EW-AL613_richte_G_20111012164326Abstract Painting, 1999. Gerhard Richter.

Musicians produce music for pure communication now. Information and communication turns immaterial economy into superstition and affective projections. Capital defers down to pure communication, and what used to be an idea of the collective has become a force of conviviality in the absolute. Information-driven overstimulation and actual impoverishment may have fallen in love with each other as well, and they shack up together on an unemployed person’s Facebook page. Now that we live a constant slump, what used to be called biopolitics has been accelerated to the degree that it starts to line up with older pre-capitalist and pre-mercantile means of stabilizing exchanges. Why, after all, do you think there is so much talk about feudalism these days? And how did you suddenly get so many friends that you don’t even like? Where do you think we got all the bromance films—Hollywood romantic comedies on Platonic love between immature men with nothing in common who are nonetheless forced to improve difficult circumstances by forming bonds of intimacy and solidarity? Neighborhood currencies appear, not only in places like Greece, to keep goods and services moving when the money system breaks down. The currency could be a stone or a handshake—it doesn’t matter and doesn’t even have to be material when it’s backed by bonds of trust, by family love, or by friendship. All that is capital melts into love.


Love is in this sense not an elevated romantic phenomenon but the economization of empathy. Love is immaterial capital in the absolute in a sphere of value relations where capital and labor are no longer the main operators or arbiters of value.

– From ‘Is it Love?’ by Brian Kuan Wood, a complex, complicated essay on economics, collectivity and the abstract concept of ‘love’.


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