Monday, May 13, 2013

2nd of February 2013 @CDA Projects
part of Sail Away, We Must! curated by Övül Durmuşoğlu

Love is the new gold. Love standard instead of gold standard. The alchemical imperative of capitalism.

Value is backed against affect, love is the attribute of the "ensouled" commodity. Capitalism as "commodity animism" (Steven Shaviro), commodity with a soul, canned consciousness, aliveness merchandised.

Gold is a trade on love. It is a fetishism of the soul.

Gold was extracted by people, by bodies, it was produced against life and death. Chile, Peru, Turkey, Romania: some of many territories where necrocapitalism is at work.

Ecophagia is the practice of eating the environment. Gold extraction is a practice of ecophagia.

Alchemy was practical it was a philosophy of practice - practice can be chemical, can change materiality.

Teargas had been replaced by lovegas. Chemically converted, the population is united somato-affectively. (Stanislaw Lem - The Futurological Congress)

How to invent a practice of acquiring somnolence rather than take sleeping pills. "Deleuze and Guattari favour Henry Miller who suggests getting soused on water, and William Burroughs, who tries thinking the possibility that things usually attained by chemical means are also ‘accessible by other paths’." (Catherine Dale)

The alchemic effects of practice, not in pursuing the emergence of gold but in creating new temporalities outside capitalist time, affective bodies instead of bodies-as-image. Affect is non-representational. It may only be embodied and subjectified. Gold as a substance, body as a substance, the primordial substance of matter which escapes representation is ante-form, before form.

Ordinary matter amounts to 4% of the energy of the observable universe. The remaining energy is theorized to be due to exotic forms, of which 23% is dark matter and 73% is dark energy.

In the alchemical practice, gold fully materialized is dead gold. It should never be completed, consumed, used up. Alchemists don't spend their gold, neither do capitalists. As Marx writes in the Grundrisse, gold "possesses all pleasures in potentiality".

The interesting moment is the moment before matter turns into form - the challenge would be to keep something of this moment even after the alchemic process is done. The transformation should never be complete, because it shouldn't close but open up. We are dealing today with habitual practices of closing.

Gold is hard, but malleable, ductile, it is the materiality of writing with computers, phones, inside circuits. Gold is conducting information, it is caught up in the formation of communities, affection, in the contagion of emotions.

"Real gold, having used up its potentiality, is dead. The alchemist is responsible for reviving gold (a process which means the death of alchemical mercury), but as long as gold is 'philosophical'-that is, not yet material-it is alive." (Karen Pinkus)

Soft gold - this hallucinatory perception may derive from practice, not from a command of the mind.

Love is a first rank affect like gold is a first rank metal.

0.000014% of a body mass is gold.

Surfaces of body and surfaces of gold. Body seen not as an organism but as a continuum, as another fold in the surface of materiality. Gold as a lucid blob, not inert, but capable of performing more than its material properties.

Artificial gold and melodrama intersect on the surface of things. Both lack deepness, are deemed unnatural, and are exiled to the realm of bad taste.

'Biomorphogenesis' (Franco Bifo Berardi), morphological freedom understood as alchemical freedom. Both from the body and the subject as from the object.

Gold in the nowness is pure presence as opposed to gold as a signifier, as a bearer of meaning, of value charged with an economical-futuristic function.

Love beyond meaning, without reciprocity. Love not an investment in the future but as overcharging the present.
Love as a political concept has been corrupted by its confinement as love of the same: love of the family, love of the couple, love of the race, love of the neighbour. We must rediscover the love of the stranger.

Love Thy Neighbor bombs dropping over the city. (Stanislaw Lem - The Futurological Congress)

This is melodrama, it is without depth because all affect is exteriorized, nothing is kept inside, all inflexions of emotionality are revealed in the moment they emerge. They don't belong to a subject. Everything unfolds in the nowness. Melodrama has something to do with both love and gold.

"nowness brings no hope, and nowness brings no future: the future will be precisely a now again." (Clarice Lispector)

In economical sense, love and gold have a crucial relation to risk and future. They are investments in the future and they generate its fluctuations. Fluctuations of mood and financial flows.

Gold bracelets in Turkey are given as wedding presents waiting to be transformed into something else, in the same way as love within marriage is a future investment.

Love is materialized in the erotic desire of the couple. How to dematerialize it and make it vulnerable to chance? Love as the embrace of the unexpected.

Both love and gold are abstract and aspire to a certain perfection. They are over-affirmative, have the potential to spread light and beatitude. They are both haunted by darkness and shadows, gold through its destructive potential in the process of extraction and love as a standardized, formalized ritual, as maintaining itself between quotation marks. Though love has a more complex destructive potential.

Today's economy is an extractive economy. Gold mining melts ecosystems and love mining exhausts affective powers.

"Alchemists don't spend their gold. But this does not mean there is nothing to be said about consumption inasmuch as it is potential consumption." (Karen Pinkus)

"affect both in terms of what is empirically realized and in terms of the philosophical conception of the virtual" (Patricia Ticineto Clough)

Some would undoubtedly argue that alchemy has nothing to do with production, at least if we agree with Marx that production is always consumption.

Escape the "binary logic of representation that disseminates the dichotomy between materiality and immateriality, the separation of the inert body from the intelligent mind." (Luciana Parisi)

Affect, just like gold, dwells in the field of the potential. Its materialization is emotion, the enclosed form of the subjective, psychological, individual.

Materialization not in the original, etymological sense of the word. If materialize means to "appear in bodily form", then all affect and emotion is already material. In the Spinozan tradition, emotion, equated with affect its corporal. It is the "modification of the body by which the power of action of the body is increased or diminished, aided or restrained, and at the same time the idea of these modifications".

Melodrama is the ultimate materialization of love, just like porn of sexual desire and horror of fear. Bodily fluids are the material of these three "body genres" (Linda Williams). The organism is shown to be permeable, fluidity of matter and the success of the film is measured in number of handkerchiefs, degrees of erection of little cartoon penises, screams, faints and heart attacks.

Language is an alchemical act which transforms every moment of its emergence. Every reading can be an alchemical reenactment. It lives in the nowness of its emergence and of its reenactment.