Arco Madrid

Posted: February 19, 2009 in Brain, capitalism, ethics, marketing, Value
Tags: , , , ,

It was my first, and I hope not last, visit to ARCO, an international arts market. It was interesting, if only because of the anxiety of being a part of an institutional machinery for assigning an exchange value to what should have no fixed exchange or use value.

The discursive context fed into my project of trying to engage Negri, Deleuze, Bergson, and Massumi on value and affect.

This is what I said:

What is the relation of Value to Affect?
“Pagar mas o menos es una cuestion que cada uno debe sopesar. El valor del arte no esta vinculado al dinero, sino al amor que uno siente por una obra ya que su objectivo, lejos de ser especifico, es realzar la experiencia personal de quien la admira y cuyo futuro es imposible de prever.”

“To pay more or to pay less [for a work of art] is a question that…is up to the individual to decide. The value of art has nothing to do with money, but with the emotive connection with an artwork. Its goal is to enhance the personal experience of the person admiring it, and therefore its future is impossible to predict.” (Marie Elena Angulo, qtd. in “Assigning Value to Art,” ABCDARCO, 2, Feb. 12, 2009)

The creation of market value today is immense and immeasurable but susceptible to control, discipline, modulation, and change. (Paraphrase of Antonio Negri in “Value and Affect” [1999])

IT IS FUNNY THAT AT AN ART FAIR EVERYTHING I HAVE READ AND HEARD IS ABOUT QUESTIONING IF ART CAN HAVE A VALUE AT ALL.

THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME PARTICULAR ANXIETY AMONG ARTISTS, CRITICS, AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC THAT ART BE BOTH A COMMODITY TO BE BOUGHT AND SOLD, AND BECAUSE IT CALLS FORTH A SUBJECTIVE RESPONSE IT BE BEYOND THE COMMODITY FORM.

AN OLD ANXIETY AT ARCO? MAYBE SOMEONE FROM THE AUDIENCE CAN FILL US IN DURING THE QUESTION/ANSWER?

IN ANY CASE, I WANT TO BEGIN WITH TWO TERMS THAT ARE NOT ONLY IMPORTANT FOR HOW WE THINK OF THE ETHICS OF ARCO, BUT CRUCIAL TO HOW WE UNDERSTAND THE LIFE OF CULTURAL PRODUCTION IN India TODAY.

THOSE TWO TERMS ARE VALUE AND AFFECT!

SLIDE 1:

WHAT IS VALUE?
BECAUSE VALUE TODAY IS DEFINED BY THE QUALITATIVE CHANGE IT BRINGS TO A PRODUCT LINE (as in value added services); or an identity (as in cultural value)—VALUE IS BASICALLY DEFINED AS OUTSIDE OF ANY MEASURE.
BUT DOES THAT MEAN THAT IT IS OUTSIDE OF CONTROL?
PEOPLE WORKING IN THE FIELD OF MARXIST CULTURAL ANALYSIS OR FOUCAULDIAN BIOPOLITICS SUCH AS ANTONIO NEGRI ANSWER CLEARLY NO, VALUE IS NOT BEYOND CONTROL.
IN FACT THE PRODUCTION OF VALUE IS A FORM A CONTROL.

How to define Affect?
In recent work by feminist political economists, postcolonial critics, and Marxist philosophers, affect is defined as the substance of interaction and communication: distinct from “emotion,” affect is defined by its relational character, not limited by an internalized feeling. In that regard, affect is considered pre-individual, operating in those strata of being where the subject and populations meet. Recalling Baruch Spinoza’s “ethics,” the production of affect is not conceivable otherwise than in terms of the production of a relational capacity: the capacity to affect and be affected.

“It is not right to say that the cinematographic image is in the present. What is in the present is what the image ‘represents’, but not the image itself, which, in cinema as in painting, is never to be confused with what it represents. The image itself is the system of the relationships between its elements, that is, a set of relationships of time from which the variable present only flows. “ Gilles Deleuze, Cinema Two: The Time Image

AFFECT IS A BODILY CAPACITY TO AFFECT AND BE AFFECTED. IT IS SUBJECTIVE (ABOUT YOUR HABITS), AND POPULATIONAL (HABITS DEVELOPED SOCIALLY AND BIOLOGICALLY).
PEOPLE INVOLVED IN AFFECT STUDIES HAVE FOREGROUNDED THE IMPORTANCE OF BREAK AWAY FROM THE MIND/BODY DUALISMS THAT HAVE CHARACTERIZED WESTERN THOUGHT FROM ITS INCEPTION.
AFFECT IS NOT ABOUT EMOTIVE RESPONSE; IT IS ABOUT CAPACITIES THAT EMERGE FROM THE INTERACTION OF MANY, MANY BUNDLED PROCESSES IN THE BODY, IN PERCEPTION, IN ATTENTION, IN MEMORY.
IN SHORT, AFFECT IS ABOUT RELATIONS OF TIME EMBODIED IN SENSORIMOTOR CIRCUITS. (THE PHILOSOPHICAL PREDECESSORS HERE ARE SPINOZA, NIETZSCHE, BERGSON, WHITEHEAD, MEARLEU-PONTY, DELEUZE, LUCRETIUS AND BHARATMUNI)
THIS IS HOW BERGSON DEFINES THE IMAGE: BETWEEN REPRESENTATION AND MATTER, IMAGES ARE SENSORIMOTOR CIRCUITS.

“… define attention as an adaptation of the body rather than of the mind and to see in this attitude of consciousness mainly the consciousness of an attitude.”
-Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s