Accelerate, disperse, encrypt, inhumanize.
An adventure in theory-fiction. and of the rational management of resources, infrastructures and people. “To accelerate beyond lightspeed is to reverse the direction of time. Accelerate, disperse, encrypt, inhumanize. Art, on the contrary, “can be many more things.” In other words, art can do what politics should not: for example, transgress the logic of the rational management of the world. […] Applied Ballardianism almost kills him. The storms carried me through, all the way." February 22, 2020 As long as anti-capitalist politics will be caged in the false dicothomy of either anarchist spontaneism, in which the subject or the collectivity-without-authority that exert their criticism of the present remain the focal point of political action, or the conquest of cultural hegemony through the formation of a party, the only true subject and enlightened leader of every conflict, there will be no hope of denting capitalist realism, not even slightly.
This book, in addition to being a masterpiece of goth hauteur-couture and an extraordinary example of theory-fiction, is the first-person account of a PhD, which takes place in a parallel universe very similar to ours, whose project aim is to clearly elucidate the essential propositions of Ballardianism, the philosophical theory which implicitly guides the works of J.G. Buy Applied Ballardianism: Memoir From a Parallel Universe (Urbanomic / K-Pulp) by Simon Sellars (ISBN: 9780995455078) from Amazon's Book Store. Western culture has proposed, essentially, two images of time: a circular one and a linear one. The end comes when the future reaches back, to seize us. In particular, the discussion verged on what is the “political task,” the social role and the ethical purpose of a work recently published by Urbanomic, The dominant arguments in the discussion are essentially two: on the one hand, Williams supports the, between art and politics.
Even though Williams argues that, politics could potentially use art for propaganda’s sake, , the two spheres must never coincide, unless one wants to fall back onto the worst forms of, “a complex process of manipulation and re-engineering of dynamic tendencies, vectors of emergence and organisation, and navigation within strategic spaces.”. The study of this imaginary discipline forces the protagonist to unveil an occult reality populated by conspiracies, UFOs, alien fetishes, hyper-invasive neuroscientific experiments and telepathic old men and pushes him to a sort of extreme gnosis: Ballard has really interpreted, the “next five minutes” of the human species. Rather than trying to mold and shape matter (because, as it’s easy to guess, we are still not talking about people, subjects and parties, but the anonymous materials of the world) as if we were its enlightened engineers, the goal of anti-praxis is to free all its expressive power. An excellent reassessment of the reasons for these sleepless nights is a recent and lively exchange of tweets involving Alex Williams, one of the authors of, , and the blogger Xenogothic, who, besides having taken part to the. He travels to Tangier to find William Burroughs’s “Interzone”, has close encounters with UFOs, searches for the spirit world in Japan, works as a gonzo travel writer island-hopping in the Pacific, and returns to his hometown Melbourne, (“built on the rubble of autogeddon”) where he prowls the freeways with a sinister Ballardian figure. The co-editor of Extreme Metaphors (2012), a collection of JG Ballard interviews, Sellars is a self-confessed obsessive, a “Ballardian”.
Clearly, this brief exposition of Ballardianism has two main effects: it explicitly shows us the superficial motivations behind Sellars’ tweets, but it generously lends itself to Williams’ criticism. Anti-praxis, especially in, , is a politics of ruthless freedom and coincides seamlessly with the struggle to make this same freedom increasingly unlimited and pervasive. Ballardianism, in fact, finds a solid political ally among the theories recently emerged in the accelerationist blogosphere, the true heir of the.
clearly shows, we haven’t seen anything yet. I will not spoil the thrill of initiation for you; I will limit myself to giving you a helping hand to facilitate your descent. In particular, the discussion verged on what is the “political task,” the social role and the ethical purpose of a work recently published by Urbanomic, Applied Ballardianism by Simon Sellars. But, as everyone can easily imagine, anti-praxis is, clearly, not the complete rejection of praxis and it does not demand us to totally abandon our political activities, whatever they may be.
“I imagined myself propelled to my death by forces I could not fathom, just like the victim in Crash who smashes into the narrator’s car and is hurled through the windscreen, striking the bonnet.”, Therefore, the protagonist of the novel abandons any hope of philosophical consistency or basic comprehension of the thought that drives Ballardian science fiction and decides to take upon himself the profound consequences of an applied Ballardianism, beginning a rigorous auto-analysis through which he will be transformed into a seismograph, capable of tracing the outlines of this inhuman mutation. I’ve been told to wait for further advice. From the cathedral of Kantian reason, erected on his first two Critiques and burnt to ashes by the third, the moment when the philosopher of Köingsberg started wondering how art could be inserted in the machineries of reason, to the Marxist debates on the role of art in the revolution, the history of modernity and rationality is the history of a perennial aesthetic insomnia which won’t let philosophers finally go to bed. Therefore, I will not try to outline any conceptual guide or scholarly explanation of the content of the novel, I will just draw some sort of treasure map, consisting of three clues which should guide you towards the conceptual core of Applied Ballardianism. , a theory that claims to be totally neutral and descriptive, thus justifying the lack of any explicit critical engagement.
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