CapitalismEssaysFeaturePoetryThe LeftThe Radical Imagination

At The Beginning Was The Imagination

At the beginning was the imagination, with its capricious subversive nature. But then a charming guy called “capitalism” arrived on the scene and promised to bring bread to everybody. People believed him, although it was soon evident that he was more interested in actually enriching somebody. But, most of all, people soon realized that something of the pleasure in working had been lost: labor was boring, repetitive, alienating.

That’s why a mob of angry kids called the Sixties stood up and cried: “Let’s stop it! All the power to the imagination! We do not want any more one-dimensional men!”

And capitalism, being in the end quite a smart guy, gladly replied: “That’s fine! Let’s try it out! Let’s be creative and express ourselves! We will get digitalized machines to do the repetitive work of the factories.” And so here we are, multi-dimensional entrepreneurs of ourselves, with our and renewable skills and a 150 identities to play with.

Can there still be place for a subversive imagination in a world where the latter has been enlisted to serve the production machine? Can there be imagination understood as the faculty to begin something new in a world that is so full of the old, so full of always new products that have to be sold ‘just in time’, even before being created? And what if imagination itself proves to be in its turn not only a faculty that we possess but also the homologated imaginary of commodities that possess us?

At the beginning we put then the imaginal, that space which is neither an individual faculty that we possess, nor a social context that possesses us, but pure immanent flux of images, of re-presentations that are presences in themselves. Re-orientation of existing images can then become the revolution of our time: Towards a new aesthetics of re-cycling!

 

 

For Re-novation, Against Innovation!

 In the moment capitalism coopted “innovation”, it is time to start “re-novation.”

Using the old to create the new,

Strata of images to give depth to the flatness of the digital,

Digging old words, dead languages to create new, living ones,

Take the old, destroy it and piece it together: renewal will spring forth!

 For Re-novation, Against Innovation!

A straight line, against the phantasmagoria of commodities.

Fixity, against the constant flux of capital.

Repetition, against the compulsion of acquisitive desire.

Continuity, so that interruptions become possible again.

For Re-novation, Against Innovation!

The new, through the same.

Eternal return, against empty difference.

Bodies, against flatness.

Touch, against the primacy of sight.

A mountain against the sea: next to the sea, made by the sea.

Chiara Bottici

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