Ein Tag im Leben der Endverbraucher (2020)

Microsoft Sam, ein Video-Essayist und Kompilator, der einen YouTube-Kanal mit 2190 Abonnenten betreibt, bietet ein passendes Update bzw. die Corona-Version von Harun Farockis Ein Tag im Leben der Endverbraucher (1993). Die in dem 3:41-minütigen Video (online gestellt am 15. April) verwendeten Ausschnitte verdanken sich einer Recherche nach US-amerikanischen Imagevideos der Automobilindustrie, Telekommunikationsbranche, Kurierdienstleister usw. der ersten Aprilhälfte. Die Exzerpte sind um visuelle Tropen (Fahrt durch die Landschaft, Bilder des „zuhause“ usw.) und Begriffe wie „Menschen“, „Familie“, „Zuhause“, „heute mehr denn je“, „in diesen Zeiten der Ungewissheit“, „in beispiellosen Zeiten“, „zusammen“ usw. organisiert. Aufbereitet zu einer schwindelerregenden Rhythmusanalyse des „Augenblicks“, entsteht hier vor allem der Eindruck einer verblüffenden Gleichheit in der Reaktion der Unternehmen und ihrer Werbeagenturen auf die Krise. Wie Microsoft Sam zu Recht bemerkt: „Die Videos der Konzerne in Reaktion auf Covid-19 gleichen sich auf unheimliche Weise. […] In Wirklichkeit sind viele Unternehmen fast über Nacht in Finanznot geraten. Sie mussten eine Botschaft aussenden – und zwar schnell. Sie beauftragten ihre Teams, etwas zusammenzuwerfen. Da ein neuer Werbeclip wegen sozialer Distanzierung nicht gefilmt werden konnte, stellten die Unternehmen altes Stock-B-Roll-Material zusammen und nahmen die harmloseste lizenzfreie Klaviermusik, die sie finden konnten. Dies, kombiniert mit einem Jahrzehnt von Marketing-Trends, die von Fokusgruppen und design by committee diktiert wurden, führte zu einem Tsunami von abgeleiteten, klischeehaften Anzeigen, die alle innerhalb einer Woche veröffentlicht wurden. Das ist keine Verschwörung – aber vielleicht ein Zeichen dafür, dass es Zeit für etwas Neues ist“. TH/VP

 

 

27.04.2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Schnittstelle

Lauren Berlant, the brilliant theorist of „cruel optimism“ and related issues, died of a rare form of cancer on June 28. The following, devastatingly optimistic quote is from a 2016 essay on the commons as „infrastructures for troubling times,“ part of a book that they worked on with the typically double-edged title On the Inconvenience of Other People: „What remains for our pedagogy of unlearning is to build affective infrastructures that admit the work of desire as the work of an aspirational ambivalence. What remains is the potential we have to common infrastructures that absorb the blows of our aggressive need for the world to accommodate us and our resistance to adaptation and that, at the same time, hold out the prospect of a world worth attaching to that’s something other than an old hope’s bitter echo. A failed episode is not evidence that the project was in error. By definition, the common forms of life are always going through a phase, as infrastructures will.“

 

Some basics from the Strike MoMA site: „Campaigns, actions, and letters chip away at the regime’s facade from the outside. Inside, every time workers organize, defy the boss, care for a coworker, disrespect secrecy, or enact other forms of subversion, cracks are created in the core. Cracking and chipping, chipping and cracking. As the walls that artificially separate the museum from the world collapse, we reorient away from the institution and come together to make plans. Let us strike in all the ways possible to exit from the terms of the museum so we can set our own.“

 

via Hyperallergic on the environmental impact of blockchain referring to recent NFT (non-fungible token) art sales: „This is not the first time the art world has come under scrutiny for being on the wrong side of the climate conversation. Artists and activists have protested everything from the carbon footprint of physical art fairs to the fossil fuel money funding major museums. But some say the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies is particularly egregious, and research shows it’s relatively easily quantifiable. A study by Cambridge University, for instance, estimates that bitcoin uses more electricity per year than the entire nation of Argentina. (Ethereum mining consumes a quarter to half of what Bitcoin mining does, but one transaction uses more power than an average US household in a day, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.)“

 

Nicholas Mirzoeff on “Artificial vision, white space and racial surveillance capitalism”: “Based as it is on ‘epidermalization’ (the assertion of absolute difference based on relative differences in skin color), AI’s racial surveillance deploys an all-too-familiar racialized way of seeing operating at plan-etary scale. It is the plantation future we are now living in. All such operations take place in and via the new imagined white space of technology known as the cloud. In reality, a very material arrangement of servers and cables, the cloud is both an engine of high-return low-employment capitalism and one of the prime drivers of carbon emissions.”

 

Sara Ahmed on the performativity of disgust (from The Cultural Politics of Emotion, 2004): “To name something as disgusting is to transfer the stickiness of the word ‘disgust’ to an object, which henceforth becomes generated as the very thing that is spoken. The relationship between the stickiness of the sign and the stickiness of the object is crucial to the performativity of disgust as well as the apparent resistance of disgust reactions to ‘newness’ in terms of the generation of different kinds of objects. The object that is generated as a disgusting (bad) object through the speech act comes to stick. It becomes sticky and acquires a fetish quality, which then engenders its own effects.”

15.06.2021

auf Hyperallergic über die Umweltbelastung durch Kryptowährungen aus Anlass jüngster Auktionen von NFT (non-fungible token)-Kunst: „This is not the first time the art world has come under scrutiny for being on the wrong side of the climate conversation. Artists and activists have protested everything from the carbon footprint of physical art fairs to the fossil fuel money funding major museums. But some say the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies is particularly egregious, and research shows it’s relatively easily quantifiable. A study by Cambridge University, for instance, estimates that bitcoin uses more electricity per year than the entire nation of Argentina. (Ethereum mining consumes a quarter to half of what Bitcoin mining does, but one transaction uses more power than an average US household in a day, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.)“

 

Nicholas Mirzoeff on “Artificial vision, white space and racial surveillance capitalism”: “Based as it is on ‘epidermalization’ (the assertion of absolute difference based on relative differences in skin color), AI’s racial surveillance deploys an all-too-familiar racialized way of seeing operating at plan-etary scale. It is the plantation future we are now living in. All such operations take place in and via the new imagined white space of technology known as the cloud. In reality, a very material arrangement of servers and cables, the cloud is both an engine of high-return low-employment capitalism and one of the prime drivers of carbon emissions.”

 

Sara Ahmed on the performativity of disgust (from The Cultural Politics of Emotion, 2004): “To name something as disgusting is to transfer the stickiness of the word ‘disgust’ to an object, which henceforth becomes generated as the very thing that is spoken. The relationship between the stickiness of the sign and the stickiness of the object is crucial to the performativity of disgust as well as the apparent resistance of disgust reactions to ‘newness’ in terms of the generation of different kinds of objects. The object that is generated as a disgusting (bad) object through the speech act comes to stick. It becomes sticky and acquires a fetish quality, which then engenders its own effects.”

07.11.2020

David Graeber (1961-2020) on What Would It Take (from his The Democracy Project. A History, a Crisis, a Movement, 2013, p. 193): „We have little idea what sort of organizations, or for that matter, technologies, would emerge if free people were unfettered to use their imagination to actually solve collective problems rather than to make them worse. But the primary question is: how do we even get there? What would it take to allow our political and economic systems to become a mode of collective problem solving rather than, as they are now, a mode of collective war?“

07.09.2020
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