By Alberto Toscano, Jeff Kinkle
Can capital be obvious? Cartographies of absolutely the surveys the disparate solutions to this query provided through artists, film-makers, writers and theorists over the last few many years. It zones in at the crises of illustration that experience observed the long-lasting obstacle of capitalism, foregrounding the construction of recent visions and artefacts that combat with the vastness, invisibility and complexity of the abstractions that rule our lives.
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Extra info for Cartographies of the Absolute
Henri Lefebvre Kant said he had no time to travel precisely because he wanted to know so much about so many countries. Hannah Arendt A few other clues / we mull them over as we go to sleep, the skeletons of dollarbills, traces of dead used up / labour, lead away from the death scene until we remember a quiet fit that everywhere / is the death scene. Amiri Baraka, ‘Das Kapital’ Everything comes down to Aesthetics and Political Economy. Stéphane Mallarmé Introduction The Limits of the Known Universe, or, Cognitive Mapping Revisited The movements of the stars have become clearer; but to the mass of the people the movements of their masters are still incalculable.
The practical, graphic problem of trying to signify or indicate the spectacle hints towards the broader tension between the global map and the social whole. Debord’s 1973 film of The Society of the Spectacle further complicates this short-circuit between capitalist totality and its emblems. Among the remediated images assembled by Debord we encounter cartographic ones – such as the profoundly ironic orbital map sporting the legend ‘Rivoluzione della Terra’ (approx. 49 min) – but also photographs and film footage of the earth that had only become available after the book’s 1967 publication.
From box sets to boxes floating across the seas, from dialectical thinking to diabolical reckoning: it is all here, laid out, picked out and unpicked, absorbed and turned over. Rubbish practices are called out, whether they originate in governments or the artworld. Cognitive mapping, which may be the poor analyst’s conspiracy theory, gets its abstractions made real. Read it and move more consciously and dialectically through the globe. Esther Leslie, author of Walter Benjamin and Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry A grand tour de force of western cognitive maps and a searching dérive through anti-capitalist dimensions of theory, media and art – now pulsing on the rotting flesh of the world system.
Cartographies of the Absolute by Alberto Toscano, Jeff Kinkle