now used to refer to those living and working under conditions that hold no guarantees of social or economic security.

With a deepening global economic downturn structuring a crisis of imagination the physiognomy of contemporary life has precarity as one of its strongest features. In the wake of advanced capital gains national flags fly at half mast and geo-political boundaries play a diminished role. Given the steady incursions of globalization the ideals of the nation state continue to recede from view and we find ourselves led by disembodied forces through extremely complex web of relations. The critical increases in human mobility, the transnational circulation of ideas, the abstract elevation of capital from social context and obligation continues to produce more globally extensive forms of sovereignty. According to political philosopher Takis Fotopoulos:

“Global trends have not been offset effectively by counter-tendencies that could have emanated from trade-union action and other forms of political activity, the outcome has been globalization.”[3]

Rather than resistance to global insurgencies to offset it influence, an adaptive wave of new mobility has assimilated the precarious restructuring of neo liberal market economies. Conflating assimilation the representative language of contemporary market conditions reveals a litany of terms such as network labour, affective labour, and immaterial labour and creative industry. These terms reflect the ‘highest value producing forms of labour [4] in the globalized informational economy. Such language, which belong to a positivity signifying notions of a seamless world of labour release, also stir anxiety about a space of resistance when it seems flexible market logics have begun to infiltrate all aspects of cultural imagining. The artist, often understood as the precarious cultural worker, is now permanently positioned in relation to the question – can art offer a criticism of society or is it just reflecting the capitalist project?

According to Fredric Jameson in his essay from the cultural logic of late capitalism ‘the new society in question no longer obeys the laws of classical capitalism, namely the primacy of industrial production and the omnipresence of the class struggle’[5].Instead we are faced with what Andrea Fraser describes as an ‘historical tragedy; the extinguishing of the field of art as a site of resistance to the logic, value and power of the market’.[6]Fraser’s assertion confirms the suspicions held in 1989 by Francis Fukuyama in his article, The End of History. Maybe after all Fukuyama presented a vatic portent of how liberal democracy may constitute the ‘final form of human government, ‘[7]and as such constituted the end of history. Echoing the death knell of history by Jameson, Fraser and Fukuyama it would seem that the only possibility of critical consciousness is the ‘consciousness of the real’[8] reflected as the imminence of capital and the relations of its production. With no recourse to escape the deafening discourses of our time, we are faced with the possibilities of impossibility.

The impossibility of taking up a position outside the dictates of neo-liberal hegemony reflects the decentralization of its practices. A process of decentralization that is reliant on legitimization and the perceptions of citizenship inclusion to achieve hegemonic dominance. Through entanglement and inclusion we of ‘flexible citizenship’[9] co-operate in the creation of pervasive border space that is never at rest always modifying itself for tactical advantage. Moving through the softened border spaces devised and re-devised by market orientated concepts of citizenship, we can be reassured of what Berlin, Dublin, Szczecin and Kuala lumpur  have in common. Garish monuments to global consumption neutralize space and reduce culturally differentiated spaces into flat familiarity. This absorption of space produces what Miwon Kwon describes as ‘abstract space, non place which in turn exasperates the sense of placelessness’[10]. The French anthropologist Marc Auge defines a ‘non–place as a space which cannot be defined as relational, historical or concerned with identity’[11]. The rootless space without any grounding in historical reference ‘disembed’s people from the enduring persistence of localist traditions and reconfigures them as individual integers of abstract populations’[12]

The precariat makes up this growing abstract population. As a consequence of the pervasive motion of flexible market logics the precariat as a remnant condition is unraveling fast from the fabric of economic globalization .The place of work, the home place for so many has been foreclosed as a site of security. Fundamental instability supports the economic and cultural edifice of our times. Without History and without place the question is, can those who can be called precariat seek to ameliorate their situation stand in the gaps and openings of the neo liberal order?

Nicholas Bourriaud believes that it is ontological precarious that is the foundation of contemporary aesthetics.[13] Pointing to a possible vector of affirmation, perhaps it is also contemporary art that offers a space through which invisibility of the precariat may be made visible. For Badiou ‘the artistic event demonstrates that it is possible to conceive of what has hitherto been considered monstrous’ or formless as formable’[14] For Gerald Raunig the actualization of this potential monster bears the name precariat.[15]

As part of the forming body of precarity the militant cultural worker has learned how to occupy rationalized spaces of power. This tactical drifter uses the hegemonic system’s political openings to make counter-hegemonic moves. As a ‘vector of deterritorialization’[16] the insurgent citizen, who bares a multiplicity of pseudonyms belonging to conditions of precarity (artist, advocate, activist, neo nomad) bypasses official spaces of civic participation. Instead, armed with knowledge of infrastructural porosity, new spaces can be invented or old ones reappropriated in the work of counter hegemony. Relatively autonomous of any centre, transnational formations devised by the artist, advocate, activist or neo nomad draw from the sites of societies un-named resources and leverage their creative potency in the production of a renewed ‘imagination that gathers in the missing’.[17] The re-imagination of space is supported by nodes and networks that compress new communities and a sense of belonging.

Within a city such a Szczecin large areas urban space wear the visual and residual effects of both transition and globalization. Art=Adding as an apparatus and idea following the territorial principal of its own precarity, occurred as a nomadic movement that formed insertions into the cracks and vacancies within the city. Gathering the aggregate force of heterogeneity, cavities in social memory were wrenched from obsolescence with noise, graffiti jams and other contingent art forms. In the work of deterritorialization the non-place was placed in becoming a ‘non-limited locality’[18].

[1] Christian Marazzi, Capital and Language: From the New Economy to the War Economy, Semiotext, 2008.17

[2] Mute Magazine ,Culture and politics after the net precarious,Precarisation,Precariat,Frassanito NetworY 5th Oct2010-20Oct 2010

[3], Globalization: Encyclopedia. (10/oct/2010), (13/oct/2010)

[4] Michael Hardt,Affective Labour, Duke University press 226:2 1999, EBSCO 5-13

[5] Fredric Jameson, ‘The Cultural Logic’. ed Lawance Cahoone, Blackwell Publishing 2009.564-567

[6] Andrea Frazer, Museum Highlights,The Writing of Andrea Frazer, Ed Alexander Alberro. MIT Press, 2005.p179

[7] Francis Fukuyama 1992,The End of History, (14th Oct 2010 -17th Oct 2010)

[8] Federica Bueti, No Place to Sit (a walk around the new context)    18 Oct 2010 – 23 Oct 2010

[9] Aihwa Ong,Flexible Citizenship,The cultural Logic Of Transnationality,Durham N.C.Duke University Press,1999 P5

[10] Miwon Kwon, One Place after Another: Notes on Site Specificity. Oct. Vol. 80, Spring 1997. Published by MIT Press.pp85-101

[11] Marc Auge, Non Places; translated by John Howe, Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, Verso, London and New York 1995 p77-78

[12] Andrew Herod, Gearoid O Tuathail, Susan M Roberts, An unruly World, Globalization, Governance and Geography,Routeledge,1998 p(45)

[13] Nicolas Bourriaud,Precarious Constructions.nswers to Jacques Ranciere on Art and Politics –foundation Art and Public Space  5 Oct 2010- 24 Oct 2010

[14] Badiou –A Subject to Truth,ed Peter Hallward ,Uni of Minnesota Press 2003( p195)

[15] Gerald Raunig-The Monster Precariat,translate.eipcp.net  Dec 2006 –OcT 20 2010

[16] Giles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, Treatise on Nomadology – The War Machine, From Modernism to Post-Modernism. Ed. Lawarnce Cahoon. Blasckwell Publishing 2009 (p 281)

[17] Suzan Howe Frame structures early pomes 1974-1979 New Direction Books ,New York 1996 p3

[18] Giles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, Treatise on Nomadology – The War Machine, From Modernism to Post-Modernism. Ed. Lawarnce Cahoon. Blasckwell Publishing 2009 (p285).

Posted in Published ArticlesUncategorizedTagged published in Ar+=Adding catalogue 2012


The work was commissioned by the 'Jerusalem Ballet' 2014

Choreographer: Michael Getman

Dancers: Noa Mamrud, Tal Benari

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