🎭 Can the Humean speak?

William Dobell. The Dead Landlord. 1936.

Grounded normativity takes hold, perhaps afresh, in an aesthetics-based race for “the last instance” between information and power. Capital is dead; long-live the Vector(alist)! Woe to the dispossessed, the downtrodden, the victimized, but who, or what, are they? Be they human or non-human? Hacker or Vector? Be they digital data, analog data, or both? Chattel or Chain? Can they be represented, or are they unrepresentable? And once represented, what of it? How might we recognize, repair, recreate that which is represented, if we must? As an axiom, why must acknowledging our past involve a cut from it, that no action come of it?— as if this were indeed plausible!

To a certain extent, today, to be perfectly, or at least masterfully, a “social animal,” the human must be a-social or a-communal in practice or even concern, only to return where one once was within the stream of life. The rapper (ok, ok: artist) quarantines herself from the game in order that she might change it. The painter steals away in order to recognize a fallen people. The coder drifts into the small hours of the night in order to hash the planet. Are these workers Hackers, working the means of production, or Vectors, organizing the means of working the means of production? But can they also be Victims, or is this always already something they were once upon a time? Many will accuse: you are self-victimizing as a mode of power! May an animal not lick its wounds? Well, certainly don’t get political about it! Then what’s all the fuss about healthcare for, then?

So we are at a loss: history must not be acted upon, and it may even be a threat to represent it for we may recognize it, or at least compel others to do so. Wounds may not be licked, for it may be a political vector to represent them, appealing to fallacious stances in the cultural matrix. Are we in our socio-political capacities doomed to aesthetic commitments? Is capital in fact dead, or have we simply forgotten how to take up a proper funeral?

This was our paradox: what indeed is the violence that we must attend to, the logic or form of capital or the uses of the form of capital? What good are the wealth of distinctions if we produce yet another embedded/media intellectual as if their eventual celebrity were the point of it all?



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store