Brian Holmes on Sat, 24 Aug 2019 16:20:53 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> from Meatloaf to penalty Shoot Outs

I wonder if this is the first nettime thread to include a Wordsworth poem?

Some of Sean's seemingly contradictory points could be thought together:

This is the message of Greta Thunberg's inspiration to the next generation - rethinking the world /with/ the world. 

Maybe the next political revolution would have to start at that level of expert-managed global infrastructures

Far as I can see, there is an aesthetic shift taking place across much of the world. It is double. On one hand it's about retelling and redramatizing the histories of colonization, to find out how today's forms of domination emerged, and to oppose them at all levels of existence and coexistence. On the other it involves a new attention to non-human life and ecological processes, to draw out what bioregionalist Peter Berg called "figures of regulation" for the guidance of human conduct. These two sides are linked theoretically, but also in grassroots practice, which is driving a lot of the theory. The difference from a Schiller-type "aesthetic education" is that this is not just about play, imagination etc. Instead it unfolds in confrontation with real forces, often the most destructive ones.

The question is, can such an aesthetic have any effect at all on "expert-managed global infrastructures," where the rubber of industry hits the road of transnational logistics? The recent declaration by the US Business Round Table is a case in point. They say the purpose of a corporation can no longer be that of "maximizing shareholder value," which was the mantra of financially driven globalization. Instead the corporation must deliver value to everyone with whom it engages, including employees, suppliers, consumers and supporting communities. Such a statement is an index of corporate fear. Apparently if you're smart enough to run a bank, then 11 years after an extremely destructive financial crisis you start to notice the overwhelming signs of societal breakdown, ecological collapse and the specter of great-power war.

When the counter-globalization movement tried to confront expert-managed global infrastructures twenty years ago, the aesthetic was mostly neo-Dada. Since it was all about surprise and indeterminacy, it could offer little resistance to the forms of stimulation, seduction and deceit that networked media has directed at anxious populations. Can the new aesthetic do better? It's definitely not just about the meatloaf. It's about felt and instituted norms for the drawdown of suicidally expansive global capitalism.

best, Brian
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