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PART 3: (DE)TUNING OUR NETWORKS INTO LOVEWORKS

xxi. for those of us at the bottom (or the knee-length of the network), we have the privilege to view and even undermine this wobbly thing. hence springing from this delicate thought-mould sits and spring the idea of a love-works; caressed by thousand fingered transparent labours and privileges; and sharings: mutual aid is best when we are radically transparent: how much income are we receiving? how much capital can be redistributed? who has the money, and from where? for there is precariousness and then there is precarity: we must be vigilant to distinguish. for a little is a lot for someone with nothing, and you may think you have not a lot, but compared to others you have world making tentacles within your reach. transparency demands that we must be wary of those who use constructed or marginalised identities to promote/market capital for capital interests; these para-social-ego-agents will not disarm the network: indeed, they reify it even more: supreme narcissism is to project the self onto everything and manipulate everything according to sick desires of the thinking-self. an ongoing and pathological solipsism. taking this into account, we ought to realise that capitalism is not conservative: it is progressive as fuck: whatever is porous/flexible enough to commodify, it will pick up on and co-opt. it deeply desires this to sustain itself.

the ideologies of communism are profitable; anarchism is profitable if it is popular enough:

this is the supremo loop: it subsumes noise, irruption, resistance, transgression, action, etc; and swallows it all like the incredible blob!

xxii. i really think we need to render our networks into loveworks. but in these ways we must reflect: discussions of structures become reified as structures themselves. how much power are we lending to historical weight and situations? if this is to the point of inaction, let’s push those history-blocks into the bay. i really do think there are ways, enclaves and modalities with which to beat but not necessarily live outside the markets of capital for the time being. directing energy towards altruistic and mutual aid practice (including but not contingent on art making) is one way through but not out.

yeah. true.

but how do we deal with the fact that our co-workers, colleagues and peers sometimes/most times have all the monies and opportunities, particularly if they are practicing well into “maturity”? and from this, how do we countenance the socioeconomic privileges from a local and internationalist perspective without alienating or nullifying the real and ravaging a(e)ffects of capital through biopolitics, class-cannibalism, exclusion, and even premature death?

xxiii. throughout history, in most cultures (particularly in the pre-modern periods) spaces can/have been (now more and more rare) cultivated that foster sharing and community, over competition and getting ahead. for these are the negative values that are enabled through inherited capital gifts (property, inheritance, family connections etc.)

can we really have frank discussions of how contributions help the community? can we move through these ideas together in non-aggressive and/or condescending ways? there is really to much at stake here for the precariat-artist to not try and work through these ideas. could this be attained through rigorous and sustained (wide scale) skill, or actual money sharing: recognising that one may have had a better lot in life than others and how this can be resourced amongst and through the spaces/localities/situations in which one makes and subsists?

in this imaginary: labour and privilege is rendered transparent, confronted face on, and moulded in supple and nourishing ways. there is no one picking oneself up by the bootstrap but a collective walking frame:

together, as thick-friendships dashing against the rocks together in the dark, we struggle slowly towards radical and frank story sharing to clear the way for real-as-can-be and less-fragmented (read: fiercely scared) node-making.

shame and guilt and shying-away are done-away within these tentative yet welcomingly sloppy configurations.

we pay those we collaborate with equitably and fairly from what we have: we share actual capital. money!!!! we also don’t hoard information, opportunity, making, materials etc. you know what i’m talking about? we need to also recognise the growing isolation of our times; the techno-corporate interests who facilitate our alienation and in-fighting and then profit off it (oh, hi marky z). the social media revolution has generated more precise and acute forms of isolation - isolation free from the necessity of actual, corporeal-touch. the poet tao lin describes this condition throughout his bare but tender poems and writings. this is also reflected by the practice of hikikomori - a phenomenon observed in japan, where youth do not leave their houses for months or longer at a time. one such reason for this is “flat economic indicators” whereby, in the society, there are not as many opportunities as there once were in the super competitive job market. i can relate :(

xxiv. it’s a balance of deeply acknowledging and sharing the pain (knowing, for the most part, we are all trying to survive in capitalism or the hegemonic shadow of it) so it keeps us acutely aware of the value of real-caring, sharing, and communal needs for love and tenderness. it's the recognition that in not doing, making, constructing-personhood or even-being in the “modern”sense, we invite and welcome those who capital stigmatises in their “not-doing properly” or at all. this might be a good shared starting point for re-evaluating our tacitly beautified/ sacralised (yet violent) value systems, and from that space, the gaps, mirrors and perceived fertile nothingnesses reveal themselves, for what they are: for earnest engagement, and from that actual transparent love-work world-making might commence in little professional/institutional art/music spaces at first/or remind us the urgency of re-starting forgotten or neglected projects in this capacity: to really make/allow/foster the low-ses and precariat-artist to create unimpeded by structural disadvantage; to create with real fecundity. yet, it is importantly to note, that even though we are all becoming increasingly precarious, that those artists with jobs (or consistent incomes) and internet access access are best equipped to argue for the retention of the policy-corona-changes to welfare and social services that have come about to “save the economy.” we also need to save lives in the process. and we need to always think of the way the global precariat who is suffering and hurting.

xxv. so what is it to care for the precariat? to really care and to (many)fold this into our convenient or easy art-understandings of precarity. this attention to care needs to be focused in spheres that neglect to care, but who perform that they really care.

how to really care for the poor and disadvantaged, and those in the arts such as this? care for the poor is often religiously motivated. often is. is also often abrupt. “ have two dollars and shut up!”

a caring statement here and there utterered in a group chat, a conference, an exhibition statement: always, always inoculated from determined-un-health realities. to care for the poor means to care for their health and well being-in-the-world (my father’s body is deeply precarious and damaged by capital extractions, and his spine is shrinking and they don’t know why) care is often encoded provisionally. and always weighing heavily on the side of linguistic fireworks (not love works).

to care holistically in this way (and to live up to our words) would mean challenging our entire value systems, and politico-bio-aesthetics. to say that: because one may be “unskilled”. or without home. mentally and physically incapacitated. or systemically broken. of skeletal speech. or no speech at all. or of immobility, that they are really still of value, of worth. that they are here, and now. that they are immanent with us and that they have the right to be supported in their act of creation. in spite of your nasty view of them as lacking rigor-technical-aesthetic-sublime visions of labour-ethics; working; and individual accoutrements. in this capacity, we must work against the so-called magic of entrepreneurial spirits, who determine divine metrics at this late stage. they are the brims on the hats we no longer need to wear to shield us from the sun.

we must work harder in spite of a system that views the poor as less-than human or other-than human. put human creep aside and bougie artists who care more about non-human actors and theory, than care-praxis; much, much work still needs to be done to be here with, and to hear these generous stories:

massed. collective. multiplicitous. non-localised. entangled love-worked emotional and physical labours from all privileged spheres:

to transform, but not hopelessly transcend.

xxvi. the plastic structures that narrate the separation of grass stems from one another; which bio-chemically malign and reorganise them for multi-commodo-mouths. which make crop seeds sterile and impose patents on regenerative life.

what i mean is that these value systems that we devour and grind against in all ways possible are largely arbitrary. the logic of the market and the products and all that. and those funding body inviligations and all that. which (da da dada da) make us care for careers and products more than we do for people, for shimmering, dancing, singing-living things. i make no claims to the natural: romanticism, hitler and art school ruined that for all of us. there is strength in strategic essentialism. there is just-strength in those nice feelings you have in your-tummy-and-back-of-your-neck-tingle when you are genuinely nice to each other ? its bloody simple!

xxvii. my deep liturgical faith in *my* property (actual, torrented, virtual, server-generated-educated) constitutes and determines and allocates my self-hood vectors. and i know how exhausting this writing is by now – and i don’t give a nice-fuck. i was raised by a macro-narcissist and so were you. let”s argue it out. shout it out and fuck it out if you have to! i cry for care and warmth and so do you. admit it. please... someone has to verify to me right now that you are not a philosophical zombie.

xxviii. i cannot resign myself to immuno-apolitical-bourgeois apathy at this time. this is a real lack of care. unfortunately. but structurally across the bloody bread board, there is a lack of care for working and underclass artists within a upper-middle-class aesthetic sublime (bas-turd) milieu, which does not care to recognise its apparent lack of care and good-will, nor does it spare a thought for a second for the financially disadvantaged that sit on the horizons - apparently we are “twiddling” our thumbs.

platitudes are good and well.

aphorisms are good and well.

proviso-care utterances are just good.

but how is altruism in this way truly engendered within our artistic communities in this late-stage? what is a hierarchical community when some peoples” parents will actually just live longer by virtue of being rich or white? how can we care downwards when all we care about is upwards. i want society to live up to the contract it promises. that it promised us. if it is illusory, then just say so and we will revolt. if not. then live up to your end of the bargain.

xxix. as i mentioned a few steps up, there are ways, enclaves and modalities with which to beat and even attempt to live outside the markets of capital for the time-being. directing energy towards altruistic and mutual aid practice (including, but not contingent on art making) is one way through but not out. this is truly nothing new, and many communities are enacting this. but rememering: repetition gives form to anything graspable, including ideology, and products and even community; it solidifies in collaboration with time. but to rupture the appropriate codes on those vectors that harm, one must aim for more than mere aesthetic differentiation, aesthetics-as-politiks, transgression or even symbolic online, once-a-year protest. we should be recognising and navigating structures always, but always remembering that the nodes in the network should be loved because they have secret/hidden/tender connections elsewhere and aren’t just node-makers all the time. we must talk and listen care-fully, and act well-fully, for the wellbeing of each other. please can we? let’s knock these hierarchies off their stilts and loot something beautiful.

xxx. (three kisses on purpose) look, i really need for us to love and care 4 real – cos i am ready to care and love u. i believe it is my labour to share info with u and explain things that i think about that u might think about to. my emotional labour is the most powerful tool i have 4 u.

and i really do care 4 u

(and i’m trying to make it unconditional).

lots of love,

[me]

© James Hazel 2021